4 D’s Of Domaining and How Not TO Lose Money in your Initial Stage as a Domainer

I Recently Spoke at Domainx 2016 in Goa and quite many Requested for a blog post on this Topic.

To start being a Domainer effectively and to earn real money out of it, you need to follow the 4D’s of
Domaining first. Can you do that? Good. Here it goes:

 Do it correctly on your own

 Delegate your Domaining business

 Diversify your business

 Develop your business with latest technology.

Follow the 4D’s and make a good fortune with your Domaining skills.

What’s the smartest Thing to do in goa?

You folks are smart. You are attending the workshop in the day and will party at night.

Even though I have been online doing business for the last 16 years, it was only six months ago that I started in domaining after attending the same DomainX workshop. And today, you are going to learn 4 Ds of Domaining.

In fact, the 4 Ds of Domaining will put you ahead of 99% of the people entering the domaining industry.

In 2001, when i was out of college and in my early twenties, I was desperate to make money online. I had bills to pay, Family to take care of. The salary of 3000 Rs which I was earning as a part time web designing tutor could hardly pay the house rent and Electricity Bill.

I had a website called Seeknext.com and wanted to generate money out of it. On a Rainy Day, In a cyber Center, I was casually surfing the net and enrolled into one of the forums where they discussed making money online. After a few days, I became active in that forum, and I ended up adding a guy called Pranav Chavda on my MSN Messenger.

I buzzed him, “Pranav, Dude – I need to earn money from my website”. He replied, “Great, How much”? I replied back “10,000 Rs Monthly”. After a couple of minutes. He responded, “If you follow my steps correctly, you can earn 1 lakh rupees monthly Guaranteed”. I was shocked but asked him a brilliant question, “What’s the Catch?”. After 5 minutes he replied. “You will have to sign up under me, and whatever income you make, I get paid 5% by the network“. And I said, ‘I’m in’. You see, I had nothing to lose. This is How I got introduced to Affiliate marketing.

Pranav guided me throughout the entire process. Right From signing up with the affiliate network, choosing the best merchants to work with, Learning about SEO, How to build more pages with unique content, How to get backlinks. He Taught me the A to Z of Affiliate marketing. The point is – ‘I learned to do it and learned to do it correctly.’

And that’s why your first D of Domaining is ‘Do it Yourself Correctly.’

Before you Become a Domainer you need to understand WIIFM (Whats in it for me?).

The five major types of making money in domaining is:

1)Domain Name Monetization

Domain name Monetization is to Generate Recurring Revenue via your domain name
2)Domain Flipping
Domain flipping is where you buy domains at a low price and sell at a high price.
3)Selling Domain to end user
Selling Domain to An actual user who will use your domain for his business.
4) Selling Domain To Domainer
Selling your domain to another domainer at wholesale price.
5)Selling Domains Generating Revenue
Domains generating revenue is where your sell your already established revenue generating website to an end user.

Tell me if this sounds familiar

You find out that people are making money buying and selling domain names and you too want to get a share. So you head over to your favorite registrar and start registering domain names. It’s an incredible feeling, and you can’t believe that some of the domains you are coming up with are still available to register.

Before you know it, you have 10, maybe even 50 domain names and you think to yourself, “If I just sell one or two of these I’ll have a profitable business!”

Just think about it. People started hand registering domains in the mid-90’s. Do you think that over the last 15-20 years investors missed all the incredible gems that you came up with sitting in your shorts at 2:00 A.M.?

Hand registering domain names without first understanding the industry is a recipe for disaster. In the beginning, you should be a sponge, learn everything you can and spend more time reading and learning – rather than buying. You are smart, because you are attending this event and you are already 50% ahead of other people entering the domaining industry. By the end of this workshop, I guarantee you that you will put yourself ahead of about 99% of the people entering the domaining industry.

Now That you Understood “Whats In It For Me” in domaining,

Let’s understand “What Makes a Domain Valuable?” This is the question you need to ask yourself before you buy a domain.

A Domain is valuable if it fulfills the following 5 criterias.

1)Top Level Domains
.Com Is more valuable than .CC or .Mobi – ex: casino.com could sell for 50,000$ but the corresponding casino.info could fetch a max of 1000$.
.in commands more price than lets say for example – : .org.in, or .net.in

The keyword in your domain directly impacts the value of your domain. Ex: casino.com would be more expensive than playincasino.com
If you google the top 250 most valuable domains sold, you will find 90% were keyword domains.
Some Niche is more beneficial monetarily. It’s that simple. Ex: Think of 2 domains where one is having a competitive keyword in fruits category and one in the financial category. Financial Category will definitely have more high paying clients than fruits category.

4)Recent Sales
Recent Sales can be a significant factor in understanding what’s selling currently. .Just like real estate investors look at recent home sales, you can do the same with domains.

If a domain is already receiving traffic or revenue, then this definitely can add value to the domain.

Now that you have understood what makes a domain valuable. Let’s move on to the next steps.

-”Tools To research a domain”

IF you dont research your domains correctly before buying, you will end up as a collector instead of an investor.

