interviews An Interview With Award Winning Domain Investor Leanne McMahon

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At the recent NamesCon conference Dan sponsored domain awards in five categories. The winner of the award for Community-Driven Domainer of the Year was Leanne McMahon, @PixelCorp.


Even though she has only been in domain investing a fairly short period of time, Leanne has had a big impact on the community. She is refreshingly honest in sharing her journey in domain investing, and almost 2000 follow her on Twitter @LeanneMac.

Her data insights have been praised by both long-term domain investors, and those relatively new to our community.

Here is a glimpse of the sort of data she shares.
  • During September 2021, DAN had 4179 pubic sales, with 4 of the sales in six figures.
  • The highest value sale was a $198,000 .club name.
  • Only 3 of the top 10 sales were in .com, although in the overall set .com sales represented 66% of the total.
  • The average sales price that month at Dan was $1250, with the median $250.
You can catch her full September 22–30, 2021 Dan Sales Report here.

I reached out to Leanne to learn a bit more about the Dan sales data, as well as her path and goals in domain name investing.


Can you tell us a bit about how you first got interested in domain investing?

I’m a freelance web designer by trade and have been looking for a change, something I could sidestep into. I'd sold a few domains years ago, but then stopped to concentrate on building my web design client base. In thinking of ways to sidestep, I came back to domain names, and started reading more on that and the current state of the industry. I then dabbled with SEO domains with websites on them and things evolved from there.​

I am impressed by how many different things your have tried during a relatively short time as a domainer: retail and wholesale selling, different extensions, inbound and outbound, geo and generic terms, buy-it-now and payment plans. What have you learned from these experiences?

I've learned that, especially in the early days, diveristy is key. In the past 9 months I've sold domains on Flippa, Dan, Afternic, DNWE, eBay, Twitter, NameLiquidate and Outbound. I've also learned that as your portfolio grows, it becomes harder to be manage many different marketplaces. Therefore, I'm reigning that in now, and concentrating on Dan, Afternic, Sedo and Flippa. I'll still liquidate/get cash flow on DNWE, but my retail portfolio will just be on those 4 platforms.​

Ultimately, what is your long-term goal as a domain name investor?

My long-term goal is to be a full time domain name investor. It's something I really, really enjoy. but I know you have to have a pretty big, good portfolio to see consistent sales, so my short/mid-term goals are growing the portfolio and improving its quality.​

While you have provided a variety of interesting information, you are best known for the insights on what has sold on Dan. What made you select that as something to concentrate on?

When I first started in domaining, I saw how generous the community was, and I wanted to contribute myself. As a new investor I didn't have much to offer, so just documented my wins and losses to start with. But then I stumbled upon the Dan transaction ledger (no longer in existence) and started digging into the sales listed there, their niches, age, cost-per-click, and so on, to try and spot some patterns for my own education. I found the results interesting, so wondered if the community would too. I tweeted my initial findings. That went down well, so I carried on as one way I could earn my keep in the domain community.​

In the first stage of your Dan data sharing, what stood out most for me was the number of names that were selling just a few weeks or even days after registration. Did that surprise you as well? Did it impact your personal domain name journey?

Yes, I couldn't believe that, and it showed me that outbounding geo service domains was a successful path for quite a few sellers. I sold a lot myself that way after seeing this.​

In the recent Dan sales analyses, I have been surprised that so many different extensions sell for large amounts each month, including sometimes extensions not considered high-value in terms of an aftermarket record. What aspects have particularly surprised you in the data?

As you say, in recent weeks, lesser-used top level domains, TLDs, have been grabbing the top spots. I'm interested to see how that plays out, as it may currently be fuelled by the metaverse interest. Regardless of that, there's always a good number of sales in the lesser-used TLDs, so I've certainly used that info to invest in some strong, short second level domains, SLDs, in a variety of extensions.​

What data does Dan share with you currently? Do you know the domain name and amount for individual sales, or only that a name in a certain TLD sold for a certain amount to a buyer from a certain country?

