IIJM.com: Cool Development of an LLLL.com as an Abbreviation

February 19, 2010 by  
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Is It Just MeI just happened to come across the site IIJM.com earlier today and thought that it was kind of a cool LLLL.com that was developed as an abbreviation (for “Is It Just Me”). I didn’t join the site but it is kind of a clever idea to let people post/rant by posting a short Twitter style message that begins with, “Is it just me, or do you ________?”

There are plenty of LLLL.com domains that have been developed as 4 letter words or as brandable domains but do you know of any others that have been developed as abbreviations (not including those that that are just abbreviations of a company name)?

Have you developed any LLLL.com/LLL.com’s?

I own JJU.com and have plans to develop it into a Jiu Jitsu website but I just need to devote some time to it instead of some of my other development projects that have been keeping me swamped – what do you think?

How BankRate.com Juices Up Page Views: Bank Rate Advertisers Beware

November 29, 2009 by  
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It’s common for large content rich sites to implement measures to increase page views and decrease bounce rate but BankRate.com appears to be taking this philosophy to a whole new level. The reason that most sites want to increase page views is of course to theoretically better engage visitors but usually the real force behind the quest for more and more page views is that most advertisers pay on a cost per impression basis so the greater the number of page views the more moola the website makes.

I will admit that there is a fine line between splitting up an article into easy to read sections and incorporating rich media like pictures into an article to enhance the user experience and just downright chopping up an article into ridiculously small pieces with each piece on a separate page purely to increase page views.

For example, :) While doing market research for one of my finance sites I can’t tell you how annoying it was to try and read this 672 word article over on Bank Rate and have to click through 7 different pages to read the full article. Yes, 7 pages for a measly 672 words of content. That means that each page has maybe a paragraph or two (although page 1 is the longest by far) and since I can speed read then I practically have to keep clicking to the next page every second or so (maybe this means that an additional benefit to this article chunking strategy is that they hope that users will inadvertently click on ads as they are constantly being forced to click away simply to read a short article…)

Anyway, here is page 1 of the article and have fun clicking through 6 more times all to read just 672 words: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/5-reasons-to-buy-a-home-during-holidays-1.aspx

What do you think of this content chunking strategy?

Demand Media: Books They Read, Business Model, and Why You Should Care

November 17, 2009 by  
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Ever since Demand Media was profiled in a recent article in Wired Magazine titled “The Answer Factory” (if you have not read this article then set aside 10 minutes and READ IT NOW – then come back here and finish reading this post of course :) ) I have been extremely interested in learning as much as I can about them because to a certain degree the Demand Media business model mimics my thinking in running Domain Superstar LLC with John and also my other company 360 Quote LLC.

There is no real need for me to rehash the Wired article because you can just click on the link above and read it yourself but I would challenge all of the domainer/developers reading this post to see how you can take some of the ingredients for success from the Demand Media business model and apply it to your domains.

I would even go so far as to say that if you are a premium domain name holder or even a very strong niche domain name holder then you can take their business model a step further than even they can because certainly content is king but having the best domain in a given niche (i.e. a category killer domain name) coupled with great content can propel you to even greater success than your competitors who may need to work that much harder with a lesser quality domain.

I realize that what I am saying is nothing new and certainly nothing revolutionary but as with anything the only real success comes with not just a great idea but great execution. Rob Monster and Epik are attempting something similar in that they want to couple great content with great domains and truly leverage the power of a great domain. I am unsure about the soundness of their interlinking strategy from an SEO standpoint but it will be interesting to see how well they can execute on such a large scale as they already have a number of great domains.

Demand Media understands the power of domains as platforms for great content to some degree as they own a number of highly trafficked web properties as well as 50 or so niche web properties (and let’s not forget that they own eNom as well). However, there is one thing that Demand Media certainly understands about success on the web and that is the power of content.

While some may argue that the loads of content that the Demand Studio writers churn out every day is inferior in quality to many other sources of content it is important to remember that much of the content that they churn out is extremely long tail in nature and even if one agrees with the assumption that their content’s quality is lacking is still meets a need in the market because there is so little competition out there already for many long tail keyword terms. This of course is where I would like to say that their business model differs from mine in that I am a firm believer in attempting to publish only high quality content but then again I am sure that they would say the same thing :)

Demand Media certainly does a lot of things exactly right on the content side and if you are someone who wants to see some of the principles that they adhere to generate such success then look no further then the books that they draw inspiration from on the content side of things. Their most recent post highlights these books: “How Big Thinkers Help Us “Go Big” In Content”

What do YOU think of the Demand Media business model? In what ways can the Demand Media business model and content strategy help YOU develop your domains?

WordPress Coming Soon Plugin: Why I Love It (and You Should Too)

November 13, 2009 by  
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The WordPress Coming Soon Plugin by CSSJockey.com is one of the niftiest little WP plugins that I have come across in quite some time and although it is very simple and elegant I think that you will love what it can do for you just as much as I do.

