One Way I Come Up With Domain Name Ideas |
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One Way I Come Up With Domain Name Ideas


I took my first long 2017 Pan-Mass Challenge training ride yesterday. It was a beautiful day, and I rode for about 3 hours.  These long rides give me time to think about business without having a computer or iPhone in front of me, and it is a time that I brainstorm about domain name acquisitions.

During the ride, I thought  about a couple of ways that I come up with domain names to inquire about. I presume many people do this already, but for those who don’t, it might offer a nugget of insight that could be useful. I want to share some thoughts about that with you.

Most of my rides are through the back roads of the MetroWest region of Boston (I own I pass the beautiful Charles River (I recently sold at several points throughout my ride. One domain name I own and am surprised hasn’t sold is There have been a ton of teardowns and redevelopment in Needham during the past couple of years, and I am surprised a real estate agent from Needham hasn’t made an enticing enough offer yet.

Maybe you see where I am going with this?

I am always looking at the places around me for ideas. I see a ton of businesses using MetroWest and Charles River in their branding, and both are also geographic areas, so I decided to buy the domain names. I am always looking at  business names to see what types of descriptive keywords they use. I would never intentionally buy or register a brand name with the idea of selling the domain name to a specific company. That is legally and possibly ethically wrong, and it is also financially risky. Descriptive domain names are legit from my vantagepoint.

I am always looking at street names on my rides. Most street names are short, easy to remember, and are meaningful. I would bet the majority of my town’s street names in .com have been registered for many years. There are probably a whole lot of streets in the country called Lilac Lane, Lilac Drive, Lilac Road…etc. I don’t think anyone would buy because it is a street name, but I do think street names are indicative of the wide use of a specific keyword.

The most important takeaway from this (in my opinion) is that I am always observing the places, streets, forests, parks, beaches…etc. to think of descriptive domain names I could buy. I wouldn’t spend money on something specific like [Keyword], but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the descriptive keyword .com if it were available at a good price. I spend quite a bit of time reaching out to domain name owners to try and reach a deal.

I am raising funds for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute via my 2017 Pan-Mass Challenge ride.

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 (16)

    Ruben Couto

    Interesting insight!

    June 2nd, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Jon Kleiber

    I do the same. I own a few like that. Great write up.

    June 2nd, 2017 at 11:16 am


    How many domain owners do you reach out to any given week to try and buy their domains?

    June 2nd, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Not really sure. Some weeks a few and other weeks a few dozen.

      In reply to Todd | June 2nd, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Shane Cultra

    It’s amazing how many great things come to mind when its just you and the outdoors. Getting the blood pumping to the muscles including the biggest muscle, the brain. No phone, or computer to distract you. It’s why my morning runs are so much more than building endurance. I truly think it makes me smarter and keeps my mind sharper. The key is to not concentrate on the negatives of the upcoming day. It’s also why I like running with partners. Some amazing discussions come on a 3 hour run or bike ride

    June 2nd, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Eric Lyon

    Awesome! I’ve found it very helpful to text myself or use my smartphone’s notepad to take notes while I’m out and about. Otherwise, I would just forget some of the finer details later. You just never know when something “Real” will inspire a domain investment, development opportunity, partnership idea, or even an article idea. 🙂

    June 2nd, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Hosting Jobs

    Yeah I do the same thing but everything is taken. Or the owner wants too much. 🙂

    June 2nd, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    steve brady

    Delivering for UPS, street names is basically how drivers communicate. Places like Morningwood Drive or Firebush Court never got old. Drivers often modify names like Hanover Street to Hangover Street.

    The developer picks these names and the county approves them, probably causing a buyer or two to pick a different lot in the subdivision.

    June 2nd, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Random Domainer

    Just like they don’t make land anymore, GEO domains are low risk bets for domainers. I’ve picked up quite a few geo domains through the years.

    Other categories I focus on are transportation and pets and travel. All big multi billion dollar industries.

    June 2nd, 2017 at 7:18 pm


    As Elliot writes: “There have been a ton of teardowns and redevelopment in Needham during the past couple of years, and I am surprised a real estate agent from Needham hasn’t made an enticing enough offer yet”, it’s very common situation unfortunately. From perspective of a business person or investor, the issue of low liquidity is quite frustrating… even understanding that premium domains business isn’t short term business model. Any investor in any sector hardly accepts unknown or unpredictable revenue projections… I am more than 12Y in domain industry and this issue is on my mind all the time.

    June 3rd, 2017 at 3:04 am


    Can’t believe these guys, Silver and Cultra. Aren’t they embarrassed to admit they would run or bike for only three hours? Who does that? Now six maybe…

    June 3rd, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Elliot Silver


      Next weekend, I will have a 5 hour ride on Saturday and a 3 hour ride on Sunday. This will gradually increase throughout the Summer until late July. It’s probably tougher on my wife though!

      June 3rd, 2017 at 9:25 am


    LOL, “awaiting moderation” now? That’s never happened here unless I added three links. Hmm… Okay, three hours may be cool after all…

    June 3rd, 2017 at 9:24 am

    George in Miami

    You’re right, Elliot. Very good article you wrote.
    I was thinking I was the only one doing it.
    I do that almost constantly. I’m a firm believer that domains are available everywhere.
    The only requirement is thinking a bit out of the sand box.

    June 3rd, 2017 at 12:22 pm


    I keep my iPhone with Uniregistry app on me at all times, just in case I want to register a new name on the spot. 🙂

    June 3rd, 2017 at 9:18 pm

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