How To Start Domaining The Right Way

by TheMadHat on February 6, 2008

Patience grasshopper. I could end this post now but then you wouldn’t really know why you need patience to do well in this area. So put on your silly looking outfit and listen to Kung Fu Master speak.

Kung Fu MasterAs regular readers know (and if you’re new, sign up for my RSS feed right now then come back and read), I attended DOMAINfest 2008 the other day. It was my first domain specific conference and was quite an eye opening experience. Around a year ago I started jumping in on the domain bandwagon. I didn’t really know what I was doing so I figured I would just learn by doing (and screwing up repeatedly). That’s not particularly a good way to go about making money in my opinion but a year ago there wasn’t really much solid information around. There were forums of course but if you believe half of what you read in forums I’ve got a bridge in Indochina for sale.

So off I go on my domain buying spree. Out of the ~500 domains I bought in that time span probably 10% of them are worth the registration fee. Most of the ones I registered were still in the wild (unregistered) and a few I caught on the aftermarket. Out of the ones I bought on the aftermarket (not a lot), I would say 75% of those were a good investment as I’ve increased the revenue a little from the previous owner or developed and am making significant cash flow from them. That being said, the crap ton of domains I have that are worth about as much as a pixel on this screen are the problem. Lesson learned! Do more research before you go learn by doing!

Now developing domains is still where the big money goes, but there are only so many resources available to a small business like myself. Working on three or four things at a time pretty much maxes out my working week. That being said, the true art of domaining will allow you to let your hard earned money work for you while you do other things. You just have to be smart about what you’re buying. Do you want to learn how to be smart about buying and selling domains? Well I have a special treat, all wrapped up in fruity pebbles and chocolate for you.

First a little sidebar on how I ended up with this. Around six months ago I scored a beta account at DNZoom and threw in all my crappy domains (mainly cause I like beta testing stuff and being an early adopter — I’m cool). I played around with it and if you’re an unorganized sloth like me then it’s a lifesaver in terms of organization. I haven’t really had time to get everything in my account yet but I’ll be working on it soon. So anyway, I’m at DOMAINfest and I met Sean Stafford who is the Director of Product Development at DNZoom and we chatted for a bit. He also was a speaker in a couple of the sessions and was very knowledgeable in laying down the basics to a n00b like me.

Sean recently published an e-book on domaining which is a must read for anyone getting started. If I would have had this in my hands a year ago, I’d be doing much better, but as they say, better late than never. Check out the website at << Not an affiliate link...I whole heartedly recommend this book. And yea, I don't like long sales pages either, just skip all that and buy it. And if you know me, I don't recommend books and shit very often.>>

The book covers the basic stuff we already know as SEO’s like the types of traffic and how parking works. More important to me were the sections on buying and selling, different strategies to maximize your traffic revenue, and valuing domains.

I hear people say all the time that the gold rush is over but that’s just not the case. There is big money to be made in the aftermarket if you invest with brains. You and I as SEO’s have a significant jump on anyone else entering the market because of our level of general internet marketing experience. We know which domains we are better off building out, and now you will know which domains you should pass on if you don’t plan on building them out.

More revenue streams never hurt anyone people, get on it. I’ll be posting more about domaining as my experience level increases a bit.

What the hell is this you say? A post without calling anyone out, slamming some douchebag, or ranting? Well suck it. Here is something for you anyway. Just think what fun it would be if this prayer came true :)

Punch You In The Fucking Face, I Will - Yoda

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Quality Nonsense February 16, 2008 at 6:54 am

I’ve always found solid advice on domaining very hard to come by, (compared to, say, SEO/affiliate marketing). Just requested the two free chapters of that book, so look forward to reading it.

Paul March 9, 2008 at 11:00 am

just added your feed, need all the domain help i can get!!

Cool Domains May 30, 2008 at 7:36 am

good article

i think the prices of brandable will be a good investment for the future.

Olex June 13, 2008 at 5:54 pm

good free chapters you pointed to.

75% names as good investment… good attempt to reach real success …

George The Web Designer December 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm

TheMadHat, you’re right when you say that domain business requires time. If a person is involved in something else and tries to work with domains too, this part of the business is bound not to be productive. It’s like buying/selling shares: the knowledge is needed; part-time wouldn’t bring any substantial money gains.

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