Beware This Domain Name Renewal Phishing Scam

Advice for Beginners, Domaining Mistakes August 31st, 2007

Domain name scam - is Cisco involved?

I received a domain name renewal notice today from a company supposedly based in Brussels, Belgium. I did not spot it right away as a vicious phishing scam because I own many domains at many different registrars, and I don’t always remember where each particular domain is hosted. So I clicked on the link to renew my domain name (I won’t make that mistake again). I found myself at a renewal page of a company called Domain Renewal that was charging $79.95 for a one year renewal. I was stunned. Almost $80 for a one year renewal? That’s 10 times what I pay at top registrars like Moniker.com and GoDaddy.com!

But there’s more to it than just a costly transfer scam.

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Been Looking at Hulu? Enough Made-Up Names!

Domain Industry News, Generic vs. Brandable August 30th, 2007

The made-up, brandable domain name trend continues

The made-up company name trend continues… In March 2007, News Corp. and NBC Universal announced that the two giants were teaming up to bring prime-time TV programming to the web. They had no name yet for the web service they would create, and they did not specifically state what shows it would feature, or when it might make its debut. Just that it would be exciting.

Five months later, the companies just revealed that the new website’s name is Hulu.com. They are now accepting requests for an invitation-only test, to begin in October.

Enough media affairs. Let’s talk domain names.

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It’s a World of Opportunity

Life Issues, Opportunities August 28th, 2007

A nice tropical beach

I became interested in domain names as early as 1997 or 1998, though it was just a curiosity back then. I held on to several good domains because I thought I might develop websites around them, not because I had any inkling of the way generic domain valuations would skyrocket. I also let a lot of good ones go.

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40 Must-Read Blogs for Domainers

Advice for Beginners, Blogging, Domain Industry News, Domain Tools August 25th, 2007

Keep on domaining - maybe you'll end up on this tropical beach
Here’s my list of not-to-be-missed blogs about domaining, by top domainers (I included mine on the list – forgive the presumption). In alphabetical order:

  1. CircleID.comhttp://www.circleid.com/
    More of a social media site than a true blog, CircleID.com is a community hub for the internet’s infrastructure & policies.
  2. The Conceptualist – http://www.conceptualist.com/
    Sahar Sarid’s is co-founder of Recall Media Group and self-made domain entrepreneur. I check this one every day.
  3. David Carter’s Bloghttp://www.david-carter.com/blog/
    David is a domainer and internet marketer from Birmingham, U.K.
  4. DailyDomainer.com – http://www.dailydomainer.com/
    I’m not sure what’s going on with the Daily Domainer. This blog was inactive from June to October, then there was a small flurry of posts, and now it is dormant once again. In any case there’s plenty of good archived material.
  5. DirectNavigation.comhttp://directnavigation.com/
    A recent addition to this list, DirectNavigation.com is written by an experienced domainer. Frequent updates consist of short domain industry news briefs.
  6. DNBizBlog.comhttp://www.dnbizblog.com/
    DNBizBlog just debuted in November 2007, but is a truly welcome addition with excellent advice and personal experiences of a long-time domainer. This is what we need more of.
  7. DomainBits.comhttp://www.domainbits.com/
    Jeff Behrendt’s blog debuted in November 2007 and has already garnered a lot of attention for its well-researched posts.
  8. Domain Name Newshttp://www.domainnamenews.com/
    Run by two domainers, this blog supplies domain industry news, particularly coverage of domain conferences.
  9. DomainPulse.comhttp://www.domainpulse.com/
    Domain pulse provides a steady stream of domain name industry news.
  10. DomainerPro.comhttp://www.domainerpro.com/
    W. H. Abdelgawad’s new domaining blog is a welcome addition. Good information for beginning domainers, and general domaining strategies.
  11. The Domainer’s Gazettehttp://www.domainersgazette.com/
    Billed as ” Domainers Covering the Domaining Industry”, this is Peter Askew’s domaining blog. Peter started this blog in March 2007 and has posted much useful information.
  12. DomainTools Bloghttp://blog.domaintools.com/
    Jay Westerdal’s blog is updated frequently and provides heavy coverage of domain name conferences and auctions. Jay is a frequent poster on NamePros.com as well.
  13. Domain Name Wirehttp://www.domainnamewire.com/
    News source for the domain name industry written by industry experts and edited by Andrew Allemann.
  14. Dominik Mueller Domain Name Consultinghttp://www.dmueller.com/
    Dominik, who has been in the domain business since 2003, specializes in the sale and acquisition of premium domain names.
  15. DotSauce Domain News Magazinehttp://www.dotsauce.com/
    DotSauce was founded in April 2007 by Mark Fulton who says, “we understand that you want more than drab news and controversy concerning ICANN, so we will often times include articles, reviews and news on innovative applications and resources you may find useful.”
  16. Elliot’s Blog – http://www.elliotsblog.com/
    Elliot Silver is the owner of Top Notch Domains LLC, which owns a strong portfolio of generic domain names. His blog is definitely a must-read, not least for his superb “5 With” series of interviews of major domaining personalities.
  17. Inside Domaininghttp://www.insidedomaining.blogspot.com/
    Steve Granville-Smith’s blog: “This is Your Time, You Were Born to Be A Domainer!”
  18. The Key – http://blogs.business2.com/sloan/
    Paul Sloan’s blog is a member of Business 2.0’s Blog Network, and is very industry oriented.
  19. Name Brief – http://www.namebrief.com/
    Bret Fausett is not a prolific poster, but his writing is interesting and relevant.
  20. RickLatona.comhttp://www.ricklatona.com/
    Rick Latona is a top domainer who has recently debuted a blog and a daily newsletter in which he offers premium domains for sale at low prices.
  21. The Rick Shwartz Domain and Traffic Bloghttp://www.ricksblog.com/
    Rick Schwartz, the “Domain King,” says that he is “famous for ruffling feathers.” In any case, he is one of the leaders of the domain name industry and his blog is indispensable reading for any serious domainer.
  22. Seven Mile: the Official Frank Schilling Bloghttp://frankschilling.typepad.com/my_weblog/
    Frank Schilling is one of the dukes of the domain name industry. Any domainer can learn a lot from him.
  23. Tropical SEO – http://tropicalseo.com/
    Crude language but insightful posts on search engine optimization (obviously), domaining and “competitive webmastering.”
  24. Whizzbangsblog.comhttp://whizzbangsblog.com/
    Michael Gilmour’s domaining blog.
  25. Other Important Blogs