I never see full domains or SLDs. I get the data on a spreadsheet with the following info:
I then analyze that for trends and pick out the things I find most interesting.​

Is your own portfolio mainly .com, or what other extensions have you invested in? What sectors or types of names interest you most? How large is your portfolio currently?

My portfolio is currently 68% .com, with a total size around 700 domains. I also invest in .co, .io, .so, and .dev. I don't specialize in any particular sector, I just go with my gut.​

What are your overall impressions of the domain community?

Amazing! Alvin Brown and Keith DeBoer both reached out to me for a chat early on, which was really nice. It's a really supportive community in general and a very generous one. I've learned so much from free resources such as Alvin, Keith and Josh’s (Josh Reason) podcasts, Nikhul's NamePros posts (see Almost a Decade of Domaining by Nikul Sanghvi), Domain Social replays, and Domain Sherpa on YouTube. There is so much out there. Not forgetting everything Michael Cyger does for the community.​

There is no doubt that your data analyses have helped others. Do you feel it has also been helpful personally in guiding your domain investing?

Certainly. Seeing the geo service sales encouraged me to concentrate on outbound and get sales that way. Profits from those sale have fuelled the growth of my portfolio. Also, seeing that other TLDs can sell well too has made me dig around looking at other options.​

While your data posts are among the most viewed and shared from your social media feed, what else do you like to share?

I like to share wins and losses. It's nice to post about a sale, but it's also important to post about things that don't go according to plan, such as a sale falling through, a sales drought, or accidentally registering typo names. New domainers need to see that it's not all sunshine and rainbows.​

If you could offer one piece of advice to someone just starting out in domains, what would it be?

Learn, learn, learn. Take DNAcademy. I took it really early on in my journey, and it helped me leapfrog months ahead in terms of knowledge and money saving. If someone can't quite afford it yet, they have a free course on Udemy, as well as other free resources.

What is one interesting thing about Leanne that you are willing to share with NamePros readers?

I was born a 2 lb baby.​

Leanne may have started out small in life, but she is certainly on a trajectory to make it big in domain investing. Thank you so much for your clear answers, Leanne. They will help guide and inspire others early in their domain name investing journey.

Getting In Touch

Perhaps the best way to interact with Leanne if you have questions is through her active Twitter feed: @LeanneMac. On NamePros she goes by the handle @PixelCorp. Her domain website is at

Other Award Winners

The winners in the other categories were:
  • COM Domain Investor of the Year: Ehren Schaiberger
  • Country Code Domain Investor of the Year: Nils Buurman
  • New gTLD Domain Investor of the Year: Swetha Yenugula
  • Most Data Driven Domainer of the Year: Nikhil Jain
I hope to interview some of the other award winners in future NamePros Blog articles.

Sincere thanks to Leanne for agreeing to this interview, and for the clarity of her responses.
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Thank you Bob, and congratulations to @PixelCorp. I'm always glad to see female domainers enjoying success in this male-dominated profession.
Leanne's a rising star that will go far!! (y)
Leanne has just released the analysis of Dan sales from the first week in October. It is at:

The top sale that week was a .games domain at $133,997

That was followed by two .com domains ($94,050 and $48.014)

Then a .net at $37,620

Somewhat surprisingly a .fashion TLD name was fifth at $34,990. That is more than 5x the highest sale in NameBio in that extension.

A .direct sold for $19,888. That is almost 3x the highest sale in NameBio in that TLD.

Thanks for the continued stream of data analysis, @PixelCorp.

Great interview,thank you sir!
Yea Leanne!!.. Our community is better because you're in it.
I won a domain industry award once, a decade and a half ago... I wish I had not lost it when I moved.
Thank your for this interview. There is lot to learn from this.
All the Best to Leanne!
Thanks all! Any thanks to Bob for taking the time to do this.
look at her.. from 2lb baby to a heavyweight hehehe

well.. nice sukces story