Domaining is the BIG but tricky business of buying lucrative domain names such as example.com in the hopes of developing it into a website, buying and selling for-profit, and monetizing it. Domains generally start at $10 a year, and when you luckily snag an available domain name that’s brandable, bankable, marketable, and drives in type-in traffic without any effort, then you’ve practically struck a gold mine. After all, premium domain names can sell for thousands of dollars to millions in some occasions. Just take a look at BTC(dot)com which was sold for no less than $1M and even Strip(dot)club which was sold for a handsome $10,000. Thing is, it’s not really easy like that.
Over the past few months (since December of last year) I’ve been pretty busy with domaining.
It started out with a single, unassuming goal of buying a domain name for a new website that I was trying to come up with, and boy, I didn’t realize that it was what will ignite my addiction to this big business that is domaining, domain name speculation, or whatever you wish to call it.
Given how easy it was to just log-in, search for a domain, pay for it for more or less $10 a year, and manage all your domains all in a single dashboard, it’s not that hard to fall in love with this business. It’s like effortless investing!
It’s internet real estate, basically
Having a single word, keyword driven, .com domain like Insurance.com or Money.com is like having that prestigious 5th Avenue address that is a highly trafficked major thoroughfare in Manhattan, New York City.
Why? Because people who are interested about money or insurances (which are highly bankable industries) are inclined to type in the word plus .com in their browsers. Whoever owns these domains definitely have a competitive advantage from their competitors.
Too bad these domains are taken, but that doesn’t mean all other domains with potentially high value are taken. You just have to be creative in searching for that one domain that you feel will have a lot of potential value.
After getting your first domain, it can start to get addicting from there
Once you have a single domain, it’s all yours (as long as you keep renewing it each year). You can do anything you want to do with it. You can park it, re-sell it, or develop it into a thriving website. Anything.
With that feeling of owning a piece of internet real estate for just $10, comes that feeling of wanting to own more of the internet.
Perhaps the most addicting part to it part of it is this small search box where you can get creative and all, looking for the perfect domain names that’ll spark your interest. It’s like a treasure hunt.
Type in a favorite word, a combination of words, or a creative wordoid and add a .com to it like, say, ILoveStilletos.com, and you’ll find that as of writing, this marketable, niche domain is still out there, ready for anyone to snatch and profit from. Don’t believe me? See below screenshot via Namecheap.com‘s domain sales platform.
That’ll lead you to question why it is still available, and realize how lucky you are that this piece of premium real estate you can own for a year for just $10.69. If you buy it, then it’s all yours and yours only.
If you buy it, that oh so sweet, sweet feeling right after you’ve bought your first piece of “valuable” internet real estate will feel sooo good, you will definitely want some more piece of the action.
Not to burst your bubble here, but the thing is, there are thousands of possibly valuable domains out there. And soon your problem might turn from buying catchy domain names, to getting rid of your domain names in an instant
There are 26 letters in the English alphabet that can be used to spell thousands of word combinations. And don’t get me started with the various TLDs (Top Level Domains like .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .xyz, .co, .io – the list goes on) available with each name that you like.
You cannot possibly own all of them.
But still, you’ll go ahead on a buying spree of the so-called “internet real estate”. You’ll go on and ask questions like:
What if someone gets the .net and .org version?
Should I get keyword domains to go along with my main one, too?
You’ll soon realize that after twenty or so domains that you’ve bought, you’ll need to do something with it – either create a new website that goes well with your domain, or re-sell it at a ridiculously higher price than you bought it for, and you’re like “hey, this is a bankable domain in a lucrative niche so this definitely is worth the price I’m selling it for”.
Umm, actually, not really.
Usually, if the domain is still available, chances are, there isn’t enough demand or value in it. And reality sets in when you realize that you need to dispose and resell it ASAP because it is expensive just to maintain and keep shelling out another 10 bucks annually for each of your domain.
The truth to it is, that it’s really not that easy to resell a domain name.
Take a look at below example from Undeveloped’s domain marketplace – CoolSneakers(dot)com has been in the market since last year. At $10,000, no one’s taking.
Over at Sedo’s domain marketplace, these nice, money related domain names that are sure to make you money are, well, still unsold.
And at a mere $50 – $60, still no takers of these money related domains.
So you have options here: stick to your unused or unsold domains and continuously (and expensively) renew ’til it sells, or let it expire. Your call.
Doesn’t these make you realize something? Well, I did.
The value of your domain is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.
So what is the best practice in domaining?
Unless your domain is money(dot)com, insurance(dot)com, travel(dot)com, google(dot), or even sex(dot)com, or any other obviously lucrative domains, chances, are that domain you’re eyeing is not worth anything.
BUT! What you can do instead is, to buy domains that you want to develop and create as your own. You need to work on it.
Remember in the first part I mentioned that domaining is like real estate? Well, I’d like to add more to it. Yes, domaining is internet real estate. And just like a physical one, you have to provide value before it actually realizes its value.
What I mean is, when you buy a domain, you are the one who will create or add value to that domain of yours.
A domain is just like an empty painting canvass. Yes you can buy it for cheap, but when you turn it into a masterpiece, that’s when the value comes in (and that’s when you can cash in, too).
Do not make a hobby out of it. Instead, think objectively and only buy domains which keyword you have passion in, that you believe in, and that you know you could grow and develop as your own website.
Hey I don’t want to be a hypocrite here, I must admit I was once addicted to domaining as well. But I am glad I soon realized all these.
I wrote this to spread awareness about this dark side of domaining that is rarely discussed. so I hope that you take something away from it. Feel free to share your thoughts as well in the comments below!
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