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Interview with Chris from AntiCareer.com – I have asked various parties within the domain industry to take part in some interviews to give us a little background about themselves, where they see the industry heading and how they feel the current market for domain names are our seventeenth interview is by Chris from AntiCareer.com
Anticareer.com is a blog about internet marketing, domain investing, and earning a living online. I’ve been online (from an entrepreneurial standpoint) since 2005, first starting out with (unsuccessful) website development. I then moved onto successful website development once I learned the ropes. That put some money in my pocket which was burning a hole straight through so I wanted to start investing it. I recognized the value of domain names right off the bat and now that I was armed with some cash I (unsuccessful) dove into domain name investing. I took some lumps in the beginning, registered a plethora of garbage hand-reg domains, overpaid for some aftermarket domains, and in general got my ass kicked. But I’m a pretty quick learner and I turned it around. Today I spend about 75% of my time on internet marketing work and 25% of my time on domain name investing. In internet marketing I focus on a few niches; sports, health, and entertainment though I dabble in pretty much anything if I think there’s an opportunity there. For domain name investing I rarely hand register domains anymore, I prefer to look for domains that people foolishly are letting expire and I outbid other domainers while still only paying a fraction of the true value. I’d say I buy 90% of my domain names through Namejet and GoDaddy auctions, ranging from domains selling for $XX to domains selling for $XX,XXX. There’s something oddly more satisfying about spotting a domain that I can pick up for $25 and sell for $2k than for buying a domain for $10k and selling it for $20k, I guess the former I believe takes more skill and the latter takes less skill and more wallet.
Don’t Forget to check out all the other Interviews completed on RobbiesBlog.com
Mike Mann, Darren Cleveland, Monte Cahn, Braden Pollock, Craig Rowe, Xavier Buck, Jodi Chamberlain, Fred Mercaldo, Tommy Butler, Michael Castello, Rob Grant, Tom Chapman, Ira Zoot, Victor Pitts, Shane Cultra, Nico Zeifang and obviously todays with Chris from AntiCareer.com and more coming next week.
1) What are your current thoughts on the Domain Aftermarket? i.e. Sales and Enquiries etc – General Mood of Domainers / End users?
I think the domain aftermarket is still pretty young and definitely not fully understand by most. Most people are shocked when they hear a domain name sold for $10,000 or $100,000 or $1,000,000. It’s because they still don’t understand the value of this virtual real estate. A lot of companies also don’t get it. They will spend $3 million bucks for a 30 second spot on the Superbowl that most people will forget about 1 second after it plays, when instead they could have purchased an uber premium domain name that would get type ins (so ‘free’ potential customers coming to your site 7 days a week), is easily brandable, sets you apart from your competition, and you will own for eternity at an annual cost of $10 a year for renewal. It is mind blowing on how much corporate marketing budgets are but how little corporations will spend on a high quality domain. I was telling my friend the other day about a business plan I just cooked up and I was going after a domain that was perfect for it. He asked what the domain would set me back and I estimated in the $5-$7k range and he almost choked on his soda. He’s a business professional with a MBA. The general public still doesn’t get it yet.
I think domainers are pretty similar to home owners. Everyone thinks their home is worth more than it really is, and everyone can think of 10 reasons why their home is more valuable than the next guy’s home. My most frustrating dealing are usually whenever I have to try to buy a domain from a domainer, because even though they know what the current prices are in the market they still believe they are holding onto the golden goose and someone is going to swoop down and offer them the moon for it. Silly domainers.
2) Where do you see GTLDS in 3 years time?
You know, I’m not happy about the GTLDS. They will cause massive confusion and they are about nothing more than greed and serve no purpose to the general public IMO. Will I invest in them? Not at all. And what is sad to see is some well known and respected guys pumping these things. Why? Because they have a significant vested interest. I mean nowadays mobile is hot, right? How’s .mobi doing though? I think they will be like the restaurant business, 90% of them will fail, and 10% will stick. I highly doubt though that the general public will adapt to any of them in any significant way for at least 10+ years. All these companies who raised millions of dollars to buy GLTDS… I can’t help but shake my head at the investors. I think that this “gold rush” is really for fools gold and the investors are going to get burned.
3) What are you or your companies investing in? i.e. Dot Com only Domains – Typo – etc?
I’m investing in any domain I think I have an opportunity to profit with. That said, I’m about 90% in .com domains, 5% in .orgs, 4% in .nets, and 1% in everything else. I have a mixed bag of nuts when it comes to what I like. I like short and pronounceable domains so CVCV.com is one of my favorites. I like one word .coms that have a commercial meaning/value. I like two word phrases. And I like domains that in my eyes have a branding potential. I’ll buy number domains if the price is right, and I’m also not afraid to take a few shots on domains that most other people wouldn’t see much potential in. I honestly don’t think I own one typo domain.
4) Do you believe in Parking or Developing? What are your tips for either i.e. Top Parking Platform (What Do You Use) – Developing your thoughts on what to develop and how best achieve it?
