10 Ways to Improve Your Domain Investing Journey
Table of Content
1. Introduction to Domain Investing
Domain investing, also known as domaining, is the practice of buying domain names and selling them for a profit. You can think of it like real estate, but in an online sense. Basically, you look for domains with good potential, buy them, and sell them later to other domain investors or business owners who want to build their websites.
But why exactly is it important?
- Every domain name is unique, which creates a valuable market for catchy, relevant, and brandable names.
- Unlike traditional investments, domain investing requires minimal capital.
- Once you own a domain, you can generate revenue through various methods like ads and affiliate marketing.
If you want to get such benefits, understanding domain investing basics is crucial. In this post, we’ll show you everything you need to know about getting started with domains, as well as effective domain investment strategies you can apply.
2. Identifying Profitable Domains
There’s no single way to define what profitable domains are, but there are ways and certain metrics that you can follow when conducting domain valuation. These include keyword data, domain authority information, page rankings, and even future market trends.
Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs can reveal keywords with high search volume but low competition in search engine results pages (SERPs). These show potential demand and easier website ranking, which makes a certain domain name higher in terms of perceived value.
Long-tail keywords and niche-specific terms can also be valuable for businesses targeting specific industries.
Domain Authority, Page Ranking, and Backlink Profile
More advanced metrics like domain authority scores, backlink profiles, and records of page rankings can also give valuable insights into how profitable a domain is. The specific numbers would vary depending on the tool that you use, though. So, before buying make sure to analyze your domain from high spam score or any other related metrics we mentioned above.
Keywords and domain names related to particular markets and industries that are emerging are great avenues of investment.
Many investors also see expiring domains as of great interest, especially when they have a good history and the current owner doesn’t renew their lease. They acquire such high-value domains through the process of backordering.
3. Understanding Domain Extensions
While most buyers prioritize the main domain name or keyword, the domain extension is also crucial. It can be associated with the perceived trustability of a website, memorability, and even customization.
Traditional TLDs like .com, .net, and .org are the most recognized and trusted, which associates them with higher demand and market value. Online users readily link them with established businesses and websites, making them more desirable for buyers.
Newer TLDs and niche domain extensions are pretty good when talking about brand-ability. However, their real value still depends on how the buyer can prove that it’s a legitimate and safe website. For example, niche TLDs like .io for tech startups or .io for education can be valuable. Other domain names using the same extension might not hold the same weight though.
Less common or obscure TLDs generally have lower demand and can be challenging to sell at high prices. People might think of them as less trustworthy or memorable.
With the emergence of Web3 and blockchain technology, many business owners can also register a custom domain extension on their own. Unfortunately, the lack of centralization in this piece of technology makes it hard to keep them unique.
4. Effective Domain Marketing and Sales Techniques
Buying domains is one thing; selling them for profit later is another. To make good use of your investment, you must form effective domain sales strategies. When formulating them, make sure to consider the following factors.
Start with a price that aligns with the current market norms. Accurate pricing can be a huge sales driver since it’s the first thing that most buyers notice. Setting the right price involves researching the prices of similar domains, considering your domain’s niche, and other factors.
💡 Tip: Set a price range instead of an absolute one, as buyers would likely negotiate with you. While you can be lax with the upper price, make sure to have a baseline to avoid loss.
You can find numerous aftermarkets for selling domains, but marketplaces are one of the biggest avenues you can take. In most cases, numerous selling modes are available, including:
- Buy now: Buyers purchase the domain name at a fixed price, which is good for generic domains with less competent keywords.
- Make an offer: You allow your potential customers to gauge the value of your domain and offer you a price.
- Bid: When multiple buyers are interested in your domain name, you can start an auction to see who offers the highest price.
Tip: List your domains across multiple marketplaces. This makes for both sales and exposure for the domains you invested in. All marketplaces will have their own commissions and rules, so it’s up to you to pick one with conditions you’re amenable to.
Domain marketing strategies
Formulating a marketing strategy highly depends on your research and business plan, but here are a few creative ways to market your domains.
Create a sales landing page
When a buyer performs research on the domain name they’re interested in, they will directly enter it into their browser’s address bar. If that particular domain they visited happens to be owned by you, having a landing page that says the current domain is for sale would be helpful.
Set your WHOIS privacy to public
Buyers also research the WHOIS information of a domain. If you’re actively selling your domains, setting your WHOIS privacy to the public would make it easy for potential customers to check relevant data, which can be their sales driver.
Make sure that your WHOIS contact details are up-to-date. This way, you can receive potential offers through your channels. Note that some TLDs can block your WHOIS information.
Consider active promotions
Your social media accounts are a good avenue when it comes to promoting your for-sale domains. Forums also make for an excellent selling location as long as they allow sales ads. If you want to keep your hands off the menial work, you can even hire a broker to manage your domains and access their network.
