Ira Zoot Interview – 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 name are, Our first interview is with Ira Zoot, CEO of Ticketstub.com®
Ira is a leading graphic artist/product designer who had worked for clients such as Disney, Warner Bros, Mattel and McDonalds. In 1995,was forethinking enough to register Zoot.com for his Photo/Design business to market it on the Web.
Ira always made it a point to be on the bleeding edge of progress whether it was being one of the first Photographers/Designers in Chicago using Photoshop, putting digital art to fabric or seeing the development potential for domains back in 95. Regardless of how many people told him he was crazy.
It was in late 1996 that he became a “domainer” … registering a variety of domains that spanned a number of niches.
Brandable, generic, traffic related and then was turned on to the Ticketing niche and spent time focusing on that.
Currently, besides being an Illustrator and product designer he’s owned and run TicketStub.com for the last 11 years. Growing it to one of the largest ticket affiliate sites out there and is currently looking at avenues to grow it further.
Also, Ira is still working on product design and development. The current project is developing a product line of Glass Art tiles. They will have a variety of applications such commercial and residential purposes … as well as licensing iDigits artwork to be used by other companies. This new endeavor is named iDigits and samples can be seen at iDigits.com
He has a number of other projects lined up with the premium domain properties he has obtained … Ira’s problem is just trying to keep remembering that there is only so much time in the day.
Example of some developed and soon to be developed sites: Zoot.com, Ticketstub.com®, Brainmatters.com, PokerLessons.com, LuxuryGuide.com, TheaterTickets.com, Represents.com, Deodorizers.com, Lauderdale.com, RanchoCordova.com, OriginalPoker.com, ArtistNetwork.com, VodkaOnline.com and more.
1) What are your current thoughts on the Domain Aftermarket? i.e. Sales and Enquiries etc – General Mood of Domainers / End users?
I think the domain aftermarket has matured and people are finally understanding the value of domains for their businesses. Sadly. there are those companies who learn this and instead of buying the domain. They attempt
to steal it through legal actions and deceptive practices. The market for me
has been steady and I think it’s going to get stronger as the economy improves.
2) Where do you see GTLDS in 3 years time?
Honestly … I don’t give much thought to the new GTLD’s. I am a .com person
and will always consider it king. There some new GTLD’s that are getting some
traction like .co and will find their place in the market. But I think more with
developers/end users than domainers. I think also many people are going to
get rich on the initial hype and speculation of the new GTLD’s but as we’ve seen
with just about every other new GTLD it tapers off pretty quickly.
3) What are you or your companies investing in? i.e. Dot Com only Domains – Typo – etc?
I am spending more time & money working on Ticketstub.com advancement and developing my Art products for the time being. I know what that will bring right now in this market. I am patiently waiting for all the online Poker issues to be
resolved. At which time I will be putting most of my efforts in building out
Pokerlessons.com and a number of other online gambling properties. That is
going to offer a massive opportunity for a lot of people and companies.
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 park those domains I’m not using at the moment for development. I’ve done
Ok in the PPC market but that was never my main focus. I would like to have more traffic to monetize but it’s just too hard to get domains with high traffic these days. The domains with traffic I look for these days are related to tickets
or my product endeavors.
As to advise on developing a site … pick a domain that is easy to remember, sounds credible and make sure you build out your site in a clean, eye pleasing look. For e-com sites make sure your site is relevant to what the customer is looking for, the products and services offered in easily navigated manner and
don’t have it lead them off in different directions … have it lead them right to the check out page. If you take calls or emails, always be kind, courteous and
treat your customers with the same respect you’d want. You aren’t looking for
a one time sale … you want them to come back many times and tell others how great the site is.
5) What is your favourite domain personally or company owned?
Tough question. I can’t pin that down to one domain. If I had to choose
2 they would be Zoot.com, Ticketstub.com. But there are many more that I
own that I really like for one reason or another.
6) If you were starting out in the domain space today what are your 3 top tips?
- Do your research on what kind of domains you want to add to your portfolio. Look at the niche, how much it pays affiliates … what is the average sales price and what is the % you can earn for sales/service conversions. ‘How much the item/service costs a customer and use that as one of the factors in valuing the domain.
- Don’t get sucked into the hype when a new GTLD is released. The early adopters of the generics usually make some good money. But beyond that I haven’t seen much made on anything else. Also, as the GTLD’s are released the price of those premium generics are going to fall when end users don’t adopt the new GTLD. I think .CO has proven to be one of the more successful GTLD’s but when I look at it I still see a typo of .COM.
- Better to spend your money on a few good domains than lots of bad ones.
7) What’s the next big thing that your companies are working on?
As I mentioned earlier I am working on some real world products … glass art tiles and related products (iDIgits.com) as well as planning development of PokerLessons.com, LuxuryGuide.com and Brainmatters.com.
8)Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Hmm …. Well, I will always be working on something … that is the beauty of this business … you can do it from anywhere. I would like to be splitting my time playing golf, lounging poolside, spending time with family and friends.
9) What has been your biggest challenge in the domain business?
Getting great domains with all the competition out there. Then in the initial process of building the business getting the traffic, building the trust and keeping on top of the market pulse.
10) What do you feel has been your largest accomplishment in the Business / Personally?
That is a tough question as I have a number of things I’ve accomplished that I’m very proud of both in the brick and mortar world and on the Web.
As far as the Domains go … TicketStub.com is probably the main thing I’m proud of, But as an overall it would be growing a thriving, profitable internet property development business in such a competitive environment is a major accomplishment..
I would like to say a big Thank You to Ira for taking part in this interview for RobbiesBlog.com – Please check out Ira’s sites and remember if you are looking for a ticket – Visit TicketStub.com