#17 Domain Names – A beautifully elegant Internet marketing business model.

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In this episode of Australia’s most loved Internet marketing business podcast we talk in detail about the big wide world of domain names … why they’re important, brandable versus key word rich, we share the tools you need to identify the best domain names PLUS you’ll discover a nice, simple business model.

Recommended Keyword tool for this episode: SEMRush

Duration: 41 min / 47 MB.

NOTE: The sound quality in parts of this episode is terrible yet the content was very important. We have solved this tech issue for future episodes. Apologies!

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Transcript:

Tim: James Schramko, welcome back to the wonderfully warm waters of the Freedom Ocean.

James: They’re very warm today, aren’t they? Tropical.

Tim: They are, mate. Welcome back listeners. I’m Tim Reid. And that lovely voice you just heard is that of James Schramko. And we’re a couple of blokes trying to make the world of Internet marketing a little bit easier to navigate.

James: So that we can have other issues like getting just the right floor heating temperature.

Tim: Yes, well we’re operating out of James’ lab here in Sydney, and it’s quite tropical here in the—we were just about to enter winter.

James: We just like to get coffee in the bar and the floor was set to Vicram yoga level! (laughs) So we had to notch it back abit!

Tim: (laughs) One of those steam lodges. So we’re doing this in our towels, it’s not a pretty sight, more like a Turkish bath, but if we do fall asleep, you’ll have to excuse us. I’m going to be—years ago, years and years ago, like, you know, 20-30 years ago, I fell—actually 30 years ago, I fell asleep talking on the phone to a girlfriend. Then I would maybe think of that—

James: Was it downhill from there?

Tim: It was all down hill from there. She’s not my wife, by the way. Listeners, welcome back. As we said, a place for Internet marketers to navigate the wild waters. Visit us at our website and join us on Facebook, because then you can enter the conversation. Freedomocean.com is the place to do that. And leave a comment about the show, we see them all, and we’d love the feedback and responding to your questions online as well. So James, if there was a new listener to the show, like right now, they’re listening going, “Wow, this sounds kind of interesting. I wonder what they’ve covered previously?” We might just go back over the last few episodes. Because we have talked about sales and the importance of being a great salesperson.

When it comes to Internet marketing, we’ve gone deep, deep down into the concept of outsourcing. We had a bit of a listener love-in, where we covered all sorts of questions, from automating social media networks to how long should it take to make money online. We answered the golden question—

James: They’re great questions and listeners should keep submitting questions because we’re guided by those questions.

Tim: We’re absolutely guided. And one where we had a lot of feedback, people loved, was the two-part episode of the Internet “What Makes the Serious Internet Marketers Toolbox.” What lives in there—

James: Oh, that was fun.

Tim: Chairs and eye wear and software and hardware and well there’s all sorts of things in there, and so we had some people who really enjoyed that. And it’s important, you know? I think what came out of that is that setting up your Internet marketing business is not like buying a franchise, you know?

James: No, it’s actually a lot of barrier to entry—

Tim: Yep.

James: And that’s why you have to be so good at it, because other people can get into the business instantly and with low capitals. So really it comes down to your skills and doing the right things.

Tim: Too true! Too true! And I think that one of the things that came out of those two episodes about the toolbox was that it’s not about complicating your office or filling it with lots of shiny objects. It’s getting down to what you need and what’s going to help you move forward. Now today’s episode, James, is about that old chestnut. Do you know what that old chestnut is?

James: I’m just dying to know, Tim.

Tim: You know. Domain names.

James: Domain names.

Tim: Domain names. Where does one start when we talk about domain names? I got a good place to start.

James: Okay.

Tim: That was a rhetorical question.

James: I was already thinking of my answer.

Tim: (laughs) That’s right!

James: I’ve got an answer, so if you get it wrong, I’ll tell you where it could be.

Tim: Okay. We’ll let’s share answers. My answer is where do we start with talking about the domain names? You know, I’d really like to know, you know, what makes for a good domain name? What would—

James: Well, I would start somewhere different—

Tim: Okay.

James: I would—as per my usual thinking—I always go one step back. And I think about why do you even need a domain name, why is it important? And the answer is, it’s better to own a racecourse than the racehorse. Now, a lot of marketers, we’ve talked about this problem before, set their entire business up on third-party platforms, like Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or WordPress(dot)org and WordPress(dot)com. And what happens is they build their business up, something changes, and they get slapped or their business doesn’t work anymore, and they have no control over it. And that’s a bad thing.

So you really need to get your own domain and build your business on your own domain. Once you’ve got your business on your own domain–and you’re effectively leasing your domain. You don’t necessarily own it, but you own the use of it. You control the game, then. And you’re in charge of what happens on that website. And that’s absolutely vital and it’s something that every Freedom Ocean listener should take on board. You want ownership and control whenever you have a choice.

