How to start domaining -
Getting started in domaining
Things every (prospective) domainer should know
Surely you have heard of people becoming millionaires from one day to the next in domaining. You can see some huge domain sale prices on our title page, but of course these domains were registered in the early days and some of those domain names had different owners over time.
Things are not as easy as they used to be, but there are still enough opportunities for new domainers to join the business.
But do not expect to get rich quick and also do not expect to earn stable income from the beginning unless you are entering the business by buying a valuable domain portfolio.
Building your portfolio will take time and you will also need to gain lots of experience, so you do not end up registering thousands of domains that have no parking revenue and that no one wants to buy.
I do not want to scare you, I just urge anyone who wants to join in domaining to be realistic about their future. In the days when there was no expression like domaining or domainers, those people who started picking up domains had to rely on their instincts. Today many sources, like this one, are available to give you a short cut, by gaining some insights to experiences that other domainers have made.
So lets get to the domaining basics
Attend domain conferences
This helps to pick up ideas and learn more about the domaining industry directly from the top market participants. Do not be afraid to ask questions you have, most domainers will be happy to share some insights of the business with you.
Buy low, sell high
Sounds too easy? Well, at least try to pick up as many bargains as possible and do not overpay for a domain even if you really like it, as almost any domain can be replaced by another.
Be sure to register domains in different extensions covering a wide variety of topics. Getting into different angles of the domain market should make you more immune to extensive price swings that could appear in one part of the market you could be in.
Feel how it works
Sell a couple of domains and get a feeling how it works and especially what kind of domains sell, because those are the ones you should try to register or acquire cheaply.
Rather only have a few great domain names that you or a buyer could develop into meaningful projects instead of having thousands of junk domains that might never find a buyer and are not worth developing.
Join one or more domain forums
This will get you lots of new insights and you will stay on top of the business if you make it one of your daily tasks. Also try to follow some of the more popular blogs.
For some people it could be interesting to get in the business by starting out with a domain loan, but be aware especially if you are inexperienced that there is a very high risk. Also interest rates on domain loans are still well above most other rates. In any case leveraging is only for risk takers that are fully aware of what they are doing and preferably have other streams of income and assets.
Monitoring and tracking your portfolio
Staying on top of your portfolio (including profitability analysis) is essential to success, so you will not lose any domains and always know which domains should be renewed or dropped. But do take into account that even domains with low earnings might be able to sell for high prices, so also do some analysis before letting domain names drop.
Monitoring the market
Watch the prices that are paid for domains closely so you get a feeling for the domain market. It is also worth watching auctions end to capture the mood of the market.
Subscribe to some of the industries newsletters to get hold of free market coverage.
No money to start with
You could get in the business by providing a service to domainer. If you can build web sites, banners or have knowledge in programming go ahead and offer it on a forum, if you can write, domainers are always looking for content on their sites. Also you might want to help domainers finding a potential buyer for a certain domain. You can then use the earned cash to get in the business yourself.
Plan your financial budget
Like in any other business make at least a small but realistic business plan, so you do not run out of cash before you are profitable.
Reading to gain insight
Read the book “The Domain Game” by David Kesmodel, there are loads of interesting things in there. It describes how some of the top domainers started out and succeeded in the domain business. If that’s also your plan, then take a look how others did it.
Reinvest proceeds from sales
Do not forget to reinvest some of your earnings, because if you only sell without reinvesting you will someday run out of quality domains.
Costs of renewal are very low, but do not underestimate that you have to sell quite a few domains or at least a well priced one each year to afford the renewal fees. If you have thousands of domains then costs add up quickly, be aware of that.
Research before you buy
Do not just buy because you think it’s a bargain, do some research, like: sales prices of similar domains, traffic analysis (if you do not have stats, then check if other similar domains with stats are listed online), backlinks, possible search engine listings, page rank etc.
Only buy and register domains that really have a chance to produce revenue. Otherwise you will only lose money.
If you are buying a domain from someone you do not know then use an escrow service. Parking companies and domain brokers often provide that service automatically.
Lay out a strategy, maybe you will have to adjust it. Still I recommend to do it so you have a guideline to follow. For example: Is it your mail goal to have fast resale profits, is your focus rather fewer but higher priced deals, do you want do some projects, how much do you want to diversify and in which markets.
Take your time
If you spend all your money at once you might not profit from your rising experience level. Rather do not worry if you miss a nice deal as there are new opportunities every day that you will gain access to a lot faster once you have more knowledge.
Now that you have some insight to the domaining basics find out how to choose a domain.