99 Tips for Successful Domaining

Nov 23 2011

The fellow members of Namepros, in a group effort, came up with a list of 150 Tips for for successful domaining.  I tried to weed out the redundant posts (may have missed a few) and came up the top 99 tips.  Even if you don’t agree with all of them, there is no doubt there is some great advice in the collection and something all new domain investors need to read through before they spend their hard earned money.

1) Create brandable domains by replacing the first letter(s) of a common word.

2) Don’t start work developing an idea around a domain that you don’t yet own thinking you can grab it when you’re ready!

3) Don’t use hyphens in the domain if you can help it.

4) Does the domain look good in upper and lower case?

5) Say the domain out loud before registering it, is it easily pronounceable over the phone?

6) Read up on new and emerging terms and register domains around them.

7) Don’t register domains while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. (just say no)

8) Try and keep the length of the domain down. Don’t chase the keyword

9) Use Google Adwords Keywords to find top keywords for the topic you are researching 

10) Match your domain name with a proper TLD (or TLDs).

11) Just because you don’t speak a foreign language doesn’t mean the rest of the world doesn’t

12) Search through lists of expired domain names.

13) It’s a good sign if PPC advertisers are bidding on the exact terms that make up your domain name.

14) don’t register too many at once – spread the renewal times !

15) Limit yourself. Don’t register everything that looks good, but only a select few, the best of the domains that look good. Selling domains is not as easy as it seems, even for those of us that have some success with it. Domains that are simply decent can easily get lost within the millions of listed domains out there.

16) If all your research and domainer intuition point to a successful sale at a certain level with a domain you’ve purchased, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the level of bids you want right away. Be patient!

17) Research various different domain markets and find the one that suits you best, whether it be brandable made-up .com names, top keyword ccTLDs, or something inbetween.

18) If you really want to feature a domain at a particular marketplace, make sure it’s a high-quality name that otherwise would not easily be found. Check the listing visits on your best names, pick the one with the least amount of listing views, and feature that name.

19) When you believe you have a good understanding of high quality domain names ($x,xxx or higher) and feel you have 1 or more of them, make an attempt to get those elite names into showcase/top names at the domain marketplaces you have then listed at. It’s always free and can only mean more traffic to your listing.

20) If possible search for end users, selling to domain resellers usually isnt the best way to get the max for your Domain.

21) Use acronym searchers to discover additional meaning to a domain.

22) Domain ‘hacks’ can add additional value if done in a clever way and matched with an appropriate extension (e.g. del.icio.us, click.it)

23) Buy trademarked domains At Your Own Risk and be prepared to drop it at any time.

24) Try to buy one good domain rather than to register 10 domains with the same money

25) Be ready to drop if need be

26) Don’t spend more than you can afford

27) Don’t make this your primary business.

28) When partnering with someone, get your agreement in writing. Get clear agreement statements from all parties, regardless of your affiliation(s) with them. At the least, save a screenshot of all chat sessions and/or save all email discussions.

29) Don’t transfer/push sold Domains prior to receiving payment from the buyer.

30) If you find an available name check to see if the plural or singular version are also available.

31) If you find an available name check to see if there are other similar names available

32) Don’t regret a sale for longer than a few seconds. If you find out later that the name was worth much more, the buyer would’ve/could’ve paid more, etc., consider your “loss” as money well-spent on a lesson well learned.

33) – ask questions from those who know more than you and respect their answers

34) Don’t buy names that you don’t intend to renew.

35) Work out your budget and stick to it.

36) Keep a reserve for bargains that may appear.

37) Don’t spend big on types of names that you have little experience with.

38) don’t fall for appraisal scam39) Remember to use any discount codes when registering or renewing, this will save you lots of money

40) Check the name is not blacklisted

41) Invest in the future, the past has already been bought

42)It is MUCH easier to find a sweet Domain in drop list than develop a new one by yourself

43) If you start registering lots of domains get yourself a domain reseller account to lower the price per domain.

44) Use domain searching software for advanced domain hunting.

45) If your interested in a domain which looks like its going to be dropped, contact the current owner and make an offer, once the name does drop you might end up paying alot more for it in the end.

46) Find yourself an online domainer friend which you trust and discuss the domains your interested in prior to regging them, always nice to get a second opinion.

47) Become a member of Namepros.com and DnForum

48)  Sales threads with the word “premium” in the title doesn’t necessarily mean they are premium names

49) Use a domain monitor to watch your domains (dns changes, transfers, locks etc…) and domains you are interested in.

