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Domain investing hasn’t even started

Do you want to make an extra $1,000 a month? Many people do, and they do it in many ways. Stocks, forex, selling real estate or insurance part time, you’ve probably heard about all of them. I know I sound like I’m turning into a financial planner right now, but hear me out. How often do you think about your retirement plan? Do you “plan” for the government to support you with a pension plan? Are you willing to bet on it? I know I’m not.

Making some extra money today is important, but what happens when you are seventy or eighty? Or if you are “lucky” enough to live to ninety or a hundred? Wouldn’t it be great if you had some assets that were growing in value? Me personally, I want my assets to be like wine, or a great scotch whiskey. I am not a drinker, but I like the mantra: getting better as they age. Every day, in every way.

So let’s cut to the chase. You need something that’s growing in numbers, but at the same time is increasing in value due to scarcity. I know it sounds a bit contradictory; that’s why it’s hard to find those things. Take the new iPhone. More and more people have them, but you always have to wait, preorder and hope that you will be able to buy one. That’s one example of scarcity and many would argue it’s artificial. But an example of scarcity that’s not artificial is domain names. Every day tens of thousands of domain names are registered, but good ones are getting harder and harder to find. The good ones rise in value. Some are becoming premium collectible items in China. If the domain name has the number eight, it’s nice. If it has two eights, it’s better. If it has three eights, it’s fantastic. Eight has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture. Pronounced ‘Ba’ in Chinese, it sounds similar to the word ‘Fa’, which means to make a fortune. Eight contains meanings of prosperity, success and high social status too, so all businessmen favor it very much.

The great thing about the domain name market is that you don’t have to stay in the speculative part of it. Businesses are always looking for that edge, even with domain names. Does the domain name contain a keyword that’s searched on Google thousands of times? Does the domain name have a recognizable .com extension? Is the domain name indexed by Google, with hundreds of links still pointing to it? Does the domain name have an extension with a keyword that will drive value to your business?,,, short domains, keyword domains…

It doesn’t matter how much you paid for it. It could be $9 or $9,000 – if you can identify the value, and/or depending on the domain name, if you are simply willing to wait for it to reach “fruition,” it could be a great investment. Take four-letter .com domain names as another example. Our ground-breaking research back in 2013 was huge! It was mentioned by Slate and it was trending on Reddit. The result? More than 30,000 people visited our website, and countless blogs wrote about our research in the following years. I am not mentioning this to brag; I simply brought this up because back then it was easy to buy a four-letter .com domain for less than $100, sometimes even $50. Not anymore! Now you have to look really hard if you want to buy them below $300. I am certainly looking! That’s almost a guaranteed return of 300 to 600 percent in three years. Who doesn’t want that?

Why not buy a few domain names, and leave them for your children or grandchildren?

If you are thinking right now, “I wish I could go back to 2013,” set your thinking straight! When it comes to domain name investing, in 2013 there were people saying, “I wish I could go back to 2008.” And in 2008, there were people saying, “I wish I could go back to 2001.” And so on… I can guarantee you, in 2020, there will be people saying, “I wish I could go back to 2016.” How much do you think a great domain name will be worth 50 years from now?

Take three-letter .com domains as another example.

  • sold for $720 in 2004
  • sold for $1,395 in 2004
  • sold for $860 in 2005

Let’s fast-forward 11 years later.

  • sold for $44,000 in 2016
  • sold for $41,500 in 2016
  • sold for $47,000 in 2016
  • sold for $60,000 in 2016

You can see for yourself at

And I left out outliers like ($345,000) and ($150,000). There are hundreds of these sales, and remember there are only 17,576 combinations for three-letter .com domains. Some of you might be thinking, “OK, I need 60 grand to get into this game, and wait another 11 years.” Sure, you could do that, but most of you aren’t prepared to risk that kind of money.

Jeffrey Emerick entered the industry about a year ago and earned enough profit for a down payment on his lakefront home

This is not the first time I write about making money by selling domain names, and this is a different route you can take from the one Rick Schwarz mentioned in his interview! You could take Jeffrey Emerick’s route. Here’s a guy who, a year ago (2015) bought two four-letter .com domains, and sold them. He reinvested the money to buy four four-letter .com domains, and sold them. He then bought eight four-letter .com domains, and by now I am hoping you are beginning to see the pattern here.

Jeffrey Emerick entered the industry about a year ago and earned enough profit in that time for a down payment on his lakefront home (where he spoke during this interview). And he still owns 189 LLLL .com domain names. Jeffrey didn’t say, “I wish I had more money,” or “I wish I could go back in time.” My man Jeffrey took control, buckled down, took action, and he owned it!

