Are All Domain Extensions Created Equal?

15Are all domain extensions created equal?

A Short History of .com

Your domain is similar to the license plate on your car. You have to pay a fee and register it with a domain registrar like the DMV. It identifies you as the owner and determines where you are within the cyber space world. It expires within a set period of time, and you have the option to put it online or (park it) somewhere with your preferred web host.

Even after 30 years, the .com is one of the most sought after extensions. .com stands for commercial – initially intended for commercial organizations..org was originally meant to represent non-profit organizations, .net (stands for network) was supposed to indicate networking technologies operators. The (.com /.org /.net) distinction has taken on a whole new meaning and is now more unrestricted in its use than ever.

.com was one of the first top-level extensions on the internet and was directed and overseen by the U.S. Department of Defense. However, maintenance was done by SRI International (Stanford Research Institute) which created the Network Information Center. Their main purpose was to govern domain name allocations and provide a directory service. In 1993, the National Science Foundation took over and partnered with Network Solutions. They instituted the idea of charging an annual fee for those who wanted to register a domain name. Mainly because.com’s weren’t being used for any defense purposes. In its infancy, the fee was 50 dollars a year. 35.00 went to the National Science Foundation and 15.00 to the government. In 1997, The United States Department of Commerce took over these responsibilities. Internet operations today are now being overseen by VeriSign (which acquired Network Solutions).

Differences in domain extensions

These days, .com’s are the most established and recognized extension in the internet world. No longer is it reserved for commercial sites but for anyone (personal, organization, or business) looking to create a good website and gain some legitimacy. Even with the introduction of.biz in 2001 (that would only be used for business), the popularity of .com has not diminished. The first domain name registered on the internet using .com was symbolics.com on March 15, 1985. Their company aided in the development of computers. The second was BBN.com on April 24, 1985, followed by think.com on May 24, 1985. Today, the number of registered .com’s exceed over 100 million. This makes it number one – even among the largest top-level domains – beating out .net, .org, and others. Domain names can get pricey, in fact, insurance.com was worth 35.6 million in 2010, vacationrentals.com was valued at 35 million in 2007, and PrivateJet.com commanded an impressive appraisal of 30.1 million in 2012.

Nearly 52% of Google visitors use .com. But .com, .net, .org are unrestricted and open to the public to use. Some domain names, however, are not open. For example, .gov must be a division of federal, state, or local government as well as Native Sovereign Nations. .edu is reserved for 4-year public universities or educational institutions that grant degrees..mil is restricted to divisions of the US military.

Why Domain Names are so important

Domain names are how people find you; what people need to remember to find your site again, to buy your services, products, and read your articles. They are one of the most essential parts of marketing. For this reason, it can give what your selling legitimacy and instill confidence and value. The domain name is an important part of your brand. Your entire website name is also factored into Google’s ranking algorithm. The better you’re ranked, the better your chances for people to find you.

The Differences between Domain Names

This being said, .com is more popular for a reason. Anyone can type the name of a website into a search engine and find it easily. In some ways, .com has become a kind of default in the system, and it’s simply easier for people to recall a .com address. For other domain names, more branding is required for people to get used to using it. If done properly, not using .com shouldn’t matter. .org and .net are the second and third runner’s up in popularity after.com. One of things to keep in mind is that some registrars will charge extra for .org and .net. Using .net would be a great choice for subject matter that is technically related if it fits into your branding plan. It might also be a plus if your company name ends with net. Be careful with using .org since it was intended for non-profit use, if used for anything else it may brew distrust among consumers. Although many people have strayed from the .org’s original design; make sure it’s a good fit for you and your enterprise. You want to build a strong foundation from the beginning.

The biggest thing to keep in mind – create a brand complete with trustworthy, honest content on your website. Finding something that is memorable and fits the image of your brand is the ultimate win-win. Something else to consider: there isn’t much difference between the domain name extension and a better SEO rating. We consumers, readers, and visitors have become creatures of habit – we still view a .com as a business (for the most part) and .org as an organization (mainly non-profit). After that, the next big difference is price. As someone who is selling anything, public perception is paramount. One thing to consider is that .com, .org, and .net are the most popular. People recognize them as more trustworthy over other extensions (such as info or .biz). One strategy is to buy all available extensions to avoid any trademark or competitor issues.

You’ve come along way, baby

A lot has changed since 1985. Since the .com’s humble beginnings (of being one of the only games-in-town), there are now over 100 extension choices. Experts in any field may opt for.guru or adventurous types may adorn the .ninja extension. There are also ways to distinguish your field of expertise, location, or establishment with a .lawyer, .london, or .club premium extension.

Why El Cheapo Domains Will Cost You Money

14You want your own online business? Good because it’s one of the most fun things you can do with your spare time and can be very profitable.

Remember that just because it’s an online business doesn’t mean that you should treat it with any less professionalism or seriousness than you do your daytime job.

Why? Simply because when you run an online business it’s a serious business. Well it should be taken seriously if you want to make serious money.

