Do Something Every Day to Increase Your Income

Advice for Beginners, Priorities November 17th, 2014

Do something every day to increase your income

By Wael Abdelgawad |

If you want to be successfully self-employed, it comes down to this: Every day you must work on something that will increase your income or diversify your income sources.

There’s no such thing as stability. Suppliers go out of business or raise prices. Buyers switch suppliers or cut budgets. Over-reliance one any one entity is doom.

If your income is not going up, count on it going down.

Yes, it’s important to learn new skills, keep up with trends and innovate. But have you done something today to increase your income? That’s the bottom line.

As someone said, do something every day that your future self will thank you for.

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 |

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

I recently sold 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

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

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 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 at auction

I’ve had good luck selling “proper name” domain names, by which I mean common names like,, 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 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, $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.

Buying and Selling Common Proper Names

Advice for Beginners, Buying Domains, Domain Auctions, Selling Domains June 17th, 2008

Common peoples names as domain names

A few months ago I was browsing some of the domains coming up for auction at NameJet and I had the idea to see what sorts of common people’s names – I mean the names are common, not the people – might be dropping. I looked at several names and ran Google searches on them, studied the results, and considered their search popularity.

I ended up back ordering a handful of names, and won several at the minimum bid of $69 each. These included,, and I thought I might contact some of the people with those names and try to sell them the domains. As it turned out I got busy with other things, but only a few months later I received an offer for through Sedo, and sold it for $500.

If you’ve been trying to acquire generic domains at auction and getting outbid, you might try some real “names”. If they’re common enough there’s sure to be a market and a steady trickle of traffic, and at the moment there’s not a lot of competition for these domains.

Domain Tasting for the Little Guy

Advice for Beginners, Domain Tasting, Registering Domains January 18th, 2008

domaining ebook

My recent article, “How to Find Great Domain Names: 12 Super Tips” has proved enormously popular and has received thousands of views.

In one part of the article I wrote, “Ignore trends that may have a cult following but are not widely known. For example, I recently read about a new trend among photography hobbyists called lomography. I tasted several domains related to this trend but found that they got no traffic, so I let them drop. Instead look for trends that have the potential to be huge.”

One of my readers, “woolwit,” was intrigued by the mention of domain tasting and asked the following question:

“Excellent article and a great reference for creative domaining. You mention domain tasting in the article. I’ve always assumed that it was only the big bulk domainers who had access to domain tasting. Would you consider writing a short How-To taste domains for the rest of us? I’ve looked around on GoDaddy and not found anything. Can you recommend a registrar who makes tasting available one domain at a time?”

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, let me say first that I’m opposed to domain tasting. The big tasting companies use automated scripts and sneaky tactics of all kinds to taste domains by the millions, keeping the ones that make a few pennies and throwing the rest back. They’re very secretive about ownership and are generally located offshore. I think it’s bad for the industry and unfair to individual domainers, and I’m in favor of abolishing it altogether. In particular the practice of churning vast numbers of domains but registering none, keeping them in an endless trial period loop, is disgusting.

Until that day comes, however, I do make use of domain tasting on a small scale. I’m talking one or two domains at a time. I think that tasting in this manner is a reasonable way for a domainer with a limited budget to try out ideas without racking up a big credit card bill.

Last year I did a lot of searching, trying to find an affordable tasting solution for the little guy, and I finally found TastingGenie, which bills itself as “Domain tasting for the masses.” It’s run by a registrar called MindGenies.

By the way, this is not an affiliate link or paid post. I don’t get anything for recommending them. I’m simply helping out my readers.

At TastingGenie you pay $100 up front to set up an account. They have sort of a complicated pricing scheme with different plans to choose from, but what it basically amounts to is that you pay as little as 7 cents per domain to taste. They are partnered with, you’ll need an account there. Each domain that you taste is automatically configured with DomainSponsor’s nameservers, and you then go to your DomainSponsor account and add the domain.

The tasting period is 4.5 days. If you do nothing, TastingGenie will automatically drop the domain name. If you want to keep it, you must log in to your TastingGenie account and select the domain name to keep. At that point it will be registered at MindGenies for $7.25. That money will be taken out of your $100 credit that you started with.

I’ve been satisfied with TastingGenie’s service and I think it’s a good way to try out a few domain ideas every now and then without ending up with a lot of useless no-traffic domain names.

I’m Going to Write an e-Book on Domaining

Advice for Beginners, Domain Name e-Book January 3rd, 2008

domaining ebook

I’ve decided to write an e-book on domaining. True, I started in 2005 which makes me a latecomer to the domain name industry. Also true that I have not made millions of dollars (yet), though I do own upwards of 2,000 domain names that earn good parking income and I have made many good sales.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Find Great Domain Names: 12 Super Tips

Advice for Beginners, Buying Domains December 21st, 2007

how to find great domain names

Do you feel like it’s too late to get into domaining? Does it seem like all the good domains are gone? Are you looking for concrete advice, and not finding it? Well, here you go. Some of these are tactics that have worked very well for me. Others I have borrowed from top domainers and tips I’ve spotted on domain discussion forums over the years.

Read the rest of this entry »