Here’s a question I’ve seen asked quite a bit over the years and it popped up again on Twitter this weekend:
In general I think looking at the number of domains someone has can be misleading at times. There are domain investors that make very good money with smaller (say sub-500 names) portfolios because they have a higher average sale price.
On the flip side, there are domain investors with larger portfolios that lose money some years. I remember when we used to run the Los Angeles Domain Investors MeetUp group I met a guy who owned ~3,000 domains and he was yet to turn a profit, and he was five years in. At the same time, I met an investor at a domain conference that had a ~300 name portfolio that made $500k+ a year very consistently.
My point is – I actually don’t think number of domains is the criteria anyone should be looking at when it comes to defining someone as a Domainer. I also think that really anyone who buys and sells domains really can call themselves a Domainer.
Now, let’s get to what I think the meat of the question is – what makes a successful Domainer? Which is what I think this question really comes down to. While there is of course no right answer here, I’ll take a stab and defining a successful Domainer in my book:
- Turns a profit
- Generates revenue that registers as meaningful for them
- Is able to repeat #1 and #2
Rather than putting a dollar value in for #2 I think it’s best just to say “meaningful” since this can vary by person. If you make $100,000/year then making $25k Domaining could be very meaningful, heck it’s 25% of your income. At the same time, if you make $500,000/year then making $25k might not be very significant. It really all depends on what is meaningful for you.
I’d say once you’re at the 25% mark of your regular day job salary that’s when things certainly start to get interesting. While it would be hard to generate meaningful income with a 10 name portfolio, you could do it with a 200 name portfolio or a 2,000 name portfolio, and you could probably generate the same money with both since it’s either a quality or a volume play.
So I’d say, if you buy and sell domains, congrats – you’re a Domainer. If you’re losing money every year, you’re not a very good Domainer but you’re still in the club. If you make $200,000/year at your day job and $10k/year Domaining, you’re also still a Domainer, but it probably isn’t life changing in any way.
The real fun starts when you have a year that makes life-changing money. Then of course, it’s what you do with that money that can set you off on an entirely new trajectory. But in all cases, you’re a Domainer in my book 🕺
What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!