2/16/12

How to Find Decent Domain Names to Hand Reg and Flip

One of the first questions I get asked when I mention to people that I domain is, "How do you select the names you buy?"  We'll address that shortly.  The follow up question is usually, "Who buys them from you and why?" You've got to understand who and why before you get into selecting the names.

  • The Who Any business that promotes their products and services online.  Ideally, you'll find companies that use pay-per-click(PPC) advertising or already own several keyword domain names for marketing purposes.  These companies are already paying for online marketing, understand search engine optimization(SEO), and will understand the usefulness of the name you're offering them. But just because they don't know, doesn't mean they won't buy either.
  • The Why I'll illustrate this with an example.  ACME Inc. has a company website, ACME.com. If the brand isn't well established(and even if it was, but you're a new buyer that never heard of it), you may just gloss over the website when you google "roadrunner rockets" because you didn't know that's what they specialize in.  However, if ACME also owned the domains BestRoadrunnerRockets.com or RoadrunnerRockets.com, those names are more likely to drive you to visit their site because the domain name clearly reflects the search term(aka keyword) you used.  There's a lot more to it and you can read up some more here, but as long as you understand this basic premise - you're good!
When you're hand reging names, you've got to understand you're looking for the nickel in the haystack.  What's that mean?  That means there's some work involved to find good, relevant keyword domain names that are worth flipping that are still available to hand reg.  Those nuggets that you do find, will not be thousand dollar value type names either.  Domaining has been around nearly as long as the Internet, so we're sifting through the remnants of what's been clearly picked over numerous times.  Now having said that, don't let that discourage you because legitimate domain names are still out there to find and flip, but let that help keep your expectations realistic. I've flipped hand regs for as little as $75 and as much as $600.  At about $8 cost for me, that's a 900% to 7,500% return on investment.  Not too shabby!  To that point, you might think, "Well, why didn't the company just hand reg the name for $8?"  Like I said, nickel in the haystack - I find most, if not all, of my customers are willing to pay a few hundred dollars for something I bought for $8 because they understand the work involved.
Now that you understand who might buy a domain name from you and why, you've got to come up with some names to buy.
  1. The best way to do this, is write down every different industry, service, product, or whatever it is you see throughout the day that you know there's businesses online that deal in whatever that is. I find just sitting in front of the computer without ideas from the day yields minimal results, so make sure you keep track of what piques your interest throughout the day.
  2. Plug that name idea into the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. On the left, under Match Types, only have "Exact" checked. This will tell you how many times(monthly average) that exact keyword or phrase has been typed in a Google search. I like to sort hi-lo on Global Monthly Searches.
  3. Download the list to Excel.  Replace the brackets ([,]) with spaces. Copy the list of domain names, up to 500.
  4. Paste the list into GoDaddy's Bulk Registration tool and sort thru what's available.  For starting domainers, I'd only focus .com's for now. Hopefully, you find a name or two you like.
  5. Google that particular keyword(s) you identified to see if there are relevant returns with multiple companies providing that service and any ads.
  6. If you feel good about it, then register it. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter for frequent GoDaddy coupon code updates!
I've included a short video here walking you through this process.  If you have any questions, please include them in the comments below.  Also, if anyone is following along and is about to register their first name, by all means, shoot me a quick email to see if I think your name is a solid buy or not.

Future posts will include how to price your domain name to flip, as well as how to market the name and what to do with names you can't flip.  We're only getting started here!

2 comments:

Tony Stark said...

Though it is very important to choose a good domain name and there are lots of tips to choose a good domain name, the unfortunate thing is all the food domain names have been already taken. It is really hard to find a domain name that is free and available for registration. Anyway, not all the already taken domain names are being used. Most of them are kept parked for sale. In such case we can contact the domain name holder for a bargain. The contact details of a domain name holder can be obtained by having a whois lookup at WhoisXY.com it is very easy.

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