Why I Told Someone Not To Become A Domainer Last Week

I got a very nice email early last week from someone who had discovered my blog and wanted to get started investing in domains. He had read some of the articles that I had written about not rushing in and taking time to learn the business and wanted to hop on a call to discuss more.

When we got on the phone, the person told me about how he had lost his job and was looking for a way to generate some income. He wanted to do something that would start making him money in 1-2 months. Most of his savings had been spent and he was getting ready to put the last of it into domain names.

After explaining his situation he went on to discuss how he had become inspired by my blog and a few others and wanted to get started. This is where I stopped him, it wasn’t the right fit, it’s not the right way to get started, so I told him – “I would not recommend Domaining as a path for you right now.”

I explained that Domain Investing is great for people that already have a stable income source, have money to invest, and are looking for options outside of the stock market. While you can definitely build-up an incredible business in the space, a few months won’t cut it and depending on your budget it can take years to learn the important lessons you need to make money in the space.

I wasn’t trying to crush a dream here, or paint a negative picture about Domaining, instead I wanted to be completely honest. It can be all too easy for people to look at a list of domain sales and think, “I can buy a bunch of domains, sell them for a huge profit, and cash in!” In fact, I think it is this path that most of us take when entering the space. I personally bought over 1,000 domains when I started and dropped over 600 my first year.

There’s a learning curve and I tell anyone that wants to get involved in the space that it won’t happen overnight, it’s not a great way to get rich quickly, but the potential is incredible, if you do it right. The thing is, as I said above, most of us don’t do it right in the beginning which means burning through hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars learning the business.

If you have money to invest and are looking for a way to make more money that you would in the stock market domain names offer that opportunity. However, just like investing in the stock market or real estate, you have to take the time to learn. My best advice to anyone that wants to get started is to read as much as they can and then go to a conference and begin networking. Don’t buy a million names, just learn and begin forming a proven strategy that you yourself want to follow.

So what was the end result of my call? I recommended that the caller finds a job and gets back on their feet. During this time they can still read all about Domaining, follow case studies, watch interviews on sites like DomainSherpa, and really get some greater depth in the space.

Then, when they have gotten to a comfortable place financially and have additional money that they want to invest, then they’ll be ready. At the end of the day I feel like I probably saved that guy thousands of dollars. To many people this might be a drop in the bucket but to him this was the rest of his life savings.

I love Domaining and am unbelievably proud of building a success business in the space. I love inspiring new investors and teaching people what I have learned. At the same time, I think we all have the responsibility of being realistic with people and making sure they understand all the risks associated with this business and the incredible learning curve that most people have to go through.

In my book (Domain Investing Handbook) I make this point resoundingly clear right-away. Let’s face it, most Domain Investors start-out as Domain Collectors, there’s nothing wrong with this, but make sure you’re realistic with yourself and your expectations. Domaining is not a get-rich-quick scheme, it is a complex investment strategy, and in my opinion, the best way to own one of the most valuable asset classes on the planet. You can build-up a five,  or six-figure income with Domaining but you have to do it the right way, and at the right point in your life.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • BrazilBrazilBrazil January 25, 2012, 8:46 am

    Excellent article. Right on the button.

  • steve January 25, 2012, 11:10 am

    You buy a great domain and develop it.   Then after 3 years you will have enough money to buy another.
    So after 20 years you will be set.  If you don’t know php or java, c# etc and database programming your better not trying.

  • Taylor Brown January 25, 2012, 11:22 am

    Morgan, you definitely told him the right thing.  I can attest to this as someone who started from a similar situation.  I quit my previous position in mid-2009 and started developing domains on my own.  I had a good bit of experience in the industry, having been the senior SEM manager for a large lead generation company, and it still took me much longer than I anticipated to build a successful business that paid the bills.  There was SO much I didn’t know.  Trying to build a biz in this industry straight off your savings is probably not the smartest idea (unless you have a LOT of savings). It’s tough work and takes time.  It’s too bad that there are so many “gurus” out there making people think otherwise.

  • Thebullets Scream January 28, 2012, 6:25 am

    Here’s the test we give our clients who want our services, some of whom are jobless, or on their last leg.  If you can’t afford to pay $500 a month for three months to pay for five hours of hands-on consultation in the domaining industry, then you aren’t ready to get into domain investing. 

    However, I’d recommend anyone trying to get into this business with limited funds, to first buy an ebook on domaining to get the “basics”.  There are a few great domaining ebooks, but I’ll support the “Domain Investing Handbook” as a first purchase for beginners. 

    Biggest warning I tell all my clients (most who listen, but those who don’t, come crying back and lamenting “I just got all caught up in a phrase I thought would be great, so I bought the domain in 25 different extensions and singular/plural”. I’ve seen clients who’ve bought over 200 domains in one day with this “thought” in mind.


    Morgan provides a lot of amazing free information for anyone wishing to get into this business, but like any business, don’t come into it wearing sandals and having only $35.87 in your bank account.  UNLESS, you’ve been tutored by a domain professional like Morgan, or any one of several other domain experts, such as Adam Strong, Elliot Silver, Stephen Douglas, Andrew Allemann, and a few others.

    Good article, Morgan. The more I read your articles, the more I’m impressed.


    Domain Expert and Investor from 1995.

  • Darlington October 18, 2012, 4:51 pm

    Morgan, I think it was the best advice you gave to him. Although domain investing is a lucrative business but it requires capital like every other business and more importantly time to understand the domain market. So he has to spend his time to learn on how to buy a domain and also how to sell. Like Adam Dick said buying is the easy part, selling a domain is where 95% of the work lies..

  • Ezekiel May 10, 2013, 4:37 am

    I like this.

  • Jones April 3, 2014, 2:46 am

    I think everybody who want to enter this business need to read this post.

    I lose few hundred in this business when try it for last 2 months and just like you said, “You can build-up a five, or six-figure income with Domaining but you have to do it the right way, and at the right point in your life.”

    Need to learn more for few months and hope I can gain profit when re-entering this business.


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