Image Resources for Domaining

I’m one of those “Jack of all trades, master of none.”  I’ve got so many different projects going on in different areas all at the same time.  Over the past few. years, I’ve developed a habit involving a lethal dose of coffee and a couple of apps just to keep my head screwed on.  I’m sure I would be better off dropping the number of things I have going on and laser focusing on just a couple… but that’s boring. I’d much rather run around like my hair is on fire in an urgent burst of heroics to get everything done on time and with quality.  It makes me sleep sound at night.

That said, I have come across several tips, tricks, tools, and websites that have helped me to pull it all together and cross the finish line every time.  There are too many to list in a single post so I’m going to focus on just a couple.  Theses are specific to images.

I often develop simple pages for my domains.  But in this case I was actually just working on a website development project for a client and was performing some QA review when I stopped to write this post.  I just used these two tools that I have come to take for granted but they ultimately save me a ton of time.  I decided to take a quick break and share them with you here.

Free Images

The first is which always reminds me of the pirate bay when I type the url.  Is that intentional?  Don’t know.  Don’t really care. is, as defined by the site itself as, “… a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes.”

Yes, free royalty-free images. The best part about it is that they don’t suck.  I almost always find an image of high quality that fits the need I have at the moment.  In this case, I am testing the backend CMS of a website and I want to ensure images upload and display properly.  Because the customer will see these images, I want them to be decent in case they actually want to use them on the site.  I also want them to be free because I don’t want to invest in stock images that are not included in our agreement.

There are dozens of free image sites that I have used in the past but none of them compare to  The photography and quality are almost on par with the high end stock image sites.  Almost.   I’ve used some of the other free sites in the past and struggled to find something I was looking for.  In one case, I was contacted by an organization saying I was using one of the images without permission.  Uh, I downloaded it from this “free” site.

Placeholder Images

Sometimes I don’t really give a crap about what the image looks like, it’s more important to get an image with the proper dimensions.  Sure, I could pretty quickly spit something out of Photoshop in the size I need, upload it, then link to it in the site to see what it looks like.  But if it’s not the right size, then I have to change the size in Photoshop and repeat the process.  Depending on how many pages and images I’m dealing with, this could take some time.

Instead, wouldn’t just be easier to type a dummy link with an image size?  Why, yes Mike, that would be much easier.  Thankfully, the sources behind agree and have made it so.  You can quickly create an image placeholder by typing a simple url in your html.  Here’s an example.  By typing the following:

<a href=””><img src=”×150″></a>

you’ll insert this image placeholder on your page:

There are many free services like this, such as, but I prefer just because it’s easy for me to remember, which makes it more efficient in my mind.  There are a couple additional features and options, but this is the primary purpose of the tool and it does it’s job.

I think you’ll get a great deal of use out of these tools if you haven’t been using them already.  If you have any tools you’d like to share, post a comment and let us all know.

Domain Sales Theme – Genius Idea

Wouldn’t it be great to be in control of your domain sales?  I mean, wouldn’t you like to skip all the commissions and BS that goes along with listing your domain with a 3rd party seller?  What if all of your domains could have their own landing page / sales page?  What if you could point your domains to your own server, choose to receive offers on your domains or list them as “Buy it Now”  and handle the transactions through or Paypal?

Alright, that’s a lot of questions and clearly I am getting to something here.  Meet Ed de Jong, owner of Pixor Media.  I met Ed years ago through and have worked with him on many projects.   He’s designed and redesigned many sites for me over the years.  Ed is a talented WordPress developer and one of his recent creations is the Domain Sales Theme. It’s impressive!

Here’s the low down in a nut shell.  The Domain Sales Theme allows you to setup your domain portfolio on a master domain where users can search your inventory.  It also allows you to provide a sales landing page that allows you to take offers or use instant “buy it now” transactions.  If you want, you can even require users to pay a small fee to submit an offer, cutting down on all the non-serious inquiries.  The ability to complete the transactions through Escrow is built into the theme!

