Interview with Shane Cultra – 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 fifteenth interview is by Shane Cultra.
I am probably best known in the industry as the writer/owner of the little blog DomainShane. My main job is as one of the Co-owners of Country Arbors Nursery and Cultra Nursery. Our family started in the nursery business and 1865 and I am the 5th generation to own a nursery. Basically, I grow plants and sell them. I graduated from the University of Alabama in Management and had a brief stint as a trader at the Chicago Options exchange before joining the family business
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 and obviously todays with Shane Cultra and more coming this 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 aftermarket is at an amazing place for those with quality names. Quality names will always have a market. The middle of the road names take a little more work but if you have developed a sales plan they can still be profitable. The lower end names have no aftermarket value and are merely being passed around to those that are clueless.
2) Where do you see GTLDS in 3 years time?
I think only a handful will be out in three years. 10% will be part of our every Internet lives
3) What are you or your companies investing in? i.e. Dot Com only Domains, Typo – etc?
I specialize in NNNN.coms and very short .coms, .nets, and dot orgs. Three character dot coms also have been good to me. I also invest quite a bit in two common word dot coms. I try to invest in things that are liquid and easy to move.
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 not part of my monetization. I do park but make more money in one day with ads or affiliate on my websites than I do the whole month parking. I do think InternetTraffic.com and Voodoo.com do a great job. Development is certainly the way to go My advice would be to concentrate on one site and keep it fresh and up to date. Add sites after basic completion and make sure to update all of your sites regularly. I only wish I followed my own advice.
5) What is your favourite domain personally or company owned?
I really don’t have a favorite domain. I like any domain that makes me money. I don’t fall in love with any of my domains. They are merely investments to sell to make more investments…..Or buy something I really don’t need every once in a while. My favorite developed domain is Imgur.com . It’s a worthless domain but I’ve watched Alan build up a site that now gets hundreds of millions of visits and a is probably worth $50 million plus. All in a matter of years. A domain on its own could never achieve this
6) If you were starting out in the domain space today what are your 3 top tips?
1. Create your sales outlets. Anyone can buy a domain, not many can sell. Figure out where you are going to sell these things first then go to 2
2. Figure out what domains will sell at these outlets. This is a business, domains are your product. You need customers and you need a quality product. Take one of these away and you’re going to throw your money into the largest collection of email addresses
3. Develop a cash flow. Cash flow is what keeps you moving. It could be developing a name, possibly parking revenue, could be quick flipping of names, maybe a blog. We all need cash flow to pay the bills so we can keep from dipping into our reinvestment money.
7) What’s the next big thing that your companies are working on?
My cash flow has tripled in the last year allowing me to buy $XX,XXX names and portfolios to resell. The profits from those sales are going into a kitty to hire staff to help me on my development projects. The first project is a local based community guide and someday a local online newspaper.
8) Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I hope to own a few more garden centers. Have a staff of 10 or more people working on my websites and online businesses. The king of online garden product sales. And happily married with a daughter that has graduated from college and running my nurseries.
9) What has been your biggest challenge in the domain business?
Bad domain purchases and time. If I would have put all the money I wasted on hundreds a bad domains into a few I would have an extra 50-100K. I just don’t have enough time to do all the things I want and to put all my ideas into motion. I accept my constraints and lower my expectations, although its hard.
10) What do you feel has been your largest accomplishment in the Business / Personally?
I grew sales in our nursery from $70,000 a year to several million over the last 12 years. I have 25 wonderful employees/partners in my daily business and get to work with my brother and Father each day. Most people don’t get to spend very much time with their parents and I get to talk to my Dad every day. My family is amazing and have supported me in every thing I do for the last 17 years despite me not helping one bit around the house. In domaining, I am proud that most people in our industry know who I am and generally find I am a person that they want to work with in one way or another. I am proud that if I so chose, could make a living doing a myriad of different things. I’m proud to have built a life that is full of care but absent of worries. A life that is full of smiles and laughs and no limits. That I can financially do anything I want within reason yet smart enough to know that money can’t buy my health. In short, I am proud of the life I’ve built and the people who have chosen to accept me to part of theirs.
I would like to say a big Thank You to Shane Cultra for taking part in this interview for RobbiesBlog.com – Please check out Shane Cultra’s blog DomainShane.com