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Domain Hall of Shame: Cuil.com

This has to be one of the poorest naming/branding moves I’ve seen in a while. Cuil.com just launched, and apparently the term “cuil” is suppose to be pronounced “cool.” This big news is currently being covered on the homepage of CNN. My buddy Thunayan (who never sells his company’s domain names) already has a search engine on Cool.com.   Seriously, what were they thinking?   This doesn’t pass the radio/tv test.

Prenups vs. Wills – Which Would You Develop?

I just picked up two pretty strong legal domain names. Chances are good that I will develop one of them using a legal affiliate relationship and possibly a directory, and I will probably sell the other one. Both domain names are common legal terms, and they both have fairly strong search numbers according to Aaron Wall’s Search Tool. Which do you think is the better domain name?
PrenuptialAgreement.com
1,200,000 Google results for “prenuptial agreement
Many top and side advertisers several pages deep
Aaron Wall’s Keyword Tool – 173 daily count
LastWillAndTestament.com
1,120,000 Google results for “last will and testament
Many top and side advertisers several pages deep
Aaron Wall’s Keyword Tool – 340 daily count
LegalZoom has a great affiliate program for these legal agreements
Which would you keep and which would you sell?

Associated Cities Becomes Associated Geos

While the change was announced at the Geo Domain Expo, Associated Cities has officially announced that it will now be known as Associated Geos. The change comes as the organization is now permitting state and country .com owners to become members.
From today’s release:

“The 2008 GeoDomain Expo served as the official launching pad of Associated Geos. Formerly known as Associated Cities, this industry-defining membership organization now welcomes the participation and imagination of GeoDomainers who own and operate developed state dot-coms and country dot-coms.
Five years after Associated Cities was drawn up on a cocktail napkin by GeoDomain pioneers Josh Metnick (Chicago.com) and Skip Hoagland (Atlanta.com and others), the membership-driven organization on July 11, 2008 announced its plans to welcome owners of state dot-coms and country dot-coms under the new banner of Associated Geos.
Those interested in joining the organization must own and operate a developed GeoDomain that represents a city, state or country (examples include LosAngeles.com, Chicago.com and Cuba.com respectively). The GeoDomain must also be a dot-com. Associated Geos currently represents more than 110 city dot-coms that attract more than 7 million monthly page views and 60 million monthly impressions. The expanded organization will welcome dot-coms from 50 states and 365 nations.”

Read the rest of the release on the Associated Cities website. I would also recommend that the organization do a redirect of AssociatedGeos.com to the Associated Cities website until they are ready to launch. Just a friendly suggestion 🙂

Bolt Bus is Awesome!

If you are exploring ways to get to New York City for TRAFFIC in September and you live in the northeast, I would recommend taking Bolt Bus, which is owned and operated by Greyhound. I just returned from a trip to Lowell, Massachusetts via Boston and took Bolt Bus to get their. Not only is the price just about the same as a trip on a Chinatown bus line, but they offer free WiFi to stay connected while on the road. Yes, I have a Blackberry to check email, but I was able to do other things wirelessly while on my way up north.
Bolt Bus has stops in Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC and New York City. Although they don’t operate out of New York’s Port Authority yet, it is still easy to find the bus.   Once in New York, you can quickly grab a cab or jump on the train to get to the hotel in Brooklyn.   If you want/need to stay connected while traveling to/from New York, I highly recommend taking Bolt Bus.

Creating Stickiness – Bringing Visitors Back & Making Money

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The goal of most websites (and businesses) is to generate “stickiness,” which is basically attracting visitors and keeping them coming back to the website or business for more of what is being offered. There are various ways a company or website can create stickiness, such as providing updated news and information (which can be time consuming and expensive) or having the visitors create their own content to bring them back.
Yesterday, I launched a forum on TropicalBirds.com in an effort to create stickiness. I have been very happy with the growth of the site so far, but I want to give visitors a reason to return.   I continue to add new content and videos to the site (no need for .TV – joking – take it easy), and traffic is rising as it gains traction in Google.   Although the site hasn’t gained much traction in Yahoo yet, I am optimistic that it will come in time.
I added links to the forum on the sidebar of every page in TropicalBirds.com, and I also added calls to action throughout the site. Since tropical bird watching is a fairly popular hobby, I believe people will be interested in discussing everything related to tropical birds in the forum. Hopefully this will create stickiness, which should help the site grow.
The challenge will be turning the eyeballs into dollars. Based on my minimal experience so far, I believe there are plenty of advertisers in this space who will be interested in capturing the attention of tropical bird enthusiasts who visit the site, and I will be able to accommodate their advertising needs when the time comes. As I mentioned before, when I reached out to bird breeders about free listings on the site, I had one breeder who requested a featured listing on the site, and now she is the featured breeder in six categories.
While generating advertising revenue isn’t as easy as that was, I believe advertisers will want to put their products in front of interested eyeballs.   I am spending the time and money to build a place for likeminded people to discuss tropical birds, and I wanted to share this strategy with those of you who are in the midst of development. As always, if you have any questions, I am happy to help if I can.

What's Your "End Game?"

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I think that every domain investor (and people in other businesses) should have an “end game,” or at least be working on establishing an end game as their business develops. What are your ultimate goals for your domain business? I think it’s very important for people to set goals – both business goals and personal goals. Everything that you do should be related to achieve your end game in some way. Whether it is an acquistion, developed website, or a sale, everything should be done to bring you closer to achieving your end game.
Part of my personal end game was outlined in a post I made a few months ago. Essentially, I want to have 2 fully developed geographic domain names that are generating advertising revenues.   I also want to have 2 product/service related websites that are generating revenue from advertising or inventory sales. Whenever I acquire a domain name, I analyze whether it can become a part of my “perfect portfolio” or whether it will help me to get to the perfect portfolio by selling it for a profit. I am building new mini-sites that can be grown into full websites and continue to acquire new domain names (PrenuptialAgreement.com and LastWillAndTestament.com last week).
While I think I am on my way to achieving my 5 year goal, I also need to think about the end game, which I certainly hope isn’t in five years.   What is my end game right now?   I really don’t have a clear vision right now, but it is something that has been evolving. I think it’s something to think about as you continue to grow your business.

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