In this, my last post of 2020, I highlight NamePros discussion threads started in 2020 that merit a second read. In making my selections, for the most part, I excluded posts about sales, even spectacular ones, or topics that were time sensitive. In some cases I edited titles for clarity or brevity. Started by infosec3: A few Do’s and Don’ts A great post by infosec3 with advice for domain investors on what to do and not to do. Even if domaining is a hobby for you, he advises to “treat it as a real business.” He goes on to advise “don’t buy domain names unless you already have carefully considered what type of businesses may be interested in acquiring such names.” Started by oldtimer: Tips On How To Hand Register Names oldtimer started this thread with some good advice such as emphasize quality, for hand registrations perhaps concentrate on new trends and technologies, and don’t get names with an overly narrow potential user pool. Why not add your own guidelines to the thread? Started by Nikul Sanghvi: A Deep Data Dive At Hypernames Probably no NamePros member shares more detailed sales data and analysis than Nikul Sanghvi. In the linked post from early 2020 he provided a detailed update. Wondering how the sales multiple depends on purchase price, or how performance of standard versus premium registration .co varies? This post tells you all that and much more. Nikul Sanghvi has tried different landers over the years, and shows the breakdown of sales at the various marketplaces as a result. Someone commented that this thread should be designated the NamePros thread of the decade, and it is hard to disagree. Started by Bill Hartzer: Does Google Search Have A TLD Bias? We all know that Google states that the extension does not matter in search performance. Bill Hartzer did a really interesting experiment to test that. He registered the same term nocseman, that is NamesCon spelled backwards, in multiple top level domains (TLDs), and then watched the search ranking over time. The results are interesting - check out the article at the link, along with the subsequent discussion. Started by alcy: Recovering Costs Of Expiring Domain Names So you have decided you do not plan to renew some of your domains. Do you just let them expire, or do you try to sell them at a low price to at least recover your costs? Read this thread to hear multiple viewpoints. Started by Ategy: Turning $10,000 into $1,000,000 in 6 Years of Domaining Not to be misled by title, this is not a story of someone growing an initial domain name investment by a factor of 100 in 6 years. Rather, Ategy introduces a spreadsheet model he uses to show what the return is under different scenarios. While any model is, of course, only as good as the assumptions you put in, I think quantitative forecasting such as this is a key element to business planning, and this approach is often overlooked by some domain investors. Started by Rob Monster: Benefitting From Social Media Connections While the article deals with a specific 5-figure sale, interestingly by NamePros founder AJ, and mediated by Rob Monster, I selected the thread because of the general advice offered on building social media connections. Social media can assist with the initial pitch for a name, as well as to build trust. The article makes the important point that one successful sale may be a bridge to others through social connections. Started by Gube: What Makes A Domain Valuable? It is easy to have outdated ideas about what makes domain names valuable. This post asks readers to identify aspects of the domain name that makes it valuable in 2020. While the ultimate goal by Gube is to develop an open source domain name appraisal formula, an idea that I have also wondered about, the poll and discussion has broader applicability. The factors extension and potential end users dominate the poll results, but see post for all the results. Started by Silentptnr: Your Top Ten Domain Names 2020 I find the exercise of asking yourself what are your top 10, and your worst 10, domain names beneficial. The last couple of years Silentptnr has started a thread where NamePros members share their top 10. It is interesting to see the names that others rate highly, and to compare the picks for 2020 with those from 2019. Started by Dave: Time To Stop Comparing Domain Names To Real Estate? Thirteen year NamePros veteran Dave starts some of the best discussions, and this one is no exception. He makes the case that perhaps it’s time to reconsider the analogy between domain investing and real estate. Strong views are expressed by posters on both sides of the question. What do you think? Started by Rich: Most Used Prefixes and Suffixes Rich posts a link to a GitHub listing of the 5000 most used prefixes and suffixes. At the top of the list for prefixes is my, with online first among suffixes. When crafting two-word domain names, information like this can be very helpful. Started by Recons.Com: How Many Domains In Your Keeper Portfolio? There are several key ideas in this thread started by Recons.Com. One is the idea of a keeper portfolio - dividing your portfolio into those you plan to hold long term from one year trial holdings. A second idea is related to the optimum size of your portfolio for different investors. Finally, questions around domain name evaluation, and how to grow or reduce a portfolio, are discussed. Started by Abdul Basit: My Experience With Payment Plans Abdul Basit is a highly successful domain investor who had a great 2020 and frequently shares on NamePros. In this thread, he