is the founder of Legal
Brand Marketing, LLC, a successful lead
generation service for attorneys that has built a
domain-fueled platform that Pollock plans to use to power a new
monetization solution for other verticals as well. He
has become a fixture as both a speaker and high profile
attendee at domain conferences around the globe and the more
people hear from Pollock the more intrigued they
Talk, of course,
is cheap and to know how much weight you can give anyone's
message, you need to first know who that person is. So,
let's start with a look at Pollock's background and if the
path he has followed has left him in a position to bring the
kind of revolutionary change to domain monetization that
domain owners have been dreaming of.
Braden Pollock 4th birthday
was born in the L.A. suburb of Northridge to
parents Rich (a systems analyst) and Judy
(a secretary). "My dad was responsible for the
computers (those giant mainframes that filled
entire rooms) at whatever company he was working for
at the time," Pollock said. "I don’t think
that because my father was involved with computers
that it influenced me though. There was never a PC at
home when I was a kid and I didn’t get my first
computer until I was in my mid-twenties.
Unfortunately, I was not an early adopter. However, I would
come across an occasional business book that belonged
to my father and read it. I ended up reading every business
related book in the house. Funny thing – My dad
admitted years later that I was the only one
that read those books!," Pollock laughed.
my parents had jobs and I think what influenced me the
most was how much I didn’t want to have a job and rely
on someone else to give me a paycheck. I could get
fired or hate my boss and quit and have to start all
over again. The whole thing just sounded like a bad
idea," Pollock said. "From as long as I can
remember I knew that I’d own my own business.
When an adult would ask me what I wanted to do when I
grew up, I’d tell them I wanted to own my own
company. They’d inevitably ask “what kind of
company”. My reply was always the same: “A
was THAT kid selling stuff. Anything. I had
lemonade stands. I knocked on doors asking for odd jobs like
washing cars and mowing lawns. I was always the #1 seller
of candy bars or magazines during the school fundraising
drives. I’d even bring my own candy to school to sell
(until the school principal put the kibosh on that)!,"
high school, Pollock stayed close to home and enrolled at Cal
State Northridge to study Speech Communications. "I
went not because I wanted to get a degree, but because I
felt that going to college was what I was supposed to
do," Pollock said. "The entire time I was in
college I just wanted to be finished with it and move on
with my life – as if my life was on hold
until I was done with school. I wanted to get on with it and
get out into the world."
his department store
he wasn't yet free to devote all of his time to
business, Pollock did the next best thing and
combined his studies with work - a lot of work.
"I took a full load Tuesdays and Thursdays from
5:45 AM (the earliest class offered) until
about noon. I then worked 40 hours (at least) per
week between two jobs," Pollock recalled.
of my jobs was managing a men’s clothing store
which I continued to do for a couple years after
wound up staying in retail management - department
stores - on and off until my mid-twenties,"
Pollock said. At that time he was running his own
vending machine business on the side. He
eventually grew that business into an enterprise
that allowed him to run his own shop full time for
the first time.
working at the various department stores, I got
permission to place vending machines in the lunch
rooms," Pollock said. "I serviced them
from the trunk of my car before work until I had
enough accounts that I was able to spring for a van
and hire my best friend as an employee. By the way,
15 years later, my best friend still works
for me, running my interlock company."
several years in the vending machine business,
Pollock sold it to his dad who continues to run it
to this day. Braden had decided to focus on two new
companies he had started with a partner:
AAA Credit Bureau (a credit reporting
service) and US Immigration Affiliates, Inc.
(an immigration document service). After a couple of
years he and his partner split with the partner
keeping the credit agency and Pollock getting the
new venture wound up blossoming with several
ancillary enterprises sprouting from the same root.
"While running the immigration business, I started
publishing Immigration Times magazine which
lasted five and half years," Pollock said. "Due to
that experience, we now publish a successful series of print
magazines, including The
DUI Report, that’s mailed daily to DUI
arrestees in many states. I also started a book catalog
targeting prospective immigrants. Once in the book business,
I developed a domestic book distribution company
selling books to school districts, prisons, libraries and
major institutions," Pollock said.
all that going on my primary source of revenue
was from - wait for it - selling data! These
were the days when we still mailed paper to people.
Crazy, right? Part of our marketing strategy in the
immigration business was sending mailings that went
to every address in entire countries.
This generated massive amounts of data for us,"
an example, Pollock noted that his company had 10
million mailers distributed in Poland. He
did not have the specific addresses but cut a deal
with the local post office to deliver a piece to
every address. The responses he got contained
the actual addresses that let him build
a massive database of valid addresses - the largest
Polish database outside of Poland in the world.
