You have decided that you want to try and make money as a domainer. If you are starting off, you are engaged in a competitive field with people who have been involve in Domaining for years.
Don’t give us your day job in the hope of instant wealth. Many Domainers also report becoming addicted to hunting for Domain Names so make sure you watch for the signs, and remember that discipline and restraint are often the touchstones of success in the long run.
There are no hard and fast rules to choosing the best domain name as the rules you follow will depend on the purpose for which you are acquiring a domain name.
Below are some rules that you may see in guides to choosing a Domain Name.
1. Choose a .com TLD domain as this is the premium domain space. However if you operate in a specific country and expect to acquire traffic from that region you may wish to acquire the equivalent country code domain.
2. Choose a Short Domain Name – Whilst shorter names are easier to remember for users, you may not be able to acquire a domain name which meets more important specifications and desirable qualities such as being keyword rich with type in traffic or being an exact domain name.
3. Choose a Domain Name Without Misspellings – I have seen this rule many times although I believe there will always be words that can be misspelt. Indeed some Domainers often profit from common misspellings.
4. Hyphenated Domain Names – There is a lot of contention about whether hyphenated Domain Names are worth registering. Some Domainers feel that hyphenated Domain Names are a poor substitute for a non-hypenated Domain Name and look spammy. If the non-hyphenated Domain Name is not available you may wish to consider the hyphenated version, particularly if the registrant is just sitting on the non-hyphenated version and hasn’t developed it. Hyphenated Domain Names with perhaps only one or two hyphens at most may prove to be reasonable value, depending on the circumstances. Further they can sometimes be picked up for a bargain. People from Germany claim to prefer hyphenated domain names because of their legibility compared to non-hyphenated domain names.
5. Alternative Domain Name Extensions/Suffixes – Many registrants will register other common extensions, redirecting them to their .com domain name for the SEO value and to prevent other persons registering the alternatives
6. Keyword rich domain – Keyword density is one of the most critical factors in choosing the best domain name. If you are selling certain products, you will want to acquire a domain name that incorporates the keyword or keyword phrase in the URL. An exact match domain (EMD) is the most ideal domain name.
7. Type-In Traffic – This refers to a situation where a user types into their browser the product or service they are looking for followed by the suffix. EMDs with type in traffic are golden for their SEO attributes.
8. Avoid well known Trademarks – These can lead to you being sued. If you do happen to be sitting on a trademarked domain name make sure you register with forums to know what NOT to do.
9. Use tools to find related keywords and terms – When brainstorming for a domain name, use tools such as Google Synonyms, Wonder Wheel and other tools to help you retrieve related words/terms.
10. Use Dropped Domains Tools – Dropped domains are domains which are no longer registered. In their unregistered status, they can be purchased back by the owner. Some businesses have great domain names but decide not to renew if they go out of business whilst others forget to renew their domain name, meaning that after the passage of a certain period of time, the Domain Name is able to be registered.
11. Aged Domain Names – Aged Domain Names which satisfy all of the desirable criteria can give you instant pagerank which would take you a long time to build up by building backlinks.
Just remember that the above guide is not intended to be an exhaustive set of rules and for every rule there is an exception. The key is to learn as much as you can for yourself so you don’t find yourself paying four figures at a domain name auction for a domain name with a value you aren’t able to properly estimate.
As with everything there will always be trial and error in learning how to choose and invest in a domain name, and mistakes are inevitable. However, having said that there is no substitute for doing proper research!