Someone posted a comment on my blog yesterday that I want to highlight and briefly discuss:
“I enjoy your blog, but it’s starting to seem like it’s just becoming an ad – either for selling/promoting your own domains, or ticketstub or ‘guest speakers’ hyping some of their own extentions or some affiliate tax book or whatever.
It seems like your in a temporary finance crunch, but I’d hate to see the “Elliot” brand, revered for honesty/openess and everyday-domainer insight, get watered down and ultimately lose it’s strengths.
Sorry to be so blunt, but that’s what I’m seeing. Your brand name is very powerful and I’d like to see you expand it into your own line of Elliot-branded books, registrars, site templates, auction service, etc. and not waste it on shameless self-promotion…”
I want to thank the person for posting this, first and foremost. After an initial peeved reaction that i didn’t share, I actually appreciate the comments because clearly the person reads the blog and likes it enough to express his opinion and share his feelings. It’s kinda cool to know that people actually read what I write and I hope it’s helpful – either to do things as I am trying, to adapt some things I am doing, or even to do just the opposite because it’s an illustration of why it won’t work.
Anyhow, to address the issue at hand. My blog is just that – a blog. It’s an outlet for me to discuss what I am doing, what I am seeing, and basically anything and everything in between. Although most of my posts are formal, there are plenty that are casual, and that won’t stop. I am not usually a news outlet unless someone specifically sends me a breaking news story as my friend did with his recent UDRP victory. I let Ron, Andrew, Adam, and Mike report the industry news because they are doing a better job with it than I ever could.
When I use a product I like, I want to share my experience and tell others about it so they can use it, too. When I filed taxes for the first time after being involved in the industry, it was confusing. The domain tax guide was beneficial to me, and I am happy to promote it. There are other products and services I like and use, and I discuss them here because this should be a place to discuss domain and Internet related things. I don’t sell advertisers space for me to write a review, although I will write reviews for products or services that I use. If there’s an affiliate link, why not generate a few dollars while promoting something I use?
Regarding my post about the TicketStub iphone application, the founder of TicketStub.com is a friend of mine, and I was congratulating him on a product launch. There was no affiliate link, and he didn’t ask me to post anything. When a friend accomplishes something positive, I want to congratulate his or her efforts. In this environment, it can be crippling to make advancements and grow a business, and when a friend does, I like giving a public pat on the back. I know that a lot of people like to read the juicy stuff about cheating, stealing, lying, and other crap that sells newspapers, but you generally won’t find that here. It’s not my personality to bash, so I won’t do it unless I see something particularly offensive.
Since starting my blog, I have always listed my own domain names for sale. I would be an idiot if I didn’t post domain names I am selling to a very large audience of domain investors. I have sold a number of domain names via my blog (from $xx – $xx,xxx), so I am not going to stop that. If there’s a blog post you don’t want to read or don’t like, please skip it and come back. I can’t write things that will be relevant to everyone every time, so if there’s something you don’t like, check out Domaining.com or NameBee.com to find another interesting article from someone else for the time being, and come back a few hours later.
I am very fortunate to be in a strong financial position. Although my sales are down (which is where I generate 99% of my revenue), I don’t have a lot of overhead nor do I have tens of thousands of dollars in domain assets that I am looking to sell and are just sitting their instead of having cash in the bank. Business is down here as it is just about everywhere, but I know a lot of people who aren’t as fortunate as I am, so I will not complain for a second, and I will leave it at that.
As I’ve said before, writing and researching blog posts takes a considerable amount of time for me, but I love doing it. If I didn’t have a passion for this, it would be impossible to do, but to me, this is more than just content to get page views. I don’t make much money from blogging, but I am not wealthy enough to say no to advertising. If there’s an opportunity to promote a product I like and make a few dollars to do it, I will take it – at least it will pay for an extra bottle of Veuve Clicquot to share with my wife who doesn’t really like how much time I spend on my blog while not making money (although I am working on that after a great tip from my friend AH at DomainFest!).
Anyway, it’s back to writing my daily content on Burbank.com and Lowell.com. I hope my affiliate link things aren’t offputting to anyone. If they are, I will be happy to give you a full refund for your subscription to my blog. 🙂
I hope that if anyone has issues with my blog they will address them with me in a comment or an email I am pretty accessible.
PS: There will be no Elliot-branded merchandise or products coming out in the near future.
If the blog isn’t about making money, then why not do full RSS feeds?
