The most common advice about stock investing is, “You have to be diversified.” The same is not true for domain names. It is always better to have a portfolio of great .com’s than of great .net’s and .org’s. As domainers we know that a great keyword .com is as valuable as that keyword can get. The only reason to diverisfy the TLD of your domain is only if the .com is taken (or you own the .com and want to own the other TLD’s).
Now let me make it very clear what I am saying here. You should strive to get the best domain names as possible. In most cases this will require diversification of TLD’s. If you look at my own portfolio I have a number of TLD’s. We aren’t all lucky enough to just have great .com domains, so we look elsewhere in .net, .org, .in, etc. There is nothing wrong with this as it would be impossible to have a portfolio of all great keyword .com’s unless you’re a millionaire. However it is important to recognize that in a heartbeat you would convert all your .net, .org or other TLD’s to .com’s if given the chance.
So what is Domain Development Diversification? This is a going to be a key strategy in what might soon be called Domaining 2.0. I see Domaining 1.0 as the process of purchasing a good domain name, parking the name, and performing whatever SEO can be done to get the most traffic to your name. In the Domaining 2.0 world parking is a thing of the past and development is king. While we don’t live in the Domaining 2.0 world yet, we can all feel it getting closer. Domain Development Diversification means diversifying the way in which you develop your domain names.
As the domaining industry shifts focus towards developed domains, so should your strategies for development. Domain Development Diversification is the idea of using many different strategies with your domains and learning which one’s work the best. Divide your portfolio into five different test groups; blogs, forums, mini-sites, information sites and commerce sites. This means turn 20% of your domains into active blog sites, another 20% to forums, etc. This will help you discover which technique works best for you, as well as which will make you the most money. You might have to experiment with some domains and try a few before you really hit the jackpot, but in the end you should have a good idea of which development strategy works the best for each domain.
I am reading a lot of blogs lately talking about how hard the development process is and the time that it takes. By diversifying your development you can use some strategies that can take as little as an hour. Try it! Go onto Blogger or Typepad, make a blog, give it a custom look and feel, and viola…you have created a website for your domain. Use free PHP forum software to put a professional web forum on your page, or just spend a few hours putting together a simple mini-site. You don’t have to build a full-blown webpage every time – remember there are other ways to successfully develop your domains.
In the Domaining 2.0 world we need to think out of the box a bit more. Remember, your time is money. If you spends an entire month building a website, how much money are you really making? What is your time worth to you? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t put great websites onto your domains. Instead what I am saying is you need to determine which domains to put the most amount of time into. Pick 20% of your portfolio and make it your mission to develop (or pay someone to develop) beautiful, fully-functional, websites on those domains. Now try making a blog for another 20% of your domains, and a forum for another 20%, etc. In the end, you will have websites on all of your domains, some that make you money, and others that are a flop. With fine tuning you can determine the best strategy for each and end 2008 with a portfolio full of domains with websites, and most importantly, revenue.
The Domaining 2.0 world is a whole new beast. As with any transition there are those that will hold onto their Domaining 1.0 ideas, unable to let go of past success. It’s like the tech stock bust in the late 90’s…nobody wanted to sell their tech stocks – it was too scary! In the Domaining 2.0 world you’ll have to get over your fears of development and remember that each webpage shouldn’t take a month – there are many different types of webpages you can build quickly and easily. The key is to try different strategies and through time determine which are the best for you. Welcome to the brave new world of Domaining 2.0, and for those still in the 1.0 world it’s time to say farewell to the world you once knew.
If you want to learn more about developing your domains don’t forget to read my book!