It’s the TRAFFIC….Stupid!

It's the TRAFFIC...Stupid!

View this photo It's nothing more than the famous shell game and your job is to be trained on what to look for.

There are 3 shells. Shell 'A' contains TARGETED TRAFFIC. Shell 'B' contains UNTARGETED TRAFFIC and Shell 'C' is hocus pocus NO TRAFFIC at all or the quality is so bad it has the same result.

Let's say you buy 1000 visitors and you are willing to pay 10 cents each for a $100 investment. With group 'A' you can close 10 sales and you make $100 per sale. A closing ratio of 1 in 100. You made $1000. With Group 'B' you made 1 sale. A closing ratio of 1 in 1000 so you broke even but you made a customer who hopefully return and that of course has value. Group 'C' of course produced nothing and if you buy it 10 more times you will have nothing 10 more times. Closing ratio is......

So with 'A' your $100 turned into a $1000. RIGHT DIRECTION!

With 'B' you broke even. No direction at all but there could be a CHANCE at some future business.

With 'C' you got the shaft and few even ever know it. So there is ample amounts of 'Shaft' available. Want more? If not....you MUST learn about traffic.

Now this is one side of the equation. The next step is to focus on the website and see if you can increase your closing percentages. If you could tweak it and double the revenue you would create 2 things. Demand for more traffic of equal quality and you would be willing to pay more for it which is why I as a domainer am so interested in this happening. Now be careful. If you buy the traffic under shell 'C' you will be tweaking with no possible way of ever improving it and THAT us why TRAFFIC is the name of the game. Once you truly understand traffic, you can sell virtually anything on the net. So with the widgets.com example yesterday and the traffic illustration today, you shoud be able to clearly see both sides of the equation. If you can see it you can tweak it.

So back to my example....if you double your closing rate and end up with 20 sales and make $2000 for your $100 bill you are likely willing to up that offer and you may up it to the point where you buy as much of that traffic as you can find.

While all that is going on you are still getting the benefit of the customer returning to buy more but you have increased your odds by 20 fold. You are growing your business. You are likely growing your business at the expense of the other guy. And guess what? That is okay!! The bi-product of all this is I have also just given an example of a value of a domain that varies by a HUGE amount when you can match the traffic with the right website. So that is the reason when folks sell a domain based on 'X'....my big question is WHY?
Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

Widgets.com


Widgets.com is more than a domain name. For today it is an example.

Yesterday I mentioned one of my domains and put a link to it on the lower left side of this page. Widgets.com was a domain I registered back in the 90's and I got it to illustrate the most generic domain describing the most generic of products. A 'Widget.'  What's a widget? It's any silly little item with market credibility that makes a whole lotta money. That may not be Webster's version, but it is how I think of it and I would think others as well. Webster's version goes like this: 'an often small mechanical or electronic device with a practical use but often thought of as a novelty.'

And if we were going to write the definition of widgets today it may be computer related. How versatlie! Which is the exact reason I bought the domain. A generic business waiting to be launched at any moment for any item for any market. And as a poster pointed out yesterday, the results on the landing page don't match what it is folks are looking for. Now I have targeted traffic coming from widgets.com going to an untargeted page. So it is no doubt costing me money. But that is okay. It is like this for a reason. It illustrates why domain owners selling for 'X' are selling themselves short. As time goes on the traffic will become better matched and my example on the next post will illustrate even more. I won't keep this page as it is very long. So future readers are likely to see a different page and some of this may not make sense. But for those of you reading within a short time of writing this sees a great illustration of a domain not being used to it's fullest by any stretch. It isn't even on the first step. But the 250 daily visitors will soon be monetized more effectively. It would be easy to exponentially increase the income, It is fascinating to watch a domain earning pennies blosson and start earning hundreds of dollars raising it's value every step of the way. I'll have more on traffic on my next post and you will see it all tie in. 
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz



RicksBlog.com Grand Opening!!


Happy Grand opening!

 

What? No balloons?? Where's the marching band? When the first mall opened near my home in
the late 50's or early 60's my mother brought home 2 gold fish for showing up during the
grand opening. It's been a long time since that has happened and I am sad to
report I have no gold fish for you today. However I do think I have some gold to
share with you. Gold that will be with you for the rest of your life and gold
that I hope you will share. I don't sell this gold by the ounce. I give it away
by the truck load. We'll just have to agree to meet up on another day for the
fish.

