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10 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re a Domain Name Junkie

It’s an addiction like any other.

Ten or twenty bucks will scratch that itch, but the high never lasts, and before long you’re craving the next hit.

And the worst part? Nobody understands.

Except just maybe a fellow addict…

“Hello. My name is Glen, and I’m a domain name junkie. My last domain purchase was three weeks, four days and seven hours ago.”

That’s how I’d introduce myself to the support group. (You know, the one that doesn’t exist yet.) I’d stand up and tell my story to a circle of fellow addicts, who’d nod their silent support.

My own addiction started with an act of vanity — I acquired the .COM version of my own name. That was 17 years ago, and owning a piece of Internet real estate was novel and exciting.

But that first domain registration, like the first high from an illicit drug, set me on the path to dependency.

The Telltale Signs of a Destructive Domain Habit

Like many addicts, I failed to acknowledge my problem until it was too late.

For years I told myself buying domains was just a harmless hobby. Something to do on evenings and weekends to help unwind after work. But over time my hobby became a powerful obsession.

I’d wake up each morning with a head full of new domain ideas and a burning desire to check their availability. At social occasions, I’d sneak out of the room to browse domain resale sites on my smartphone.

And despite plans to become a savvy domain “flipper,” I was selling almost none of the domains I bought, instead keeping them for personal use.

Eventually, my behavior became more erratic. I would buy any domains I could get my hands on — .ORGs, .COs, even .INFOs.

One Monday morning I hit rock bottom when I found a dozen GoDaddy receipts in my inbox for domains that had no practical purpose. Worse still, I couldn’t even remember buying them.

These days I’m on the road to recovery, and my mission is to help other addicts.

So take a careful look at the list below, and see if you recognize any of these destructive behaviors.

If so, you might just be a domain name junkie.

#1. You Just Can’t Quit GoDaddy

You Just Can't Quit GoDaddy

When you’re a domain name junkie, you struggle to think about anything else. You spend every idle moment brainstorming cool domains for your “someday, one day” online projects.

And once an idea has surfaced, you simply must know — is the name already taken? It doesn’t matter where you are, at work, at home, even in bed. You have to know.

When you discover the domain has already been taken (the good ones usually are), you start the search for viable alternatives.

And once you’ve dived down the rabbit hole, you can hardly crawl back out.

#2. You Lie About How Many Domains You Own

You Lie About How Many Domains You Own

When you start collecting domains, it’s fun to log in to your account and delight in the breadth of your online kingdom.

But one day you reach the point where that list of domains is a painful reminder of a habit that’s out of control.

When your partner catches you buying yet another domain and casually asks, “How many is that now?” you pretend you don’t know, or deliberately lowball the true number.

But of course, lying is a telltale sign your casual hobby has turned into a serious problem.

#3. You’ve Started Dabbling in the Newer TLDs

You've Started Dabbling in the Newer TLDs

In the beginning (well, 1985), just six top-level domains (TLDs): .COM, .ORG, .NET, .EDU, .GOV and .MIL existed, but that list has since snowballed.

Today we have more than 1,500 TLDs including .COFFEE, .LAWYER and .PORN.

On the one hand, domains are more plentiful than ever, and even if your dream .COM is long gone, you have hundreds of other options for snagging a snappy name.

On the other hand,  who knows how much prestige these newer domains will hold over the longer term? Nobody wants to build their blog around the domain equivalent of a pet rock.

Some domain junkies won’t look beyond .COM, but if you’re exploring the murkier end of the market (.CM anyone?), it might be a sign that your hobby’s taking a worrying turn.

#4. You Tell Yourself You’re a “Domain Investor”

You Tell Yourself You're a Domain Investor

When your domain account lists tens (or even hundreds) of seemingly random domain purchases, there are two ways to explain it.

Either it’s the result of years of clueless impulse buying from a click-happy domain junkie with no more strategy than a half-blind pigeon pecking in the dirt.

Or it’s the culmination of a strategic acquisition campaign to build a valuable portfolio of undervalued digital assets for future sale.

Not surprisingly, most domain name “enthusiasts” favor the second version.

But deep down, if you suspect there’s very little method to your madness, it might be time to go cold turkey on domains.

#5. You Read the Thesaurus… for Fun

When Your Date Asks About Your Favorite Book...

Not every domain you dream up will be available for registration. The truth is, most won’t.

That’s why a thesaurus is a domain collector’s best friend. In fact, uncovering snappy synonyms for your latest near-miss idea can be a lot of fun.

But if a thesaurus has become your favorite bedtime read (you know, just in case a cool domain idea jumps out) it may be time to seek professional help.

