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Domaining – What VivifyDomains learned in her first year

by Mike Sullivan

We all got started somewhere, and I thought it would be not only fun but helpful to feature domainers in various stages of their development. Today we are talking with VivifyDomains whom I connected with on X.com.  

VivifyDomains (aka Sam) started domaining around Feb 2023 after being inspired by some reported domain sales and has been obsessed ever since. She is driven by the treasure-hunting thrill of the chase and the insane potential for ROI. Still a part-time domainer, she is striving to make domain investing her main source of income one day but is in the early stages of that journey.

Mike:  Can you tell us about your background and what led you to become interested in domain name investing?

VivifyDomains: Sure, I’m from Australia and discovered domain name investing through my company when they purchased a domain name for $100k+. At the time I didn’t know domains could be worth so much so I started digging around and got hooked soon after.

Mike: What was the first domain name you ever purchased for investment purposes, and what was the thought process behind it?

VivifyDomains: The first domain I bought was ‘TrackRecordMusic.com’ which was a hand-reg, and I don’t remember how I found it although most likely through expireddomains.net.

At the time I don’t think I had much of a thought process behind registering names. I mostly just wanted to get my feet wet, and I thought this domain sounded like a good name and could see a website being developed on it. I ended up selling it too for wholesale at $75 about 8 months later.

Mike: How did you educate yourself about the domain name market when you were just starting out?

VivifyDomains: I found namepros, and basically spent the next few months reading through every thread of any value on the entire forum to learn about domain investing. I also binged through domain sherpa’s podcasts.

Mike:  What criteria do you use to evaluate the potential of a domain name?

VivifyDomains: Pretty complex to answer but I’ll try to keep it short. This has changed many times over the past year or so for me since I spent a lot of time experimenting with different ideas. 

Originally since I mostly focused on handreg, the only way I could get decent names was if I found a new niche, so I would go through the latest news in various fields and see if there was anything interesting I could find.

That’s how I discovered the ‘XR’ niche and registered a bunch of names in this field. Soon after that Microsoft announced they were working on an AI assistant called ‘Copilot’, and basically I put the two together to register XRCopilot.com which ended up being  my very first sale, and still my largest one ever ($2488). I only held it for 11 days as well!

After realizing this doesn’t really work in the long run (0 similar sales since then in trending niches) and that I just got lucky with this name, now I’m focusing more on registering names that use non-trendy keywords in profitable niches (finance, tech, AI etc.) and spend a lot of time researching popular branding keywords.

Also only sticking to .com for the most part going forward. I’m still relatively new to this field though so my method will most likely keep changing, at least until I find something that works consistently.

Mike:  Reflecting on your first year, what was the most unexpected challenge you faced in domain investing?

VivifyDomains: Finding reliable information about domain sales online. It seems very few sales are actually reported, and there are quite a lot of fake reports as well. 

Also most of the really useful information doesn’t seem to be available anywhere. The guides that are available are a good start but they barely scratch the surface.  I’ve discovered quite a few domaining ‘secrets’ that I don’t see mentioned anywhere. I guess it makes sense since it’s already hard enough to sell domains without giving away any advantage you have.

A lot of experimenting (and upfront capital) is required in this field since your own data is really the only trustworthy source. There are some exceptions but they are very few.

Mike: What strategies have you found most effective for selling or leasing domain names?

VivifyDomains: I can’t really say I’ve found any strategy that works yet, still very much in the learning phase. Most of the names I’ve sold were surprising to me, and even more so the domains that I sold and that are now developed!

Mike:  Have you specialized in any particular type of domain, such as TLDs, keywords, or niches? If so, why?

VivifyDomains: I’ve experimented with different types quite a bit in terms of niches and keywords, I mostly have .com domains and only my .com domains have sold so far.

I do have about 1 third of my portfolio in the crypto/web3 niche as I saw quite a few handreg domains in this field selling for crazy amounts (4-5 figures)  with very short hold times so I guess you could say I specialized in this field, but I very much regret it now as I have not had any real sales from this niche.

I have no idea if the reported sales were mostly flukes or fake reports but even my exact match .coms are not selling even at my low prices (3 figure to low 4 figures). I will most likely be dropping most if not all of these as they seem too risky to renew.

Mike:   What tools or resources have you found indispensable in your domain investing journey?

VivifyDomains: Too many to list but some of the top ones: chatgpt, namepros.com, tld-list.com, spyfu.com, expireddomains.net, Excel/google sheets, namebio.com, unreportedsales.com, x.com, opencorporates.com.

Mike: Have you encountered any misconceptions about domain investing from others? If so, how do you address them?

VivifyDomains: The biggest is easily the lack of information involved in domain name sales reports for these reasons:

  • No real way to confirm if they are real
  • Don’t know the investor’s total investment amount
  • Don’t know the investor’s total portfolio size
  • Don’t know if the investor has some insider knowledge

I think the only way to address this issue is what I mentioned earlier, experiment and use your own data to rely on, every other source you should treat with some skepticism.

Mike:  Looking back, what would you have done differently in your first year if you had the chance?


  1. Only .com
  2. Focus on strong keyword/evergreen names that make sense
  3. Stay away from trends, unless you are early enough to pick up a handful of the absolute best versions of these names and leave the rest to others to gamble on

Mike:  What goals have you set for your second year in domain investing?

VivifyDomains: I’d like to at least break even on domain names and slowly replace my portfolio with higher and higher quality names. Right now I’m at a loss, if I for example didn’t register all of the trend based names I would have at least doubled my money in the first year.

Also no more wholesale pricing, in the long run this seems to be a bad idea. More than half of the domains I sold at $75 ended up being developed by end users so more than likely could have just left them at the regular market price. If even 1 or 2 sold at the regular market price I would be wayyy ahead so it really is not worth increasing your STR in this way. Although slight discounts (10%-20%) are probably fine.

You can follow her on X at @VivifyDomains

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