Bob Hawkes

Selling Domains: The Best Business And The Worst Business - Don’t Do It Alone

By Bob Hawkes, Jul 22, 2020
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    One great thing about selling domain names is it is so easy to get started. With just a little money to buy a few names, and an Internet connection, you can be in the business of domain name selling. There is no need to be part of a large company or set up a facility. You can do it alone if you wish.

    If you choose to work alone, you have complete control over what domain names you invest in, how you list, price and promote those digital assets, and almost everything else. You can work wherever and whenever you want. It is hard to imagine many businesses that are as easy to start, or give you so much independence. In that sense, domain investing is one of the best businesses possible.

    But that independence is also possibly the worst part of the domain name business. As a lone domain name seller, you don’t have the positive aspects of being part of an organization and working daily with others. As a business of one, there may not be natural mechanisms to get feedback and encouragement, and to protect yourself from making poor decisions.

    Social distancing measures have weakened social interaction in the workplace for everyone, but for many, domain investing was always like that.

    Some choose to work with others, either in a partnership or small company. But even if you work as a sole proprietorship, there are ways to feel more connected and benefit from the community of domain investors. Fortunately, we have a fantastic support network right here at NamePros.

    Why A Network Is Important

    So why is a network important, and how can it help strengthen your domain investing?
    • Second Opinion
      While it is important to take responsibility for our own decisions, often a second or third opinion can help. By looking at issues from a different perspective, you will have a more firmly grounded understanding and make better decisions.
    • Encouragement
      Domain sales tend to be sporadic. It is easy to become discouraged during a long interval between major sales. Having a network of colleagues will help you through those lows.
    • Challenge Your Ideas
      Presenting your ideas on forums such as NamePros will naturally result in others pointing out negative aspects that you may have overlooked or discounted. No matter the field, critical evaluation can help improve ideas.
    • Keep Current
      While some aspects of domain investing have not changed much for decades, there is also continual evolution. Whether it is being attuned to what is in style today in branding, recent legal decisions, or the latest research on what types of names are selling, it is important to be informed.
    • Learn New Things
      As a solitary domain investor, it is really easy to get into a rut. It is natural to gravitate toward what we feel comfortable with, to acquire domain names in a single way, use just one registrar, sell domain names much of the time on a favourite marketplace, and invest only in one type of domain name. In order to grow as domain name investors, it is important to continually learn new things, even if you decide some of them are not for you.
    • Opportunities
      Sometimes your network can directly provide leads for sales, development or acquisition opportunities.
    • Feel You Are Making A Difference
      In every field, when you help others, you will find that you benefit at least as much as the person you are helping. Simply explaining something to someone else will often allow you to see an issue more clearly, and perhaps note things you had previously overlooked. But helping someone simply makes you feel good.


    Here are a few NamePros features that relate to building and benefitting from a professional network.
    • Being Part of a Domain Community NamePros is the perfect place to make new friends and associations. Just by meaningfully and respectfully participating in discussions, this will happen naturally.
    • Networking
      The Networking Meet and Greet section is a perfect place to get to know others.
    • Getting A Second Opinion
      Do use that search field to make sure that a topic has not already been discussed, but almost anyone can start a thread if there is a topic that you want views about.
    • Domain Appraisals
      If the additional opinions you are looking for relate to a specific domain name, the request should go in the Appraisals section.
    • Website Reviews
      If you are looking for second opinions on your website or landers, the Website Review section is for you.
    • News
      It is important as a domain professional to be up-to-date. NamePros has its own section for domain news. See something in industry news that you think should be shared? Start a post in the news section with an excerpt of the article, as well as a link to the full article.
    • Socializing
      Sometimes it is fun just to hang out with others. The Break Room and Chat are two ways to do that on NamePros.
    • Professionalism
      One aspect of being part of a professional network is acting in a professional and ethical manner. The NamePros Expectations for respect and constructiveness is important reading, helpful guidance not just for NamePros but professional interaction more generally.
    • Opportunities
      Lots of opportunities to acquire and sell domain names here at NamePros. Also the appraisal section may give you additional ideas for leads.

    Comfort Zone and An Accountability Partner

    In researching this article, I came across It Is Time We Acknowledged Loneliness In Entrepreneurs And Did Something About It by Dr. Pragya Agarwal. We sometimes don’t think of ourselves as entrepreneurs, but we are. She writes the following:
    Another insight from her article is the idea of finding an accountability partner.
    Just because it is possible to be a solo domain investor, does not mean we should go it alone in all ways. Building a support network, and finding balance in all aspects of life, including domain investing, is important.

    Your Thoughts

    I hope many readers will comment on how they build and utilize their professional network. Have you tried an accountability partner?

    Special thanks to RJ for having the foresight to create NamePros all of those years ago, and all of the administrators and moderators who have shepherded our online community over the years.
    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 49th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
  5. Comments (23)

  6. BradWilson

    BradWilson Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Thanks Bob, you surely have a gift with your writing.