One of the most important aspects of any online business is the domain name. This is where the vast majority of new online entrepreneurs make their first big mistake – they choose one of those free domain name providers to represent their business online. This is a critical mistake.

The truth of the matter is that computerfixer.com is a top level domain and computerfixer.freehosting.com is a sub-domain. These free domain providers would have you believe that their cheapo subdomain is as good as a top level domain – this simply isn’t so.

Online shoppers expect your online business to be located on a top level domain. If they find your website on one of these cheap or free domain services you’ve just lost 50% of your potential customers. They’ll click back and look at the next search result in Google, Yahoo or MSN.

Free domains make you look cheap, show that you don’t want to invest in your business, that you don’t take your customers seriously, look terrible on business cards and make you look like an amateur. There aren’t any benefits to cutting corners on your domain name.

A domain name costs, at most, $15 per year. That’s 4 cents per day. If your business can’t afford this then you really shouldn’t be running an online business at all.

Domain Name – How to Buy and Sell

13A domain name can be a very valuable asset for your online business. When promoted regularly, it can become a powerful brand that helps to boost sales. Visitors learn to trust a domain name given enough time. The goodwill generated by a sound domain name can be worth a lot of money. There are several ways you can make money from names.

Buying a domain.

In order to make money with domains, you need to be the owner of some names. The first thing you need to know is how to buy a domain. Any name that is not registered can be acquired for about $10 per year, depending on the registrar that you use. The most valuable domain names are short and easy to remember. Top level names that end with the dot com extension also tend to be more popular. When you start selling off the names, you find that dot coms are always easier to sell. Perhaps this is due to perceived value.

In addition, names that mean something are also more valuable. For instance, a domain like “keyword(dot)com” can be worth a lot of money. These names are easier to rank in the search engines and they may be receiving free traffic.

Domain appraisal.

Before you try to sell a name, you should always try to get it appraised. A domain can be appraised for a small fee. Based on several factors, each appraisal will show you an estimate of how much a domain is worth. You can show the appraisal to your prospective customers to get a higher selling price.

Selling a name.

Trying to market and sell a domain is easy if you know what your customers are looking for. The first thing that customers look for is traffic. If you can provide undeniable proof that the domain is receiving free traffic from the search engines, you can sell the name at a higher price. The next thing that customers look for is revenue. Is the site generating any revenue? A domain that can generate solid revenues month after month is very rare. You will earn a good amount of money by selling a profit generating site.

Backorder.

Acquiring good domain names can be very difficult. That is because almost all the valuable names are grabbed by individuals and organizations. Try making a search for a name that means something. Chances are, the names are not available for registration.

But domains do expire. And if the owner decides not to renew the domain, you are in luck! Backordering a name means that you place an order with the registrar for a domain that has already been registered. When you place an order, the backorder service will monitor the domain for you. If it expires, and the owner decides not to renew, the service will register the domain on your behalf. Usually, you don’t pay anything until the domain registration is successful. However, be prepared to pay a higher registration fee for a backorder.

Auction.

This is an interesting way to sell a domain. You list it for sale on the domain marketplace, and let interested buyers bid for the name. Whoever has the highest bid wins. You can also set a reserve price if you have one in mind.

Register an Awesome Domain Name

12Don’t be a cowboy-pirate.

Just don’t.

OK, here’s the thing.

I had a friend once who was, shall we say, a little impressionable.

He was a great guy.

Super nice. Loyal, generous. He would lay down in traffic for his friends.

Salt of the earth kinda guy.

But he was a little impressionable and a bit impulsive.

What I mean by that is when I first met him, he was into cars. So he wore a racing jacket, Mac Tools t-shirts and talked about cars all the time.

A couple months later, he watched a western movie and really liked it.

The next time I saw him – he had cowboy boots, jeans, a cowboy hat and a full-length slicker.

Fast forward another few months, and he watched a movie about pirates.

After that, he began thinking about joining the navy & started using all sorts of lines from the pirate movie.

At this point, he was a cross between a cowboy and a pirate.

Nothing wrong with that. A guy can do what he wants.

But when it came to defining him, it became a bit more difficult as you never knew what he would be into next.

It created a certain amount of confusion.

And it can be the same way when you go to choose a domain name – if you choose a name that has all kinds of weird variations, or a couple themes crammed together, it can leave people scratching their heads.

When registering a domain name for your website and brand, we don’t want any strange cowboy-pirate domains that will confuse everyone.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to choosing a great domain name that will keep you afloat.

1) List the Top 10 Keywords for Your Niche

Come up with a list of 10 terms that broadly define your market. Things like “real estate”, “broker”, “flowers”, “moving”. List some terms that pop up in your industry/niche that help identify your market and the topic of your site.

You want people to be able to identify what sort of industry or niche you’re in by the domain name alone when they first hear it.

You can’t be a pirate AND a cowboy at the same time. It just doesn’t work.

You have to choose one or the other.