"I had over a million names from all
over the world," Pollock noted. "For any
country I mailed to, I usually ended up with the
largest database for that country."
rented data all over the globe and it was a
lucrative business until a single event upset the
apple cart - 9/11. "After 9/11,
everything changed," Pollock said. "Since
his late 20s, Braden Pollock at work at
publishing and book distribution business.
businesses dove-tailed with the immigration
business, once it started to decline due to 9/11, so
did the others." Necessity is the mother of
invention and now it was necessary for Pollock to find
something new. That something would involve domain
"I spent a lot of
time researching new business ideas," Pollock said.
"One day I had lunch with a lawyer friend who was doing
DUI work and he told me about what a great area of law it
was. The Average Joe was getting arrested for a criminal
offense, yet they weren't criminals in the traditional sense
of the word. These were people that could afford to fight
the charge and the industry was only growing."
"After lunch I
went back to my office to research DUI advertising
online. I found a few poorly built websites and no
national brand. I figured that I could create a brand
name for the industry and buy national advertising (banners
on YellowPages.com, etc.) Once I did that I could charge
lawyers to be a part of this co-op ad model. So I set out to
build the first paid DUI lawyer directory,"
the mid 90s he started registering domain names and building
websites to serve as the foundation for his new business.
"Eventually, we had a full time, in-house webmaster
maintaining all of our sites," Pollock said. "I
explained to my webmaster what I wanted and he would work on
that while I wrote content and attended lawyer’s
conferences to sign up clients. The primary site, 1800DUILaws.com,
started generating leads almost immediately as there
was almost no competition back then. As we signed up
clients, we began offering other marketing services, such as
web design. This is what led to domaining,"
the mid 90s Braden Pollock began registering domains.
Now he frequently speaks
about them at conferences. Above Pollock takes part in a
during the September 2011 DNCruise
2 conference in the Caribbean.
I would get an order for a website I’d register a domain
for the client. Basically, I gave them the best domain I
could find. Sometimes I’d register extra DUI related
domains in hopes of convincing a client to build more sites.
Then I started finding domains owned by others that were for
sale. This led to portfolio purchases. When I
realized I had a couple hundred domains that were sitting
idle, I decided to look for a way to monetize them,"
had a good friend, David
Rosenbaum, who worked with domains, so he asked David
for some advice. Rosenbaum told him about domain parking
prompting Pollock to open an account with DomainSponsor.com.
That led to a
revelation that Pollock recounted. "A few dollars
started trickling in, but it didn’t take me long to
realize that I was sending my domain traffic to my direct
competitors – traffic that I wanted - and in
return I was earning just pennies. So, I set redirects on
all of my domains to point to my developed sites.
Traffic increased along with lead volume. I felt as if I discovered
a secret!" Pollock exclaimed.
immediately began buying up keyword rich domains
specific to the traffic he wanted. "While my
first choice was .com, I bought .net
and .org as well since my primary strategy is
to build websites for traffic as opposed to flipping
domains," Pollock said. "A .net can be
purchased for about 10% of the cost of the
same keyword in .com. Google doesn’t rank .com
over .net when you build your site, so this means
you can have ten times the domains and
traffic for roughly the same cost as the .com. My
strategy is to monetize traffic, not to flip a
domain for the most money. High value traffic
continues to pay residual income unlike a domain
this point, I have about 13,000 domains and
I’m constantly buying.
Pollock (right) with Morgan Linton at the
Domain Roundtable 2011 auction in the
where Pollock was looking to add to his
last count, about 10,000 have been developed
into websites. Along the way I also bought up
competing directories to consolidate the market like
DUIattorneys.com, DWILawyers.com, NotDrunk.com."
the way Pollock also learned what about the downside
of relying on Google. "We
built hundreds of sites in narrow verticals and dominated
the search engine results pages - that is, until they were
all banned!," Pollock smiled ruefully. "Of
course, back then, we just built five-page sites with spun
content, no links and never touched them again. So much for
that idea! Thankfully, we’re a bit more sophisticated now
with our platform development."
platform is not yet finished as we keep adding more
features, but in all the beta testing we’re doing,
we’re seeing great returns. We hope it will
be finished within the next couple of months. In the
meantime, I’ve been trying to build a new team.
Easier said than done! If you know of anyone in the
Los Angeles area with lead-gen experience, please
ping me," Pollock pleaded.
