21 days to becoming a better domainer

21 days to better domaining
 When I started in the domain name industry, I knew no other domainers.  None.  I had no idea what I was doing or where to turn for answers.  I stumbled across Elliott’s Blog, now DomainInvesting.com, while I was looking for a way to sell a domain I had since the 90’s.  I pretty quickly became a regular reader and even reached out to Elliott with a couple of questions, which he patiently answer for me.  Soon, I found domaining.com and with it, several fantastic resources on the domain name industry.  I was engulfed.  I started blogging as a way to share information with my fellow noobs and to learn from those that were succeeding in the industry.  That was 8 years ago.

I’ve learned an amazing amount in the years since I began and I’ve met dozens of great people.

Monday I’m kicking off a series called 21 Days to Becoming a Better Domainer.  This is intended for those fairly new to the industry and struggling to make any progress.  That’s not to say that a seasoned domainer won’t find value in this but it is written with the beginner in mind.

Domainers at any level will find subtle reminders and perhaps inspiration in some of the posts in the series.  These may be things you’ve done or observed in the past and things you continue to do today.  Nothing I’ll be talking about is particularly groundbreaking, amazing, or a secret ritual only shared among the hidden society of elite domainers.  It’s instead, a plan to get beginners up to speed faster and a reminder to those who have been in the industry for a while.   Sometimes it’s easy to forget the fundamentals.

I would love to hear feedback from the beginners and comments from the seasoned pros as the series rolls out.  Tell me where I’m wrong or where your experience has differed.  There is nothing to lose here and everything to gain.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Day 1 – Read Domaining.com Daily

Day 2 – Comment on 3 Blogs

Day 3- Join a Domain Message Forum

Day 4 – Keep Notes or a Journal

Day 5 – Reach Out to 3 Domainers / Bloggers You Respect

NamesCon 2018 – FREE

As you’ve likely seen on other domain blogs such as Konstantinos’ OnlineDomain.com and Kevin’s post today on DomainIncite.com, I too am providing 5 free NamesCon tickets to virgin domainers who have never attended the event.

Just sign up for my newsletter on the right hand side of this page, follow the link to confirm once you receive the email, and you are entered to win.  Don’t worry about me sending you all kinds of junk e-mail, I believe I have only sent about 3 newsletters in 10 years.

I’ll choose 5 winners at random on Tuesday, January 9th.

That’s it – Good Luck!!

Tis the season to beware of scammers

What a great time of year. Kids are all looking forward the gift giving season and getting a couple of weeks off of school.  Parents are all working hard trying to get everything in order for the holidays, waiting for the holiday bonus, cashing in their bitcoin, shopping  for the kids and maybe selling an extra domain or two before the year comes to an end.

Speaking of domains, lucky for us there is Kenta Fujimoto.  Kenta, sent an offer that far exceeded the value of the domain name he was inquiring about (first red flag).

Domain Scam Email

When I visit the domain name on the actual email address, I get a warning…

Beware of domain scams

I thought this would make a educational blog post so I countered with “Sure, let’s proceed with the sale.  We use Escrow.com.”  

My good fellow returns the following, informing me that I must follow this sketchy link to buy a sketchy certificate to conduct this sketchy sale.  Sounds a little sketchy if I do say so myself.

domain con

I follow his Google Answers link (which I believe the service was discontinued like 11 YEARS AGO!) and a fine copy of a Google Answers page is returned with a not so Google URL.  This guy really puts a lot of faith in dot info.

dishonest domainer

When it comes to con artists, I’ll admit I love the stories behind the great ones.  Charles Ponzi, Frank Abagnale.  I get what they did isn’t cool but intellect behind it is fascinating.  Not so in this case.

I have responded to the one known as “Kenta” asking for an interview on domain scamming.  Could be interesting.  But in the mean time, keep an eye on your domains and as hard working entrepreneurs, I trust you have more sense then these people trying to swindle you out of the money you earned for yourself and your family.

If you ever find something questionable, ask.  Ask me.  Ask your favorite blogger (which again, could be me). Ask a domain forum.  Don’t rush into anything that makes you feel the least bit uncomfortable.


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5 Available Hand Regs Valued at over $500 Each – Can you Flip These Domain Names?

This post isn’t going to make you rich, but it demonstrates that there are still opportunities even if you are just entering the domain industry or only have a few bucks to your name.  You can take a few bucks and make it into a few more with some effort.  It’s not likely that anyone will come knocking your door down making you an offer for these names, but if you do your research, you could come up with a decent list of potential buyers.  If you are able to educate those potential buyers, you could have a sale.

First lets take a step back and note that automated domain appraisal tools are just that, tools.  They are not exact, they may be inaccurate, and they never factor in the human element.  That said, here are 5 names I found this morning, while drinking a cup of coffee, that have an estimated value of $500 or more according to Estibot.

estibot domains

In case the screenshot is too hard to read, the names are:

  1. UrinalDeodorizer.com
  2. CorkExtractor.com
  3. IrishMenu.com
  4. ChangeManagementCertification.com
  5. ConferenceCallSystem.com

I listed them in ascending order of estimated value.  I chose only dot com names.  You are welcome to register these, as I said, they are available for hand reg at the time of this posting.

A couple of observations.  First, what jumped out at me is that someone has registered the dot org version of ChangeManagementCertification.  The tells me there is at least one lead that might be interested in buying the dot com.  Why did he only register the dot org?  I don’t know and that could also mean he/she is clueless and won’t have any interest in the dot com.  However, Change Management is a hot topic in business today and there should be plenty of other potential leads out there.

valuate domains

The image above is from Valuate.com.  It uses the same brain as Estibot, but I prefer its visual display a bit more.  Makes it easy to compare domains and also easy on the eyes.  RetireeMeidcalPlans.com is interesting for a couple of reasons.  One is that I once owned it and let it drop.  The other is that someone has registered what appears to be the less valuable singular version of the name.  This was not the case, as far as I know, when I owned the domain. The singular points to medicare.oneexchange.com which appears to be a legit website and could be a good candidate for purchasing this plural domain on the aftermarket.  Look at the difference in the CPC!

