If you want to sell domains, turn domain privacy off

Advice for Beginners, Registering Domains, Selling Domains October 30th, 2013

Turn domain privacy services off to sell domains

By Wael Abdelgawad | DomainerPro.com

Domain name registrars like GoDaddy often try to push other products onto you when you register or renew a domain name. One of those products is domain name privacy, for which you pay a modest annual fee. Privacy services conceal your name and contact information on the domain name WHOIS, which is the public record that exists for each domain. The WHOIS provides details about the owner, including name, address, telephone and email.

If you have privacy turned on, when someone does a WHOIS search they will only see the name of the registrar and the domain expiration date.

Privacy services make sense if you’re an individual or company running a website with your own domain, and you don’t want salespeople using the WHOIS data to contact you and try to sell you something. I used to do exactly that when I worked as a lead generator for an IT consulting firm.

Also, keeping your info private keeps spammers from discovering your email address, and protects you from unscrupulous companies. For example, there are scammy registrars who will send you emails and even snail mail asking you to renew your domain name and charging exorbitant fees. They try to fool you into thinking that they are your registrar. In reality if you pay them you’ll be transferring your domain name to them and paying much more than you should.

But if you’re a domainer and you’re serious about selling domains, it makes no sense to pay for privacy services. If you have many domains you’ll be paying a lot of extra money. And you’ll prevent legitimate sellers from finding you. Even if you have your domains parked, some sellers don’t want to go through the parking service (for whatever reason). They prefer to check the WHOIS and contact you personally. I’ve sold many domains to buyers who contacted me this way, and I don’t mind at all because I don’t have to pay Sedo’s commission.

Yes I get some spam and some junk mail. But it’s a minor hassle considering the thousands of dollars I’ve earned from private domain sales.

Don’t waste your money on privacy services. Let the buyers find you any way they can.

Two-word dot coms are worth keeping

Advice for Beginners, Selling Domains August 17th, 2012

Increasing CTR by DomainerPro.com

I recently sold ChinaScore.com through Sedo. The initial offer was $500, but after some bargaining we settled on $1,325. Unfortunately the offer came from one of Sedo’s partners, so Sedo took a 20% cut – ouch! – and I ended up getting a check for $1,000.

Still, not a bad profit for a domain that I bought at auction for $60 and held for three or four years.

In my opinion, dot com domains that consist of two dictionary words are always worth holding, as long as the name even remotely makes sense.

Use a registrar that doesn’t charge too much, like GoDaddy or Moniker. Park the domain name with one of the more visible parking services. Eventually you’ll get an offer, even if you have to hold the domain for a while.

Three Domaining Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Advice for Beginners, Domaining Mistakes, Registering Domains, Shady Domain Practices March 19th, 2012

Increasing CTR by DomainerPro.com

1. Dump Non-Performing Domain Names

Domain names are investments and should be assets, not liabilities. They should either earn profit through parking revenue (profit means covering their annual registration fee plus at least 50% more), or be built into profitable websites, or appreciate in value in a way that can be measured. If you are holding them for the long term and counting on appreciation, there should be enough liquidity in the domains to be able to capitalize on that appreciation when you choose, in other words, sell them.

If the domains meet none of these conditions then they are bad domain names and represent a bad investment, and should be dumped immediately. You could do this by selling them at a deep discount, or by simply declining to review.

Don’t get caught in the trap of holding dozens or hundreds of non-profitable domains because you think they are cute, clever, or somehow “brandable”.

Or both. If it does not, then it is a poor investment and should be divested as soon as possible in order not to incur more costs.

2. Transfer Domains Away from Exorbitantly Expensive or Even Unethical Registrars

There are domain name registrars out there that charge $30 per year, $50 per year, even $100 per year for a dot com that you could just as easily keep at GoDaddy or Moniker for less than $10. They are counting on your negligence. Maybe you acquired the domain at auction and it was already held by one of those larcenous registrars. You tell yourself you’ll transfer it out later, but then you forget, until bam, you are hit with a costly autorenewal.

Keep good records of domain name purchases and registrars, and if you have any domains with rip-off registrars, transfer them out immediately.

3. Focus on Your Money Makers

If you’ve got domains that pay very well per click (whether parked or developed), pay attention to them. Develop them further, add quality content, build backlinks, create marketing campaigns, always making sure that you stay profitable. The goal is to multiply the domain’s profitability by a factor of 10, or 100, or more.

Follow these rules and you can’t help but make a profit in the domain name industry, even if you started out with losses.

Turning a Dormant Blog Into a Money Maker

Adsense ready Wordpress themes, Advice for Beginners, Blogging, Developing Domains, Monetizing Domains August 26th, 2011

Increasing CTR by DomainerPro.com

How I turned a website with little traffic and no profit into a $10 a day profit machine

Pay attention, because these are concrete, specific tips of the kind that are not usually shared in the domain name industry.