💡 Tip: Domain names can also have different values depending on the vertical. If you’re selling a health-related domain name, it makes sense to align your marketing efforts with the health industry.
5. The Role of SEO in Domain Investing
Consider a domain called “www.get-great-discounts.net.” From the get-go, you will notice that it’s too generic, looks suspicious, and isn’t likely to attract interest from people. Under worst-case scenarios, customers can steer away from it due to its scammy vibe, and so will the search engines.
That’s where SEO for domains comes into the picture. Being unique and creative isn’t enough—business owners also need to ensure that they look trustworthy and interesting. With the right choice of search-engine-optimized keywords for your domain names, you can make sure to find high-potential domains worth investing in.
So, what are some domain SEO strategies that you can apply?
Short, simple domain name + trustworthy TLD
Brands are now prioritizing the memorability of their domain names, which leads to a demand for short, simple, and easily recognizable domains. Paired with a trustworthy extension like .com, concise and catchy domains will be a good avenue for investment.
When looking for such domains or registering new domain names, make sure to follow relevant keywords depending on the industry you’re focusing on. For instance, great examples of music-related domains include “goodmusic.com” and “platinumdisks.com.”
Leverage domain SEO analysis tools
SEO and domain value are highly interrelated, which gives importance to thorough analyses. This not only helps you identify how to grow your owned domain investments but also figure out how well they’re ranking against thousands of other websites. The better they perform, the more valuable your domains become.
6. Navigating Legal Aspects of Domain Investing
Domain investing is not without its risks, especially when it comes to its legal aspects. Some of the most common domain investing legal issues that investors face are trademark infringement problems and domain disputes. Understanding domain laws and strategies can potentially help you in such scenarios is therefore important.
Trademark infringement risks
Trademarks are signs that are recognizable and easily associated with a certain product or service. In this regard, domain names that are too similar to a registered trademark can land you legal consequences. For example, trademark infringement can happen if you register a domain called “apples.com” as it is too similar to “apple.com.”
Whether registering new domains or backordering, it’s important that you be careful not to buy ones that can potentially infringe upon protected trademarks.
Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)
You should also be aware of this federal law that protects against cybersquatting. Cybersquatting is the practice of registering, using, or trafficking in an internet domain name with the intent to profit from someone else's trademark.
The ACPA was enacted to prevent cybersquatters from registering domain names containing trademarks for the purpose of selling them back to the trademark owner.
Domain disputes and UDRP
If you ever get dragged into legal action due to domain disputes, you should be aware of the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). It’s a process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The UDRP provides a legal framework for resolving disputes between a domain name registrant and a third party over the abusive registration and use of an internet domain name.
Legal protection strategies to apply
Complying with the various domain laws and policies can indeed be complicated, but you need to go through the hassle of protecting domain investments to keep your interests safe. Here are a few tips that you can use:
Perform thorough research
Before registering or purchasing a domain name, look for any trademark registered from various databases online. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is one good resource in this regard. This way, you avoid domain disputes and potential trademark infringement cases.
Ask for legal help
Consulting lawyers specializing in intellectual property laws is a must in domain investing. This way, you can understand the various risks and complexities you’ll face during your investments. We also recommend that you regularly audit your domain investment portfolio, ensuring that your registered domains are compliant with the trademark laws in your country.
Invest with good intent
Make your investments ethically. Otherwise, if you have the intent to cybersquat, you should not be surprised to receive the legal consequences. Actively avoiding such unethical practices not only helps you steer clear of trouble but also builds a good investment reputation for you.
You should also keep proper documentation of your investments. File all records of your trademark research, emails, and other processes. Also, prepare a document clearly stating what you want to do with the domain names that you acquire. These can help prove that you didn’t purchase the domains for ill purposes.
7. Leveraging Analytics for Domain Investment Decisions
Every qualified investor knows that investments cannot be done blindly. To make good decisions, it’s best to seek various domain analytics and other domain investment metrics. At Bishopi, you can find different tools to help you with data-driven domain investing. These include the following:
- Domain monitoring: This allows you to see real-time changes to the domains that you’re interested in. If you’re planning to invest in domains available for backorders, active monitoring would be crucial.
- Domain backlink lookup: Backlinks can affect the performance of a domain. The better the backlink profile, the higher the value generated. Checking a domain’s backlink portfolio is essential before making a purchase.
- Domain SEO analysis: As mentioned, SEO plays a huge role in domain valuation. Identifying how well a domain ranks on search engine results can help you determine whether it’s worth the investment.
- Domain sales lookup: By consulting domain sales history, you can generate insights into what kinds of domains are in demand. This provides a clearer outlook on the types of domains you should pay attention to.
8. Advanced Strategies for Experienced Domain Investors
If you already have experience in purchasing and selling domains, you might want to level up and venture into advanced domain investing. Here are two advanced strategies that you can follow:
Many business owners go beyond the traditional .com extension to prioritize branding. Emerging TLDs include .io, .ai, .co, and so many more. To make your portfolio diversified, investing in several types would be a good move.