 

Some may call my gold "Fools
gold." They are entitled to do that. But I will tell you that they were
wrong about yesterday, wrong about today and the evidence shows they
will be wrong about tomorrow as well.
My mission is to begin the conversation with those outside the
domain industry as to why domain names are an important part of any marketing
strategy. Perhaps THE single most important part. It is the foundation of what we do. I
will ask folks to leave their prejudices and misconceptions about domain owners
at the door because we have NUMBERS to talk about. Stunning numbers compiled
over more than a decade and while others were swept out of the game during the
collapse, we as domain owners, survived and even thrived. So domain insiders
please stand by. I will need your assistance presenting those numbers. Then we
will compare those numbers against traditional parallels.

 

The first few posts were an attempt to lay a foundation. A
starting point. I hope folks that come here for years to come read these initial
posts first as it will help to explain where I am coming from. I hope folks will
point others here that need to quickly get up to speed about what a GREAT domain
name represents. I will try and define what a GREAT domain is and how to spot
them.

 

I hope you will allow me to continue to lay this foundation
over the next few weeks before I attempt to address current conditions and where
I see us all in the next 10 years. This blog is not for everyone. Believe me I will say something that you won't agree with and
is gonna piss you off. So what do you want me to do? Not tell you what I truly
believe? Sugar coat it? BULLSHIT you?

NO WAY! You get it direct and unfiltered
and if it provokes a passionate debate, then the GOAL should be find the best
answer and look at as many possibilities as possible without getting stuck in
the gunk. I believe good people with good hearts will find common ground even when they disagree.

Life is all about making good decisions. Lee Iacocca said something to the effect that if you can gather 75% of
the facts, you are in a position to make a good decision. I have used that as a
rule of thumb for many years. I think EVERYTHING in life is based on EVERY
decision we make. The smallest decision can be the biggest and vice versa.

 

What I hope to accomplish is let you see what makes me tick so
you can see what I see. Let's be blunt. 6 billion folks on the earth and only a
few hundred really saw this incredible opportunity that is now a worldwide
industry and growing under the radar faster than anyone has any idea
of.

 

It's about saying out loud what you dare to believe and dare
to dream and dare to achieve. So much of all of our successes comes from how
deeply we believe in something. Passion without being obnoxious. All I can do is share
what I see, why I see it and what I saw in the past that has unfolded like a
well thought out portrait and why that is directly realted to the future.

 

I came to the net and domains with a 20 year plan. That always
raises some eyebrows. But it was with this 20 year plan in mind that I have
always moved forward. That plan is now more than 50% complete. All I can say is
I underestimated just how big and important the domain channel would become and
how fast that would happen. It's also frustrating as hell that it moves so slow
on a daily basis. My mission has been to accelerate the inevitable because our
time here is short and undefined.

 

So I hope you will bear with me as I try and paint a picture
that folks from every corner of industry can come to and grasp and understand and respond
and embrace. I hope folks that need a fast track education on domain names will
be pointed here. It's free for anyone that wants to listen and see what I see.


I
promise to shorten these posts once I create the foundation I think
it will serve us well for years to come. But one last thing. If you look
to your left you will see some of my domain names and websites. I think it will be fun to change
the last domain from time to time. Today's domain is "Widgets.com."
Today it is a parked page. The power of a domain is that tomorrow it can be
anything I want it to be and the flow of fresh new eyeballs that come
there every day will just see something else. There is obvious room for VAST improvement on widgets.com. But that is a domain to be developed on another day. Today's domain is RicksBlog.com and I want to thank you for coming!

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

Why the Internet collapsed

Good Morning folks!!


Are you with me so far? Does this all make sense? Are you ready to see why the Internet collapsed?

Image008Before we go forward we must STOP and look back. In 1999 things were popping and it seemed you could do no wrong. Surprise!

I predicted an Internet collapse back then and of course they laughed and thought I was exaggerating. It was inevitable as I weighed the mounting evidence. Just a matter of time, but few could see it coming. I saw a storm brewing and my job was to survive and thrive while others were washed away.

