I read Ray’s post on Hybrid Domainer today, and think it’s worth a read when you have a chance. There are a number of companies advertising on my blog, and I want to touch on Ray’s article a bit and give a bit of a disclaimer, in addition to the disclaimer I have on my blog already.
In order to be able to spend the time sharing information at no cost to readers, I need to have advertisments. No offense, but I am not going to spend 30+ hours a week on my blog if I am not earning revenue from it. If I was going to spend that much time without being paid, I’d be volunteering at a non-profit organization and not writing articles to help others make money from domain investing. I enjoy writing and sharing, but if there’s no financial incentive, the time would be more wisely spent managing and operating my domain investment business, not helping others build theirs at the expense of mine.
That said, we are in a niche business. There aren’t hundreds of companies flush with cash throwing them at bloggers. I do quite a bit of business with some of the advertisers on my blog, and I haven’t done a dime worth of business with other advertisers. Unless I’ve said otherwise, I don’t endorse advertisers, although I certainly appreciate their spending some of their marketing budget advertising on my blog. From my perspective, advertisements are clearly advertisments. I haven’t done affiliate marketing deals in years, so unless you’re reading an old post, it’s almost certainly not an affiliate link (some are tracking links from advertisers though). I have nothing against affiliate marketing, but I think it can blur the line a bit.
As it happens, I have relationships with many of the people who do marketing for these companies. That means they are more likely to include me on a press release than companies I don’t know. They are also likely to tell me why the press release is of interest, unlike some people who simply email me their release. Although I don’t offer paid posts (aside from the few times where I’ve sold them to benefit a charity like the American Red Cross), it’s likely I post more frequently about advertisers because I am in regular contact with them and/or I do business with them and see their news first. As always, I welcome submissions with news about industry companies and services, and if I find it interesting or if it’s going to help my business, I am likely to write about it (for free).
If I write about a product or service and say that I’ve tried it, I have. I hate spending time using something I have no interest in using, so I am not going to do any reviews paid or not. If I want to try out a service or product, I might write about it. I don’t want this blog to feel like “work,” so I am not going to write about things that don’t interest me.
I am sure there will be plenty of gTLD registries wanting to advertise on my blog. They are welcome if I have space available. I am almost exclusively a .com domain investor, and as you know, I point that out often. I find gTLD stories interesting, although I don’t cover them as much as I could because I think others do a better job of it. Once they are being marketed though, I’ll probably have more to say because marketing is my background and I enjoy discussing marketing strategy. I will also enjoy writing about the usage of gTLDs because that will be interesting. I am not opposed to buying gTLD domain names, but at this time I have no plans for it.
I’ve shared my thoughts on personal and business conflicts, and I wanted to let you know where I stand in terms of advertisers. I value my personal and business reputation above all, and I am not going to do anything to jeopardize that. I think I’ve been more open and honest about my business than most people in this space, and I will continue to share candidly as long as it makes sense.