50) Late night registrations are a no go area. You will wake up in the morning and wish that you had never bought it.

51) If creating a website, register related names in all different extensions to cover yourself as it will save money in the long run on Dispute Filings or having to buy them in the future for $100 a piece, when you could have just got them for practically nothing in the first place.

52) Cheapest isn’t always best, the registrar may have hidden charges which may otherwise be free on another registrar.

53) If you have a domain name which has a trademark associated with it, unless you are in a “nothing to lose” (apart from the crummy domain) situation, do not offer it to the company with the registered trademark as this will give the company evidence of an “abusive registration”

54) Use The Wayback machine to view old versions of sites at a domain, they may even have put a price up or other interesting info.

55) Before grabbing a domain, check if it’s been taken in other extensions already.

56) Use Whois name protection to hide your contact details from the world, otherwise it’s available as public info.

57) When you are expecting domains to drop, check their availability at more than one registrar. While some show a domain as still taken, others may be showing it as available

58) Compose your email messages to potential buyers in a word processor; edit them; and then paste them into your email program. (If you compose in the email program, you might accidentally hit “send” when the message is half written

59) When you register a domain, don’t try to “flip” it immediately for a small profit. Park it and wait for a while (at least a week or two) to see whether it’s getting traffic, which could increase its value.

60) Reward people who help you. (For example, if someone posts an available domain that you grab, or gives a thoughtful appraisal to your domain, give them some rep / NP$ / actual $ / etc.)

61) free online appraisal systems very often give inaccurate (often inflated) evaluations of domains.

62) On some occasions if a great domain is about to drop, it might be worth while contacting the owner directly before it does – because it will almost certainly be snapped up and go to auction for the highest bid.

63) If you have graphics design experience creating quick logo concepts for the domains you are selling can help potential buyers to share in your vision for the domain, and increase the chance of a sale.

64) Don’t get greedy when responding to Sedo.com offers unless you really know what you are doing.

65) If your name gets listed on GreatDomains.com, you cannot sell it anywhere else for 6 months.

66) If your reason for registering a particular domain is to sell it, then make sure your who-is info is accurate and up to date, so buyers can contact you quickly and easily.

67) Be diligent in renewing your domains. Don’t procrastinate. If possible, consolidate your names to one registrar to make them easier to keep track of.

68) Avoid current event domains. Today’s news is next year’s junk domain.

69) Your domain is worth whatever someone’s willing to pay, NOT what someone else says it’s worth.

70) Don’t hold on to your whole portfolio in hopes of getting high $$$$$$ for each name, renewing hundreds of names per year at high expense. Instead, hold on to some gems, sell the rest for lower prices, move the goods

71) When you sell 10 names for $50 each, instead of using that $500 for regging 50 inferior names, consider buying a single high quality dotcom for $500

72) Make sure you take into account the expenses of regging, renewing, broker fees, software purchases, transfer costs, whois privacy costs etc when planning your budget. If you don’t, you might end up losing money in the long run even if you do make some sales

73) Repark your bottom 20% – some names just do better elsewhere but give them time.

74) Remember that end users/Business owners do not necessarily think in the same way as a Domainer does.

75) Domain name conference events are a great place to learn more about the insides of the domain industry and network with other domain owners and businesses. DomainFest: www.domainfest.com Domain Roundtable: www.domainroundtable.com TRAFFIC: www.targetedtraffic.com

76) Check for the readability of a domain (e.g coollinks isn’t as easy to read as coolsites) Also check if the first word could be perceived as overrunning into the second – e.g. gamershell (gamers hell? gamer shell?).

77) Try and avoid domains with negative connotations

78) When registering a domain  see if you can grab similar sounding domains as well

79)Consider using an escrow service, especially when conducting transactions of a high value.

80) Put your best domains for sale in your signatures at Domain Forums

81) read read read…. If you dont know the newest and latest news or sales information, you dont know whats hot… you wont know what kind of domains to attack and you’ll find your always one step behind everyone else… Try to have the forsight to see whats ahead and beat your fellow domainers to it…

82)“Follow the traffic. Follow the money” -Frank Schilling

83) Try to spread your renewal dates as much as you can, it sucks to let domains go that you don’t want to let go simply because the total of renewals in one month is to much to cope with.

84) Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.

