Blogs and articles that relate directly to domain development.

Video - Thoughts on Development

Video - Thoughts on Development

As a part of the 10 year anniversary celebrations I discuss my thoughts on development. I hope you enjoy this second video in the series.

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I have developed a lot of different websites over the years using a large variety of software platforms. From this experience the current suite of content management systems (eg. wordpress, Joomla etc.) lack a number of key components that domain investors require if they are to scale their development effectively.

In the video I discuss a number of the projects that I'm working on that endeavour to solve many of these problems.

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Part 4 - Portfolio Optimisation - Products and Services

Part 4 - Portfolio Optimisation - Products and Services

In this series of articles, we are looking at how to optimise your domain portfolio across the different business models of sales (big and small), traffic and development. The first model I have been unpacking is development, not the technical aspects but the business aspects of domain development.

We’ve explored why people return to websites and how to earn money from advertisers. In this article I will be discussing how to build an online business selling services and products.

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The first thing we need to separate out is the different between building a business and conducting a transaction. Building a business is all about repeatable revenue that ideally grows over time while transactions are the big deal you hope to get one day.

My wife has a great saying, “Like clockwork.” What she means by this is that she would much rather have twenty dollars each month coming in from a customer than the big deal that may happen one day.

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Part 3 - Why Domain Portfolio Optimising Works - Advertisers

Part 3 - Why Domain Portfolio Optimising Works - Advertisers

Obviously there are a great multitude of business models that you can apply to your development project. Remember that we are looking at developing one of our domains into a business as part of our portfolio optimisation. The first business model that we will examine is advertising.

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In this business model you are trying to ramp your traffic so that it becomes worthwhile for advertisers to spend their money to reach your audience. A couple of things about audience, you can either provide mass numbers or the right people to advertisers. For instance, Whizzbangsblog doesn’t have millions of people visiting it every day but it does have the right people in the domain industry. This is valuable for sponsors.

With your new development you need to choose your approach and go mass volume of advertisers or a select few. If you have a mass of advertisers on your pages, then readers may revolt and advertisers won’t pay the big dollars. Less advertisers will potentially allow you to charge a higher rate and keep the readers onside. It’s a balancing act and it really depends upon your market vertical.

Remember that one person’s advertising can also be another person’s content. This is often the case in hobby publications where the advertising is just as valuable as the articles to the readers.

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Part 2 – Why Domain Portfolio Optimisation Works – Development

Part 2 – Why Domain Portfolio Optimisation Works – Development

In this article I will be further expanding on how to develop a domain into a business. This is the first business model that can be applied to domains, the other three are monetising traffic, treating domains as stock-items and the last selling domains at high values.

The first issue for me with any developmental project is working out how the domain is going to make money. This seems like an obvious question but many people approach developing a domain from an aesthetic perspective (ie. pretty website) rather than being focused on the business outcomes.

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Generally speaking, all business models hinge on getting not just new traffic to your website but repeat visitors. A repeat visitor is gold as they perceived a value in your site enough that they returned for a second look. It shows that there is something about your business offering that they want.

So here are some reasons why people will return to your website.

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Part 1 – Why Domain Portfolio Optimisation Works

Part 1 – Why Domain Portfolio Optimisation Works

I recently had the privilege of conducting a session at Domaining Europe on the topic of monetisation. Many domain investors have fallen into the trap that monetisation is dead and let me share with you that nothing is further from the truth. Domain monetisation is alive, well and thriving.

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What has happened, is like any industry there has been an evolution in technology. Those that have kept up with the technological curve remain successful while those that don’t struggle to remain in business.

This is not dissimilar to the days of the buggy whip manufacturer. During the days of horse drawn carts they made an absolute killing. Then a strange contraption initially known as a mechanical horse came onto the market. This technological innovation was really expensive so the buggy whip makers all laughed at the early version of the motor car and continued to make their whips. The rest is history and other than the handful of craftsman buggy whip makers are no more.

It’s the same thing in the domain industry. On one of my recent trips around the world I was talking to a domain owner that had been in the industry for years and he was decrying that monetisation was dead. I asked him one question, “What are you doing now that you weren’t doing five years ago?”

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Back on the Tools

Back on the Tools

For the past week I’ve dusted off my programming skills and conducted a dive into esoteric world of javascript, php, style sheets, html and Googlecharts. It’s been a while since I’ve really done some hard core development and I must admit that it’s been a bit of fun!

