Practical Domaining


by Kenny Hyder

My URL isFor me, the busi­ness of “domai­ning” has always had appeal and allure. Maybe it’s because of all the sto­ries I’ve heard about millio­nai­res making their money domai­ning, or because it seems like I’ve heard all of the smar­test peo­ple online talk about it at one time or another. Yet infor­ma­tion on “domai­ning” seems to be illu­sive. I wouldn’t by any means con­si­der myself a domai­ner, but I have defi­ni­tely had suc­cess using what I’d like to call “prac­ti­cal domai­ning” for my efforts in search and online marketing.

While tra­di­tio­nal domai­ning con­sists of buying domains (usually in large volume) in attempt to later resell for pro­fit, I’ve used domains and domain buying in some alter­na­tive ways for my benefit.

Buying Domains

Most peo­ple that make a living online tend to have way more domains than they need and/or could use. For exam­ple, I own this site — which ser­ves no abso­lu­tely no pur­pose other than its come­dic value. While I’ve had a few offers on dif­fe­rent domains I own, I’ve never sold one. So tech­ni­cally I’ve never done any tra­di­tio­nal “domai­ning”. But there are other rea­sons to buy domains than hoping to flip them for profit.

Exact Match Domaining

One of the most com­mon rea­sons to buy domains is to get a domain name that directly matches key­word phra­ses that you are trying to rank for. It’s well known among the SEO com­mu­nity that exact match domains tend to work bet­ter than they should. This is espe­cially com­mon among niche affi­lia­tes and sites that have a big focus on lead gen.

Type-in Traf­fic

Another rea­son to buy fri­vo­lous domains is for their type in traf­fic. If you are able to get ahold of a domain that recei­ves any amount of sig­ni­fi­cant traf­fic just because peo­ple type it in their brow­ser, it never hurts. Peo­ple tend to get into trou­ble here though because they post dupli­cate con­tent on these types of domains. The best thing to do is put a 301 redi­rect on the domain to the main site where you con­duct busi­ness. I’ve had clients that had as many as 20 dif­fe­rent type-in traf­fic domains that were able to con­tri­bute traf­fic to the main web­site. Be care­ful not to get carried away though, it’s rare that you actually find a domain that is valua­ble for it’s type-in traffic.

Miss­pell Domaining

Most peo­ple are fami­liar with the con­cept of buying domains that are com­mon miss­pe­llings of your brand name or search phra­ses in order to cap­ture all type-in traf­fic. Maybe not as popu­lar, but defi­ni­tely full of poten­tial is buying domains that are the com­mon miss­pe­llings of other popu­lar sites. Miss­pell domains of sites like Face­book and You­Tube receive large amounts of traf­fic that could hypothe­ti­cally be used for all kinds of things. While all of the miss­pe­llings of these par­ti­cu­lar sites are already taken, if you’re able to get miss­pell domains of a site that beco­mes popu­lar, you could be in for a big payoff. Miss­pell search phrase domai­ning can also be used to cap­ture miss­pell search traf­fic as these domains can be used as exact match domains on popu­lar search misspellings.

Trend­watch Domaining

While tra­di­tio­nal trend­watch domai­ning con­sists of buying domain names that you anti­ci­pate to be popu­lar, we can also use this stra­tegy outside of trying to simply sell anti­ci­pa­ted popu­lar domains for pro­fit. The most popu­lar method I think is for affi­liate mar­ke­ters. Affi­lia­tes who can anti­ci­pate pro­ducts that will become poplar can purchase domains in hopes of being able to launch an affi­liate site with either an exact match domain or type-in traf­fic domain they bought prior to the pro­duct beco­ming popu­lar. Ima­gine how many affi­liate com­mis­sions you could have made if you had bought up all the “snug­gie” domains before the snug­gie was popular.

Deve­lo­ped Websites

While buying domains that are already esta­blished web­si­tes isn’t tech­ni­cally domai­ning, it may be a tac­tic to con­si­der. I’m not tal­king about buying esta­blished online busi­nes­ses, that’s a com­ple­tely dif­fe­rent ani­mal. But there are many web­si­tes online that are left dor­mant that can be great sour­ces for link buil­ding. Buying these domains can often be a bet­ter way to get links than asking for them, or trying to “per­suade” the site owner to link to you. While they may not be “up for sale”, owners of these types of domains can be res­pon­sive to offers.

Con­ver­sely, if you’re good at buil­ding sites that get decent traf­fic and/or rank well, buil­ding sites to sell is already a pro­ven and esta­blished busi­ness model.

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