Also, hyperlocal TLDs are becoming a trend. Brands are trying to target their locals, increasing the value of ccTLDs. Aside from the domain extensions, make sure to pay attention to what’s popular in your area to actively search for keywords and domains.
You can also consider domain backorders. This way, you can acquire domains with existing content or potential for development.
Consider long-term domain investment
Focus on short, catchy, and highly brandable domains, regardless of the specific use. More and more businesses are switching to shorter and more iconic domain names, just like how Twitter.com changed to x.com.
If your domains are currently available for sale, you can develop some of them with content and landing pages. This helps showcase their potential and increase their value among customers.
💡Tip: When you invest in domains for the long term, make sure to continuously monitor the domain market, track trends, and identify emerging opportunities. Adjust your portfolio as needed.
9. Building a Successful Domain Portfolio
Creating a successful domain portfolio is all about these three things:
- Diversification: Just like any other great investor, you never put all your eggs in a single basket. Try to diversify your portfolio and see which ones perform the best for you. After determining them, you can narrow down your investment profile again.
- Continuous research: Domains are as ever-changing as everything on the internet. Never stop reading about the latest market trends, looking for underserved verticals, and gauging the current market pricing for your domains.
- Development: Buying and holding your domains is not enough. Build content, landing pages, or prototypes to showcase your domains' potential. This way, you attract premium offers from your buyers.
However, keep in mind that domain investment success is never guaranteed—especially with the emerging trends in the future. Here are some insights into the future of domain investing:
- Blockchain and Web3: These pieces of technology can help make verification easier and enhance security for domain names. In other words, people won’t just rely on the TLDs to gauge whether a particular site is safe or not. For a domain investor, this opens up new avenues of income as more possible domain extensions become available.
- AI-assisted domain valuation: Algorithms will play a bigger role in analyzing domain potential. You can use them to predict market trends and quickly analyze various purchasing factors before making a decision.
10. Best Tools for Domain Investment
You can make your investments more straightforward and accurate by leveraging various domain investment tools. Here are the best ones you can use:
- Comprehensive domain research tools
- Reasonable pricing
- Free trial available
- Guest lookups 10/day. No signup required.
- 100% free plan for 50 lookups a month!
- No refunds allowed
Bishopi delivers by far one of the best AI-powered domain tools and services out there. It offers a lot of useful features that you can use to evaluate a domain, including domain name analysis and metrics such as complexity, readability, memorability pronounceability and many more. It also offers domain SEO analyses, number of registered tlds and backlink profile checking. It even allows you to track domain trends in real time according to your industry.
- Basic: $29 per month. No API access.
- Professional: $99 per month. 30,000 API credits.
- Advanced: $199 per month. 100,000 API credits.
- Generous number of lookups per month
- Portfolio monitoring
- API credits not clearly specified
- Outdated tools
EstiBot offers free domain appraisals to online users, but it delivers a lot more under its paid plans. It offers the following functionalities that might be helpful in your domain investments:
- Domain name appraisal
- Keyword bidding and search volume
- Lead generation
- Listing all expiring domains
- Domain management tools like portfolio monitoring
- Novice: $29 per month. No API access.
- Intermediate: $49 per month. No API access.
- Advanced: $99 per month. With API access.
- Guest use and free membership are available
- Domain monitoring
- Simple interface
- Free account is limited
- Most plans don’t include API access
- Different pricing for simple things such as filtering and sorting.
dotDB also you to discover keyword trends, whether individually or in bulk (with a maximum of 10,000 keywords). It also supports domain monitoring, parsing, and statistics. For more advanced applications, dotDB offers API access starting with the Expert-level account.
- Basic: $12.99 per month. No API access.
- Pro: $42.99 per month. No API access.
- Expert: $94.99 per month. 30,000 API credits.
- Enterprise: By quote. Unlimited API access.
Final Thoughts on Domain Investing
It’s time for a domain investing recap.
Domain names are mostly unique, making each of them rare and valuable. However, when it comes to investing, it’s important that you consider factors like SEO, keyword data, TLDs, and more. This way, you can properly invest in domains with good potential while protecting your interests.
Is investing in domains a good idea?
Yes, domain investing can be a good avenue for profit. However, there are associated risks to domain investments, including trademark infringements, unpredictable market trends, and domain theft.
How do I start investing in a domain?
All you need to do is register a domain with ICANN. Improve it and market it to your target customers. Then, when someone expresses their interest in the domain, sell it to them for a profit.
How do I manage my domain investments?
To make sure that your domain investment portfolio is kept optimal, use tools like domain trend trackers, SEO analysis tools, and domain WHOIS lookups. You can also park ads on your domains to keep them profitable while unsold.