Tim: Can I—good start. Does every Internet marketer, no matter what business model they are pursuing and we’ve talked about a few business models so far during the course of this show. Does every Internet marketer need a domain?

James: Probably not. I mean, I do know people who build their whole business on third-party platforms, like eBay or just using web 2.0 sites and free sites. The thing is, they don’t really own anything. The best they can hope for is to make some cash flow from sales and to build a list; and then they own the list. So you don’t absolutely have to have a domain name. I just strongly recommend it.

Tim: Okay. So yeah, even at the most basic, they can go and register their name.

James: Yeah. And I think we’ve covered that.

Tim: We have.

James: Do it for you, your spouse, your kids. The dot com.

Tim: Yep. Why the dot com? Even if we’re on Australia or, you know, England, why the dot com?

James: The dot com is the…that is the ultimate domain. They will never be another dot com that I can see. The dot com is it. You know, one word dot com is the primo domain.

Tim: Yep. One word dictionary word, single dictionary word domain.

James: Yeah.

Tim: Yeah. Okay, so even if you are an eBayer or if you are an affiliate, following those models, having your own domain, even if it’s your name, is a good idea. Alright. So what makes for a good domain? And by the way, we’ve had some great feedback in previous shows about—or the previous show, we did a bit of a role play.

James: Right.

Tim: So if you can see a role play somewhere out there, let’s do it. I’m all for it.

James: Okay. So what makes a good domain. I think a domain that fits well with your business, something that is going to work for you. Because a lot of people only see the domain name before they visit your site. And the domain name may be the end-all. It might stop them right there or they might think “Well, that’s interesting. I going to click on that link and see what’s there.” So I actually really like brandable domain names. In a brandable domain name, it’s something that really fits the business. And the other type of domain name that people talk about, a keyword-rich domain names. It’s [sounds like real mind] that there’s a little bit of an advantage to have a keyword in your domain name if you’re trying to rank well. But there’s lots of sites that do not have the keyword in the domain name, that are worth plenty. Like Google—

Tim: Yeah!

James: Paypal, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay. They don’t have keywords in them.

Tim: My consulting business, which is TheIdeasGuy.com, is not very keyword rich. That’s my brand. And once you establish some awareness around it, you just got to work a little bit harder. Because people look at the ideasguy.com and go, “Well, what is that?” They don’t know immediately that I’m a marketing person.

James: Reckon they could have a wild stab at what it is.

Tim: Yep. They could.

James: It’s like my SEO business, SEO Partner. It does have the keyword in it, SEO, so it’s sort of a good hook for what it does, and Partner is a perfect description of what it is. It’s your partner in SEO. It does the SEO side of the business for you, in partnership with you. So—

Tim: So you’re a bigger fan of the brandable domain name versus the keyword domain name?

James: Yeah.

Tim: That’s black and white. There’s not, you know, sort of some criteria that you need to use before making that decision?

James: No. I mean, one of my most valuable domains is probably superfastresults. And that’s an Internet marketing coaching forum. And the brandable side is talking about getting results in a fast time frame. Because people like fast, cheap, or good. So I went with fast, because a lot of people are interested in fast.

Tim: Didn’t get supergoodresults? (laughs)

James: Didn’t get supergood. It doesn’t quite have the ring—

Tim: Doesn’t have that ring, does it?

James: They’re into it. So I actually chose superfast as a brand that I want to push out across lots of websites.

Tim: Yep.

James: And I took my position in the market. And I’ve had other people emulate, you know, they’ve come along seen it and gone on up. Very smart people, too. And they’ve gone and registered 800 or 900 domains around their own version of that. So that’s why I like brandables; it takes your position in the marketplace and you can build up a really valuable property around that type of domain.

Tim: Brandables too don’t have to necessarily not have keywords in them, but it’s not—

James: Like my blog, Internetmarketingspeed. It’s got the keywords in it. And there’s lots of Internet marketing blogs, and I can tell you if you want to rank on the first page of Google for the words Internet marketing, it is a tremendous advantage to have that keyword phrased in the domain name. And most of the sites on the first page will have Internet marketing or Internet marketer or one of those variations, in the domain name itself. And in that particular industry, it’s a reasonably valuable position to have because it’s very competitive.

Tim: Yeah, okay. So therefore –

James: Alright. So you were probably going to ask me what about keyword searches. You know, is that a six-keyword domains?

Tim: Yeah.

