Three Domaining Lessons Learned the Hard Way

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

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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.