While the blog wasn’t created to make money nor does it have that focus:
1) There are paying advertisers on the sidebar, and I don’t think it would be fair to them.
2) I don’t have the technical knowledge (nor the desire to pay my developer) to add the banners to my feed in a way that doesn’t distort the feed.
What? No Elliot bobbleheads? 🙁
LOL… I couldn’t compete with the Rick Schwartz bobblehead.
“PS: There will be no Elliot-branded merchandise or products coming out in the near future.”
What? You *promised* me a coffee mug and mouse mat!
@Richard – Xmas gift… patience
Elliot, I agree to an extent with the comments. But, you know what, this is really the big reason why I read your blog in the first place. I enjoy your posts about Lowell.com, Burbank.com, and other projects you’re doing. What else would you write about that’s interesting, except what you know best? God knows the web doesn’t need another gadget blog, lol, so don’t change a thing. Keep being real.
…therefore my response to the poster who Elliot references above is more appropriate here:
Elliot’s blog only gets better and better as time goes on. I visit at least twice a day to keep up with all the great info he and his guest writers (including those visitors who take the time to share their thoughts & experiences with all Elliot’s readers with their comments).
…and to think that he; as many other domain bloggers do; provides all this for FREE.
…and the links, offered domains (one of which I bought from Elliot last year), etc directed to others products, services, and blogs are a benefit, not a problem.
No one’s forcing anyone to read, visit, or click on anything they don’t want to.
When you say, “as I think many others do” you are speaking only for yourself; or perhaps for no more than a few.
You most certainly are not speaking for me.
Try as you may you cannot please everyone all the time.
Your response is well written.
I love the joke on the full refund for your blog subscription.
A reader of Elliot’s Blog yesterday wrote:
“I enjoy your blog, but it’s starting to seem like it’s just becoming an ad – either for selling/promoting your own domains… Sorry to be so blunt, but that’s what I’m seeing. Your brand name is very powerful and I’d like to see you expand it into your own line of Elliot-branded books, registrars, site templates, auction service, etc. and not waste it on shameless self-promotion…”
This reader of Elliot’s Blog today writes:
Elliot Silver and his blog represent the best and the brightest of a new breed of domain name entrepreneurs. Unlike others who do not have his educational background and marketing skill sets, he combines creative thinking with disciplined methods to leverage return on investment. Kudos to Elliot for freely sharing his intelligent insights which are of value to both novice and veteran domainers.
@Newsbeat – Thanks 🙂 I will use that testimonial on the Elliot Silver Hermes tie suggested by Mark 🙂
How about a line of Elliot Silver Hermes ties?
Perhaps a vintage merlot, ES Crush?
Maybe a Top Notch Domains version of the Escalade?
Kidding, love the blog, those that don’t can simply surf elsewhere.
Just wanted to voice my disappointment at the idea that no Elliot merchandise is forthcoming. 🙂 And you have nothing to apologize for.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
The guy writes one of the most enjoyable domain blogs, and updates it frequently with intelligent insights and information.
And you write to complain that he has the temerity to promote his own stuff once in awhile?
Talk about Clueless.
I read your blog everyday. What I find unique is how often you post and the fact that every time you do, it is something worth reading. Thanks.
I’m with Jeff E, and the others, about being disappointed there will be no ‘Elliot Merchandise’. So I guess there will be no drawing for a free t-shirt?? Elliot a lot of us like your blog, and you, and your level headed and informative posts. It’s your blog, and you write, post, advertise anything you want. Those of us that like it, will keep reading and visiting, and those that don’t, can go read the one’s with ‘Spin Headlines’ and non relevant content.
It’s really important for Elliot keep that balance of “real/genuine” content that everyone loves with the self-promotion/friend promotion.
The ones commenting in this blog aren’t the ones you need to worry about, it’s the ones that don’t responding because they may feel it’s becoming like every other blog.
“Keep being real” (as Peter D said). You’re doing a fine job Elliot, it’s a slippery slope that i feel was slowly heading downhill.
Otherwise, love the blog man.
And, Elliot, I’d really give second thought to Elliot-branded services. Clearly, you have a legion of fans (including myself) and I think there’s much greater potential for $$$. An Elliot-branded auction with full-traffic- disclosure for instance could be ground-breaking. Fits the Elliot-brand perfectly …
Your postings are definitely skewed more toward self promotion and friend stroking. However, for the most part its an enjoyable read. I have to admit though I’ve also rolled my eyes a few times. But its your blog to do as you wish and if we don’t like it we don’t have to read it, right? I try to read all the domain blogs and enjoy them because I love domaining and read everything that’s written about it that I can. But I have to say I like the blogs providing domain news and insights and enjoy less the ones that are 50% about the blogger.
