I attended yesterday’s DomainFest, it was pretty good. It’s pretty amazing to see hundreds of domainers from around the world in one place. This was my first domaining conference and I am very pleased.

There was a huge mix of attendees, from pro domainers, newbie domainers as well as many people where there to make new connections for their company/startup.

Some domainers were still focused on future trend domains and had thousands of domains in those categories. This can have positive as well as negative effect. My focus has always been to focus on now instead of future. Sure some people make millions by being able to predict the future but there is a bigger risk with that.

I also met with domainers who were still making good income with parked domains. I’ve always been against parking but if you can have a few thousand domains and they each make $10-$50/m, that’s still a good income. Sure, parking revenue is down but still it’s not zero. This was probably the most useful lesson for me from the whole conference. I’m going to try that.

Again, this does not mean that you should register junk domains you won’t make any money with those. Almost most of the revenue still does come from keyword domains that get type in traffic. Sure, some short 3-4 letter domains may get some traffic too. And some people even focus on typos, but I wouldn’t go there. I rather have a solid portfolio that makes money as well as is worth something.

Day started with a great breakfast ( I liked the breakfast more than the lunch : )

Workshop: Analyzing Keywords to Find Revenue Opportunities:

Bill Hunt talked about keyword modeling techniques, some important points.

  1. Referrals – I have done this before but not a lot. You should save the visitor referral url, see where they’re coming from and also extract the keyword they used. Google analetics already does some of this, but you will be able to use it better when you have the data. You can also use that to display more relevant content. You just have to be careful with this as it sometimes is against search engine terms.
  2. Analyze the keywords – build your site in a manner that fallows search pattern. For example, if you have a site about “swimwear”, and you see that most people are searching “swimwear men” or “swimwear women”, fallow that pattern when building your site and have those categories.
  3. Analyze the competition and their site keywords – I almost never do this, but I should. You’ll probably learn best from the sites that are already on first page of google so they must be doing something right. It’s important to analyze the keywords they use to be able to get there.

Presentation: Landing Page Optimization Best Practices and Conversion Tools by Tim Ash

  1. Have short forms – don’t make the user fill out something that you don’t need. Ask the minimum.
  2. Less Text – don’t clatter your signup pages with bunch of useless text. This also includes the home page. I defiantly agree with this. Keep the home page simple and if the user wants to read more, they will find the details.
  3. Keep it simple – don’t let your designer go crazy on your pages. Most of the time less is better. Don’t forget why Facebook and Google won over their competition. Somehow some companies never learn this.

 

PITCHfest Contest  - this was my favorite part.

  1. Akashic – won the panel award
  2. Wealth Investors
  3. StratoSquare
  4. Babafoo – won the people’s choice award.
  5. Protrada
  6. Prenostic
  7. EP Flow
  8. FilmBreak
  9. Splashoo

I’d say all of them were great startups, but they do have to work hard on their pitch. The panel of judges gave them pointers, but I think the most important point is that you should make it real clear as to what it is and do it quick. I’d say almost half of the pitches were not clear. I had no idea what their product did exactly or sometimes they claim something really big but can’t really explain how it works.

The other important lesson is that Video Pitches are really becoming popular. They are a great way to actually show how it works and grab attention. I would defiantly recommend this to all startups. If you an opportunity to show a small 1 minute video on your startup, do it. Only one of the startups above had a video.

I had submitted TopDrops to Pitchfest Contest but it wasn’t chosen. That’s ok because it’s not fully ready yet. I was expecting to see only domaining related startups/tools but I guess you could submit any startup. If you ask me, it should have been limited to domaining tools/startups after all it was a domaining conference not a startup conference.

 

Overall, I loved it. It’s a great place to network and meet new people and a great way to learn what others are doing so you can apply some of that to your process. My only suggestion would be that they should really have at least a day dedicated to domaining topics, which should include domain buying/selling/parking/quality etc. These topics may have already been discussed in previous conferences but I think they never get old. There is always something new and it’ll defiantly help the newbie domainers

 

That’s it, I could only attend one day due to my schedule but wait for my next post on the evening party/auto museum and my pictures with godaddy girls :)