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.
Quality post Elliot! Thanks in sharing.
Be careful what you read everyone. New era of domaining, lets call it pump and dump.
Let the games begin! Happy to see Elliot do well in the blog space, dont agree with everything he writes but solid blog.
Thanks for the mention Elliot, kind of you. Your first paragraph sums up what I have been saying about writing for over a decade online.
Its a business,one on one I will gladly help anyone if I can, and want nothing in return for answering a question, modding at namepros for almost a decade has been an unpaid project.
But blogging is a business and on the flipside no one pays me enough or could to go against what I believe. I have a very good relationship with Name.com but about year ago there was something I disagreed with completely regarding .tv, there was no way I was not going to express what I thought was wrong. Now my opinion is just one and does not mean anymore than that, the policy did not change and I understood, but I was not going to keep quiet because they were the first corporate advertiser I had on the blog.
HybridDomainer is nowhere in your, or Mike or Andrew’s league as far as advertising dollars generated, but I have turned down advertisers where I did not get the business plan and thought it would lead others to not being successful using it.
I think that is the thing, are readers seeing say a .PW advertisement and seeing that as HEY YOU SHOULD REGISTER .PW DOMAINS. I never thought it did but some may think that way and that’s why I think these deeper disclosure statements help readers understand exactly where the blogger is coming from.
Elliot and Ray, you are two of the most upstanding people in this industry and I don’t give that praise often or without it being earned. Keep your eyes forward and keep doing what you do, influenced neither by the the positive or negative..after all..it’s was you being you that got you both where you are today.
I know both of you well enough that if you like something you will come out and say I like it, and write a post about it. Otherwise I just assume the company that advertises is simply a sponsor. No more, no less. Most bloggers are an open book of likes and dislikes unless it has financial impacts.
It always pains me everytime you feel that you have to justify the financial incentive you received for the time you spent writing posts for your blog. Well, I think that is called a job whether you admit it or not. I never heard a worker at any capacity ever explain why he deserves a paycheck for the hours he sacrificed for coming to work.
You shouldn’t neither. Next time you feel the need to explain your financial compensation for your blog, I highly recommend write one to explain why you need even more compensations. Wink.
I agree with you, but there are some people who may feel otherwise. I want it to be very clear to people who read my blog.
I took your advice on buying PW stock and it SUCKS….lost all my booties
so can I sue you since you wrote a glory picture of that PW stock?
knowing the fact that you don’t own any of that stock but got paid big bucks to write about it.
You try way too hard to be funny and sometimes it becomes annoying.
As I said back in 2011, “Isn’t It Time Bloggers Declared Conflicts Of Interest?”
It’s good to see more posts like this. Transparency in the domain name industry is long overdue.
Sometimes we forget that people like you, Raymond, Michael and a couple of others spend a lot of time coming up with useful things to discuss on your blogs and only get paid for your time by the advertisers we see on your page. Why people complain about that is ridiculous. So I clicked on every advertisers on yours and Raymonds blog to say thanks and everytime I visit and read something useful I will click a link in appreciation.
There are many great companies advertising here and we don’t know who they are or what they are all about unless we visit the page. I can’t remember the last time I clicked a link here but from now on I will and hope everyone else will follow my lead as a simple Thank You for your time and effort.
Instead of dropping your link to an old article for two years Simon Johnson, maybe you should address one bloggers concerns, Andrew from DNW about why IP Neighborhood has a poor domain history function that is nowhere on par with domain tools.
Who are the 9 to 5 ers, every blog I read the person is in the business full time.
Lastly what names have you sold personally for a healthy profit ?