I make money because it’s how I keep score. Like most kids that grew up with Atari and Nintendo, I used to love to play video games. Now I still play games but the score is kept in US dollars. If I win I make lots of money. If I lose I lose my time. But my time is valuable, very valuable, so if I’m going to play this domaining game then I want to make weekly money putting in daily time. Here’s how I’ve been doing it.
I find something I can make money in and I attack it. There are plenty of types of domains that you can make money with but I feel more comfortable working that I can see results in the numbers. It started with LLLL.coms. I could see prices starting to rise and I could see their were limits of availability. I put $5K in it and doubled my money. Then I took that $10K and put it in NNNN.coms. I made $7K profit on that investment. I then took that and put my money into one word or short domains that were what I call middle of the pack “liquid” domains. Some were short two letters, some were one word. I bought them both private and at auction. I then put them all back up for sale on Namejet. I took it and made it into close to $25K. I’ve now taken that and put $20K of it in to higher end CVCV.coms. I am going to hold on to these for a while but I feel I can easily sell these for $40K (maybe more) in the next two years. Only time will tell
As you can see I have a plan. A plan that works some times, other times it doesn’t, but it’s still a conscious ,thought out direction. It’s not a buy anything, everything method that leads to a portfolio of random names. I so have a small group of random names but they all share on commonality. They were all purchased for dirt cheap and it won’t take much to cover cost and renewal fees. My portfolio always stays in that 350 range. I don’t want, nor do I need more names than that. If you see it getting bigger than that you know I made enough money somewhere that I can now buy a lot more quality names. Bigger is not better unless the bigger is full of better.
So let’s get back to the title. I have a business, a good business. I generate a lot of money and don’t need domain investing. But I love it. I love it because it’s one of the few businesses I’ve found where I CAN get paid weekly size paychecks for working a few hours a day. I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t. You see that I barely write this time of year because I work 80 hours a week or more at my nursery and can barely think straight by the time I get home, let alone do research and give information you don’t already know. Why would I write an article telling you that Namejet and Godaddy’s quality of names sucks lately? I’m not going to waste our time with the obvious. All I can tell or write about is what’s working for me.
Some of the best names I’ve purchased have no resale value but they still help me make money. For instance, I bought iShane.com When I talk to people and I give them my address I can now tell them it’s Shane@ that domain and they never forget. I will say things like “if you ever want to sell email me at” and guess what? Two months down the road they remember that email. I truly feel that the memorable email address have gotten me a few emails I would have never received. Anything you can buy that keeps you in the minds of others is a good investment. That email can be recalled when they think of me. That’s valuable.
The other thing that has been good to me is affiliate programs. Commission Junction pays me well. The Godaddy affiliate program at CJ alone payed low $XX,XXX figures last year. After tons of trials and errors I have found how to work the various companies’ affiliate codes into my sites. As far as DomainShane I have a method to my madness and it works well. It may not seem like it, but affiliate links and their placement and use is a fine art. Knowing how long they last and how they are treated defines their use. Even the wording can make hundreds of dollars of difference. I would love to share more about it but you can’t give all my money making secrets away. All I can say is CJ kills Godaddy’s returns but Godaddy has taken away CJ’s auction commission so they are forcing you to use their links if you want to try and make money off their auctions. But Godaddy has terrible customer service in the affiliate program (took two weeks and 5 reminder emails to even get an affiliate code) and they only track that one particular auction and you don’t get credit for anything else they buy. I make money but it’s 1/5 of CJ’s old links.
Finally, I have found a theme for my sites that make it natural to click ads. My site Heucheras.com is simple but this theme returns 10 times the money that my old layout did. When the ads that run are right and blend well with the content it can be quite lucrative. I have found a theme that works well for my plant sites. Eventually I’ll have a enough time or people to continue the buildouts and cleaning up of the sites. At this point they are not returning weekly pay for daily work so I haven’t concentrated on them yet but I will be soon. I realize I will have to make a larger investment to get them to accomplish the return I need. I’ll be working on it this summer so perhaps next year I can share another success.