85) Don’t get too upset about the opportunities you miss. Learn from them. Nobody wins all the time. In life, you often have to lose before you win.

86) Buy quality not quantity

87) Keep good records

88) Length — how long is your domain name? One word domains are usually easier to sell and sell for higher amounts than 2 word domains from the same sector.

The Next Nine are from Reese, a very knowledgeable 4L specialist

89) Pronouncability — Is it easy to pronounce, or is pronouncing the name really stretching it? Prounouncability leads right into…

90) Memorability — how easy is it to remember this name? A memorable name is generally a non-hyphenated name, composed of 1 or 2 words which go well together. Stay away from numbers — especially the use of numbers as letters (such as one and 1) to form words. A memorable name probably has…

91) Brandability — Could a company center a product or website around this name?

92) Grammatical Tense — Use a tool, such as Wordtracker to ensure you use the right one. What seems like the most used tense to you may be different from how the rest of the world sees it. Also use Wordtracker to identify whether the term is more popular in it’s plural or singular form.

93) Use USPTO.Gov to find out if the domain has a trademark before you buy it

94) Use a 1/10/30 rule for .com, .net, .info — meaning that I first attempt to determine the approximate value of a .com, then, I associate approximately 10% of that value as a maximum value of the .net and then assign one third of the .net value (or 1/30 of the .com value) to the .info. I use these as maximum prices I would pay.

95) Target Market — Who exactly is going to buy your name? If it’s a generic .com or LLL.com, okay, you need not worry. But what if it’s not? Obviously the larger the target market, the better.

96) Traffic — The big T! No traffic, no money. Easy as that.

97) Plan for the future — Hedge your investments and hedge them well my friend! You can’t predict the future

98) Domaining can be addictive, know your limits.

99) If you’re hand regging, $8 doesn’t sound like very much but it adds up fast, especially when renewals come.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Jon

    I agree 100% with all the tips given, I think this list should be bookmarked and read weekly by anyone who is serious about domaining.

  2. Lewis Lopez

    Everyone is domaining these days keeping into account the importance of online presence. It’s a flourishing business! Even I took a plunge into domaining some time back, and happy to say that I have been successful so far. Great post, thanks Shane

  3. Sammy Ashouri

    Awesome tips. Great compilation, I’m sure this will help some people. There are some I don’t exactly agree with 100%, but still, as a whole it will definitely help some newbies entering the domaining gates!

  4. Pingback: Shane’s 100 Domaining Tips #41-50 | Domain Shane

  5. Anon, But You Know

    Namepros has its virtues for people just getting accustomed to domain buying and learning the 101 stuff, but the groupthink over there orients VERY heavily towards bottom of the barrel, rank newbie stuff. It’s a place you either grow out of, or get stuck in.

    Not to say there aren’t some shrewd, successful members there- they know who they are- but they’re a small handful, outnumbered 100-1.

    There is a lot of ‘domainer logic’ on that list- in this context, we could probably call it “Namepros Logic”- that couldn’t possibly be any further from what goes in to a winning domain buying/selling strategy.

  6. Abid

    Thanks Shane. Every day to learn something new here. Guess i have to learn harder. This morning i just picked GREAT expired domain name. Well, gosh i was so happy to pick it up and forgot one of your lessons = ALWAYS check misspelling! At first i rush to register my new dnsearch.com WOW, buy after i paid for it i noticed it’s misspelled. Anyway my $7.49 turned into dnsREACH.com which is not tooooo bad after all LOL…

  7. Sameh

    45) If your interested in a domain which looks like its going to be dropped, contact the current owner and make an offer, once the name does drop you might end up paying alot more for it in the end.

    Most of the time, the opposite is the best to do. Since domain owners usually ask for “too” much or higher than they would sell it for while if the domain hits the auction you probably would pay reseller price or a little higher.

    I did that mistake twice.

    First time, it was a domain on Sedo owned by Register.com and their asking price was $350 I bid $100 then $250. After a few days they canceled the negotiations and put it up with a Fixed Price of $2,500.

    Second time, it was a keyword domain which I knew it receives traffic related to one of my websites. Two weeks before expiration I was afraid that it might hit the auction and receives a lot of bids due to its traffic. I contacted the owner but he didn’t reply. After three weeks (one week into expiration) that was his exact reply “$6,500 .. no counter offers .. no questions asked”. Of course, I didn’t reply. A year later, I got it for $59 on SN.

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