I was wrestling with a few different titles for this post, it’s a concept I learned, big-time a few years ago but I’ve never discussed it on my blog or any of my books before. What I’m talking about is what to expect from free. By free I mean things that you don’t pay for. Thanks in part to the explosion of the “freemium” model people have begun to expect more and more from free. Heck, I used to expect the world from free, but I learned my lesson, a few times in fact, and then realized that you really do get what you pay for, let’s go deeper into your Domaining business.
I’ll just get this out here and you can yell at me in the comments (I publish the good and the bad and I can take it!). People expect far too much for free. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve spoken to a Domainer who says, “I just want someone to build-out a site on my domain, find products to sell, negotiate relationships, and market the brand.” Nothing wrong with this right? The problem is many people want this for free, they want someone to build a great site, devote the time it takes to really create a brand, and end-up with some equity at the end. Equity shmequity, they want a big something for free.
So when they find nobody will build a site for free they go to a monetization platform and take the same mediocre domain and switch the nameservers. Two weeks go by and no money is coming in, annoyed they complain that the domain market is going down the tubes or that a particular monetization company doesn’t work. Maybe it’s just that they’re expecting too much for free? When you’re just hand registering domains building a real brand takes real money, it’s as simple as that. Want to get on page one for a hyper-competitive term? Don’t be surprised when your free SEO solution doesn’t cut it. What? $1,200/month for SEO, that’s rediculous!?! However if your competitors are paying $10,000/month it’s actually not even enough.
Rankings is another thing that many Domainers want for free. Have you ever heard (or said) this before – “I don’t get it, I built a site, populated it with ten well-written articles and put it up on a great exact-match domain, why aren’t I ranking well?” It’s because you’re taking the free train to slowville that you *might* eventually get to page one, but it’s not going to be quick, it’s free. Instead a few hundred dollars could be all that separates you from the backlinks you need to jump to page one. The problem is that a new Domainer will usually give up quickly, the market opportunity must have gone away, maybe domains aren’t as useful any more, or Google broke the Internet. None of these are the reason why your domain isn’t rank well in a super-competitive niche, it’s because you’re expecting something for nothing.
That’s it for the analogies, you get it. The point is simple, don’t expect much from free. Almost more importantly don’t complain when you’re seeing poor results with something you’re not paying for. All those guys on Google page one or landing the big flips didn’t get there for free. So next time you balk at a $49.99/month fee for a service you really want to use, think about what your expectations are and if you can really reach them for free.