Copyright costs on and others?

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Before I ask my question, I want to ask: Copyright costs on and others?.

My main question is: Good post about this topic on Rick Schwartz's blog:



Comments (45)

Your question was: Copyright costs on and others?.

I've read this blog early today and I totally agree with development resale. I've learned a lot.

I like the number comparison...

Comment #1

Bottomline - Content is the King. If you have good content you will have good user base..

If you have good user base you will have good chance of selling your website.

That was really informative article...

Comment #2

Actually good marketing is king. Good content is queen.

Bad content, good marketing == McDonald's = worldwide leader.

Good content, bad marketing == Roy Rogers = very few left..

Comment #3

Another useful thought added to my brain today! Thanks George.



Comment #4

Localexperts, I absolutely agree with you. that was very nice input...

Comment #5

Thanks. Just look at the lead gen companies. Respond, Servicemagic, - they are sites with a bunch of forms (bad content) and great marketing.

Servicemagic sold for what to IAC? Too much IMHO.

That is why I left Respond. I wanted to take the business in a great content direction with the plan of securing more leads and the board wanted to continue doing more of what we were doing.

In 2008, we will see who has the last laugh.

For the left coasters and international, some more info on Roy Rogers. Started by Marriott. Big in the East Coast US, then went down to a handful of stores left because they never really did any TV marketing or focused on the kids. Good hamburger.

Comment #6


What types of things on a development side are you doing to increase traffic and revenue for your .TV properties?.



Comment #7

Our problem is not increasing traffic, our problem is retaining traffic. Our efforts are focused on traffic retention and brand building that will lead to increased revenue.

In 1999, my BD team blanketed the country with the message that netgenShopper (the precursor to the modern day Respond) was "yellow pages on steroids".

Well that was myth. Netgen was a bunch of forms - boring.

We are focused on the "Dr Phil model". Dr Phil is a star - right? Why - because he is on TV.

There are thousands of Dr Phils in their own discipline across the US. Some have talk radio shows. Others don't have a platform. We will give all local experts a platform.

We are trying to blend elements of Dr Phil, talk radio, lead generation, minders, and the yellow pages into a life portal focused on events/wedding, cars, home, fitness, finance, pets, and family.

So corporate videos/virtual tours, professional resumes, expert chat sessions, Q & A, minders, and more.

The reason I own the GEO TVs is because I want to go "deep" in key markets and augment with local videos and other local content...

Comment #8


I agree that marketing can be a huge lift for a website versus good content. Besides the current space you are focused on, what recommendations do you have for folks on a development side? Are there companies that can create this community, increased traffic (retention of traffic) and revenue?.



Comment #9

1) A "god send" for me has been rentacoder. I found two excellent HTML designers on there for very cheap. The Hive pointed me to RAC and it is great. The Hive is also very good, but doesn't do HTML.

2) Focus on content that makes money. Too many website owners build sites that are great but these sites have zero practical plan for making money. is great example. We loved that site. Respond was a partner. turned into a software solutions provider.

Guess what, Local Experts is nothing more than AskMe with two slight tweeks to make case - local and Pay Per Lead.

Had made those changes, they would have a eight year jump on me.

Lifeminders was another example. 20 million members. Great content. People loved it. What killed the company, over dependence on CPM ad revenue. When the ad market rates fell, the company couldn't send out enough emails to make plan.

Look beyond video. Video alone - well that is YouTube. Why would someone come to your site when all your site does is link to YouTube videos. They will go to YouTube.

Produce your own content. Focus on value to your members. Focus on a clear, distinct marketing plan to secure advertisers and traffic.\.

Its not rocket science, but too many people make it more complicated than rocket science (when it is not needed). We test channels with $500 test to determine how much traffic.

For example, and They wanted us to pay mid to low $XX,XXX to be the main advertiser on their home section.

Guess what, I launched - SEOed the heck out of it and drove as many leads and as much revenue as our prime (center - above the fold ad) on

Cybertonic - can confirm this. He took over the ad space, when we told Homestore to go take a flying leap. Six months later he emailed me on another issue - his comment to me "guess homestore didn't work for you, that is why Respond gave up that ad space." -.

