The Brandable Insider: Creating a List of Strong, Brandable Keywords

Several people have messaged me asking where they can find a list of strong, trendy, brandable keywords. The answer is everywhere and nowhere. No such list exists, that I know of, except in the toolbox of successful brandable domainers. It’s a list that’s subjective and evolves over time. It’s a list that no two domainers will agree on. It’s a list that comes from analysis, observation and experience. It’s the summation of hours spent at sites like NameBio, TechCrunch, DomainSherpa, AngelList, CrunchBase, BrandBucket, Startups-list and BrandRoot. Looking, analyzing, evaluating and deciding the relative value of each word. After a while it becomes intuitive. But in the beginning you need a written list.

For those that don’t have such a list, I’ll get you started. The way I’m going to do that is by showing you sample brands for existing startups in some of the most relevant technology niches of today. Not every keyword listed is a tier one brandable word. But most of them are. So get out your keyboard and create and refine your keyword list!


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Brandable domain name sales week 2:,,

We have a very juicy list for you this week with ten sales in the five-figure range. The top sale was for a very nice CVCV, which fetched a cool $40k+ on auction site NameJet. The domain name was first registered in 1999 and was in use by a real estate company for many years before they let it drop. The winner seems to be an individual from Beijing

Other names I like on this list include, and The award for most profitable flip goes to which was purchased for just $310 on NamJet last summer and just sold for a whopping $20k on Sedo.

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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51 newly funded startups and their domain names:,,

I want to thank everyone that reached out to me offering their help with compiling the weekly list. I have found somebody that will work with me on this moving forward so I am happy to share we can continue publishing this series.  Last week we saw 51 startups kick off the year with a combined $426,856,970 in funding. More than 78% of these companies launched with a .com domain name for their website followed by the ccTLDs with more than 15% of the list. There is not a single startup so far this year that went with a new domain extension.

Some domain names I like on this week’s list include those of Africa’s first pan-continental airline, Fastjet which uses the matching domain name which was picked up for $1,650 on SnapNames back in 2005. Although it;s a little bit descriptive I also like California-based myDevices,  an online platform that provides its users with personalized IoT solutions from the matching domain name. Last up we have Danish social intranet startup Colibo. The company just raised its first major venture funding. It was me who hand-registered the domain name in 2014 and sold it to them via a year later for $2,095

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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The Brandable Insider: Price Increases, the Chinese Market and New gTLD Consolidation

Last week Andrew Allemann of Domain Name Wire published an insightful podcast with the 2017 predictions from domain industry execs. The predictions were far reaching and gave the big picture of what’s in store for domaining in 2017. Andrew’s podcast included insights from Andrew Rosener, Bill Sweetman, Giuseppe Graziano and a dozen more. I found it a very worthwhile listen and I highly recommend it. However, for those short on time and patience here’s the “Cliff Notes” version.

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Brandable domain name sales week 1:,,

We kick off the year with a very slow week for brandable domain name sales with the top grossing reported sale being which sold for $3,550 on GoDaddy auctions on the 5th. More than half of the sales on this week’s list are reseller sales and the most notable thing right now is that am increasing number of brandables that sell in the resell market are starting to go for similar prices as those sold by BuyDomains, a marketplace which selling directly to end-users.

Other domains I like on this list include:,,

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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30 newly funded startups and their domain names:,,,

As expected we have a very small list this week with only 30 startups. Thanks to a monster round of venture funding that was raised by China-based Hsuanzhang, an online financial and tax services provider to small and medium enterprises, a total amount of $54,082,410 in funding was raised by the companies on the list. Exactly 6o% of them launched with a .com domain name followed by the ccTLDs who claimed 26% of the list this week.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any domains on the list this week that I really like so not much to comment on that.

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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Top 100 brandable domain name sales for 2016

Two years ago I compiled a list of the top 100 brandable domain name sales during 2014 which planted the seed for the weekly brandable sales series on the highest, reported brandable domain name sales all throughout 2015 and now 2016.  Based on more than 1000 reported brandables sales during the year I have once again compiled a list of the top 100 brandable domain name sales for 2016 and as a bonus here’s a downloadable spreadsheet of the top 1000 sales for the year for further analysis.

The criteria for inclusion in the list are the same as previous years.

  • No numeric domains
  • Dotcom only
  • No 2L & 3L domains (as they are a breed on their own)
  • No one-word dictionary domains (in any language). This means the sale of is not included for example as it’s the Spanish word for Hour.
  • Unless a word has an alternative spelling such as No 18 on the list, or No 61,
  • No 4-letter acronyms unless they are pronounceable and used as a brand name instead of an acronym (many examples of those on this list!)
  • Two keyword domains can qualify. No 54,, for example, is a brandable domain name while would not have made this list.
  • Variation on words are allowed, such as No 715, (none of these in the top 100 this year)

The 100 biggest sales this year account for $3,343,894 in sales compared to $3,168,440 in 2015 and $2,989,652 in 2014. This year it’s top 100 includes only 17 4-letter domain name sales compared to 30 in 2015 and 25 in 2014.

Uniregistry is once again the dominating marketplace with a whopping 49% of all sales in the top 100. is the runner-up, accounting for 28% of sales. Unfortunately, Afternic, GoDaddy, and BrandBucket do not report their sales and sales made via the Efty platform are private unless the seller decides to report a sale to DNJournal or NameBio.

Here’s this year’s list: (more…)

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The Brandable Insider: Identifying Milestones and Trends from 2016

As 2017 rolls clearly into view I’m looking back at the events and forces that shaped the brandable domaining space this past year. From where I sit there were a number of notable changes and events that impacted the brandable domain niche and could have an influence on our domain strategies moving forward. They’re at least worth noting and considering as we look ahead, evaluate and visualize for the coming year.

Sales & inventory are up
Self-reported sales at leading brandable marketplaces continue to improve. Although they’ve yet to release their 2016 sales totals, BrandBucket reported in their May Sellers Newsletter, that “Q1 sales dramatically outpaced last year’s Q1 and early Q2 sales.” This indicates a potentially strong sales increase year over year. Simultaneously, brandable marketplace inventories increased dramatically with some marketplaces almost doubling their 2015 inventory levels.

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Brandable domain name sales week 52:,,

Happy New Year guys. I hope everyone had a great break and is looking forward to a productive, healthy and profitable year. I have a great feeling about 2017. Despite the year-end we still saw some strong brandable sales last week, mainly driven by investors who have been bidding up each other at the different auction sites for the past few weeks. There’s been a lot of chatter about the rising prices in the reseller market for brandables both here and on NamePros and some suggested it might have something to do with large portfolio owners such as making sure to hit their year-end budget surplus. We will see.

Names I like on this weeks list include,,

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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My year in numbers: 154 domains sold, $53,660 in gross sales, 21 end-user sales

As we wrap up 2016 and most of us are looking forward to a new year and make new year resolutions I thought it would be a good exercise to analyze my portfolio it’s performance during this year instead. To get a good picture of any progress made I also compiled all data for the year before.

In 2015 I sold a total of 45 domains for $49,325 of which 23 domains sold to end-users. I only paid $3,920 (try that in today’s market!) to acquire the 45 domains that sold that year but I also paid a whopping $11,102 in commissions and escrow fees on those deals which left me with a profit of $34,302

The average end user sale in 2015 was $1,933 and the annual sell-through ratio of my brandable portfolio that year (based only on end-user sales) was ~4.6% (more…)

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