The first paragraph of a DSAD post I’ve read earlier today got me thinking. It refers to the fact that there are less and less advertisers on domaining blogs (I’d say domaining-related sites in general) and in my opinion, this should make all of us think about the state of domaining blogs and domaining opinion formers in 2017 and beyond.
I’ll try to share my opinion in a no-bs manner.
Here are the main problems I’ve identified:
1) Domaining “legends” have for the most part retired. Rick Schwartz is no longer blogging, Mike Berkens does blog every once in a while but considerably less than in the past and while Frank Schilling is still active, he now runs his own gTLDs as well as registrar and as such, he’s moved over to “the other side” (not the dark side mind you, just the other side, as in he’s now selling lots of stuff to domainers rather than simply giving advice as a domainer, like he did back when he ran his Seven Mile blog)
2) Domainers don’t really have the habit of supporting the websites they like. Quite the opposite, in fact. When you do something good, very few people thank you. If you screw up on the other hand, watch out! Let’s just say domainers are far more willing to tear you a new one when you’re down than support you. Now sure, they’re well within their rights to do that, such an attitude is by no means illegal but it does make people think twice before becoming bloggers. For example, I was among the select few (perhaps the only one, can’t remember) who publicly stated that mass developing small websites is *NOT* a sustainable business model and I did this back when such websites were all the rage among domainers. I’m pretty sure absolutely nobody bothered to at least send me a “thank you” email. I was also among the first bloggers to publicly, clearly and vocally stated that investing in new gTLDs is a bad idea. ONE person expressed his gratitude a couple of times on NamePros, a couple of people emailed me to say thanks and that’s it. Again, nobody is forcing anyone to do anything but if you don’t support your favorite websites (with at least a kind email every once in a while, let’s not even talk about buying that person’s products or something that involves money), less and less people will be willing to share
3) Sharing your honest opinion often involves burning bridges. By warning domainers against investing in new gTLDs, I think it’s fairly safe to say I’ve thrown five figures in potential advertising revenue down the drain. Probably low 5 figures but 5 figures nonetheless. Couple this aspect with #2 (lack of gratitude) and you can’t help but wonder if those who still share their opinions might have a screw or two loose
… and so on.
But is everything blogging-related gloomy?
Let me just say that if you want to start blogging purely for the direct ad revenue you think you’ll earn, you’re making a huge, huge, huge, HUGE mistake.
However, there are pros associated with blogging as well:
1) The connections you make can be worth their weight in gold. I’ve been running DomainingTips for about 8 years and met my share of genuinely amazing people, hard to put a price tag on that!
2) The ad revenue might not be something worth writing home about but still, it’s something. Two out of three advertisers have been with me for I think 6 years and the third for 3 if I recall correctly. I can’t exactly buy an island and retire with my ad revenue but it’s greater than zero, which is always a plus
3) If you sell your own product and service, it’s a lot easier to make blogging work out. In fact, I think this is pretty much imperative. I offer consulting services, broker domains every now and then and am selling a book that teaches domainers and others who make money online how to manage that money properly (a useful book that’s actually the only one of its kind). It all adds up. Again, having multiple income streams is pretty much a must if you’re serious about making blogging work from a financial perspective as well
4) If you run an established site/blog related to a certain niche, those from other niches are more likely to take you seriously. I’ve noticed this when promoting my book. Without DomainingTips, it would have most likely been considerably harder (if not impossible) to find people willing to help me spread the word about Wealth Management 2.0. Since it’s a book which teaches anyone who makes money online how to manage that money (not just domainers), I naturally reached out to people who run popular websites read by freelancers, online entrepreneurs, Internet marketers, bitcoin investors and so on. Again, getting taken seriously would be been multiple orders of magnitude harder without DomainingTips
These are my opinions about the state of domaining blogs in 2017.
Is blogging a relatively thankless endeavor? Yes.
Is it insanely lucrative? No.
Will it become insanely lucrative? No.
Can you make it work? Yes.