    These blogs are not focused specifically on domain names, though some of them do address the topic from time to time. But they are very useful for anyone interested in website monetization and profitable web publishing:

  26. Aaron Wall’s SEO Book.comhttp://www.seobook.com/
    An important blog about online marketing and search engine optimization.
  27. CopyBlogger.comhttp://www.copyblogger.com/
    Copywriting tips for online marketing success.
  28. DNXpert.comhttp://www.dnxpert.com/
    Domain name industry news. Blogger John Motson also regularly shares lists of good expired or available domain names with his readers and subscribers.
  29. doshdoshhttp://www.doshdosh.com/
    Subtitled “helping you make money online”, doshdosh.com is an incredibly useful blog. Updated daily, there is a wealth of information here about blogging, website monetization and promotion strategies, and online entrepreneurship in general.
  30. Tony Hill’s Ad Publishing Bloghttp://www.tony-hill.net/
    Great guidance on effective web publishing.
  31. Extras:

    These are not necessarily must-read blogs, but they make for interesting reading nonetheless:

  32. Ambler on the Net – http://www.ambler.net/
    Christopher Ambler’s industry blog, covering Internet industry news, ICANN, the Domain Name System, Domainers, domain monetization, and other items of interest.
  33. The Amateur Domainerhttp://www.amateurdomainer.com/
    He portrays himself as a total bumbler, just trying to make a few cents. But for a beginner he’s doing a lot of things right. I ended up reading almost every post he’s written.
  34. BorgHunter’s Blog – http://www.borghunter.com/
    Though only a high school student, Mitchell Bundy’ – the “Borg Hunter” -has notably developed a domain name portfolio plugin for WordPress.
  35. BVTD.com: Buying, Valuating and Trading Domainshttp://bvtd.com/
    A new blog introduced in March 2008 by a fellow who collects LLLL.com and LLLLL.com domains as a hobby.
  36. Domaining.org.ukhttp://www.domaining.org.uk/
    An excellent blog that focuses on .uk domains.
  37. DNVW: Domain Name Values Weeklyhttp://www.dnvw.com/
    This blog recently changed hands and David, the new owner, has given it a fresh breath of life. With its new design and updated content, this is one to watch.
  38. Income.comhttp://www.income.com/
    John Reese’s Income.com blog contains a lot of useful information about marketing, traffic generation and SEO.
  39. Quad Letter Domainshttp://www.quadletterdomains.com/
    Market trends, news and personal experience of four letter domains for enthusiasts and investors.
  40. StevePavlina.com: Personal Development for Smart Peoplehttp://www.stevepavlina.com/
    Steve Pavlina’s blog contains enough material on personal development to fill several books. He also writes about blogging and making money online.Inactive Blogs:
  41. DomainEditorial.comhttp://www.domaineditorial.com/
    This blog has not been active since July 2007 but has some good archived material.
  42. Domain Rookie – http://domainrookie.com/
    Subtitled, “Stumbling through the domain investment world one day at a time”, this is another blog that had some promise but petered out in July 2007.

