I used to think that monetization was a subset of Domaining. Now, as my business has matured and I’ve had the time and experience to sort things out I see more and more how different development and monetization is from pure-play Domaining. I have also now seen hundreds of Domainers fail at development as well as plenty of developers fail at Domaining. The point is, these are two different fields and thinking you can do both, all by yourself is relatively unrealistic once you’re scaling a six-figure business.
Yes, if your goal is to make $1,000 or $2,000/month you can mix the two, but once you’re looking for a growing sustainable business model it really is one or the other. If you look at people who are running websites that generate tens of thousands of dollars a month, they typically aren’t also buying and selling domain names. The same is true when you look at a big domain portfolio holder, they aren’t typically building out site after site that’s making big money every month.
So let’s talk about Domaining.
This is Domaining MBA Monday so the focus here is the business of domain names. Like I said above, I used to think this was a combination of developed sites and domains that you buy and sell. While some veteran Domainers can do this (and a few have really kicked-ass at it!) most need to focus on one main income stream and that is selling domains. If you have over 100 domains in your portfolio, face the music, you’re not going to develop all of them or even most of them, if you want to create a consistant cashflow you’ll need to be selling.
Most of the Domainers I know who make a few hundred thousand dollars a year or more generate the bulk of their income from sales. Some do it with many little sales, others with a few big sales, but almost none with 10 sites making thousands of dollars a month each. To put it bluntly, stop dreaming the impossible dream, mass development didn’t die, it really just never existed as a revenue model at a higher level.
So let’s talk about Monetization.
Putting a website on a domain name, sending traffic to it, and finding creative ways to generate revenue is a great thing, heck it’s down right entrepreneurial. But let’s be honest, it’s not Domaining. Yes, the domain may get you somewhere but it takes a lot more than a great domain to generate meaningful revenue. You need a business plan, a solid team, and a model that is built for growth. I’m all for monetization whether you’re using Google Adsense, Affiliate Ads, or Lead Generation there are people making big money in the monetization space, but they’re not Domainers.
Here’s my point.
There is a great divide between Domaining and Monetization. Monetization really falls in the world of web development and Domaining is much more in the world of speculative investing. Trying to do a great job at both isn’t possible all by yourself. If you’re a one man (or woman) band you’ll need to focus on one thing and really hit it out of the park. Far too many Domainers have hundreds of domains and their long-term strategy is to develop each one. Stop dreaming, here’s your reality check, if you can’t sell them, you sure aren’t going to develop them all.
If you’ve got the development bug, pick one and really make it happen. Know, however that this will take your eye off the ball when it comes to buying and selling domains. You can’t do it all and if Domaining is what you want to do then your time should be spent finding solid buyers for your domains not building a website.
As time goes by you can always hire people to follow a working business model you’ve perfected, that’s what I did and it’s allowed me to pull myself completely out of my business. Until you do that, you need to stay focused and decide how your business is going to make money, then do it and don’t look back. Just remember, to start your business will make money either selling domains or monetizing one or two websites, but it’s unlikely and unrealistic to expect to be doing both.