I started this blog at the beginning of my domaining journey as a way to help me learn and, equally as important, to share what I learned. I haven’t given this blog the attention it deserves over the past couple of years as I stepped away to focus on some development. Sometimes it’s hard to look back and remember the lessons of being a noob in the domain industry, especially after a long break. But here are the 3 lessons that are etched into my mind and I think would be of value to anyone jumping in the domain world with high expectations.
1. Don’t quit your day job
Thankfully, I didn’t quit my job when I started domaining. I will admit that I had high expectations and hoped to be domaining full time in a matter of months. While I didn’t have an official date set, I thought a year would be reasonable. In hindsight, it sounds crazy and actually makes me laugh a little to think that I was coming into an industry I knew nothing about and thought I would master it in no time flat. Lesson learned – If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and would be immediately successful.
2. Save your money on the hand regs
Alright, somebody did tell me this. In fact, most of the bloggers that I follow probably mentioned this early on… several times. But what did those experienced bloggers know? “Are you kidding me? Nobody has registered waterproofguitarcases.com, I’m all over it!” At one point, I had almost 500 hand registered names. I think about 498 of them sucked. I didn’t actually register that name, but I promise that some I did register were just as bad… or worse.
Funny thing is, I did manage to sell a dozen or so to end users and probably broke even in overall dollars. But if you include the time I invested, it was a definite loss. However, it was cheap price to pay for a valuable lesson.
There is an exception to this rule, which I will write about in a couple of days.
3. Know the industry of the names you are investing in
Having learned the hand reg lesson just mentioned, I soon found myself searching for a “premium” keyword domain. One day, while pursuing an interview with an end user, a fantastic electronics industry related name fell in my lap. They guy really needed to sell, and I was able to talk him all the way down to $5,000. “What a skilled domainer I have become!” Never mind that I had zero experience in electronics and no knowledge of the changing technology. The fact that the guy really needed to sell the name and was shutting down his business… that’s just a minor detail I overlooked. Some may call if a red flag, but to me… minor detail.
I’m not going to mention the name because I ultimately sold it.
While there are many other lessons to be shared, these are the top in my book. If you’re new, maybe you’ll take my advice and maybe you wont. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn on your own. If you’re an experienced domainer, what were you top mistakes?