Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Do You Own Your Name .COM?

Why It’s Important To Own Your Name .Com

One third of the people on our planet are now connected to the internet; that’s over two billion people worldwide. The internet has become a place where you can learn, do, watch, buy or sell anything you can ever imagine. The internet has all but eliminated the need for us to leave our house. We can get entertainment, human interaction, food, clothing, grooms and brides all from the comfort of our chair. This incredible boom has made the importance of owning your own personal domain name vital, as it is the hub for which you are known in the online world. Here’s some of the key reasons why:

It’s Online Real Estate– When people use Yahoo, Bing, or Google to search for an exact term, the .com is generally going to be the first result that pops up. A lot of people around the world will even just type the term in with .com at the end. The first website that they find using either method is the one most people believe is the authority.

Best Place to Start a Website– Your Name .Com is quick and easy to remember for the people that know you. It saves you the hassle of having to create a new brand and embed that in the head of your target audience. Website hosting is affordable and building a website is easier than ever. With free programs like WordPress, you don’t need to understand complex codes to be able to create a professional looking website.

Protection– Angry rivals or astute individuals with dollar signs in their eyes will not hesitate to purchase your name .com. Once it’s in their possession, it’s an arduous process to win it back. In the meantime, they can make a profit off of your fortune or slander your name.

It’s Professional– Any serious businessman improves their stock with their name .com. Business cards and resumes alike look stronger and a candidate more desirable. Morgan Linton, serial entrepreneur and International Channel Manager for Sonos Inc. told Astounde, “No question, if you plan on doing anything important in your life, it’s vital to own your name dot com.”

Flexibility– Once you purchase a domain name, it’s yours. Despite the occasional price increase from ICANN, you can register your name for as many years as you want and lock in a certain rate. No one else can stake a claim to that name so long as you renew it when it comes time. Not only that, there is no requirement to build a website on it, you can just hold the name in your account.

Ease of Maintenance– Unlike most things in life, your domain name only needs to be addressed once per year. Not only that, but you’ll receive a friendly e-mail reminder to do so. Imagine if the same could be said for haircuts, your garden, dinner, your marriage, or feeding your pet.

Branding– You are in complete control over the ‘you’ that other people see when searching the internet. You are in charge of the information, pictures, professional reviews and other information that a friend or prospective colleague will see. Your brand is in your hands.

Customized E-mail Addresses– No more [email protected] or [email protected] With your own domain name, you can create any e-mail address you can think of @yourname.com.

Help Avoid Confusion– There could be another John Smith out there who enjoys taking ‘artful’ photos of naked men, and decides to post the videos and pictures of such on your name .com. You can avoid this potential shortcoming by locking up your domain name.

Price– Buying a domain name is one of the best bang-for-your-buck purchases you will ever find in your lifetime. A domain name can be had for $9.99 on most domain registrars ($8.95 on DomainIt.com). If you click on the link below, it’s only $7.99. That’s the equivalent to one mediocre value meal. Amortize the cost over a full year and it’s just over ¢.02 per day.

Despite all of these positive reasons why owning your name .com is important, there are still millions of people around the world that don’t see the value. Many people do, though, and you may very well find that your name is already taken. If you are one of the lucky people whose name isn’t already taken, what are you waiting for?

Written by Mike Awada, founding editor at Astounde.com, a hip, future tech and gadget online magazine.

ParkingCrew.com – Industry Veterans start their own Domain Parking Platform

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I had a recent chat with the founders of ParkingCrew.com, in order to get a bit more feedback about their platform and why they decided to get into the domain parking business. Here are answers to a few question I had:

Question 1: You guys have been around for more than 30 years collectively. What caused you to start your own parking company after all those years?

Good point Mike. While we were mostly focused on acquisitions of new domains and portfolios in the past, we took a closer look at optimizing our existing inventory last year. There are dozens of domainparking platforms out there and we monetized with most of them. Over the past few years we were getting more and more uncomfortable about declining revenues, hard-to-navigate user interfaces and a culture were customer feedback went unnoticed, so we decided it was time to build a parking platform from domainers for domainers. And this is exactly what we did with http://www.parkingcrew.com.

Question 2: What differentiates ParkingCrew from all the other parking companies out there?

It was actually built by domainers which is the reason why Parkingcrew.com specifically caters to a professional domainers needs:

– PPC feed with the highest coverage and clickprices worldwide
– 2nd tier feeds and a broad direct advertiser base for adult and blocked traffic
– highest revshares thanks to low overhead costs
– clearly arranged frontend
– transparent stats per domain
– autooptimization of proven templates
– custom template modification
– API
– multiple for-sale banners

Question 3: Sounds good. But how can we really know that people earn more with your service?

