There’s a hidden world just beneath the surface of our own. In it, entrepreneurs buy, sell and trade domain names, websites, and every flavor of online asset in existence.
This subterranean marketplace is unknown except to those who take part in its byzantine activities, where small fortunes are made and lost every passing hour.
Make Money Selling Websites and Domain Names
Far from being a get-rich-quick scheme or scam of any kind, investing in online assets like domain names and entire websites can turn into a full-time job for those who enjoy it and are willing to learn its idiosyncrasies.
Here are a few of the ways people make passive and active incomes via online asset dealing.
Domain names: It takes a while to build up a profitable domain name portfolio, and successful traders will tell you that it’s best to specialize in one or at most two niches.
For starters, you’ll want to spend time at one of the low-cost name brokers like Namecheap.com, Name.com, GoDaddy.com, or Domain.com.
Look for names within a niche you know.
For example, if finance is your thing, make a quick list of “positive” financial terms like, “profit, invest, sale, margin, gain, asset, share, investment” and others.
Search out websites that are available and contain the terms on your list. You’ll see endless variations like “profitsy.com,” “share-plus.com,” and “invisible.com.” Domain/site name traders aren’t put off by unusual suffixes as long as the main idea gets across.
A common guide for traders is to acquire names that don’t have dashes, are strictly “dot coms,” and are easy to spell and remember.
Foreign terms, tricky spelling and dashes are factors to screen out.
So if you’re thinking about buying a few marketable names in the sports apparel niche, gravitate toward names like “footballwear,” “sportsgarb,” and “activeclothes,” (all dot-coms of course), rather than “football-wear.net,” “sportzzgarbb,” or “aktiv-cloz.org.”
The idea is to have your main idea front and center, simply spelled, and uncluttered with strange punctuation.
After building up a small inventory of marketable names in your preferred niche, post them for sale on major sites like GoDaddy, Sedo, AfterNic, Flippa and hundreds of other domain name auction sites.
Starting and running a domain name brokerage/flipping business is simple but time consuming.
Be ready to spend at least 10 hours per week for the first several months as you build up your stock and learn the ways of the marketplace.
Stick with very inexpensive names for the first year, until you have made several profitable sales and have a solid feel for what works and what doesn’t.
Website buying and selling: Some people buy small homes, fix them up, and then resell them for a profit. The online version of that activity is website flipping. However, for those who are willing to keep a website and run it themselves, the income stream is still virtually passive, and can be quite rewarding. But if you’re looking to purchase a site, fix it up and resell it, here are some resources/ideas:
- Check out sites like Bizbuysell.com, FlippingEnterprises.com, WebsiteBroker.com and Flippa.com for candidates that might fit your style of website acquisition. Be prepared to do plenty of due diligence before plunking down $500 or much more for a website purchase.
- In the beginning, it helps to stick with websites that offer evergreen information, services or products. Clothing, jewelry, insurance, beauty products/information, sports-focused goods, and other universally sought products are a smart place to start.
- Try to purchase sites that you are actually interested in. You’ll have a lot more fun, and work more efficiently, if you stick with what you already know or like. Sports enthusiasts might consider a sporting apparel or gaming site, while coin collectors could excel as owners of a precious metals or investment website.
- Look carefully for so-called “upside potential.” These are areas of the site that need improvement, like ad placement, content blogs, social media connections, shopping carts and more.
Look at prospective website acquisitions as if they were small, fixer-upper homes and ask yourself some of the same questions the house flipper would: is there room for improvement, can I make the improvements without spending a fortune, will it be possible to resell after I “fix it up,” and how long will it be before I can make money on my investment.
Should You Become a Site or Name Broker?
Expect to spend at least a couple of months learning the trade whatever you choose. Most name brokers spend about 3 months building up their inventory before they see a profit, while talented and dedicated website traders can get up and running in a few weeks.
Don’t be afraid of hanging on to a website that particularly strikes your imagination and aligns with your own interests. There’s no need to sell every site your buy. Staying on and running a site that interests you can be a smart way to earn a solid profit doing what your really enjoy.
Domain name traders tend to love what they do. If the daily back-and-forth, buying-and-selling of site/domain names is your cup of tea, there’s plenty of money to be make in this strange but potentially profitable niche.