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Become the Next Domain Multi-Millionaire – Learn the Domain Secrets of the Experts

For someone new to the world of domaining, getting started can seem daunting. There is so much to learn and so many different ways to do things. There is also a lot of contradictory advice out there. What’s a beginner to do? I think the best thing is to turn to the experts. For this article, I canvassed the very best in the field to recommend how a beginner should start.

Frank Schilling

Author of Seven Mile

Frank recommends: “Start reading namepros.com and domainstate.com find those who are at the same level of knowledge as you, then learn together. Like school. If you can find somebody more experienced to mentor you thats great but join those in your class and learn together. Read blogs voraciously.”

My thoughts: One of the biggest problems I see with people new to the domaining world is that they go out and start to buy lots of domain names right away, without fully understanding what makes a good domain purchase. I’d agree wholeheartedly with Frank and say – put the credit card away for at least a month while you read as much as you can. In addition to the forums Frank recommends, I also recommend DNForum.com. If you have an interest in UK domains, then try Acorn Domains. If you have an interest in IDN domains, then try IDN Forums. As for a list of good blogs, the ones listed in this article are a good place to start.
Andrew Allemann

Author of Domain Name Wire

Andrew recommends: “Don’t get ahead of yourself. I see so many people get involved and register thousands of domains. A year later they wonder why they haven’t sold any. Take it slow until you feel comfortable with what you’re doing, and never invest more than you can afford to lose. Ideally, invest in a handful of domains and then work on selling some. Reinvest your profits from successful sales.”

My thoughts: Andrew brings up two good points. First of all, even if you are investing in domains for the long term, it’s a really good experience to try to sell a few. This gives someone new to the field a good idea of not only the mechanics of finding a buyer, negotiating a sale, transferring a domain, and so on, but also a better idea about what sells, what doesn’t and how liquid domains are (or aren’t). The second good point Andrew raises is the good old fashioned entrepreneurial principle of bootstrapping. Most people starting out in any business adventure don’t have a lot of capital to work with. Take little of your profits out of your investments early on, and instead use these funds in lieu of a loan. This will help you quickly expand your domaining portfolio and leverage new purchases.
Sahar Sarid

Author of Conceptualist

Sahar recommends: Sahar takes a very different and interesting approach. He doesn’t recommend a particular strategy, but rather an entire tried and tested business model for someone new to the field without funds. In this detailed post. Sahar states: “what a beginner investor could do is identify potential investors, relate to them he is looking to help them out finding deals, discuss their preferences, negotiate a commission, and go hunt for deals for them.” Sahar then goes on to flesh out exactly how to do this.

My thoughts: This is an excellent post and very insightful. Anyone starting in domaining without funds should read this post carefully many times.
Peter Askew

Author of Domainer’s Gazette

Peter recommends: “For someone uber-green starting out, though, I’d suggest sitting in the shadows for 3 to 6 months(maybe longer); watch several snapnames and namejet auctions, follow the domain sales board on dnjournal, read every domain / seo / blog resource available online, and intimately educate themselves on the Pay-Per-Click industry, and how it operates. The more knowledge of the business they can soak in, the more calculated and precise their first investment’ll be.”

My thoughts: Peter emphasizes the all important advice of ensuring you know what you’re doing before you get started. Too many people get the impression that domaining is really easy and people will pay big bucks for any crappy domain. Following sales is a very good way to get an idea of what people will pay for domain names. As well, you can also do well in the industry by seomaining – if you choose to go that route, a basic understanding of SEO is essential.
Michael Gilmour

Author of Whizzbang’s Blog

Michael recommends: “For traffic domains always ask where the traffic comes from. For domain purchases in general always ask what business model you are going to use to get your return on investment.”