We are fully integrated with above.com so you can easily benchmark our service against your current providers. We are confident we will win your traffic!

Disclosure: ParkingCrew.com is an advertiser on NameTalent.com

Dobhran Development – Affordable, Full Service Web Development and Much More

Dobhran Development Logo

Dobhran Development is an Internet Marketing and full scale domain development company located in East Tennessee.  I had the pleasure of hanging out with Charlotte Gilbert, founder of Dobhran Development, again this year on DNCruise. Coming out of the cruise I was really impressed with the Dobhran Development’s vision and product and agreed to help promote Charlotte’s company here on NameTalent.com.

Charlotte is well established in the domain community through her close working relationships with major parking and development companies. She also managed the large InnovationHQ portfolio for five years where she focused on client side support in areas such as PPC management, domain development, affiliate monetization, design and sales negotiations.

I can’t yet tell you from a personal point of view how great Dobhran’s work is but by looking at the DobhranDevelopment.com portfolio and spending a lot of time talking with Charlie about her developments, I am sure folks looking for domain development or website consulting will be in good hands with Dobhran Development.

I was curious where the name Dobhran Development came about, so I asked Charlotte if she could give us some insight:

Dobhran is the Celtic sign for Otter which is my Irish birth animal.  I am from a deep Scots Irish heritage and Irish traditional beliefs are woven deeply throughout our family.

Dobhran Development is focused on getting clients’ websites to produce more revenue by implementing a wide variety of marketing and development tactics.  Some of the services offered include search engine optimization (SEO), content management systems (WordPress, Joomla and Drupal), link building, original content, affiliate strategies and agreements, high value (marquee) domain development, domain monetization and graphic design.

Ultimately, Dobhran Development strives to implement strategies to increase site sales and traffic, analyze web traffic/usage, refine portal based results and create strategies that convert audience interest into action increasing your profits and attracting more highly-targeted traffic.

Some Additional services provided
Landing pages
Social media – FB, Twitter, Press releases, etc
Domain Portfolio Management
Logo Creation
Lead Gen Management
Custom audio/video solutions for website content syndication implementation
Custom copywriting from authoritative sources
Application consultations
Website Development instruction classes
Live chat help

Website Samples
Winterfest.com
InterviewQuestions.com
ChiliFest.com

DobhranDevelopment.com provides custom website development solution packages for every economic standpoint, so there is no reason to let your domain sit on that parked page making ten cents a click!  In fact, according to the Dobhran website there are design/development specials starting from $300, right now.

Connect with Dobhran Development:
Web: www.DobhranDevelopment.com
Phone: (678) 242-WEB1 (9321)
E-mail: [email protected]
Skype: DobhranDevelopment
LinkedIn

Review: BenePark Parking and Monetization Platform

benepark.com logoA couple months back the folks at BenePark.com asked me if I would test out a few domains on their monetization platform and write a review based on the results.  I was compensated to try out BenePark and write this review, what I am sharing today are 100% honest results.

I chose two domains from my portfolio for this experiment. One that had natural traffic, a few clicks and some annual revenue, nothing impressive though. The second domain had nearly no natural traffic, clicks or revenue before this experiment.  Here are the results:

Domain name: 
While I won’t be publishing exact figures I can divulge that from Jan 1, 2011 – May 28, 2011 while this domain was monetized with the Noomle.com parking system xxxxxxxxxxxx.com had approx 300 visitors, with a handful of clicks that made me enough to rent a movie from red box for one night.  During that time it was usually the second or third organic listing when searching Google for ‘Guatemala xxxxx’.   From May 28th – Today as I look at my adsense report, it looks like the this domain has had approx 1200 visitors, a very small increase in click thru’s and has earned 3x the revenue in the last two months than it did in the first six months this year.  Now I can go splurge at the Red Box!

These results are encouraging, I was surprised to see that my traffic increased so dramatically – perhaps BenePark sends traffic to sites within it’s platform?  One thing I did see change is that xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com is no longer on the first page of results for ‘Guatemala xxxxxx’ actually I couldn’t find it in the first five pages, ouch.  However, as I look at the same search phrase on Yahoo/Bing I now see that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com is ranked on the first page in the organic listings, I don’t recall the former site ever being ranked in Y/B.  Ok, so the results show some improvement in traffic and revenue but the big kicker is that I’m no longer ranked in Google.  So what about the page design?  I actually really like the page design which was created by BenePark.  You have the option of adding your CJ/CB affiliate codes for products widgets that can be placed on your BenePark pages – I did upload my CJ.com affiliate info but have seen no revenue from affiliate conversion.  The actual page is very clean with decent content and really does not look like a typical parked page.  BenePark staff designs each page for you but will take custom directions if you have an idea on how you want your page to look.  I’m not going to link to a parked page but if you want to see how the page looks click here (should be the 5th or 6th organic result).

