Make Money Online
This article will carry you, the reader, through a systematic process of how to start earning an income from your desk, table, couch or bed at home by exploring one of the many ways to make money online in 2019.
If you have gotten fired from your job, you resigned from your job, left college/high school but still searching for a job, or you just intend to live a life that is not tied to any particular 9 to 5 then keep reading. You will find that it is pretty interesting how money can be made on the internet in this millennial age.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain (or “domain name”) is the alphanumeric (including dashes) combination that identifies a group of webpages on the internet. It is linked to the IP address of your website via the Domain Name System (DNS). These domains always have an extension like .com, .org, .net, or others more modern ones like .app, .mobi, .co, .cc & .co.uk.
Make Money Selling Domain Names
I will share a list of domain names that were sold within the last couple of years to highlight the gravity of this industry. A reliable source for reporting domain name sales is NameBio.com, and the table below contains the TOP TEN (10) most expensive domain name sales ever reported.
I have to emphasize that NameBio does not contain an exhaustible list of all the domain name sales ever made. They capture the sales that were made public. So it is quite likely that there were sales exceeding USD 30 million which has not been reported. Buying a domain with the purpose of reselling it at a higher price is a practice known as domain investing.
These prices that the domain names were sold for are pretty high and it is highly unlikely that you will make as much as this within the first few years of domaining, BUT, it is not impossible. There are many many domain investors (domainers) out there making less expensive sales each day. This has become their full time job. These sales can add up to a sizeable income at the end of each month if you invest in the right domain names.
Domain names are being sold every single day for $X,XXX. , $XX,XXX. , and even $XXX,XXX. The six-figure domain sales are a little bit more rare but they still happen on a frequent basis. The key is to learn about the industry. This is no get-rich quick scheme. It requires a lot of time, effort and much study.
You will notice a trend in the table above and that is, all of the sales in the TOP TEN (10) had a dot com (.com) extension. You will also notice that these are one word domain names. We will discuss the significance of this in the coming paragraphs.
You must be wondering why people would even spend so much on a domain name and if this is really true. Watch this video below prepared by the infographics show as it gives you a break-down of why domain names sell for what they are sold for. Please note that the data has not been verified by myself but it gives an idea of what the industry has to offer.
By now you are thinking that it is too late to take action and too many people already know about this and they are ahead of the pack. The truth is many of you will not take action after reading this blog. This will just be another information gathering process and you will be stuck in the “analysis paralysis” phase. But others will start with the future in mind and with great patience will become extremely successful after taking action.
Let me put this into perspective for you. According to Google, the world contains about 7.5 Billion people. It is known that just below 50% of the world’s population (as of 2017) actually uses the internet. Some people actually do not have access to it. In the next couple of years, internet access will increase exponentially and with that the need for establishing a lot more online businesses. The demand for domain names will NOT go down any time soon.
THE WOES OF BEING A SUCCESSFUL DOMAINER
CHOOSING THE RIGHT NAME
Making money selling domain names is predicated on people actually wanting to buy the domains that you own. The type of names you own will determine the traffic that comes your way. For example, if you own a four (4) word long tail domain name like BuyCoffeeOnMyWebsite.com, as against BuyCoffee.com or even Coffee.com, there would be much less demand for your long tail domain name. You have to be deliberate about selecting names that make sense. The most highly demanded names are english, dictionary words, with the correct spelling and usually less than eight (8) characters with a .com extension.
- Domain Length: The shorter the domain name the higher the demand for the name. This is because it is easy to remember and therefore easily brandable. Start-ups will always go after short domain names (specifically one word names) that will be easy for their users to remember. It’s no doubt that google, twitter, instagram, amazon, apple are names that are easy to remember. There is a trend here.
- Dictionary Word/Pronounceable/Memorable/Brandable: A dictionary word domain name is very valuable. Of course, the more popular and widely used the word is, the better. Misspellings may also be valuable as web users type in urls they tend to make mistakes. This can be a source of high, valuable traffic to the misspelled domain name, BUT, BE CAREFUL, some of these misspellings infringes upon trademarked material and is unethical to own. This falls under the category of cybersquatting. There is a legal process that prevents this type of behaviour.
- History: Domain names that have been registered for many years, generally carry a higher value. This is because some of them maintained websites and would previously have had traffic, SEO authority, backlinks as well as somebody long ago saw the value in the domain and it follows that it may be valuable today as well. Metrics such as domain authority and page authority gives a good idea of the internet presence value of a particular url.