The 5 Important Tools are :

Google Keywords Planner
Google Keyword Planner help you research the traffic volume and the CPC(Cost Per Click).
Estibot gives you an estimate on the domain value and also helps you in generating leads for your domain…
Name Bio is a tool to find out sales value of similar domains.
Dnjournal Is a website maintaining latest trends of domain sales and helps you understand whats selling currently.

But the ultimate aim of ‘Do it yourself correctly’ is to become ready for the next step, which is ‘Delegate your business’.

It was 2004. At 1 am, my wife enters my home office. She said, “How many crores of rupees are you earning monthly? I was like “What?”.
She said “How many Crores of Rupees are you earning monthly?”.
I said, “Well, not earning crores but I’ll be there soon”.
She said “That’s great. Once you are there, achieved your target of earning in crores, Can you use that same money and get me back the entire last year’s time?
She went on “You are not spending time with us. You work late nights while we are asleep and we hardly see you awake in the day. You are not there to drop the kids to school, Take them to doctor when they are ill.”
I said, “But we have a driver”.
She goes ” Oh Yeah, let me get married to him as well”.

That Particular Moment was a wake up call for me. I realized that I was not there with my wife and my kids when they wanted me the most.

That’s when I realized the importance of delegation. Delegation will not only help you scale your business but will also free up your time to attend personal things.

How to apply this strategy to your Domaining Career? Let me explain.

You need to recruit an employee who is good enough with basic computer skills and understands basic english. Do not look for a hifi graduate or an engineer. Recruit a married lady because they don’t jump between jobs frequently.

A city like Bangalore commands a salary of 12,000 Rs per month plus incentives on successful achievement of sales targets.

To set sales targets, I tell them “If you are instrumental in selling domains worth 1 lakh Rupees, you will get 10% as incentive”. 10,000 Rupees incentive will definitely motivate your employee to put in their maximum effort.

Then, start off by teaching them how to mine data of domains from expired domains list. The website I generally use is www.expireddomains.net. Expired domains.net has various filters and explaining those will require an hour itself. So i suggest you to google and view videos on those indepth filtering and metrics stuff.

I generally teach my staff to look for keyword domains. They should make a list of these keyword domains ending with .com, .in, .co,.club. They have to use Google Keyword Planner, Namebio, Estibot and dnjournal in their research.

You can then assign the employee to scan ebay.com/ebay.in for domains on sale and email you the list of your criteria defined. My criteria is simple with ebay. I look for a keyword domain and preferably under 100$.

You can then assign your employee the task of selecting quality list of domains from dropalert .com(Drop Alert filters godaddy auctions and provides meaningful domains) and then email you the list.

The point you need to remember while training your staff is train them enough to do your routine task but don’t overtrain them to be your competitor.

By following the idea of Delegate your work – You will gain additional hours.

Now I ask you, what will you do with the extra time gained?

If you follow this next point, you’ll be able to bulletproof your business.

In the year 2005, I bought a Maruti Esteem car. I bought the car for 7 lakhs but spent 10 lakhs on its Interiors. It was weird that when I go out with my wife for a drive, people watch my car. You should see the “Shock on Suman’s Face”. She Screams “Vasi, – Yeh Kar toh meri Sautan Hai. Sab log isko dekhte hai”. The people surrounding us were ignoring the beautiful lady and admiring the car. Life was good. Every Day was a Sunday. I bought a Mercedes S Class and spent money left, right and center.

One fine day I woke up to see zero $$$ in my Affiliate Network Websites. I was shocked. My websites were up. My affiliate network accounts were up. But my entire traffic was lost. Apparently, I figured out that google had an algorithm update and my websites were banned.

I literally came on road. I had to sell my brand new Mercedes S Class, I had to sell my favorite Maruti Esteem car, and found it hard to meet the ends. That was a turning point in my life where I realized that I had not diversified my business at all.
I was too dependent on 1 source of income.

Fast forward six months, I restarted again with building Content Rich Websites having Adsense, Starting Coupon Websites with type in traffic, Started web hosting Business, Started Web Designing, Started Seo Services for Clients, helped my mother set up a parlour business in the offline world.

The third D is Diversify our business

In Domaining, you can apply this strategy by diversifying your portfolio.

Let me explain you in detail.

You Could Diversify Your business by Building Affiliate Content on your keyword domains. Sign up with Any affiliate network like cj.com, linkshare.com, shareasale.com etc and use the merchants products to promote on your website. You need to have more than a 5 page website with unique content for sure.

Another way to diversify is to develop a community or build unique content on a topic of your interest. Your hobby could be anything. Ex: My Hobby is Blogging on Entrepreneurship on my personal Domain.

The 3rd way you can diversify is having a mixed portfolio of Domains. Do not Depend only on .com, If you get a chance and after doing your research, have .co, club, .in extensions.

I follow a certain Percentage of adding value to my portfolio. I intend to have 60% .com Domains, 30% .in Domains, and the remaining 10 % could include .co,.club,.xyz, .vip, .asia – anything which would be of my interest.

