These top ten domaining tips may save you from some of the most common newbie mistakes and bring you extra insight into an ever-changing and often confusing industry that’s easy for you and your money to get lost in!
#1 Check for TM issues.
This seems to be something newbie domainers always seem to forget about, but it couldn’t be more important. Always check if a domain you’re about to register or by has any possible TM issues.
If you’re in the UK use; http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/tmtext.htm
If you’re in the US; http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/ (Use TESS)
This will help you avoid issues further down the line, in the end it’s your choice.
#2 Do your homework.
It always pays to do some basic research on your domain to see if it has potential end-user value, or just resale value. Use tools like Estibot http://estibot.com and Google’s adwords tool. http://adwords.google.com and to get an indication of value and potential traffic & keyword popularity. Keep in mind that Estibot valuations are by no-means a bottom-line value, use it as a rough guide. It’s also a good idea to check out sales data for similar domain names sold previously.
You should also check the wayback archive http://web.archive.org to see what the domain was previously used for, just in case of any Google indexing issues.
#3 PR means nothing to most end-users.
If your looking to sell on your domain to an end-user it’s important to remember that to most of them, PR and domain authority means absolutely nothing. The majority of end-users will either develop a brand from scratch around a domain, or add it to their existing brand and might not even know what PR or DA even is. So don’t be pressured into buying unsaleable junk with PR, it’ll just be a gimmick to them.
#4 Don’t waste traffic.
Might be an obvious one, but don’t let any traffic you might be getting to your domain go to waste. Monetize your domain by parking it, else you could be wasting valuable clicks which could earn you money! Even if you don’t get clicks, the traffic stats will still be valuable.
#5 CCtld’s, aim local.
If you’ve bought a CCtld domain, chances are it won’t be much use to the .com or .net owners or anyone who isn’t from that country. Try to target local end-users as most locally based businesses LOVE to use their CCtld, some even turn their noses up at the chance to own the .com but do your homework and find out what extensions local businesses prefer to use.
#6 Marketplace taboo
You won’t ever get end-user pricing on domainer marketplace forums, save posting on those for your quick flips as it will may alienate potential end-users if they google your domain and see it listed on domainer forums. Instead list your domain on marketplaces like Sedo or Afternic that are favoured haunts of potential end-users.
#7 Use coupons!
Might be obvious, but whenever possible use a registrar that offers coupons for registrations and for the love of god, avoid places like 1and1!
#8 Transfer restrictions
Remember that some registrars, like GoDaddy place transfer restrictions for a certain length of time, in GoDaddy’s case, 30 days and this also applies to account changes (pushes) but the vast majority of registrars allow free, unrestricted pushes between internal accounts (including GoDaddy) so be sure to check the small print!
#9 Develop for higher resale value
If you want to resell your domain to other domainers and web developers it’s worth considering developing your domain to start bringing in traffic, or even revenue. Even a fairly new site will be more valuable than a stand-alone domain and can be resold quite quickly, even with only a month or so worth of stats.
#10 Google isn’t the only search engine
This is something rather obvious but surprisingly, often overlooked by many domainers looking to sell on to end-users, just keep in mind that Google isn’t the only search engine out there. Not every search engine will index the same thing and rankings will be completely different. Use this to your advantage and set aside any prejudices you might have against those search engines.
So there you have it, hopefully these tips will both save and earn you money, and maybe even some rather red cheeks too. Good luck out there!