- Extension: Domain name extensions play a huge part in a domain’s value. There are 1000s of domain extensions and they are increasing every month. Based on historical sales, the most popular and most valuable of the lot is .com. The .net and .org extensions follow.
The main advantage of the .com is its instant recognition and familiarity among internet users. Human beings are hard-wired into thinking that every website has a .com behind it. If you own the .net of a particular domain name, it is highly likely that some of your users will type in .com trying to get to your site. In that case, if another person owns the .com to your exact-match domain name, then you are possibly losing valuable traffic and by extension revenue as well. Many non-savvy internet users may not even be aware of the existence of other extensions.
With that said, there are many new extensions popping up every now and then, you can often find amazing one word and 3-letter domain names with these new extensions that are otherwise almost impossible to find unregistered in the .com world. Additionally, these new extensions are becoming more and more familiar to users every day, hence it’s almost certain that their value will continue to increase as time passes and wider adoption manifests. However, for a beginner I would recommend starting off with a .com.
INITIAL INVESTMENT REQUIRED
Most of the short, valuable domain names are already taken and already carry a retail price, but its not impossible to acquire some of these in the expired domain markets, and dropped names market for a reasonable price. Hand-registering names directly from a registrar (like Godaddy.com, Afternic.com, Namecheap.com) is also an option. Hand-registration is the cheapest and will only set you back about $10 – $15 per name. The truth is that you HAVE TO HAVE money to start out. It may be just $50 or $100, but some investment is required to get a name to start. The challenge is making the right decision on which name to acquire. It is not a process that should be rushed, or the decision made on a random hunch. It should be clearly thought out and researched. If you do not have any money right now, chances are what you need is a job to get a steady income so that you can invest.
DOMAINING IS A WAITING GAME
I have to tell you up front that there is no get rich quick in domain investing. You wont get a million dollar sale over night. After acquiring the right name, you will need to have a way to get prospective buyers to your domain name. The most effective method is setting up a landing page on the domain name. This usually comes at a cost, but I will explain a way that this may be done for FREE in the coming sections.
Your expectation that your domain will sell in the first week, month or even year can damage your chances of success. The successful persons in the industry are in for the long haul. If you are looking to pay the bills now, you have to be smart in your approach. It is not impossible to earn very quickly but you have to be strategic. Let me show you how.
1. HOW TO BUY A DOMAIN NAME
1. Select a registrar/domain provider that will manage your domain portfolio
- Google Domains
I will personally recommended Godaddy.com, Afternic.com and Uniregistry.com as their platform is more of less free to use and buyers are always searching their networks for new domains.
2. Start searching for a suitable domain name to begin
Identify a niche that you have some idea about that is valuable and that persons are investing in. You have to have your ear low to the ground in order to know what is happening in the internet space. Google a lot, watch youtube videos, check social media hashtags, find out whats trending.
VALUE YOUR DOMAIN NAMES
Start by calculating the value of the domain name using The Rosener Equation
Learn more about the Rosener equation and domain value prediction at this link.
You will also be able to judge the value of a domain name by checking on previous domain sales done with the keywords that you have in mind. Namebio.com is again a good place to go looking. Godaddy has a less reliable domain appraisal tool which also spits out previous name sales. It may give you a relative idea of the value of a domain but I wouldn’t take the absolute value as gospel.
I will also recommend using a keyword search tool like Jaaxy which allows you to search keywords
Google also provides a Keyword planner tool as well as Google Trends to make this job much more easy. Google controls about 80% of all searches that happen on the internet, so they are a reliable source of keywords that would make for excellent domain names. Their keyword planner tool uses data from the Google Ads platform.
There is no one method that will guarantee that your domain names will be valuable, but by using a combination of the methods (this can also be based on your personal preference as your experience grows) that I have listed above, you can be sure that a particular name will keep coming up in all the methods.
3. EXPIRED/DROPPED DOMAIN
To find domain names that already had an internet presence and carries some SEO weight, then looking for a name in the expired domain market is a great option. When someone registers a domain name, they pay a one time fee to acquire the domain name for a year (in most cases). On the birthday of the domain name, they are required to pay a fee to renew the domain name for another year or more. Goddady explains this process here. This particular process of renewal may vary from registrar to registrar but they are all guided by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
When a domain expires (whether knowingly or unknowingly to the owner), it enters the expired names market which is distributed across many domain houses. Popular locations to pick up expired domain names are:
Be sure to do your background checks on the domain names that you are acquiring that were previously owned. Ensure that they were not linked to previous legal wrangling, trademark infringements, elicit content or were flagged in search engines for restricted content. A good place to gather this information is by checking the WHOis database and the Web Archive (WayBack Machine).