James: Yes, it does. You can go along and register domains that have keywords in it that are searched for, and you can aim for that typed-in traffic. So that people literally go and type in the keyword into the search things, your domain is the perfect match for it, it will get flooded up first. Or there’s a statistic, I can’t remember where it’s from, but it says—and I don’t know if it’s made up or not—but about half the people go straight to the browser bar and type in the website they’re after instead of into the search box. So they go on and type in, you know, across the top, suchandsuch.com and see if it’s there. And quite often there is blinds.com.

Tim: None of us really know the complete Google algorithm is. But is it fair to say Google put a fair amount of weight on the domain name?

James: There is some factors that will help you, and especially if the domain name has been around for a while. The age of the domain name is important.

Tim: Yeah, it is. But if you haven’t got a keyword rich domain name, then you’ve missed the opportunity—it’s not the end of the world clearly, because you’re saying brandable domain names are better anyway—but you have missed an opportunity if you haven’t got a keyword rich domain name and being found, correct?

James: Well, not really.

Tim: Right.

James: You’ve got to weigh it out. With Google being so successful, if they said type in the box searchengine.com, you know, it doesn’t have the same ring to it. So if you can manage to get a good hook around the brandable, then that’s going to be strong. I mean, classic example: freedomocean.com. Some of our listeners have said they can’t find it in iTunes searching for Freedom Ocean. So they are not actually searching for Internet marketing training or the profitable business, profitable Internet marketing business, which it probably is listed under. They are looking for Freedom Ocean, because they know about the brand and they’re looking for it.

So there’s a difference to knowing about something you’re looking for versus people not knowing about your business. So yes, if we were a local kitchen renovation company, we could have a website kitchenrenovationsydney.com.au. That would give us the best advantage for that phrase in this marketplace. But if we were actually called Knobby’s Kitchens or whatever—that, by the way, is actually a name of a company, for overseas listeners, believe it or not—then they would probably want to be ranking for Knobby’s Kitchens as well, because people who have seen the advertisements or magazine ads—

Tim: Neither is Knobby’s Kitchens.

James: Would actually be looking for Knobby’s Kitchens.

Tim: Yep.

James: But people who don’t know, they might be going on kitchen renovation company Sydney. So you actually want to rank for both. But in the long run, the brandable domain is probably going to be worth more than the keyword search domain. And the other factor is how much traffic to that website is driven from the search engine versus other traffic channels.

And in the case of traffic grab, which ranks really well for the phrase targeted traffic, which is something that people are actually looking for, more people are sending traffic to traffic grab from non-search engine channels than the search engine channel. When I launched that product, the search engine traffic was less than 3 percent. So the rest of it was coming from affiliates, Facebook, Twitter, and magazine, ezine purchases, et cetera. So there’s a lot in the domain name, but when you’re choosing a domain name, consider the long run. My real point for getting to markets now is to sell it later on. So if you want to do AdSense and rank in the search results, you’re never going to do advertising, you’re never going to have affiliates, by all means get a keyword rich domain.

Luxurytvcabinets.com, and sell that luxury TV cabinets from it and sell AdSense around it. And you can sell that site for a good return on your investment and that will be a keyword rich example.

Tim: Yeah, okay. If your business just selling to the local market, like for example Knobby’s Kitchens, is there any value in Knobby’s Kitchens owning Knobbyskitchen.com?

James: I think that they should own and direct it to their dot com dot au. The rule of thumb with the domain is you use the extension in the country you’re trying to rank. If you have an international product, you probably want to go to the dot com. If you have US dollar currency on your site, dot com. If you’re a London-based company, you should be going for the dot co dot uk. If you’re a Sydney-based company, you’d have the dot com dot au as your primary website, because the search engine will favor the local extension, and also your local customers will feel more connected—

Tim: Connected, yeah.

James: With the local extension. So that’s the rule of thumb. But I think it’s good when you’re coming up with a business name, search and make sure that you get the local and the dot com, if possible. If you don’t get the dot com, there is a chance that your customers will be searching for the dot com and end up in someone else’s site. For example, sometimes when I got to my bank, I might accidentally type in NAB.com and I end up in some other site, which is our biggest bank.

Tim: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah! Which is unusual that there’s a bank called NAB, by the way. Americans dig it a lot. NAB meaning to take. So okay, so then James, when going off and finding a domain for your Internet marketing business, it’s obviously the primary market, which is the places like the Cheap Domains or GoDaddy or wherever you buy your domains from.

And then there’s the secondary market, in forums and out there in the big, wide world, there’s places to buy. The banes of secondary market—

James: So by primary and secondary, do you mean new and used?

Tim: New and used. Yeah. What’s your view on that?

