Update on Domain Investing In My Back Yard

The other day I wrote about a domain investing company right down the road from me, here in Phoenix, Arizona. If you have not already read that story, please do so here. My business partners and I had plans to give DotVentures a call to discuss business and learn more about their company. We were also interested in possibly partnering with them to develop and/or sell our collection of 160+ domains.

Well, today, ironically enough, I received a phone call from Joel at DotVentures! He had read my blog and knew I was interested in their company. Joel proceeded to tell me a little about DotVentures, including about their $50 million inventory of domains and their plans to turn it into a billion dollar portfolio within a few years! As AnthonyC noted in my previous post, their company works kind of like a stock brokerage firm – you invest in domains they already own. Through this investment, they build an SEO-optimized website and proceed to split the advertising revenue with you 50/50.

This is an interesting business model. However, instead of investing directly in their domains, I am more interested in developing ours. Some of the domains in our collection receive a large amount of type-in traffic. We also own a premium collection of Internet marketing and iPhone-related domains. It is becoming clearer that the best way to make money in domain investing is to develop the domains into actual web sites, and then sell them after a few years. This way, your sites already have backlinks, are indexed by search engines, and most importantly, have a proven sustainable income stream.

Anyway, we are sitting down with the owners of DotVentures this Tuesday morning. It should be a very interesting meeting. These are people who have been in the domain investing business for 15 years. We are preparing a list of questions, and we will document the interview and let you how it goes. Let me know if there are any particular questions you would like us to ask these domain investing pro’s. We will definitely takes your questions into consideration.

Update – Joel at DotVentures has informed me that in fact, you do not split the monthly advertising revenue. The only profit split with DotVentures comes when the domain is sold after a few years. [See his comment below for reference.]

Domain Investing In My Back Yard

It’s no secret — domain investing is bigger than its even been. Everyone seems to be rushing to scoop up the latest trend’s domain names. I have certainly been on the lookout lately for what is up and coming and then proceeding to grab the best .com’s available. There are even entire companies now who do nothing, but specialize in domain investing.

One domain investing company in particular, DotVentures, is located a few miles down the road from me in Phoenix, Arizona. Their web site, domaininvesting.com, is a great supreme domain name in-of-itself and sums up what they do to a tee. Given that they are so close physically and so closely related to my new venture, Dot Com Moguls, we thought it would be fitting to try to arrange an interview with the Director.

From their web site:

DotVentures, LLC is a privately held company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. DotVentures facilitates successful investments in Internet domain names utilizing a proprietary process involving selection, monetization & support paired with a patent pending technology.

My business partner, Josh, is currently in the process of completing a research project for school on, you guessed it, domain investing. Josh hopes to set-up a sit down interview with DotVentures in the near future to get more information about their company and what they envision for the future of domain investing.

In the meantime, check out their web site, and let us know if there are any particular questions you would like us to ask them. We will certainly take your questions into consideration when and if Josh gets to sit down and interview them.

So…what questions would YOU ask a professional domain investing firm?

The Top Places to Sell Domains

The Top Places to Sell Domains

Domain investing is bigger than it ever has been. There are dozens of registrars and dozens of venues in which to sell your domain. There is even domain financing if you need it. Very soon, you will even be able to lease your domain, a service which promises to be more profitable than parking. So, you think you may have a hot domain…where do you sell it?

There are several major web sites which specialize in “brokering” domains. Today, we will explore some of the most popular and upcoming web venues for selling in the domain name aftermarket. Note, the aftermarket refers to domains that have already been purchased and are being sold for a premium price. What kind of premium prices? See my post about The High-Price of High-Profile Domains.

Sedo – One of the largest domain name resellers is a Massachusetts-based comany, Sedo.com. Sedo has over 300,000 members and 5 million domains in its database. They sell well over 1,500 domains per month.

Sedo offers parking for its domain customers and a marketplace for buyers to browse. Sedo recently began selectively auctioning domains. There auction works only when someone decides to “make an offer” for one of your domains, and only at this point will you be able to decide whether it goes to auction. This fact and having to share the ad revenue are very limiting factors of Sedo. Sedo’s parking services are free, but like I mentioned, you are sharing the revenue with Sedo. Listing your domain in their marketplace is also free, but they take 10% commission if a domain sells. One other limiting factor is that you are not allowed to sell your domains in other venues once you are listed with Sedo. I used to park my domains with Sedo until I discovered WhyPark’s superior service (more on that later).

GreatDomains – Great Domains is the “trusted marketplace for domain names.” They are owned by VeriSign and contain a huge portfolio of high and low priced domains. I have not had any experience with Great Domains, but their portfolio of domains being sold is impressive. Like Sedo, they charge a 10% commission fee upon sale.

SnapNames – SnapNames created one of the first commercially available technologies for “back-ordering” registered domain anames and snapping them up as they become available. Their technology, SnapBack, has been used by thousands of customers to secure hundreds of thousands of domain names. SnapNames offers 3-day auction services. They claim they are “the largest daily auction of investment grade domain names.” They specialize in expired and deleted domain names.

The Domain Name Aftermarket – All domains that expire under GoDaddy’s user account are reregistered by Daddy himself. GoDaddy runs TDNAM.com (The Domain Name Aftermarket) as an auction site for its domains and the domains of other resellers. TDNAM offer two price plans, Basic and Premium. The basic annual membership fee is only $4.99 per domain and there is a small (5-7%) comission you must pay upon sale. Premium memberships offer upgraded visibility for relatively low cost (less than Sedo’s). From what I have heard, TDNAM has been moderately succesful at selling its domains, although not as successful as Sedo, at least in the number of raw domains sold.