32 Free Keyword Tools for Domain Research and SEO

Domain Tools August 24th, 2007

Tropical beach

32 Free Keyword Tools for Domain Research and SEO

Keyword tools are vital for SEO, but they can also be used as domain name analysis tools. Popular keywords form the basis for good generic domain names. And if the specific domain you want is taken, a keyword tool may help you come up with an acceptable alternative. Keyword tools can also help you optimize your domain’s parking page, analyze a domain or website you’re thinking about buying, and see what your competitors are doing.

I hope to build DomainerPro.com into an important domaining resource that will help both beginning and experienced domainers. Toward that end, I’ve put together this list of 30 free web-based keyword research tools. All of these tools are free and functioning as of this writing. Some of these tools are repetitive, but many present data in different ways, so you may find that you like one more than another. I rejected several other tools because they are ineffective or non-functioning, including the goRank ontology lookup tool, KeywordLizard.com, and the GoLexa search tool.

Here are the tools, in alphabetical order. Feedback is appreciated:

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Promoting Parked Domains Through Paid Advertising: Don’t Make This Mistake!

Advice for Beginners, Domaining Mistakes August 23rd, 2007

Wouldn't be great to do your domaining work at the beach?

When I first got into the domain name business almost two years ago, I began accumulating domains rapidly. Many were hand registrations. I registered assorted typos of popular websites, celebrity names, and future technologies that might one day be viable (like QuantomComputer.com, a typo of “quantum computer”, which is a theoretical technology that might one day exist).

If I had it to do over, by the way, I would not register the typos. Some of them infringe on other companies’ trademarks. Most are not profitable and the resale value is limited. Instead I would take all the money I spent on 300 typos, and instead buy one or two good generic dot coms with traffic.

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An Opportunity in Four Letter Domains

Advice for Beginners August 22nd, 2007

Buying opportunity in four letter domain names

Dominik Mueller of Domain Name Consulting believes that four letter domains represent a profitable opportunity for newcomers to the domain name game. Dominik is the founder and CEO of domain brokerage firms DNBroker and High-End Web Names, which he ran before merging them into his Domain Name Consulting service.

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Experiment: Selling a Domain Name on eBay, Part 1

Advice for Beginners, Selling Domains August 21st, 2007

Tropical beach

I’ve never tried selling a domain name on eBay because I’ve heard from other domain professionals that you can’t get a good price there. Furthermore, listing fees can eat up your profits if the domain sells for a low price, or if you have to list it more than once. Most domainers advise sticking to traditional industry auction/aftermarket sales sites, like Sedo.com, Afternic.com and GreatDomains.com.

Recently, however, I’ve been following a few forum threads in which experienced domainers insist that they have made some very large and profitable domain sales on eBay.

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What Makes Your Children Happy?

Life Issues, Priorities August 20th, 2007

Every domain name professional fantasizes about living and working on a tropical beach, right?

Hint: It’s Not the Number of Domain Names in Your Portfolio

An article on MSNBC describes the surprising findings of a study conducted by The Associated Press and MTV on the nature of happiness among America’s young people. This extensive survey presented more than 100 questions to 1,280 people ages 13-24.

What single thing do you think makes these young people the most happy? Cool clothes? A new bike or car? Music? An iPod? Being popular?

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Not a Domain Name Expert!

Advice for Beginners, Blogging August 18th, 2007

Living on a tropical beach: the fantasy of every domain name pro

Being known as an expert in a field brings some important benefits, and for bloggers or online marketers such a status can be a stepping stone to great wealth.

But in a post titled, “Personal Branding and the Expert Status: Why You Shouldn’t Call Yourself an Expert”, Maki, author of the blog DoshDosh.com (a fantastic general guide to making money online), argues convincingly that online marketers and bloggers (and I would extend this to domainers or anyone else, really) should not call themselves experts. Maki makes several points, a few of which I have elaborated upon:

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