James: Well, if you’re lucky enough to get a new domain that suits your business and it’s available for $9.00, that name cheap, that’s great. So a fair portion of my domains and new domains, especially brandables where I’m coming out with a new product. So inboxrelief, for example, was available from the brand new domain that no one else has bought it yet. Traffic grab was not available; someone had already purchased it years ago, so I had to buy it used. SEO Partner I bought used. Silver Circle, I bought used.

So lots of domains that I have are pre-owned domains and they do come with an advantage. Yes, they cost a little more, but they also have history, and history, you help you get more trust in the search engine. They may have links already to the domain, they may have traffic coming to the domain already. And they are quite trainable thing. You can buy it and then sell it again because you have comparative price data. You know how much it sold for before and that can, like houses at an auction, it can give you an idea of where the domain is tracking.

Tim: You do know if it have some links and history, you want to check that history. You don’t want to make sure—

James: You do want to make some basic checks.

Tim: Misused.

James: Exactly. So some of the tools that I use can check for faked page rank and that’s no guarantee, by the way, because it’s really easy to build up good page rank by just pointing a powerful domain or two to that domain, it can inflate the page rank, and then after you buy it, they stop working and it reduces its value. But you do want to make sure that the domain hasn’t been indexed. So one of the easy thing that you can check is just to type the site colon command on a used domain and see what’s actually indexed in the search results. And if it’s not indexed at all, that could be an issue.

Tim: Can we just make that clear? You type in the site—

James: Just type site, colon, and then the domain name into the Google search.

Tim: The word site then colon and then the domain name. With the www or…?

James: No.

Tim: Okay.

James: Just site, colon, the id’s got—they’ll show you how many pages are indexed in Google.

Tim: Yeah. Okay.

James: There’s also a couple of tools you can use.

Tim: That’s also a good way that…I’ve used that to take a look at all of your pages and make sure they’re properly titled too. Two very quick way of doing that.

James: Yeah, you want a different page title on every page. Otherwise it’ll just say more results like this.

Tim: Yeah, yeah! That’s right! Okay.

James: There’s a good tool called SEO Quake. It’s an add-on. You can use it on Chrome, Firefox and it will show you some good data on the side. It will show you its Alexa ranking, it will show you how many pages are indexed, it will pick up how many Yahoo backlinks are there, which isn’t really that relevant moving forward. But I’m sure I would switch over to Majestic SEO or something soon. It shows you whois, so you can lookup who owns the domain and the history of it when it was changed, when it was registered. And it also will give you a link to archive.org. It will go to the wayback machine and show you what the site used to look like.

Tim: Yeah, how powerful is that!

James: Very powerful. Because if you pickup a pre-owned domain, let’s say you go and buy a domain that is, you know, wickerbaskets.com and there was an old site there with hundreds of pages, you could actually go and have those pages rewritten and installed back on the same page names. Now you might want to copyright to the old pages, so you just got to make sure that you cover yourself there, perhaps make new versions of it, but if you can replicate the page name structure, you can probably pickup old traffic in old links, or at the very least do a re-direct back to the relevant page.

Tim: One of the specific question relevant to something I’m trying at the moment, not trying but I’ve done, is I have created a website for the domain absolutewaterfront.com.au, okay? And on that site right now is simply my in-law’s home that I’m selling, okay? And it’s already ranking very well above all the agents in the area; it’s a beach home. And it’s ranking on page one for things like…above the agents on keyword searches, okay? Now once that home is sold, I don’t have a use for that website or that domain. Would a good idea be—and I’m thinking if this clearly is a business model here—to then go and okay, all the real estate agents in this area, I’ve got a domain name that is ranking above you on page one of Google for some keyword searches. Who wants to buy?

James: Yep, you could do that or you could lease it, or you could actually just grab results from all the other properties around the area and stick AdSense on the side.

Tim: Hang on! Explain that one. How do I grab results?

James: Well you could create a script that pulls the other agents results and say I’m going to publish all your listings for free and then you could put ads around it, and then you could make money from property ads around those sites. I did the exact same thing when I sold a house. I registered a dot com because I was looking for an international buyer. Because at the time, the other countries had money.

Tim: Yep.

James: Which isn’t the case anymore. And I outranked the agent free zone name, I outranked all the local places and I was going for pretty hot term, which was three-bedroom California bungalow, North Sydney, those type of phrases. And after it’s done, yes you can lease it back to the agent. You could go and get more listings. You could also approach people selling properties. And other person who is unhappy with the agent and say, “You can rent a space on my site for your property and I will stir all the leads back to the agent to give them a boost, if you’re really motivated to sell that property.” I’m sure you’ll get someone who would really like to have what you’ve established but can’t do it. Just majority of the population.

Tim: Yeah. Well, I was amazed at how easy it was—

James: It’s simple.

