Day 5 – Reach out to 3 domainers / bloggers you respect

talk to a domainer

Day 5 – 21 days to becoming a better domainer

You’ve been busy. See what you have already accomplished in just 4 days? Even you’re not following this plan day by day, you can still catch up pretty easily. Get on board if you’re not already and lets take this up a notch. You’re in the domainer mindset. Now that you’re comfortable posting, asking questions, taking notes, it’s time to make contact with some industry experts.

What?

What makes these domaines industry experts so special? What separates them from you? Well, not much. Regardless of your age, you’re really just an earlier version of them. They just have more experience and have developed good judgement. Mark Twain once said, “Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.” So all you have to do is make some bad decisions… or better yet, learn from those who have already made the mistakes and found the roadmap that works.

Who?

Who are these people? Great domainers are all over the place, scattered amongst the not so great domainers. They are easy to find. You’ve been on the message boards and reading domain blogs constantly for the past few days. You can see who is talking smack and who is spewing knowledge. You can find articles about individual domainers and what they have accomplished with just a little searching. Hell, there’s a great story about a guy that took out a second mortgage on his house to invest in a single domain. You can see which bloggers are respected and write intelligently about the subjects pertaining to the business and which ones just don’t rub you the right way. Use your judgement and then shoot an email to 3 domainers / bloggers you don’t know.

Yeah, its weird reaching out to someone you’ve never met. You want to make money buying and selling domain names? Then you better get used to it. This will give you some practice in a safe environment. What’s the worst thing that could happen? They don’t respond. So be it. What’s the best thing that can happen? You find a contact that can and does actually teach you something. Think carefully about how you craft your initial email to them. First impressions tend to last and could mean the difference between a one time email and long term correspondence.

My suggestion would be to structure the email as follows:
1. Keep it short. My list of suggestions should be longer than your email.
2. Start out with some information about how you know who this person is. Nothing creepier than being contacted by some random person with no idea how there is a personal connection. Besides, it’s human nature for people to want to hear about themselves.
3. Next, tell a small bit about yourself. Not too much, because they don’t really care at this point and you don’t want to lose them.
4. Then ask a question while referencing something you know about them. This gives them a reason to reply to you and an opportunity for them to talk about their own opinions. Again, human nature makes this enjoyable.

Dear Mrs. Awesome Domainer,

I recently read an article about you on A-Domain-Blog.com and I really like your philosophy on the value of domain names (or some other topic related to this person). I’ve only been into domain investing for the past 3 months (or 20 years). While the article covered .com names, I was wondering if the philosophy still applies when used on .xyz names?

Thank you for your time,

Joe Domainer

If and when you do get a reply, be sure to thank them for the information. Don’t jabber on and on about the subject and turn this into a stalking situation. Instead, politely thank the person and ask if it would be alright if you contacted them now and then with domain name related questions since they have such a deep well of experience to draw from. Depending on the answer, you may have a new long term contact / mentor that can help you develop as a domainer.

Stay tuned… next week we’ll talk about your actual domain names.

Day 4 – Keep a journal or notes on what you are learning

domain tips

If you’re still hanging in there with me, we’re on day 4 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer. Today’s focus is to start tracking and organizing what you learn by keeping a journal or notes.

We’ve been visiting blogs, posting comments, reading forum threads and engaging in conversation with other domainers all in just a few days time. That’s a lot to take in. Now’s the time to capture and organize this information. There are many ways to do that. I have a friend who never had to take notes or study in college. He just remembered everything he heard and saw with no effort, even after a night out drinking. I, unfortunately, am like most people and can’t rely on my brain to accurately hold and recall most information. I may even be a little worse than most people when it comes to remembering things. My wife tells me that I’m so forgetful that I could plan my own surprise party.

I highly encourage you to keep notes on the nuggets you are picking up along the way. There is too much valuable info out there to trust to your memory. Keep a list of tools you come across, names you learn, people you meet, business and their focuses, sales prices that interest you. These are all just random piece of information you’ll need to find at some point in the future. There are dozens of ways to capture the information and even more ways to organize that information. How you do it is up to you. I’ll spare you my method for now, but may share it at some point in the future. For now, just do what works for you. You have several options.

Analog:
Grab a pen and a spiral notebook
The ever popular Bullet Journal method
Use index cards
Post-it notes on your wall

Digital:
Capture it all in a Word doc
Use Evernote
MS OneNote
Notes on your phone

The method you choose to capture your learnings doesn’t matter. The action of doing it and reviewing it is what matters. I promise you, you will never contact me and tell me that you regret that you took notes on what you have been learning. Never ever. It may sound like a waste of time and effort but I promise you it is not. It doesn’t hurt to come up with some type of indexing system as well, just to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

There is plenty of free information on note taking and indexing methods out there. Here are just a few. Remember to follow what works best for you.

Day 3 – Join a domain message forum

domain forum

We’re into day 3 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer and just building on the foundation we already started. Again, this isn’t a hard one but it can pay you back exponentially. Join a domain themed message forum and be active.

These domain forums are a gift. Just as domain blogs share information and experiences, so too do the forums. But often in a more interactive way. There can be hundreds of conversations taking place at any given time. You can just read along and see what people are saying and learn from that. You can interject, ask questions or start your own thread if there is something you want to know or hear about the experiences of others. You can offer domains for sale, but in my opinion, this is not the best spot to do that. A topic for another time.