WhyPark.com – This is a new domain parking service, which I talked about in the article “Domain Name Parking Has Changed Forever.” I first heard about WhyPark from the Daily Domainer, a great source for domains news. WhyPark provides the unique service of automatically adding revelent content and articles to your parked pages. Not only that, but you use your own advertising network, such as Adsense or YPN. Now, you do not have to share the costs with Sedo. WhyPark also offers automatic Google Sitemap creation which helps your pages get indexed by Google, something that doesn’t happen with any other domain parking service.

There are many places to sell your domain, but there is never any guarantee you will sell for the price you want. Jason Drohn wrote an interesting article that talks about minimizing the risk of domain investing. Domain investing is very much a “digital lottery,” as Jason so kindly puts it. You are spending a small amount of money hoping for a huge return. Luckily, your chances of making money with domains is much greater than winning the lottery.

Obviously the best way to sell a domains is when a private individual who contacts you about it. If someone wants what you have, they will be willing to pay a premium for it, much more so than if it goes to auction. Many domain resellers buy domains on the aftermarket and then resell them for their own profit. In a future article, I will talk about how to find the right types of people to buy your domain.

Have any of you successfully sold domains at another venue? Please share your experiences as I am curious to learn other methods and places to sell domains.

Update: Kate from Sedo chimed in and let me know that Sedo DOES allow advertising your domains in multiple places. Thanks for the update, Kate!

Domain Parking Has Changed Forever

Domain Parking Has Changed Forever

Domain parking is the process of buying a domain name and then displaying revenue-generating advertisements on it. The hope is that people will type in your domain address and click on the links. The problem is that these “parked domans” are not indexed by search engines and they display no relevent content other than contextual ads. WhyPark, a new domain parking service, is determined to change this.

WhyPark allows you to easily automatically add high quality, contextually-relevent articles to parked pages using keywords you select. Traditional “parked pages” are now a thing of the past. Hundreds of useful articles will be displayed on your site, providing your visitors with content they will find useful and worth reading. All articles are automatically provided by WhyPark.

The best part is that WhyPark allows you to select the advertising network of your choice for each domain. Now, you do not have to split the advertising cut like you do with other domain parking services, such as Sedo or Fabulous. The articles encourage type-in and link traffic visitors to your domain and increase the time they spend at your site (and the chance that they will click on an ad).

Benefits of WhyPark:

  • Keyword rich titles on every page
  • Easy to follow index pages and automatically updated site maps
  • High keyword density. Since the only articles that appear on your web site are related to the exact keywords you’ve chosen, the result is a themed, content-rich web site with high keyword density
  • Layout and code optimized for search engines
  • New content is added daily keeping search engines coming back for more
  • Duplicate content is a thing of the past; rotating article introductions on every page are based on your keywords and every page is always unique
  • Automated Google Sitemap creation
  • Easily create new, custom pages for your website in seconds

Here are a few example web sites from our domain portfolio:

Theoretically, WhyPark’s unique service should at least double your advertising profits because you are no longer sharing the ad revenue. Plus, having your site indexed by search engines will provide for more link-in traffic. The price is a one-time fee of $99 for up to 100 domains. This works out to, obviously, $1 per domian. That is an incredible value to have quality content for $1 per page. All you need to do to get set up is join WhyPark.com and change the nameservers over to WhyPark. They even provide the hosting.

Learn more about WhyPark.com…

My First Blog – The High-Price of High-Profile Domains

I started using MySpace in mid-2004, just before it became huge. I always liked the concept of sharing your life online, but MySpace was simply too juvenile to truly take seriously. After getting sick of the useless e-banter, I deleted my MySpace account a few months ago.

So here I am, a few short months later, ready to get back into the world of blogging. However, this time my attempt at blogging will be much more focused. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Nate Whitehill and I am a 22-year old student and web entrepreneur. I created this blog to act as a resource for those thinking about starting or who already own their web-based business.

My day job and main business is a web marketing and e-commerce company, infinFX. However, recently, I have become very affixed in the field of domaining. Domaining is the act of buying and selling of high-profile domains. For example, vodka.com sold a few months ago for $3 million. It was purchased by Russian Standard Vodka.

Sounds crazy, huh? A simple web address selling for such a huge amount of money. This is not uncommon though. Having a good domain name not only adds credibility to your business, but it allows people to find you easier. When many people search for things on the ‘net, they simply type what they are looking for (in this case, vodka) and then .com.

That sale of Vodka.com was nothing compared to Sex.com, which sold last year for $12 million. This also pales in comparison to Gambling.com, which sold for $20 million. Here is a list of the top 10 domain sales of all time.

10. $3.3M – Wine.com
9. $3.5M – Shop.com
8. $5.0M – AsSeenOnTV.com
7. $5.0M – Korea.com
6. $5.5M – Casino.com
5. $6.0M – Diamond.com
4. $7.0M – Beer.com
3. $7.5M – Business.com
2. $12M – Sex.com
1. $20M – Gambling.com

Source: VIPClub.com

Kinda makes you want to start investing in domain names, huh? My domain brokering business, Dot Com Moguls, currently owns about 140 domains. We are selling a few right now, but I will post more on that later.