Tim: Particularly, I mean, less so in the built up city areas, but in those country areas, I mean—

James: A WordPress blog with half a dozen pages and lot’s of pictures with some video support from, you know, nice animoto, video stuff on YouTube, then point it back to the domain will build up that domain. And it is a great business model.

Tim: Let’s talk more about that because in domaining, we can talk about from many angles and we did mention domain names as a business model in Episode 2 or 3. So—

James: Well, simple model around that is buying domains that have got buyer phrases and ranking them in the search results and hoping that someone who needs that more than you do, it’s going to pay for it.

Tim: Okay. So example of is what I just talked about.

James: Exactly.

Tim: Yeah.

James: You can do the same for boat hire. You can do it for tennis court rentals. You can do it for small businesses, pest control companies; there’s so many lead-generator type things that you can make for by putting the keyword in the thing that are not trademark claimable. And this is something we need to cover.

Tim: Before we do, just a bit, because trademarks are important.

James: We have to cover that.

Tim: I’ve got a few trademarked domains – it’s like “Why did I buy them!?”

James: Everybody does it.

Tim: Yeah.

James: And it’s a big mistake.

Tim: Yep. Now, just before—because I want to explore that model. So the idea, and I’m surprised that how quickly absolutewaterfront.com.au ranked, I put some SEO work into it and it’s got some good content on there, but this is to be clear: go and buy a domain name in an industry that you want to rank for. Put some WordPress blog, simple, good quality content, a few articles, a few pictures, and get it ranking for particular keywords with the simplest version then be to go out with a letter to businesses in that industry and say you want it, here’s the price—ahead you determine the price—

James: That’s definitely not the simplest.

Tim: Okay, what’s the simplest?

James: Simplest is you go on and register a domain like tenniscourthiresydney.com.au. And you put tennis court articles, tennis pictures, and then you just run AdSense on the side.

Tim: Right.

James: So anyone in that market who’s running an AdWords campaign is probably going to show up on your site. By doing exactly that, but doing the other things like luxury cars, any part, you can just go on and pick your key phrase that’s not trademark claimable and stick your ads on it. So you can put a product or category and then location and then the domain name that matches that area. You can do that for every city and state in all of USA. You know, whatever that popular sport is.

Tim: And is the idea there to just simply earn revenue through the AdSense?

James: Yeah.

Tim: With the view at some point selling it?

James: Yeah. Yeah, that’s exactly right. You pat $10 or $20 for the domain name, you spend $50 in articles and pictures, and you stick it up there on you WordPress blog, maybe you pay a few hundred dollars to have that installed in labor. Let’s say you could set these things up for $500 each, then the goal is to make more than $500 in AdSense revenue in the first couple of years of that site. This is a very good, low maintenance business model.

Tim: It’s great!

James: There’s no customer interaction at all. It’s passive, you’re building an asset that not only gives you some cash flow, but you can sell it. Because sometimes, sooner or later, you’re going to get an email from somebody saying “Hey, would you be interested in selling this domain name?” It will be the local tennis court supplier, whatever.

Tim: Yeah, well if he’s on to it then yeah—

James: This works for anything. It could be coffemacchinessydney. It could be highfireequipmentsydney. Non-trademarkable searchable things. You go into your keyword research of course, to see what people are looking for, and try and pick an expensive things that people pay good money for.

Tim: So is it worth buying the industry term of the category name plus the state or the suburb? Or leave it non-geographic?

James: Depends on how big you want to go. I have lots of two-word domains that are the industry category with no geo-modifier on the top level. And I’m going national. So you could have bestbuysurgeon.com.au, and you could go for every single state and territory in the country. And then any eye surgeon who’s looking to get leverage might be advertising on that site.

Tim: Yep. Okay. And is the structure of the site—and we should direct listeners. I mean, we have a product on freedomocean.com and the products page, where you can have these websites built for a few hundred dollars, so we encourage you to go there if you’re wondering how the hell you start this process. It’s all there and waiting. Does the structure of a website look like, is it simply a blog, it doesn’t have a whole other different navigation buttons; it’s essentially a blog and a contact us inquiry page and with, you know, 10-20 articles on it?
James: Yeah, it really depends on the point of the blog. If it’s a lead-generator, you’ve got your lead-generation. That’s a whole other episode. We’re straying from domains here.

Tim: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely!

James: We’ve thrown in a bonus business model there. Quite lucrative, not really talked about very much and everyone’s focusing on the latest hoopla, wah, wah, wah. In the meantime, I’m just quietly building up a domain portfolio with these type of domains for that type of purpose. We’ve talked about the extension, we’ve talked about some of the tools that I use. There’s a couple of other tools that are great to do some quick research on the domain. I like SEMRush. SEMRush, you can have a free or paid version, I obviously have the paid version. But the free version gives you good information. You can type in a domain name and it will tell you what phrases is it ranking for already and how many searches. And not only that, it tells you who is a likely buyer for ad space on that website or for that domain itself.

