I get a lot of emails every week from people who read my blog, read my book(s), or watch my videos or live show. The email usually starts-out the same way, “I thought that I could make a lot of money with Domains, I watched one of your videos, got inspired and bought many domains and I’m still not making any money.” Here’s what happens – people get inspired by something, the watch a ten minute video, read ten pages of a book and go “Eureka!” I’m going to make a fortune and they dive right in.
Domaining seems cheap to new investors who say, “well it’s only $10/name so there is a very low point of entry into the space.” However, once you buy a few hundred names and have thousands of dollars in renewal fees the reality starts to set in. You didn’t have a plan.
The motto for my company is – Stop Collecting. Start Investing. So many new Domainers really start-out as collectors rather than investors. As a former collector I speak from experience. I’ve made it no secret that I spent five-figures buying domains in 2007 and dropped half of what I bought the first year – it was like flushing a brand-new car down the toilet. This is where most people throw-up their hands and say, “I quit!”
Let’s stop for a second. Am I describing you? As you read this post are you saying, “Hey I bought a bunch of domains, and you’re right, I’m not making any money.” You might be getting ready to throw-in the towel, maybe lash-out at long-time Domainers for getting in early. What you don’t realize is it’s still EARLY and people that started Domaining last year are laughing their way to the bank this year…but their is a difference between what they did and what you are doing.
Most Domainers quit because they don’t have a plan. They buy a ton of domains that they think sound great, park them, and then try to sell them for 50x what they paid for them. They try to sell them to other, often more seasoned Domainers, for a ridiculous price that no Domainer would ever pay. That’s not a plan, Domaining is about investing not gambling. There are plenty of $5 tables in Vegas, there’s a low point of entry, but if you don’t know much about the game, don’t have a plan to win, then you really are just gambling.
So how can you come-up with a plan? Research, network, attend conferences – be a sponge! Learn everything that you can and reach-out to people for advice. There are a lot of people who are successful in this industry that are happy to share their secrets with you – this is very rare in any industry. At the bare minimum you should have a good answer to these three questions:
- What criteria do you look for in a domain? You need specific criteria that you look for because you have Buyers that are looking for the same metrics or you know how to develop and monetize in that niche. Buying a domain because it sounds catchy or because you think there is a perfect end-user out there is a great way to build your collection…but you want to be an investor right?
- How do you make money with each domain? You should know even before you buy a domain that it will either make or sell for more than you paid for it. If you are hand-registering a domain you better be able to develop and monetize it because many hand registered domains are worth $0 to anyone except for you. Most new Domainers stick to hand-registering their domains when they should be playing the drop game.
- How many projects can you work-on at once? Domainers often work on 10,000 different projects at once making little or no progress on any of them. Pick one or two projects and put all your time and energy into them. Don’t stop until you’re making money, and please don’t rinse and repeat until you have a working model. So many Domainers throw-up unsuccessful mini-sites and then keep doing the same thing on more domains – get it working first, then roll it out in mass.
So now let’s take a step back. If you’re a seasoned Domainer this post was probably just a review for you, and in fact I’d be happy to hear additional thoughts and comments as always! If you are a new Domainer getting ready to throw in the towel hopefully this post gives you some perspective. If anyone could make money in Domaining by just buying a bunch of Domains don’t you think everyone and their grandma would be doing it? This is the future of investing, the real estate gold of the next ten years – put together a good plan and we can reminisce together about the good ol’ days!