I’m not buying anything off of this site until I see a TropicalBirds.com coffee mug.
You’ll find in life the bigger you get the more detractors and critics you’ll have. It’s the clearest sign that you’re moving up the ladder of success.
It’s good to listen to the critics, but never let it get to you on a personal level. This is the price you pay for fame and success.
Imagine being George Bush and you have to wake up to all the criticisms he got each day, and seeing millions of people mocking you with funny photoshopped images on the Internet, making you look like an idiot on the national late night TV comedy shows, etc.
@David… you’ll probably see TropicalBirds.com for sale before you see TropicalBirds.com merchandise 🙂
There’s no need to apologize for wanting to run a profitable business, even if it’s a blog. It’s something more people should aspire to.
ps. Just caught Rick Schwartz’s post which was next on my RSS feed. How relevant to this, he blogs: “So back to the net. I think this concept is so simple and elementary that few understand it. Without SALES there is no business. Show me a business with no sales and marketing in their arsenal and I will show you a business that will be out of business. EVERYONE MUST be a salesman. There is no choice in business. You must sell. Don’t sell and you won’t eat. Most learn very quickly. But most also don’t know any techniques to selling. Don’t know a sale when they see it. Don’t understand the concept of creating or closing that sale.”
I hit domaining.com several times a day. For my needs (domain development), your posts are the most interesting and, by far, offer the most value. Keep up the great work; you have a lot of readers out there who appreciate your efforts and integrity.
first off i really enjoy your blog, i spend the most time reading your blog vs other domainer blogs. many reasons in why i do this but i think us newer folks admire you so much in leaving corp america job and being a domainer and then a developer. not many people can say this, leave a steady pay check to create your empire elliot.
i been learning more about mini sites mainly from you, love it more and more. ready your first hands experiece on what you done with your geo names is truly amazing, the branding, the developing and it shows you had decided to pick up the right web guy, you tell him what you want to see, you do some of the work yourself and writting content each day. i am a mini geo owner(wont disclose at this time and its an extension domainers dont get from day one) so i wont mention it. i am looking forward in creating my geo name down the road, your site elliot is giving me a few ideas for myself. thank you for that!
as far as peoples comments, i dont care about his self promotion, its his blog, he can write up whatever he wishes. if you dont like the blog or direction, dont read it. that simple. if you can make a few bucks and love the services you have used, see your readers having a huge success why not make a few dollars? only do this if you love the product and would recommmend this to your readers or your close friends who are big domainers.
i see how many hours you spend on this blog and it shows. you give examples, great things, your feelings towards things, good or bad and best of all your creating an empire from the bottom up. a true dream come true.
one thing i may disagree with is pick your sponsors carefuly. you have one sponsor who is just digging himself a grave and no one respects this person as he is an ego driven boy who claims so many issues but in reality none of those are all true. he continues to hype up typo trademarked names(wow-really great for us domainers and our images outside the domain community) and now is bashing your friends elliot. when i learned things from him on a few things, talked with a couple respected domainers and developers they all said stay away from this kid. if would have used some of his services but now i wont due to a couple factors. all talk, no game. the other thing i would suggest maybe-1. you pick one sponsor from that area and dont have competing sponsors on your site. say you love site graduate and there team, but dont allow another site up similar to there concept or in the devlopment phase? you could have one spot only-maybe raise your rates then have competing spots.
bottom line, you cant please everyone elliot, you know what your doing, mistakes will happen along the learning curve..
cheers and keep up the great work!
As someone who subscribes to a lot of blogs, this one really is one of my favorite reads. I know a lot of blogs become spammy, but I in no way see that with this one. 90% of what I read on this blog I find relevant and helpful. I’d say the par is about 25% on most others I read. Keep it up Elliot.
Jeff, you are an idiot… and you have been brainwashed.
you need to keep learning, obviously, and the “newbie” status is written all over each and every one of your posts — jealousy is a bitch… and when you have your own opinions/experiences and something unique worth writing about, feel free to.
otherwise, keep your bashful remarks and opinions to yourself and do not try to slam somebody you know nothing about wiseass.
Your domain says it all… DomainInvesting.com . No reason not to write about anything You want!
