Newbie Domaining – 18 months In
I received some pretty positive feedback regarding previous posts I put out there about Newbie Domaining at 6 months and one year in. As such, I thought I’d breakout the keyboard and put this post together, as another 6 months has quickly gone by. Again, a tip of the hat to Nadia @DomainSushi, for inspiring me to write these posts, where I can publicly document my progress in the domaining world. Even though this last six months included the typically slow times of summer, it certainly has been the best six-month stretch for me so far, albeit only my third one since I started. There are many highlights I’d like to share with you, as well as some tips I think have helped me along the way so far.
Over the last six months, I was able to sell 23 names, including my first sales on the Domain Names Sales (it was about time after many inquiries and many offers), 4.cn and the Hunting Moon platforms. I sold three names through the TRAFFIC auction in Las Vegas this past Spring. I also had sales at EBAY, through DNForum and through my own website. I was able to determine that the buyers found my site through Twitter, through a whois search, through an advertisement at Domain Shane and through a Google search!
Let’s break these down a bit.
For those of you domainers who do not have a website, you are missing out on potential sales. I’d suggest you develop a website where you can showcase your domain names that you have for sale. There is plenty of information out there to teach yourself how to develop your own site or you can hire somebody experienced to do it for you. I personally learned to do it myself through the DNF College at DNForum (thanks Adam!), although my site still needs some work. Anyway, you can drive traffic to your site through a variety of different ways. A peek at Google analytics tells me that Twitter works well for me, as does posting relevant and meaningful comments on various domaining blogs. Traffic also comes through links in my signature at various forums, and I’m also getting some traffic through some strategic advertising. Some lessons in search engine optimization (SEO) have also helped, as I’m ranking extremely well for a number of different category phrases such as “charity domain names for sale” for example, and they are finding me and my names!
Notice I mentioned Twitter first regarding how my buyers found my names. Over the last six months, @VinsDomainscom was able to reach 1,000 followers, although I’ve learned that about 200 of them are fake. Regardless, taking the time to utilize social media, such as Twitter, is a great way to build up a base of followers who are interested in domain names. Take the time to open an account. Retweet tweets that are relevant and interesting to the domaining space. Use hashtags, Follow Fridays and tweet important lessons that you have learned. I also use LinkedIn and Facebook to get more exposure as well and I find it is all working nicely, although it all takes time. Build gradually, but consistently and success will show its face. Remember, patience is a virtue!
Some other takeaways from my sales over the last six months include getting your names out there. Morgan Linton wrote a recent post about various platforms where you can get your names listed. I won’t bother to reiterate where you can, but will simply say that the more places you have your names listed, the more likely you will find buyers looking for your names. Do your homework and make sure you take into account the fees and commissions the various platforms may charge. Also make sure that if you are listing with Buy It Now (BIN) pricing, that your prices are consistent from platform to platform.
As Adam Dicker recommends, take some time to analyze and organize your lists from time to time. Most of us have names that we would rather not have. Stop the madness and let these names drop, but before you do, list them for cheap at EBAY and you may be surprised to make your original investment back. I was able to on several names I was going to let drop anyway. He and I also recommend keeping your Whois information public. If you are selling the domain name, you should make it as easy as possible for people to find you. A public Whois is an easy way to let people who are interested in the name find you. Besides, a private Whois may actually cost you money, depending on your registrar.
In addition to selling names, I was able to accomplish some significant networking over the last six months, despite being a part time domainer. Elliot Silver, Namejet and Afternic held a networking event at Fenway Park. That evening, I was able to meet and chat with Elliot, Matt Overman of Namejet, Braden Pollock of Legal Brand Marketing, Dave Evanson of Sedo, Tessa Holcomb and the lovely ladies from Igloo and many others. Since that event, I’ve had the pleasure of also connecting with Raymond Hackney and Morgan Linton and have secured tickets to my first TRAFFIC conference for this October. Networking over the years in my environmental business was the Number ONE KEY to my success! I suspect it will be no different in this business. If you want to be successful, you need to network, whether in person or virtually, although face to face networking always has more meaningful results. Get yourself out there and meet some people!
These networking efforts have led to me joining the HybridDomainer team and I couldn’t be more excited about that and the direction that things are moving for VinsDomains. That’s another takeaway I’d like to leave you with. If you want to be moving in the right direction, you need to act…you need to move…you need to take the initiative and make things happen! Set some goals and knock them off!
Developed websites that have been monetized are also starting to give me a monthly income base that is slowly growing as time goes on. While it takes a bit of time to develop and maintain these sites with fresh content, the results are real and worth the effort, in my opinion.
Some sites that I have developed over the last six months that are beginning to do well include FriableAsbestos.com and HowToTreatPoisonIvy.com. The majority of my domaining time as of late has been devoted to developing Hosted.org. Every website in the world is Hosted, so I thought it was a great name to launch a hosting review and community forum all about hosting. I hope you can check it out and register and I hope that in my next six month post I can discuss Hosted.org as a website gaining quick success.