They Have Come, and the Flamenco of Worlds is Begun
Updated March 24, 2009 | THIS IS AN ARCHIVE FILE
Content development is exhausting work, but only if it is done properly. It is easy to throw a few lines of code onto a page, add a picture or two, generate a clever graphic, and place some keywords to help the spiders and bots find your site after several months. But real content development, content development that is relevant to the user, which content also holds a long-term profit potential for the developer, is very tiring stuff.
Actually, the incipient creative process is easy. One template can be translated into dozens of websites or what appear to be websites in short order. The continuing development and marketing process is difficult, and in the world of the domain industry content development is not a smart idea unless you have a real business plan in mind.
About ten months ago, just before the TRAFFIC East show in Orlando, I was debating on reciprocal emails with a man regarded by many as the master of the domain industry. I will not employ his name because it is not necessary. I was espousing the virtues of content development and how it was necessary to create a domain that could be monetized not just by the amount of traffic it received, but because it contained content relevant to the domain name, itself. My general line of thinking grew from that of a web developer who had long encouraged clients to buy names that web users would type in to the address bar. Until I met a domainer, I never knew it was called direct navigation. But the idea was, apparently, sound.
The idea of building a website around a domain name is superb, if there is a mission behind the development. If not, the best thing an aspiring domainer can do with a domain name is to acquire it, enhance the passerby traffic, and flip the property to a company or developer who has a plan for that property. It is sort of like buying a piece of land in the Mojave Desert before the plan for the new freeway is approved. It can be a gamble, but risk is part of the game.
Here is how an entrepreneurial idea comes to fruition. You develop content, but then you meet a domainer who has several domain names across a specific category. Let us examine a simple category like clothing. Everybody must wear clothes, unless they are the Emperor.
You may own a group of domains surrounding a specific type of clothing: boots. You may own a few bizarre sites like bootfetish.com or snakeskinboots.com or westernwear.com; plus, you may own something like demoniasizesforall.com (everybody has a few stupid names in the portfolio; and if you do not, I want to shake your hand). You get the idea.
Next, let us look at the notion of a portal. This is a site that gathers the masses and routes them to their desired sites, sites that you own but did not develop. Owning a portfolio of names across a loose category helps to tie in the developer, the domainer and the long-term ringing of the cash register. Why?
The Martians. You read those words correctly; I write of The Martians. These are the people in New York who once told the domain industry that buying hotels.com was not feasible because, It was not in the budget that year. The Martians own fast red cars, wear red scarves, wear red leather jackets, carry red purses, and wear you guessed it red boots. They are the agents of Madison Avenue.
The virtual cosmic ballet in the online world not the domain industry, alone - that is resulting of late involves the targeted traffic notions of the domainer, the content development ideas of the creative group, the advertising and marketing models of the Martians, and a smattering of unknown factors so remote we do not yet even know they are factors. Mostly those unknown factors are consumer trends, the present economy, the technology, the iPod - and whether Bill Gates will ever permit one in his home again that sort of thing.
A mathematical summation would be easier. What we have here is a series of permutations (a permutation of permutations?) based upon the emergence of ranking systems like Quantcast and Omniture, and even Alexa. These three groups and mostly the two former ones are taking the traditional consumer quantification model and applying it to the web.
Suddenly the content developer has a relevance he did not previously enjoy. Ever. But said content developer had better damned well know what he is doing. At the very least, the content developer should be prepared to hear the ideas and follow the traffic-building insights of the domainer. The two species can work well together.
When the domainer and the content developer properly develop a portal, and they then route traffic to the various other domains with targeted redirects, the value of the traffic becomes greater because it is relevant traffic based upon relevant content. Of course, we have to discard the notion of landers. The Martians do not like them, and neither do I.
Remember the idea of 100 visitors and 99 buyers? It is far better than 10,000 visitors and 1 buyer. Content development in concert with the domainers' world of targeted redirects is the best opportunity for the online world to begin to capitalize upon the quantification systems now being used by Quantcast and Omniture.
These systems are like the Nielsen and Arbitron systems of the radio and television world. Quantcast and Omniture rank based upon gender, household size and composition, income level, regional visits, return visits, passerby traffic, and the like.
Increase the traffic navigating to snakeskinboots.com, and make it traffic relevant to the domain name, and the Martians will have an interest. Now they may be willing to spend $25 or $50 for a simple, static ad placement on your domain. Three or four of these will make a $10 per year domain name registration worth it. It will cost only a small fee to build a small amount of relevant content.
Of course, here is where there is a conflict in the belly of many domainers: it is called the term of ROI. In the old days, when the economics involved land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship, you would expect a solid return on investment within three years, with a superb capital gain within seven years. There are those, having never heard of this macroeconomic model, believe that we can buy today and profit tomorrow. That is a lottery mentality, to colloquialize Mr. John Reese of Income.com.
These days, a two to five-year growth and ROI plan is a reasonable notion. It is a reverse of the old factorial (see summation and permutation above). Today, the faster capital develops, the faster it will develop. But that economic trend is in line with traditional macroeconomics, as well. The model must incorporate, however, the land and the labor. In other words, a group of good names, properly developed, generating revenues to continue to expand the domains, themselves, will result in a solid and long-term payoff.
Now how many of you reading this think it makes no sense? If you count yourself among the bemused, you are the hare. And PPC will still suck even as you read this.
Of course, I am not omniscient. It may be only a trend.
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Danny Pryor brings over 22 years of media, online and general life experience to you.