Interview with Braden Pollock – I have asked various parties within the domain industry to take part some interviews to give us a little background about themselves, where they see the industry heading and how they feel the current market for domain names are our eighth interview is by Braden Pollock
Braden is a serial entrepreneur and domainer that owns several companies, both online and off. Among his businesses is Legal Brand Marketing, LLC which focuses on DUI and legal marketing, primarily through online lead generation. He also owns Smart Start, an alcohol ignition interlock provider, with service locations throughout the country. His portfolio includes developed sites such as ScienceFiction.com, SignatureFiling.com and many insurance and legal sites. His domain portfolio numbers in the neighborhood of about 13,000 names. He is a frequent speaker at domain conferences domestically and internationally.
1) What are your current thoughts on the Domain Aftermarket? i.e. Sales and Enquiries etc – General Mood of Domainers / End users?
Most prices have certainly taken a dip over the last few years, primarily based on the sharp decline of CPC revenue. I think it’s a great time for end-users to buy up names in their space. The problem is that most end-users don’t understand the aftermarket or know where to look. It seems that most domain auctions are by domainers for domainers and until we see end-users getting involved the prices will continue to stay flat. Selling to end-users is hard work – certainly much harder than waiting for a CPC check to show up in the mail. Domainers need to switch gears and put in the time reaching out to end-users.
2) Where do you see gTLDs in 3 years’ time?
This is anyone’s guess. There are many gTLDs now and the general public still focuses on .com. The .com will always reign supreme but I believe all the new extensions will have a value impact on the existing extensions.
3) What are you or your companies investing in? i.e. Dot Com only Domains – Typo – etc?
We have thousands of nets and orgs and a few super-generic typos. Our focus is acquiring the best name for our purposes and the best name always ends in .com.
4) Do you believe in Parking or Developing? What are your tips for either i.e. Top Parking Platform (What Do You Use) – Developing your thoughts on what to develop and how best achieve it?
I do so little parking that it would be unfair for me to give any advice on parking companies. I’m developer because that’s much closer to the money than parking. Whether someone is interested in Leadgen, advertising or some other monetization, it’s important to build quality content. Google knows what quality and readers know. Without a foundation of good quality, original information the site is doomed. There are lots of passionate writers out there – on every subject imaginable. Find ’em and put ’em to work.
5) What is your favourite domain personally or company owned?
My favorites always change depending on what I just bought or what I just sold 🙂
6) If you were starting out in the domain space today what are your 3 top tips?
Buy the best name you can (almost) afford. Don’t settle for a second or third tier name. Wait if you have to for the right name. It will be worth it.
7) What’s the next big thing that your companies are working on?
We’ve been working on an entirely new Leadgen platform. The platform will allow anyone to place our widget on their site, parked page, blog, etc and dynamically generate an appropriate lead form or other ad unit. We anticipate this being a game-changer. More to come…
8) Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I’m sure I’ll still be working but imagine that I’ll be more hands-off. All my businesses have great teams so they run without me, for the most part. I travel for pleasure about 3 months out of the year now (and more for
conferences) but down the road I may find another place I’d like to live for part of the year.
9) What has been your biggest challenge in the domain business?
Outbound sales has always been tough for us. With so many names, it’s tough to know where to start. Once you pick a good name or category and research then you need to go after the prospective buyers. It’s a lot of work so we usually just wait for them to come to us.
10) What do you feel has been your largest accomplishment in the Business / Personally?
My biggest accomplishment is probably getting to the point where I can trust other people to run my businesses. You can’t grow a businesses unless you trust your people. I’ve learned to step back and let my managers run the show. It’s not always easy but it has to be done.
I would like to say a big Thank You to Braden Pollock for taking part in this interview for RobbiesBlog.com – Please check out Braden Pollock’s sites – ScienceFiction.com, SignatureFiling.com, LegalBrandMarketing.com and many others.