How I Explain What I Do

When people ask what I do and I tell them about my involvement in the domain business, many people ask me if it is similar to what GoDaddy does. I find the question interesting because it shows just how much name recognition the  GoDaddy brand  has. I also find it interesting because people seem to genuinely want to know what investing in domain names entails.

I thought I would share how I explain what I do to make it more simple for people to understand domain name investing. My explanation typically goes something like this:

I buy great domain names from people who didn’t want them or need them anymore. Sometimes I buy them directly from the former owner and sometimes I buy them at auction.

After buying these domain names, I  either build a website on them, monetize them with advertising links, or I attempt to sell them. For the most part, I have ads on them with a “for sale” link at the top so people who want to buy a domain name from my company can easily inquire while others who visit can click on relevant links that will generate a small amount of revenue from my business.

The domain investment business is a bit like real estate without a MLS. My “edge” is having expert knowledge of the market value of domain names, which allows me to buy domain names for good prices. Unlike real estate, the holding costs of a domain name are minimal, especially when compared to their value and cost.

Although many of my investments are speculative, I am buying them  with confidence because I know the market. I am generally confident that at the very least, I will be able to sell the domain name at auction or to another investor at cost.

Many people I buy domain names from have owned their domain names for a long time. They sell to me because  they are happy to turn their domain names into cash. I pay quickly and I help guide them through the process. Essentially, I can turn an asset that is illiquid into cash that can help fund their business or some other aspect of their life.

People seem to find this business to be fascinating. It’s not necessarily an easy business, but like everything else, with good experience and knowledge, it can be a profitable endeavor.

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 think domains as an asset class have suffered these last 5-6 years. I think the new Gtld’s and the continual google algo changes have really really really hurt the industry. Domains went from real estate to more accurately being just part of the ‘brand equation’. I dont know if there is another up leg in domains. Personally, I am bearish on domains.

  2. I just tell people I do nothing or I ramble on for hours, depends how I feel lol

    Funny story once explained to a lady I do business on the internet, domain, sites etc. She says to me “oh so you do that adult video stuff?” I said yes and we went back to the party.

  3. When you are tired and don’t feel like having that conversation all you have to say is Internet Marketing. Every time you mention domain names people want the cliff notes version of what it is and it gets tiring sometimes explaining it.

  4. When ever I am in the 1st class in the sleeper section of the B767 or Airbus 380, the next passenger is always curious what I do…

    I always tell her…I am the or and that

    always seals the deal during the long flight.

    “Do not disturb sign” please


    MBA from DN.Academy

  5. I was thinking something similar to Spencer just a little while ago.

    Google in particular seems to have done everything it can to destroy domain names.

    To some degree, I suppose Zuckerberg and Facebook are now complicit as well, though Google certainly started it.

    It seems that Google has largely succeeded.

    • it’s not domain names that google has hit hard, it is domain name investing.
      adsense is down at least 1000%.
      it is hard to make income from a domain name without putting in real effort.

      and therein lies the reality of the matter. domains were intended as online addresses for end users, a place to build a virtual building (website).

      so if an investor wants to make money from domains in this market there are two options.
      sell or build out.
      the third option is to hold on and if necessary subsidize your domain holdings from other earnings.

    • You left out the third option: leasing.

      There is also a fourth, licensing, though it seems no one is interested in that and there may be no practical difference between that and leasing.

    • But that is not the reply I had in mind.

      Google does everything it can deliberately, so that it can have as much of all the power and wealth as possible, and make people as dependent on search and its own search box as possible, and make them forget the address bar even exists as much as possible.

    • “It is hard to make income from a domain name without putting in real effort.”

      In your case, maybe “real effort”.
      For all of us who really enjoy domaining, it’s just fun while making a decent living.

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