The coolest thing I found is that the seasoned members of these boards will often take in a noob and help him/her out. I found that most domainers have the patience of saints and put up with a lot of new domainers trying to figure their way through the industry. Obviously there are some jerks out there as well…. it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. But generally speaking, good people. When I first joined DBR, my favorite forum of all time, the members were awesome. I asked some pretty stupid questions and got some really civil answers. Eventually, I got to a point where I could contribute as well. I met some great people through DBR and even made a couple of business partners. I developed a solid network and couldn’t be more greatful to all the members there. Special shout out to Mama Cougar. #love

If you are already a member of one or more domain forums then focus on the later part of today’s step, “be active.” I’ll admit, this is an area I struggle with myself. As I said, my all time favorite forum is DBR. I’d go as far as to call it my online home. Howerver, I havent been home for quiet a while. When life picks up and things get crazy, I find myself pulling away. It starts with reading through the threads but not taking the time to comment or start my own thread. Then it evolves into less frequent visits home because the kids have sports and activities, the wife wants some of my time, the dog got skunked, there are bills to pay and mouths to feed. Before you know it, it’s not part of your daily ritual anymore. Don’t let this happen. The networking, friends and information is too important. I’m making this step a priority once again, you all are witnesses. Hold me to it.

Now get out there, sign up, and start reading and posting. Here’s a short list of forums to check out. There are others so don’t make this your end all be all list.
1.  DomainBoardRoom.com
2.  Dnforum.com
3.  Namepros.com
4.  Domainstate.com

Day 2 – Comment on 3 blogs you haven’t commented on before

domain comments

Welcome to day 2 of 21 days to becoming a better domainer. Nobody said this was going to be difficult. In fact, the steps are easy, actually taking action is the hardest part.

Today we’re building off of the topic we started yesterday. Instead of reading blogs and being content with what you have read, learned, or not learned, I am going to ask you to post a comment on blog posts by 3 bloggers that you haven’t commented on before. This may be easy for some of you who may have never commented on a domain blog before. For others, you may need to do a little searching to find a new blog or maybe even one you don’t like. The goal is to find 3 articles by 3 different bloggers and leave a comment.

The purpose of this is not just to add spam comments. We’re looking for some quality here. I don’t want to see, “Nice post” or “I agree.” Put some thought into it. Talk about an experience you have had that relates to the post. Better yet, ask a question about the post that will give you a better understanding or challenge the author. Spark some conversation and you’ll likely pick up a tip or hear something that contributes to your domain archive that may be of use down the road. Lord, you may even meet someone or develop some domain connections that can be of value to you. Feel free to comment here on my blog if you never have in the past, that’s an easy one.

This is an exercise for day 2, but really, it needs to become a habit if you are looking to maximize you domain skills. Done daily, or lets say frequently to be realistic, commenting on blogs will help you learn more by engaging in conversation with others in the industry. As a side benefit, it can help build your credibility. You have the opportunity to contribute your experiences to others while learning along the way. In doing so, your name become recognizable. There are people in the industry that I have never met, but I know who they are because they are frequent commenters on blogs that I follow. I’m able to gauge who they are, what they are like, by what I have seen in their comments.

Now’s the time. Don’t wait. Just get out there and react to some of the posts you’re reading. You’re thinking it anyway, just share it. You can knock this out in under 15 minutes if you want to. Give it a shot. Report back and let me know how it goes.

Day 1 – Read Domaining.com Daily

Domaining.com

Alright, really?  We’re going to start out day 1 0f 21 Days to Becoming a Better Domainer with the most obvious tip of all?  The shameless kissing up to the master of domain blog traffic.  The gate keeper of domain freedom of speech.  The Google of domaining.  Yes, yes we are.

This is not without just cause.  In fact, that’s probably what brought you here to this post.  Domaining.com is one of the most, if not THE most, valuable tool in my collection.  It’s been around since before I started blogging.  Not only is it the worlds most popular domain blog news aggregator (wow, that really is kissing up), but it is an abundant source of information on everything domain related.  Francois, the site’s founder, has done an excellent job of maintaining the content of the site to ensure a very high percentage of the posts from each blog is domain related.  He also weeds out self promotional sales posts of domain names, keeping the integrity of the aggregator at it’s maximum level.

If you want to learn about the domain name industry, this is the place to be.  While bloggers are required to pay a fee to be included on the site, the site is free to all visitors.  There are some highly talented writers and business people sharing there ideas and experience here.  There are also many you may disagree with or find not so knowledgeable, that’s for you to decide.  There is no better place for  this type of diversity.  The site provides you the option to block blogs that you don’t want to see in your feed.  I don’t understand why some people actually use this feature.  Although you may not agree with them, you miss out on other opinions.  Believe me, there are some bloggers in my feed that I cringe at when I see their posts.  Sometimes I choose to skip over them, but often I have a look to see what they are saying.  If nothing else, the readers commenting on the site may, and often do, have something of value to share.

The feed is updated in nearly real time, so there is always something new.   Most domain bloggers have some kind of niche that they focus on, be it dot coms or specific TLDs, generic names or brandable.  There are plenty of topics covered and several facets of each topic. No one has all the right answers for you, but if you read up and find the area that interests you most, you’re more likely to have some level of success.

With all that said, not all great domain blogs are listed on Domaining.com.  Many are not.  Be sure to ask around, search and uncover those great blogs.  They are out there and they have plenty to offer.  Whatever you do, at a minimum, visit Domaining.com for at least a few minutes each day and get your dose of domain knowledge.  It will go a long way.