Elliot recently wrote a post that asked the question “Who the Hell Are You” and why should people care what you write. I thought it was a valid point and I thought it would be a fun idea to respond and share with people who I am and why would anyone read what I post each day. Here’s why
1. I have been buying domains since 1998. I have no problem admitting that I bought shitty domains from 1998 to 2005 and kick myself for not having the insight or the money to do much about it. I may not have made millions but I was there.
2. I don’t need your money. I domain for money but I don’t need it. This is not what I do for a living so I have no ulterior motive behind what I say and do. I write what I’m thinking and other than common courtesy and some common sense I don’t worry about the financial repercussions about my posting. I don’t rely on domaining to feed the family and don’t have to kiss ass. If I like someone I post it, if I feel a certain way I post it. Don’t get me wrong, I am learning to be more careful of what I say but mostly because I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. There isn’t one person that I don’t like in domaining. Some of them aren’t very nice to me but since I’ve never met any of them personally, I can’t judge the nice people from the others.
3. I actually have a personality. Good or bad, I try to at least be entertaining. You can get day to day information everywhere. Heck, if you read DomainNameWire or DnJournal you pretty much don’t need to read anything else if you want domain news. I only started writing a blog because I thought the industry could use a blog with a little humor in it. Some of the blogs have great info but are soooooooooooo boring. You don’t always have to be serious to be taken seriously.
4. I have been part owner or full owner of three websites that were sold in the last 3 years. Wallstrip.com for $4.5 million (minority owner). WallstreetFighter.com (sole owner) to Break.com for XX,XXX and one more that I was a silent partner (owned with one other guy) for mid XX,XXXX. I have made over $50K a year on the net for the last five years until last year which I had to concentrate on my “real” business during a difficult economy. It may not have all been made in domaining but I do know how to make money on the internet.
5. My previous site WallstreetFighter and my small part of Wallstrip let me converse with some of the biggest and best people on the net. The investors in Wallstrip was the who’s who in startups. With people like Fred Wilson, Mark Pincus, and Howard Lindzon involved, the people on my email list was worth several billion dollars. Like domaining, I was invited to be a part because of my creativity. Wallstreetfighter was the fun side of Wallstreet and they liked that approach. Unfortunately Wall Street stopped being fun but fortunately we had already sold.
6. I used to trade 10 year notes and 30 year bonds at the Chicago Board of Trade for a living for 2 years. That was 15 years ago. Three years ago I took $2K and turned it into $120K in one year trading options. The account was at $250K for a while but I put half of it ($125K) into one trade trying to turn it into a million and lost the whole amount in one hour when the stock tanked. I stopped and banked the $120K balance. I know how to trade or flip. I know better than anyone that it’s not about what you pay for something as long as you can sell it to someone else for more.
7. I own a brick an mortar business with 45 employees that does a few million in sales each year and growing. I am responsible for REAL day to day activities and have more than myself to worry about. I have 45 families that rely on my business decisions to eat. I screw up and they suffer, so when it comes to domaining, making decisions that only affect me and my side money are a piece of cake.
8. I stick to my niches. I buy plant names, CVCV dot coms and “premium” 5 letter dot coms. Everything is else is for fun or a quick flip. 90% of all my purchases are the first three. I own many many plant names but don’t reveal most of them because most wouldn’t mean anything to most people. Coleus.com is mine but I only have parking on it. I sell over $10,000 worth of coleus a year but not one penny from the domain, yet. I am smart enough to know these domains are going nowhere but up and so have been buying them for 10 years. One day I will do $100K in coleus sales on the internet. I have the name. By buying it early it saved me $20K. (I have been offered $30K for it by a large nursery)
9. I post regularly. This time of year I work 80-100 hours a week at the nursery and yet I still find time to post because it is good for my mind to think about something other than the nursery business. It’s my way of relaxing. I enjoy domaining and love writing about it. I don’t fault others for writing once a week but I realize if I want regular readers I have to post regularly.
10. I have the best Advertising rates in domaining. They are dirt cheap for what you get. As stated above, I don’t need the money but I might as well make some money for my efforts. I would like to say I couldn’t do it without them but that would be a lie. What I will say is that I won’t take an advertiser that I don’t like and every one of the advertisers I have is worth visiting (and you should as soon as you’re done reading). I am very thankful that these companies feel that spending their hard earned money on me is worth it and I certainly am doing my best to make their investment worthwhile.
11. I can be funny. Yeah I miss the target every once in a while but I think many readers like my sense of humor. Of course there are those that don’t
12. I think that the best part of domaining is the journey. They are the stories that we all love. Taking a little and making it into a lot. We love to hear stories about things that worked and things that sucked. As nice as it is to sell a domain for a million dollars, the reality is I am not. I CAN buy a domain for a grand and sell it for $5K 6 months later. Sure, my way of doing things may be naive and uninformed but this is the way I see it and as I learn something new I share. No I am not established and do this for a living but there are still good stories to tell about the journey. I’ve said it before I usually make $25-50K a year extra buying and selling domains or websites. For a part timer that’s not chump change. I have no problem telling how I do it and what I think it takes to do it each and every year. This year I have already done just above $13,000 in sales on $4600 investment for $8400 profit and I have a 5L that I am in negotiation talks and if they are getting close to a price that I would move it for (it’s over $2K for those that think 5Ls are a little man’s game. You’re not going to live on that but as I said, I don’t need to. That money goes right back into domaining. I don’t have to take a penny out to eat or pay bills. Only taxes.
So that’s me (at least tonight) and I hope that you’ll continue to keep reading but even if you don’t, I’ll be over here typing out daily , amusing myself.