10 Things I Would Tell a New Domainer

Jan 14 2010

domain adviceSince I’ve begun writing this blog I’ve started to get emails asking my advice.  There are many people with more expertise than I when it comes to domaining but I’ve been doing this 5 years now and have learned quite a bit and feel comfortable giving a little advice. Here are 10 things I would recommend to someone that is just getting into domains.

1.  Don’t buy any domains for the first 6 months.  Watch, Read, Learn.  Read the blogs on Domaining.  You think you know what you’re doing but you have no idea.  I used to be an options trader and I would tell people the exact same thing.  Trade on paper, not with your own money.

2. It’s quality over quantity but don’t spend all your money in one place. Most people’s advice tells you to buy a $1000 domain instead of 20 $50 domains.  My advice would be don’t pay $1000 for a domain right off the bat either.  You will probably just be getting that $50 domain for a $1000 because you don’t know how to value or negotiate price yet.

3. Develop the first name you buy and buy one in your niche.  Something you know about and can add content to your site.  This actually makes you a developer and not a domainer but it is a good way to practice monetizing your domains.  You may make some cash to put towards improving the site or buying more domains. It also keeps you busy working on the site and not buying every domain that drops on Godaddy with search results.

4. List your domains on Sedo. Unless you get good traffic, you’re not going to make any money parking.  If you’re not going to develop them at least put them up on Sedo where other domain buyers can offer to buy them.  It’s the world’s largest domain classifieds and you may actually make a little parking money.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask opinions from other domainers. This industry is full of great people that are willing to give advice. Just don’t stalk them or constanstly email them.  Blog comments are not the place either.  A personal email or Tweet will usually get a polite, informed, response.  Their advice will save or make you thousands of dollars

6. Watch you tlds. It’s easy to get caught up in the new domain endings.  Basketball.tk is basketball but the value is much less than you think.   Yes, there is money to be made in secondary tlds and IDN but it is much more difficult to do.  Don’t load your portfolio up with them.  Nothing wrong with owning some but there is a reason why dot com is so much more expensive.

7. Stay organized.  Keep great records of what domains your purchased, how much, where they are registered, and when they expire.  There is a reason there are so many domain drops.  People don’t keep track of their expiration dates.   It’s as easy as putting the data in excel and yet so many people don’t do it.  It also lets you know how much you’ve spent and reminds you to quit spending and start selling

8. Buying is Easy, selling is the hard part. Don’t just keep buying.  Chew your food before you take another bite.  Concentrate on monetizing or selling the domains you have before you keep buying. I am now to the point where I allow myself to buy only the same dollar amount that I’ve made from domaining that year plus an extra 10% or so (it has to be very very special to break the rule).  It keeps my portfolio from getting unmanageable

9. Learn SEO. If I had to do it over, I would learn SEO before I ever bought a domain.  It takes my sites 3 times longer to hit high pages on Google because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. They usually get there through good content and time but boy I really leave money on the table.

10.  Don’t plan on making great money. You’ll get really excited reading all these super stories about selling domains for millions of dollars. You’re not going to read many stories like mine on how they make a nickel a day parking their 200 domains.  Most people don’t make money.  Even fewer make a living at this.  Sure Elliot and Chef make their living doing this,  but Lebron James can dunk from the free throw line while eating a sandwich, you can’t and won’t.  It doesn’t mean you can’t make money just don’t expect it to change your life.  There is always that chance and that’s why we do it.  But like like anything else it takes a lot of time and effort over years and years.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Johan

    I’ve only been in the domaining business for about 1 year now. But I sure wish I had read something like this before I went on my initial buying spree! Waiting a few months before buying anything is a good advice, but in my opinion one of the hardest things in this list.

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