While I have heard dozens of reasons there was one or two CORE reasons from where I sit. One was because advertising on the net was based on "IMPRESSION BASED ADVERTISING." This type advertising was the root of all evil on the net imo. It was charging you for a customer whether he got to your website or not. It was more like "Billboard advertising" or static magazine ads and folks basically paid for NOTHING. But it was based on traditional advertising formulas and that did not exactly match up with Internet characteristics. So folks would overpay and get a bag of smoke. Any rational person would do it once, get burned and never do it again.

Ahhh....bring in the "KNOW NOTHINGS" for reason #2. The KNOW NOTHINGS did the rational businessman one better. They had "Burn" money and they did a GREAT job burning it. They burnt it so well that advertisers actually believed in the Impression based advertising model and so everyone was so happy. Until of course the KNOW NOTHINGS ran out of money because thru all the plans and all the MBA's they never built a machine to turn a profit. They had no formula. Just some dream based on NOTHING but a fancy and phony business plan and a bunch of other people's money that they could care less about. Nobody ever told them in school that to run a successful business you need to turn a profit. That you can't give everything away for free.

So it was only a matter of time before the collapse. And I said back in 1999 that "AFTER the crash, from the burning embers, will rise the REAL INTERNET." And today you are witnessing the the real Internet. The new Internet based on "CLICK THRU ADVERTISING." With this type advertising you actually get a physical visitor to your site and you have a shot at closing him if your mousetrap (Website) works. If it works you buy more and if your mousetrap works, you will outbid your competition because you will close more sales.



Maybe you are seeing things connecting. The next thing you might ask is why is a domain owner so concerned with closing more sales? GREAT QUESTION!! You are paying attention if this is on your mind. The simple answer is I am just copying folks like AT&T. When they came out with their 800 numbers some 30 plus years ago, they trained folks for free. They had all types of schooling and wanted to help you answer the phone and do it in a professional manner so that you would close more sales. WHY?? Because then you would spend more time on the phone and your 800 bill would go up and so your sales would go up and so they would sell you a bigger yellow page ad and they would all MAKE MORE MONEY! So by explaining how to increase sales by buying TARGETED and potent traffic and having an effective mousetrap that can close more sales translates into added value to the traffic that they produce and at the same time increases the value of domain names. EVERYONE comes away a winner!

That is why the future is bright and payouts will continue to rise for years to come. When traffic was selling for a fraction of a cent my only question was "What is the value of a click if I sell a $20 million plane?" How much is that visitor worth? I believed then and I believe NOW that a clicks value is directly proportionate to the product or service you are selling. That is directly related to the value of a domain name. That is why I STRONGLY believe that anyone selling their domain for a multiple of "X" TODAY is short changing themselves more than they realize. Sometimes the best way to make the most money is to DO NOTHING!

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

The line in the sand

Let me start with a foundation of things I believe. These few points are not debatable from where I sit. So unless you get to this point, you will likely not understand nor accept anything else I have to say.


1. Getting a GREAT domain name is/was a "Unique opportunity in time."


2. No other commodity in the history of mankind has ever gone up in value faster than a GREAT domain name. No stock, no diamond, no gold, no land.


3. Just like land may have "Mineral rights" such as oil, a GREAT domain may also have mineral rights in the form of "Type in Traffic" from folks typing in your domain name directly into the navigation bar. If someone types in CubicZirconia.com and spells it right do you think they are not qualified? Not targeted? Is that visitor not valuable? Maybe even more valuable than most traffic because of the closing ratios they achieve? I'll talk more about closing ratios in a moment.


4. Fuel runs an automobile, TRAFFIC is what fuels the net. You can have a million dollar auto but without fuel it won't be going anywhere on it's own power. Same with a website. You can spend millions in development but until you add targeted visitors and can CLOSE A SALE you really have nothing. It just sits like the car with no gas.


5. Nothing on this planet happens until a sale is made. Nobody goes to work, not a truck rolls, not a plane takes off not a factory opens not a thing happens. Nothing happens until a sale is made and then you don't actually EAT until you turn a PROFIT. So you don't have to be a genius to sell hundred dollar bills for $79.95.


