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Bob Hawkes

Becoming A Better Domain Name Investor This Year

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By Bob Hawkes, Feb 25, 2021
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    While it is sometimes possible to have success without a business plan, having a clear plan, including near-term and long-term objectives, will improve your odds for consistent success. I personally consider late February as a good time to consider New Year’s resolutions. Goals we set at the turn of the year are still in mind, but enough time has elapsed to expect progress. Yet it is not too late, and there is still opportunity in 2021 to make adjustments and work on goals.


    What Were Domainers Planning To Do Differently in 2021?

    Raymond Hackney started a thread Are You Looking To Do Anything Differently in 2021? A number of NamePros members shared their plans for 2021. Here are some of the themes I extracted from the responses.
    • Many expressed the goal of investing in higher quality names.
    • Several expressed the goal of trying new ways to sell domain names.
    • A few suggested that repricing their domain name portfolio was an aim.
    • Related to that, some cited the aim to make sure that each domain name had an effective lander and a buy-it-now price. The latter seems consistent with a recent analysis indicating an increasing number of sales are from priced domains.
    • Some expressed the wish to pare down the size of their portfolio.
    • We sometimes think of our domains as one set, but Mister Funsky expressed the plan to divide the portfolio into four tiers, with a different pricing strategy for each tier.
    • Other investors planned to grow their portfolio, particularly seeking new ways to acquire domain names, such as less popular marketplaces or private acquisitions.
    • Shifting the focus from acquiring domains to selling domains was mentioned by several.
    • The idea of using experiments to test the effectiveness of alternative strategies, such as different landers or marketplaces, was mentioned by a few people.
    • Investing in yourself, your own skills and self-improvement, is an important theme that will be discussed more below.
    Others mentioned various specific plans to change the type of names in their portfolio, for example a different mix in extensions held.

    The most mentioned goal for 2021 was to improve the quality of domains held. Joe Nichols added the idea that while his immediate plan was to improve quality, the ultimate goal was that would help to achieve a low-maintenance portfolio.

    Keeping Your Resolutions

    A lot has been written about keeping resolutions in general. Among the points often made are the following, and in many ways keeping domain resolutions can be similar to meeting fitness or health goals.
    1. Be realistic in setting your goals. For example, a typical domain name retail portfolio sell-through rate is 1%, so setting a goal of a 75% sell-through rate is probably unrealistic.
    2. Clearly and precisely outline what you plan to achieve. Try to specify your plan in a way making it possible to objectively determine if you have achieved it.
    3. Share your plan with others. While many of us are naturally hesitant to do that, it can give you motivation to keep at it. While some are fortunate enough to have a business or family partner to play the role of an accountability partner, if not, remember that NamePros is a community, and consider sharing your goals here, either privately or publicly.
    4. Track your progress. One reason to make your plan clear and specific is to assist with tracking. As you make progress toward your goals, reward yourself in some tiny way.
    5. Do a mid-year evaluation. The pandemic changed the sectors that were in demand during 2020. Your personal situation may also change. There is nothing wrong with changing your goals, as long as you are deliberately doing it for good reasons.
    6. Do things in small steps. From time to time I personally have too many domains not listed on marketplaces with proper landers. That makes the names very unlikely to sell. Getting them all listed at once seemed like too big a task, so for a number of days I set myself a goal of getting 8 listed per day, a much more manageable goal.
    7. Don’t beat up on yourself. It is hard to achieve a challenging plan completely, so don’t let small shortcomings make you feel down and negative.
    8. Reflect in a systematic way at the end of the year. Domain investing is no different than most activities, honest review and reflection is key to continued progress.
    9. Set your goals according to what you can control. This is perhaps most important, and I expand on the idea in the next section.
    Probably the most important goal is to improve the quality of your domain portfolio. While that is challenging to evaluate, it is not impossible. For example, consider having a friend go through your domain portfolio once a year, both to help identify weak names you might drop, but also help with an overall portfolio quality evaluation.

    Probably a self-evaluation can be more effective than you think. Take the list of the names you liquidated or let lapse, and compare with the names you added during the year. Are the additions stronger than the names you let lapse?


    Focus On What You Can Control

    In setting objectives, concentrate on what it is you can control. For example, while someone can do things that might increase chances of a $10,000 sale, whether such a sale happens in a short time period can’t be controlled. The chance of a major sale is improved by things such as a higher quality portfolio in desired sectors, improving negotiation skills, research and smart pricing, and so on, but even with all of those things, sales can sometimes be sporadic.

