The intersection of Art and Science

Domains and a
website are the exact intersection of art and science. To me this is where they
collide and merge. First of all many if not most will not even agree with the
statement that a website is where art meets science. To me it is crystal clear.
And very simple.


Art? Why art?
Well that is pretty easy. The art is the website. The feeling you get when you
are on the website. Is it static and boring or is it warm and cozy? Are the
colors easy on the eyes? Is the contrast right so it is easy to read? Do you feel
welcome? These are all elements of art and there is a little science behind
some of that because of an overlap. We know what colors work best. We know what
things touch the senses. We know how masses will react when specific stimuli is
applied. That sounds like science to me. Science on the art side before we even
get to the science side. Confused?


Now on the
science side we talk traffic. How potent is that traffic? How targeted is the
traffic? What is the source of that traffic? How much you pay for that traffic?
What that traffic is worth and finally what that traffic produces in the way of
profits.


Once you have
the traffic and you have the fuzzy feeling art the next component of the
science is how the traffic flows thru your site. As a site owner you are also a
traffic cop. Just like a supermarket or a department store, your job is to
gently guide your customers to where YOU want them to go to BUY what
YOU want them to buy. If you gain control than at least 75% will be guided to where
you want. Your job is to tweak one link at a time. One new position at a time.
One new color at a time. One new anything at a time and then wait until you see
a real result. Art and science together at last!


Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz


Domain”type ins” represent more eyeballs than American Idol

The power of
domain traffic is far from understood. But in most cases it is highly targeted
and potent. What if I told you that type in traffic from domain names is a
bigger number than the numbers American Idol pulls? What if I told you that
instead of 'Idol' doing it a couple times a week, with domain names
that traffic is generated every single day of the year? And what if I told you
that instead of having 50 million viewers with different interests watching the
same commercial the domain name can give you the power to advertise to just one
segment with the same interests?  Did you hear that? Do you understand
what that means? The power these domains possess? Imagine what that would do to
the sales of the end user. Imagine which way the rates would go if they doubled
or tripled their business. 


In fact the
daily visitor count for all combined domain names DWARFS American Idol and the
buying power is off the chart. This does not even include type ins to brands
like Microsoft.com, Dell.com, Amazon.com, Costco.com and millions of other
companies. These are just generic, keyword domain names from visitors looking
for something specific. You have their UNDIVIDED attention. Why is that
important? Read on! 


Did I mention
that when watching the commercials on Idol that 30% of the audience is peeing.
30% just opened the refrigerator, another 30% just are not paying close
attention and the other 10% are arguing about Sanjaya not being there. Compare
that to a visitor ACTIVELY typing in a specific domain name. That is a MUCH
higher level customer and he deserves your attention. It can be either a brand
like amazon.com or neimanmarcus.com or it can be a generic like colds.com or
shoedepartment.com. All are actively looking to fill a need and you can either
fill that need or lose another customer. The
comparative numbers between the 2 forms of
advertising are finally starting to be talked about. And that brings me to
another subject. Click Fraud. That's just nonsense! As Dr. John Berryhill
pointed out at a recent TRAFFIC convention, do you hear about fraud when the
newspaper gets thrown away without reading? Do you hear about fraud when all
those folks leave their TV's during the commercials?


It is my
personal belief that this is just a red herring introduced by folks with
millions to lose. But instead of running scared it is TIME for them to fully
embrace the net and realize there are less blacksmith shops today then 100
years ago no matter what they tried to do to save their old set ways.


 


Failure or Success is up to you

Don't be part of the 98% of the masses that GIVE UP! They give up, throw in the towel and often when they are at the brink of achieving their goals. 98% just give up. They lose. They lose not by some outside force. They lose not by some force of the marketplace. They lose because their MINDS just gave up. Lost patience, collapsed. That allows the 2% to come along and scoop up YOUR success with little or no effort. You did YEARS of work, they get rewarded for YOUR work in minutes. All because you gave up.

