What’s the one thing you wish you knew about domain investing before you started?

Domain Investing lessons learned

Ah regrets, I mean “lessons learned” – an important step in anyone’s journey to doing anything that actually works. While it would be great to say that every domain investor instantly knew the right domains to buy, the reality is, most of us didn’t, and so we learned the hard way.

While I said regrets above, that’s really too harsh since you shouldn’t regret things you learned that helped you get to where you are today. So let’s just call it “domain investing lessons learned at the school of hard knocks.”

For me, this lesson was pretty simple but very powerful. I’ll share it below so it doesn’t blend in with everything else. The one thing I wish I knew about domain investing before I started is:

Don’t waste time hand-registering a bunch of domains, buy two-word .COMs off the drops.

And if I had to share a second lesson it would be:

Go to domain conferences and talk with people way more successful than you are…you might learn a thing or two.

Okay, so I shared two things, now you only have to share one, but if you want to share two, be my guest. What are one (or two) things you wish you knew about domain investing before your started?

As usual – I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 23 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy September 10, 2019, 7:24 pm

    Agree on the reg fee names, have wasted time on that before. Ditto for anything that is a technology or a trend.

    Wonder how many NTLD investors will now be willing to admit that area is a bad place to invest in?

  • Snoopy September 10, 2019, 7:25 pm

    The other one is cctlds, huge waste of time and money.

    • Dave September 15, 2019, 7:04 pm

      I’m sorry Snoopy but you are so wrong on this. .co.uk, .de and .com.au especially have been strong for many years. I expect to see .co.za grow in the near future too.

      • Samit September 15, 2019, 8:16 pm

        He’s wrong on a lot of things, ccTLDs are doing fine without naysayers, no point in trying to convince someone with blinders on.

  • Matt September 10, 2019, 7:41 pm

    My advice to my younger self would be take more risks. If the strategy is working, just scale it up.

    My advice to Snoopy is move on and stop going on about nTLDs and cctlds just because you have failed with them and/or don’t like them… But there are people making money with both.

  • Daniel September 10, 2019, 7:54 pm

    Best advice for starters

    Dont buy anything until you’ve done a month of industry research. Invest in domain learning by watching paid courses, or by listening to carious pod casts. Dont hand reg anything, buy from auctions or contact existing domain owners and see if they are looming to sell more existing valuable names you can afford.

    Buying anything other than .com will take a long time to see a return. So stick to .com, and have a ton of patience.

  • Undaunt September 10, 2019, 8:05 pm

    Not overpaying for names at auctions.

    Do my research before buying or hand registering.

  • Ravi September 10, 2019, 8:42 pm

    Hi Morgan…

    That is good to think back on our decisions..

    I wish I knew it takes time and money to earn money..

    second one would be… you need to depend more on research (data/stats) and less on liking the name… (liking usually leads impulse buying/registering)


  • Ravi September 10, 2019, 9:01 pm

    Hi Morgan…

    After commenting on this post I went to suggested articles >>

    It is simple and very valuable for beginners…Morgan it will be great if you revisit the topic with more points which you may faced during these years and with elaborative examples.

    definitely useful content it is.


  • Bobby September 10, 2019, 9:23 pm

    Agree – “don’t waste time hand-registering a BUNCH of domains.”
    However, the King still hand regs domain names all of the Time and he is one of the best in the game.
    BUT, he has the EXPERIENCE and the $$$$$ to do it.
    Agreed the odds are against you for scoring a Sale doing hand regs but it can and does happen.

    There is always opportunity in this game due to Evolutionary factors: the rise of new technology, new terminology, new trends, catchphrases, pop-culture references, etc.

    The wise will be patient and sponge off the Knowledge of Successful people that made it in the domain racket.

    • Ethan September 10, 2019, 10:11 pm

      “There is always opportunity in this game due to Evolutionary factors: the rise of new technology, new terminology, new trends, catchphrases, pop-culture references, etc.”

      Agreed. That’s one of the factors that hand-regs/new-regs still work.

      • Bob Parry September 11, 2019, 1:50 am

        Yes, I agree with your comment after my own extensive research, especially when these best two-word .COMs are really hard to find or just too expensive to purchase from expired auctions or many of these are just either outdated or meaningless so extremely difficult to sell at a real profit. I did manage to hand-register some really good aged .COMs off the drops such as CallCop.com, RiskAccess.com, Rosaby.com, Vineby.com, etc. Again, I do think it is a huge waste of time & money to buy or register such crap domains without proper research first!

    • Snoopy September 10, 2019, 11:39 pm

      Domainking is one of the best. If you are copying though do you know how many of those hand reges after 1999 has he sold?

      Just because a well known domainer spends time doing something doesn’t mean it is a profitable idea or that it is anything more than a gamble, especially when their revenue comes from a completely different type of domain (ie premium names). Ditto for Mike Berkins and new tlds or Mike Mann and .co.

  • Michael September 10, 2019, 10:32 pm

    1. Quality over quantity.
    2. Have patience. Don’t flip to other domainers right away unless you are really good at it.

  • bdsmStore.com September 10, 2019, 10:50 pm

    Don’t sell your good domains.
    Be patient, keep them for the long term.

  • BullS September 10, 2019, 11:47 pm

    I hand reg my domains using the GD 99 cent coupons and doing real well…like squarely.com

    All domains started from hand reg…chicken or the egg?

  • John September 11, 2019, 5:51 am

    How to speak Chinese

  • Michael GDD September 11, 2019, 6:12 am

    Keep to yourself.

  • Mark Thorpe September 11, 2019, 6:36 am

    Buy more domains that end-users want, than what you want.

  • Bar September 11, 2019, 8:56 am

    Plain and simple – how to value a domain name.

    I know how to do that now, thanks to DNAcademy, DomainSherpa, and personal experience.

    It’s really a core skill to domain investing and most new domainers have no idea how to do it. Prices are just kind of made up out of thin air.

    Knowing the difference between a $10, $1,000, and $100,000+ name is critical to knowing where to spend your investment money.

  • Brian Cowan September 11, 2019, 10:52 am

    Outbounding changes the position of strength, let a buyer come to you.

  • Bob Hawkes September 13, 2019, 8:27 am

    I will do two. Really have started using NameBio a lot and in sophisticated ways from day one, plus…

    I wish that even earlier I had concentrated on the idea of quantitative probability of sale in terms of costs. What is the best estimate probability (p) that this domain name will sell in the next year and at what net return (R) , and how does R*p that compare to my annual holding cost C. I see so many overlook the key issue of probability of sale, even smart long term investors who instinctively make the right decisions.


  • DK September 15, 2019, 3:31 pm

    2.5 points
    I should have started learning earlier, i got into domain in 2007 but didnt start real investing till 2015. I did buy bunch of domains in 2007, but it was crap, i did well on company brand so while didnt make money in domain, i indirectly benefited from domain choice. Instead of buying 1000 domains in 2007, i should have gone to a conference and leared from the pros there. Since it was pre domain sherpa and most blogs were still inactive.
    Second time i got in, it was easy to get information and became easy to actually learn. I also did a number of conferences, and those were very helpful directly and indirectly. Thats first lesson.

    Second point was not to start with gtld, i started with .nyc, and while it hasn’t done horrible. The money and energy i had invested in .nyc would have been much better invested in .com on after market. Conferences helped me to understand that, and gave me reality check i needed.

    My .5 cents, money make money. Do your research, dont be afraid to invest money if metric make sense. Dont go with your gut, until you have had experience. Gut doesnt know until you had few years few experience. I didnt make any major mistake on this point, but i did few mis stumbles early on.

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