Why I Quit Domaining

05 Nov

Why I Quit Domaining

Coming from me, this isn’t news. I’m not a major player that owns thousands of domains or even a few really good ones. Instead, I’m someone who *used* to make a good amount of money from the domaining industry.

It was never enough to quit working, but it provided for some nice vacations and a few extra items around the house.

But as I dove deeper into the realm of domains and tried to expand on the number of domains I could own, an evolution happened. People were starting to use the web in a smarter way.

What do I mean by this?

There was a time when looking for a product to buy, you would start at Google.

Today, you start with Amazon. Why? Because at Amazon, you can read reviews, get the best pricing, compare shipping and you know that Amazon is 100% dedicated to customer service.

Local classifieds? You head to yourcityname.Craigslist.org.

Got some junk to sell? – you put it on ebay.

Point is, if you ask someone who’s never used the internet, they would have no clue what ebay is. To those of us who use it everyday, ebay is a shopping experience.

Yes, I know there are some brands where the domain name matches up exactly with what they provide. But more times than not, it’s the efforts of building a brand that in turn become the experience of the brand, which is the very definition of what branding is.

Spinach.com is currently on the market for $150,000. Does that make sense for someone like me to buy it? Most likely not. If you are a major food producer like Birds Eye, then it might make sense to acquire that domain.

The days of just buying a domain and parking it to make up your ROI are just about over.

I used to game the system for thousands every month (I’ll do a step by step on this in the future).

Too much money is in Search – brands have recognized the importance of having someone watching their content performance.

Not enough opportunity – in order to justify the cost of a domain, you have to build a business around it. There are few domains that I have a legit business for – therefore, no need to acquire a domain.

Building a brand is more important than type in traffic.

This might hurt my domainer friends, but just hear me out before you bash me.

I agree 100% that type-in traffic is the best and most targeted traffic found on the web. But how many times is that same person going to type in “rootbeer.com” before realizing that it’s always going to be the A&W brand?

We have been trained to choose the brand name over an unknown in almost all cases. This is the main reason why domaining is not for everyone. You have to be able to hold onto those domains for the right buyer and situation to come along. There are few who can do that, but they do it very well and own all of the best dot coms out there.

The rest of us? Well, we just have to collect our pigeon shit and move on!

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Get his thoughts at his blog (www.ranksurge.com) or follow him on Twitter (@semconsulting) G+ (https://plus.google.com/+PaulBliss3)


  1. Gerald B | November 6, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I’ll tell ya Paul… 80+% of the keywords I CAN see from search (meaning of the non-“Not Provided” variety) are brand words associated with the money site. That’s just how it goes. BUT… earning incremental clickthrough and incremental conversion DOES involve a portfolio of creative methods and I’m not prepared to toss away a couple percentage points a year on a high margin sale. So, right now, I’m only ADDING to the portfolio of methods. I’m not prepared to trim ANY of them off atm.

    I can see if your time/assets are being invested in more lucrative pursuits. As a very vertically oriented marketer I don’t have that luxury of saying, “Today I’m no longer in wuzzits, I’m now in widgets.” For those of us who ARE very veritcally aligned… I’m of the opinion some of the tactics of old still have some yield in them. And a few of them have a LOT of yield left in them. It’s like a production curve on an oil well. At some point it’s better to simply stop pumping, shut the well in and call it a day. BUT there may come a day when the price of what’s down in that hole is economically viable again. I’d prefer to think that’s what we’re looking at. These domain names are long-hold assets and have a lot of mileage in them. Kind of like land… they’re not making MORE of it 🙂

  2. Justin MacDonald | November 8, 2014 at 10:08 am

    You bring up some great points that I hadn’t really thought of before. I think that now you have to target products that don’t have a brand associated with them. Most people search the web for self help ideas, which may be the way to go. Thanks for the article Paul!

  3. Scott @ St. Louis SEO | July 6, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Was always interested but never got involved…

  4. Cedric Liem | October 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Completely agree with you. Branding is more important. If you can brand your company, it generally doesn’t matter what the name is as long as it’s not offensive. Coke, McDonald’s, IKEA, Kleenex, Gilette, etc, don’t have any part of their name related to the product or service they sell. In the end, everyone associates the product with their brand.

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