My thoughts: Traffic is spectacular, especially if it’s type-in traffic. A well converting pay per click landing page for a top notch domain can be a large source of revenue. As Michael states, it’s important to know where the traffic is coming from, so that you have an idea how defensible the traffic is. For instance, if the traffic is coming from a formerly existing site, this will gradually decline over time. As well, knowing in advance how you’re going to get your return on investment is something many people forget to do. Their business plan is something like: Step 1 – buy domain. Step 2 – ???. Step 3 – make lots of money.
Elliot Silver

Author of Elliot’s Blog

Elliot recommends: Elliot has written a whole piece with investment tips for beginners. The points he makes are: 1. Avoid domains with trademark issues. 2. Read as much as possible. 3. Keep an eye on what’s selling. 4. Join a domain forum. 5. Be honest. 6. Ask experts questions. 7. Read blogs. 8. Hold off buying high value domains until you have the time and resources to develop. 9. Do due diligence before making a purchase. 10. Keep good records.

My thoughts: A lot of good material in that post, and well worth reading several times. I’ll simply comment on trademark typo domains. An early domaining strategy was hunting for trademarked names that hadn�t yet been purchased, and failing that, to purchase typos of those domains. These trademark typo domains often yielded a lot of type-in traffic. Because e-commerce law hadn�t yet developed to its current state, companies would often buy out these domainers at very inflated prices. But this ship has sailed. Current trademark law treats domainers that don�t otherwise have a legitimate business use for owning these names, as illegal trademark diluters. As such, trademark typo domainers typically have to turn over the domain to the trademark holder with little or no compensation. Simply stated, avoid the trademark typo strategy altogether.
Mark Fulton

Author of DotSauce

Mark recommends: “I believe the most important tip that I would give to any beginning Domainer would have to be “Sell, sell and sell some more!” I believe many people in this industry place too much emphasis on the “priceless” value of their domains. Beginners need to focus on making a profit from buying or registering domain names for cheap and re-selling them at a reasonable profit. It is essential to go through the process of registering and re-selling a decent quality domain a few times. Each sale is a unique learning experience.”

My thoughts: Anyone who has been through the dotcom crash knows that paper profits aren’t worth much. The value of a domain is greatly influenced by the probability you are going to be able to sell it and what the chances are of getting enduser interest in the domain. Selling a few domains is a very worthwhile focus for beginners.
Dominik Mueller

Author of DMueller

Dominik recommends: Dominik has written an excellent article in which he discusses how to become a successful domain investor. Some of the tips he discusses: 1. Register lots of domains (wisely) and resell for a profit. 2. Register domains with future potential, for instance, domains for upcoming technologies. 3. Invest in 3 and 4 letter dot com’s. 4. Buy domains through drop auctions. 5. Develop your domains. 6. Budget wisely. 7. Don’t infringe on trademarks. 8. Ask lots of questions.

My comments: All very good points well worth considering. I’ll simply comment on registering domains with future potential. The goal here is to anticipate and registers names that will become popular before they actually do. The best way of doing this is to focus on a niche that you are interested in and can become an expert in (or already are an expert). Keep up with the news in that niche on a timely basis. Keep an eye out for trends, new technologies and hot products. Once you decide something is going to be popular, buy up as many relevant domains as you can. The returns on this strategy can be very high, but obviously it is a long term strategy. As well, a lot of trends you spot will not necessarily pan out; this will be compensated for (hopefully!) by extraordinary returns in cases where you are correct.
W. H. Abdelgawad

Author of DomainerPro

W. H. Abdelgawad recommends: “Buy revenue-earning two or three word generic dot com domain names. Choose domains with real words, such as OrganicAffairs.com, rather than “brandable” or made-up words like ChumDrum.com. A revenue stream is vital in the short term, and these revenue-earning generic dot com domains are most likely to appreciate in value in the coming years. Try to pay as low a multiple as you can (one to five years earnings, the less the better) so look for motivated sellers. Ask the seller if you can first park the domain name in your own account for a few days so that you can verify the traffic and revenue. Use a parking service that provides detailed stats so that you can analyze the sources of the traffic and make sure it’s not being artificially generated in some way. It’s better to pay $500 for a domain name making $10 a month, than to hand-register 60 bad domains that earn no revenue and will only become a burden at renewal time.”