Tim: Very cool!

James: Excellent tool.

Tim: What’s the paid version give you?

James: It gives you more search results.

Tim: Right.

James: More data.

Tim: Yep.

James: I really like that. It’s my favorite tool right now. It’s super easy, it’s online based, easy to use. It’s actually one of the extensions on the SEO Quake bar, but just go on buy the upgrade. Get the paid upgrade and you can get all sorts of data. So you can go and type in your own domain. You’d probably type in the Freedom Ocean-we did that, actually, last week. We typed in freedomocean.com, it’s now got the Australian listings as well, which is good. And it shows us—we’re dot com anyway—so it shows us what phrases we’re already ranking for on page 1 or 2 or 3. And we’re ranking for words like profitable Internet marketing business, Internet marketing training. So we actually now know what we rank for, we can go and upgrade our page titles. But if we wanted to sell our website to somebody else on our domain, and we’re raking for those phrases, it will show us who else is ranking for those phrases and we can go to them and say. “You know, we’re sick of this podcast now. We’re going to stop doing it. Would you like to buy our site? It’s ranked for these phrases, you could easily put your own banners on it, take it over, whatever. And this is how much it will cost.”

Tim: Wow! I love that, just thinking about that business model. About creating ongoing little websites. Because it’s one of those one’s you can have ticking in the background, particularly I know some of our listeners who are working full-time jobs and looking to move into a full-time Internet marketing business. That is one. You can tap away and I’m also thinking of that idea as a father of three children. It’s like creating annuities, you know? Over time—

James: Exactly. It’s like I tell my kids putting money in the bank account and savings is the worst thing you could ever do with your money. And I encourage them to invest their money instead. Invest it with me into their web portfolio; they’ve all got websites. Byron has a membership site.

The point is, yeah, that’s why I’m doing less talking to customers and actual face-to-face. I’ve killed half of my businesses that involve me talking to a customer. I don’t want to talk to customers. I want to quietly build my empire from the comfort of my own lab. And this is a really good business model once you know what you’re doing. So you need to know some more stuff. You can actually pick up domains that have expired and that used to be registered but that someone’s let go, but have keywords in them and potentially traffic. But you can buy them again at the new price, for the $9 or $10. And there’s a tool I use for that. It’s free, called Expired Domain Boss. And you can just go on and type by keyword. And you punch in the keyword and it will just show you what’s recently expired and you can just go grab them. I’ve bought lots of domains using that particular tool.

Tim: Expired Domain Boss.

James: Yeah. So you get a used domain at a new price.

Tim: There’s also one where they’re not for the new price, but there’s a website Drop.com.au. There’s a couple of sites where you can, if you register for them, you’ll see what’s coming up, what is expiring.

James: Yeah. Well, just be careful with dot com dot au’s.

Tim: Yeah, why?

James: They’re much harder to trade. It’s a less liquid market than…it’s heavily regulated. So to sell a dot com dot au’s much more difficult. You’ve got to wait a certain time period, in some cases, fill out forms. I’ve had to fill out forms before. In fact, only a couple of years ago, you had to have a business name that was the same as the domain.

Tim: Yeah, you did. You did.

James: So big difference between dot com dot au and dot com’s and dot net’s and dot org’s: dot com’s and net’s and orgs, you can buy today and sell within an hour. You can push them around easily, they’re very liquid and a much bigger marketplace. So keep that in mind.

Tim: Going back to that…can I go and buy…so with the dot com dot au, I’m thinking out loud here.

James: And our overseas listeners will not be able to buy—

Tim: No they won’t. No they won’t. So we need to keep the conversation global, really, don’t we?

James: Well, we have a huge Australian audience, but this is a good topic, depending where you live, domain buying and selling will be different.

Tim: Yeah. So then you trademark has been that people be de-regulated as of late?

James: And may continue to do so. So we have a situation where it looks cheap and it looks like good value, but it’s also illiquid and difficult. And if doesn’t de-regulate then you might not have a huge advantage. But it’s still in it’s infancy.

Tim: Yep. Any other tools?

James: Yeah. The in-sale price is a way to get a gauge of what things have sold for in the past. So when using your comparative price data. So, say I go to a domain that I want to buy and I see that’s available for sale. I might go and look for domains with similar phrases and see what else sold for that amount. Or if I want to buy a domain, I’ll go and see if it’s been traded before and how much it sold for last time.

Tim: How do they keep track of that? Because a lot of stuff happens off-market. I mean—

James: A lot of stuff does happen off-market and it’s stuff to do is in public auction. So I’m not a hundred percent sure how they do it, but they do it. And another tool that does a similar thing is Domainer Income. And it’s an Australian, Simon Johnson, has that tool. That gives you sale prices and searchable things. You can go and look at all different types of domains using that tool. The other tool that I’ve been using lately to buy domains is Domain Face by Kenny Goodman. And the features that it has that is phenomenally good for Australians is the proxy buying tool. So we can actually put in our auction bid and win a domain at the last minute at the lowest possible price. From sites like Pool.com, NameJet.com. Normally I would have to wait up until 3 or 4 in the morning and I would have to bid at the last minute to win the domain or I would have to out in my bid early, but the problem with those sites is when you put in your bid, that is what you’re paying. It’s not up to that, it’s that. But with Domain Face, you can put in what you’re happy to pay bid, but it will only bid in increments until it wins the domain.

Tim: Yeah, okay. Like eBay.

James: Yes. So it is a very powerful tool for someone who’s buying used domains a lot.

Tim: The boys at Market Samurai, which is a keyword research tool, they have a tool that I think called Domain Samurai. Never really looked into it.

James: Yes. I think it somehow hooks into Domain Face.

Tim: Okay.

James: Yep.

Tim: What’s Domain Samurai do?

James: I don’t use it.

Tim: Yeah, neither do I. I’ve just seen it connected to Market Samurai. So I’ll have to take a look at that. But probably a tool that helps you identify the best domain of what you’re trying to do, one would imagine.

James: Yeah.

Tim: Okay. What about Google’s keyword tool? You use?

James: Probably the best.

Tim: There you go.

James: Yep.

Tim: Saving the best for last.

James: Yeah, I use the Google keyword tool for most of the time now. And it’s good because you can search an exact match and get a pretty good feel for how many people are searching for something. And it will give you related things. And also you can type in the website address and it will tell you what key phrases that website is most likely to be looking for search traffic for. So I think it’s actually the best tool. The best paid tool is SEMRush for finding out what a site’s already ranking for.

Tim:
Alright I think that is a pretty good summary of domain names. I’m sure there’s plenty more questions, we might be able to do a second show on it. That I’m wrapped to sort of get some real clarity around that business model—

James: And you’ve discovered yeah you’ve got your super secret model.

Tim: Yep. Yep. Big time. Big time. Well, it’s not secret anymore once this episode goes out. I think this episode won’t go out for a couple of weeks, we might hold it off. (laughs)

James: (laughs) Well, the first thing that people do when they discover this model is they go and buy a hundred domain names and they do nothing with it. I want to caution you that with great domain name purchases comes great fulfillment responsibilities. Unless you’re prepared to do something with it, you’re more than likely going to be sitting on that portfolio and paying renewals with domain sitting there at that account. You’ve got to go out and develop it. So this is like a land grab; it’s great to go out and find green fields and to buy them, but unless you could put development on that green field and get to the point where you monetize it, it’s not going to work for you. So that, I just want to caution people. Be responsible, just do it on two or three to get the feel for it and make your aim to break it even. Because if you do, you get a bit of opportunistic, you’ll end up like me. I have thousands of domains and not all of them have been developed yet, and I’ve got a full-time team working on them. So it does cost money to build and develop your website. It does cost money to create content. It costs money to research and to manage and to update plugins, so make sure you know what you’re doing before you go, you know. I was going to say something—before you go in way too deep–

Tim: Way too deep. Yeah. Start slow.

James: Start slow. Get a feel for it, get your confidence up.

Tim: Yep.

James: Because probably if you get too many, it will be too long before you get a pay-off and you will abandon the model with a great little stash of domains, and you’ll just let them expire, and I’ll come along and buy them from you and develop them later.

Tim: Yeah. Good. Okay. Well, mate, that’s excellent James. Listeners that’s another rap for Freedom Ocean. If you do want to find out more about what we do and how we do it, go to freedomocean.com and I can tell you that in coming episodes, we are going to be talking webinars and we’ve got a listener love-in coming up, which I know you love.

James: I love those.

Tim: I know you do. Alright mate, til next time. See you later.

James: See yah.

  • pd

    Great podcast as always. I do my ironing whilst listening. I’ve never looked so smart!
    What is your take on the .mobi extension?

    • James

      .mobi is not useful.

  • pd

    Can you expand on that James?

    • James

      I think the .mobi was an early attempt at catering for a mobile viewable website. These days this idea s redundant since main sites are viewable on portable devices. It was probably a pumped up marketing exercise.

