The Brandable Insider: How to Avoid Becoming a New Business Casualty

Several months ago I was surfing NamePros and I noticed a guy in live chat. He said he was looking for domains to buy. I quickly sent him a private message and asked what kind of domains he was looking for. He said he wanted a domain that he could flip and make some money on. I told him every person on NamePros wanted a domain for a profitable flip. Why would they sell you a domain that they could flip themselves? He had no answer for that and I warned him to be more careful and cautious. I told him that without knowing the market he was likely to get ripped off.

I think we all started out with that same kind of naiveté but we know now that, despite the hype, there’s no overnight success in domaining. I think everyone’s heard that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within the first 18 months. I know, I know, some say “my domaining’s not a business, it’s just a hobby.” I say bull. It may be a part-time endeavor but if you’re not approaching it like a business your chance of failure is likely even higher than 80%.

If you’re new to domaining or having trouble becoming profitable, here’s eight tips to increase your chances of success:

• Make a written business plan
• Before you invest decide on a worst case exit strategy
• Track your expenses, income and profit
• Know your customer base
• Find an experienced, successful domainer and model their success
• Have a sales plan in place before you buy a domain
• Periodically put a moratorium on purchases and focus solely on sales
• Network and consolidate your skills by helping others

We need to work harder and smarter than the other 80% of domainers. That means finding and developing an edge. We need to apply some unique talent, knowledge or approach to domaining. If we just do the same things that the other 80% are doing we’re likely to fail.

And one more thing. Avoid asking for or following the advice of anonymous strangers on domaining forums. Instead spend your time learning the business through research, books, courses and the blogs of well-known industry leaders. Network with successful domainers privately. Don’t follow the faceless herd or they’ll lead you right over the cliff.

Here are some brandable picks from NameJet this week:

Keith deBoer

Keith DeBoer is a part-time, domain investor with an emphasis on brandable domains. He’s a domain industry writer with published content at BrandBucket, DomainShane and NamePros. He’s also a brand ambassador for BrandBucket and by day, he works as an Internet consultant.

6 thoughts on “The Brandable Insider: How to Avoid Becoming a New Business Casualty

  1. Very well said! All the eight tips if followed sincerely may turn domaining into a profitable business. This point is worthy of note-taking from your post. “It may be a part-time endeavor but if you’re not approaching it like a business your chance of failure is likely even higher than 80%.”

  2. I have to agree that you provided some great tips. However, I think it’s important to also keep in mind that some of the biggest and well-known investors in the industry still frequent some forums. While a new investor shouldn’t blindly follow anyone that is anonymous, they could use their research to identify the domain industry leaders and just follow them on a reputable forum.

    1. Good comments. I have benefited from many of the great blogs on NamePros. It’s also been a great place for me to network and create private relationships with other experienced domainers. Plus, the no commission sales platform is super! The forums also have their place in moderation. Thanks reading and bringing out these other points.

  3. A great article, thank you! The tip about “Periodically put a moratorium on purchases and focus solely on sales” is important. But the entire article is a veritable business plan.

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