How to Start a Domain Name Business

by Andrew Uhacz

There are several ways to make money with domain names, but the most common is to buy domains and then resell them for a profit. If you are just starting out, or even if you've been buying and selling domains for years, the one thing you need to know how to do is market your domains.

Marketing Domain Names

Millions of great domain names are still available for sale or can easily be acquired for a price below market value. Most domain names start out at prices below $5 and go as high as several million dollars. So the only way to truly put value on a name is to find a buyer who is willing to pay top dollar for a name they want or need.

Finding the right buyer is hard but can be achieved by putting ads in the right places. Some of the best places to sell domain names are Sedo, Afternic, Godaddy (TDNAM), Network Solutions and eBay. These different domain-selling sites vary drastically, but if you want to get top dollar for a domain name the best thing to do is to use all of them. If you own multiple domain names, then you might try using several different domain-selling services and see which ones see the best results.

Buying domain names is the hard part of the whole task. Try finding domain names that already have traffic going to them, either by misspellings or typos. An example is the domain Godsaddy.com, which is the misspelled version of Godaddy.com with an extra "s" after the "d". Many people type this in their address bar and automatically create a steady flow of traffic that is hard to stop. That is why most popular typos and misspellings are bought up by large corporations. This also includes the (s) plural versions and .net, .org, .info, extensions. Having these different addresses tied up means that no matter what someone types or searches for, he will still go to the site that he intended to go to and not to an affiliate/pay-per-click site. Your job is to get one of these domains and either resell it for a profit or make money off the traffic by owning the domain. Affiliate sites or pay-per-click programs pay you for redirecting traffic to their products or services. Each time someone clicks, signs up, or just visits the site you will get a portion of the profit. Each affiliate program has its own incentives, but the most common programs pay you per sale or per click.

Making money off a domain with traffic means that you redirect it through either affiliate linking codes or sign up for a pay per click domain parking program. That means each time someone visits the domain/website and clicks on a link, you will get a percentage of the revenue--or if you are promoting affiliates, you will make a commission each time someone buys or signs up through your domain.

Picking domains on other attributes is important. The best domain names tend to have no numbers or hyphens and are easy to spell or type, are shorter names, are brandable, or are sound-a-likes (meaning that they sound like a popular domain). If the name of a popular travel company is TravelDreams.com then you might want to acquire DreamTravel.com, which could also be a popular name considering the similarity. The domain is also easy to remember, fairly easy to type, and not that hard to spell.

Pricing domain names you own and are trying to resell can be done by looking up similar names that sold on any of the domain-selling sites. Try to price your domain at or below the average. Anything too high will likely never sell and anything too low you will wish you had asked for more. If you can't find a comparable name, then appraise it based on what you think a company/individual would pay to have that as a website name.

Make selling domain names a business by creating your own eBay store where you can sell the domains or set up your own website and list the names at your leisure. Mass email potential buyers or pay to have your domains listed on domain-selling sites' auctions and featured sections. All of these actions are already being done by many successful domain-name business owners. Although the market is flooded by tons of experienced buyers and sellers, you too can get a piece of the pie if you stay dedicated to the process and follow this process over and over again.

Tip

  • check Don't be afraid to price a domain in the hundreds or thousands of dollars if it has extreme potential. If it doesn't sell right away, be patient and reduce the price a tad. Don't cut all the profit out right away. You typically have a few months before having to renew the name, and all you really need to worry about is doubling your initial investment.

Warning

  • close Never mislead a buyer or trick them about a domain name. If you own the name g00gle.com, that's not the same as google.com--always alert the buyer that the domain has 0 (the number zero) when the name they really want probably has o's (the letter "o").

References

About the Author

In 2001, Andrew Uhacz started his part-time career as a freelance writer, publishing articles online. Since then he has written and published thousands of informative and how-to articles across the web. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in digital technology and culture from Washington State University.