The reason i intend to have 60% of .com is simple. .Com is the oldest domain available and everyone , no matter where they are from in this globe prefers to have a .com first. The Reach is more and the sale could be Faster and more value.

Now that you have understood why and how to Diversify your Business, Lets move on the 4th D Of Domaining.

4) Develop your business using Latest Technology

In the year 2013, I arranged a get together for my staff in a Pub. After having starters, couple of my staff hit the dance floor. One of my Staff pulled me to the dance floor and I stood like a deer facing the headlight.

It was a embarrassing moment for me. I promised myself that i would hit the same pub again and look cool on the dance floor. So I went to my best friend….Google. I searched “How to dance in pub”. I was surprised to see tons of Video Tutorials on how to dance in pub.

I landed up on http://pickupdance.com and subscribed for their starters dvd program.

Every day, I would spend an hour or two to practice the steps. Once I was done with the basic of pub dancing, I subscribed to the intermediate level of pub dancing. I started hitting the dance floor every weekend and I was basically the guy who motivated the entire crowd to come on floor and shake their legs. I was regularly invited by the club manager and offered free drinks and starters. The reason I am sharing this story of mine is that the credit goes to technology. Technology is so advanced that you need not attend dance classes and you could practice from the comfort of your home.

When I started earlier with affiliate marketing, I was more focused on delivering quantity with more manpower. I had 40 employees working for me replicating pages with unique keywords. This was time consuming process. The productivity was at its lowest with low Return on investment. I then found a software which would take a datafeed from merchants and churn out thousands of pages in few minutes.

The Software was called webmerge. It increased my productivity 10 times. It was like having 400 employees working for me.

My Monthly income Increased to 60,000$ a month.

Applying technology in domaining can result in similar benefits.

With a help of a dear friend who wants to be Anonymous, though his Initials are M M & S….. I got to know about desktop Catcher. It’s a desktop software which when installed can connect to various registrars at a predefined time. It tries catching dropped domains in seconds unlike manual registration which can take minutes together.

I am using it extensively for catching .in domains and the success percentage for registration is around 50% for competitive domains.

I have setup desktop catcher on a VPS to catch dropped domains for upto 15 days in advance.

If you have been using expired domains.net, you would notice that it’s a tedious job of segregating the data from a list of thousands of domains.

After a bit of research, i found valuedrops.com – what the website does is give you a list of quality expiring .com domains based on keywords. It filters the quality from the quantity and gives you a list of domains available to register.

The Subscription cost is 10$ per month and worth every cent for what they are charging you. Believe me, by using this website, I have saved 5 hours of mining data. It takes me 5 mins to choose a quality domain to be added in desktop catcher.

For Auctions, I was using godaddy auctions but it’s too difficult to keep a track on the huge list of domains,so I started using dropalert.com. Dropalert.com will list all the important metrics like age of domains, the bid amount and the timing when it is going to expire. This website can save your time to find quality auction domains and also important metrics.

Another Tool is zfbot.com – Here you register and enter the first keyword and the last keyword of your domain for sale and then it throws up hundreds or thousands of domain names. Make a list of these domains and then import it to bulkwhoisfinder.com and search for the email ids. Filter unwanted email ids and now you have a data of fresh leads to follow up with.

Bulk Whois Finder is an important tool to be kept in your arsenal. It searches for email ids of the domains in a span of few minutes which otherwise can take hours to complete the task. It costs 58$ one time fees but if you could talk to MMS or Sunny Bajaj, you could get a better deal as a Goa Special Offer.

Instead of attending dozens of websites and blogs individually for latest news/updates and trends, you could visit domaining.com which is a feed website. It pulls all the latest entries from various sources and displays it on their website. This again will save your time and keep you a step ahead of your nearest competitor.

To Reiterate, the 4 D’s Of Domaining and How not to lose money in your initial stage is:

1)Do it yourself correctly
Start Learning and applying all the techniques i have mentioned
2)Delegate your Business
Once you are well versed with Do it yourself, Now is the time to Delegate your Business
3) Diversify Your Business
When you find enough spare time, then it’s the right opportunity to diversify your business
4)Develop your Business Using Latest Technology
When you have finally done with all the above 3 points, now is the time to use latest TEchnology to further enhance your business.

In 1998, on the day of Ramzan, I was riding my assembled yamaha RX100. Suddenly a lady crossed the road and my bike hit her and she fell 50 metres away on the other side of the divider.

Even before I could regain my consciousness, the angry mob pulled me up and beat me black and blue. It became a police case, and I had to suffer a lot of pain. I lost the confidence to drive a bike again.

Recently, my daughter said “Daddy, I want to go to on a bike ride”. Honestly, I did not have the courage to do so. But I felt that I should not allow the past bad experience to stop me from having a current good experience. So, I went ahead and bought a Yamaha R15. I took my kid on a drive and you should have seen the excitement on my daughter’s face. It was worth it.

Before I leave, I want to say, “Do not allow any past bad experience to stop you from having a current good experience. If you have put in the time, money and effort, you’ll surely succeed in domaining as well as your business”.