Learnings from domain trading
Some people have asked me my thoughts on getting into domain trading so I’m collating my thoughts based on my experiences to date.
Be A Pirate
Domain trading is often the topic of many ‘Make an easy $10K a month from home’ courses and webinars that seem to be rife on the internet. These always reminds me of Barry from Eastenders picking up a ‘Get Rich Quick’ book in the ’90s and look where he ended up… Don’t believe in ‘easy money’. The cash-flow you want comes with hard work at the right time and in the right field.
It was a cold winter morning just over a year ago in a maisonette flat in High Wycombe when the term ‘Domain Trading’ first caught my attention on a Udemy promoted tweet. My curiosity had lead me to Udemy a few weeks prior where I enrolled in an Astronomy class that I never started.
I was then captivated by a success story about how a guy quit his job to trade domains full-time whilst travelling the world. The idea of being more mobile had always been appealing…
I used a tutorial that appeared to be quite advertorially lead – sponsored by domain trading platform Protrada. However, it was a fairly valuable resource in delivering what you could consider ‘best practise’ and I recommend it (link at the bottom). Personally I lacked the vision to pack it all in to buy domains all day so invested my free time carefully. I followed the formulas provided to estimate the value of some domains and quickly accumulated about 10 domains for no more than £50. Some included:
They all met the generic quality of something that could be attractive to someone in the alcohol, travel or financial industries and in-turn generate a positive return on investment. The biggest challenge was getting in touch with potential buyers and convincing them they need your domain.
Do not get into domain trading unless you have the time, patience and enjoyment in making numerous cold-calls, sending follow-up emails and, as with all sales, rejection.
I had some interest in my repertoire but the offers weren’t enough. Granted they were 2 or 3 times above what I paid it was still only double digits…
I rounded up my attention towards purchasing domains with one last acquisition which, if you’ve read my blog before or follow me on Twitter, you probably know was www.selfiestick.co.uk.
This was my greatest success turning a 31420% increase on what I originally paid when I sold it – but it defined what is for me the most important strategies for acquiring domains.
Be a pirate
‘Opportunist’ isn’t enough – we all have to be one anyway to get into this space. Keep your ear to the ground and seize digital real estate as the memes spread on Reddit, as the boy/girl bands are named on talent shows and as the trends spread on Twitter.
If you can generate press, you’ll do great. Don’t let your domain stagnate, make sure you build it’s reputation with relevant content. When the idea of shipping your enemies glitter catches the imagination of the tech community, you’ve done something right.
Know when to move on. We’ve all seen the entrepreneur on Dragon’s Den who has invested their life-savings in something that doesn’t have a market. Take constructive criticism on board from your peers and move on from there. Not everyone is destined to be Frank Paul.
Sorry I’m not painting a more inspiring picture. You can still have a lot fun remaining realistic – the thrill of auctioning www.selfiestick.co.uk over the closing hours of the auction was amazing. Race you to the next!
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