I actually just stumbled across this plugin just a few days ago as I was looking for a coming soon page to put up on the weight training site that John and I will be working on in the near future (and launching on 2/15/09). Of course, the domain name is WeightTraining.com and as its a great keyword domain name you can expect to see some “Case Study Friday” posts in the future covering our development efforts.

Anyway, you can read all of the features yourself by visiting the the link above but I just wanted to point out one little thing that I absolutely love about this plugin and that is –

As soon as you activate the coming soon page then anyone who is not logged in as a WordPress admin will see only the coming soon page while you and anyone else who is logged in as a WP admin will see your site live and 100% functional. This allows you to fix bugs and test the site out in a live environment to your hearts content without worrying about visitors seeing a partially finished site or getting turned off by bugs.

I have to say I wish that I would have come across this plugin a while ago as I could have certainly put it to good use but learn from my mistakes and if you are planning on spending some time developing an in depth/customized WordPress site (or even just doing some maintenance on an existing WordPress site) then head on over to check out the WordPress Coming Soon Plugin by CSSJockey.com right now!

Strong Domain + Niche Expertise = $$$

July 21, 2009 by  
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Are you an expert? Are you an expert in something? Anything? Chances are that many domainers are leaving money on the table by not putting their niche expertise to work.

What do I mean by “niche expertise”? It has been said that almost everyone has some area of specialized knowledge where they know more than the average person. Some areas of knowledge are more marketable (i.e. finance, law, health, etc.), others are more sexy (i.e. fashion, celebrity gossip, etc.), and some can be quite boring (i.e. plumbing, organizing, etc.). However, I would venture that almost every piece of niche expertise, if properly packaged, can result in a nice chunk of change.

If you are in a rut and can’t seem to get the recurring revenue that you are looking for or maybe you are just waiting for a new stroke of creative genius I would challenge you to get back to basics. Choose a subject that you know and know well and then launch a website on that topic.

Maybe you have a college degree in an area that you could come up with more than enough material to keep a blog or website busy churning out unique content. Maybe you work at a job or have worked at a job that has allowed you to gain a very specialized skill set. Why not put this knowledge to good use by helping provide quality information to people and make some money at the same time?

I would challenge you to these 3 steps:

1. Determine Your Area of Expertise

2. Register a Strong Domain Name (shoot for an Exact Match Keyword Domain if possible)

3. Develop the Website with the Goal of Publishing 2+ Pages of High Quality Content Daily

Even without heavy marketing you will be surprised at the type of traffic that your site will begin to get almost immediately. Why? With an exact match keyword domain then half of your battle is already won but one of the biggest benefits to being an expert is that you talk about things naturally in your articles in the exact way that many other people interested in that niche are in fact searching for them. If you are a plumber then mentioning plumbing lingo in your articles is second nature to you. That being the case guess who is going to start to rank almost immediately for those long tail low competition keywords that involve plumbing lingo? That’s right – you are.

There you have it. Find some great domain names using our tools and then put your niche expertise to work making you some money!

Afternic = Worst Interface Ever

July 7, 2009 by  
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UPDATE: Afternic was very proactive and quick to fix the below issue. I have recently found some very nice domains to buy at Afternic and in fact I just started the escrow process to buy one of them just a few moments ago. Nice job Afternic on quickly correcting a problem.

Afternic just relaunched and so I decided to check it out and start searching for some domain names to buy. A recent press release announced a “new and improved user interface” so I was quite unhappy to see that whoever designed their interface somehow thinks that I do not want to see the entire domain name but rather just the first 14 characters of the domain name followed by “…” and then the TLD!

Here is what I see when I use their advanced search feature and put in the keyword “insurance”, exclude dashes, exclude numbers, and select only the .com TLD:

Afternic Interface

Absolutely unbelievable. Apparently out of all of the data that they choose to present they think that the least important thing for me to see in its entirety is the actual domain name! What is sad is that the rest of their interface actually looks quite nice and well laid out but just by choosing to only show the first 14 characters of the domain name makes their interface the absolute worst that I have ever seen.

If I am missing a setting somewhere that allows me to show more than just the first 14 characters then I apologize because I do not see one. However, even if there is a setting to show more than the first 14 characters it is still pretty sad that this is the default option.

I am unsure why they would choose to display their results this way. My guess would be that maybe they are hoping to entice click throughs to the domain name but probably it is just a clueless developer that doesn’t ever bother to use the interface to search (or even fake search) for domain names in the first place.

Either way, this is not a criticism of Afternic or Name Media as a company because I actually really respect both of them and love their domain name platforms BUT letting something like this make it to public release is very unfortunate. Hopefully, they will fix it soon as they are no doubt losing a lot of interest in their domains when even people like me that have 3 30″ monitors have to mouse over the domains one by one just to even see what the domains are as if there is not enough room on my screen to display the most important piece of information (the domain!).

Google for Advertisers: Is Your Branding Better than “Pet Stick”?

July 6, 2009 by  
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I was just reading a post over on SmashingMagazine.com and I saw a Google AdSense image ad run BY Google directing people to check out their various “Google for Advertisers” services. Nothing unusual so far as Google often advertises using their own ad network. What was interesting to see was the creative way that Google used a “pet stick” case study to sell their services.