I’m in the process of setting this up, but to provide an example, here is a parent domain that’s using the theme.


The page can be customized to suit your needs.   From here, users can view your domain categories by selecting the “Categories” link.


Select a category and view all the names in that category.  Then select the name that interests you.   You’ll be directed to that domain with it’s sales page where you can make an offer.



The beauty of this is that every domain you own can quickly be setup with a stand alone landing page, just by adding it through the main site.  You can get your entire inventory of domain names setup with their own sales pages in no time.  Then you are in complete control.  No brokers or third party platforms to work through.

There are some server requirements you have to work within (VPS or Dedicated hosting with cpanel), but there are several hosting companies that have very affordable hosting plans, such as HostGator.

If you decide to pick up the theme, let me know what you think in the comments or shoot me an email.

 Peter Prestipino Wrote the Book on Domaining Fundamentals

domains 360Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise” – Michael Jordan

I recently received a review copy of Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying and Selling Domain Names by Peter Prestipino, Editor-in-Chief of Website Magazine.  By chance, it turns out that Peter and I both live in the Chicago area not too far from one another.

The book begins with a brief history of domain names, citing the first domain name ever registered, and moves quickly into the recognition of those early domainers with the foresight of what was yet to come.  A brief mention of cyber-squatting, some top selling domain names, and the foreshadowing fact of Mike Mann registering 15,000 domain names within 24 hours back in 2012.  Richard Lau and NamesCon is quoted and we hear from Donuts, Inc. and this is all in Chapter 1!

Domains 360 doesn’t go into the history of domaining to the level of detail that The Domain Game does, but that’s by design.  The book is subtitled “The Fundamentals of Buying and Selling Domain Names” and that’s what it focuses on, while laying a foundation for a broader understanding of a domains technical components.

Chapter 2 covers IP addresses and IPv4 / IPV6 protocols in a manner that is easy to understand. The book goes into TLDs, Registrars vs Registry and things to consider when choosing. Chapter 5 goes on to explain general domain management, name servers, expiration, privacy, and locking.

Chapter by chapter, just about every area is touched on and explained from flipping and valuations to the mindset of a domainer and the day to day activities.  If you’re an “expert” domainer, this book isn’t for you, although you still may enjoy the read.  If your of the mindset that there is always something to be gained, there are definitely some nuggets in here to be taken away.  I took notes on each chapter.

It’s clear Peter is passionate about domaining and as Editor in Chief of Website Magazine, knows a few things about the business.   I found value in reading his work and I’m happy to add this book to my library.



A Better Way to Manage Your Domains

This video is a quick review of “Watch My Domains,” which is a software product for keeping track of your domain names.  It’s go some great features as you’ll see in the demo.  The software is available for a 30 day free trial, but if you purchase it before January 11, and use the code SULLYSBLOG50 at checkout, you’ll get a 50% discount.  I’m not an affiliate and I’m not profiting from this.  I just managed to secure a “New Years Discount” for domainers.  If you try it out, let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

The discount will only work if purchased on the company’s fastspring site.  Here are a couple of direct links, but check out there other software for domainers too:

Windows Version:

Mac Version:

No No No!! Don’t Develop That Domain

Back in August, I mentioned how I caught an episode of Morgan Linton’s live web show.  It’s great to see things done differently, and to get the know the personality of one of our industry’s enthusiastic bloggers.  I’ve caught the show several times since then along with the catch phrase “No No No!!  Don’t Develop That Domain,” and wanted to take a deeper dive into the domainer in front of the camera.

Mike:  It always interesting to hear how people landed where they are today.  When and how did you develop a passion for domain names?  How long have you been doing this?

