It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything meaningful on any subject, let alone domaining. So where am I?
At one time, I would have categorized myself as a semi-pro domainer. At my peak, I owned around 2300 domains and was earning a healthy multiple in revenue – primarily from parking. The bulk of my holdings were one and two word dictionary terms, short and brandable names, and quite a few that centered around my areas of expertise.
I was in a classic 80-20 situation with 80% of my revenues coming from about 20% of my domains (actually closer to 12%).
In 2008, I started getting the sense that the shit was going to hit the fan with the economy. No real knowledge other than a gut feeling; inquiries to buy domains were down dramatically, I had relatives who thought they’d hit the lottery with real estate valuations – including a couple who succumbed to refinancing and taking out some profits on the valuation increases (yeah, they got burned). Things just didn’t add up.
Having a career I enjoy on most days, running the web development side of a small ad agency, I started thinking that stock piling some liquidity might be a pretty solid investment for in the near term. And seriously, trying to manage that many domains on evenings and weekends with two toddlers running around is not an easy task without serious automation. A chance conversation on a golf course led to an offer to acquire roughly 90% of my domains in a deal that closed in October 2008. If I had a crystal ball, I couldn’t have picked a better time to unload.
I now hold about 165 domains and plan on whittling down the list to around 100 by the end of the year. In the transaction, I held back about 30 of my top performing names and have started to enjoy the profits rather than continuous reinvestment. I’ve also spent time on some of my sentimental domains, developing the sites around them I envisioned when I purchased them in the first place.
I still think domaining is a solid investment, but you’ve got to hustle.
p.s. I promise to blog more, including publishing my available-to-register domain lists which were fairly popular.