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discuss Lessons from a year of “domaining,” and why I’m leaving...



Nametree.comTop Member
I started “domaining” a little over a year ago as I was looking for names for a business and realized my dream names were, obviously, not available.

A year in, after spending some time learning about the “business”, making a lot of poor decisions, becoming somewhat addicted to droplists, auctions, success stories, etc and spending many hundreds of hours and more than $50k in the process - I made an active decision to step away from “active” domaining, stop buying, shrink my portfolio and focus on other things that are more important to me.

This is a non-exhaustive list of the things I’ve learned in the process, which will by no means be revelations to many here, but may be helpful to newbies to see. It’s also a “thank you” and “goodbye” to those members of the community who take time to teach others to avoid the mistakes they’ve made - I wish I had taken more time to read in depth, sooner.

My insights, in no particular order:

1. Don’t even start looking at droplists and names coming up to auction until you’ve done research into what sells. You’re going to get sucked into a black hole of overspending because you’re competing with bigger fish with experience and deeper pockets. (I’ve spent 80% of my investment on 20% of the names I own, and not necessarily the 20% most valuable, only because I became addicted to GD Auctions.)
2. The Namepros marketplace offers great insight on what *doesn’t* sell.
3. DNAcademy and DomainSherpa are the absolute best resources for concentrated knowledge and a gift to the business - there are helpful threads on Namepros but unfortunately it seems like you have to glean through a lot of 💩 these days.
4. Set a budget for yourself.
5. If you don’t feel like you need to set a budget, use spreadsheets, goddamit. Or Efty. Once you see how much you’ve already spent, you’ll definitely want to set a budget.
6. Don’t underestimate the power of the BIN. 80% of the names I’ve sold I’ve bought for under $20 and sold at BIN for mid-$xxx. Cashflow matters.
7. Keep an eye out for registration deals/promos, and build your lists when there are no deals to be had. There’s power in the numbers, and I’ve seen this strategy pay well for some members here.
8. DomainIQ is an excellent tool to learn about people’s portfolios. Not sure it will continue to be for very long now that whois is changing, but I’ve used it often to learn about people’s portofolios, including to build lists of names others have dropped.
9. Try to track your time - how many hours do you spend on domaining-related activities every day/week? How much are you making per hour? What are your highest leverage activities in domaining (outbound? expiry lists?) and how can you focus on those to be more efficient?

Overall, though I’m in the red with my investment at the moment, it’s not why I’m leaving. I’ve made about half of my investment back, having sold mostly names I picked up for under $50, and I’m reasonably confident my ~1000 name portfolio will bring me profit in the next year or two.

Personally, as I’ve started reflecting on my time investments in the last month or so, I’ve realized I end up spending an inordinate amount of time here and on domaining-related activities that are no longer paying dividends, so I’ve decided to take a hiatus starting in June.

Before I part, a reflection prompt for all who read this far: how much time do you average on domaining-related activities every week, and what 20% of that is most essential to your business in domaining?
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Top Member
You went in hard .... probably overspent, but don't let it make you quit. I think you should stay around, even if to be a spectator here and valuable contributor - but it's up to you. Best of luck.
i'm in the midle of being addicted....