Because — wake up call! — it’s a reference book, not the latest Jack Reacher.

#6. You Secretly Stalk the Person Who Owns YourName.com

You Secretly Hate the Person Who Owns YourName.com

I was lucky. I grabbed my personal domain before anyone else could.

But if you have a popular birth name, or you were just too slow to the punch, your best options may already have gone. And that really stings.

Because when your name’s John Brown, telling people your treasured home on the Internet is TheRealJohnWBrown.info is plain embarrassing.

And that’s why you secretly stalk the person who nabbed your name online. You stake out their website, mentally mocking their pathetic efforts while waiting patiently for the right moment to pounce.

Because one day, they’ll forget to renew that domain and then, my friend, victory will be yours.

#7. You’ve Felt the Pain of “Lapsers Remorse”

You've Felt the Pain of Lapser's Remorse

Sometimes you see a domain for what it is — a dumb impulse purchase you’ll never be able to use or resell.

Maybe you tried to make money by listing it for sale at a couple of domain marketplaces but didn’t get the faintest sniff of interest.

So when it comes up for renewal, you do the sensible thing and let it lapse. You even feel good about your level-headed decision.

Weeks later, you casually check to see if anyone’s re-registered it and find it’s now listed on a “premium domains” site for $3,000!

Of course, just because it’s listed for thousands doesn’t mean it’s worth thousands.

But you can’t escape the feeling you let a valuable domain slip through your fingers.

#8. You’re Considering a Domain-Inspired Career Move

You're Considering a Domain-Inspired Career Move

Sometimes you’ll stumble across a domain name that’s so good you simply have to own it… even though it’s totally unrelated to your work or hobbies.

The smart move would be to snag it and sell it for a profit to someone who can make good use of it. But like Gollum and that damned ring, you can’t quite bring yourself to part with it.

So your brain starts to explore a future possible world where you become the person for whom this is the perfect domain.

Sure it means throwing away years of hard-won experience and starting a blog in a new field.

But finding a domain this good must be a signal from the universe, right?

#9. You Lose Interest in Domains Moments After Buying Them

You Lose Interest in Domains After Buying Them

Once the buzz of snagging the name you’ve been lusting after subsides, a faint sense of regret can quickly follow.

“I can’t believe nobody bought this yet,” quickly turns to, “I can’t believe I just bought that.”

And the longer you hold onto a domain, the more money you rack up in wasted renewal fees.

The best way to take your mind off this painful predicament? Start scouting for your next domain name.

#10. You Have a Conspiracy Theory about Domain Registrars

You Have a Conspiracy Theory about Domain Registrars

Maybe this happened to you…

One day you check a new domain and find it available for the regular price. The next day it’s suddenly a “premium” domain, commanding several thousand dollars.

And you can’t help but wonder:

Did my search alert the registrar to the juicy potential of this previously unrecognized name?

You wouldn’t be alone in your suspicions. Type “do domain registrars” into Google and “steal domains?” is the top auto-complete suggestion.

Are registrars capable of dirty tricks like this? Maybe. It’s difficult to be sure.

But paranoid thoughts like these might be the first sign your harmless hobby is turning into a dangerous addiction.

Learn to Spot the Signs of Addiction Before It’s Too Late

Domain name addiction is real. And it can wreck your life if you don’t catch it in time.

If you suspect you might be addicted, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you visit domain registration sites several times a day?
  • Do you lie to friends and family about how many domains you own?
  • Do you often “binge” and buy multiple domains at once?

If so, you’re likely a domain name junkie.

The good news? With the right support, a full recovery is possible.

But you must take that crucial first step. Acknowledge your addiction.

So repeat after me:

“I’m a domain name junkie. And today’s the day I get help.”

About the Author: Glen Long is Smart Blogger’s operations guy and a recovering domain name junkie. He’s holding a “yard sale” of the best blogging, copywriting and content marketing domains that he’s collected over the years — go check it out.

The post 10 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re a Domain Name Junkie appeared first on Smart Blogger.

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Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

It's plain to see that B2B marketers, at large, see the value in social media. The latest B2B benchmarking research from CMI and MarketingProfs found that nearly two out of three respondents (61%) increased their usage of social media for content marketing purposes in the previous year. Another new report shows that social content is atop the list of focal areas for B2B marketers in the coming year.

It’s also fair to say, based on various data points and conversations with folks in the biz, that most of us feel we could be doing better with social. The size of the audiences on these platforms make them essential to any digital strategy, but breaking through suppressive algorithms and showing clear ROI is a perpetual challenge for brands.