6. If you sell a product or service on the net via your website and your CLOSING RATIO is not your guiding light, not on the tip of your tongue, not on your radar.....Then you are lost. It is what I believe to be the single most important piece of data no matter what you are selling and less than 1% of all folks that run a site can answer that question. They are lost and are like a captain with no map, no compass, no plan. Your ratio is how many visitors do you need on your site for you to close ONE sale and then repeating those sales? Many sites are incapable of closing any sales. It may be for many reasons or even a single simple one....like the visitor can't find the checkout button.


If you have 10,000 visitors and you only sold one order I would ask why you did not close TWO out of 10,000 or FOUR or FIFTY? Or more? I would ask what you did with those other 9999 customers? I would ask "Is the traffic no good or is it the website that is no good?" You MUST isolate and figure out both sides. You absolutely MUST! But almost nobody does. They are working in the blind and building without a plan.


TEST, TEST, TEST. Tweak, Tweak, Tweak, experiment, experiment, experiment. And when the result is worse, go back to what worked better and find out WHY it worked better and build on that.


I can go on all day long talking about #6. But that is for another day and you may be asking what the hell does a domain owner know about this? All I can tell you as I know how to close sales on the net and back in 1996 and 1997 and 1998 I made a name for myself by increasing the bottom line of websites by 15% in just FIVE MINUTES! There are certain NAVIGATIONAL MISTAKES that almost everyone makes. Fix those, change the font, change the color, change the location and sales can go up dramatically.


7. All the dead guys that built the corporations so many work for today are rolling in their graves because  those in position of power and leadership largely missed the greatest opportunity of their lifetime, their fathers lifetime and their fathers before them!
8. Not all traffic is created equal


9. SHIT traffic and TARGETED traffic likely costs the SAME


10. If you don't know the SOURCE of you're traffic you better find out and re-read #6 until you are blue in the face. Imagine what it would do to your business if your site (Your MOUSETRAP) could only close ONE sale in 10,000 visitors while your competitor is closing 50 sales with the same amount of visitors. He is EATING your lunch and you better start paying attention before you head to Monster.com and look for a new job.

So here we are......
This may sound pretty basic to domain owners and developers, however it is GREEK to those outside the industry. They will doubt these beliefs. What they don't know is we are armed with stats to back up what we say. So my target audience is those outside the industry that still have a misconception of what GREAT domain names represent.

Note: This article was supposed to just run yesterday, but the interest level is high and the subject matter so important that I will leave it up a little longer

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Chew on this while we get organized

Good Afternoon Folks,

A few weeks back my friend Frank Schilling asked me to write a guest column on his very popular 7mile.com blog. Frank started in domains around 2000. Others had already decided that all good domains were taken. They were wrong and they defeated themselves before they even began. Along came Frank and not listening to the naysayers, built a portfolio that earns more than any other single domain owner in the world today. So like I will tell you a little bit later...."If you believe you CAN....you are RIGHT! If you believe you CAN'T....you are also RIGHT! Which way your "Right" is will depend on the decisions you make and how you think. So I am going to republish the post I made for Franky cuz I think folks here will enjoy it and maybe it gives you a little peak into my inner workings and what makes me tick.

I usually write very straight forward and basic. It is rare I write things that are cryptic though it is always important to read between the lines. Here is a mixture of both. Some rambling thoughts designed to make you STOP and think. I’ll ruffle a few feathers to get you there. The first thing you need to do in life to change course, to change your destiny, is to STOP IN YOUR TRACKS, take a deep breath and re-evaluate where you are and where you are going. If you don’t start at a STOP, you lose before you begin. (Got that?)

Everyone runs around and says they want to make a million dollars. But that is truly silly. It is the same thing as climbing to the top of a building or a mountain without a staircase, ladder, elevator, gear or some device to get you there incrementally. The map to making a million dollars is not making a million dollars. It is making a dollar a million times. It is making a PENNY 100 million times. So if you are STOPPED as I suggested, this is your first change. When you make a core change like that it affects other decisions down the line so now you have to reanalyze many things. Invent once and then repeat, repeat, repeat. The more you repeat and the faster you repeat it will determine everything else. $1 million, $10, million, $100 million, it’s all based on the same recipe.

