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A Quick Look Into the NamePros Community with Edward Zeiden

Written by Candice Castro
Aug 5, 2019
Online communities have increased in popularity over the years making it easier for people to discuss various topics, catch company announcements, network with others in the industry, uncover special deals, make sales, and much much more. When it comes to all-things domaining, NamePros (a forum-based website) has you covered and is often a preferred choice for businesses, domains investors, and the like.

Dynadot has been a NamePros member since 2010 and has helped many users with their questions, concerns, special sales inquiries, etc. NamePros has been a go-to space where we can also hear feedback and read great suggestions to help improve our website. Being intuitive is a priority for us and we love to see what users want in order to make the domain management process easier.

Recently, Dynadot interviewed Edward Zeiden from NamePros to learn more about the NamePros community and the benefits of being a member. Read on for an inside scoop!

1. GIVE US A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON YOUR ROLE AT NAMEPROS.


I’m the Managing Director of NamePros and I’ve worked here for about 7 years; 5 years full-time in my current capacity. My day-to-day activities often change, but I regularly “walk the factory floor” by reading discussions and selecting domains for our promoted auctions. Internally, I have a helping hand in everything from daily operations, marketing campaigns, fleshing out new ideas across different departments, budgeting, and keeping team members focused. With a community the size of NamePros, it’s a herculean team effort keeping momentum while our department heads wear a lot of hats.

2. WHAT IS YOUR USER BASE LIKE TODAY VS WHEN NAMEPROS FIRST STARTED? WHERE DO YOU EXPECT IT TO GO IN THE FUTURE?


In 2013 we started with a great grassroots community and site founded by RJ. Since then, the community has grown organically and shifted with market demands and annual trends, as each new stratagem filled the void of its predecessor. While we’re primarily a North American frequented website, over the past few years we’ve seen a dramatic uptick in users from across the globe, especially in the EMEA, India, and Asian regions. The team behind NamePros has consistently implemented changes to the site to safely sustain and further scale our community of over 1 million members and 7.3 million posts. 

While we’re largely a domain investor centric-site, and always will be, we’re steadily working behind the scenes on improvements to attract a new demographic that will gel with our community: end-users. Investors will always theorize, advise, barter, and sell among ourselves on NamePros, but bringing about a dynamic shift to educate and include end-users will be no easy feat in the coming years. Stay tuned!

3. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REASONS A DOMAIN INVESTOR WOULD VISIT THE NAMEPROS COMMUNITY?


Other domain investors! Of course, there are many types of members that frequent the community like well-known domain industry businesses, acclaimed brokers, some end-users, and even a few angel investors, but domain investors keep the NamePros engine running. From an economics standpoint, the network effect is the largest part of what makes our community thrive and benefit those who join. There isn’t another community out there where a newcomer can actively communicate with the “Warren Buffett” of domains or a CEO of a service they use. Or the opposite, where a renowned angel investor can ask the community for an appraisal of his domain name.

Ultimately, domain investors are often lumped into two sides of a broad spectrum: novices just learning the trade or experts with a niche. These two groups intersect in discussions where veteran domainers can express and better formulate their ideas about the industry to newcomers, giving better shape to their own investment theories. Typically, newcomers are also much more active by the hour rather than by the day or week like veteran domain investors. Trending sales themes are unearthed by grinding away on unexplored tactics or simply asking new questions. Sometimes partnerships are discovered just from one less experienced party willing to put sweat equity into finding quality domains. 

The NamePros team does its best to help our members through in-house developed features and widgets, advertising member-created polls, agile moderation, constant security updates, curated news, and even premium videos ranging from interviews with industry pros like Todd Han, domain conference coverage, and live auctions! Veteran and novice domain investors help each other throughout the entire site, but often begin their journey together in the Domain Beginners or Domain Appraisals sections.

But don’t take my word for it. Part of the pleasure of running a community is that it can speak for itself. In a recent brief poll, our members expressed one of the top reasons they visit NamePros is to learn how to make money with domains.

4. WHICH TOPICS ARE PEOPLE MOST INTERESTED IN THAT PROVIDE THE MOST VALUE?


With over 1.1 million discussions, sometimes the more useful topics get lost in the noise. Domain investors who are short on time, but focused on their bottom-line, will still keep a pulse on important domain industry sales and trending discussions from within the community. They keep up-to-date with industry sales by checking the domain sales reporting section and curated daily domain sales section, and the NamePros Blog's Top Topics series features the most popular discussions from within the community each week. Common topic examples are discussions on how long it takes to sell a domain, contacting end-users, explaining cybersquatting and a wide scope of others.

5. WHAT KIND OF TRENDS ARE HAPPENING ON NAMEPROS?


This is a more difficult one because of their variety and frequency in which they change. Investors often benefit the most from a specific niche, and these niche domains are affected by industry trends like gTLDs, new large foreign investors coming online, pricing fluctuations, platforms that pop-up overnight, and even the rise and fall of certain keyword in other industries. Many of our members have a routine of interacting in the Domain Name Discussion aggregate section with other investors and subsequently drilling down into a variety of other discussion topics based on their specific need ranging from acquisition, marketing and managing their portfolio, selling their names, and what services are best for all of these pursuits. Likewise, a large passive portion of our members like to keep a pulse on what’s happening in this industry by checking our handpicked domain news section and reading the NamePros Blog for popular articles like confirming the transfer of Duck.com from Google to DuckDuckGo, reviewing Mark Cuban's top 10 domains, and interviewing the seller of Tesla.com.

Overall, the community serves as a canary in the coal mine for industry trends and businesses that need to adapt to a changing marketplace. If certain keywords or strings are being heavily liquidated, or members are talking about why they stopped using a certain product in droves, it’s often a giant red flag.

6. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE A PRESENCE ON NAMEPROS FROM BOTH A DOMAIN INVESTOR PERSPECTIVE AND IN THE CONTEXT OF A BUSINESS?


NamePros is at the center of a delicate domain name ecosystem where businesses and investors have a symbiotic relationship. Domain investors want to acquire and advertise their names while searching for ways to make their routines easier or more profitable. Reading, discussing, and sometimes debating, checks all these boxes in unearthing new ways to groom their portfolios for success in the best ways possible, with the best products and services possible.

Even though NamePros is free, the domain community has deep pockets. It’s also extremely smart and discerning about their return on investment (ROI) with their paid services. Small and large portfolio holders are slow to switch services more than once a year as it’s a significant time investment and a possibility for lost sales in the shuffle. In order to gain enough momentum with our members, it takes both trust and time. Businesses grow their brand awareness by having verified representatives who participate in discussions and respond to tough issues while gathering feedback to further bolster their offerings. Once domainers know a brand, businesses stay at the top of their mind during decision time through quality advertising, discount incentives, and starting creative contests and discussions.

The byproduct of both of these groups engaging in the community is evergreen content that outlives any traditional advertising. Many investors will Google which domain service is best, or a question relating to a specific product or a specific sales strategy, but it typically leads right back to NamePros with the answer from months or years earlier. Depending on your username or signature line, the searcher will see your business name or a link to your portfolio and can click through immediately. Active members and businesses cast a wider net with thousands of useful posts.

Simply put, positive engagement on NamePros goes a long way. And if you really want to go a long way quickly, advertising helps!

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