I talk to customers, vendors, and employees all day. Out of the 12 hours I work each day, there may be one that involves silence. After talking to me for an hour you can easily figure out that my hobbies are marathons (ran a terrible 3:39 today before work) , plants and domaining. Often in conversation with others, especially customers, I will go to one of my sites to show them pictures or information about the plants. Of course I’ll let them know that it’s my site and that I own the domain. Here are the responses I get every day and the answers I want to give but never want to be that harsh or go into that much detail.
1. So wait….how do you OWN that domain? Most people still don’t understand how domains work. They think that we rent them from some higher being or something.
2. You think I could still register Banjos.com? I love the banjo. It’s probably taken isn’t it? The same person that has an email [email protected] thinks that he may be able to still get banjos.com yet he couldn’t even get [email protected] But sure, banjos.com might still be available.
3. So how do you get the money after you’ve earned it? They act like that some guy drives down from Chicago and give me a little sack of money each month. Many people can’t grasp the fact that money can be accrued and the magically, wirelessly, and safely sent to your bank account.
4. How in the world did you learn all this? Even Doctors and professors ask questions like this. As if I’ve discovered how the entire Internet works and I am the first person to ever monetize it. That same doctor can reattach a thumb but are amazed that I can make money off a domain name.
5. How do you have the time? I always answer this one the same way. We all have hobbies and we make time for our hobbies and the things we love to do. Mine just happens to be making money. As I’ve said before people that say they don’t have time for something are lying. What they really mean is it’s not worth making time for.
6. You paid how much? They can’t grasp the prices people pay for domain names. Although, they get very excited when I tell them how much I got for some of the names I’ve sold. The “have to spend money to make money” concept doesn’t seem to sink in here.
7. Can you sell names for me? After I get to talking domains there are often people that have purchased a domain or two. Usually it’s a business or maybe something they wanted for email. Almost always they are a name that is completely worthless like Jimmysbouldersigns.net. I usually follow with “that’s a fantastic name for you but might one that others are willing to pay money for”.
8. If I give you some money can you buy me some names? This used to happen to me all the time when I was trading. One year I took $2K and made it into over $125,000 in 10 months. After that, everyone wanted me to invest some of their money. Now they want to buy domains and they want me to pick them. The problem is they want me to sell them as well. It would be fine if it was $100K or so but it’s always $500 or less. As we all know, this is a difficult business and most of the names never sell. We use the good ones to offset the “bad” ones. That and development. And that’s a can of worms I don’t to open or even mention to anyone.
9. Can you teach me about domaining? 12 years of hard work is not that easy to teach. What I’ve learned is basic stuff to most professional domainers but to the average person it’s overwhelming. I get this question once a week and I always tell them to read a list of sites I give them and get back to me with questions. I am willing to fill in the blanks but not to teach a course. I can save a newbie lots of money but I can’t make it for them.