There is “No courage in Corporate America."  That's what I learned at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. EAST 2006 and how true those words are. No spine, no vision, no dreams, no ideas, no nothing but spineless jellyfish only interested in a paycheck on the 1st and 15th. No courage is something that may be able to be exploited. I see so few great IDEAS out there. I think they are coming. I think a foundation is being laid. I think sparks can and will be created. But corporate America won't care until you can lose $100 million and they can pay $500 million to rescue your company. They have such an interesting way of overpaying and make everyone think they are so smart. So my next piece of advice is don’t look to corporate America to sweep you off your feet and bring you to the promised land. They would rather knock you off your feet and bury you once they figure out how badly they goofed and how they missed the single biggest opportunity in any of their lifetimes, their father’s lifetimes and their grandfather’s lifetime. While Wall Street and Main Street traded manipulated and sometimes worthless stocks and Madison Avenue ignored us, they missed the commodity that has gone up faster in value than any other commodity ever known to man. No gold, no diamond, no land no nothing has ever gone up faster and further than a great domain name. Besides that, they lost the most magnificent self maintaining lead generation system ever devised. Imagine getting a million qualified leads for $6 a year. Imagine that? They can’t!! But IMAGINE how it will change the landscape when they actually do figure it out? When they STOP in their tracks and see what many of us see.

My current mission is to make a $1 a day domain be a $20 a day domain and then a $200 a day domain and then a $2000/day domain. Can you imagine what it would be like to multiply your entire income by 20 or more?

Yeah I know it can't happen, it won't happen blah, blah, blah. And to that I would say it CAN happen and it WILL happen and it HAS already happened. It will take on many forms and it will be duplicated 1 domain by 1 domain but the folks that can make that happen are soon going to meet each other and a new day is going to dawn. I have watched payouts go from 1/10 of one penny to many dollars. So the leap I described above is not as far as the ones we have already accomplished.

But, if you can't dream it and you can't believe it, then you can't do it. I accept that and completely understand it. But it does not affect me whatsoever. Not only do I believe it, I know I am actually underestimating what is soon to happen. Hey listen, I don't expect anyone to agree or even see what I see, but all I can do is share what it is I see and just how strong I see it. This will raise all of our overall net worth's. Your holdings are going to do very well IF you have good commercial domains or social domains with lots of eyeballs. Like anything else….If you believe you CAN’T….you are 100% right. And if you believe you CAN……you are also 100% right. YOUR CHOICE!!

If today is your first day of being a domain investor, good luck. Your job is to copy old paths and forge a new path. A new direction. You are never too late so don’t defeat yourself. The  publisher of this very blog “Came to the game too late” and was able to outperform all others that got here before him including me and every other domain investor in the game. He had no excuse and neither should you. With a solid plan and a few bucks in your pocket you can still get into the domain game and have it transform your life. I will tell you what I have told everyone before. “Your first domain is your most important domain.” If you choose that one right it makes your future easier than if you don’t. Take the time to learn what makes a good domain and a worthless domain. They likely cost the same. There are a lot of decent domains to be purchased on the secondary market for $500 to $2500. Learn how to pick out the gems and you will never look back. Good luck!

Before I put you all asleep, I’ll leave you with this. My famous “Truck story” and why helping each other has great benefits. With the spirit of giving in your heart you will receive more than you can ask for. That’s the “Magic” in approaching life from this side of the equation.

The 18 Wheeler Story……and The Crest of The Hill.

Years ago [in the domain business] many of us walked around searching for meaning. We knew we had gold and diamonds but were not sure how to turn them to cash. So the net was a true NET. We were forced to help and cooperate with each other for our very survival.

I have always seen the way things could and should unfold in a more uniform manner. Of course that is not possible but the way I have always seen it is in this picture I draw.

IMAGINE there are 10 trucks. All 18 wheelers and all lined up parallel. NONE of them have the power to get over the crest of this steep hill. Each truck has a driver and a helper. You see 10 trucks with drivers and you see 10 trucks with a guy behind it doing everything he can to push the truck over the crest. ALL are failing. Not a one has budged. They are stuck. Paralyzed in time.

