Some Reflections on Domaining in 2009

We are now over four months into 2009 and I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the year so far. Since I started this blog back in October of 2007 the Domaining world has changed dramatically. In 2007 the main theme of the Domaining world was – Parking. I entered the industry with a focus on development and monetization which turned-out to be a strong trend in 2008 and a continuing trend in 2009.

In 2008 one of the biggest changes the industry saw was a larger audience as many new faces appeared and new blogs hit the Domaining blogosphere. It was exciting and as in 2007, the focus was on .com and how to get that “big” domain that would define your Domaining career. As in 2007, 2008 also saw some negativity from new entrants to the industry who continued the mantra of “all the good domains are taken”. At the same time many Domainers were busy investing in other TLD’s and finding they could monetize these quite effectively. It is always interesting to see the true entrepreneurs that can find investments in places that nobody else is looking.

Now in 2009 with a recession in full-swing many Domainers are looking for a solution for their Domaining woes. With so many new Domainers out there I’ve seen the blogging community grow exponentially. With this comes many different viewpoints – which is a beautiful thing! You can tell who is doing the work to grow and develop their portfolios and who just expected that buying Domains would make them rich overnight. Like Rick Schwartz said back in February of this year:

“So there is a simple roadmap but YOU have to put in the sweat and tears. Nobody in this business made it without hard word, long hours and sacrifice. Nobody made it without making mistakes.” [ Read Full Post from RicksBlog.com ]

These few sentences sum-up what I think is essential for all new Domainers to realize. As many of you know I run a brokerage service and I’m happy to say that I’ve seen interest increase ten-fold in 2009 vs. 2008. Unfortunately I’ve had to be the bearer of bad news as I oftentimes receive lists full of domains that are worth little more than the reg fee. Oftentimes the domain buyer became inspired by the industry and went on the famous “domain buying spree”. Then they assume that their domains are all worth thousands of dollars just because they registered something that “must be valuable to somebody”. I’m not being negative here, just realistic.

In 2009 it is more important than ever that Domain Investors focus on buying strong domains and then – don’t stop there! Develop those domains into revenue-generating online investments. If you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in domain names – don’t worry! Rick Latona, one of the biggest names in the Domaining world came-out with ccTLDs.com and showed the industry that he believes in the potential of these domains.

The good news here is that there are a LOT of incredible ccTLD domains available either to register yourself, or for sale, at incredible prices. In a recession prices are low and this year could be looked at several years from now as the time when you really could get rock-bottom prices on excellent domains. It’s not quantity that counts, but quality, and taking the time to turn a good investment into a great one by developing a content-rich website that attracts visitors and finds a good way to monetize the traffic.

** EARTHQUAKE **

Yes – a 5.0 magnitude earthquake just hit Los Angeles while I am writing this post. Since it looks like everything is fine and I’m back in the loft to finish my post. Which leads me to my next point.

The biggest change in the Domaining world in 2009 isn’t actually in the Domaining world at all, but it is going to change our industry forever – and that change is Twitter. Twitter has taken the Internet by force in a way that MySpace and Facebook have yet to accomplish.

Here’s a great example. The earthquake that just happened is nowhere to be found on CNN, Google, or any LA news website. There were over 1,000 Tweets about it on Twitter just two minutes after the quake hit! I searched everywhere online and Twitter was the only place I could find information about the quake and not just information, but thousands of first-hand accounts from Los Angeles to San Diego. In fact – I even started to discuss the quake with someone in Montreal!

Twitter is changing the way we communicate as well as how news and information is disseminated online. Domainers who embrace this new medium will find a whole new world and incredible potential to grow their business.

I have a lot more to say but I’ll save it for the coming months. For now I’m focusing on continuing to develop some of the great domains I have purchased over the past few years along with selling some of my Domains that are now at a point where they have traffic, revenue and real value. Like the name of this blog implies – it’s all about Domain Investing, and in 2009 it is more important than ever that you make sure you are actively investing in Domain names, rather than just collecting them.

Thanks for reading and stay safe Southern Californians!

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