My comments: I don’t think that you can go too wrong buying quality .com’s. Hold off buying in other tld’s until you understand the market better. Brandable domains are particularly hard to sell and it can take a long time for a buyer to be interested. And anyone who has gone on a binge of new registrations (and who hasn’t) will have the experience of the burden of renewal fees. The lower the value of the domain, the greater the burden that renewal fees post.
Shawn Hartley

Author of Clicks and Bits

Shawn recommends: Shawn’s been gracious enough to provide some very comprehensive information. Here’s what he says:

First, a little background. I am a marketing/advertising guy and I primarily look for domains with a branding angle or content development purposes. I dabble in several areas online; domains, content production, affiliate marketing and SEO. Of my approximately 2500 names that I own, about 50 are my bread and butter from parking page revenue and that income is what continues my domaining.

1. If you are just getting started, budget. I can’t emphasize this enough. I know several folks who tried to start domaining and blew through their cash in a month or two and before you knew it, they were out. Even today, I have a monthly budget and tend to stick to it pretty closely. I’ve passed on names that *could have been* revenue streams because I had hit my budget number for the month.

2. I stick to .com, and to a lesser degree, .org. I have very few .net names. There is some value in ccTLD (country codes) but being a part-time domainer I don’t put the time in that I should to keep up. I also stay away from the TLD flavors of the year; .info, .us, .mobi, etc. I suggest rookies stay within the confines of .com until they have a good feel for the game.

3. Read, Read, Read. Not only industry-related forums and blogs, but pay attention to consumer trends and current events. I have grabbed a few domains simply by being ahead of the curve in a few instances just because I kept up with current events and shopping trends.

4. I tend to search out domains in areas I know. Get started by searching for domains that are related to your industry or your knowledge set. As you become more familiar with the process, then start branching out.

5. I still search out drop-lists (domains that have expired and are soon back on the market). A few folks think that there are very few opportunities to be had in expired domains these days, but if you stick to what you know, you can still uncover a golden nugget here and there. I picked up an expired domain a couple of weeks ago that has already returned 50% of the registration fee in the first 10 days I owned it.

6. I’m a small time domainer who probably lacks a lot of the drive and vision to make this a full-time gig (I still have too much passion for online marketing / advertising and web development), but I think there is still a strong upside to geo-location / keyword domains and many of my recent acquisitions have fit this model.

List of Domaining Blogs

There has been a real explosion of blogs in the domainersphere over the last year. I don’t recall there being any blogs solely devoted to domaining a year ago, and now it seems that at least once a week I’m discovering a new domainer blog.

To keep up with all of this, I’ve decided to create a list of all the domaining blogs that I’m aware of that are regularly updated (there are some great blogs out there that unfortunately, seem pretty much abandoned). I’m going to keep this list current, so if you know of any domaining blogs that I’ve missed that are regularly updated, please drop a note in the comments.

On to the list…

Acro – Rants and raves about domains, business, PPC companies and social issues.

Afternic DLS Blog – Company blog by the Afternic Domain Listing Service.

Amazing Domains Blog – Blog with a United Kingdom orientation.

Anti-Cybersquatting Blog – Professionally written by Traverse Legal, PLC, this blog deals with legal issues surrounding cybersquatting.

Available Domain Names – Bill Eisenmann’s blog. Provides regular lists of domains that are available for registration as well as general domaining tips.

Bob White – Bob White’s new domain blog.

Circle ID – Community hub for the internet’s infrastructure and policies.

Clicks and Bits – Shawn Hartley’s blog about domaining.

Come Domain – Clasione’s blog covers the basics of the domain world.

Conceptualist – Sahar Sarid’s blog about domaining and so much more.

Dave Zan – Blog about domaining, with an emphasis on legal matters as they pertain to domains.

David Carter – UK based blog by domainer and internet marketer David Carter.

Dev Mobi – Blog about the development of .mobi websites.

Direct Navigation – Domain industry blog featuring a taken or available quiz.

DN Cartoons – Humorous domain cartoons.

DN Kitchen – Commentary on what’s cooking in the domain industry.

DN Underground – New blog covering the domaining industry, including topics such as avoiding scams, domain aftermarkets, flipping domains and more.