Yep. Sucker Line forms behind me and I'm behind Servicemagic.

Test channels, don't commit until you know you can get traffic. Google and Yahoo are proven winners. Test Test Test.

A good article on the testing methodology I use and have witnessed it working from my former boss Steve Chapin.

Folks, been fun - will see you Jan 1..

Comment #10


Once again, your insight is much appreciated. In your opinion, why do a lot of the older .com's gain so much traffic through a simple customized parking template? Is it due to the recognition of the extension? Why has this not translated to extensions such as .TV?.

Forgive my ignorance, but what tests are occurring? Do these tests help increase traffic or show if your property has the ability to gain traffic? Most .TV properties are not big traffic producers anyways, but the generic names of the properties allow there to be a huge marketspace to capture. I think one of the keys for these type of extensions to grow is to show a real way to monetize or show a consistent traffic model.



Comment #11

[QUOTE=Ammudamus]In your opinion, why do a lot of the older .com's gain.

So much traffic through a simple customized parking template?.

Type in traffic. Look at Those sites were built on people living in Richmond, VA typing in to see what was there.

Is it due to the recognition of the extension?.


Why has this not translated to extensions such as .TV?.

It does translate to .NET and .ORG althought at diminished levels to .COM. I've purchased several .NETs (such as that have done well. It will not translate to .TV until the average internet user realizes that there is a .TV extension. A good example, WINC (a radio station in Winchester, VA) uses That is the first time I heard about .fm. I'm in the business, so I researched .fm.

It will also take more,, and promoting the extension.

The three other TLDs (.com, .net, and .org) have the advantage of 10+ years from the early days of the web. I was driving around the Baltimore Beltway today and noticed a big sign for on a building. Once .TV gets more promotion, you will see more type in. It may reach .NET and .ORG levels; but it has a long way to catch .COM.

Forgive my ignorance, but what tests are occurring?.

We test other sites to locate the message, ad placement, and channels(sites) the successful drive quality traffic to our sites. QUALITY is key. You can purchase 1M uniques from several companies. However, that traffic may not be QUALITY depending on the what, where, when, and how that traffic ends up on your site.

I buy .TV for branding. I buy .COM and .NET for re-furb...

Comment #12


Very interesting! I figured a part of the issue is the recognition of .TV. I don't believe there should be a comparison with .COM as that is the premiere extension.

Ideally, you can purchase uniques from companies, but need to make sure that it can translate into revenue based on the "testing" that occurs on other sites similar to yours. Is that what I am hearing?.

Also, how do you deal with the whole parking issue? I know there are some obvious "no no's" that really turnoff potential viewers:.

1.Boring template.

2.No real product.

3.Lack of figuring out who your real traffic is and developing a core community.

Does all your feedback relate to just development or can there be a sustainable model for .TV with the various mini site parking companies?.

Thanks in advance. The education has been great.



Comment #13

Definitely have to agree. Marketing and money are king...

Comment #14

I like the way you think!.

But what if you have Good Content, Good Marketing?.

You end up with a premium brand like Mercedes or BMW or Ferrari. You can drive a Ferrari anywhere in the world and the folks around you will know that you mean business since you drive such a damn fine car thats synonymous with speed...

Comment #15

Precisely, for this reason the companies with the best products and the best marketing teams are the ones that succeed...

Comment #16

That is the general concept. Yes.

For our "tests", success is can we generate $2.50 for every $1.00 we spend. If you have low overhead, your margins can be lower. The success criteria is all based on your specific metrics.

At Lifeminders, our success metric wasn't revenue, it was how many users can we signup and can the cost/user remain below a certain threshold. We have direct relationship with advertisers (same as Yahoo and Google). So in our core markets (wedding/event planning, home, fitness) we send traffic to our pay per lead advertisers and PPC is secondary on our version of the parking pages.

I realize many people might be shocked, but many small businesses don't like PPC. They haven't been successful. Some prefer pay per lead. Some like PPC. Some do both. Some do neither.

For 2008, we are expanding, the new template is in development. I have a snapshot. It looks more like a portal. If I get a moment, I will load it on the server and post a link.

