What is a Domainer? And how many people think they are one when they really aren’t


I was talking with a friend yesterday, he only knows me as a startup founder, but the conversation moved to domain names and domain investing, he has no idea I have a blog or that I’ve been buying and selling domain names for the last ten years. His initial response was, “wait – so you’ve also been cybersquatting all of these years?” To which I said, “no, some people invest in stocks, mutual funds, real estate, etc. I’ve decided to put the majority of my investment dollars into domain names.”

Of course the first thing I did was show him that there’s a whole industry behind domain names, I took him to Domaining.com and showed him that it’s not just a bunch of nefarious people trying to squat on brand names. There are actually a lot of incredibly bright, tech savvy people who invest in domain names as assets, and have made a lot of money doing it.

Then he asked a question that I couldn’t answer, “so what is a Domainer?” His point was that he owns a few domain names, he’s sold two domains in his entire life but he still (despite my best effort) considers people that own a bunch of domains and holds onto them for a long time without selling unless they get a great offer, Cybersquatters. He’s not alone, I’ve had a lot of people call me a squatter over the years, and I’ve also helped a lot of people get domain names that have transformed their business.

So…ever since he asked the question I’ve been wondering. What is a Domainer? Is the definition anyone who buys and sells domain names? Or is there a bar – something like, unless you make at least $50,000/year or at least $75,000/year and do it consistently for x number of years then you’re not a Domainer?

I’ve had some years where I’ve made over $200,000 in the domain world (never made over $300k in a single year), I’ve had other years where I’ve made less than $100k. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about buying, selling, and brokering domains it’s that in many cases it is not as consistent and predictable as people would like it to be. Still, my ROI on domains has been so much higher than anything else I’ve invested in and it continues to be where I put a majority of the money I invest.

All that being said, I spend just about every waking minute of my life running a venture-backed SaaS startup, I don’t spend much time “Domaining” – and, outside of writing this blog and reading other blogs on Domaining.com I’m pretty disconnected from the domain world. I love writing and I definitely spend more time writing this blog than I do buying or selling domain names. So maybe I’m more of a blogger than a Domainer? Maybe I’m both…who knows.

Here’s the question. What is a Domainer? Is it defined by how much money someone makes a year? Or is it how much time someone spends? Maybe a combination of the two?

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton