Gloves Off (for a minute)

I happened to check out NameBee this morning in between projects. As mentioned in the past, I get my domain news from select trusted feeds on and check out NameBee for all the rest.

While browsing NameBee. I happened to click on a blog I don’t read very often. It was a long post about dot tel that I was skimming. until I got to the juicy part.

“If you are domainer who can’t see beyond domain parking, then you will not get .Tel. I saw this same sort of ignorance with domain development, especially with minisites. One person in preaching the gospel of minisites went as far as to build a web page (or sort of) about a non-existent type of fish, just to “prove” that their “expert” opinion on minisite development was right. Later I heard him on web radio admitting, “development is hardwork”. Perhaps I heard a janitor speaking. Never mind.”

I assume this blogger is talking about me since I’ve been on the radio a few times, tested mini sites, talk about mini sites and development on my blog, and I spent a day building a site about a type of shark (not fish). I started writing the info below in the comment section on his blog, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on a comment post that wouldn’t be read by many people. It also seems like a good time to provide an update on my experiment:

1) is the mini site I spent a day developing.
2) The domain was newly registered when I created a small site on it from scratch in November of 2008
3) Since launch (not including the three days during or after the time I posted), here are the statistics:

  • 550 unique visitors
  • 1,600 pageviews
  • 2:33 time on site (average per visit)
  • 75% of traffic from search engines (129 keyword phrases in Google alone)
  • Earned much more than the cost of the domain + my time

In response to the blogger, I do think mini-site development is easy and it’s even easier when you contract with a mini site development service. It took me a few hours to build, and I will never ever even have to look at the site again. It will continue to make a little bit of money and grow (as it has for the last 4 months). If it shut down today, I will have made my money back and a profit. I’ve also sold two mini sites, which became profitable due to the revenue and traffic from the mini site.

The downsides are that it took time to do the research on a topic in which I have no interest, I don’t really enjoy the actual technical part of development and coding, and I can still make more money today on other domain related projects (ie buying and selling great domain names as I’ve been doing for 5 years) than developing a series of mini sites on domain names that aren’t worth much as standalone domain names. It makes much more sense to build revenue generating websites on valuable domain names than on average or crappy domain names (unless the crappy domain name happens to be VC backed or have a unique concept/idea not found elsewhere).

I started off as a domain investor owning and selling top premium domain names, but a year and a half ago, I decided to start developing for the day that domain sales decreased and I’d need another revenue stream. Looking back on things, that is probably the most important decision, as I now own revenue generating businesses in addition to having strong domain assets.

Actual development projects are more difficult than mini sites that are fairly mundane but time consuming. I am talking about developing and These two sites get decent traffic now (each at hundreds of visitors per day) but they do take a lot of work researching various topics and building all of the pages by hand – without a content management system. I maintain them on my own. I do the marketing on my own. I do the news writing. I do everything – and yes it’s hard to do it all.

In addition to development, I still manage my domain business (sales and acquisitions like and, I write this blog every day, and I quietly do corporate domain consulting gigs as well. My points about development and mini site development are above, throughout my blog, and archived in blog interviews and radio interviews. For now, it’s time to get back to work.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. this person talks a really big game and seems to take a lot of unnecessary pot-shots at others in the industry. (seriously the line about the Janitor – why bother…starting controversy is one thing, becoming known as a jerk in the industry is another…)

    And I’m surprised with this much confidence he doesn’t publish any of his websites publicly.

  2. I was wondering how that site was doing. I recall that there was zero off-site SEO done too? At the time i think it did a good job of making domainers that dont develop just how easy it can be.

    • @ Phil

      No SEO or anything at all other than my blog mention. Just added content for a long tail, infrequently searched term. Shows that with some effort a workable mini site can be built.

      I guess doing this also depends on the persons work habits and time availability. I was fortunate to have the ability to not worry about wasting my time or focusing on other things to make money at the time.

  3. Elliot-

    If talk is cheap, then talk from cynics is worthless.

    Nattering nabobs of negativism typically never build much…due to their own inadequacies, they only try to tear the work of others down.

    Keep it up, Elliot. Many of us are learning from you and appreciate hearing from those who do more than just talk.


  4. Elliot,
    Don’t give it another thought! The problem is not you, but them. They must be jealous or something. My life motto is “Kill ’em with kindness”. They’ll come around someday.

    The only person you really need to please is your family, self and your God – that is do the right things to take care of your family, your business and your reputation.

