Bigger Isn't Better

Of course I am referring to the size of your domain portfolio. Some people may think that because they have 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 domain names, they are better off than others. I really couldn’t disagree any more, unless you happen to have an unbelievable portfolio (meaning you spent many sleepless nights over the past several years researching and cashing in on money making domain names).
I saw a post where people were asked how many domain names they own, and I was pretty surprised at the amount of people who owned hundreds of domain names. Additionally, I’ve received emails from many people who have asked me to appraise their domain names, and they’ve sent a list of hundreds of mediocre domain names to evaluate. I really believe a person can go broke quickly by registering hundreds of new domain names. Technology and data mining scripts have gotten to the point where it is nearly impossible to hand register domain names that will pay for themselves in PPC revenue, unless a trend or event happens that makes the names relevant. I would like to suggest that people focus on quality and not quantity.
One trend I’ve noticed is that some people believe that because they have an entire portfolio of hundreds of similar names, the set has more value. For example, if someone owns,,,…etc, the names aren’t more valuable simply because almost every 12345 domain name is owned by them. Unless someone else wants to build a huge network of websites using that idea (doubtful), the set is a $7.50 X x,xxx annual drain. One thing to think about is why would someone pay your premium, when they could come up with an idea that is similar and hand register the set (123456 for example).
There is nothing wrong with owning a large portfolio of domain names if you are generating enough revenue to support it, or if you are making enough profit in sales that you can incur the renewal costs with no problem. However, I have seen people become overwhelmed with renewal fees, and it can be difficult to watch some domain names drop because of it.
My advice is to keep your portfolio as trim as your budget will allow. Instead of buying dozens of new registrations, it might make more sense to buy one quality name.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
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 closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. I couldn’t agree more. This is a lesson that I’m learning and would now much rather prefer to own 1 really good domain name than 100 mediocre ones.
    When I first started I had very little cash so I tried to find dropping or unregistered domains. I ended up spending way more than I would have with one or two good domains.
    Live and Learn.

  2. I smiled reading this post because the collection can looks crazy but in fact it’s a true classic!
    Some domainers even advertise this type of portfolio…

  3. very good post – i was thinking the same thing last week – # of names can get unwieldy – however, the allure of possibly turning $8 into $x,xxx is compelling (although not always realistic)

  4. @ Flip – You should have both. The reason is one really great domain can have wild income swings depending on the market, but the 100 mediocre (meaning decent mid-tier money-making domains) will balance your portfolios income stream b/c it will diversify your income into different niches.
    It’s kind of like investing in stocks. You don’t put your whole nest egg into one stock and then pray for a home run – IMO.

  5. Nice article elliot, on this industry people must follow realistic not future. Personally i own only 25 domain, if i sold 1 i buy 1 for complete it.

  6. I agree with having one good domain is better than having 100 mediocre ones. But I don’t agree that if a domain doesn’t pay for itself in renewal fees via PPC that it is a mediocre name or a wasted investment. Each week most of the domains that are sold and reported on DNJournal I would wager fit into this category (don’t pay for registration fee via PPC). Yet, we see them get sold for $X,xxx. There’s more to it than just PPC. A few weeks ago, I hand registered and if that never pays for itself in PPC, are there actually people out there that will tell me that’s a bad $7 investment? To me, that’s a killer name no matter what the PPC income.

    In the last few months, I’ve hand registered domains like or that have paid for themselves with just one click apiece even though they don’t get much traffic at all. So the contention that all the names that are still available can’t make money simply is not true.


    Sorry if I wasn’t clear, because I agree there is much more to a domain name than PPC. There is much intrinsic value in some domain names even though some may not generate revenue parked.

    I don’t really understand “enhanced longevity” though.

  7. It’s “enhance longevity” which is a roundabout way of saying “live longer”. But the company that makes Resveratrol claims that its product does that using that exact phrase. That’s always been the holy grail and always will be. I’ve flipped much more awkward sounding names for more than $500.

    That’s the thing though. How do you define “intrinsic value” for a given domain? A name like would never have paid for itself with PPC and one could argue its intrinsic value without CNN’s program by the same name. This industry has been predicated on people taking risks on names that other people would laugh at only to cash in big time a few years later.

    I think your advice is great. It’s just easier said than done because there is at least some gray area as to what a good domain name is.

    “It’s just easier said than done because there is at least some gray area as to what a good domain name is.”
    Bingo – that is true in domains as it’s true in most other investment classes. You have to make smart gambles. Something like that could be worth much more than $7, but it could also not be worth the reg fee. It’s when people have 100 or 1,000 names similar to that one that I see problems. The person who wants it could come today, or he could come in 10 years. He might only be willing to spend $50. It’s knowing when to take a chance and when to hold off that can make a big difference.

  8. If you can register good names the more the better. If you can have truly great names then you are ok with less. If you have a good eye and can hand register or buy names on the boards cheap, then there is no reason not to have as many names as possible.
    If you make money with them then you have good names. If you don’t….then you have bad names. If you have hundreds or thousands of domains and you aren’t making a living then it is probably best to cut back.
    It is simple, really.

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