Friday, September 19, 2008

Free Domains a Complete Flop

So, in my continuing attempts to sell some of my domain names, I've tried three new (and completely unsuccessful) approaches:

1. Giving away domain names in return for someone giving me the one true sales solution. (Two people did give interesting replies -- essentially suggesting that I manually try to sell the domains to end users.) However, neither expert was interested in the domains I was giving away. (Thanks Andy, though, for your kind words.)
2. I tried selling on DigitalPoint's Buy/Sell/Trade forum. No nibbles, even at the bargain basement price of $8.
3. I approached Rick Latona about selling and He politely declined -- though whether it was because he didn't like the names, or because he thought my price was too high, I'm not sure.

Which leaves me, perhaps, slightly wiser and slightly disappointed. Next up: contacting end users.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Giving Away 5 Commercial Generic .COM Names

During the year and a half that I have been experimenting with domaining, I have developed a portfolio of about 400 names. The best names in my portfolio are quite good, and pay for themselves and a good portion of the rest of the portfolio. The worst of those names have expired (or are expiring). The remainder (which make up the bulk of my portfolio) is made up of what I consider to be 2nd-tier names. These are largely ".com" domain names, made up of 2 commercial keywords, and separated by a dash.

Monetization options for these 2nd-tier domains are limited:
  1. I can park them -- although only a handful pay their own registration fees
  2. I can develop them myself (see, for example,, which is time and money-intensive;
  3. I can outsource their development to a company like (see this post);
  4. I can sell them
While I cannot claim to be an expert in acquiring domain names, I can certainly claim to be a complete novice at selling them. I'm hoping that the folks that read this post are considerably more experienced in that area than I am. To that end, I am going to give away 5 domains to readers that can help me figure out how to sell some of my other 2nd tier names.

The following 5 names are representative of the quality of the bulk of my portfolio.

I will give these names away to 5 people that tell me useful things I don't already know about selling domains. This decision will be purely subjective -- but I'm serious about giving these away to people that provide truly useful information. (You need to supply a GoDaddy account that I can push these names to -- one name per person.)

This might include:
  • Contact information for a good domain mailing list that promotes these sorts of names
  • Contact information of a person or company that buys these sorts of names in bulk, for a substantial multiple of the reg fee
  • Contact information for services (or qualified individuals) that will find and approach end user buyers in return for a percentage of the sales price
  • Other techniques that you've found to be genuinely useful

It's important to me that you have actually had experience with the person, service or company that you submit. (Simply sending me a list of all the domain mailing lists would not be terribly helpful, for example.)

Thank you for taking the time to read this far. You're welcome to leave tips in the comments (please leave contact info) or email them to me at madbury at gmail daught kom. (Spell that phonetically, of course.)

Quick Review of

Rick Latona launched a month or so ago, to provide a way for domainers to build natural search engine traffic to their 2nd-tier domains. (ie Domains that are built on strong commercial keywords, but that don't get substantial type-in traffic.)

As the vast majority of my domains fall into this category, I thought I'd give the service a spin. I plunked down $500 to have AEIOU build two websites for me, on and

About 2 weeks later, the domains were active, and after about a month, is now the top result on for the term "cross country skis". (It has bounced in and out of this position once or twice, so who knows how stable that position is at this point.)

At current traffic levels it would take about 6 years to pay off development costs, but given this initial success it may be worthwhile to build out more content so that the site ranks better over time.

So, if you have strong commercial 2-3 word domains with dashes that aren't monetizing well on type-in traffic, you might want to give AEIOU a try and see what happens.