    For that reason, I think it is best to focus on resolutions that are within your control. These might include ideas such as some of the following.
    • Get all domain names listed on at least one marketplace.
    • Get an attractive lander operational for each domain name.
    • Evaluate all domains in a portfolio, and designate which names you will not renew.
    • Learn a new tool for domain research. Here are some free research tools.
    • Start a new habit that will help you be better informed about domain names. For example, to carefully read NameBio new sales listed each day, or catch a podcast regularly, or each day check the reported sales listings here on NamePros.
    • Learn something new, from reading a book, taking a course, or taking better advantage of NamePros resources. Brian Harbin wrote a NamePros Blog post on investing in yourself.
    • Identify sectors in your domain portfolio, and decide which to keep and new ones to add.
    • Try selling domain names at one new marketplace you do not currently use.
    • Review and set buy-it-now prices, and adjust your minimum offer settings, if you activate make offer. A few months ago we researched how domain investors set minimum offer amounts, and also looked at how domainers price their domain names.
    • Try acquiring domain names in some additional way. Perhaps try a private acquisition, or a marketplace you have never used, or a NamePros Request post, if you do not currently use that to acquire names from time to time.
    • Improve security around your domain holdings, for example by using two-factor or other security measures, or perhaps changing registrars for some of your domain names. Paul Buonopane wrote a three-part NamePros Blog series on the topic of safeguarding your domains - here is the final article in the series.
    • Make a new personal connection with someone in the domain world or start a new initiative.
    • Establish a better business plan for your domain operation, and better financial tracking and analysis.
    This is not an exhaustive list, but demonstrates the sort of actions that are within your control.


    Final Thoughts

    The NamePros Blog article on composing and using a domain prospectus may be helpful as you set or refine your goals.

    If you would find it helpful, please don’t hesitate to share in the comments section your goals for 2021, and how it is working out so far. Publicly sharing your goals, or some of them, will help to inform and inspire other investors. Sharing them may well also help you stick with your plan.

    I wish you every success, and hope you will share goals you have set and how it is going. How fortunate we are to have the NamePros community!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and informal educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 80th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
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  5. Comments (30)

  6. The Durfer

    The Durfer Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    serenity now, serenity now. lol.. ty Mr. Bob. :)
     
  7. Ali Azam

    Ali Azam DNCrate.com VIP

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  8. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam AMDB.tv VIP

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    Great read and thanks for sharing, Bob.
     
  9. iTesla

    iTesla Established Member

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    Thank you for your great post as always!
    I wanted to say something for long time but was abstaining, the sad truth about NamePros.
    The disadvantages of Namepros is it educates end users about domaining and most of them look for cheap alternatives.
    Second thing this website is using the unknown to me new technology which is used by popular websites as Google, Facebook, Youtube, Ebay etc, to target adds in the way i see topics, replies and auctions, which i hate, that is why to use Proxy is prohibited in Term of Service this is somehow related to the browser collecting private data across different websites.
    P.s. i do enjoy namepros more than FB groups, this is just my own opinion and i like to say it straight, peace.
     
  10. J4wd

    J4wd PeerIdeas.com Gold Account

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    You've hit the nail on the head, Bob! But instead of asking your friend (or your Mom), why not ask your fellow domainers? :xf.cool:
     
  11. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks Bob...another nice post with helpful information.
     
  12. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted (15-30%) Gold Account

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    Bob...while you and i have different mindsets, I've certainly learned a lot from you and from others here for that matter. My goal is pretty simple....keep swinging for the fences, and one day I may just connect. It's because I've connected before in other industries, it's not hard for me to imagine connecting in the domain industry.....it's really not rocket science. I don't know about you, but very few of my peers had/have a clue how this industry works for some, and doesn't work for others.

    I think I mentioned here before that I use to do some guest lecturing at a local university 35 years ago about the credit and finance industries, and it was a very rewarding experience. I'm looking at an opportunity to do it again, but this time about the brand, domain and trademark industries. I'm certainly not an expert in any of these areas, but I do have enough practical experience to speak to them all.

    Finally, while there are no guarantees I believe I've "connected" now for the third time since I arrived here three years ago. The first two times were long fowl balls, but I think this time I'll clear the fences.

    In my guest lecturing I'll be teaching that what's left of the .dot is far more important than what's right of the dot. I know this isn't popular here, but I plan to make it popular outside the domain cocoon where it can really make a difference.

