This is a continuation of articles by David Cross on how to earn with an internet business.
The little doggy in question cost only $10 but it’s worth more. Much more. In fact it’s for sale for $5,000.
How Much Is A Domain Name Worth?
If you’re starting a business and must have a specific domain name, it’s worth remembering the domain name matters less than you may think. Strong marketing matters much more than anything else in driving sales.
It’s possible to obtain domains immediately or over time (in my case davidcross.com took 18 months to obtain and my youngest daughter’s first name -dot-com almost 2 years). With patience you can wait and often acquire the domain you want. Companies like GoDaddy have their domain back order service for less than $20 allows you to put a hold on the domain. I’ve acquired a couple of domains this way.
But is it worth it to you? And would any other doggy work just as well?
I’ve bought, exchanged, traded and sold domain names for over 18 years now and I am asked all the while how much you should pay for a domain name.
Domain names provide a simple way for people to reach Internet sites rather than typing in the 12 digit numeric “IP” address. For example, google.com is a domain name. So is garyascott.com and ecuadorliving.com.
As with anything, a domain name is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.
If the domain name you want is unregistered and available, it’s a cinch to register it for about $10 a year.
Is the domain you want is available? How would you tell?
- Is the domain being used? Type the domain into your web browser. (for example: www.domainyouwant.com). Does it show-up?
- Is there a note saying, “This domain is for sale”?
- Who owns the domain name? Do a whois lookup. A what?! A whois lookup will tell you the owner on record for the domain name. Search Google or Yahoo for whois and by using http://www.whois.net/. Enter the domain name in question. The whois lookup also normally tells you when the domain was registered. (Make a note of this.)
- Is there SEO value to the domain? Use http://www.seoprofiler.com/analyze/ or http://www.webstatsdomain.com/ to check if there is any inherent value to the domain in terms of back links or keywords or Google rankings. Then perform a links check at Google by entering : links:www.domainyouwant.com . Check the number of pages in Google’s index for that domain by entering in Google’s search box: site: www.domainyouwant.com
- Is there a spam problem with the domain? Sometimes domains are abandoned or owners cease using the domain for past indiscretions or spam complaints against them. A few free tools you can use include http://www.sorbs.net/lookup.shtml or http://www.dnsbl.info/dnsbl-database-check.php. DNS Stuff’s must be paid for by is another useful tool http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools
- Is it available? Write to the domain owner. It’s usually good to write from a GMail or similar account so that savvy owners don’t connect you to the domain you are trying to obtain. Write the domain owner and ask whether they’re using or intending to use the domain and whether they’d consider selling it.
- Is the owner willing to sell? Know in advance what you are willing to pay. It may be a matter of negotiation or there may be a broker involved. Working with a broker may be a doubled edged sword. On one hand this can be helpful as the broker can help act as intermediary if a domain owner seems inflexible. On the other hand, the broker wants a cut.
- How to protect yourself? If you’re using a reputable domain broker, it’s normally safe to conduct the transaction. If you are dealing with an owner especially one located outside of your country, it could be wise to use an escrow company. This will insure that the domain is available and work to protect both parties. (I would not just send money in the hope of a domain being released.)
Domain names are just one aspect of running your online business. We’ll talk about this in next week’s article.