When I was in 7th grade our school gave out free planners for us to help organize our schedules. Of course as a 7th grader you really don’t have a very hectic schedule, but having a planner just made you feel a bit more organized. I can still remember what it said on the back of the planner in big block letters, “If I plan to learn, I must learn to plan.” While I don’t think I even cracked open my planner back then, the catch phrase has stuck with me and I think it is highly relevant to Domainers.
I see many new Domainers start-off by doing rather than planning. They read an article about buying expired domains or hand registering based on keyword data and they jump right in. There’s nothing wrong with trying things out or giving a particular strategy a shot, but without a plan you may find yourself lost in the sauce a few months down the road. I get a lot of emails from people that seem to be at the same stage, they bought a bunch of domains and now they want to make some money. That’s great, but if you never set any goals, you might not be as far along as you think you are.
So I thought to get this week started-off right, let’s talk about setting firm goals to make sure your business is on track. It can be all too easy to get lost in the tactical day-to-day rather than focusing on the strategic. The problem is, if you don’t take the time to be strategic, the day-to-day might just be a waste of your time. It all comes back to planning, if you want to make money buying expired domains – awesome, you should, but you need to set goals so you have something to strive towards.
Goals should be clearly defined and based on metrics. Stay-away from goals like “Try to sell more domains this month” and stick to a number that you can look at towards the end of the month and definitively say either, “I hit my goals” or “I missed my goals.” However without goals, you never know what you’re trying to achieve. Below are three goals you should set right now for June (that’s right, start planning early):
- Revenue from Domain Sales – how much money do you want to make selling domains? Start with something reasonable, if your highest sales month is $500 don’t be ashamed, but don’t set a goal of $1,000 this month since you’ve never actually hit that goal. Start-off with something you know you can do and make sure you can do it over and over again before increasing your target.
- Revenue from Monetization – how much money do you want to make monetizing domains? Once gain, start with something within reason and put a firm number down so you can look at the end of the month and see if you hit your goal.
- Domain Purchases – last but certainly not least, don’t let your spending get out of control, set goals for how much you want to spend and stick to it. If you’re only making $1,000/month total in your business, don’t spend $3,000 on domains unless you’re okay running at a loss (which you shouldn’t be). Too many new Domainers get used to just buying more and more domains, set a maximum and stick to it. Once you start hitting your revenue goals you can increase this number but wait until you’ve proven to yourself that you can make money with the domains you’ve already purchased.
Doing this level of planning takes less than five minutes and will help you be more realistic with yourself. If you miss a goal, don’t beat yourself up about it, instead ask yourself if the goal was too aggressive, or if you didn’t do what was necessary to hit the goal, then course correct and make it happen! Just remember what my 7th grade planner said because it still rings true, “If I plan to learn, I must learn to plan.”