Let's Play The Domain Name Game!
So just what exactly is a domain name?
A domain name is the address or name that you type in your browser bar to get you to the blog or website you want to visit.
Each domain name is actually a set of cloaked numbers. They are numerical addresses wearing a mask hiding their true form. This means every address of a .com / .net / .org you type is really a series of assigned numbers.
These numbers exist for computers to read them and understand them; the masking exists for human benefit because our brains register words a lot easier than a sequence and series of numbers.
Can you imagine having to remember all those numbers to your favorite website and constantly having to type 127.0.01 or 192.168.1.100 all the time?
Let’s play the name game!
Patience may be a virtue but wait around to long and it will cost you.
- Acknowledge that you are going to make mistakes
- You have to spend some to gain some
- Be willing to take risks
- Don’t infringe on copyrights, trademarks or squat on names to steal their traffic. This is not domaining, this is domain trolling.
- Research before you buy.
You want to do well in this business you will need to research, buying blindly only leave you to going broke quickly.
You might get lucky every once and a while but you can only stretch luck so far until it runs out. I prefer reliable over luck any day. I consider the domaining industry to be “evergreen” as it is always changing, always growing, and always evolving. You need to stay up to date and current with environmental trends to know how and when to reach out to potential customers.
You have to study trends, you have to speculate what trends will thrive while other trends will falter and do this before it truly hits mainstream, which is no easy task.
You’re not always going to be right but would you rather have a 70% chance at profit or just take a shot in the dark and see where the arrow lands?
Keeping an eye on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter can often times provide good indicators of hot trends within the social community.
See….this is that research I was talking about. If you know what trends may take off or have a pretty good idea you are already ahead of the game of those trying to ride the current trending wave.
I was once asked why I call domaining the “name game” and besides the obvious it comes with a chance of risk that involves losing money.
If your survival depends on earning money right away then you may want to reconsider domaining but if you’re interested and have a little money to spare it can become quite addicting.
Once again before you decide to register that high paying domain name that you can’t wait to sell go back and read my first paragraph on research……no seriously go read it.
All too often domainers, especially new ones can’t wait to get a taste of the good life and who can blame them? But going broke to make money does not make for a good financial future.
Before you register your first domain name head on over to DNJournal.com, and study that site – don’t just read it; analyze and absorb it.
Now take a look at DNJ’s listed Domain Name Sales. Yes, those numbers are real and yes that is a highly trusted source.
If your eyes just shot out of your head all cartoonish, first take a picture and send that to me and second I have made my point.
Domaining is an investment and the names are part of your portfolio. When you go to register a domain name you have to analyze the potential risk of a loss vs. the weight of its possible reward.
You need to be able to break even on your losses; you can’t make a profit if your portfolio is completely upside down.
When I first entered the name game field I bought a domain name for $20.00 dollars because I liked the sound of it.
When I needed some extra cash I found out how to sell it on eBay. That $20 dollar name earned me $64.00 dollars in profit at auction because someone wanted it for development purposes.
That was my first real sale with domains and I have been hooked since 2005.
Instead of doing my research when I initially started I went out and registered more domain names without any rhyme or reason and put them up on eBay again. (…once again I should of done my research as there are so much more platforms that I could have sold the names at for a higher profit.)
This time I was upside down on every single name. Not one of them made a profit and the added eBay fees even cost me more.
It was a financial smack in the face that allowed me to see and realize what I was doing wrong. But part of learning is making mistakes and sometimes mistakes need to be costly to get your attention.
Along with the financial risk is the speculative risk that your name will, if at all pay off in the long run.
Speculating the future is hard enough and getting it right is even harder. Again do your research here and be certain you want to take the risk or make the decision to pass on it and wait for the next trend.
Research! Research! Research!
The .com’s tend to sell faster and easier than .net or .org. The other vanity names do sell but they require a little more legwork to offload and quite honestly I just prefer .com names.
I like the top 3 com/net/org and will rarely purchase any of the vanity names. Any .net domain names seem to actually do worse than .orgs but I imagine that’s due to a trust factor with the org extension.
Geographical domains are becoming more and more popular and it appears that their trend is on a slow but continual incline on the sales charts however I don’t hold any geo domains.
This might be a good area to look into if you are just entering the domaining market.
Using Brand-A-ble Names:
Domain names that sound like they are a brand or basically name that just sound cool to you can sometimes be very hard to offload.
What may sound catchy to you might just make others shrug their shoulders and go “I don’t get it” and get enough of those and it’s safe to say your name is probably destined for eBay.
If I find a domain name I like that appears to have some sort of branding potential it’s usually short and sweet and easy to remember and most of all IT MAKES SENSE. I have seen names like totallybrandcoolname.com and can only wonder the outcome of those poor names.
Keeping it personal – Not always the best option!
Personal domain names are almost 10x harder to offload unless you can land common names like joesmith.com. There is nothing wrong with registering your own name but if you are looking to sell it then chances are you should just write it off as a loss.
Keywords I have found add great value to the sales potential of a domain name. Domain names containing specific keywords that are short, sweet, to the point and make sense practically sell themselves and often times a buyer will contact you first. One of my great sales was a domain name that had 19 letters in it that I registered by hand for $5 dollars.
I sold it for $600 dollars two weeks later after being approached about its availability.
You can have a long domain name but make sure it’s specific and at least contains one or two keywords as this will help increase the chances of potential profit.
Finding domain names that contain organic keywords can add great value but finding them in the wild is not always easy.
Size, or length does matter here and I personally don’t register anything over 20 characters.
I have seen long names sit in someone’s portfolio for years because no one is interested in them because they are ugly, just too long, or make little to no sense.
Sometimes I will open my scanner to 26 characters but it’s not often unless I am looking to refine my keyword filters.
I look at a domain for resale as a developer and a marketer and ask myself:
Can it be branded?
Can it be developed?
Will someone see the potential in it?
If I can’t answer at least two of the above with a yes then I wipe it from my notepad and move on.
Short and sweet, or to the point are my own requirements and if I can’t meet those I am just wasting my time and money.
Buyers out of the Blue:
Never! Never! Never! (…I might have OCD I keep repeating myself in 3′s) immediately respond the first offers you get right away. I know it can be exciting getting approached but don’t blow your chances by showing your cards right away.
Sit on their email, stare at the email, scratch your head, but don’t respond right away. I usually investigate who this buyer is by their email address and do a little background search on them. If their serious their details should be easy enough to obtain.
If their scammers wanting to buy your name but want you to use an appraisal service just delete their email and add their address to your block list.
Responding right away means you’re desperate and it will show. Let the potential buyer wait in anticipation at your response. That doesn’t mean you have to ignore them outright either.
You can just send a polite email thanking for their interest and that you will be getting back to them shortly or if they made an offer tell them you will take it into consideration and have an answer for them shortly.
The last thing I will leave you with is domaining can easily become an addiction. It’s like finding gold buried deep within a mountain side; once you make that first sale you want more.
Once you are approached by a buyer out of the blue it’s a feeling of achievement that you are on the right path.
These feelings are well deserved but don’t let them cloud your judgment to the point that you’re tapping your credit cards to pay for names, unless you can afford it.
Analyze why your name sold and how you can use that information to make your next investment a profitable return.