I have a blog – whose name I will not furnish because I don’t want to violate any Adsense rules - where I write reviews of money transfer services. Not the most exciting of subjects perhaps, but important to the millions of people who regularly send remittances overseas. I don’t publish new material often – one article per month or so – but I do write the articles myself and I try to make them useful.

To find an article topic, I go to news.google.com and do a search for “money transfer”. As I sift through the results I ignore press releases. I keep scrolling until I find a genuine news piece. I read it, absorb the info, then summarize it into a concise article, using my own phrasing and adding my own observations. This usually takes about half an hour.

Alternatively, I look at my stats to see what search phrases readers are using to find my website. I take one of the more popular phrases, do my own search and read up on that subject, and write an article about it.

I also occasionally answer readers’ questions about problems they may be having with online transfer systems or online bank accounts.

The website was created with WordPress, is monetized with Google Adsense, and has always paid quite well per click. The problem has been the lack of traffic, and the low CTR. There is some search traffic, but not enough to generate significant income. Recently I decided to try driving traffic to the website with Google Adwords. I was able to get traffic for as little as 2 cents per click, but the problem was that the Adsense CTR (click through rate) was quite low, on the order of 1.5 percent.

To address this issue, I installed the Heatmap theme, which is an Adsense-optimized WordPress theme. I monetized the website fully, with five Adsense units on each page, three of those being ad units, and two link units, using the sizes and placements recommended by the Heatmap theme. I used the Adsense Injection plugin to place some of the ads strategically.

Initially I set the Adsense ads to image and text, which is the default setting. With the new ad placements, the CTR climbed to between 5% and 7%. Then I tried setting the ads to text only, no images, and I saw another jump in CTR, to between 10% and 15%.

Yes, the ads are a bit over the top. They do somewhat take over the website. But it worked. With the CTR as high as it is, I can now drive traffic with Adwords and make a profit. I spend about $3 per day advertising this site with Adwords, and it generates about $15 per day on Adsense. So it’s quite a good profit for a website that requires a time investment of 30 minutes per month.

The next challenge will be to bring in traffic from other sources, and to update the website more frequently – perhaps once every three or four days – with new articles. I may do this myself, or contract it out, but the key is that the articles must be quality writing, with useful tips and news. Content is still king.

Easy Money with Proper Name Domains

Advice for Beginners, Buying Domains, Domain Auctions March 31st, 2011

Battl.com at auction

I’ve had good luck selling “proper name” domain names, by which I mean common names like AprilSmith.com, JohnLouis.com, etc. I buy these at auction for the minimum bid (usually around $60), and I’ve sold some for several hundred dollars. I just sold MattGreene.com for $200. The buyer was – you guessed it – Matt Greene. That’s the best part about these proper name domains. You don’t have to market them or go looking for buyers. With any common name there are usually hundreds of people who have that name, and sooner or later one of them will contact you about buying the name.

With MattGreene.com, $200 is not a huge amount of money, but it’s still a decent profit for minimal work.

So if you’re looking for a simple investment that is sure to turn a profit, look for these common proper names. Don’t pay more than the minimum bid or a few bucks over, then just park it and wait for that person to come calling.

Battl.com at auction!

Domain Auctions, Domains for Sale September 2nd, 2010

Battl.com at auction

UPDATE: (Auction is over, domain name is sold).

The domain name Battl.com is up for auction at Sedo. See the auction page here:

Battle.com auction page

Battl.com gets good traffic and is profitable. It’s a quality domain name, one of my best.

This domain is perfect for a MMRPG website (online role playing games), a brand name, live rap battles, song and dance contests, guitar battles, robot wars, and so much more. It’s a fantastic brand name for sports gear or actions toys.

The auction ends in four days, so place your bid now. Happy bidding and good luck.

BAAE.com is up for auction! (UPDATE: Sold for $180)

Domain Auctions, Domains for Sale May 12th, 2010

Premium four letter domain name for sale

The domain name BAAE.com is up for auction with the low starting price of $150.

UPDATE: The Domain has been sold for $180. Someone got a real deal! Check back for other auctions.

Click here to bid:

http://tiny.cc/gqcdb

BAAE.com is a premium 4-letter domain name (LLLL.com) with a dot com extension. A Google search for BAAE produces 392,000 results. The acronym BAAE stands for many things, including:

  • British Army Antarctic Expedition
  • British Airways Avionic Engineering
  • Bachelor of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Basic and Applied Ecology
  • Bay Area Automotive Enthusiasts
  • Bay Area Adventures & Events
  • Bachelor of Art in Art Education
  • Brighton Adult Alternative Education

and many more. So as you can see BAAE is a natural letter combination that is easy to remember, easy to create an organization name, and many possible buyers. The domain name receives steady type-in traffic (50 to 70 uniques per month) and is highly marketable. The geographical breakdown is about 47.3% traffic from North America and 47.5% from Europe, so these are people with money in their pockets, easy to market to.

Clicks on Sedo pay quite well. I got a $9.76 payout on a single click once! That’s one of the highest payouts I have ever received on a single Sedo click.

