Introduction I am writing this post to share my experience, opinions and tips with you all. Please don't consider anything written in this post as investment advice. This is all personal opinion, so take from it what you will. When investing in domains, please remember... Domaining is a business so make sure you treat it like one. The purpose of a business is not to buy lottery tickets and hope to win, the purpose is to make decisions and take calculated risks with the target of making a profit. And just like any business don't just sit back and expect money to roll in without putting in the work to achieve necessary results. If you're looking for a quick rags to riches story then you will most likely be sorely disappointed. What makes a domain name valuable? First, let us determine what valuable means. Is it $100 when you paid $8? Or does it have to be $1000? Maybe $10,000? The answer is no to all 3. A domain name is valuable when it has demand, and when it has a likelihood of selling for more than the costs of acquiring and renewing said domain over x amount of years. That is it. If you remember this one simple thing it will help you price your domains more realistically rather than treating them as lottery tickets that rarely come in. Moving on... Valuable domains are ones in well known TLD's (.com, cctlds usually), where its keywords clearly describe a product or service with commercial viability, or when said domain is a well known phrase or generic that is applicable to one or more niches. Brandables can also be thrown into the mix but these require an amalgamation of well known keywords to work properly. Keywords really should be in a language that is applicable to that TLD, .com is universal so any language is fine, .de is Germany so preferably German, for example. Allow me to use some examples to portray what I mean: Whenever you pay for something online, there are a few valuable domains there (Pay.com, Payments.com, PayOnline.com) When you search for a local plumber (MyCityPlumber.com) When your car breaks down (CarRepairs.com) When you order a takeout and the delivery driver arrives with your pizza. (PizzaDelivery.com). When you eat a banana, that banana itself is a valuable domain because it is a very well known piece of fruit (Banana.com) After you have paid for something online and are awaiting delivery (Delivery.com) When you're outside and you look up (Sky.com, Blue.com, Cloud.com) When you are looking for a property to buy in your city (MyCityProperty.com) and so on and so forth.. I'm sure you get the picture Completely made up brandables are not valuable on their own, these are lottery tickets. I admit I have a couple myself, no harm in that, but for people basing their whole portfolio around completely made up words please don't be surprised to find yourself in the red before long unless you somehow get extremely lucky. One more thing, the demand part is very important and determines the risk factor. If the keywords of your domain describe a niche or a subset of that niche whereby there are a multitude of end users then I deem it a low risk domain (so one with a higher chance of selling), if there is only 1 or 2 end users then to me it is a high risk domain because if they don't want it then you'll be holding an asset for an unknown amount of time until that niche sees growth with more end users. Really consider this before buying a domain name. But wait, all those type of domains are long taken, how can I ever hope to compete? Two key things are required to compete, research and negotiation skills. Let me assure you that not every good domain name there will ever be has been registered yet. There are always new trends appearing. 7 years ago any domain with Bitcoin in it would have been almost worthless, now Bitcoin.com would be a million dollar domain on its own. This has always been the case, trends come and go so look for the ones that will stay around for some time and be the first to act. I recommend spending at least 1 hour of your day subscribing to and reading blogs related to all manner of niches, be it tech, crypto, cars, fitness or what have you. There are still opportunities amongst the expired lists and deleting domains too, so research, research and research. Make use of tools like expireddomains.net to help you. I admit, 2017 is probably the toughest year for finding worthwhile domains on the expired list, but the opportunities are there if you look hard enough. Why do you need negotiation skills? Because there are still opportunities out there to buy existing domains for cheap for many reasons; The owner requires cash flow for a new project The owner is retiring A company has gone into liquidation Take advantage of the above situations and negotiate a price below market value. Use sales tools to determine market value for your keywords. Where do I get ideas for a valuable domain name? As you can see from the examples above, there are opportunities all around us. Pay attention to what is happening in your everyday life and deem the popularity of it. Make sure you get out the house everyday for a walk, you maybe surprised what ideas will spring to mind from doing something so seemingly simple. I have found and purchased a valuable domain, now how do I sell it!? Woah, slow down there buddy. First things first, don't rush. Domaining is a business that allows breathing space before making such a decision. Have a sip of water and take a moment to appreciate the domain name. So now you're looking for an end user to sell to? First of all you need to decide one of two approaches to take, passive or proactive. Passive means making use of a parked 'for sale' page whereby you give a price or a 'make offer'. Proactive means you actively contact and seek out end users. Remember the advantage and disadvantage of both. Passive will usually result in a higher sale price but a lower chance of selling whereas proactive will usually result in a lower sale price but higher chance of selling. This is because with passive the end user has contacted you for the domain, so you hold all the cards, whereas it is the opposite for the proactive outbound approach. Ok.. so how do I sell proactively? The most important thing to remember with outbound sales is to treat each end user individually and personalise your communications. This is so important. Bland, generic email templates for example are less likely to have an impact on your point of contact. In my opinion, too many domainers make the mistake of mass emailing multiple end users at a time with the same boring generic template. Why should you personalise for each end user? Because you want to show that you understand what it is you're selling and who you're selling to. If it is a keyword rich domain then describe to them how owning this domain name will improve their business, after all that is the only reason they will want to buy it. Show that you have done your research on their business. Include search volume of the keywords, include any type-in traffic it receives and how it will have an impact on their sales and business. Remember some end users will already be long established and have a ranking on Google, so you really need to convince them that why this domain name will yield better results, is it the memorability? Has it more marketing power for use on business cards, billboards, tv commercials? And so on and so forth. How big should my portfolio be and how many domains should I buy? Again, I am not here to give investment advice. You need to find what size you feel comfortable with and keep a steady growth. As with any business don't let it overwhelm you and don't go in head first, the most important thing is always being comfortable and happy. Finally, only spend what you can afford! Please! If you got this far.. Well thanks for reading I guess. I just wanted to give back to this community that has given me so much over the years. Feel free to ask me any questions and hit me with all you got.