The second domain name I tested out with BenePark is Cashxxxxxxx.com.  A domain that had virtually no traffic/revenue.  Between Jan 1st of this year and May 28th while parked at Sedo, this domain saw less than 15 visitors earning one click which made me virtually nothing in revenue.  From May 28th – present, Cashxxxxxxx.com while monetized with BenePark saw an increase in traffic up to almost 150 visitors, a handful of clicks and banked me enough revenue to buy a cup of coffee :).  I chose to try out a domain name that I knew had very little natural traffic to see how it did with BenePark.  The affiliate ads did not convert any revenue on this page either but for some reason the BenePark designer thought that ‘diamond necklaces’ was the best keyword to try out with this domain.  I did not ask them to change the theme, I figured I would let it ride and see what happens.  Cashxxxxxxx.com was NOT in the organic listings on the first five pages in either Google or Yahoo/Bing and it remains that way.  Well, taking a domain that previously had no traffic and revenue and in two months turning it into a domain that will probably pay for it’s own renewal is nice -can’t complain about that.

To learn more about BenePark.com check out their FAQ.  My favorite part about this platform is that your earned revenue is paid directly to adsense or your affiliate accounts.  So how does BenePark profit from this model?  According to the FAQ they also run some of their own ads on each page.

My overall experience with BenePark.com has been a positive as both domains I tested have received substantially more traffic and revenue in two months on this platform than the previous six months at other parking providers.  I am however concerned that my xxxxxxxxxx.com page no longer shows up on the first page of Google (as it did when it was monetized with a Noomle.com minisite).  I am also a bit skeptical of how BenePark makes revenue running ads concurrently on my page (I was not aware of this until after I agreed to the review, etc).

* Paid Review

Why I’m Excited About BoxCar

Boxcar.com is an innovative, open and easy to use auction platform for buying and selling domain names. BoxCar is suitable for any type of domain auction including multi-lots (up to 50 domains at once). Once you’re signed up you can begin bidding on or selling domain names almost instantly.  You can still register for a year membership at BoxCar for only $1 (offer only good thru 10/31).

Selling is simple. You control all of the variables, it’s a sellers dream marketplace. List your domain names for auctions up to 60 days in any price range with your chosen bid increments for only $5 per listing. The seller control panel is very user friendly. One thing I like is being able to add any embed code or api (twitter/fb/etc)  into an auction page. This means that you could create a video specifically for the auction, upload it on youtube and then simply embed that code into the field provided, your video will appear next to the auction details. That’s domain auction innovation!

All payments for auctions on BoxCar are to be handled through the Paypal or Escrow api that is conveniently integrated into the site. Domain buyers and sellers can communicate through Mailcar, the message system on the Boxcar platform.  Another new feature that I really like that you can schedule a domain auction to have a preview period. This is a great idea and gives the seller more time to inform potential buyers of exactly when and where and details of the auction. One thing I would change about the preview period is that even though auction details are still editable by the seller, you should still be able to see the auction start price, increments, etc. so that a potential buyer can plan accordingly.

Bidding on domains at BoxCar is pretty self explanatory.  The Bidders Kit (.pdf) will help you with any questions.  One thing that is made very clear is how BC deals with non-paying bidder and those that do not follow through with agreements.  From BoxCar:

Non-paying bidders and sellers who do not complete agreements will be subject to harsh penalties and fees, including, but not limited to:

  1. Monetary penalties
  2. Account deletion
  3. Site ban
  4. Public disclosure

This is not a fly by night auction house, it’s obvious to me it has been developed and planned for some time now.  For those who loved and miss Bido, I think they will really embrace BoxCar. My first auction on this platform is starts today.  Boxcar give’s you lots of great tools to get the word out about your auctions too.  There’s the My Boxcar URL (mine is: http://boxcar.com/VirtualRE) and also they provide you a widget code to embed into webpages that show your auctions. I’m looking forward to watching this platform grow, I think it’s a great vehicle to buy and sell domains and will be around for the long run.  Good job DomainConsultant.com for launching a truly unique marketplace for our industry.

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