Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
29th August 2008
Filed under: Domain Names,Internet Marketing — Ben @ 9:46 am

As somebody who has spent the last couple of years examining opportunities arising from expired domains, I feel confident that I can point out the glaring inaccuracies in Ewen Chia’s $97 product which he has named “Expired Domain Empire”.

Domain name trading has become a bit of a hot topic recently and so we have seen complete novices jumping on the bandwagon to try and make some quick money.

In the internet marketing industry that usually means writing a low-quality ebook and then selling it on using a hype-filled sales letter.

Let me get to the point – this ‘Expired Domain Empire‘ course by Ewen Chia, has some very misinformed content in it.

I’m being kind, here’s the truth – it’s so out of whack that I seriously wonder whether Ewen has done any research into the domain business whatsoever.

Let’s start with the sales letter:

“I’ve been quietly building up my domain name empire for the past few years with certain underground domain methods, ‘stealing’ hundreds of highly-profitable names many will ‘kill’ for… check out a few of the domain names I own… LoseFats.com… StrikeTheLottery.com… PinkOfHealth.com…”

Personally I wouldn’t go out of my way to call LoseFats.com and PinkOfHealth.com “extremely catchy, descriptive and brandable assets that fetches huge sums of money if sold”.

I’d be more likely to consider them worthless domains, especially ‘LoseFats.com’ which is a phrase that doesn’t actually make sense.

And what does the phrase ‘strike the lottery’ mean?

Still, I suppose somebody who falls for hypey sales letters may be impressed. I’m certainly not.

And so the sales letter continues, and Ewen ventures in to my area – short domain names.

“Other domain extensions like .org, .mobi, .net etc. will never have the power or profitability of a simple .COM.”

In most cases I agree, Ewen, good point.

“You can still get these domain extensions if you want to, and in 2 to 3 letters (for example I own l3l.net), it’s entirely up to you.”

l3l.net? That’s probably worth about $8. A short venture onto any domainer forum would clear that up for you in seconds. I thought we were talking about making money here?

3 character dot net domains are pretty much worthless – an appraisal would say “reg fee” meaning it’s worth the cost of registration, no more.

The sales letter isn’t impressive, what about the product?

The pdf is 21 pages of introductory-level theory – nothing even remotely advanced here.

The first two pages contain adverts for Ewen’s other products.

I found page 16 to be the most amusing – and it was this page that cemented in my mind that Ewen Chia knows very little about expired domains (and domain names in general).

Direct quote:

“The software also has the ability to search for all two, three and four letter domain name combinations… For the two letter combinations there are 676 possibilities. I’m just talking about .com’s [sic] here. All registered as of this writing by the way, but they could expire. You never know.”

No, we do know, Ewen. In fact, it’s one of the first things a domainer learns. Two letter dot coms do not “expire” in the sense you are talking about.

If someone decides to drop a two letter dot com, that’s it – it’s gone forever. You won’t be able to grab it from the registry, it is just deleted and consigned to the history books.

It’s a complete waste of time even monitoring two lettered dot coms because you will never get one, unless you pay somebody $100,000+ to take ownership of theirs.

If a 3 letter dot com drops then yes, that’s worth a lot of money and it would be a good idea to grab it. But if you think you’re gonna get it by popping down to GoDaddy on expiration day and registering it, you’re in for a shock.

There’s a whole industry set up to grab these domains because they will go for a minimum of $6,000 as soon as they go to auction. Thousands of servers are set up to hammer the registry as soon as an LLL.com drops – all hoping to grab it and sell it on.

As a single person, on one browser, chancing his luck with GoDaddy or NameCheap – you’ve absolutely no chance.

I’m embarassed that someone in the internet marketing industry would sell something of poor quality like this and try to pass themselves off as a domain name expert.

Please, do some research before releasing this stuff.

For those who are looking to get into domain trading, please don’t look at it as “easy money” no matter what you are told by hypey internet marketers.

There is an opportunity to make money, providing you are willing to invest real money and put in some hard work.

You’ll do yourself a favour if you steer clear of Expired Domain Empires, it isn’t a recommended read.

If you’re looking for a good introduction to domain name trading, try http://www.DomainProfitGuide.com – which is written by two UK domain traders who walk the walk. They know their stuff about domain names.

To get an idea about domain names and their worth, try browsing the NamePros forum at http://www.NamePros.com – people will give you good advice in that particular forum, and set you straight if you go in asking how to grab an expiring two letter dot com!

21st August 2008
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Seminars — Ben @ 9:13 pm

I’ve confirmed my train tickets for the trip to London to attend the UK Focus Marketing Event in October.

The sales page hasn’t been released yet but my ticket was purchased last October and I am raring to go.

[Addition 22/08/08: A new page has been uploaded where you can see video testimonials from the US event, just go here:

http://www.focusmarketingseminars.com/ukevent/index.php ]

So, put the dates in your diary – Friday the 17th October until Sunday the 19th October. Ignore the initial announcements, these are the real dates – Pat Lovell confirmed it himself.

The venue – somewhere in London (we don’t know where yet).

Pat and Sean held the US version of the event in Washington DC last weekend and attracted some big names to speak including Stephen Pierce and Armand Morin. If you were lucky enough to see the notifications, you would’ve caught the presentations as they were broadcast live on the internet.

