I started this blog in October of 2007 and at the time there were only a handful of bloggers in the space. Then, with the introduction of Domaining.com the space grew considerably since the industry now had a centralized source. Major kudos to Francois for having the vision and passion to put this together and make it the resource that it is today. Before I started blogging I was reading Domaining blogs every day, and night and that hasn’t changed over the last five years!
Some of the first blogs in the Domaining world were DNW, DNJournal, DNN, DotWeekly along with Ricks Blog, Elliots Blog, Frager Factor and one of my favorites that I really miss – Sahar’s blog, Conceptualist.com. Sahar’s blog was actually the very first Domaining blog I ever read and the other blogs mentioned above I still read daily. It really was the incredible passion and consistency that these bloggers/journalists brought to the table that made this such an exciting space to be in!
Two month after my blog started Michael Berkens started TheDomains which I think it is safe to say has become one of the top Domaining blogs out there. Michael is a great example of why I think we’re so lucky in this industry, he’s a full time Domainer and ex-lawyer who shares it all on his blog, no hidden agenda, just great information and all for free! I still read absolutely everything that Michael posts and can honestly say I’ve received a mini Domaining MBA just from reading his blog!
Six months after Michael started his blog Chef Patrick hit the scene and created a real buzz around Domaining blogs as he quickly became a focal point of conversation. He was edgy and wrote interesting and sometimes controversial posts that got people’s attention, and got them talking. Patrick and I became friends pretty quickly and most of what I learned about Social Media,Marketing, and Blogging I learned from Patrick! Dan also started eBusiness Domains back in 2008 which has also been one of my long-standing favorite blogs. I’m not sure the exact date that he started so Dan if you’re reading this, let me know and I’ll update it and I apologize in advance if I got the year wrong!
Then in 2009 Domain Shane hit the blogging scene with a very down-to-earth and personal approach. Reading Shane’s blog was really like having a conversation with him and after getting to know Shane I can tell you he’s one sharp cookie. While Shane comes from the plant world, he really comes from the business world running one of the most successful plant nurseries out there. Domain Shane quickly became one of the top blogs in the space with readers appreciating his writing style, transparency, and willingness to speak his mind. Like Patrick, Shane and I also became friends pretty quickly and we’ve had some great adventures together!
Also joining the scene in 2009 was NameTalent run by one of the nicest people on the planet (seriously) Mike Law. Mike is probably one of the most humble people I’ve met and his blog also took-off very quickly as people identified with him and his writing style. Mike has done a great job of balancing Domaining News, Interviews, and his own views on the industry and even held the first Domain Conference ever in Colorado!
Next in September of 2009 DomainGang was launched by Theo, a Domainer and Developer with some pretty wicked graphic design skills. Theo set-out to make “The Onion” of Domaining and it is very clear that he has succeeded with flying colors. DomainGang became one of the most-read blogs in the space and provided some comic relief to an industry that really needed it, no offense to anyone, it’s just sometimes you do need some comic relief!
In March of 2010 Domain Industry legend Howard Neu launched his blog once again providing some incredible transparency from someone who has been doing this full time, for a long time! Moving forward in 2010 we saw HybridDomainer hit the blogging scene in October. HybridDomainer provides a great perspective on Domaining news and covers a wide range of topics as he himself is a Hybrid Domainer!
In early 2011 a new blog focused on interviews with top Domainers went live – DomainSherpa. Michael Cyger is a very accomplished businessperson and entrepreneur who saw a great opportunity to build a brand in the space, and went for it. In one year he was able to produce some of the best interviews I’ve ever seen period, with some of the top movers and shakers in the domain industry and beyond!
In May of 2011 a fellow Southern Californian, DomainMichael started a blog and has been a consistent contributor to the space discussing a range of topics from Development to Sales. Michael knows his stuff when it comes to creating software and is probably one of the most technically advanced Domainers out there which makes his blog particularly unique and refreshing!
Now let’s fast-forward to 2012 and we have a brand-new entry to the Domaining blog space with Adam Dicker launching DNFBlog an extension of his popular forum DNForum. Adam launched his own Domaining Course last year and now with his new blog this year it is clear that he is putting a lot more focus on the education space which is great to see. As I’ve said a few times earlier, it is this kind of transparency and willingness to share information that makes this space so incredible.
Of course one of the biggest challenges of being a blogger in this space is those people who assume that if you have a blog and lots of sponsors, then you must be making most of your income blogging. I have addressed this issue a number of times but for the sake of complete transparency – I’m putting it all on the table. Other bloggers are welcome to share this information but of course don’t have to, some people are more private than others and we live in a free country so you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to!
So far in 2012 I have made roughly $45,000 (yes, that’s over $20,000/month) and of that total, around $8,000 comes from blog advertising and the rest comes from Domain Monetization and Sales. This means that roughly 18% of my income this year so far is coming from this blog while 82% of my income comes from my Domaining Business itself.
When I started Domaining back in 2007 my goal was to make an extra $1,000 a month, now making over $20,000/month so far in 2012 it’s pretty incredible to look back and see how my business has evolved. I have always been focused on building a business as I have no dreams of being self-employed, I like to think of ideas and then hire people to turn those ideas into a reality. With every idea I have I make sure that I’m not creating another job for myself, but instead a business that can run whether I’m involved or not.
My blog takes around 30-45 minutes a day leaving a good amount of time to work on my business. I do also still have a full-time job which I absolutely love, you can read more about it on my About Page. People have asked how I balance all of this and it all comes back to my desire not to be self-employed, the more I do, the more money I pay for talented people to work on my ideas. So when you see me starting a new project, that means I’ve put the time into developing the business and the business model, but I rarely involve myself in the day-to-day, I’m running a business here!
I am sure that we’ll see even more bloggers enter the space in 2012 as well as other bloggers that chose to leave or tone-down their blog as they shift their focus onto other things. As I’ve said before, I’ll be blogging into my 90’s because I love it and you should never stop doing something that you love! Thanks for reading and thanks to all the other bloggers that take the time to share their experiences and contribute to the space, I am reading and learning every single day, and don’t plan to stop learning until I’m well into my hundreds.
Finally, I would like to end with a huge thanks to Francois for creating Domaining.com and making the Domaining blog space what it is today. I would also like to thank Ron Jackson for creating DNJournal which has been accepted as the de facto news and information source in the Domaining world. We are all incredibly lucky to be in a space with so many people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience for free. I now raise my virtual wine glass and say “Thank You” to all of the other bloggers out there, all of our readers, and to all the great companies that sponsor our blogs and support this incredible information exchange. You won’t find anything like this in other industries and I can’t wait to watch the blogging space continue to grow and develop, one things for sure, it’s going to be a wild ride!