Morgan: I started getting interested in domain names only three years ago in the summer of 2007. I had some extra money that I was looking to put in an investment vehicle that wasn’t the stock market. In fact Linton Investments was originally formed as a Real Estate investment company. I was planning on buying land in Maine and developing in an area that at the time was very inexpensive. However this was also when the market was just starting to dip and I’ve always told myself never to invest in a declining market. So I had to look for some other investment vehicle and I stumbled on Domaining after finding Sahar’s blog

It only took a few minutes for me to immediately realize what a perfect fit this was for me. My background is in Engineering and I also ran a web development company in the mid-90’s so the idea of virtual real estate was very appealing to me. The only thing that didn’t make sense to me was Parking, I didn’t understand why people wouldn’t want to rank well in the search engines, so I took a different approach. The early success I had with monetization showed me the true passive income potential of domains, once the money started coming in it was hard to not be completely hooked!

Mike:  I’ve heard you say several times that you make most of your money through developed domains as opposed to selling domains.  Do you feel development is the best choice for domain investors?  What makes development a better overall strategy than flipping names for profit?

Morgan: I think that development is one of the ways that investors can make money with domains. While I personally like monetization more and use it as my own strategy I know plenty of people that make good money buying and selling domains. So I wouldn’t say that it is the best choice for domain investors, it really depends on what the investor is looking for. I’m a passive income guy, it’s in my family and something that’s been ingrained in my since I was a kid. In any business I like the model of building a system that will make money whether you are actively doing work or not. Monetizing domains means doing some work upfront to achieve consistent revenue every month. One of my most profitable months was when my girlfriend and I went on vacation for a month, I did no work and had one of my best months of revenue ever.

There is a lot of money in buying and selling domains and this is a good choice for some Domainers. First it’s a much quicker process to get money and usually comes all in one burst. The reason I’m not crazy about buying and selling domains is that to sell a name you really have to actively work. If you take a month off you won’t sell any names and your business will crumble. It’s not passive and so it’s not for me. It doesn’t mean I’m not a hard worker or I don’t like to sell, I love sales and have been doing it for years…it just comes down to what kind of income stream you want and I’m a passive income guy.

Mike:  I’ve recently become a regular viewer of after my first visit, which I previously posted about.  There is a huge difference between watching a video and being able to interact with the host and other viewers.  What are some of the benefits you have seen and experienced from running this live program?

Morgan: I have been blown-away with the initial results of – it definitely is the most effective way I’ve found online to really interact with and engage an audience. It’s a lot more work than I thought it would be since I’m not only hosting the show but also producing, setting-up the lights, mixer, etc. In the end I think it’s allowed me to reach Domainers all over the world and the ability to chat and share comments and ideas in real time offers a unique experience that you can’t really find on a forum or blog. I have big plans for and this is only the beginning, from what I’ve seen it’s independent television programs and channels like this that represent the future of broadcasting.

Mike:  Your company, Linton Investments LLC, owns a diverse collection of domains ending in a variety of TLDs, including com, us, net, tv, org, me and others.  What is your philosophy on the different TLDs for development and investment?  Are ccTLDs a risky investment?

Morgan: We do have a very diverse portfolio spanning over 25 different TLDs. I look at each TLD as an investment with a different time horizon. My .com, .net, .org, and .us names are oftentimes where my development and monetization time is focused. If I sell a domain it will most likely be in one of these four TLDs as well. Many of the other TLDs I invest in are for a longer term and like a stock, I have significant reason to believe the value will increase over the next 2-5 years depending on the TLD. I think you have to think both short-term and long-term in this industry. If you don’t think long-term then if a TLD turns-out to be a great success you’re buying at full retail when you could have bought at wholesale a few years earlier. I think markets like India have a ton of potential and investments in this space could be a good play in the long-run.

At the end of the day I always remember that I’m running a business. I put a majority of my focus into the things my business does to make money which is developing and monetizing domains. I pick targeted long-term investments with no expectation of immediate revenue but the belief that the value will rise dramatically in the future. As a Domainer you have to always stay focused on revenue, if you’re not making money you really aren’t investing. At the same time you have to look at where your business will be 2, 3, and 4 years from now and plan ahead.

