I was recently interviewed about my domain name business, and although doing any interview is always exciting, what made this one different is that it was my first video interview. You can view it at DomainSherpa.
This was my first time ever using Skype or any video chat type software, and I have only ever used a webcam once or twice just to play around with it. It took me a few hours to get it all working correctly, due to USB conflicts (my keyboard and mouse stopped working when I hooked up the webcam), audio quality problems (I did not think the audio quality was good for the mic that was built into the webcam, so I tried 3 other microphones until I found one that was better), and trying to get the webcam positioned correctly (I put it on top of a stack of books in front of my monitor, but getting the height/distance/angle correct took some work). So, my only practice was a few minutes of Skyping with Michael before the interview started. Once I got the hang of it though, it was fun.
Previous interviews I did were always by email or by phone. Some were for newspapers, some were business sites/blogs, and a few were for radio stations. Most were about specific sites I owned. Either the newspaper or radio station wanted to feature my site because it was interesting, or they wanted my expert opinion about something relating to a story they were working on. I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal about backmasking (the hidden words you hear if you play certain songs backwards), I gave my opinion about the the slang term “pimping” (like as in “pimp my car”) for a Florida Newspaper article about the controversy over a local church using that term in the title of one of their sermons (Pimp My Life), and I was on a panel of experts about fads. All of this was because I owned big sites about these topics.
The funny thing is that I was not really an expert on any of these things. A typical Internet business owner has one site, and they spend all their time running it. They also usually started the site because they have an interest in the topic. But, I have over 200 sites (at one point I had over 400), the vast majority of which I am not an expert in, and many times don’t even care that much about the topic. I just create sites I think will be popular (i.e make money). I do learn a lot by running a site, so in many ways I am much more of an expert than the average person when it comes to things like Internet slang and playing songs backwards, but I really am nowhere near the level of somebody who cares about and has a passion for that kind of thing.
Another type of publicity I sometimes receive is when my sites get mentioned in the press. I have had sites featured in large media outlets such as Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, Popular Science, The London Times, Inc. Magazine, Readers Digest, National Public Radio (NPR), and TV shows such as Extra and TechTV.
The interesting thing is that none of this publicity has ever resulted in any significant amount of extra traffic to my sites. Many times there is a good traffic spike for a few days, but then it all dies down after that. There is no lasting traffic, and one media mention does not lead to many more, and nothing ever went viral.
I don’t have a PR firm doing work for me and make no effort to try to get publicity on my own, so these are just my own experiences and may not be what happens with most other Internet companies. Some businesses/products/sites get a little press as a start and then ride the wave of publicity all the way to an appearance on Oprah, raking in the cash.
I still love getting press for my sites and business, and it certainly can’t hurt (unless I say something stupid), but personally I would rather grow my business by creating new sites and buying and selling domains, then spend my time trying to get publicity than hoping it will lead to something big.
I have been in touch with you through few emails. All I can say is you are great guy. I have really enjoyed your interview on domainsherpa. I wish you a lot of good luck with your ventures.
Eric cool interview! I was thinking about trying out that arcade script that you were talking about where do I find it? Thanks
I used phparcadescript.com which costs around $45. Here’s some other arcade scripts I found (I know nothing about any of them):
http://standalonearcade.com (free, open source)
seriously, excellent interview on domainsherpa. Thanks man, very informative, possibly the most informative one I’ve seen.
enjoyed the interview Eric
nice to see you live as it were
we all know each other from forums and blogs but always good to see live interviews
i think Michael is very good over at domainsherpa too
congrats on the recent sales
This was the only interview that I sat through and watched ’til the end. Well worth it.
Thanks Eric I went with the one you are using phparcadescript.com, it works pretty good! I have it up and running now on my ArcadePlaying.com site.
Hi Eric, read a few of your posts and business experiences, great stuff!
I can associate with the constant problem of any web entrepreneur in getting their business to the next level.
For me the key to growth has been reinvesting profits into buying other sites and focusing more on seo and quality link building to try to get more traffic for existing sites. That however also has its limitations.
Gotta agree with your arguments on partnerships, they seldom seem to go as originally planned and you are usually better off just hiring people instead. However I’m still mostly optimistic about any potential partnerships as long as the partners are a good match in experience and skills to make the project work.
Have you tried any offline businesses or more product oriented internet or ecommerce businesses?
What are your plans/thoughts on the future of your internet business?
The only offline business I ever ran was a flower store. See http://www.impulsecorp.com/how-i-bought-a-flower-store. I also used to have 15-20 ecommerce sites. See http://www.impulsecorp.com/expanding-your-internet-business. My future plans are to develop the domains I already own and to create and buy new sites, which is pretty much what I have been doing for the past 10+ years..
this is Kabir, I am a student and I desperately need money for my study, I want to sell my domains so i can generate money for my study, please help me to sell these domains
the complete lot is for sale, If you have any question or you want to buy these domain then you can mail me to -firstname.lastname@example.org
I am sorry, but I don’t sell other peoples’ domains, I just sell my own.
Hey Eric, wanted to thank you for your interview (on Domain Sherpa) and ask a few questions, if you don’t mind.
While listening to the interview, I couldn’t help but wonder if you wish you had kept bored.com. If you had the chance to do it all over again, would you sell?
I have a domain, mockumentary.tv, that I am entertaining doing something similar to what you’ve done on watchmovies.com. From your experience, would you recommend going down that path or taking a different approach? If so, can you educate me on how/where to find the movies for the site?
Many Thanks and look forward to following your progress,
Yes, I am glad I sold, because right after I sold in January of 2008 the economy started to fall off a cliff, so having money in the bank made me worry a lot less during the past 3 years. On the flip side, the huge income Bored.com was earning looks much much more attractive now that interest rates are at 0% instead of 5% like they were then. Mainly though, I still have a big business left, as Bored.com was just around half my business (although most of my profit). So, I have been focusing more on my other websites, and trying to come up with new ways to make a lot of money (nothing has worked yet).
As for WatchMovies.com, it makes no more now than when I had it parked (traffic is less also), so I am not sure they way I have it setup is very good. Most of the movies are from http://www.archive.org , the rest are use embedded code from Youtube.com.