So back in July of last year I wrote a post about new gtlds and advertising on domain blogs. That post was sparked by a conversation I had with a domain investor friend who said:
I bet you and all these other bloggers can’t wait for the advertising money that will come in from all these new extensions. He went on to say that bloggers that take advertising money from these new extensions are a fraud if they don’t believe in the new extensions. He pointed out that as an example right now some blogs are taking money to advertise .pw on their website and they would never register one, so there is no truth in advertising on their website.
The above mentioned article was written months before the new gtlds were launched, now the comments are more frequent and in full effect. There have been those posting comments on blogs and forums and I have had numerous conversations on the phone about the Domain Blogosphere and New gTLD advertising.
Take the post Morgan Linton did last night ( Full disclosure: I am a contributing writer on MorganLinton.com) Morgan wrote about an industry divided, I have felt the industry has always been divided, now with so many blogs and social media, many more people have the opportunity to express their likes and dislikes.
Jonathan left a quote that said the following:
Part of the problem is I think there is some distrust growing between domainers and some of the bloggers, registries etc.
A lot of advertising is going on, so are a blogger’s views truly their own or is it more of a paid ad dressed up as a post? A friend helping a friend out? Basic networking? Plug me now, I’ll help you out later on.
You have situations that I don’t think have been fully addressed.
All those .link domains going over to that other company.
The current situation with Network Solutions and .xyz, one you haven’t touched, but others have in your comments.
I remember the Namejet auction for .xyz which to me was one big joke, since the winners didn’t actually have to pay. You were in those auctions. Was that helping a friend out? Did you win and pay for any of them? Can you understand how some of this looks?
Another problem are ridiculous statements, marketing cliches etc. The post for .xyz I think rubbed a lot of people wrong, one of the most ridiculous things I’ve read.
Even in this post you made:
“While I think TLDs like .XYZ, .CLUB, and a few more will hit 1M registrations in their first year”
Is that something you really believe? .club regs have slowed. There is no way they hit 1 million, they would be lucky to get 10% of that.
I think the blogs out there that keep it straight and upfront with their readers are going to grow over this time. Some that look like they’re pumping a little too much, buddy marketing etc. are losing respect/readership.
Also noticed this when I was about hit submit:
Automatically checked off.
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There have been numerous comments on TheDomains.com where I am managing editor where people have accused Mike of being a new gtld promoter or fan boy.
There was this comment on Namepros,
Most blogs are now pretty much paid for, another one sold out today. So take those with a grain of salt as well when you see the pumping going on.
When I read it I was not sure who the poster was referring to, another domainer told me it was in reference to Domain Shane and that he had taken .XYZ on as an advertiser. I read the post I did not think Shane said anything wrong, and no I am not taking the side of a friend looking for something on the back end. He is running a publication, he said why he is going to register some, he did not tell anyone to spend a dime.
Ammar who I know from .tv said this on a post about .xyz at onlinedomain.com
I will go on record and say I have commented on other’s blogs about my feelings on .XYZ only to have them deleted.
I replied asking him to state which blogs have done that.
Ammar replied it was Morgan Linton, the full text is in the comments.
There is someone starting a poll on Namepros:
There are countless more comments and critiques.
So let me give my views and I welcome hearing comments because I think this an important topic. This is a cottage industry and if people think that the space where they get a large chunk of their info is bought and paid for, that’s a problem.
Content creation, writing, consulting is what I do for a living. This is not a hobby, I don’t consider it fun, it is a business. I founded this blog and run it, in addition I am the managing editor at thedomains.com and theartofthename.com. I also write for DomainCrunch.com, MorganLinton.com and have written for DotWhatever.com.
I have never been paid by anyone to write a story, positive or negative, (negative SEO is not the only black hat content vehicle out there). I write what I believe, I have given opinions that were honest opinions and I talk about things that I have done and products and services I have used. Someone can think that company sucks or had a bad experience but that does not mean I have crossed an ethical line. If you had a bad meal at a restaurant that I frequent and enjoy, should I stop going because you had a bad meal ?
This is a small industry and shy of hitting 3 straight black jacks with Elliot Silver at a domain conference in Vegas, or going to the Playboy Mansion without contracting Legionnaires disease, it is pretty dull on a day in and day out basis.
The new gtld program came along and it brought about what gets the most attention in any business shy of a sex scandal, it brought about controversy. The new gtld space is news in this industry. I respect the fact and understand those that don’t want to hear one word, but there are people that do want to hear about it.