Imagine you are 5 years old and you are on a 20 hour trip to Disneyland. It is 11 hours into the trip. Instead of focusing on the reward for putting up with the 20 hour trip, you feel dejected. You are tired and cranky and you want to turn back before you get your reward. That is a TRICK played by your mind and it is YOUR JOB to outsmart your mind. Outsmart the feeling that can only sink you. Now imagine the same scenario after 18 hours. All pain no gain if you quit and turn around. The result, 36 hours of driving with no results to show for your time. But guess what?? 98% of all people do exactly that when it comes to business goals. They quit just before they realize their goal. Instead of the great feeling you get after a great success, they get nothing but a sick feeling every time they look back. Instead of getting fuel for the next task, they added an anchor to their leg and their minds. That automatically makes the next task even harder to have a success with because instead of exercising their “Success muscle” they have exercised and made stronger their “Failure muscle.”

The main KEYS to all this is TIME, PATIENCE and TIMING. If you picked the wrong TIME to do something your results may not be the same if you had chosen the RIGHT TIME. Unfortunate as it is, when the RIGHT TIME comes, many are so battle fatigued that they are ready to give up at the PRECISE MOMENT they should do the exact opposite and work their hardest as their GOAL is right over the next horizon. They just ran out of patience and a great victory has been snatched by the jaws of defeat.

Don't even think about being part of the 98% of masses that embrace failure and fear success. Don’t feed failure and starve success. Don’t be one to achieve failure because you give up on the doorstep of success. And more importantly, don’t fear failure unless you give up and don’t learn anything. Failure on the journey is an opportunity for success unless you give up. If you make a wrong turn on the way to it is only a failure it that is the point you decide to give up. For the 2%, that “Failure” is no failure at all. It is a CLUE to your next success!

Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz

Truth to Power

We speak truth to power, and if they don't like it....TOO BAD! My job is to have domains recognized in the marketplace for the great investment that they are. More importantly it is to have businesses of every industry  look at and understand the source and quality of the traffic produced by GREAT domain names. Massive amounts of targeted visitors looking for something very specific.

This “type in” traffic can be converted into buyers when matched with the right product and website (or as I look at it…….“Mousetrap”) at a higher rate than average traffic. Often at astoundingly higher rates. Now if you don’t know about this then it is your JOB to learn about it. If you don’t believe it then it is your JOB to find out why you are flat out wrong. If you don’t care and you run a website that is dependant on closing more sales, then either wake up or have your competition figure it out and give you years of angst for goofing up!

My job is to help folks understand the importance domain names have in the future of commerce throughout the world and throughout the lifetimes of everyone reading this. To get the highest possible revenue our domains can make and keep prices rising by educating website owners the science and the art of closing more sales and gaining new and future customers.

From where I sit, THIS is the perfect intersection of “Science and art.” The science of targeted traffic. The science of closing more sales. The science of understanding the visitor and so on. The art is of course your  website. Is it flat, dull, boring? The art of your website is an important piece of this equation. The art of how you lead your customer thru the maze and to the cash register at the end of that maze. The intersection of “Science and art” when that sale is made.

If you are paying attention the one question you might ask is how many visitors are we talking about? THAT would be a great question! The answer is stunning. I have an entire post devoted to it. But to just give you a LOUD HINT……..Let’s just say it may DWARF “American Idol” and it runs 365 days a year. Now folks that is POWERFUL. VERY powerful.

The single biggest cost website owners incur is the invisible cost of sales being lost. I often say, and I truly believe, that more sales are being lost on the net than actually being made on the net. If you read this post and you are a company leader and just shrug your shoulders…. there is little else I can say. Your mind is made up. You live in a world where doing the best you can has no meaning. Being #1 has no meaning. You are mediocre at best. And if that ruffles your feathers and pisses you off, guess what?? That is called, “TRUTH TO POWER.”

Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz

What if

I think that "What if" is an important question to ask if you are looking at the COMPLETE picture. What if my competition can market online better than my company? What if their costs for a new customer are lower than mine? What if they spend 100% of their budget online and I only spend 20%? What if I am losing market share?

"What if".......What if Ford owned Cars.com? Perhaps their financial condition would be better?

The POINT of all this.......What if you are hiring folks that are missing the BIG things? What if your CEO got $150 million in annual salary plus bonus and your company lost money? I just love the NEW MATH!! Reward FAILURE!!?? You want me to buy into THAT?? I wonder how all the dead guys I talked about earler would feel about that?