    You seem to have an endless supply of topics that we can all benefit from.
  7. ndeekay121

    ndeekay121 Established Member

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    Thanks for your insights, they are more than helpful!
  8. papeter

    papeter Upgraded Member Blue Account

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  9. WatchDogue

    WatchDogue Top Contributor VIP

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    Most of the members of NamePros are, I suspect, independent domainers, and this is likely true among all domainers as well.

    IMO it would be interesting to learn what percentage of domainers are independent vs those who have business partners or work for a domain firm.

    I have had domains for 24 years or so and always enjoyed the independence offered by domaining.

    For many years I worked for two major corporations in sales, traveled a bit and worked quite independently about 85-90% of the time - although - I did have the complete backing of major corporate resources to call on as needed.

    With domains I brought a well honed independent work ethic and ability to self motivate to the game.

    I am a small-small-small time domainer in the humongous land of domains and am fortunately
    non-dependent upon name sales for my lifestyle.

    I set reasonable goals and usually meet 'em. If not, no sulking or pouting or too much complaining, just self-review, self-analyze and do better.

    Personally I consider NamePros as a de facto partner in my domain endeavors.

    Where else can an independent domainer get so much industry, legal, buying, sales, opinions and trend news on a daily basis all in one place?
    A non-legal partnership of course.

    Great topic Bob and really a great reminder to all about the many avenues available to assist domainers in their short term and long term endeavors.

    And yes, I have a great accountability partner.

    My wife.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  10. jim h

    jim h Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Great article, thank you for sharing. Seeking help is a shortcut to success. The sales network is much stronger than an individual. Although you may think your domain name could be more valuable. Sales is the most important thing. It determines whether you can persist. Thanks again.Sir.
  11. Fliyyou

    Fliyyou Established Member

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  12. Domaining Ocean

    Domaining Ocean Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks @Bob Hawkes for sharing amazing opinion on domain industry.
  13. jaintrishala77

    jaintrishala77 Established Member

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    Valuable information... thank you
  14. Jimmysun

    Jimmysun Established Member

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    This is good, ty, I will taste it when I’m off the work.
  15. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    100% true! Fantastic quote @WatchDogue (y)


    PS Congrats on finding a great accountability partner close to home! :xf.grin:
  16. Bonsu

    Bonsu Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks so much for the write up Bob. I am still learning the domain industry but do have 2 accountability partners (my wife and my bestie). I did explain how the domain industry works, when offer comes in, when I'm bidding on a name and I don't want to exceed my budget et al this helps me thread wisely
  17. VIP Gold Account

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  18. VIP Gold Account

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    i agree
  19. otismo

    otismo Established Member

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    are both Availability and Pricing

    making this time possibly the BEST time in quite a long time

    to be a Domainer
  20. Raymundo Marquez Jr

    Raymundo Marquez Jr Established Member

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    Thanks for the great post Bob! Indeed, the success of a domainer depends on how astute he becomes as he keeps on learning from the veterans in the industry and on the network with like-minded individuals who are not just obsessed with promoting their own domains but more interested in sharing best practices, even doing critical appraisal on each one’s virtual real estate properties and forming partnerships. :)
  21. TauseefKhan

    TauseefKhan Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    the concept of an accountability partner is great. Thanks for introducing it. Will really need to find one.
  22. elevator

    elevator VIP

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    Nice write ussual.

    Thanks for your time
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  23. etruscan

    etruscan Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    Great article Bob, thanks for sharing your view on the life of the domainer. much appreciated!
  24. linuxfreak

    linuxfreak Living in Command Line

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    I have learned a lot about domain work in this forum and I continue to learn, but I cannot say that I have made many friends. Participating in conversations requires the best level of English. My only regret is that I discovered the forum too late.

    Do not say your English is very good, google translates everything I write :)
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  25. Amit Khandelwal

    Amit Khandelwal Alternative Investment, Digital Asset Gold Account

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    Thanks Bob, this article will attract more likeminded industry peers to this platform.
  26. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted (15-30%) Gold Account

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    Bob....all good stuff as usual. I'm sure your're aware that I've been seeking a technical partner for almost two years now and I'm hoping the 3rd time's the charm. Raj Domains you might say has taken me under his wings and I hope and pray it works out well for both of us. The arrangement I have with him hasn't cost either of us a dime, but it does require some "sweat equity" on both our parts.

    I have however partnered with others, not domainers, to help develop my "Virtual Tasting" business, Discover Scotch. I was fortunate to discover "The Bruce" and ironically his real first name is "Bruce" for whom I registered "King of Scotch". While Bruce and his wife are back in Glasgow for a few weeks, we've partnered with a local developer who really wants to get in on the ground floor.

    Bob, this is a fantastic industry, and I feel like I can bring peace to the world with a little help. And if not, there's always Single Malt Scotch Whisky:xf.grin:
  27. 4better

    4better Established Domainer VIP

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    Great article Bob! Another food for thought. Thanks for the food... it helps to nourish my mind.
  28. David Ogunsola

    David Ogunsola Established Member

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