The ad reads, “What can Google do to help your advertising? Well, find out what we could do for a stick.”

Here is an image of the Google “pet stick” ad that also links off to their landing page:

The question is: in what ways can you bring some creativity to your domain development and website marketing efforts? Make a change. Get out of your rut. Look for ways to distinguish yourself from the competition.

In this particular marketing campaign by Google – do you like it? Do you think that it will be effective? If someone were to do a case study of one of your domains would it more closely resemble a boring pet stick or a creative Google ad?

11 Free WordPress Photo Gallery Plugins

June 29, 2009 by  
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WordPress photo gallery plugins can be an easy way to add some pizazz to your WordPress site. While photo gallery plugins for WordPress are most often used by blogs that tend to be more personal in nature (i.e. a photography blog or personal portfolio site) there are in fact some excellent ways to use a WP photo gallery plugin for a business/ecommerce website that looks nothing like a blog.

WordPress Featured Content Gallery Plugin by iePlexus

My favorite free WordPress photo gallery plugin is the Featured Content Gallery by iePlexus. This plugin is 100% free as of the time of this post and very easy to use.

WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin Examples

To view some examples of the WordPress Featured Content Gallery Plugin in action be sure and visit the official site for a demo and also visit the example website owned by one of our premium members that we are in the middle of making website development tutorial videos for: MMA Supreme (Domain Superstar premium members have access to the tutorial video where I customize the MMA Supreme theme and give instructions for setting up the Featured Content Gallery Plugin here: Customizing WordPress with Theme Tweaks).

Additional WordPress Photo Gallery Plugins

Although I have not personally tried any of the below plugins I thought it might be useful to provide a list of some additional options for setting up a WordPress photo gallery plugin:

1. Featurific for WordPress

2. WordPress Flickr Photo Album

3. WP Photo Album

4. NextGEN Gallery

5. FotoBook

6. WP Gallery Remote

7. Picasa Photos

8. Flash Photo Gallery

9. G4B Photo Gallery

10. Cincopa Gallery

To get full access to all of our domain name tools and tutorial videos then sign up to become a Domain Superstar premium member today!

Javascript Libraries – Adding polish to your site the easy way

June 19, 2009 by  
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The more web development I do, the more I’m grateful for the plethora of amazing Javascript libraries out there. It’s never been simpler to add advanced front-end functionality like drag-and-drop, animations, or sortable, paginated, searchable tables (like those used in our Type-In Traffic Finder, for instance). Here’s a few of my favorite javascript libraries.

1. YUI
YUI (Yahoo! User Interface Library) is one of my favorite Javascript libraries. The vast majority of our domain tool dashboard is written using it. YUI has probably the best collection of widgets and user interface elements of any Javascript library, as well as great documentation, and great community support. It does tend to be more complicated and verbose than some other libraries when doing simple DOM manipulation, but that should change when YUI 3 is released.

2. JQuery
JQuery is currently my favorite Javascript library. If you’re a web developer and you’re not familiar with
it, I highly recommend learning it as soon as possible. JQuery’s tagline is “write less, do more” and that pretty much sums up my experience with it. Writing code in jQuery is very concise, but very powerful. One of my favorite features: Any DOM element can be animated just by calling the animate() function and then specifying the CSS property to animate (opacity or height for instant). JQuery also has many widgets in their jQuery UI library, but it is not as fully developed as YUI.

3. Prototype/Scriptaculous
I have less experience with Prototype and Scriptaculous, than with YUI and jQuery, but this is another mature and well-known library. Prototype focuses on DOM manipulation and more core functionality, and Scriptaculous is a UI library built on top of Prototype. These libraries are included with or supported by many popular web frameworks like Ruby on Rails and CakePHP.

Even if you’re not a developer you can use these libraries to snaz up your site.
You can find many good tutorials on adding javascript effects at NetTuts. There are many other sites with lots of prebuilt widgets and tutorials that can be found via Google.

So what do you think? Any other libraries or resources to add?

New Website Tutorial Video Released: Customizing WordPress Themes

June 16, 2009 by  
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Although the focus of Domain Superstar is of course all about our domain name tools and making it easy for anyone to consistently find loads of valuable domain names we do also have some additional perks for our premium members, one of them being some hopefully very helpful website development tutorial videos.

The tutorial videos make it easy for you to “watch over my shoulder” as I first find a valuable domain name in the first video and then take that domain name from just a name to a fully functioning e-commerce money making website.

I use the software program Camtasia so that I can capture what is on my computer screen and record my voice at the same time.

The domain name/website that I use as an example throughout the video series is actually not my domain name but the domain name of one of our premium members. MMA Supreme is the name of the domain name and the website is close to being halfway finished as we have just made tutorial video #4 “Customizing WordPress with Theme Tweaks” and are at the halfway point as we have 4 more videos to release in the future.

No matter whether you develop your own websites, you pay someone to do your website development, or you could care less about developing your domains be sure and sign up for our premium membership so that you can consistently find valuable domain names using our tools!

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