Portfolio of 42 premium generic .in domain names for sale

Domains for Sale December 3rd, 2009

Premium .in domain names for sale

I have 42 .in domain names that I am offering sale as a portfolio. These are premium generic domains. All of them were just recently renewed for another year. All serious offers will be considered. Please make an offer if you are interested.

The domains are:

labcoats.in
synagogue.in
inspect.in
evalue.in
footdoctor.in
beachhotel.in
notarization.in
eardoctor.in
propertyauction.in
discountbroker.in
sportsdoctor.in
judaism.in
appreciate.in
islamicbanks.in
islamicfinance.in
hindulife.in
hindumatch.in
hajjservices.in
hinduparty.in
hindunewspaper.in
islamicfinder.in
namaz.in (namaz means “prayer” in Urdu, which is the dominant language among India’s almost 200 million Muslims)
salat.in (another word for prayer)
hadith.in (hadith are the narrations of the Prophet Muhammad)
hindunames.in
prophetmuhammad.in
purefoods.in
islamicnames.in
indiandesign.in
sikhbabynames.in
floodinsurance.in
muslimnames.in
jainbabynames.in
hindubabynames.in
purefood.in
plasticsurgeons.in
nationalnews.in
muslimbabynames.in
healthplans.in
petsupplies.in
hinducalendar.in
realestateoffice.in

Snapnames Admits Employee Fraud

Domain Auctions, Snapnames November 4th, 2009

Snapnames discovers employee fraud

In a stunner of a development, Snapnames has discovered that one of their employees has been secretly bidding on domain names for the last four years. The employee set up a Snapnames account under a fake name and bid on domain names.

The company says in their press release that this affected only a small percentage of auctions. How much exactly is that small percentage? They go on to say:

  • Bidding affected approximately five percent of total SnapNames auctions since 2005, most of which occurred between 2005 and 2007.
  • The incremental revenue from the bidding represented approximately one percent of SnapNames’ auction revenue since 2005.

Five percent of all auctions since 2005? That’s huge! One percent of total auction revenue coming from one fraudulent employee? Again, that’s huge!

I have many questions about this.

  1. How could this have happened? I am quite frankly shocked that this could have gone on for so long undetected. Even now it appears that the employee will retain the domain names he/she purchased.
  2. How could an employee come up with the funds to purchase 1% (in revenue) of all domains? Is he independently wealthy? Or did he have a backer who colluded in this fraud and benefited from it? Maybe he was even secretly employed by someone else.
  3. In their announcement, Snapnames says they have created new controls and procedures to prevent this from happening again, including, “Specific domain name registration policies for employees.” What? You mean you didn’t already have specific domain name registration policies for employees in place?
  4. Does this represent a breach of the law in any way? Can this employee be prosecuted?

Snapnames will be offering a rebate to anyone who participated in an affected auction, amounting to with 5.22% interest (the highest applicable federal rate during the affected time period), to affected customers for the difference between the prices they actually paid and the prices they would have paid, had the employee not bid in the auctions.

I am curious how they will calculate this. It’s not as straightforward as it seems. Sometimes the level of activity in an auction acts as an X-factor that draws in other bidders. But this can be hard to quantify.

This is a bad development for Snapnames. Domain name discussion forums have always been rife with speculation about the presence of company “shills” in auctions. Of course that’s not what this is, since this employee acted independently and against company policy. Still, it will only feed those sorts of rumors.

I like the Snapnames system and I’ve acquired many domains through them. I expect I will be contacted regarding this rebate. I sincerely hope that Snapnames continues to address this issue openly and decisively and comes out of it stronger and wiser as a company.

VenezuelaReport.com for sale

Domains for Sale, Selling Domains August 10th, 2009

VenezuelaReport.com

VenezuelaReport.com
 is a magazine-style blog about life in Venezuela. It’s an attractive website built on an obviously good domain name, and I’m offering it for sale for only $2,500.

The site utilizes WordPress for easy updating, and is upgraded to the latest release. I’ve written original articles for the website over the last several months, and I’ve done a good job of optimizing the articles for the search engines. And of course, “Venezuela Report” is an extremely common keyword combination, with governments, NGOs and corporate intelligence organizations all over the world constantly writing reports on Venezuela. As a result, the site is generating steady traffic on the order of between 20 and 100 visitors per day, without the need for paid advertising. The website has already attracted a small following and a fair number of inbound links. It’s a very good buy at this price, and an excellent long-term investment.

If you are interested, please contact me through this website’s Contact Form. Thank you.

Update 8-26-2011:  VenezuelaReport is ranking quite well on Google for a variety of relevant search terms. For example, do a Google search for “life in Venezuela” and see what comes up. Consequently traffic to VenezuelaReport has increased to more than 250 visitors per day, so my price is going up as well, to $4,500. I’m also going to be experimenting with ad placements to increase CTR, using some techniques that I’ve recently been experimenting with. I think the website will be turning a nice profit soon. The sale price on this one is only going to go up, so if you are interested then act now.