Just before I sign off for the year I wanted to do a last kind of post on domaining, I’m still 100% happy with my strategy of securing prime keyword specific generic domain names for the purpose of building on. While it would have been nice to reg some domains 10 years ago my mind was on other things, this is still a period in time that won’t be repeated, I still feel we are here just now pretty much at the creation of the internet and there are opportunities today that won’t be here in a generations time.
There is a small element of ‘fear of missing out’ no question but that’s only a tiny part of what has driven me over the last 12 months, when things settle down over the next few years and they roll out other new extensions and add variety and choice I still have the gut feeling that it won’t dilute anything, perhaps the reverse. Country code domains like .co.uk and .com have been to the forefront for the last 10 years and the branding, trust and recognition by the public at large gives me confidence that domain names and especially the good one’s will continue to appreciate in the coming years.
The main thing that’s changed recently is the domainer to domainer sales at the bottom end has dried up, it seemed to be mainly fuelled by selling to each other based upon speculation anyway so moving forward I’ll jot down my golden rules for buying domains if you wanted to replicate what I have done. These are my own views and my strategy, it may differ for other people.
Go for the best you can get, even if it means borrowing. Prices 3 years ago seem cheap today and today’s prices may seem cheap in a few years time, the good domains are ending up in hands that won’t sell. Seek out domains that cover a niche broadly, a domain that describes a business perfectly or major part of a business. So you want outdoorfurniture not outdoortables, you want usedcars not balljoints, you want patiofurniture not patiochairscovers.
You’ll have to buy the domain(s) from someone. While reg fee domains may be good for future products & services it’s pretty much a waste of time trying to build an empire on reg fee domains today. Better to buy one good domain from someone than 100 reg fee domains.
Do not buy to flip, for a start a quick profit soon gets forgotten but a quality domain cannot be replaced so easily. Sedo’s own stats suggest that in Feb ’08 they had 11.5 million domains in their database and sold 1500 per month. So they sell 0.001% of their inventory in a year, chances are of the 690,000 members the same top one’s make a few sales, chances are it’s not going to be you.
Always be in the zone, I pretty much can’t watch TV or read a paper without relating it to the internet and domain names, I find it hard to bite my lip when I see local companies being so tight and misguided in their domain choice, such an important thing that gets so little time and investment at the start of a business. So I always look for ideas, names, words and niche’s – be aware.
If your contacting someone always give a number, a price expectation or ballpark figure. You don’t want to for fear of overpaying but the chances of getting casino.co.uk for £300 are none to none, better to get a response than be another lunatic that get’s his/her email deleted. You need to find a number that gets a response, one that doesn’t mean your overpaying and one that leaves you room to move. For me on really good domains it seems to be around £2000. Also by giving a number you can immediately keep the conversation in the real world, if you ask for a price you invite the owner (who may have one domain) to dream of retirement and invent something like £100,000, if you offer £2000 it’s a reality check and a number to work from.
Don’t get hung up on worrying about paying for all these offers, I have sent offers on domains that would probably amass to hundreds of thousands in the last year, 99.9% won’t come in if your choosy, when one does come in then it’s time to worry about raising the funds.
Don’t say “I’m pretty much done with buying domains” and then buy insurance quotes
Insurancequotes.co.uk was one of those domains I had been trying for quite some time, this lady owner only owns 2 domains and both were reg’d in 1998, she didn’t really have an online footprint and in the end it was snail mail that got a reply, but that really should be me now, honest
You only need one great domain to make a micro business from, with the right idea you could get enough interest to rank pretty quickly, having a keyword domain gets rewarded by Google, having one that is a country tld helps in your countries version of Google. If you ended up ranking well and building a good site you will get linked to through your perceived authority status and having a high ranking on any domain brings benefits of others seeking results and linking to the sources they find, getting to the top 10 in Google can bring a certian level of self sufficiency in that you’ll naturally get links just for being there. All this could be achieved in a short space of time and it starts with an idea, I hope you have good ideas and enjoy success in 2009!