Are You a Full Time Domain Investor? |
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Are You a Full Time Domain Investor?


Several years ago, I asked people who visit my blog if they work for themselves and are involved in the domain industry full time. I am pretty sure that number has gone down over the past few years with lower PPC payouts and I would guess a decline in domain sales for some.

I know of someone making the transition from part time domain investor to full time, and we were discussing what percentage of people are involved in the industry as their main source of income vs. those who invest in domain names to supplement their income. My guess is that the far majority of people who invest in domain names do it more as a hobby than their primary source of income.

I’d be interested in knowing whether your domain business is a full time profession for you or if you are doing it part-time. Feel free to comment and let me know if you want to make it a full time profession (if you do it part time). Do you think someone can make the transition to full time domain investor right now?

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (25)

    its me

    Good read Elliot.

    I am the person Elliot is referring to. I lost my job.

    I probably between 2nd and 3rd base in domaining and home plate coming up soon. I can play the game and probably experienced more experiences then most part timers go. Good parts. Bad parts.

    Fear factors. Decisions. Sleepless days since I heard news.

    Domaining is my passion. My true love. Met so many cool people and in person in industry.

    Thanks again Elliot. Looking forward to read other peoples thoughts. Experiences.

    July 29th, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Tia Wood

      You should look up Bruce Marler’s story. He made the leap and hasn’t looked back since.

      You can connect with him here:

      Good luck to you!

      July 29th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Would Bruce say that he’s a full time domain investor? I know he owns a local marketing firm (LocalTek) and invested in .ME domain names, but is he making money because of the domain names or does he use domain names in his business?

      At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter, but the point of this is to learn about who is making a living based on domain investments.

      For instance, a SEO or web developer uses domain names in their business but it’s not the domain names that make them money.

      Another example is that I have had websites developed but I don’t consider myself a website developer.

      Make sense?

      July 29th, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    its me

    Like to say thanks to my close friends, my mentor and good friend in this domain business and all the encouragement.

    July 29th, 2012 at 3:24 pm


    1) Part time, although i spent significantly more time on domaining than my ‘day job’.
    2) Yes, I would like domaining/development to be full time. (..and keep my day job for 2 days/month because i like it)
    3) Unable to make transition atm

    Do you think someone can make the transition to full time domain investor right now?

    With proper experience/expertise, yes.

    July 29th, 2012 at 3:52 pm


    Domain hobby guy here. Eventually would love to have a passive income stream large enough to quit the corporate job. However, it takes time to build up the passive revenue streams.

    I think a lot of newbies don’t understand the new differences between domaining and affiliate/website development and monetization. With the reduction in PPC, unless you already have a killer domain portfolio, domaining is anything but passive. Selling domains takes time and effort. Affiliate/website monetization also takes considerable initial work, but can become passive over time.

    July 29th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Elliot Silver

    I’m surprised at the split so far. I would have thought most were part time domain investors.

    July 29th, 2012 at 4:32 pm


    i don’t know… that’s a strange answer but it’s true.
    mostly i play poker. when i sell a domain i move up to higher limits and lose the money. then i go back to playing people i can beat. such is life.

    July 29th, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    rob sequin

    Interesting question.

    Full time? As in only 40 hours per week 🙂

    I think, like myself, domain “investors” are entrepreneurs meaning we work on a lot of different things.

    Sometimes I work on existing business, sometimes I work on new business. Sometimes I buy, broker, sell etc.

    So, I develop, broker, try to sell, sell, try to buy, buy, work on web based business models and run an active non-domain related blog.

    Full time yes. On “investing in domains”? I guess not but I am a full time internet entrepreneur.

    July 29th, 2012 at 5:01 pm


      That goes ditto for me as well Rob, sans the active blog. You’ve summarized it to a tee. 🙂

      July 31st, 2012 at 1:08 am


    I own 1.5k domains, most of the are entire as a group .com .net .org some of my domains relating to anything visual i have also the .xxx which is pain due to expense. I have only sold one group domain name for 140k pounds. But i believe i have a strong portfolio. I work as web developer and seo. I can prove what i have is worth what i demand.

    July 29th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Elliot Silver

    I would define a “full time” domain investor as someone who doesn’t have any source of income aside from his or her business monetizing, leasing, and/or selling domain names.

    July 29th, 2012 at 5:42 pm


    As of now it is a great p/t hobby for me, looking to make the transition to full time sooner than later as the restaurant industry takes a toll on me. I’m not into brokering, would rather develop my own names out to their potential.
    I’m confident I can be full time now if I blast inboxes like some flippers. I would rather slowly grow a vast portfolio of quality names and let the buyers come see me 🙂 Anyone can be a a full time domainer today, if they do their homework first, only then can they “get it”.

    July 29th, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Elliot Silver

    If you love your regular job, investing in domain names can be a great (and profitable) hobby.

    July 29th, 2012 at 5:52 pm


    The economy has been bad for a few years now but in 2010 and 2011 there wasn’t as much competition for me in the drop game as there is now. So now we have a bad economy AND domain investors have come back or new ones have joined in. At least for buy/sell part of domaining, I think now is probably the most difficult time to succeed.

    July 29th, 2012 at 5:56 pm


    If you enjoy your regular job and make good money moonlighting in domain investing I have no idea why one would go full time. Double income and security is a great thing. Takes all the worries away AND lets you “retire” to domain investing not because you can make enough money domaining but because you don’t have to work anymore.

    July 29th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Your situation is different because you already work for yourself 🙂

      July 29th, 2012 at 7:13 pm


    I was a full-time domainer until one of my domains became a business which is now my full-time job. Does that count?

    July 29th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I would count that. You built your business specifically because of the domain name. You didn’t have a booming bobbleheads business and then go out to buy the matching domain name.

      July 29th, 2012 at 9:11 pm


      By that reasoning there a lot of full-time domainers we don’t know about…

      Warren started out as a domainer and graduated up. . .he still has great domainer chops too judging by his continued successful acquisitions .

      July 30th, 2012 at 3:51 pm


      Sounds ideal, the development of a good domain is such an appeal. And it’s your biz, so wonderful! Bet you keep your knowledge in the domain pot though? 🙂

      July 31st, 2012 at 2:02 am


    I think you would have had to started pretty early to continue to be a full time domainer, i think the next question should be ‘were you a full time domainer?’

    July 29th, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Elliot Silver

      @ DnTv

      I bought my first domain name in late 2002 but didn’t get serious about it until 2006. Left my corporate job in November of 2007 and haven’t looked back.

      July 29th, 2012 at 10:30 pm


    I have been investing in the name industry for the past 5 years.

    95% income generated is purely from end user sales.
    Average of 10-20 sales/month for past 4 years.

    End user sales are as strong as ever.

    July 30th, 2012 at 9:05 am


    Part timer since 1999. I also concentrate on my own business in dealing in vintage and retro of which I also started 13 years ago. I am passionate about both ventures and love the versatility.
    Cheers Howard.

    July 31st, 2012 at 1:47 am

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