One pivotal key to excelling with social media marketing is understanding all the tools you have at your disposal. Each platform offers a number of capabilities that seem to be underutilized by marketers who either don’t know they exist, or don’t fully recognize their potential impact.

With this in mind, we’re setting out to highlight some of the most useful yet overlooked features for driving results on social media platforms. Today we're focusing on the channel most pertinent to B2B marketers: LinkedIn*, with its member base of more than half a billion professionals.

Take Notice of These 5 Marketing Tools & Features on LinkedIn

Whether your goal is building brand awareness, generating leads, or boosting conversions, these five fundamental functionalities can provide a big assist if you aren't taking advantage of them already.

#1: Robust (and Now Simplified) Audience Targeting

LinkedIn recently overhauled its Campaign Manager tool (the interface through which marketers build, manage, and measure ads) around an objective-based advertising framework. The basic purpose of this initiative was to make it easier for users to align every element of their campaigns with the overarching objective. One of the slickest improvements to come out of this is the audience setup experience, which is now simpler and more intuitive.

From a B2B marketing perspective, the depth of available professional targeting parameters is by far LinkedIn’s biggest relative advantage compared to other social platforms. Nowhere else can you accurately filter audiences based on facets such as Job Title and Job Seniority. This provides unparalleled ability to reach decision makers and purchase influencers directly.

The revamped interface makes it quicker and more straightforward to select a qualified audience in line with your campaign goals.

[embed]https://youtu.be/AAx60JxxWFg[/embed]

#2: Revamped LinkedIn Analytics

The latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report via Social Media Examiner found more than half of respondents (54%) either uncertain or disagreeing that they are “able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my organic social media activities.”

This is another area of Campaign Manager that LinkedIn recently spruced up. Given that advertising on this platform tends to be more expensive than other social networks, it’s especially important to ensure you’re getting return on that spend. The new reporting experience makes it easier to see results at a glance, and make optimization tweaks on the fly.

The underlying appeal of LinkedIn’s targeting facets also applies to its reporting mechanism; you can get an aggregated look at who is viewing and engaging with your content (i.e., which companies, which job titles, which experience levels). These insights can help you align your LinkedIn strategy and even your content marketing strategy more generally.

#3: Content Suggestions

Can’t figure out what to share on social media? That’s a common enough challenge. The Content Suggestions tab, found on the top nav bar within LinkedIn Page admin center, offers ample inspiration. It serves up a list of third-party articles your defined audience is engaging with — essentially a readily available stream of targeted, trending content.

Not only does this make it easy for marketers and social media managers to find share-worthy content that’s more likely to resonate with their followings, but it can also fuel employee advocacy efforts.

#4: Website Retargeting

Retargeting is a popular digital marketing tactic, which involves serving ads to people who’ve already encountered your brand. The element of familiarity, plus a concrete demonstration of past interest, tends to drive considerably higher clicks and conversions than standard ads.  

Through its Matched Audiences feature, LinkedIn allows you to place a pixel on your company’s website, then serve ads to people who’ve visited it before, while they’re on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to follow up with someone in a different context. One especially savvy approach is to create customized retargeting creative based on the specific section of your site a person visited (i.e., upper-funnel messaging for someone who went to your “About” page, and lower-funnel for someone who checked out a solution page.)

[embed]https://youtu.be/SgXlOH-1pPk[/embed]

#5: Lead Gen Forms

This might be my favorite marketing tool on LinkedIn, and it definitely seems like one that more B2B brands could be utilizing. Lead Gen Forms are leveraged in combination with various types of ads, enabling your company to collect valuable contact info (and additional data about a prospect) from an individual who downloads something of value with minimal friction.

Unlike most gated-asset forms, which require a user to tediously fill out multiple fields, Lead Gen Forms automatically populate based on the member’s LinkedIn profile data. As such, it takes only a couple of seconds to get through the process. Because you’re attaining a more comprehensive snapshot of people who download, you can better qualify them as leads in comparison with other form-fills that often procure only a name, phone number, and email.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Xe1E59N6A&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Step Up Your LinkedIn Marketing Game

LinkedIn can be one of the most valuable components of a holistic B2B marketing strategy. As mentioned earlier, there’s no denying it’s a pricier place to play than most other social networks, but you’re also paying for access to a higher-quality audience. Using the five features above can help you understand, segment, reach, and engage this audience efficiently while closely tracking the impact of your efforts.

Another underutilized tool on LinkedIn is video, which has been a key focus for the platform recently. Learn about all the metrics and specs for video on LinkedIn, as well as every other major social network!

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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