On the World Wide Web, domain names are the equivalent of real estate. Owning a domain name lets you stake you claim to your piece of the Internet. For several years, many people from all over the world have been making a good living from the comfort of their own home through the power of domain names. Many domain names have sold for thousands of dollars, and some have sold for hundreds of thousands or even millions. For example, one of the names I registered recently was appraised at a value of $6,000!
Contrary to popular belief, the "dot com crash" has not spoiled the domain name market. There is still a very strong demand for quality domain names. The biggest sales have all come in recent years, as the market continues to grow. Selling names remains one of the easiest and least expensive internet businesses available. It requires a minimum of time and little or no initial investment. It is an ethical, no-nonsense business which avoids the most common pitfalls of other work-at-home ideas.
There are a lot of technical details about how domain names work, but it is not necessary to know these details in order to profit from the names. There are many kinds of domain names, but for the purpose of making money, only "Top Level Domains" (TLDs) are important. The best TLD extensions for making money are listed here:
Making money with domain names can be one of the easiest businesses around. There are really only four steps involved:
- Search for names.
- Register the names.
- Sell the names.
- Collect easy money!
Let's go through each step in more detail...
Step 1: Search for names.
The first step in making money with domain names is to search for available names. Your goal is to find high-quality names that have not yet been registered. This is not as difficult as some people may lead you to believe. I do it all the time, and so can you. There are still plenty of valuable, high-quality names available for the taking.
To search for names, you need to use a domain name registrar. At my site, Domain Doctors, we offer a availability check and registration service. On any other registrar's website, you should see a similar search box that allows you to type in a name and find out if it is still available. Doing this is as simple as typing in the name you want to search for and clicking a button. You will see the results of your search in a few seconds. Checking for availability is completely free.
When you are looking for names to register and re-sell, there are a few simple guidelines to keep in mind:
- Shorter is almost always better. The fewer letters a name contains, the more valuable it is likely to be.
- Similarly, the less words the better.
- You want to pick names that target markets which are both large and specific.
- Stay away from hyphens, dashes, numbers that replace words, intentional misspellings, and all other gimmicks.
- Don't try to be too clever, and don't try to "invent companies by registering names."
- Finally, watch out for trademarks. Don't register names that infringe on the trademarks of established companies.
If you are having trouble thinking of names to re-sell, Domain Doctors offers an inexpensive suggestion service. We guarantee that every name we suggest will appraise for at least ten times what you pay us, or you get your money back. I do not know of any similar services available elsewhere, although you can always use Google to research other options to help you find good names.
Step 2: Register your names.
After you have some names you think will be valuable, the next step is to register them. Most names will cost you $15-35 each to register. You may find a few places that offer registration for less, but you should keep in mind that as with anything in life, you get what you pay for. Domain Doctors registers names for $19.95. Other reputable services should be in a similar price range.
Step 3: Sell the names.
Once you've registered your names, you can list them for sale immediately. There are two ways to do this -- through listing sites and through brokers.
If you want a faster sale, go through a broker. Because they make money from the sale, brokers will list your name, promote it, and attempt to get you the best possible price. In exchange for those services, they will deduct a percentage of the sale price when the transaction is complete. 10% is a typical broker's fee.
If you are willing to potentially wait a bit longer for a sale in order to avoid paying a broker's commission, you can list you names for sale at a listing site. To find brokers and listing sites, you can type "selling domain names" into Google, or you can find them at the Domain Doctors site.
Step 4: Collect easy money!
After a name sells through a broker, you get paid the sale price minus the broker's fee. If it is a private sale through a non-broker listing, you get whatever price you and the buyer agree on. Unless you invested in a huge number of names, a single sale could easily repay all of your initial costs and leave you some money besides. If you like, you can use part of this money to register more names, and keep building your business this way.
You should now have everything you need to get started. As you make progress and do more research, you will learn many tips and tricks to increase your success, but the most important action step for newbies is to jump in and get some good names listed for sale as soon as you can. Again, be sensible and don't spend a fortune on registering names before you get some experience, but do get a few names on your plate as soon as you can and use them to learn the ropes.
I think you'll find that speculating on domain names is a fun and rewarding business. It is not a get-rich quick scheme, but with a good eye for names, you can make a comfortable income without leaving home. Remember, if you like the idea of the business but you aren't sure you have an eye for names, Domain Doctors can help. We guarantee that every name we suggest will appraise for at least ten times what you pay us, or you get your money back. We also offer domain name registration and appraisal services. A version of this article with a lot of additional tips and informative content is available at our website, through the link below.
Best of luck, and please do drop me a line if you make a good sale or get a name listed for a good asking price!
About The Author
Jim Clark is a professional web developer and consultant. Domain Doctors is his latest project to help other people make a full-time living doing part-time work from home. For more info, you can visit Domain Doctors.