I don’t have a universal like or dislike for new gtlds, I believe they are high risk from a domain investor standpoint, I have said many times that I think new domain investors should avoid them, if they feel the absolute need to participate then go slow, reg a couple and don’t buy another one til you sell one of the first regs. Get a little proof of concept going that shows you that you can buy right and also sell right.
I get to see a lot of data, and go deep inside the stats, I have had the opportunity to work with Mike Berkens and Adam Dicker, two gentleman who are much bigger names in this business and have had much more success. There is no doubt that overwhelmingly the domain investor community is negative on the new gtld program. That being said there are many who have expressed negative sentiments that have also indeed regged some new gtlds. I think that is because there is not universal contempt for every keyword combo in every string possible.
So now back to the publisher – advertiser relationship. Every blog is different some are hobbies and some are not. From what I see and they can weigh in with their thoughts. Andrew at DomainNameWire, Michael at DomainSherpa, Kevin at DomainIncite, Theo at DomainGang/Acro, this is their full time job covering this space, Elliot at DomainInvesting and Michael at TheDomains derive not a full time income but certainly a healthy income from their blogging activity.
Guys like Shane at DomainShane, Morgan at MorganLinton.com and Konstantinos at OnlineDomain may have other gigs but there is certainly a lot of time devoted to blogging and they have business relationships within the industry.
Eric Borgos from Impulse Corp who is one of the most knowledgeable guys I have spoken to, lamented in the Morgan Linton article that he does not have as much traffic as he would like.
I write my blog (which has no ads or sponsors at all ) just to write, but it is depressing that I get very little traffic to it. I want more traffic because otherwise it is a waste if nobody reads what I write. So, if a somebody needs ads (and therefore lots of traffic) to make enough money to allow them to write their blog, it is a fine line.
Eric does not write everyday and that is why his traffic is low, if he wanted to write everyday he would have no problem with traffic or finding advertisers imo.
So now that we have established that many are doing this as their livelihood or a decent chunk of their livelihood, you are going to have advertisers, no one in this industry is paying for content, and I am not suggesting they should, just pointing out that would be the other alternative.
It makes sense that new gtld registries, registrars and service providers want to advertise on the leading publications of their industry, and since there is a diverse audience of people reading these publications, there will be plenty of people who want to read those stories and click those ads.
Any domain blogger can tell you there is a group of readers that only email you, they will not post a comment ever. Reasons include: I am low key, I don’t want to be ridiculed, I don’t want to debate anonymous people, etc…
So even if the vocal majority does not want to see posts about new gtlds, it does make sense in the business of publishing.
What I have not read is domain bloggers telling anyone to buy anything, I have not read, again I can only speak for myself, but I have not read the top publications in the space use catch phrases like get em while their hot, or snooze you lose. I think publishers have tried to present the current state of what is going on.
If I disagree with an advertiser I will tell them, if they are so thin skinned that a comment would end a relationship then for me that is good to know. This is a niche industry and it makes sense to ask questions, and have your skeptic hat on, it is too easy to con people online, so the questions and the probing makes sense and I think that will and should continue.
I can tell you from working with Mike, he writes an article on what the ICA is doing, how they trying to help domainers, low traffic. Write a post about is XYZ and Network Solutions giving away free domains ? Huge traffic, that was not a puff piece, it was not a Go Daniel Go piece, it was a critical piece of the whole situation, and the traffic was huge.
It is the one truism about writing online, a digital meritocracy so to speak, if no one is interested in the topics, the traffic goes down. the traffic at thedomains and TLDInvestors is the best its ever been. I cannot speak for the whole blogosphere but I can say I think they all try to do a good job. Sometimes our work doesn’t measure up how we like and that is shown by traffic dips and the number of advertisers who do or do not want to work with you.
Let me also say you don’t need a blog with advertisers to have an agenda, a network of negative comments goes a long way to spread an agenda, when you forget the name you used and you have 5 aliases under the same ip all with the same message, that’s shady too.
Everyone who reads these publications should reach out with an email if you think something is a bit too over the top, the writers that care about their reputation will get back to you and explain the premise of the article. Secondly always do your own research and read a lot.
Everyone is free to make their own decisions here and may not fully agree, I don’t mind disagreement, I mind people thinking the new gtlds are running the ship and dictating content. I know both Mike and myself and I am sure many others do but I can’t speak from a place of fact, but I know we both tell advertisers we are going to write what we see. I have had no problem with that policy. Mike has turned a ton of money from people requesting paid posts.
For fun the first five people who read this whole thing and leave a comment, I will send you $2 by Paypal for your time. 1 comment per person, and no proxy ip addresses. So if you hide your ass then you are getting no cash.