It doesn’t matter if you start with a $3 flip, or a $3,000 flip. Get your feet wet; there’s more than enough to go around. Just learn about the process so that you don’t waste your money!
For example, take Kirk, Mitch and Mario.

  • Kirk bought, for $10, and sold at $360 by reaching out to potential buyer
  • Mario bought for €13.99, and sold for €2,500 after getting an inbound inquiry
  • Mitch bought for $12, and sold for $15, at an NamePros auction

This happened this year. This is not something that occurred in 1998 when domain names were supposedly hot. I have no idea why this doesn’t make sense to anyone outside of the domain investing community. You can watch the entire interview about their first domain name sale inside DNAcademy. More on DNAcademy later.

Yes, those were their first domain name sales. You may think that Mario got lucky, or that Mitch and Kirk could get more money for their domains, but what’s most important is that they got their feet wet! They proved to themselves that this is actually possible!

If you are thinking, “Hey Goran, you are pretty hard on my case, how are you doing with this part-time domain investing thing?” I’ll be completely honest with you. Back in 2012 before I lead the research for checking domain availability for all 456,976 combinations I bought three four-letter .com domains. Just a couple years later I needed cash fast, and I was able to sell all of them pretty fast and liquidate those assets. I didn’t profit much from those transactions because I was in a hurry and I wasn’t committed to venturing deeper into the domain investing. Recently the bug bit me again. And after developing some interesting WhoAPI tools (now tools) like our domain manager, domain monitoring and with our domain checker I was able to find some interesting domain names. This doesn’t reduce the anger in me for not taking advantage of my knowledge with the four-letter .com domains earlier, but I had to be focused 100 percent on WhoAPI. Heck, my company was falling apart at that time! That was also one of the reasons why I sold those three four-letter .com domains. I am happy to say WhoAPI survived 2013 and 2014, started growing in 2015, and 2016 is looking like our best year ever with two months to go.

So anyway, getting back to my domain-investing bug. I don’t have money to throw around, and I am certain you don’t want to either. So I was thinking instead of buying the wrong domains, and selling them in the wrong places, it would be awesome if someone would just explain everything and show me the ropes! And then one day, I was watching NamesCon founder Richard Lau being interviewed by Michael Cyger on Domain Sherpa. You might have seen me mention Richard and NamesCon recently when World Hosting Days bought NamesCon and Richard mentioned this program called DNAcademy and spoke highly of it. I quickly did the math. If I bought 50 domains at $10, and renewed them 5 years before selling them, that’s $2,500. But, what if I have the wrong domains, or what if I don’t know how to sell them or price them correctly? So I concluded it would be better to pay someone for the right knowledge and start off on the right foot. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve sold a couple domains in the low four figures, so I am not clueless; I am just interested in making a wise investment. To make it clear and to summarize the level of my domain investing, I’ve had some success and some failures in the past years. Several domain investors have been using the tools my company developed. I finished DNAcademy and am a bit angry at myself for not doing something like Jeffrey when I was clearly in the position to do so. What I am trying to say with this blog post is that now, after finishing DNAcademy, I can – because I have the knowledge I lacked earlier, which probably prevented me from profiting as much as I could have on those four-letter domains that I owned.

DNAcademy will teach you tricks even if you have some experience with domain investing. I was so happy with the program that I am recommending it here,  and I also went through the trouble of getting you a coupon code (worth $50). Just type in WHOAPI during your order process.

Also, I want to go that extra mile for you because I am really passionate about domain names and I think you can also have success with it. So, if you have any questions before, during or after the DNAcademy, I will make myself personally available. Just sign up and contact me with the subject “DNAcademy member,” and I will also send you my 20-page guide on domain names.

“Isn’t it better to invest in education instead of spending thousands of dollars on renewals or buying worthless domains? I certainly thought so, and I am glad I did! DNAcademy is not only the perfect place to get proper education, but reaches into the very DNA of a domain name investor. Michael’s 6×6 Matrix might spare you hours of pointless cold-calling, and another tactic might teach you how to find and compare other domain sales so that you don’t undervalue a great domain that you have. My only wish is that I found out about this sooner.”

Join the growing domain investing community today with the right first step, by being able to buy and sell the right domain names. With extra guidance, coupon code and DNAcademy you are three steps closer to that $1,000 I mentioned at the beginning of this post.


Written by Goran Duskic

I am the founder and CEO at WhoAPI. Entrepreneur for more than a decade in the hosting and domain industry. Sold my previous company. 500 Startups and StartLabs alumni. Author of a white paper "Domain Disclosure: Dirty Dozen" and eBook "26 Fundraising Questions for Startups".

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