Domaining MBA Monday: If You Build It, They May Never Come

Domaining MBA MondayHello, Happy Monday, and welcome to Domaining MBA Monday here on Today I wanted to talk about a topic that is often misunderstood in the domain space, what I’m talking about is how developing your domain name impacts the potential offers you might get on a domain. There is a lot of buzz about developing domains and using this to increase the value of the name but what very few people think about is what happens if your domain isn’t bringing in the big bucks, what impact does it have on inbound offers.

Based on my own experience and conversations with other investors I can tell you that developing your domain name decreases the number of inbound offers you will receive on the domain. I have talked to countless startups who iterated onto a different name simply because they saw their first choice was developed and felt that they didn’t want to deal with the expense of paying for someone else to rebrand their business.

The point that many new domain investors miss is that many startups have an existing or new business they want to launch on the domain name. They don’t typically want to take over an existing business, that is more for affiliate marketers and web developers that have an interest in scaling existing businesses. Startups and entrepreneurs want to put their idea on your domain which means all the value you may have in the time and energy put into building your site and running your idea on it actually might turn them away.

Now I’m not saying don’t develop your domain names, do it, and if you make money rock and and sell it for a multiple of the revenue on Flippa or directly to another developer or affiliate marketer who buys profitable websites. Just understand that the goal of flipping a solid domain for the name value itself won’t necessarily be helped by developing and monetizing the domain.

Once again, just to re-iterate so there’s not confusion. By no means am I saying don’t develop and monetize your domains. Do it, and kick ass and take names (some pun intended), then sell it on Flippa, sell it to a seasoned affiliate marketer, or enjoy the cashflow yourself. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to sell a domain based on inbound offers, you may want to park with someone like TrafficZ or where it’s easy to put a nice big banner at the top of the site letting everyone know the domain is for sale.

Like the title says, if you build it, they may never come.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Howie Crosby May 27, 2013, 10:53 pm

    Great solid advice there Morgan thanks. Thats a really interesting piece of advice to know about re. development of a domain and reduction of interest from a startup. Also, the two links, I like the idea but I’m not looking for a single ad on a landing page. To be honest I still have not found a decent ‘domain for sale’ landing page, as the ones I am currently using are from the big sites and have the ppc plus and are not all responsive on mobile, dont have the for sale big enough……….. Moreover, deving
    out a domain to Flippa, as it goes to show that the content and architecture is king, as I have seen some normal website addresess sell for big money, that being said I would want to dev out with the best domain I possibly had. Cheers.

  • Morgan May 28, 2013, 12:28 am

    Thanks @Howie, appreciate the positive feedback! I wouldn’t worry too much about finding the perfect landing page, at the end of the day it’s all about making it clear to a potential buyer that the domain is for sale, if it says it at the top, and there’s a clear way to contact you, that’s all you need.

    The important thing to remember is that the general public doesn’t know anything about WHOIS lookups so to many people if it doesn’t say “For Sale” at the top of the page, then they assume it’s not for sale.

    On Flippa buyers really care about traffic and revenue, the real buyers are looking for sites with a long history of solid stats.

    Happy Tuesday and as always, thanks for reading!

  • Alan Dodd May 28, 2013, 5:07 am

    Hmm yes indeed, but I think the line between “startup entrepreneurs”, “affiliate marketers” and – yes – “domainers” can be blurred.

    Those “domainers” who developed all those geo sites.. are they “startup entrepreneurs”… “affiliate marketers”… or dare I say it… “domainers”?

    • Morgan May 28, 2013, 7:58 am

      @Alan – I should have been a bit more specific in my post. By startup I meant a funded company either through Angel, VC or PE. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who work on side-projects on their nights and weekends, I mean funded companies that spend all day every day on their startup, have a board of directors, advisors, etc.

  • Joe May 28, 2013, 5:43 pm

    Interesting post Morgan!

    I wish that some domain names being on the Internet, because I believer out my web project is vaible and innovative competition by far, I think I have the duty of a good website developer to work, travel, videos, sale house – financial, product offerings and services ……….., would be my duty to try his luck as many companies or businesses have been valued over a web business a target for traffic more than 5 million a month, after some major companies and brands contact to negotiate the purchase of the same site for more than the amount that can be achieved in several years in a domain parking or emailed offers to prospective buyers, auctions including more likely to have this huge market and industry in the United States and other English-speaking countries mainly.

    I think it is worth a try, right now as well say you in another post that you should write to the developers, writers and other staff for the purpose dreamer, not having a business plan executive summary stamped and validated by professors of IESE Business School 5th in the world and a reference position for many years at Harvard, must be good, but the best thing about me is I always think about tomorrow.

    I have innovative web projects, with their domain names to carry out this crusade which can be long because early this be patience.

    Now is to find the right team which I am looking for months. but costs that many not be of the same opinion and I not yours

    Yes sell any gTLD domain name’m not putting bid price, I who have the power to say the price is who is interested in buying it.


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