The thing they don’t understand is that they have the power and resources right there to change their destiny and overcome the huge obstacle they are facing. Instead they are grumbling and frustrated and are losing money by not getting the goods to where they need to go.  If they were to think a little more unselfishly they could easily garner the power they need to get moving again.

What if…..What if you took 9 of the 10 drivers and put them behind just ONE truck and what if you got all the other 10 helpers to also push that one truck? Well you would get the result they all wanted by cooperating and then they could go right down the line and REPEAT the process and formula and push all the other 9 trucks until they are all rolling again.

The day I created this story I also had a vision for a way to apply it. Maybe there is still a way. We talk about “Development” and I think that is what most of us ultimately are. Some develop at different speed, at different levels and for different reasons.

IMAGINE…..10 domainers with like minds get together. Their mission is each month, develop one domain name owned by one of the other members of the group and built by all other members as they donate a little time and talent and knowledge to the effort. At the end of the year each would have a site developed by some of the very sharpest people we know with talents beyond most and 10 chances to hit pay dirt. Imagine dozens of groups doing the same thing. Starting with a great domain, identifying a void, figuring a way to profit from that void and creating something that we would be proud of and move in a direction we all would like to go. We all have great land and nails and wood and brick and cement in our arsenal. Together we can build houses. Alone we may build frustration and feel like those truckers until they figure it out.

This leads to other things and I could see dozens of groups like this pulling this off. One domain at a time and success after success after success.

Just a vision I have had for a very long time and never have the mind or time or PATIENCE to put it on paper and explain it in a way that could be understood and embraced. I know I have tried several times. But I have not successfully articulated what is in my mind and heart.

Lastly, don’t listen to the naysayers. They are the ones sitting on the sidelines cheering for your failure. They build themselves up by ripping others down. Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t become a person on that side of the equation. They are mad at the world and the frustration built up in them is used to try and defeat you. Don’t let them. Your triumphs are illustrations of their failures. They have the power to change that at every moment of their life, but the first thing that has to happen is the first thing I mentioned. They have to STOP and reanalyze, rethink, and set the course. Something we all have in common and something we should all do periodically to make sure we are still on course.

I will leave you with my most important thought. When you leave New York and set sail for London and you end up on the shores of Africa…..your problem did not occur when you landed in Africa, it happened before you even set sail for New York. Point is……99.9% of ALL failures are due to a bad or quick decision in the beginning or the planning stage. So the likelihood of any success can easily be determined before you even begin. Usually a SIMPLE change can also change your entire future fortunes. If you walk east looking for the sunset you will likely become disappointed, angry and frustrated. Their frustration boils over and they last out at the world. Especially anyone telling them they are wrong. Just a 180 degree shift on one thing can change your destiny. But before you do that you MUST STOP. Stop in your tracks. If you don’t start at a STOP, you lose before you begin.

So welcome to my little world and to a MIND that just keeps them guessing!

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

Domain King announces Blog

Good evening folks!!

In 1999 I started a blog. It wasn't called a blog then. It was/is called a "Chatboard" and I started posting about domain names in 1999 on my own chatboard.  As early as 1996 on other chatboards. Then one day blogs came along and what I had been doing for 9 or 10 years became all the rage. So I think I will enjoy this updated format and my wish is for me to say something that changes your life. Changes your life in a profound way.

 

In a few days I will start a blog. It won't be updated everyday. Only when I have something I think is useful to say. So stay tuned and in the next few days I'll see what I can build and how I can present it to you in an exciting manner! Plus I'll ruffle a few feathers and mix it up a little bit. We'll expose the cons and let you know the real skinny on payouts. Pissing folks off is my specialty. It's easy to do when you stick to the numbers and the numbers don't jive with what they say or what they promise.

I am a "Numbers guy." One quote I am famous for is "Numbers I trust, people I don't." A 9 is a 9 forever. There is nothing we can do to change a 9. It is not my 9 or your 9, it is just 9. So we pay attention to the numbers and eliminate the bullshit.

So stay tuned . This blog will launch on Monday April 9th and maybe even sooner! I will share what little I know. It may be what you already know, but you also may find one little tidbit that can change your life. I am out to have life changing things happen here for those that take the time to THINK, READ and STOP.

Rick Schwartz