  • Scottp Penbry

    Wow!
    I can’t believe the value of the gold nuggets left laying around in this particular podcast.
    Cutting edge business models right there guys.
    Truly high value advice and stated so well without fluff or garbage.

    I would pay money to listen to this. Thanks once again.
    Blown away with this one.
    Awesome stuff. The section on development at the end is the key. A brilliant buiness model right there. I know that I have a long way to go but hot damn I’m in the right place to learn it.
    Thank you so much.

    • James

      Awesome Scott! Thanks

  • As always great Questions and Answers,

    – James, you raise a bloody good point about purchasing domains there pretty much “dead” if you don’t do some investment into them.. I have handful of domains which I have sat on with big hopes etc.. So before I go down some other rabbit hole it might be good to invest a little time and energy to getting some moving with a little bit of traffic and money, to hopefully age like a great basket press shiraz. Just maybe one of them will fund a family ticket for a holiday!

    Thanks again
    James H

  • Loving the podcast gents, genuine thanks for putting the time in to put it together… really appreciated.

    My comment / question is – Does GOOGLE PLACES impact in any way on the model you suggested (ie product / location domains)? Does GOOGLE priorities sites using this application above ALL others? Or is it just down to market/industry selection and efficient seo tactics?

    Thanks again for the powerful content you provide – look forward to putting it to good use very soon.

    • James

      If you are targeting a local area it is nice to have a local address because places will take up some real estate on that listing. There are effective tactics for getting great places results. We discuss them inside SuperFastResults (comes with TrafficGrab membership).

  • David

    wanted to hear more about trademarks and domain names if i have a trademarked brand and is also my domain name why does my competition buy up domain names such as .net .net.au and nz.co using my brand? can they use these domains to point to their site?

    • James

      David,

      If your brand is trademarked you can probably stop others using your trademark name in their domain.

      On the other side of the fence:

      My opinion to people buying domains would be to avoid buying names with trademarks that belong to others. You will most likely receive a cease and desist letter.

  • Edmund

    Hi James,
    How do you upload the podcasts to your blog using the blubrry powerpress plugin? Do you upload the podcasts to podbean first or to iTunes first before getting the url to the plugin? If it is to iTunes first, how do I upload the podcast to iTunes? I can’t seem to find any link on the iTunes site to upload podcasts. I saw the webinar that you did with Matt. However, I am still confused on this part. Any help would be much appreciated. 🙂 Thanks.

    • James

      Hi Edmund,

      we load the podcast to the server [we use amazon s3] in mp3 format. Then we add the URL into the media section of the episode post and remember to ticke the podcast category. We gave the podcast category RSS feed to iTunes at the start [One time only]. The iTunes submission is found inside the iTunes Podcast section called ‘submit a podcast’. Tim and I may consider an 8 week course for creating, setting up the syndicating Podcasters – who would be keen?

      • Edmund

        Hi James,

        Now I have a better idea on how to go with the podcast approach. 🙂 Thanks alot. I would be interested in the 8 week course. However, do I have to pay for it? If so, how much would that be? Thanks.

        Regards,
        Edmund

        • James

          yes we would charge and it would be about $999

  • Mark

    I would be interested to learn more about trade marks and domains. Every time I consider registering a domain I feel like I should be running it past a trade mark attorney. Is there a checklist or similar resource one can use to be sure that you’re not stepping on someone else’s IP toes?

    • James

      Step one is to Google the name and see if looks like it belongs to a company

  • Clearly a lot more to domains than meets the eye. More opportunities here than my narrow perspective of grabbing an available new domain for a new website. Valuable insights – thanks guys.

    • James

      Always look for a nice pre-owned domain to get a nice brand, more links, existing traffic, TRUST!

  • I would be interested to learn more about trade marks and domains. Every time I consider registering a domain I feel like I should be running it past a trade mark attorney. Is there a checklist or similar resource one can use to be sure that you’re not stepping on someone else’s IP toes?

    • James

      start with a Google search. If it is owned by a corporate then that can be a sign. Some words cannot be trademarked if they are generic.

  • Hi Tim and James,

    I have only started listening to podcasts about a week ago, so I am FRESH. So ignorant at all this stuff, I would like to get a hold some of the old transcripts of your old episodes. Im not sure how to do that, please give me some direction, thank you.

    Romel

    • Hi Romel,

      Just op-in for the news and you will get every transcript as a PDF

  • rkammeraad

    I started listening recently and entered my email address on this website – more than once I think. However, I cannot find a way to view, or download, the transcripts for the episodes. Right now I’m trying to find the transcript for this episode, #17, and I just don’t see it. Can anyone help?

    • Just check your email the link is sent in each episode announcement and when you join up the list. I’m sending you a personal email right now