That's when "What if" turns into "No Way!"

What if?

Go down the following list. Many of these companies have already been posted by you folks as you are one step ahead of me. Ask some "What if questions. What if they did not secure the domain name? What if their competitor got it? What if you just are WRONG about the importance of GREAT domain names? What if it was a unique opportunity in time and you would never get a second chance to make the right decision?

What if???

See I think it is one thing to have just missed something. But in the light of all the evidence what if your company is being run by folks that are still missing it?

WHAT IF?

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Chips.com Intel inc
Vitamins.com Puritan's Pride
Vitamin.com Nature Made
Plants.com Stokes Tropical
Pens.com National Pen Company
Trashcans.com Dawn Concrete and Stone products
Saddles.com County Saddlery.com
Laundry.com Tide.com
Vacations.com TRAVELOCITY.com
Burgers.com Carl's Jr
Freezers.com Polarpod
LCDS.com Lumex.com
Ink.com FlintGroup
Label.com Bradley name plates
Bottles.com Custom Bottles
Talk.com Cavalier Telephone
Buttons.com JHB International
Carpets.com Al Abdullatif Industrial investment company
Names.com Family-Crest.com
Brush.com Braun Brush Company
Salads.com Foxy Fresh Vegatables
Costumes.com Rubie's Costume company
BreadMachine.com Krusteaz Continental Mills
TreadMills.com Woodway Inc
WheelChairs.com 21st century Scientific
WheelChair.com 1-800-Wheelchair.com
Worldmaps.com The Map and globe store
Gourmet.com Epicurious.com
Visit.com Citybreak inc
Floors.com Mannington.com
Tennisshoes.com K Swiss
Plate.com Kenilworth Steel
Flag.com Aradyne flags
Dentures.com Fixodent
DentalCare.com Procter and Gamble
PoliceBadges.com Berben Insignia company
Sweepers.com contract sweepers and equipment
Foodprocessors.com Kitchenaid

Word.com Merriam Webster dictionary
Eat.com Ragu
Scooters.com Honda
Dogfood.com Petsmart
Motorcycles.com Honda
Dish.com Dawn soap
Collectibles.com ShopatHometv.com
Gear.com Overstock

Heat.com NBA
Open.com American Express
Jobs.com Monster
Coat.com Burlington Northern Coat factory
Go.com Disney
Dig.com Disney
Beds.com Select comfort
Toothpaste.com Proctor and Gamble
Games.com aol.com

Wow.com aol.com
Game.com hasbro.com
Tacos.com TacoBell
Do.com MSN

shoes.com = brown shoe company

IceCream.com Edy's IceCream
Sauce.com Ragu spaghetti sauce
Soap.com Hill Manufacturing
Glasses.com 1-800-Contacts.com
Aspirin.com Bayer
Coffee.com Peet's coffee
Bikes.com Rocky Mountain Bikes

cnet.com owns some great ones such as:

BESTBARGAINS.COM
BROWSER.COM
BUILDER.COM
CATCHUP.COM
COMPUTERS.COM
FUTURE.COM
labs.com
news.com
shopper.com
upload.com
uploads.com
Radio.com
TV.com
Chat.com
Kids.com
KIDS.com
downloads.com
freeware.com
shareware.com
help.com
radio.com
search.com
events.com

Disney owns many. Here are a few.:
Movie.com
Movies.com
Video.com

IAC has many known and many not so known. Here is just a few.

Gifts.com (formerly with ReadersDigest)
Entertainment.com
RealEstate.com
Ask.com
Hotels.com
Chemistry.com
Match.com
etc. etc. etc

How Madison Avenue let down Corporate America and how both failed

Do you remember a few days ago I said I would 'Ruffle some feathers.' Well that is a promise I can keep with this post. Get ready for some flapping and chirping on a grand order.
Hotels_2 Hotels.com is one of my favorite stories because it illustrates the stupidity and failure the majority of Corporate America and Madison Ave have achieved. It is a clear indictment of not only them missing the single biggest opportunity in any of their careers, but 12 years into it and they have yet to figure it out. As I said in point #7 of my April 5th post, the guys that started these companies are rolling in their graves. The people entrusted to run these companies have for the most part failed them.

