Question: What do the Power Rangers, the Macarena and domain name investing have in common?
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Answer: They were all big in the 90’s.
It’s a bit ridiculous how easy it was to make money back then by buying and selling domains. Pizza.com was registered by Chris Clark in 1994 – he paid $20 a year for 14 years to maintain the web site name before eventually selling it for $2.6 million!
Domain names are a big business now – worldwide sales of domain names are around $100 million a year. Just like how you invest in strong companies and sell them when they become more valuable, you can invest in domain names and sell them to someone who finds value in that name.
There are many people who try to predict which domain names are going to be valuable. They create the domain and pay a fee to register it in the hopes that they can sell it for crazy sums of money in the future. It’s a bit like flipping Internet real estate.
You must be wondering what it takes to become a master of domain name investing. It’s not super complicated; think up some names and then check to see if they’re available. It’s a bit more complicated these days because almost all the good, simple names are taken. But it’s possible to get lucky. Here are a few tips to get started.
- Keep a list. Whenever you think of something that might have potential write that sucker down!
- Be on the lookout for short names, consisting of words that people use often in search terms. Words like car, book, and phone are all good examples. Domain names with letters are generally worth more than domains that include numbers, unless you happened to own something like 2fast2furious.com.
- Words that go together are always good bets, such as ceilingfans.com or crazydog.com. The more natural they sound, the more they are likely to be worth.
Some sites that you should bookmark . . .
- GoDaddy: Use it! They have useful services that let you search for and buy domains. The site also hosts auctions for domain names.
- Sedo: a domain name marketplace that also offers information on trends and lets you search for keywords. This is another site that lets you buy and sell domains; they’ve brokered a number of record domain name purchases, including the sale of Vodka.com for $3 million!
- Domaintools: has a great finder tool that allows you to search for the owner of a website should you need to contact him or her.
There are different strategies when it comes to domain name investing. Some people prefer to sit on their pages waiting for their value to rise while others turn them into “parking spots”. Ever stumbled onto the wrong website because you misspelled a URL? Well then, you just clicked through to a parked domain. Owners of these sites make money using Internet advertising to monetize the traffic that comes through their web sites.
Domain name investing can be tricky; it’s hard to valuate domain names because there isn’t too many tried and tested rules to go by. Some sites can be had for rock bottom prices, like pizza.com; others can cost you much more. A $50,000 outlay on a domain name may seem crazy. . .but what if it’s really worth millions of dollars?
Sometimes you just have to take a chance.