Education is a key factor to succeed in every profession, but there's no related degree for domain investors to receive via a college course.
One's first encounter with domain names as an asset that can be registered or acquired and resold for profit might be accidental. Quite often, people look up a domain name, and odds are that it's already taken. To their surprise, some of these domains contain a "for sale" notice, sometimes with a fixed amount.
That first encounter becomes a moment of epiphany: "Oh, so I can buy this domain and sell it for profit!"
When I registered my first domain name 24 years ago, I had thought long and hard about that specific domain. I wasn't spending $100 for two years just to test the waters! It was a domain to showcase my web design portfolio. I had a use and a plan for it, and every month of paid hosting cost me money. I had to get it and build it and launch it fast. It would be my precious and only domain, I thought.
Registering my second domain took two full years. I sold that second domain less than a year later, due to circumstances that should have triggered a mass registration of other domain names, but I hadn't bitten the forbidden fruit just yet. I did not connect the dots because I had a full time job and no guidance on what was the potential of registering and selling domains, and no details on where to focus and what to avoid.
The new millennium changed a few things and by 2000 I was following a forum where domains were discussed. That was a web hosting related forum and that seemed to be working for a while. I didn't register or sell any more domains until 2001 depending on my ability to spend time and money. By that time, GoDaddy was already a very popular registrar and that's when my "hobby" started to take on a life of its own.
Working full time at my day job and having domain sales "on the side" was a non-linear combination. I used eBay to sell domains, some of which I advertised to a number of online forums. It was still a hobby in terms of revenue size and I was happy to turn a $10 dollar registration into a $50 dollar sale.
Domain investing "part-time" is a process that can eventually lose the hobby tag, as long as there is education on the subject of what exactly the process entails. These days there are seminars and YouTube videos, specialized forums and online communities. And now there's even Clubhouse for the absolute beginners.
It wasn't until late in 2010 that I decided to leave my 9-to-5 job and fill my days with independent contractor work and domain sales. It was nerve-wracking at first, but my experience had grown and my CPA had nodded positively at my anxious question if I should do it: Go for it!
So I did and now I had all the time in the world to tackle a variety of problems that arise from depending on domain investing as a primary source of income.
Should I make cold calls to pitch my domains? Should I wait for incoming inquiries? Should I respond with a price, or keep declining low offers until I feel it's the right time to sell?
Full-time domaining means you are on your own, investing in assets that might or might not be worthy to sell. Some might sell months or years later, so how do you make your first honest dollars from domains fast?
That's the question you need to answer before you jump into domain investing full-time.
One learns from their mistakes and I made many, by underselling valuable domain assets, or by missing opportunities due to wanting to save a few dollars. That was my "part-time" hobby calling and once I realized it was stopping me from moving up, I dropped it fast.
Part-time domain investing is feasible and there more tools available than ever before in the history of the internet.
It requires a constant separation of Job A from Job B and some separate book-keeping along with a dedicated CPA for the type of sales you want to engage in.
For example, you have to choose between inventory selling or the capital gains method to facilitate accounting. That's part of the initial set up for tax purposes and it's needed even if you go full-time into domain investing. Forming an LLC or other entity is a must as well.
Once there, you have an army of knowledgeable Uniregistry Market brokers to help you sell your domains. Uni is now a GoDaddy brand that utilizes Afternic and other members of a large syndicated network. Use these tools to your advantage, full time.
As I said, it's a feasible task and I recommend starting this way. Build up your knowledge, your confidence, and your finances. Then once you're ready, you can disconnect from the other job that may keep you less focused on domain investing.
Go for it!