Domain and Website Flipping
This is something I’m pretty excited about because I love buying domains and building great blogs and flipping both. Hunting for a great dot com name is a daunting experience, because as most people know, they are in pretty slim supply for the .com extension. You can get other extensions, but .com is generally regarded as King of the domain world, and therefore is worth more money than the other extensions.
That doesn’t mean that I would necessarily rule out other extensions. .net is fast becoming more popular due to the shortage of great .com names. They are beginning to command some large prices on the domain auctions for a good .net name. If you are into video and rich media sites, .tv is a great extension. Just take a look at tnt.tv for an example of this kind of site. Say you wanted to launch an affiliate traveling site … .tv would be a great extension for this to showcase travel videos. Namepros.com is a great website for discussing domain names and getting ideas, knowledge about domains and advice. DNJournal is another great site for domain name info. Check out that page to see some of the wild prices people can get for a great domain name.
What Makes a Great Domain Name?
That’s a very good question. People often make some simple mistakes when choosing a domain name. Here’s a few guidelines for picking a domain name.
- You want a domain name that people can spell and remember.
- Not too long, in fact, the shorter the better and more valuable.
- Try to pick a name that is only one or two words at the most
- Keyword domains, such as fantasyfootball.com would be a great name for a fantasy football site or a brandable domain name. Brandable domain names, like Squidoo, Digg, etc. are basically made up names that become recognizable as your personal brand through use.
- Avoid hyphenated domain names. It decreases the value of the domain name and is harder to say and remember
- Avoid trademark names at all cost. You most likely will just lose the domain name to the holder of the trademark. To find out if a name is trademarked, just go to TESS and start out with the new user form. You can also check for international trademarks here. That includes typosquatting, deliberately misspelling a trademarked name to profit from the trademarked name. You can use a trademarked name in your domain if you do not intend to use it for profit, including ads, Adsense, etc. (such as a celebrity fan site). You can also use it in a domain name for an online review of the company, such as MacsSuck.com
- HotBabes4U might sound like a good idea, but it’s not. Don’t use numbers for words and U for You, etc. You can use numbers for something like 9rules or 43things or 50babes, etc. but using 4 to mean for will decrease the value of your domain.
There are a couple of free online domain appraisal tools online that are fun to play around with, but can’t be relied upon completely. Estibot.com is the best of them in my opinion.
Once you have a portfolio of domain names, you have to decide what you are going to do with them. I list mine at afternic.com and sedo.com for sale, but I dislike parking domains. Parked pages are ugly and turn people off. I have parked some on Sedo and made just pennies doing it so I took them off of Sedo parking.
Now I develop as many of them as I can. Normally, I use blogs to develop them. It is very easy to get blogs indexed in Google and to start getting traffic within days of creating them. Add some Adsense and a few affiliate banners, and you have a more profitable way of monetizing your domains while you’re waiting for them to sell than parking them.
Selling Your Domains and Websites
As I mentioned before, the domains can be listed at afternic.com and sedo.com. Once developed, a great place to list the developed sites is at sitepoint.com and eBay. Don’t even think about Craigslist.org. Those anal *individuals* flag a website listing before it becomes live. I don’t even know why that site still exists … but I digress The quickest sales I’ve made for a developed site is at sitepoint.com. Sold several websites the same day as they were listed.
Here’s an auction I have there currently:
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