There it is.  The world is your oyster.  If you decided to register any of the above names, leave a comment to let us know.  I’d be interested in following up with you to see how you do with these and share the story with everyone if you’re up for it.  Good luck.

With 3 Million Monthly Page Views, Finder is a Keeper

Fred Schebesta

As an author, blogger, award-winning digital marketer, media commentator, mentor and active member of the startup community, Fred Schebesta is a highly respected entrepreneur.

Fred is the Co-founder and Director of finder.com.au — one of Australia’s largest comparison websites. At just 26 years of age, Fred entered the comparison market – which is one of the most highly competitive online categories in Australia.

Fred’s entrepreneurial journey started well before finder.com.au. At just 22 years of age, while studying a Bachelor of Finance degree at Macquarie University in Sydney, he and Frank created Freestyle Media and grew the business into a successful digital agency that sold to a publicly-listed company in 2007.

Mike: Tell me about Finder.com and exactly what the site offers it’s visitors.

Fred:  finder.com is a personal comparison website that helps Americans make better decisions about their money. We believe that teaching people about finance will help them make better decisions and ultimately live a better life. Consumers can visit finder.com to compare and learn about credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, life and travel insurance, shopping deals, international money transfers and much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs. Our vision is to “compare everything”, we know that is going to take a long time, but that is ok, we are strapped into this rocketship!

My business partner and I started finder in our native Australia over a decade ago, and are now operating in 10 different countries around the world.

We’re not owned by an insurance or travel company (like some other comparison sites) and we aren’t affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so we are an independant team of genuine experts. Beyond comparing products, this team of experts produce thousands of guides, videos and research to help people better understand money and make informed decisions.


Mike: I have read in your bio that you founded Finder.com.au. Was this prior to Finder.com as mentioned above? Are there any differences in the sites other than geography?

Fred:  Finder.com.au was where the magic started. This is our domain name for the Australian site, which is the most visited personal finance website in the country. We then set our sights on global expansion, launching in the US with finder.com in 2015. Both domains have the same aim – of helping people understand their money decisions and providing local choices and empowering them to make “Great decisions”!


Mike: In your experience as a successful online entrepreneur, has it proven to be beneficial to use country specific TLDs such as .com.au to target your audience?

Fred:  In short, yes. Although there have been a lot of instances where we have found that being a .com has helped us target more global verticals. So it really does depend. I think there is still lots of value in country specific TLDs but I think the jury is out as to what is the best strategy globally.


Mike: I’ve read through some great articles on the site, including “The Financial Case for Sobriety, Calculate Your Savings” which was an eye opener. Do you have a staff of writers or do the articles come from outside contributors? How is this funded?

Fred: We have a team of writers based all over the US who are experts in various elements of personal finance including credit cards, personal loans and international money transfers. We also regularly engage with industry experts for insights and predictions such as this piece on how AI, blockchain and social media will impact cross-border payments.


Mike: Both Finder.com and Finder.com.au are killer names. Are you willing to share traffic numbers with us?

Fred:  Globally, finder receives over 3 million monthly page views and 2.1 million monthly UA’s.


Mike: How about acquiring the names. Can you tell me how you went about getting the names? 

Fred:  First, we reached out to the original domain owners. It took quite a few attempts to get through to them; I think around a year. It then took quite a lot of negotiating to get to a realistic monetary figure. From there we used an escrow service and then after that we made the trade. The actual purchase was relatively straight forward although the process to to get there took a very long time.


Mike: What is the business model here. How does Finder make a profit. Is it affiliate based depending on which deals people sign up for?

Fred: Finder is independently-owned and totally free to use. We make our money through the providers, rather than our users. When you click through to, or apply with, a financial institution or retailer on our site, they pay us a small referral fee for sending you their way. This means we don’t mark up any of the products on our site, yet can still provide a quality service. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or provider, so only serve the best options for our consumers’ needs.


Mike: This is not your first rodeo. You founded, grew, and sold Freestyle Media a decade ago. What advice do you have for average people looking to quit the daily grind and make a living online? What are some important considerations.

Fred:  Success will take a lot longer than you realize: many would-be entrepreneurs lack the patience to see a business grow. Even the best idea takes time to build. My business partner and I wanted to remain independently funded, and so that meant turning down other opportunities to focus on slow and steady growth.

Focus on achieving one thing well, before you move on to the next: natural-born entrepreneurs typically have many great ideas yet it’s impossible to do everything well at the one time. Taking a more focused approach is a much faster track to success.

Build resilience: even the most successful of entrepreneurs has had their fair of knock backs and downright failures. You can’t let these get you down. Take each mistake or slip up as a learning opportunity. It’s not meant to be easy.

Set and regularly redefine goals: there are many steps in between working for a salary to running your own business. Use goal setting to stay on track, focused and motivated. Sometimes the road will seem impossibly long, but chunking it down into smaller, short term goals en route to the big dream will make it feel more achievable. Remember to constantly go back and check on those goals, ensure they are still in line with your vision and celebrate the wins you’ve had along the way.


Mike: How beneficial do you think it is to have your business on a keyword domain name like Finder.com?

Fred:  I think it’s absolutely awesome and has been a crucial part of our success. We wanted to have a short name that was recognizable and easy to communicate and remember. I think domain names are amazingly important. A great domain becomes your brand.



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