    Thanks again Bob(y)
     
  13. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I could well be wrong, but my understanding is the proxy restriction was put in place so that there would be clarity with respect to auctions and other NamePros activities to make sure that no one was breaking rules. I am not involved with ownership, management or moderation of NamePros, just write here (and feel thankful for that opportunity!). I am tagging Paul, the CTO at NamePros, in case he wishes to add to my answer. @Paul
    Bob
     
  14. jim h

    jim h Upgraded Member Gold Account

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  15. ndeekay121

    ndeekay121 Established Member

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    Thank you Sir. A good read as always.
     
  16. DuDD

    DuDD Established Member

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    • I am always amazed by your articles
      thank you Bob
     
  17. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam AMDB.tv VIP

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    While asking fellow domainers makes sense, don't forget that most end-users are non-domainers. So, their opinions matter too
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  18. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted (15-30%) Gold Account

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    You make a lot of sense. I give very little credence to what other domainers think, and I'm doing just fine. I don't consider our friend Bob a domainer either. He's more of an analyst and I consider myself more of an opportunist.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts(y)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  19. J4wd

    J4wd PeerIdeas.com Gold Account

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    Who would you give credence to instead?
     
  20. TauseefKhan

    TauseefKhan Top Contributor VIP

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  21. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted (15-30%) Gold Account

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    We probably don't need to go there but since you asked, everyone besides a select few here who think they're God's gift to the domain industry.
     
  22. J4wd

    J4wd PeerIdeas.com Gold Account

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    😂😂😂
     
  23. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    A superb point @FolioTeam - I agree we can get great feedback on names from those outside the domain community, particularly those similar to who would be the potential users. That said, domain investors will bring knowledge of what has sold in the past, and available alternatives, so I see value in both.

    I view myself that way too, @ThatNameGuy - I typically spend more time in a week on analysis and research than directly looking for domain names or related to selling of domain names. Thanks for your reflections.

    Lots of great comments an insights in thread, but I hope more will share with us what they set out to do differently in 2021, and if they are making progress on that.

    Have a great day everyone.

    Bob
     
  24. elevator

    elevator DnCombo.com VIP

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    Another nice material for lnspiration.
    Thank you once more @Bob Hawkes
     
  25. Joe N

    Joe N Top Member PRO VIP

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    Fantastic write-up, Bob. Thanks for all the insights. I particularly like these suggestions:
    I think that many of us underestimate the importance of building connections with other domainers and people in this industry. Being a part of various networks can open our eyes to new and different ideas, keep us informed of new tools and trends, and give us far more avenues for making sales and acquisitions. Honestly, it's something I need to be better at doing! I should have included it in the post you quoted above. :)

    The flipside of this, of course, is that ultimately we only have ourselves to thank for our successes and failures. After all, it's your own money being spent on your domain investments.

    So while connections and opinions of others should be used to broaden our knowledge and increase opportunities, it's incumbent upon us as individual domainers to develop our skills and our track record of success. You want to eventually be in a place where you can absorb everything, and have the confidence to pick a path that works best for you, even it flies in the face of popular belief.
     
  26. MHExplorer

    MHExplorer Established Member

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  27. Paul

    Paul CTO, NamePros CTO VIP

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    Correct.

    We don't sell data to those companies, but they're very good at figuring out where you've been regardless. We do use Google Analytics--like pretty much every other website.

    The proxy prohibition has nothing to do with advertising or casual tracking. We prohibit proxies because it becomes increasingly difficult to mitigate shill bidding and other forms of fraud when too many people are using proxies. We're not Google or Facebook: we have no way to track you across the web.

    The companies you mentioned have no trouble tracking you regardless of whether you're using a proxy. Proxies don't interfere with cookies and other identifiers. The only thing a proxy hides is your IP address, which isn't particularly useful for tracking anyway, since IP addresses change so often.

    Generally, when people suggest that a proxy or VPN is necessary for their privacy or security, I send them to this video. He does a fairly good job of articulating the fallacies surrounding public proxies and VPNs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  28. Bravo Mod Team

    Bravo Mod Team Moderator, NamePros Moderator PRO VIP Gold Account

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    NamePros doesn't track and customize the content that you see, but if it did (or does one day), it'd probably improve your experience. :xf.cool:


    Ref.: /c/3193852
     
  29. Mytz.com

    Mytz.com Top 4L [email protected] ieie.com CuTu.com NeSu.com QAMI.com PRO VIP Gold Account

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