Success comes to those with the right name. In America, you’re sure to have doors opened for you if your surnamed Walton (of the Walmart fame), Koch (Koch Industries) or Mars (think Snickers and M&M’s), names that are synonymous with “old rich”. But the name game means so much more today in the wake of the dotcom era. Having the right name attached to the dotcom means having the right address. It means higher rankings in the search engines; it means potential customers finding your website easily and quickly. Website traffic equals business that translates to income. This is undeniable; this is what the Internet brings.
Now imagine for example you are opening a real estate business in say the French Riviera. Naturally you want to put-up a website that will advertise your business to potential customers from the UK, because you know for a fact that the French Riviera is a favored destination for British retirees and vacationers. It would be lovely if you’re website’s name is rivieraproperties.com or estatedefrance.com or something to that effect. Imagine your frustration that when you search for those domain names they are already taken! You can do two things: either buy back the domain name from whoever has it (I tell you it’s not cheap) or choose another less conspicuous domain name. If you’re business has a lot of growth potential, you will want to get that domain name no matter the price!
This Internet “name game” has in fact become a fast growing niche for online income. There is even a term created for people who buy generic domain names, sit on them, and collect them like Savings Bonds, Mineral Rights on Property or real estate: “domain investors” or “domainers”. Ever heard of Rick Schwartz who purchased men.com at $15,000 and sold it later at $1.32M? He also sold escore.com at $100,000 to testing giant Kaplan, earning him an enormous profit.
Rick Schwartz’s case maybe the exception rather than the rule. Domain investors these days recommend buying generic domain names at a good price (depends really how you define good), in topics or areas that you are interested or even passionate about and building them out, driving strong traffic to the site. This way your domain name will accumulate value over time, attract more buyers not only “domain speculators”. Generic, cheap sites are available from a number of providers like Go Daddy or Sedo. They can also facilitate sales of domains.
A note of caution however, domain investing is not an easy, quick way to earn money for most people. Seasoned domainers advise to think of domain names as stocks that can lose or accumulate value over time.