Eight Ways to Fail at Domaining

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”Henry Kissinger

Profitable domainers fail 97% of the time on the way to selling 3% of their inventory each year.  Domaining is a highly speculative endeavor.  To be profitable means walking a virtual tightrope of income, expenses and probabilities.  On top of that we have to compete with thousands of other domainers from around the globe. So if we want to exceed – we have to excel.  On the other hand, if we want to fail, there’s at least eight ways to do it:

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Retrospective: My Four Years as a Domainer

In many ways, most domain name investment is better labeled as speculation……… Less is more – quality over quantity. Don’t invest unless you understand the quality of a domain, and your options to cash out.

Alan Dunn at NameCorp

I’ve just completed my fourth year of an exciting and profitable domaining adventure.  So today, at the start of a new year, I’m looking back and sharing my reflections on my past successes and failures. This includes insights, stats and some year over year sales analysis.

Keep in mind that I characterize myself as a journeyman domainer investing, almost exclusively, in dot-com, brandable domains.  Everyone’s journey is different but here’s the story of mine.

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The Brandable Insider: The Secret Path to Profits

“Domaining is a hard industry, very few make money but many like to pretend that they do.”Morgan Linton, Co-founder of Fashion Metric

I like to play poker. No-Limit Hold’em to be precise. But I’m an average player and I don’t play very often. However, despite my shortcomings, over the past 10 years, I’ve won more money than I’ve lost. How can I say that? Because I have an Excel spreadsheet to prove it.

What’s the secret to my success? Well that’s easy. Smart money management. Huh? Let me explain.

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The Brandable Insider: The Emotional Roller Coaster of Domaining

Domaining is a speculative industry. A point that really hit home for me while watching an episode of Domain Sherpa last year. A panel guest and industry icon who appears frequently on the show said: “most of the domains we own will never sell [to an end user] in our lifetime.” That’s just the straight up, unflattering, reality of our industry.

Against all odds
The odds of any random domain being purchased by an end user this year are probably in the same neighborhood as the odds that we’ll be struck by lightning in our lifetime (1 in 12,000).

However, hard work and skill can lower those odds significantly. At least that’s what we think. And so it’s, under that gray veil of potential self-delusion, that we labor and search for those elusive, 50 times investment, end user deals.

Lightning strikes
It’s this kind of business dynamic which creates, for me and others, a roller coaster of emotions as we plunge from a post deal high to the depths of an unexpected dry spell, depression. I had one such experience this fall when I suffered my first dry month in more than a year. Fortunately, my pre-holiday domainer’s funk was obliterated by a recent string of three end user sales – all in one week. Read More

Efty, Passkit and 3Doodler hike 100km to raise money for Oxfam

trailwalker_logoTogether with three other friends, I am participating in the famous Hong Kong Oxfam Trailwalker later this month. The Trailwalker is a life-changing fundraising endurance event in which teams of four must complete a course of 100 kilometers (62 mi) in a set time limit of 48 hours. The race takes place on the MacLehose Trail and includes deeply indented and wild terrain as well as Hong Kong’s highest peaks. I may have to check out some of the best Enacfire earbuds to take with me on this hiking trail so I always have music to accompany me on the journey.

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Kung Hei Fat Choy! Here’s everything you need to know about the year of the Monkey.

Kung Hei Fat Choy! (Or Gong xi fa cai – if you’re speaking Mandarin.) Welcome to the year of the monkey. The new year, also known as the Spring Festival, is marked by the Chinese calendar, so the date changes from year to year. The festivities started yesterday, the day before the New Year and will continue until the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the new year. It is a time for families to come together to eat good food and participate in cultural traditions.

Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks just like its western counterpart (which focuses a little more on Lady Luck), but with the major difference being that each block has a time-length of one year instead of one month. Each year is associated with an animal: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog (that’s me!) and pig. Click here if you want to know which Chinese zodiac sign you are. Read More

DNgeek is one year old!

It is exactly one year ago today that I published my very first post here on DNgeek. At the time I was domaining for two years and wrote I was “determined to make an effort in the new year to give back and contribute by sharing my own experiences, mistakes, strategies and thoughts” here on this blog. And what a year it has been!

got married, traveled to eight different countries, bought and sold a bunch of domain names, welcomed Michael Cyger to the Efty team, and somehow managed to publish 137 post here on DNgeek that got 754 comments. Traffic to the blog has been growing nicely and I would like to thank everyone that reads, subscribes and especially those of you that contribute with comments and discussions here on DNgeek. Read More

Welcoming Michael Cyger to team Efty.

I’m thrilled to announce today that Michael Cyger, publisher of the award-winning educational website DomainSherpa.com has made a strategic investment in my company Efty and will join our team as a Partner to work with myself and co-founder Lionel to make Efty the one tool that domain name investors cannot live without.

For many people in the domain name investing industry Michael Cyger is a household name. He has earned a stellar reputation, trust and respect for his work helping entrepreneurs and investors succeed with domain names with his essential DomainSherpa publication. Read More

2 years of domaining and my very first blog

Exactly 2 years ago today I bought my first domain off of Namejet.com. I was on vacation in Sri Lanka and a few weeks earlier I found out that the domain name of a company I co-founded had expired and would be auctioned on Namejet since it was registered with Network Solutions.

I was keen on re-gaining ownership of the domain so I signed up for an account and had to set my alarm at 3AM in the morning to participate in the last few minutes of the auction. I still remember the stress of it all, only heightened by the poor wifi signal in the hotel. I remember cursing it and wishing I was back in the U.S. using the wifi there, which is a lot quicker if you set up a plan with infinity dish or a similar company. Then, to my surprise, there was quite a number of other participating bidders. But it was all worth it for the adrenaline when I placed the winning bid and once again I was happy to be in Sri Lanka. That night I not only ended up being the owner again of the NewChinaCareer.com domain (it costs me $314) but I also learned that sites such as Namejet is where savvy investors snapped up great domain names before they came available for the rest of the “regular” folks. I was instantly hooked and have been actively investing in domain names ever since

I’ve never been a very active commenter, but reading domaining blogs quickly became part of my daily routine and allowed me to quickly get up to speed and avoid many of the newbie mistakes and pitfalls. I really appreciate those in the industry that regularly share their tricks of the trade and personal views such as Shane “DomainShane” Cultra, Elliot Silver’s DomainInvesting.com (who happened to be this blog it’s first ever reader for all the wrong reasons) and Chris from TLD.org. Invaluable for me as well are those that spend the time to pen down extensive reviews on services and products and interviews with industry leaders such as Raymond Hackney and Michael Cyger from DomainSherpa.com.

I’m determined to make an effort in the new year to give back and contribute by sharing my own experiences, mistakes, strategies and thoughts here on DNgeek.com. Happy New Year!