Keep doing what your doing Elliot!
i havent been brainwashed.. aeiou is doing just fine and getting results. why bad talk about one of the most respected people in the domain business and you think your the best person there is?
ps…drop your price mike, show results and examples on your blog and we may have a different view on things and your developments..
Jeff, everything I say I back up with cold hard facts, go and re-read what I put out there and sooner than later it will all sink in your head… Assuming you even know the basics about domain development and SEO.
I do not want to spend even another minute of my time discussing AEIOU as I have already said everything I needed to and wrote quiet a lengthy and detailed review of the service which Rick Latona e-mailed me about the other day and actually agreed with for the most part with the stuff that I wrote and hopefully he took into consideration and they will make the changes and make things right.
So get over yourself.
Guys… these aren’t accomplishing anything at all – please take this up elsewhere.
ok-sorry elliot.. didnt mean to get side tracked…
back on track:
i think your blog is one of the best out there and will continue to do very well…
cheers and its great to see how hard work shows results and domaininvesting.com is just that.
cheers and good fortunes elliot.
This is one of the only domaining blogs I visit religiously, all the others I just click through from Domaining.com if they happen to have an interesting title. There is always something informative or entertaining to read here.
I don’t understand why people complain about affiliate links on your site. It isn’t like you’re being a whore and only blogging about services that have affiliate programs, or worse, doing paid reviews.
In fact, I usually go out of my way to buy something through a fellow domainer’s affiliate link if I was going to buy it anyway. Blogging is usually a thankless, time-consuming endeavor, and you deserve to monetize it in whatever way you see fit.
Keep up the great work Elliot.
Well handled I know I wouldn’t have handled it this graciously. Don’t you just love having to explain why you do things :). Reminds me of a conversation we just had
I’m not even a domainer and I find myself visiting and reading through your blog. It’s taking away from time I could be spending on your projects 😉
Honestly though, reading through your blog often justifies the crazy requests you often have. It all makes sense later on, which shows you have good insights.
BTW, I have all of your design files so let me know when you want to start producing Elliot’s Blog trucker hats and wife beater tank tops.
To all and everyone,
Elliot has more than earned the Domain choice Blog Award.
There is a reason for receiving this and it does not come from having affiliated links or advertisement on the Blog.
It’s from hard work, very impressive information and constantly updated.
Also you have some of the most respected domainers commenting here and if you have such visitors on your blog?
Well, it’s because you got your shit straight.
Well done sir. Elegant and perfectly put. Keep doing what you do. No need to change anything.
Keep doing what your doing. You’re one of 3 blogs that I follow regularly. You write clean, informative, original articles and the time you must spent shows it.
Classy reply to what could have been a hot headed shout fest. You kept your cool, thought it over and made a full post about it. It made you think and keeps us informed. Not only do your post make you sound like stand-up guy, but this very example backs it up.
I say keep on doing what you do. Actually it reminds me of the early 90s when we where introducing the Internet to everyone. We had the naysayers, the haters, etc…. etc…, but here we are in 2009 and the Internet is now mainstream. Just take all comments for whatever they are worth and stay focus on your goals. Remember the same people you pass moving up in life will be the same people looking up at you tomorrow.
The “G.” Man
“An Internet Pioneer & Digital Media Firm for the NexMillenia!”
G Man – I still owe you a phone call. Things have been hectic around here (as you know). Lots of things going on atm, but I will get back to you soon.
Understand and no rush. We all realize you are the man and are real busy, but if you don’t hurry up I will have my own line of Elliot gear up and running from my store soon at
So u better move! LMAO!
The “G.” Man
“An Internet Pioneer & Digital Media Firm for the NexMillenia!”
Another vote for Elliot doing whatever he wants to on his OWN blog…sheesh.
If you don’t like his blog, read something else or start your own blog.
Thank you to Elliot for freely sharing your experiences and thoughts on the industry. We appreciate it and show it by constantly coming back to read more… Keep up the great work.
Thanks for spending the amount of time and effort on your blog. I’ve learned a great deal just reading your daily posts! Keep rollin’!!!
It’s a great blog. For me -as a little domainer/developer- it provides a benchmark for something that I want to achieve myself.
Thanks again for sharing your insights and experiences Elliot. Keep up the good work.
I’m a small domain developer. I always enjoy reading your blog, especially your posts about lowell.com and burbank.com. They seem to be coming along pretty well. I have been in the market for a great city dot com for a little while.
thank you for the insight you provide on the industry and the information you have provided about developing your own domains