We blend or fuse different types of content, but we also have PPC.

Check out This site is being redeveloped for Jan 1 relaunch, but you can see the PPLead folks (their videos) will go on the right. The PPC revenue is bottom left, below the fold. Warning, I'm working on the site so it might have some errors when I work it later tonight...

Comment #17


Nice site so far. I am getting how powerful pay per lead can be. You are building a relationship with a potential advertiser(s) and anytime traffic generates a sale for them, you get a percentage. Is this right?.

You are also including PPC on the left as a supplement to some of the other income generation sources on the site. The question is, for beginners such as ourselves, what type of process is this on a cost basis and time frame?.

Let's take for example (just initial procedures and processes).

1.Hiring / Creating a website to have areas for PPC and PPL..

2.Concurrently, you are testing other websites that are in your industry for how their sites are performing..

3.Creating partnerships and/or agreements with other vendors in your space to generate extra revenue and exposure for them. (PPL).

4.Using Step 2 as a mechanism to work PPC.

Am I getting close?.

Thanks as always,.


Comment #18

Great article!!!.

Rep added!!!.

BTW, great dot tv you have... medicina (portuguese, spanish)..

Comment #19


Thanks for your kind words! I am a huge fan of the growing Spanish market and it's potential in the .TV extension as there is more and more exposure. The real credit for these conversations are the generous folks of the community. I am attempting to soak up as much knowledge to help create more attractive online properties.



Comment #20

Our focus in Pay Per Lead, Pay Per Click is secondary. I believe the answer is yes to all 4, but of course the devil is in the details on how you accomplish 1-3...

Comment #21


What has your experience been on forging new relationships or contacts for the pay per lead area?.

1.Are you searching on the Internet for companies in your space?.

A) If so, what has your approach been when speaking to their folks to enroll them in placing ads on your site?.

2.What is your opinion on affiliate websites?.

A) Sometimes just putting a logo on your website of their business is one option. Has this been proven to be beneficial in translation of new customers or revenue?.

B) I am assuming redirection from a shell hosted website to a highly traffic producing site is not beneficial?.



Comment #22

1.Are you searching on the Internet for companies in your space?.

We have established relationships with several nationwide companies that I brought over from my last company. We are seeking new category killers.

2.What is your opinion on affiliate websites?.

Commission Junction? Linkshare? or our own affliates. I've had an affliate network. In fact, I bought 1-2 of my old affliates. The benefits are all tied to where they place you and how much traffic they get.

A) Sometimes just putting a logo on your website of their business is one option. Has this been proven to be beneficial in translation of new customers or revenue?.

Sometimes, it all matters on where they place you. For example, if came to me and wanted to be on the front page of Respond; well Respond has alot of traffic, however that traffic doesn't go thru the front page. So a placement on our front page wouldn't be as beneficial as a placement in other areas of the sites.

B) I am assuming redirection from a shell hosted website to a highly traffic producing site is not beneficial?.

Depends. That is why we test each channel before committing to any long term or expensive deal.



Comment #23


What a ton of guidance in this thread! I appreciate your insight into answering my "beginner" level questions! In particular regards to affiliates, I am speaking about external based ones. Have they served any value?.

I imagine it takes some time and effort to test and place the correct ad placement? Do you feel that the development costs serve as a big overhead into the overall investment?.



Comment #24

No, with all our traffic we got affliate checks of less than $100/mo. I had hotel listings VIA XML all over a site ranked top 5,000 Alexa. Very little money.

One affliate worked for us and that was due to the fact that it matched our vertical like a glove and we were able to drive quality traffic to the area where the affliate was located. Actually it takes proper measurement. Most companies are not able to measure the correct KMIs to understand the placement. The problems are related to details need to make a proper analysis. Most placements need tweeks (mostly message) and you need to focus to manage these programs and set the stage with the site that you want to be able to make 2-3 changes (more if possible) once an ad goes live.

Sometimes placement is important. We will lower bids on PPC search engines because we prefer to be placement #2 or #3 vs #1. #1 placement gets alot of lookie-loos and some times doesn't convert as well as lower placements...