Pollock can line up the supporting cast he needs he
thinks he has the formula to revitalize
the monetization business. "Our
platform will allow us to deliver lead-gen forms
across several hundred verticals (along with
survey forms, display ads and affiliate deals) to
domains, whether developed or parked. This means
that we can help monetize websites as well as parked
portfolios. Our system will be utilized by site and
portfolio owners, parking companies, registrars,
search engines, etc. I won’t go any further into
the technology side since we’ve not yet
launched," Pollock said.
he did add, "Since we’re working with a
revenue share model, it’s in our mutual best
interest to monetize the traffic as best we can.
This means, we’ll multi-sell, cross-sell and
up-sell each lead to the best of our ability.
Additionally, there will be secondary revenue events
by monetizing exit traffic by way of ad feeds,
affiliate deals, ebooks, etc. Since we’ll own
the contact data, we will follow up with various
email offers in the days that follow the initial
contact. With all of this happening behind the
scenes, a lead could keep generating revenue
for days or weeks. This sure beats making a few
cents from a click, huh?," Pollock asked
would think that would be more than enough to keep anyone
working around the clock, but Pollock still can't resist
getting involved in other attractive opportunities that come
his way. "When I see a good opportunity, it’s hard
for me to say no," Pollock admits. "I’ve just
partnered with Patrick Ruddell (aka Chef Patrick)
(standing left) and Braden Pollock (right)
are now partners in
which is a service that provides assistance filing for a DBA/LLC/seller’s
permit/etc.," Pollock said. "This company has been
around since 2005 and doesn’t compete too much in the
retail market (and giants like Legalzoom and BizFiling).
Instead, SignatureFiling provides backend and “white
label” products to major banks, registrars, CPA and law
also developed hundreds of auto insurance websites as
I’m active in the insurance space. A few years ago, I took
the insurance agent exam and got an insurance license, which
means I can get paid on signed policies instead of just
leads," Pollock added.
wait - there's more. "Most DUI offenders are
required to install an ignition interlock
device (breathalyzer) on their car so they can keep
their driver’s license," Pollock said.
"Since we control so much DUI traffic, it only
made sense to get into the ignition interlock
business. That was back in 2005. Now we have a
couple hundred brick-and-mortar service
locations in several states. To support the
business, I’ve built hundreds of interlock
websites including a directory site at IgnitionInterlock.com."
also invested in Epik.com
because I was approached by Rob Monster to
join his board and become an advisor. He wanted to
steer Epik into lead gen and wanted my help. I knew
that Rob has a history of big exits so I
figured I wanted to be a part of it. Rob has big
plans for Epik. Let’s just say, I’m glad I got
in when I did," Pollock said.
have a real estate portfolio too. I enjoy
remodeling so I starting buying a property every
couple years and fixing them up. Now I have a bunch
of remodeled yet empty buildings. Anyone need an
office building or house? I guess I should stick to virtual
real estate," Pollock laughed.
Founder Rob Monster
wanted Braden Pollock on his board.
Pollock and fiancée Lisa Bloom
having so many irons in the fire, Pollock wisely
devotes time to his top priority, his lovely fiancée,
attorney, best selling author and TV personality Lisa
Bloom. For those who have met Lisa you
know she is a ball of fire - a dynamic woman with a
radiant personality who is smart, beautiful and
busy. Few guys could keep up with Lisa even if they
had 24 hours a day to do it - but Braden has
also reads every day, mostly consuming industry
blogs and magazines but he says he tries to read
books as often as possible too. "I think it’s
important to get that deep understanding and
complexity of a topic that only a book a can
provide," Pollock said, adding, "How can I
not say that? This year, Lisa published her New
York Times Best
which talks about the value and importance of
reading. Other than that, I exercise daily. I weight
train several times per week, take yoga, play tennis
closing, we asked Pollock for an opinion on the current
market for domains. "Now is great time to buy
domains," he declared. "Great domains are dropping
like crazy and people are selling off their portfolios at
bargain basement prices. Why? Because most domainers value
their portfolio at a multiple of revenue. Since their
revenue is based off parking and parking revenues are at an
all-time low, domains are under-valued. The primary issue
here is that the monetization model is wrong. Our
industry relies on a model that doesn’t work as well as it
used to. This will inevitably change."
parking companies will figure out a better model than simply
a dynamic ad feed (for example, lead gen, display ads,
affiliate deals.) Perhaps platform development will hit its
stride. Maybe there will be something entirely new.
I don’t have a crystal ball, but what I do know is that
when everyone else is selling, you and I should be buying."
with the confidence of a man who may be on the verge of
unveiling the something new that will fulfill his