I left the corporate world in November of 2007 to focus on my domain investments, and I couldn’t be happier. Although I consider myself a domain investor more than a developer, I have been experimenting with development and learning how to make money from my domain names, in lieu of simply flipping them. Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned a lot about domaining and development, and I’ve tried to share as I’ve learned.
If you’re thinking about starting your own company and becoming a full time domain investor in 2009, here are some things you should consider:
You are going to work non-stop. Every tv show, commercial, email, shopping trip, dog walk, sporting event, night out, vacation…etc will turn in to work for you when you think about things from a domain perspective. You’ll see domain names you like and names you hate, and you’re always going to think about how it relates to your business. I put in 10-14 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week. People may comment about my travels, but even when I am on vacation, I usually work wherever I am.
Whether you are buying names to flip, buying names for PPC, or developing, there will always be current projects and things on the back-burner calling your attention. While my geowebsites have seen some pretty incredible growth, I can’t simply let them lay low. I receive emails with events and press releases every day, and I do my best to add content to each site daily. My “breaks” consist of writing domain blog posts, testing mini site development, reading about domain news, and making domain inquiries.
You will talk to your friends about domain names until they’re sick of hearing about them. Subsequently, at least one conversation a night will revolve around someone asking you if a specific domain name is available or if a domain name would be worth some money if they register it. Most people you meet won’t understand exactly what you do, but they will either think you are a cybersquatter or a genius. Either way, most people will end up thinking you are lazy and don’t do much, which is ironic.
99% of newly registered domain names are worth what you just paid – or less. If you go all out and register hundreds of new domain names, you’ll go broke quickly. Generally, about 95% of newly registered domain names will not receive any traffic or earn any revenue if you don’t develop them. Once you realize this, you will spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to develop – and there’s no easy solution yet.
Although this business is lucrative, you probably will not consistently earn the same amount of money every month. There are great months and there are not so great months depending on your focus and your domain names/websites. Some months I have several great private domain sales, while other months I focus on development and don’t sell many domain names.
Overall, I love what I do and I love the freedom I have as a domain investor. I’ve been able to build 3 geodomain names into popular local websites that continue to receive increased local recognition each month, I have a domain blog that receives great commentary from people doing the same things I do, and my work doesn’t usually feel like work.
The downside is that there isn’t much easy money and your new boss will probably be much more demanding than your current boss.