In a world spellbound by the influence of the internet and the glorious opportunities it presents, domain names have become viable merchandises for those who understand the rules of its buying and selling. The business isn’t all about selecting and registering available domain names that you anticipate someone else might desperately want in the future.
Of course, that’s just a fraction of it. There are a host of other important things to consider if you hope to hit it big, perhaps, like the sale of ‘insure.com’ to Quintet for $16 million.
Here they are:
· Make sure you buy domain names that are valuable
Choosing a domain name is like deciding on a business name. They both require a lot of thought and creativity. How do you know a domain name is worthwhile?
o The most viable names often use common words, geographic names, business names, general names of products and services or even events. And they have to be as simple as possible.
o Avoid domain names with hyphens.
o Make sure it’s as short as possible—one or two words—and easy to remember.
o Use popular TLDs—that is, .com, .net, .org, and perhaps .co.uk which is popular in the UK. To know which TLDs are available for a domain name, simply visit a domain registrar and type in the name you want to buy.
For instance, typing ‘example’ into the Web Drive search box will give you the results below. You can see that most of the TLDs for the domain name has been taken. Even, the only available one is being hawked by someone already in the domain names business.
· Choose a domain name registrar
By registering a domain name, you prevent someone else from claiming it.
There are, of course, many registrars out there. Sedo, Godaddy, Umbrellar et cetera. Use one that is reliable as well as cheap—emphasis on cheap because any domain name you claim might stay with you for months or even years before you find a buyer for it. You may even end up not selling some of the domain names.
I suppose that’s the thing with any investment. You win some and you lose some.
Hence, going for cheap registrars or a domain auction site helps curtail the amount of loss you nurse in the event that some of your domain names don’t sell.
· Always be on the lookout for domain names whose registrations have expired
This is a nice way to make quick money or claim great domain names that have previously been purchased. Big website owners, of course, are quick to renew their domain registration before it even expires, but in rare cases, something happens and a site owner fails to renew on time.
Using websites like ExpiredDomains.net, you can discover these expired domain names and register them quickly to claim them.
· Always research the history of the domain names you want to claim
It could be that a domain name you conceptualised or discovered via ExpiredDomain.net is linked to fraud, copyright infringement, or some other illegal activities, and that’s why it is available.
You might want to avoid that domain name, as it will be difficult to sell, especially to a buyer that knows their way around the internet. To be safe, simply use Archive.org to verify the records of the domain.
Also avoid domain names associated with a trademark, as the owner of the trademark can sue you, should you attempt to sell such a name. Here is a great example of domain name owners losing their domain names to a major trademark.
In any investment, there are pitfalls. In the domain business, cybersquatting is a pitfall.
· Signup for an online payment account
It is only reasonable to have a means of receiving money online, since buying and selling domain names is done online too. There are many online payment platforms out there, but for your convenience and that of your customers, it is important to use an online payment method that is popular among internet users.
PayPal seems widely acceptable and should be your first choice.
· Make money with your domain names while you wait for sales
A popular way to do this is via ‘domain parking’. You register with a company like Umbrellar.nz and they redirect your domain to a page with adverts. Whenever an advert on that page is clicked, you make some money.
When a businessperson says that you should get every part of your business to make money for you, something like domain parking is what they are talking about. It’s like a matchbox maker using the back of his matchboxes to advertise household items for other companies.
Depending on the number of domains you park and the popularity of the keywords used in the names, this can be a nice way to recover what you spent registering them with a domain registrar.
· List your domain names for sale
First discover the worth of your domain names using sites like DomainIndex.com, so that you can be able to fix reasonable prices for them.
Then list the domains for sale on auction sites like GoDaddy, AfterNic, and Sedo. This is a nice way to make them visible for buyers to see. Also, reach out to companies you believe might be interested in the domains you have.
· Set up a website for your domain business
In this online age, every business needs to have a website. It’s that simple. So, if you consider buying and selling domain names your business, you ought to set up a site where you not only list the domains you have for sale, but also blog about topics related to domains and webhosting.
The blogging part will help your site be visible on search engines. Perhaps, as your content pulls traffic, it may also end up converting a fraction, however tiny, to sales.
There is not much else about investing in domain names, except the above. Follow those rules and you might end up snaring and selling a domain worth more than the ‘insure.com’ deal.