3 Ways I’m Fine-Tuning My Domain Portfolio In 2014

It’s a new year and that means looking back on the previous year and seeing what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly, what has to change. Last year was a great year and it’s easy to look at a good year and say, “well I exceeded my goals so no changes needed!” The problem with that is that you might miss-out on new opportunities.

Exceeding a goal is great. Knowing why you exceeded it is even better. Here’s an example, let’s suppose you want to make $5,000 one month selling domain names, and you plan to do it by selling 10 $500 domains. If you do that, great, if instead you sell one name for $3,500 and one name for $1,500 you can learn from this experience. What were those names? How did you find the buyer or how did they find you?

My point is, just hitting your goals isn’t going to help you improve your business, learning why you hit or exceed them will. The same is true for your portfolio as a whole. Just because you sell more names than you expected one year doesn’t mean you can’t figure-out why some things didn’t sell and why others sold so well.

I’ve been making my own domain name strategy (and it’s evolution) public  since 2007 so I thought now would be as good a time as any to share some of the ways I’ve been fine-tuning my own portfolio.

  1. Focus on one and two-word .COMs – this is where we made the most money in sales last year and this is without a doubt where we see the most liquidity and the best sales. In 2014 I expect close to 75% of our purchases will be one and two-word .COMs. Back in 2008 I think my portfolio was around 60% .US, oops, learned that lesson!
  2. Less domains, higher-value names – this has been a multi-year process and it’s still going. At one point I had around 1,400 names, then down to 1,000 and by the end of 2014 I would like to have around 500. I’ve found that I get much better liquidity and ROI on domains I buy for more money (i.e. $1,000+) than names I buy for under $50.
  3. Let the “I’ll develop this someday” names go – there was a time when I had over 200 running websites. That time has come to an end and now my full time focus is on Fashion Metric. My domain business makes its money selling domain names and I no longer buy names that I’d like to develop, that’s just not what we do. I am not going to build some big multi-site mega network nor will I develop many of the names I thought would be fun to develop. Sure it could be fun but I’ve moved on and my business has too. As I’ve said to many a Domainer, decide what you business does to make money and stay laser-focused on that, trying to do too many things tends to mean you do nothing well.

So now you know three ways that I am fine-tuning my portfolio this year, what are you doing?

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Steve R January 22, 2014, 6:05 pm

    I agree with your business approach Morgan.

    I have a nasty habit of hand registering domains that are trending due to the news that I read. Last year, I hand registered at least 300 domains. By the end of December or early this month, I decided to just delete over a hundred even though the due date had not been reached just to clear my mind some of the clutter and waste of money I spent on this dashes and dot co’s. I have just a few dot co’s now, but last night before I read this article, I went through my list and highlighted the bare minimum domains that I feel I would keep for sure this year and told myself not to hand register any more domains, although I have to admit that I did pre-register a very few of the new gtld. It can definitely be addicting for sure. I have several nice keyword clothing domains, but I think I am going to use my branding domain to develop my affiliate site using Magento I believe. My branding domain is short and remeberable unlike my keyword clothing domains. In any case, I told my wife that I am just going to concentrate on developing one domain to its fullest then next year start on another one. That way I can obtain authority and have a nice site.

    Thanks for the article and good luck on your business.

    Reply
  • Nick January 22, 2014, 7:00 pm

    I would like to take the traffic to some of my domains and join an affiliate marketing thing and earn money that way while those names wait to sell. Parking domains for PPC is earning my next to nothing. Its really not worth it. 500 domains and $15 per month now if I am lucky. Tried them all, GoDaddy Cashparking, Sedo, Smartname, Voodoo, Bodis… same results. But several years back and I was getting 300-400 per month with these same names. Most of my names are now 10 years old. Time to find buyers. Trying Flippa. No luck there. I dont have the cash to lay out for their marketing to plug my auction so I have to hope that names are being “found”. Ultimately, I want to sell my names and get out of the domains business in 2014!

    Reply
  • Morgan January 22, 2014, 8:55 pm

    Thanks @Steve and keep me posted on your development efforts, we’ve had our fair share of Magento adventures so I’m happy to share war stories 🙂

    @Nick – I would recommend reaching-out to end-users directly. Marketplaces are a great option but if you really want to sell, you really have to do it yourself. I wrote a three part series on selling domains to end-users that you might enjoy: http://morganlinton.com/domaining-mba-monday-selling-domains-to-end-users-part-one/

    It’s a new year, everyone should be fine-tuning, just because it’s not broken doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better.

    Reply
  • Picas January 22, 2014, 11:14 pm

    We had hand reg and we dropped …and we found out that we made our registrars and someone rich and rich when they took our dropped names and re-sell to end users …they could contact and deal with end users much better than us and furthermore the domaining industry bigger and bigger with many companies and competitors

    Reply
  • HowieCrosby January 23, 2014, 1:49 am

    That’s sound advise Morgan.

    One issue I have is getting past the gatekeeper, both, here in the UK and the US, I have some names for companies that are using in my opinion lesser than my domain, for instance it will include an extra word or one of their main keywords is my dot com and they just seems happy plodding along.

    Fear not, you try enough times and you hit the right client, also I am reading this awesome “The secrets of success in selling” book, it’s very enlightening.

    Thanks,

    Howie.

    Reply
  • HowieCrosby January 23, 2014, 1:51 am

    Great, will take a look at the link above, thanks.

    Reply
  • Nick January 23, 2014, 4:10 am

    Thanks for the link! Will check that out!

    Reply

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