Once in a while you may feel like you hit a wall with domaining. You may find you’re not sure what type of names to invest in, or what type of names to search for. It could be that you feel you’re temporarily lacking the creativity behind the art of domaining or that you’ve hit a slump that you need a little help climbing out of. Maybe the drive you once had for domaining isn’t as strong as it once was and every day just feels like Groundhog Day to you.
We’ve all been there and
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”Maya Angelou
- Check dot com domain availability of the names of your friends and family
It amazes me that it’s 2022 and people are still not registering their FirstNameLastName.com domains. I have a very common name and unfortunately missed the boat on that opportunity. I did pick up MikeSullivan.org, which feels like a site for a politician. Maybe I’ll run for office some day. I also have a couple variations in a couple of other TLDs.
Regardless of what industry you are in, it’s a great idea to have your own name as a domain and have some sort of presence on the web. It’s great for networking or to post a self promoting biography of yourself. Many consultants and business people use their names as their primary brand website and what a way to promote your personal brand!
I like hunting down names of friends and family and let them know what’s available out there and I really push them if I think they shock snatch them up. In some cases, I have just purchased them on my own and then transferred them to friends because they should have them and I didn’t want to risk any delay in picking them up.
This usually gets the creative juices flowing and I start thinking of other domain names and business ideas. While 99.9% of those I will never pursue, it provides me with inspiration and drive to keep going at what I am doing and fills me with excitement. I’ll admit, I’m easily entertained.
- Find an available domain name with a Estibot value estimate of $1,000 or more
If Wordle is your thing, I have a game that I think is much more fun, and challenging. I love to pop up Godaddy and Estibot on split screen, side by side, and search for available domain names that show a value of $1,000 or more on Estibot. I am among the crowd that puts limited faith in automated valuation tools. Limited… but I do have some faith. I like to use Estibot as a general sniff test for keyword domains. While I don’t know the exact formula or algorithm used, I do know that some reasonable metrics are used, such as exact match search numbers. I would never base a final decision on an automated tool, I do feel it is a good place to go for some inspiration.
While Godaddy also has its own valuation tool, I feel Estibot is more conservative and therefore, more realistic than GoDaddy’s tool. I’ve seen some ridiculous names estimated at over $2,000 on Godaddy.
While plugging in names and seeing the resulting valuations, follow your chain of thought and find variations to check. When your thoughts make a leap from the topic you are currently checking names for, just follow the jump and check the names for whatever comes to mind. Have fun with it. You don’t have to purchase anything, it’s just for inspiration.
- Read The Domain Game to get a feel for the early days of domaining
I have touted The Domain Game by David Kesmodel in previous articles. It is, by far, my favorite book on the domaining that I have read to date. It provides a great history of the early days of domaining including its successes and its struggles. If you follow the domaining blogosphere or follow domains on Twitter, you’ll run across some familiar names from the book. If you are a true domain geek, you will find the history exhilarating and the success stories inspiring. This is a must read for any domainer joining the industry after the 90s.
- Look at your local businesses and what domain names would improve their success
One day last summer, I was walking my dog on a route that took me just a couple miles away from my home. I walked past a home I had walked past several times before. In the driveway was a service van that I had also seen there several times before. It was clear to me that the person that lived there owned this small business with its name and phone number painted on the side. It also included a poorly thought through domain name.
When I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about the name and how bad it was. I decided to spend a couple minutes online and see what else was available. I found what I considered to be a much more suitable domain name. I sent off an email to the business owner letting him know that I was a neighbor and that this particular domain name was available for registration and would suit his business quite well.
I never heard back from that email and never checked to see if the domain I suggested was registered by him. However, it’s a practice I like to follow whenever it strikes me. I have given may local businesses free advice on domain names and even made suggestions for improving their websites. In some cases, this has led to additional business for me, but more times than not, just general appreciation from the business owners. Looking for better fitting domain names for businesses is something I have accidentally trained my mind to do over the years, and keeping it to myself would only smother my creativity. I like to share my ideas.
- Scroll through GoDaddy auctions, Sedo domains or Park.io and see what’s selling
This is a practice many active domainers follow. It’s also a process many neglect. But take some time and scroll through the Godaddy auctions, the domains at Sedo and Park.io. You’ll see cool ideas that other domaines had. You can browse recent sales, current auctions and search for keywords.
My only word of caution here is that when I do this, not only do I generated a ton of ideas, but I find several domain names that I want to buy as well. Control your impulses and make smart buying decisions if you do end up purchasing.
- Check out Flippa.com for inspiration around what types of websites are selling
I’ve sold on Flippa, although it’s been a while, but I have never bought. What I love about the site is that you can browse through listings for actual online businesses, some which are generating revenue. To me, that is inspirational! You’ll find everything from the run of the mill Amazon affiliate sites claiming to be on autopilot to online farming niches. It’s all here and loaded with ideas others are trying.
If you are tempted to make a purchase here I will again offer a word of caution. Don’t take anything at face value. Do your research into the niche and the sales figures claimed by any business you are interested in purchasing. Just because you read it in the description doesn’t make it a fact.
- Think about the things you see (or don’t use) every day. Are there domains for those?
One of the oldest tricks I used when I first started domaining, and still use today, is to just look around the room Im in and start looking for available domains. They may be horrible names and it doesn’t mean you’re going to register them, you’re just looking for some inspiration that may trigger other thoughts.
What are those wonderful things I see around grandma’s kitchen table? Orange corduroy chair cushions! What a niche domain name that will be. Obviously no one really wants that name, but its fun to play around with things in the room. When I first started domaining, I spotted a bottle of suntan lotion and it inspired a few hand registered domain names I was able to flip for a quick profit.
- What industry are you in? Explore available and after market names you could invest in.
If you think all the good domain names are taken or are out of reach, you are mistaken. Sure, the truly high value premium domains are likely snatched up but if you are aligned to another industry for your career, perhaps there are still some opportunities available. You may be able to find keywords or phrases that will work wonders in your industry.
Suppose you are in the executive writing utensil industry. Your favorite pens are those that use squid ink. You check to see if SquidInkExtractors.com is available and, WOW, it is!!! Imagine that. Now you register the name and contact your vendors that supply squid ink for your pens, or maybe you decide to become a wholesaler of squid ink extraction products.
- Explore TLDs
Coming up with domain names is one thing, but with all the TLDs available, your options are growing. In fact, some domainers find a niche in focusing on specific TLDS. Have a run at it and see what’s available. Check out some TLD hacks (such as using the .ly TLD as part of the word as in “ug.ly”).
- Look at old blog posts
There is no shortage of domain bloggers these days. That said, you can always go back and read up on some of their early posts. See where they were 5 years ago in their journey and where they are today. See what topics were hot in the industry 10 years ago and how does that compare to today? Find inspiration from the past. History repeats itself.
Bonus Idea: Unplug
If all else fails, unplug. Take a step away from your computer, away from doamining. Go do something else. Take a walk, play a game, take a vacation. Often times, the subconscious mind will work on what has been obsessing your mind once you let it go and do something else. This is similar to how ideas pop into your head while taking a shower or driving in your car. It’s not because you have nothing to write on, it’s because your subconscious is working through things in the background.