Now this is not universal. In some cases they did figure it out and I will list a few below. They make my case stronger not weaker. The question is why did some figure it out last century and why are the majority still not figuring it out so far in this century?

Let's start with this undeniable premise. Before you ever plug in a GREAT domain name it is capable of getting type in traffic, it starts gushing from the moment the domain name goes live. Again, may be widely known to domain owners, but possibly not to the folks that would be best served either owning your domain or at least buying the traffic on an exclusive basis. The 'End user.'

How much traffic a domain gets is on a domain by domain basis. A domain like sex.com will likely get somwhere close to 200,000 new visitors every day of the year. A domain like widgets.com gets 500 visitors each day but that is up from 60 last year. Candy.com gets 1000-1500 each day with spikes during holidays. There are many domains that get 1000-25,000 daily visitors and some much more. The reason this natural resource is so important other than the obvious value of a targeted visitor, is the growth factor. If you have zero traffic and you double it you still have zero. Anything other than zero and you will have the wind at your back. Just remember one important point. Word of mouth advertising is still the greatest advertisng medium ever known and online it is even more evident and more valuable.

Hyatt_2 Here is the story. Earlier this year my partner Howard Neu and I met with the GM at the Hyatt Grand Central Station in New York City to book the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. domain show and live domain auction there for this June. He wanted to understand domain names. So he began to ask some questions.

I used hotels.com as my example. I asked isn't it interesting that with all the hotel chains and all the execs and folks paid to beat the competition that EVERY single person in the hotel business failed and they failed BIG TIME? He was puzzled and looked at me like the old RCA dog on the old lp's. But that was actually a good start cuz it meant he was paying attention.

Imagine if Hyatt had gotten hotels.com. Instead of you being 1 of hundreds of hotels listed including all your competitors and paying for each lead or each booking Hyatt would have received ALL the leads. Would that not increase sales? Would that not increase market share?

Step in Madison Avenue. These folks are sooooo hooked on 'Branding' that they forgot the REASON they brand is to INCREASE SALES. So their REAL job is to increase sales. THAT is ultimate branding. Having your product everywhere. Funny how in time they have LOST SIGHT of that basic core contract. So Madison Avenue failed the hotel industry as well. IMAGINE, of all these high paid execs at all these companies and not a single one could figure it out. Figure that if they own a domain like Hotels.com they would be a leader in their sector. But they are all so hung up on BRANDING that they would rather IGNORE a reservoir of new business. New business snatched directly from the competition.

Even before it was attached to a business plan or went online hotels.com was going to be a million user a day site because it had a substantial traffic base. My guess would be that a domain like that would have gotten somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 new visitors every day since the moment the domain went live. I guess the corp guys and Madison Avenue saw no value in having their call centers receive 9 to 18 MILLION added calls a YEAR. 9 to 18 MILLION calls that Hyatt would not lose to Marriott or Westin or Hilton or Holiday Inn or Ritz-Carlton or the other way around. They EACH had a chance to lock out the other hotel chains and they ALL missed it. They spend millions on a superbowl ad with results that can't compare and cannot even truly be measured. They let InterActive Corp (operator of Hotels.com) and Barry Diller beat them by disrupting the entire travel industry and for that they will pay dearly for decades to come.

And of course if Hyatt or Hilton or any of the others marketed hotels.com there is no way to even imagine how many tens of millions of leads would have been discovered. Leads that they get FIRST CRACK at getting. First crack at a new customer. First crack at a new reservation. This has no value??

Until folks face the greatest failure of their careers and learn from it they first must see and understand that failure. I don't want to beat these guys up. Really I don't. I am sad to report that 12 years into this and they STILL have no clue just how bad they failed. With 20/20 hindsight you would be hard pressed to find a hotel executive to say they screwed up by not getting hotels .com. What the hell is wrong with you folks??

Johnson and Johnson figured it out. They own baby.com and a LOT more. See how they OWN this sector. How they CONTROL this sector. How that have positioned themselves to lead the next 100 years just like they have lead the past 100 years. THEY GET IT!! Then think what would be the consequences if their competitor got it!

Bank of America owns Loans.com. THEY GET IT!

Barnes and Noble own Books.com. THEY GET IT!