DNFER – All about Domaining from Manjula Fernando in Sri Lanka.

DNXpert – Regularly updated domain name blog.

DNZoom – The official blog of DNZoom by Bido.

Domain Bits – The blog you are reading. Well worth bookmarking and adding to your feed reader.

Domain Blog – UK focussed blog that gives you the latest news and discussion in the world of domains.

Domain Chest – New UK based domain blog.

Domain Flipper – Adventure in domain name flipping by Morgan Linton.

Domain Magnate – Michael Goldman’s domain blog, including comprehensive coverage of the NNNNN.com buyout.

Domain Marketer – Where domainers share information.

Domain Michael – Covering domain investing and monetization, including domain development.

Domain Name Dispute Blog – Professionally written by Traverse Legal, PLC, this blog deals with the legal issues surrounding domain disputes.

Domain Name News – Adam Strong and Frank Michlick present a destination to learn about the latest industry happenings.

Domain Name Wire – Andrew Allemann’s industry news source.

Domain News – Leading news source for the domain industry.

Domain News 360 – Mark Mearin’s blog about domain names and domain investing.

Domain Parking Money – Blog that reviews various parking services.

Domain Pulse – David Goldstein provides the pulse on the domain name industry.

Domain SEM – UK based blog covering domaining with a hint of search engine marketing.

Domain Soil – provides up to the minute internet updates related to domain names, web hosting, and search engine optimization.

Domain Times – Written by the Hon. Neil Brown, QC of Australia, this website deals with the issues that arise in the arbitration of domain name disputes.

Domain Tweeter – A domaining and mini site blog that features weekly lists of keyword domains available for hand registration.

Domain Week – Ryan MacDonald discusses domain acquisition, monetization, and development.

Domainer Developer – A new domainer blog about domain name developing.

Domainer’s Gazette – Domainer news, musings and odd ramblings by Peter Askew.

Domainer Income – Blog that focuses on domain name investing.

Domainer Pro – Chronicles of the domain name professional W. H. Abdelgawad.

Domainer SEO – Writes about the intersection of domaining and search engine optimization.

Domaining – Raymond Kay’s guide to buying, selling and making money from domain names.

Domaining 2.0 – Domain industry website that aggregates all the industry headlines in one place.

Domaining Tips – Lord Brar’s blog offers a number of domaining How-To-Guides.

Domaining UK – Blog by an UK domainer.

DomainJunkies – Rodney Blackwell’s blog discusses the ups and downs of being a domainer.

DomainTools Blog – Jay Westerdal’s take on the domain industry.

Dominik Mueller – Long time domainer Dominik Mueller’s blog.

Dot Ca Domains – Canadian based blog by Robert Borhi.

Dot Me, Of Course – Domain blog devoted to .me domains (with information about .ly domains as well).

Dot Mobi – Blog about dotMobi and mobile content.

Dot Weekly – Jamie Zoch’s blog offers domain news and domain help.

DotMobiz – Coverage of .mobi domain news, auctions and sales.

DotSauce – A domain news magazine by Mark Fulton.

E3 Auction – Nick Wilsdon’s domain news blog.

Electron – Joe Davidson’s blog about the internet economy.

Elliot’s Blog – Elliot Silver is a prolific blogger with lots of insightful posts.

FKA200 – Sammy Ashouri’s blog about domaining and the internet.

Fractional Domaining Blog – Neal Voron’s blog looking at the world of buying, selling, owning, developing, and monetizing fractional domains.

The Frager Factor – Owen Frager’s eclectic blog often covers domaining from an unique perspective.

Generic cctlds – Blog covering the cctld market, including .cn, .de and .in domains.

Get Domains – Domain blog discussing industry news, coupon codes and available names.

Good Url Bad Url – Aaron Goldman’s blog for URL-aholics.

Green Taxi – Blog by Conor Neu.

The Hot Iron – Mike Maddaloni’s blog about business and technology. Contains significant articles about domains.

ICANN Blog – Keep up with what ICANN is up to.

