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:
1. A self-bestowed title carries no weight and just makes you look silly. It’s like a man on the street shouting that he is the king of England. Pretty soon the guys in white jackets will come for him. Expert status is properly bestowed on you by other authorities in the field who recognize the depth and breadth of your knowledge.
2. Your false claims to experthood will just annoy the true veterans in the field and they will boycott you or even denounce you. The result: you harm your own reputation and you damage potential relationships with true experts who could have offered you guidance or mentoring.
3. You do your readers a disservice by making unrealistic promises or misleading them with bad advice.
So let me make it clear that I am not a domain name expert.
The real experts in the domain industry are people like the legendary and secretive Yun Ye, outspoken Rick Schwartz (the “Domain King”), Moniker’s Monte Cahn, Kevin Ham of Reinvent.com, Michael Bahlitzanakis of BPHG.com, Donna Mahony, Marcia Lynn Walker (MyrtleBeachInc.com), Chad Folkening of eCorp.com, Frank Schilling, Marc Ostrofsky of InternetREIT.com, Richard Lau (creator of DomainManager.com), GoDaddy’s Bob Parsons, Richard Rosenblatt of DemandMedia.com, Thunayan K. AL-Ghanim of FMA.com, and Michelle Miller (COO at BuyDomains.com).
(And many more. See Jay Westerdal’s list of domain name millionaires.)
I call myself a domain name pro because I earn a living with domain names, but I still have much to learn. In fact the goal of this blog is not to pass myself off as an expert, but to chart my progress in the domain name industry, including my mistakes, so that other newbies and novices might learn from my errors, and perhaps the real experts will offer me some much-needed guidance.