I don’t see ccTLDs as a risky investment as long as you do your homework and buy ccTLDs that make sense. Don’t buy a US city name in .MX, don’t buy an English colloquialism in a .DE. Buy domains that make sense and really focus on premium names in the ccTLD space. I usually look for one-word premiums that had their corresponding .com sell in the six-figures. These are the names that I think have the most potential of being valuable in the future.

Mike:  I’ve also heard you mention lead generation as a monetization strategy for developed domains.  How does lead generation work and how can it produce revenue for a site owner?

Morgan: Lead generation is a new strategy I’ve been working on this year. The idea is that you can put a simple form on your website and when a visitor fills-out the form you get paid. The thing I really like about lead generation is that in some niches the payout per lead can be quite high. Just think, if each patient a Doctor gets makes them an average of $50,000 over a few years how much is that client worth to them?

The challenge with lead generation is that there are a lot of players in the hot spaces so if you want to play you have to bring your A-Game. I’ve found that the guys with a lot of success in most of the hottest lead generation niches use some major SEO to rank well and beat their competitors. While there is money to be made a quick mini-site won’t cut it in most lead generation spaces. Right now I’m working on getting a DWI site that I have performing well before replicating the model out to other sites.

I always recommend that people spend time getting a model right before perfecting it. I did this with my Adsense sites, then my affiliate sites, and now I’m doing the same in the lead generation and direct advertising space. If you’re not taking the time to find-out what works you could be replicating a failing model!

Mike:  What is your primary strategy for acquiring domains?  Do you hand register, drop catch, buy from auctions and other domainers?

Morgan: Most of the domains I buy now are through drops. I spent some time every evening on Snapnames and now focus mostly on buying .com names. When I hand-register I usually focus on .us and picking-up long-tails in niches I want to dominate in the search engines. I have bought a few names from live auctions this year as well like at TRAFFIC Vancouver and think there are some good opportunities there as well.

What I like about buying expired names is you can get the exact-match domain with a bit of age which really helps a site rank well quickly. Also if I can snag a great .com I have the option to develop or sell it whereas you have much less resale potential with a .us or .org name.

Mike:  What is your advice to someone starting out in domaining today, or maybe someone who has been in it a while and is just slow moving?  What is the most effective means to develop a small portfolio of profitable domains for investment or development?

Morgan: I recommend that everyone starting in this industry NOT buy domains initially. Spend the first few months reading and learning what people do and how they make money. I think it is so easy for people to get excited about Domaining and just jump in without learning the basics. Registration fees can add up and if you’re not making money with your domains you really are collecting rather than investing.

I get emails every week from new Domainers with large portfolios of garbage, all things that sounded great to them at the time but really have little potential for development or resale. To get started learn the basics and reach-out to someone who is making money in the area you want to make money. The great thing about this industry is that many people are more than happy to share their strategies. Learn what other people have done to be successful and replicate that. Don’t start-out with hundreds of domains, buy five or ten max and make money with every single one of them. If you can do that then you can buy more because you have a successful model.

This is the biggest mistake new Domainers make, they don’t look at how they will make money with a domain before they buy it. Find a model you like, prove it out, then repeat, if you start with the repeat part before proving your model you might end-up with a collection of domains that gathers dust over the years.

Mike:  What skills do you feel are essential for domainers to possess in order to be successful?

Morgan: To be honest with you I think the only skill someone needs is persistence, everything else can be learned and is readily available online. People looking for a get rich quick scheme should stay far away from Domaining, everyone making money in this industry does so because they’re working hard! You can’t be afraid to fail, instead you have to keep working at it and find what works for you. Some people might be great at buying and selling domains but terrible at development, you may like building geo-domains but nothing else. We’re all different and it’s finding the model that works for you in this industry that is the key. Once you find the model persistence will bring you success, I know hundreds of successful people in this industry, all with different skills-sets but every one of them is persistent, never give-up, this is the future!