Hello, Happy Monday, and welcome to another Domaining MBA Monday here on MorganLinton.com. Today I wanted to talk about a topic that isn’t covered enough but can’t be emphasized more. What I’m talking about is the complexity of selling domains to end-users in particular niches.
I had to learn this lesson the hard way through trial and error and looking back really wished that I had read a post like this. So hopefully this post will save you time prospecting in low-liquidity niches and also serve as a wake-up call for those of you still buying heavy in these areas waiting for your next big sale.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
Like the title of the post says, not all niches are created equal. While search volume and CPC are great metrics to look at when you’re buying domains, the potential buyer that would want to buy the name from you is more important. There are some areas online, take law for example where search volume and CPC is high but liquidity is relatively low. The reason is that there really aren’t many active buyers and while lawyers may spend a fortune advertising on Adwords, that doesn’t mean they’ll spend a fortune buying domains from you.
When I first started in the Domaining world I was really interested in legal and credit/debt-related domains. What I learned over the years is that these two niches are very hard to see repeatable sales in. Here’s the issue with each potential buyer:
Lawyers – if you’ve tried cold calling or cold emailing lawyers then you already know that they really don’t love salespeople contacting them out of the blue. Lawyers may charge $500/hour but they typically won’t shell out very much for a domain name and they really don’t like being told that they “need” something to take their business to the next level. Buy as many geo-targeted lawyer names as you want and while you might be able to sell one or two, the liquidity just isn’t there at price-points that will make this very profitable. Now I’m not talking about names like Law.com or Lawyer.com, those are of course incredible names that have definite buyers in the six and seven figure range. What I’m talking about is your regular run of the mill names that are still good, but will be harder to sell than you think, things like CityNameLawyers.com or CityNameAttorneys.com.
Credit Bureaus – next up is credit/debt related domains. These always throw new Domainers for a loop because they have incredibly high CPCs often in the $20+ range so the assumption is that a big credit bureau could easily afford to buy a domain for a few thousand bucks. The issue here is that selling to credit bureaus is hard, so hard that just like with lawyers, while you may close a deal or two, you can’t build a business with repeat sales every month, it’s just not realistic. Don’t be deceived by high search volume and CPC in the credit/debt space, these names are hard to sell and if you plan on developing and monetizing be prepared to put at least $20,000 into SEO or content marketing if you want to rank well.
These are only two niches that are hard to sell-into, there are many more and most you’ll have to find through trial and error. That being said, I think legal and credit/debt are two of the niches that get pumped-up the most in the domain industry that are much harder to profit in than many people would like to believe.
I hear a lot of people say things like, “if I can’t sell this credit/debt domain I’ll just develop it and throw up an affiliate site, credit/debt offers pay a lot.” What people miss here is the amount of time and money it takes to rank well in these incredibly competitive niches. You see, bit credit bureaus might not spent $10,000 on your domain that exactly matches a keyword they want to rank for, but they will spend $20,000/month advertising for that exact keyword.
No matter how much you try to convince them they need the domain, they really care about having their own brand on the first page of Google, not building an ancillary site on a completely different domain and taking the time and money that is required to make this profitable.
So while I don’t mean to burst your bubble too much, I do hope this serves as a bit of a wake-up call to those of you who are buying heavy in niches like these thinking you’ll be able to find a repeatable business model here. Yes there are some great domains that have sold for big bucks to lawyers and credit bureaus, but doing this repeatably and building your business on it is not going to be as easy as you think.