Kraft owns CreamCheese.com. THEY GET IT!

JC Penny owns Gift.com. THEY GET IT!

Calvin Klein owns Underwear.com. THEY GET IT!

So these corporations and their Madison Avenue ad execs deserve recognition. I have a list of about 100 companies that GET IT. I give these folks a tip of the hat. They are probably yelling 'Shut up' at the screen so not everyone figures it out. LOL

Now let's look at a disaster.....and a failure by the same counterparts

Campbells Campbells owns MySoup.com. The competition (Knorr) owns Soup.com. Somebody SCREWED up there! They DON'T get it and by the time they figured it out....TOO LATE! How much do you think it will cost Campbell over the next 50 years not having that domain? I would invest in Knorr. They have SHARP people there and they may unseat the leader just like 1-800-flowers gobbled up FTD. That is one of my favorite stories of not keeping up. Here is a business (FTD) that OWNED the sector for 100 years and here comes 1-800-flowers and the tiny fish gobbled up the GIANT fish. The ONLY way Campbells will get soup.com is buying the other company. But they better do it NOW before it goes the other way! Knorr is owned by Unilever.

Imagine if 1-800-flowers did not own flowers.com?? Would not that have been a MAJOR screw up? Well if you can see it there....it is time to apply it to your own sector and see if you pass or fail. The key to all this was that it WAS a 'Unique opportunity in time' because a domain like hotels.com could have been bought a few years back for LESS than the price of a SuperBowl commercial. Today I bet some chains pay the price that could have run many commercials. And what do you think the price of hotels.com is today?? Do we count in hundreds of millions or billions? I think the latter if you could even get to that point.

So the hotel industry and dozens of other industries and their Madison Avenue agencies DON'T GET IT! They are soooo stuck on branding that they just can't GRASP that in the virtual world you can have more than one door. You can have more than one front door. You can market in generic ways. You can do lots oif things you can't do in the real world.

Regardless of all this. Their #1 jobs is to INCREASE SALES. Branding without increasing sales is not branding at all. Branding without using every tool is not building brands it is destroying brands. Branding is a buzz word that means little. SALES is what pays the bills and the salaries. Here they missed the #1 opportunity to increase sales, take market share, grow their business at the expense of the competition and they just sat there and talked about branding and to this very MOMENT still don't get it.

That my friends is a sad indictment of where we are. They are so busy slapping themselves on the back that they BLEW IT! They failed. They continue to fail. To me, this is the single biggest and clearest illustration of their total incompetence.

At least come to the point where you slap your forehead and say....'Oh my goodness, how the hell did we miss that?' Until you get to THAT POINT, there is really little else to say. Defend yourselves all you want. Somebody go do a spreadsheet and show them what it would have looked like today if they did not miss the biggest opportunity they will EVER have to increase sales.

Barry Diller and IAC (InterActive Corp)  figured it out when they bought hotels.com and you geniuses will be paying THEM for the next 100 years because you guys FAILED! And you will continue to fail until you can see how badly you messed up. Go take a look at THEIR spreadsheet.

Luckily there are other related domain names. Vacations.com. Ooops, owned by Travelocity. Too late! Do they charge commission too? Motels.com, motel.com, hotel.com, travel.com......Are you guys on Madison Ave. and Corp America getting the picture yet??? Instead of having an income producing ASSET on your ledger you have an EXPENSE!!! DUH! A significant expense. You can either 'Get it' or call me names. Go ahead, give it your best shot. Nothing you can call me can cover up failure of this magnitude. NOTHING!

I rest my case!

Now I know you hear the frustration in my words. 5 years ago you would have had to peel me from the ceiling. But it is not as bad as it seems. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. I do see a dialogue developing. I just really wanted to be on record and 100% clear of how I see it. I hope this filters up, down and sideways throughout the Corporate world and Madison Avenue. Start with Donny Deutsch and let it circulate down to Main Street.

To dismiss any of these first few posts would just be perpetuating a 12 year failure to understand how a GREAT domain name can grow your business, lead to greater market share, and if you fall asleep at the wheel be prepared for someone to come and disrupt your entire industry no matter what industry you are in.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz
Hotels.com, Campbells and Hyatt are registered Trademarks

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