Comment #25


Any other resources (books, websites, etc?) to learn about the basics of PPC and PPL that have helped you in the past? Obviously, your experience is #1.



Comment #26

For PPC, we ran this PPC engine for our sites.

PPL is a different animal. As evidenced by the fact that the PPL companies hold most of the top bids in their vertical on the PPC search engines. PPL companies leverage PPC and are able to "value add" PPC traffic at a profit, converting a click into a lead.

However, PPL is a very hard and competitive model to run. Tons of companies go out of business or flounder. I would leverage affliate program at LendingTree, Lowermybills,,,,, and starting in Q2 2008

If you don't want to go the affliate route, then you need to focus on form conversation rates (to submit the lead), arbitrage/marketing (take a click and profitably turn it to a lead), lead quality (make sure you get traffic that is ready to buy and not just looking), and features (lead filtering/targeting) to make PPL humm...

Comment #27


Can you just take an existing affiliate (become a member) and then URL forward your HostGator to that website? Ideally, any traffic you are receiving goes to a full fledge site where the conversion of that traffic to a sale is higher? What are the policies on this? Is this common?.



Comment #28

We recently decided to take a premium HostGator with decent traffic but not substantial PPC and turn it into a fully developed domain. If you visit our new site at, you will see that we opted to build a social network site for food lovers and restaurant review site mashed up. Over the long term, the combination of this highly brandable HostGator name and a great site/technology will create multiples of what the HostGator alone could yield...

Comment #29


Thanks for the input! Great website! I think the idea is there are various ways to generate income on generic names, but the overall vision per individual is key.

Did the development manage to be quite a bit of the overhead? What type of overall maintenance and man hours do you spend on the site and it's growth?.



Comment #30

Most of our affliates (my former company) have been developed site. is an example of an affliate of LocalExperts. It is owned by one of our board members and we are using it as a test of the affliate tracking inside our software. points to LocalExperts' site.

Then there are private labels.....For example, we private labeled Verizon Merchant Match for several years. That feature was RSPD with a Verizon look and feel. Google private labels their search for AOL.

You have to distinguish between a true affliate or a private label. Private Label is your brand. Affliate is my brand. Both arrangements have similiar economics. However, normally traffic coverts slightly higher when you maintain a single brand (private label) vs switching brands (affliate).

However, far less companies offer private label since we need to change out branding, font, colors, etc. It is easier today with CSS than the late 90s. But you also have customer service issues. When someone calls, we have to know which brand answers the phone. So private labels are typically reserved for large companies with existing traffic.

Does that answer your question?..

Comment #31


Woah! A lot of terminology way out of my league! Slow down sir! Let me give an example. Let's say you have a generic .TV based in shopping and the purchase of goods. It receives a decent amount of traffic being parked. The revenue is minimal, if anything. Now, offers an affiliate program. You join and become an affiliate.

Any sales that occur through there provide you with a revenue stream. Does this make sense?.

Private Label - You get to hold the traffic and not send it out. Is this correct?.

I suppose you would have to talk to first about this forwarding and obviously the website can not be parked. Thanks for the guidance.



Comment #32

Sure offers an affliate service similiar to this today. Most of the time, they offer links you can put on an existing website. Don't know if they offer an entire landing page or PL (they might).

Commission Junction and Linkshare also have tons of affliates. If you have some development capability, has an XML API and you could put listings in the middle of a page and put CJ/Linkshare affliates around the listings.

Private Label - You get to hold the traffic and not send it out. Is this correct?.

Right you point to IP and they host the pages. Don't know if they offer a PL feature.

Sorry, didn't understand your question, thought you were asking about a private label...

Comment #33


I see some of the issues that may occur with private label branding. I was strictly discussing sending traffic to more visible sites under the existing brand. Once again I see the impact and benefit of developing a website to establish those core revenue streams. Your assistance has been wonderful.



Comment #34


Another question came to mind: Have you ever dealt with purchasing traffic from companies and then tried converting it into revenue? Do you know which companies do this type of referral of traffic?.



