In late 2005 I was browsing the magazine rack at Farmacia Arrocha, a large pharmacy store in Panama City, Panama. I had moved to Panama from California and bought a nice house in the mountains outside Panama City. I was a freelance web designer but was unsure whether I’d be able to support my family on what I could earn in Panama. I had come to Panama as an advance scout, leaving my wife behind in California to sell our house. One day before I left California, we learned that my wife was pregnant. So I felt a lot of pressure to try something new, something that would provide some financial stability for my growing family.
So there I was at Arrocha pharmacy, and I happened to spot the latest issue of Business 2.0, which featured a cover story about entrepreneurs who had gotten rich by buying domain names and either parking them with pay per click advertisements, or selling them for a profit.
Most of you serious domainers know exactly which issue and article I’m talking about: December 2005 issue, page 138:
The article has been widely reprinted. In fact, I have met several other domainers who got into the business because of that very same article.
It is subtitled, “Forget condos and strip malls. Domain names, the real estate of the Web, have been delivering far greater returns. How some of the savviest speculators on the Net are making millions from their URL portfolios.”
Well, hey, how could I not be interested? Considering my new situation, a lucrative business that I could conduct over the internet would be perfect.
I bought the magazine, and my life changed.
I made many mistakes starting out. I registered useless domain names, signed up with the wrong web host, spent more than I could afford, and almost got myself banned from Google Adwords and Adsense, and Sedo as well.
I also got lucky. I bought a few domains at Sedo auctions and they turned out to be moneymakers. I met an experienced domainer who became a mentor and guided me through the minefields. I sold a couple of domains at high multiples of what I paid. I joined NamePros.com, DNForum.com and other domain related boards and paid a lot of attention to what the veterans had to say. I read DNJournal.com, The Daily Domainer and other resources, studied and learned, and finally things began to turn around.
Fast forward to now, a year and a half later. I’m not one of those Business 2.0 tycoons – I haven’t gotten rich (yet!), but I am earning a decent living with domain names, successfully supporting myself, my wife, our baby girl and our two cats. So I’d say I qualify for the sobriquet, Professional Domainer.
On this blog I’ll share my experiences with you as I move forward, stumble and fall, pick myself up and learn new techniques. I’ll try to be completely honest and to share with you some of the industry tricks and secrets as I acquire them.
Why am I doing this? Because blogging is one of the real ways to make money online. Create a truly useful blog, update it regularly with insightful and honest commentary, monetize it with some Adsense ads and other paid ads, and you’ll make some money. In fact, contributing something useful is the bottom line when it comes to making money on the web. Offer people something that genuinely helps them in some way, and you’ll make money.
Well, I’m off to take the kid to the city for her one-year checkup. Stay tuned.