The internet is reminiscent of the Industrial Age, ushering in its avalanche of unique opportunities. created a new genre of companies employing millions, making sincere social impact, and having huge economic significance. The boom may be over, but the effects remain with us.
The potential for making money on the internet remains almost immeasurable. Startups and unicorns make all the headlines, but there are numerous opportunities for anyone willing to learn and put in the needed work to earn a bit more. Some familiarity with a computer or even mobile phone (which are now ubiquitous) is the basic requirement.
To start a modest venture and make a living or at least extra income on the side, one can consider some realistic options in today’s so-called app economy. Many of these are viable options but one of the oft-overlooked ones is domain flipping. The term itself may be unfamiliar, but the idea is not.
Understand What Domain Flipping Is
According to hover.com, “Domain flipping is the process of purchasing a domain name with the intent of quickly selling it at a significantly higher cost.“ Domainflippingguide.org clarifies this further, “I have already said many times here that flipping simply means buying something at a lower price and then selling it at a higher price. As a result, you can earn a profit.”
To whet your appetite, consider the possibility of an extra $17,000 in the next six months. And that’s being modest if you consider these figures from some key domain name trades:
Casino.com at a price of $5.5 million
Diamond.com for $7.5 million
Porn.com for $9.5 million
Hotels.com for $11 million
Sex.com for $14 million
Internet.com for $18 million
Privatejet.com for $30.18 million
Insurance.com for $35.6 million
CarInsurance.com for $49.7 million
And the biggest of them all, LasVegas.com for $90,000,000
So domain flipping is not absolutely different from buying stocks for a low price and selling high, or buying a house at one price and selling it for much higher. In a sense, domain flipping is speculation.
What You Need To Know
The barrier for entry is really low. Simply hop on your computer and start. A .com domain costs around $10 to buy. You now have to choose a domain name with certain characteristics. This is mostly subjective and requires keen observation to sense what someone somewhere might want as a domain name.
Some key things to know include:
Find a domain with a popular keyword that will interest buyers
Choose domain names with a .com extension. Their popularity works in their favour and people think of them first when considering domains to buy.
Sell what the market is buying.
With the growing popularity of ngTLDs (non generic Top-Level Domains) and ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level Domains) like .xyz, .club, .blog, .io (Indian Ocean), .tv (Tuvalu), .dj (Djibouti), one might well consider the potential of such domains and invest in them.
Choose a short domain name
Short always works. Short domains are quite easy to remember and websites love to be remembered by their visitors for as long as possible.
Pick domain names that are as specific as possible
Keywords matter and they play a key role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a concept you might be familiar with.
Pick aged domain names or expired domains
If they have been used by businesses, the potential for backlinks and traffic is high. This improves their marketability and value. Such domains with excellent SEO metrics can be found on BuycomDomain.com (which recently have ceased offering their free service) and FreshDrop (which BuycomDomain now recommends).
An added advantage of this online tool is that you can search for domains based on specific metrics as you require. Typical metrics include: Character Length, Domain age, Page Rank, Backlinks, Class C IPs, Traffic, MajesticSEO Citation Flow, MajesticSEO Trust Flow, Pages Indexed, Moz Domain Authority, Moz Page Authority, Alexa Traffic Rank, Estibot Value (an estimate of how much, in US dollars, a domain name is worth), Days Left etc
Grab Domains First With Drop-Catching
Expired domains are highly sought after because simply put, they are more valuable. They likely have gained much traffic and the metrics described above can be quite good meaning the new owner isn’t exactly starting from scratch. Rather than seeing a domain and checking yourself when it is likely to expire, you can outsource the heavy-lifting to another site. This is called drop catching. Also called drop sniping, the way they work, these services help you secure a domain after it expires. Drop-catching is very different from registering expired or new domains, as it focuses principally on securing these domains once they are dropped from the registry. When a domain expires, it enters a Redemption Grace Period (RGP).
This period is an addition to ICANN’s Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) that allows a registrant to reclaim their domain name for a number of days after it expires. The length of time depends on the domain and ranges from 30 to 90 days.
This period is followed by a Redemption Period, when the owner may be asked to pay a fee to reactivate and re-register the domain. Registrars are required by ICANN to delete domain registrations once a second notice has been served and the RGP has elapsed.
The deletion phase spans 5 days, after which the domain is dropped from the ICANN database. Competition for domains begins once they are deleted. That’s what drop-catching services help you with. They possess the necessary hardware (servers), software and financial wherewithal to consistently beat individuals at this game.
Now that you have the domain registered on your behalf by the drop-catching service, you need to now sell your goods. If no one knows what you’ve stocked, they could not buy from you.
Simple steps here are:
Create a page that states in the clearest of terms what you sell. Nothing fancy. Basic is the key word.
List the domain you have for sale. Ensure that your contact details are conspicuous on the page.
It is usually recommended that you enable WHOIS privacy to hide your contact information from prying scammers. In this case, you will need to disable it to improve your chances of being contacted. If they cannot contact you, they cannot buy from you.
There are services that let you list your domain name for sale at your preferred price. They also let you consider offers from interested buyers. This gives your domain name more mileage in terms of those who might be interested. Such services include Afternic and Sedo.
You spent money acquiring this domain and want money in return. There is the likelihood of giving the domain and not getting your money. (Life happens!) In this case, a service like Escrow is here to help.
The buyer gets the domain, and more importantly, you get your money. Everyone stays happy.
The domain name business is very dynamic. To remain relevant, you must stay abreast with what the players are doing on various levels. Registries, registrars, and registrants like you are continuously taking steps that tilt the equation their way. Arm yourself with every bit of information (even if only remotely connected to domain names. A good place to get such info is https://www.openhost.co.nz). Study extensively. Keep a keen eye for detail. Let keywords matter to you. This is how you thrive in this business
Another key element in your arsenal is your ability to learn from successful domain flippers. They often share information via their writings, interviews and opinions online. They also drop huge hints that can be beneficial to most players. Note that you also are responsible for whatever actions you eventually take. The advice of other domain flippers should also pass through your own objective filter. It is very easy to lose money in this business and so researching extensively will make increase your chances of making a profit.
On a final note, does this look like something you could do to make extra income on the side? It sure does.
Some people actually do domain flipping as their full-time job. If it pays the bills, why not?
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