Comment #35

Hi A,.

I agree. Having a vision for what your HostGator can become is key but it is essential to use your strengths. Personally, I am strong in domaining and have been a developer for a number of years. The combo there creates a win win opportunity for a name such as The next realm will be taking product HostGator names and making the site to sell that specific product while achieving #1 SEO position for the keyword in the domain. For people without development resources, the cost would be pretty substantial to put something like this together.

Many firms are open to that for the right opportunities...


Comment #36

PPC traffic to our sites - yes. We are able to make $2.50 (range $2 to $3 depending on category) for every $1.00 spent.

Going to test some traffic from a company advertising on the bottom of NamePros which buys expired domains and then will send traffic to your sites. Ask me about the test results toward the end of Jan. I will have the results then...

Comment #37

For someone who has thousand's of HostGator names with many being very brandable, how does one go about learning to develop websites without having any experience??? Not only is the technical knowedge lacking, but I imagine it would take a substantional amount of time to develop and maintain a large portfolio. As an example of the scope, I had 2 of the dozen or so names that sold in the recent GEO auction...quite a number more selected for it...and had about 175 of the approximately 1600 names selected for the CAC Macau auction with one of the small number sold. I'm not so sure the auction route works so well and am agreeing development and SEO is better than ppc for selling names. TIA for any input...

Comment #38

This is the classic depth vs breath strategy. Do you focus on your best name(s) and go deep (ie lot of content) or develop many names and go broad. Look at Marchex with a site like They are a classic breath play. Tons of thin sites, all based on a yellow pages model. They bought the data from InfoUsa or another source and then did some limited value ad.

So Parking pages (PPC listings) will allow you to manage 1000s domains (albeit thin sites). As you expand content on your sites, you need to make sure that content easily transports to all your verticals sites. Site Reviews is something that could transport if you had existing PPC listings from Yahoo and Google...

Comment #39


Good to hear from you! It will be interesting to see what type of feedback you obtain from your traffic tests. Ideally, I think this becomes the tipping point for folks that are small time domainers. In an extension such as .TV, development has been hammered down as the appeal to end users. I get that for any extension, branding a name creates huge value. How do folks that are doing this on a much smaller scale budget for these costs? Here's an example:.

Let's say an investor in the .TV or .COM spends $1000 on HostGator name purchases that are currently being parked. There is not much parking revenue being generated, if any. If you are focusing on 1 or 2 brands on a deeper level, websites that have functionality with SEO, PPC, and PPL are running $500-1000 at a minimum. This is 100% of your current cost basis. How do you budget for these types of costs and eventually obtain margin on your investment?.



Comment #40


I can give you the results of my first big HostGator investment at my new company. A couple years ago I bought for $10K in a private sale. Today #1 on Google for the high search term "Banquet Facilities". It is also first page for other global synonyms like "Banquet Halls", etc.

Currently, we are making around $300-$500/mo for the SEO and type in traffic on However on the purchased traffic, we are making orders of magnitude the SEO/type in traffic. I won't give out the exact number, but add multiple zeros to the SEO/type in traffic revenue.

So being able to drive traffic (at a profit) is the key for anyone who wants to move from domainer to end user.

How do you do it? Three ways: 1) high conversion pct, 2) targeted marketing messages, and 3) effective revenue model at realizing the max value from the purchased traffic.


Comment #41


Wow! Those are great residuals to offset your initial risk and costs. Does your firm provide these types of solutions (i.e. website, PPC, PPL and SEO)? If so, what niche industries are you able to focus on?.



Comment #42

We focus on event/wedding planning, home services, personal fitness, and pets. We don't offer those services because we are still actively buying domains and adding breath.

For example, we just purchased,, and to do the same thing in those verticals...

Comment #43


Gotcha. Any referrals of companies that do offer those services?.



Comment #44

There are tons of companies who will manage PPC click campaigns. Google even has this service for larger accounts. We always manage our own campaigns or had Google help us, so I don't have experience with any outside firm.

We had one employee who would drive PPC directly to affliate programs. Made good money.

I would run a test with 2-3 firms until you find one that is effective...

Comment #45

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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