I managed to catch a lot of the seminar ‘live’ and it looked great but at the same time I couldn’t help but realise that the presentations are just a small part of the event.

Staying at home and watching a seminar online just doesn’t compare with leaving the laptop at home, jumping on a plane or train and gathering with loads of other marketers in a nice hotel.

I’ve no doubt that the attendees and speakers were in the bar every night, chatting away, drinking and networking. It was the same at the Coventry seminar last October and the Birmingham seminar the year before. And it’ll be exactly the same in London in October.

So, you’ve got 57 days’ notice now and the sales letter should be ready in the next few days from what I’ve been told. I highly recommend you get yourself a ticket for the Focus Marketing Seminars UK Event.

More news to come soon…

Focus Marketing Seminars UK Event

15th August 2008
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Seminars — Ben @ 4:13 pm

The dates for the Focus Marketing Seminars UK Event have been released, but it is believed that many of the initial reports are incorrect.

Several bloggers are reporting the event as beginning on Wednesday the 15th of October and running for 3 days, finishing on Friday the 17th of October.

However, as an attendee at last year’s Focus UK event, I am certain that the actual dates are the 17th, 18th and 19th of October.

The 2008 event will be held in London and will be hosted by Sean Roach and Pat Lovell.

For more details, please see [link removed, no longer online] which will be updated regularly with more news about this 3 day seminar.

9th August 2008
Filed under: Domain Names — Ben @ 8:40 pm

I just got confirmation today that I won an auction for a superb domain name – ben.me

It was the end of what seemed like a very long saga.

Back in June I first registered for the dot me “Landrush” at DomainMonster. This was basically a pre-launch where you could order the domain you wanted before full registration was opened.

If you ordered a domain and no-one else ordered it, the domain was yours when the dot me was finally released.

If more than one person ordered it, you were all entered into a closed auction – whoever bid the most won the domain.

So, you can go see what is currently being auctioned here: http://auctions.domain.me

However, even if you really want to join in and bid for a domain listed there, you can’t. The only participants are those people who pre-ordered the domains between 6th June and 26th June 2008.

On the 16th July I got confirmation that the domain was going to auction and that the 3 day auction was starting on the 5th August.

I figured that the auction was ending at 4pm on the 8th August so I would bid my max bid (a 4 figure sum) at 3.50pm that day – leaving any opposition with the least possible time to respond to my bid.

So that’s what I did – I bid at 3.50pm yesterday and then the auction refreshed and showed me as the high bidder.

Problem was, the auction was extended by 24 hours because of my last-minute bid.

I didn’t know that was going to happen, and it scuppered my plans just a little! I had wanted to bid at the very last minute to avoid anyone beating me or pushing up the price too much but the auctions were set to punish auction snipers by extending the time remaining.

As it happened, one of my competitors did try to outbid me yesterday and pushed the price up by another $80 or so but today at 4:54:11pm I got an email:

“Congratulation! You won your auction!”

Final price was just 36% of my max bid so whoever was bidding against me certainly did not value the prize as much as I did.

Back in February of this year I made several 4 figure offers for a different “ben dot” domain with a pretty poor extension but the seller did not acknowledge my offers.

How glad I am that he didn’t as it forced me to act on the dot me landrush – and now I’ve got a great domain to use!

Not sure what I’ll use it for at the moment, apart from a pretty easy-to-remember email address. A blog perhaps?

6th August 2008
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Testing and Tracking — Ben @ 3:18 pm

This last week I decided I wanted to get entry into a conference room which was only available by signing up for a traffic exchange called “S.W.A.T. Traffic” and paying a monthly fee.

I’m brand new to traffic exchanges so I’m learning as I go along but as I get 750 credits a month as part of my membership I thought I may as well have a look at them and see what they involve.

So far, so good.

From what I’ve found you have two types of TEs – manual surfs and autosurfs.

Manual surfs require you to load a webpage for a specific amount of time (10 seconds or so) before a button appears that you click to load the next.

For each page you view, you earn a number of credits.

You can then use these credits to get views for your own site from other traffic exchange members.

The more credits you have, the more views you get of your own site. You don’t have to surf yourself, you can just buy credits but if you are new to the game or short of capital, surfing allows you to build up a store of credits to use for advertising.

Autosurf traffic exchanges are apparently (I say apparently because I haven’t tried any) different in that you can just leave the surfing app running and the websites are loaded on screen automatically.

As you can probably tell, autosurfs are prone to abuse as there is no need to be sat watching the screen in order to earn credits. Or so I understand.

I guess people don’t need to watch the screen so it’s unlikely that they will do. Which means it’s probably not as effective as advertising on manual surfs.

Anyway, I’ve heard plenty about TEs in the past, mainly from Robert Puddy who organises the seminars I like to attend whenever possible.

He suggests using TEs to build a prospect list – so I guess that’s what I’ll be doing with all these credits I have sat in my account.

I’ve heard people describe this type of advertising in some pretty unflattering terms but I have some spare time at the moment so I figured I’d give it a go and see what kind of results I get.

If you are struggling to get any traffic it may be worth trying to see if a traffic exchange works for you – see SWAT Traffic for more info.

Stay tuned for results and do share your experiences with traffic exchanges by using the comments form below.