2) Be Original

Don’t name your website like someone else. Don’t use any variations, misspellings of already popular domain names or brands.

You need to be original and come up with something memorable for yourself. Having a domain name that’s similar to something someone else has will only cause your brand to be diluted or mistaken for the larger brand.

3) Keep It Simple

Don’t over complicate your domain name. You want it to be short and memorable – not 150 characters long.

The longer it is, the more likely people will miss-spell it.

4) Don’t Use Hyphens

Just don’t do it. Hyphens in a domain name are just asking for trouble. People always forget to use them.

And while we’re on the topic, try to avoid using numbers in your domain name (both the actual number characters like the letter “1”, as well as the spelling of them like “one”).

Again – it just causes confusion.

Confusion just like cowboy-pirate.

5) Only Use a.COM Domain

I know some people think it doesn’t matter. But it does.

Basing your brand on a.net or.org if the.com domain isn’t available is going to cause the vast majority of people to go to the wrong site.

By default, people will always try the.com domain extension first.

It’s going to be really difficult for them to remember if you have something other than that.

So if the.COM version isn’t available, just move on and find something else.

There you have it – 5 tips to choosing a great domain name that will help keep you on course when it comes to navigating the waters of choosing a domain that will chart the course for your online adventures!

On a related note: make sure you register your domain from a reputable company – or you might end up dealing with some real online pirates. Which would obviously suck.

If you haven’t already got website hosting, you can get a great deal on hosting and a FREE domain name, which can save you $10-20 right off the bat.

How To Buy And Sell Domain Names Part Time For Profit

11That whole process has taken you less then an hour. Just a quick search to locate a name and then register it. Easy. (incidentally if you are confident that a name you have purchased is valuable, it may be worthwhile securing the .com, .co.uk, .net, .org, .info forms of the name as well. That way no one can undercut you by bofering it cheaper. And chances are the buyer will want all five names. That means FIVE TIMES THE PROFIT!

Now it’s time for the real exciting bit. Selling the name.

Once you have grabbed your domain name the simplest way to find a buyer is to register them in your name. This can be as little as £5 for two years. (.com names tend to be slightly more expensive the others). A simple search can put you in touch with tons of registration services.

Now your registered it’s time to positively market your name. You can do this in one of two ways:

The Direct Approach – Making a direct approach to a buyer is a bit tricky. You could rent a mailing list of companies who are in the area your domain names are out and send them a simple sales letter. EG.

Whilst this approach does work, it’s both time consuming and if your sales letter isn’t up to scratch your going to lose out.

So now to the way I do things – the lazy mans way to make fantastic money from selling domain names.

Using Brokers And Agents – Domain name brokers and agents will list your names on their books and try to find a buyer. They do this by either a fixed price or via auction.

As this business is fairly new ensure that you find an experienced brokers. Find out the following:

Their charges: ie commission, listing fee etc.

How many names are already on their books.

And what prices domains like yours are going for.

There is no limit on the brokers you list with if you want to increase the amount of people who see your offer.

Be on the look out for any high quality names to buy as well. You see because this bsuiness is so fairly new people just don’t realise the sort of money that can be made.

Once you’ve made the sale all you need to do is use your list brokers to act as a third party escrow service,. This basically means they will accept the payment for your name from whoever it may be you are selling to and then register the domain name to the new owner. All you have to do is sit back and wait for the funds to go into your account. It’s THAT easy.

What Price Should You Sell At?

This is a vital aspect of this business. Pitch too high and you won’t make a sale. So don’t get too greedy. The price you get depends on the quality of the name, how much someone else wants it and how quickly you want to sell it. If your willing to sit back and wait for a big offer then that’s fine. But if like me you want to make cash in the fastest possible time the key is to selling a name at a reasonable price and with a few names a week. It’ll take a maximum of a few hours strat to finish per name.

The ideal affordable price range is in the rgion of £100/£500/£1000. At these figures people will be scrambling over eachother to get their expired names or the names of others. It’s a lot easier for a company to buy back from you at these prices then to either come up with a better name or try to rebuil their traffic at a new domain name.

Now remember that your overheads in this business are so very low. If you bought a name for £5 and sold for £500 thats a profit margin of TEN THOUSAND PERCENT!!!

There’s so many reasons why I love this business.

The money to be made is incredible. Five domain names a week a would take you approx five hours. And if you even sold them at the minimum of £150 that’s still £750 PART TIME.

I strongly recommend you get into this business yourselves. It’s simple, hugely profitable, and can be worked part time around a current job. Please. I ask just one thing of you. Try this idea once. Just once. It’ll cost you just £5. When you see how easy it is then you can really go into it all guns-a-blazing! And if you found it wasn’t for you what are you out? Just five measly pounds.

There’s just one difference between those who achieve real success and those who float from day to day in relative financial obscurity. That’s ACTION. So come on. Take that vital first step to making great money from home for just a few hours a week and see for yourself why buying and selling domain names is the opportunity of 2005.

All the best in your new venture.