    Thanks for ALL of the positive assistance you give so many of us via your blog, Twitter, etc.

  5. Hi Elliot,


    You’re the man. Smart, innovative, and very kind to offer to others reading your blog for FREE your knowledge as you learn the domain business. You’ve already provided thousands of dollars of domain advice to thousands of your readers who pay nothing to you.

    My advice is like the advice production professionals gave me when I was in the entertainment industry: “If you don’t have rhino skin, don’t expect to succeed as a star while suffering from mosquito bites.”

    In other words, be confident and tough, and take the idiotic comments such as those from “Gordon” and momentarily place them in the “Useless File” of your brain. And then fortify yourself on the comments from the many fans, supporters and associates who love to read/hear what you have to say.

    Then also remember that there are several bad*ss allies who will come to your aid in all aspects of your needs. They are lined up behind me… 😉

    Glad to see you’re consulting, bro. If you have an overflow, or a deficit in clients, let’s talk. I would gladly refer my overflow clients to you.

    Keep up the good work, Elliot, and at least consider a mantra I coined over 20 years ago in the TV production industry: “ignore the ignorant.” (notice that “IGNORE” and “IGNORANT” are similar, and combination of the two words quickly shows they fairly define the philosophy of how to handle the IGNORANT” — IGNORE”)

  6. @stephen – i think you misread my comment. I was talking about the guy who wrote the original crap, not about Elliot.

  7. @Stephen

    I know Gordon well… actually meeting up later on this afternoon for a project. He wasn’t talking about me.

    BTW, the janitor comment is clear now… in my April Fools blog post where I created, I used “Janitor” as my profession.

  8. additionally, I realized this morning that the person who I thought wrote the quoted text by Elliot wasn’t who I thought it was, so I hereby take back my jerk comment…sorry for any friction I caused…
    move along folks, let’s get to work….

  9. The blogger followed up to my post, and I tried to post this comment:


    I haven’t read your blog very many times, and I don’t know you well enough to have anything against you or your business. Just a couple of comment on your accusations:

    1) I got my “business card” comment from this website: “Forget about printing business cards. Dot tel is the answer for the future.” The business card information was input based on the open slots that are available. The only .tel I’ve ever visited was I first listed “Adult entertainment star” as my profession, but opted to not open myself up to the jokes that would have resulted and probably stuck. I was also going to add keywords, but I didn’t want to copy and didn’t know if that was a standard entry.

    2) I assure you I do not need to make up comments on my blog. That would take up way too much effort. Ironically, I am doing a usability test for Gordon’s company later this afternoon , and Stephen Douglas is VP of Development at WhyPark. (if you want to talk about libel and slander)

    3) If you really think I’ve been critical or aiming negativity your way for some reason, why not send me an email or drop a comment? I don’t know you, never done biz with you, and I have nothing against you personally or in business.

    4) My blog post probably shouldn’t have been titled “Gloves Off” as that was a bit aggressive. When I started I was more angry than when I finished, but I never changed the title. I have never attacked you personally on my blog, and even my post yesterday stayed away from personal attacks.

    If you wish to contact me to discuss this further, you have my contact information.


    Anyhow, that’s how I will leave things. Time to get to work.

  10. Of all the domainers out there, a handful get my immediate attention and I devour everything I can find that they write.

    These include the Castello Brothers, Rick Schwartz and Stephen Douglas.

    If any of these intelligent and accomplished domainers write a book, I shall buy it.


    • @Perchboy

      I agree – those guys know this biz and can tie in their life/business experiences to give a great perspective on things. I am almost as excited to write and post my Geo guide as I am to read David Castello’s comments.

  11. @Gordon – Sorry bro, I misunderstood. I’d like to talk to you about any biz you’re looking to experience for your domains… get me at my blog. I apologize for the misunderstanding on my post and retract my comments about you.

    @Perchboy – Am I paying you to say this? I’m honored (and I really don’t know who you are… yet). But I have to say you have great taste in reading! I also have to say that the Castello Bros and Ricky the D-King are beyond my status. I’m like their shoe-shine boy. (Plus, all my nasty comments are fed to me by Dub-A, who prefers to look “nice” — but boy, is he a devil! He just uses me by giving me oak barrels of 16 yr old scotch from the Lagavulin Islay) jk

    @Elliot – I imagine your romantic interests are very happy with you, cuz you “talk sugar” — tee hee!

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