discusses his experience with domains sold on monthly payment plans. I think domain name payment plans will become more and more common going forward, so it is good to learn from those with experience. Started by abstractdomainer: If The Business Is Good, Does The Domain Matter? Clearly some businesses have made major strides forward after acquiring a great domain name, while others have succeeded despite using what many would consider a substandard domain name. So how important is that domain name really? It is critical to be prepared with sound evidence and arguments as you interact with end users. Started by WhoaDomain.com: An Amazing Portfolio of Geo Names Active NamePros member WhoaDomain.com draws attention to the amazing portfolio of names at Pear.com. They have a set of country and major city names in the .com extension. Started by Abdul Basit: Should You Renew Your Domain Names In Advance? Some advocate only renewing names shortly before expiry, so you do not needlessly pay renewal fees on names you end up selling. Abdul Basit makes the case for renewing names well in advance, however. What do you think? Started by bazabizo: Does Live Chat Increase Conversion Rate? Many online commerce sites now offer a live chat feature. This thread asks whether a similar feature can help increase domain name sales conversion. Some marketplaces now offer it standard, and some domainers have implemented it on their own sites. What do you think? Started by Rohit Lakhotia: How To Manage A Portfolio Once you have more than a few dozen domain names, keeping track of your domains, where listed, their expiry dates and registrars, costs invested, offers, etc. becomes more challenging. In this thread NamePros members share how they manage their portfolios, with some using spreadsheets and others using a service. Started by Shaan Chopra: What Are The First 3 Things To Do After Acquiring A Domain Name? So you just acquired a domain name - what are the first three things to do? NamePros members offer good practical advice. Started by Johnn: 10 Mistakes Not To Make Long-term NamePros member Johnn starts this thread offering a list of 10 pieces of advice, from read about domain investing before you start acquiring domain names, to staying away from trademarks. Other members comment and extend the list. While marked for new investors only, the advice is relevant to many investors. A couple of months later, Johnn published part two in the series. Started by SuperBrander: Dealing With Public Prior Listings This thread starts with the case of a sale which did not proceed because the potential buyer discovered that the same name was listed for much less a few years earlier, by a previous owner. There is a good discussion about how to deal with these situations. Started by Nikul Sanghvi: Domain Podcast Aggregator We have seen a number of new domain name podcasts in 2020, and it can be difficult to track them all. Nikul Sanghvi created a free aggregator that makes it easy to stay up to date with the most recent posts. Started by blogspotter: One Domainer’s Journey While blogspotter has had NamePros and GoDaddy auctions accounts for well over a decade, he considers that he really only started domaining early this summer. In this post he takes us through his experience, with lessons learned. He reports “I didn't lose money in the process while building out a 1000 odd name portfolio.” Interesting post and discussion. Started by ThatNameGuy: Where Do Hand Registration Ideas Come From? Even though many domain investors get most of their names from auctions, the expiration stream or the wholesale aftermarket, most investors still do some hand registration. In this thread ThatNameGuy asks where people get their ideas for new registrations. Ways mentioned include news, advertisements, television, and new technologies. One of the more interesting ideas was suggested by BradWilson, who points out you can sometimes get ideas for better domain names by browsing poor domain name choices. Why not add idea sources you employ? Started by Raymond Hackney: Will Bitcoin And Crypto Names Surge? Bitcoin has gone to new heights of late, and it is logical to ask if there will be new strength in cryptocurrency related domain names. This is a popular topic among NamePros members, and many take part in the discussion. Started by John Berryhill: You Want To See Some Decent Domain Landers? First impressions are important, and the lander is likely the first impression that you domain name makes. While John Berryhill is best known for sharing his legal expertise at NamePros, this time he started a thread with several landers that he liked, but without much comment, leaving the field open to discuss why, or if, the landers are good. Landers are important, and I personally like the examples shown. Sincere thanks to all NamePros members who started interesting discussions, whether they were included in my list or not. Every day when I sign into NamePros I know I will find creative, informed, illuminating and fun content from around the world. Even this long list had to exclude many worthwhile contributions. Readers, please add your own picks in the comments section. Please include the link to the topic, along with a few words on why you selected it. I found James Iles weekly roundup of Top Topics really helpful in compiling this article. Check out this link to see all posts in his weekly series. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2021. PS In case you want even more reading, here is the similar list I compiled for 2019.