It is important when registering your domain name to provide the correct registration information as shown below:
Buyers will come searching for the domain you have by looking into the WHOis database. It would be beneficial to you to not have your information private. This might be a turn off to somebody who is looking to purchase a domain name on impulse.
To protect your full identity you could set up an email address to handle your domaining pursuits.
2. GET POTENTIAL BUYERS TO FIND YOUR DOMAIN
Great! You have done your research, selected a registrar, done a keyword search, appraised your domain names and you have made your first few purchases. Now, you are at the point where your domain will be lost in the sea of domains that are already being sold.
As a beginner you will want to the following question answered: WHERE CAN I LIST MY DOMAIN NAMES FOR FREE? Read the article attached and then come back to continue the process.
3. SET UP A LANDING PAGE
If you have no experience with coding, creating a website or doing anything on the internet, there is hope. This WILL NOT be the hardest part for you. Setting up a landing page in 2019 can be simple and free of cost. What is most important is that the buyer can reach you when they type the domain name into the navigation bar.
This is done by having your domain name resolve to what is called a landing page. Much like this one here. They will have the opportunity to get in touch with you and make an offer. They possibly will even click buy it now based on the price you have set and urgency in acquiring the name.
This website: Flip Web Domains allows you to post your domains for free with no strings attached. You may also opt for advertising on your webpage and customizing your page for potential buyers to read notes, display graphics, look at analytics or direct them to other links of yours. You may then 302 redirect your domain to the webpage so that your potential buyers will be taken directly to your landing page when they type in your domain into the web browser’s navigation bar.
You may also opt to create a free site using SiteRubix, a website building tool which completely removes all technical aspects of building a website and provides an experience that allows you to be up and running within minutes.
SiteRubix is powered by WealthyAffiliate.com which provides you with training, support, and tools to turn your creation into a truly valuable website. Try building a website below by entering the name of your website.
LEARN HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE
If you are the type of person that would like to be in control of your landing page and see the traffic as it comes in, engage directly with the data behind the page and make live changes to your page, then it’s quite likely that you will have to build your own website. It’s not hard for you to learn how to build a website if you are a beginner. The advances of the internet and technology makes it much easier to build a website in 2019 than it was 5 years ago.
I have tested many platforms for building websites and have built quite a few income generating websites myself including the one that you are reading this post from now. This was all made possible through Wealthy Affiliate. They take you through a step by step process in learning how to build a website from scratch and actually monetizing it as well. Now let’s not get carried away, the most important purpose for setting up this website is to get traffic to your domain name.
The reason I would recommend them is because they give you amazing content in setting up your website without charging you a dime. You can create two (2) full websites for FREE. If you would like to go further, they offer a premium package that allows for creating unlimited websites without any additional hosting charges.
Here is why I would absolutely recommend wealthy affiliate:
4. ACTIVELY SELL YOUR DOMAINS
After setting up your landing page/ website, build a list of prospective buyers and approach them in a strategic manner. Please do not be spammy. DNAcademy has a good video on how to get this done:
The information that was laid out above should provide the most popular platforms for persons to get to your domain names at the lowest possible cost to you.
Most of the work is done in BUYING the correct domain names. It is said that you make money on THE PURCHASE not so much on the sale. So if you have picked a valuable domain name, most of the heavy lifting is already done. you will get inquiries and you will be profitable in this business. Once you have gotten that FIRST SALE, then its a matter of rinsing and repeating. Do you think you are up to the challenge?
Some domains are sold in a couple of days, some in a couple weeks, some will take months and others will take many years. This name of the game is patience. If you can develop this attribute in this business then you will be sure to be successful. Careful management of your expectations and adjusting your thought process based on new information will become handy.
If you acquire new information which logically topples your old impressions, it is safe to discard the old, having learned from it and move on. There is no use crying over spilt milk. If you have made some poor domain choices well let them go and start over. It is never too late to start over.
A lot of domainers sit on domains for years before actually selling them. This is why it’s best not to obsess over a domain and simply move on with buying and listing others. If you find that your money is running out, then it is likely that you will need to get a job to continue to fuel this business. Even if it is another job online that can bring in a steady income to pay the bills until your domain names sell, if you are so bent on not taking on a 9 to 5.
To get a history of the domain investing industry and domain names in general I recommend reading this ebook.
Leave your feedback below if this article has helped you in anyway. Let me know of your history in the domain industry. I am also open to correction and new information. Please also feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
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