A number of times this past week I’ve entered what programmers call “the zone”….it’s a state of bliss where all of the functions, classes and methods seem to behave themselves. I used the same concept in my science fiction book for a character that is a sniper recon.

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You can always tell when a programmer is “in the zone” as nothing seems to phase them as they tap away at their keyboard. I’ve experienced this state of euphoria, where times seems to stand still until I notice that I’ve been pulling another all-nighter. Typically, it’s the birds tweeting their morning calls that pull me back to reality and out of a complex embedded if statement burrowed somewhere in the code.

I must admit that there were a number of times where my PC bore the brunt of my anguish as I yelled at yet another error. These tend to be tumultuous times of absolute frustration that end in an “ahhaaa” moment when I realise my own stupidity.

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Marketing With No Money - Part 8

Marketing With No Money - Part 8

The other day I received my first royalty check from Amazon! I’m not about to retire but I must admit that it felt incredible to be receiving money for selling copies of my scifi book Battleframe. I normally get packing slips from Amazon so to receive a cheque was a new experience.

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So what’s happening with my marketing efforts? One of the difficulties that I’ve been trying to wrestle with is the fragmentation of the science fiction and fantasy community. To personally participate in all of the different forums and subtly let people know about Battleframe is next to impossible. I would say that my hourly rate would be somewhere in the vicinity of about two cents.

To make matters “worse” my own business, ParkLogic, is going through a boom time. The result has been that I’ve backed off the majority of my marketing efforts….there’s only just so much time in the day.

So what are my plans moving forward? I’ve decided to really focus on finishing book two of “The Mindwars” and growing my readership with Battleframe (ie. Book one). My marketing goal is to build a readership base with book one and ultimately earn revenue from book two, three etc. This is great for readers because it allows them to get a taste my writing without having to outlay any cash.

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The Development Scam

The Development Scam

I’ve seen so many online scams in the world and none bigger then convincing domain investors that they should build out a website for each of their assets. I put the “build-out” strategy out there as a scam because so many investors have fallen for the trap.

What normally happens is that an investor looks at their portfolio and says, “WOW! Look at all these awesome domain! If I could build out 1,000 websites then I will make a killing!”

What’s actually happened is that the investor has drunk the kool-aid that all you need is a good domain and you’ll have a great business. Heck, that’s why all the domains in their portfolio are worth at least $200K each. If you build a business with a great domain then it’s an unstoppable combination and people will flock to the website.

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I hate to rain on many investors parade but that’s just not going to happen. For a start, you can’t build 1,000 domains out and expect to seriously run them as businesses. From a management time perspective there are 40 hours in the week divided by 1,000 domains mean that you can only spend just over 2 mins per week on each domain. In other words, you can probably look at the website, think about making a change and not have the time to do it.

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What's Next After You Have a Domain

What's Next After You Have a Domain

My recent foray into publishing my own novel has been a really educational experience. For those of you that are unaware for the past eighteen months my skunk works project has been writing a science fiction book. I’m still settling on a title but it looks like the series will be known as “The Mind War Saga” (it may change again)….all very auspicious.

I’m right at the end of the final edit, beta-readers have provided their feedback and I’m about to publish. What’s the next thought that goes through my mind? I need a domain!

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I searched Amazon to make sure that there aren’t any other series of books known as “The Mind War Saga” and I seem to have the space all to myself. I didn’t want any other series of books to be confused with my own or vice versa.

I’ve decided to move michaelgilmour.com to represent my authoring and I’ve just registered mindwarsaga.com to point to the same site. You can actually go there right now and see a few blogs on the site as well as a fan community (yes, I’m hopeful), a library (of one book), forum and also some cool stuff about me.

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I've Just Seen The Future

I've Just Seen The Future

Last week I was walking with my wife through our local shopping mall and came across a Virtual Reality (VR) Samsung display. Without any hesitation at all we both donned headsets and headphones to experience what the latest and greatest VR was really like.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with VR it involves putting on some goggles and the images for each eye are slightly misaligned so that you get true 3D vision. The headphones are regular and are typically designed to block out any external noise. A head tracking device completes the kit so that when you move your head the images that you are viewing also move.

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I first experience VR about twenty years ago at the Walt Disney Imagineering labs and it was incredible so I was looking forward to seeing what the latest and greatest was like.

The VR gear that we were testing was built by kickstarter funded Oculus Rift (later purchased by Facebook for a couple of billion) and the headset used a Samsung Galaxy phone for displaying the images. It’s incredible how far the computing power of a phone has come!

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