Parking is good for lazy men and women. I said it, and it’s true. If you’re offended, sorry, but deal with it. Every now and again I’ll direct navigate to a domain to see what’s going on with it and a lot of times it is a pretty standard parked page. I go to the whois and see it is one of the big boys who owns it. I get that the big boys own hundreds of thousands of domain names, but parking a domain that will earn you $10 a day when you could develop a basic site and capitalize on the type in traffic through CPA offers to the tune of $100+ per day just tells me that they are lazy. Hire some outsourced help and do something with the domains. And you know what, if you own 500 domains in the same niche then develop one of them and forward the rest to that one and you’ll earn 10X what you are earning with parking. Seeing a great domain name have a parked page is a pet peeve of mine if you couldn’t tell. If anyone has a category defining domain name that is parked and earning squat give me a holler if you’re interested in getting it developed/monetized for a cut of the incremental monthly profit above what it was marking parked.
I have a lot of thoughts on developing domains. I write about this topic quite often. Every domain is not equal, some have more potential than others, so you really need to understand how much potential there is to unlock with the domain and then get after it. When you develop domains it is OK to admit you don’t know it all and outsource what you cannot do very well to someone who can do it very well. I outsource my graphic work. I outsource any coding beyond HTML and basic PHP. I outsource SEO work, article writing, social media marketing. Unless you are a pro at all this stuff your job should be more of a project manager than anything else. And when you develop a domain you should always perform some tests and see what works best in order to monetize it. I had this niche where I only monetized my sites with Adsense. Google banned my account (and they give no reason why… they are about as transparent as monkey feces) and I was forced to find an alternative. I contacted one of the companies whose ads I always saw in those Adsense placements when they were running on my site and I worked out a deal with them. I earn 150% of what I was earning with Adsense which is a pretty significant/meaningful increase.
5) What is your favourite domain personally or company owned?
I don’t get too attached to domain names so there isn’t one that stands out. I always enjoy landing an easy to pronounce CVCV.com domain with 4 quality letters.
6) If you were starting out in the domain space today what are your 3 top tips?
My top three tips:
- Read and try to learn as much as you can before you spend a dollar on domain names. There’s a certain feel and knowledge you get that comes with experience and reading won’t give it to you, but reading will get you a few steps up on the ladder so when you start out you can avoid some common pitfalls that a lot of people fall into (like I did when I first started out and I wasted some cash). And don’t just read for a day or a week. Read for a solid month or two. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Appraisals are shit. Don’t go by anyone’s appraisal. The best way to value a domain is based on your gut and knowledge, and if you’re new to domaining then read the weekly lists of what domains have sold for as a guide as you begin to learn. There’s been so many times I’ve seen these self proclaimed “expert” domainers claim a domain is worth a certain amount but yet the domain sells at auction for 10% of that amount. If someone really thought a domain was worth $10,000 then why wouldn’t they spend $1,100 on it? They were happy to proclaim the $10,000 appraisal for all to hear but they wouldn’t put their money where their mouth is because they are full of shit. Some of them do it because they have a vested interest in a domain name, some do it because they like the attention they get when they give their appraisal, and some do it because they are morons.
- Start out small and understand each step in the process. Anyone can buy a domain name. Not everyone can successfully buy a domain name and sell it for a solid profit. Before you try to hit a home run you should learn how to hit a single. Buy a hand registered domain for $10. Try to find buyers for it. Reach out to them. See how your sales pitch goes. Learn, revise, test, repeat… and eventually you’ll find success.
7) What’s the next big thing that your companies are working on?
I have two bigger projects that I recently acquired domains for and am in the process of working on. I don’t want to give away the exact concept but suffice to say one is an article submission site in the similar vein of an EzineArticles.com but that will provide financial benefits to the authors instead of pocketing 100% of the profit myself like most article directories do, and the other is in the dating niche but has its own special X factor that makes it different than every other dating site out there.
8)Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
In 10 years I’d like to be chilling in a tropical location rotating between Coronas and a fruity drink with an umbrella straw in it while all the work I’ve put in over the years is continuously earning me passive income that direct deposits into my bank account. Yeah, that would be nice.
9) What has been your biggest challenge in the domain business?
The biggest challenge was getting that inane perspective and knowledge about domain names that you really can’t learn but you need to gain through experience. Back in the day I could scan a list of 5,000 expiring domains and I’d find 100 of them that I’d want to buy. Today if I scanned that same exact list I’d probably find 5 that ‘might’ be worth buying. Getting to that point is a process and definitely difficult but when you’re there that knowledge/gut feeling will let you make money more times than not.
10) What do you feel has been your largest accomplishment in the Business / Personally?
When I look back I’m very proud of where I started from and where I worked my way up to. I went to school for Finance so I had absolutely zero working knowledge of website development, coding, domain names, internet marketing, etc… I started with 1 domain name, a cracked copy of Dreamweaver (shush, don’t tell anyone), and a thick used book on HTML coding that I picked up for $5. From there, through hard work, long nights, a ton more failures than successes, perseverance, and sacrifice I’ve been able to turn it into a business for myself. Being able to achieve something through hard work that most people would have given up on gives me sense of pride that I’ll always carry with me.
I would like to say a big Thank You to Chris for taking part in this interview for RobbiesBlog.com – Please check out Chris Blog over at AntiCareer.com