Inside Domaining – Steve Granville-Smith’s online source to the domain space – “This is your time – you were born to be a domainer.

Invest In Domains – Brad provides lots of tips about investing in domains and becoming a domainer.

I Squatted Your EU – News and discussion about the domain name industry in Europe.

Is It Me Or Is Everyone Else Stupid? – Julia Mackenzie’s musings on domain names and internet marketing.

Jothan Frakes’ Weblog – Director of Oversee.net’s personal blog about the domain industry

Logistik Labs Blog – Covers the domain industry and offers domaining tools.

LLLL.com – The authority on short and four letter domains.

Mister.us – Brings you news and coverage of the .us domain extension.

Modern Domainer – Source for domain related news.

Ms Domainer – New and outspoken voice in the domainersphere.

MyID.ca – Canadian auction blog.

Name Blog – News and sales from the domain industry in the United Kingdom.

NameBait – Baitshop for domainers of the world by Jason Barrett.

NameBio – Justin Allen explores issues relating to domain name sales, patterns and trends.

NameDrive – Blog that provides domain news updates.

Names at Work – Blog that has a strong focus on new TLDs.

Namewise Blog – Blog in both German and English.

Newfound Names – Domaining blog by Newfound Names.

NNNNN Domains – The leading blog dealing with 5N.com domains

Oz Domainer – The word on domain names from down under by Ed Keay-Smith.

Predictive Domaining – Barry Goggin’s predicts what will be valuable domain names in the future.

Quad Letter Domains – A British view on the LLLL.com and other 4 letter domain markets by Richard Shorten

Rick Latona – Domaining blog by entrepreneur Rick Latona.

Rick’s Blog – The Domain King’s thoughts on domains, traffic, closing more sales, business and marketing.

Scott Fish – General internet business blog with substantial domaining content by Scott Fish.

Self Made Minds – Run by Al Carlton and Scott Jones, this blog discusses domaining and being an internet entrepreneur.

Seven Mile – The official Frank Schilling blog. Frank is one of the most successful domainers in the industry.

Simply Geo – Steven Morales’ blog about the geo domain niche.

Success Click – Stephen Douglas’ new blog about the domain industry.

Supernatural Agency – blog about Domaining, monetization strategies, search marketing and Internet entrepreneurship.

The Critical Post – Provides news and commentary on the domain industry.

The Domains – New blog covering the domain industry.

Tia Wood – Domain blog that presents an unique perspective.

Trend Domaining – Scott Griffes’ blog provides coverage of the latest trends that can be applied to the domain industry.

Unplain – John Bomhardt’s views on domaining.

Url Academy – Andy Kelly’s blog about all you need to know about domain names.

Url Kazoo – Covers domain news and domaining tips.

Web Publishing Blog – Andrew Johnson’s blog about the internet, with lots of articles about domaining.

WebDotGeek – Blog by Abhishek Jha, a university student in India, about the domain business and industry, and web monetization.

Whizzbang’s Blog – Michael Gilmour’s resource for domain name owners.

World’s Worst Domain – Domain blog written from an interesting angle with a lot of humor added.

4 Letter Noob – A blog about LLLL.com domaining.

There are also a couple of industry resources that cover these blogs, but are not blogs themselves:

DN Hour – Digg style news site where you can submit and vote on stories from domain blogs.

Domaining – Presents a mashup of the latest posts from over 50 blogs

Also, not really a blog, but required reading is DN Journal.

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How do you drive traffic:

We use a combination of PPC/CPV and social traffic sources all of which maintain HIGH traffic quality scores for advertisers.

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Our accounts have been live over 8 months with no bans (this is largely because we DO NOT push it, and because our traffic is real and converts for advertisers).

*Please note that it is always at the network’s discretion as to whether or not they wish to continue to accept “paid” traffic sources.

How do you send payments to us:

PayPal, OR wire transfer (client pays wire transfer fees). We provide a professional company invoice via Freshbooks at pay time.


We do and we have. Some networks will allow both a personal and business account and we have exhausted that option as well. To be clear, we use paid targeted traffic.

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