TL; DR: GoDaddy helps domain investors achieve their sales goals with a comprehensive suite of domain investing tools and educational resources. The company plans to launch an integration with DNAcademy in the coming weeks for current customers and again on January 3, 2023, for all users. Users can enroll to learn about domain valuation, how to connect with buyers, and how to build a profitable domain portfolio, whether as a side hustle or a full-time business. GoDaddy also offers various investment services, including domain value appraisal, bulk domain search, CashParking, and a massive domain auction platform.
You may have heard of house flipping, where a realtor or contractor invests in a piece of property, renovates it into a stunning piece of work, and sells it for a profit. If endless hours of HGTV have taught me anything, it is that flipping stands as a viable business. But a different form of flipping also exists on the internet, called domain flipping.
Domain flipping is one of many sales tactics that fall under the umbrella of domain investing. This form of internet investment has served as a full-time occupation or a side hustle for many users. Domain investing reflects many of the principles of its traditional counterpart, real estate investing. You can hire a broker to negotiate sales and connect with buyers and sellers at auctions. It also takes a lot of time and effort to learn and break into both of these markets. Here is where GoDaddy steps in. The hosting giant sets out to help users along their domain investing journey by providing educational resources and equipping users with investing tools.
“We want to make sure that people who want to learn about domain name investing understand how it works, the right way to do it, and the pathways we’ve seen that help people succeed. And when our customers succeed, we succeed, and our shareholders succeed,” said Mike Cyger, Director of Education (Domains) at GoDaddy.
Mike recently joined GoDaddy to head its newly minted domain education department. Mike has more than 12 years of experience in the domain industry and founded DNAcademy prior to its acquisition by GoDaddy. The hosting company plans to launch the accelerated-learning domain investing program in the coming weeks for current customers and officially on January 3, 2023. Mike told us that the academy fits well into GoDaddy’s vision of supporting its customers and building technology that helps them succeed.
Teaching Users About the Value of Domain Names
Over the last 12 years, Mike has seen multiple significant shifts within the domain industry — the most apparent being the change in domain value. Mike told us that generic single-word domain names, such as voice.com, used to go for $40,000 to $50,000 in auctions 10 years ago. But now, these domain names have surpassed the six-figure threshold, with many sold for the millions including voice.com for $30 million.
That’s not all. The market around TLDs has also changed in recent years. Other domain extensions, including .io, .xyz, and .ai, have been gaining popularity across different industries. These extensions play specific roles in company brand names and now take on a more significant meaning for companies than they did a decade ago. For example, many tech startups have adopted .ai as a primary domain because it fits into their specialty, artificial intelligence.
“We’re also seeing a lot of .io domain names where 10 years ago, it was only a country code for the British Indian Ocean Territory. Today, it’s synonymous with input/output. And a lot of tech startups and blockchain companies are choosing .io as their primary domain even over .com,” Mike said.
As buyer behavior changes and more people adopt various domain names, domain value will continue to fluctuate. That is why Mike said domain investors must track trends to determine future value. Domain investors register a domain name intending to sell it for a profit in the future, and knowing when to sell it is the key to success.
Mike and other educators at DNAcademy teach students to reduce everything to the first principles, which are a domain’s value indicators. They teach what makes domains valuable but also show students how to track these indicators. Historical data plays a significant role in decision-making. Mike said investors should look at multiple data points, including periodic sales numbers of TLDs and historical adoption, before deciding to purchase and sell.
“If you track the trends, you can see when the trend is moving up. You can then invest thoughtfully and guardedly with a limited budget to ensure that you’re investing for the long term,” said Mike.
Offering Domain Services Tailored to Every Type of Investor
GoDaddy ranks as the largest domain registrar in the world, so it’s no surprise that it offers various domain services to help investors achieve their comprehensive goals. GoDaddy provides multiple features, including domain value appraisal, bulk transfers, auctioning system, and a broker service, among other features. Users can leverage these services to advance their business, regardless of their goals or business model.
Domain investors come in all forms, and so do their revenue streams. Mike told us that most investors purchase and sell domains as a side hustle, but many people also do it as a full-time occupation. Full-time domain investors typically have portfolios with tens of thousands of names that provide cash flow and profits to sustain their business. Domain investors can operate from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet access and an email address, giving them unprecedented freedom. With more than 100,000 domains expiring per day, Mike said that many people find a thrill in domain hunting.
“Our job as domain name investors is to look through keywords we’d like to invest in or the segment or industry and find that one diamond in the rough. Then hope that nobody else saw it and bid on it. So that’s the thrill of the hunt that most people have,” said Mike.
There are many different ways to incorporate domain investing as a revenue stream. Another way people leverage domain investing is through the concept of parked domains. Mike said it might take years to sell domains for the desired price. Parked domains allow users to make money off their dormant domains by placing ads on them for natural traffic to see. GoDaddy offers its CashParking service to help users find pay-per-click display advertising for their domains.
“We encourage people to make good, data-based decisions for their investments, and we also provide support through a community discussion forum. We have instructors that have been with us for years that provide different viewpoints on how to be successful because there’s no one right answer for every situation,” Mike said.
Mike advised that domain investors shouldn’t rush into purchasing and selling domain names. He said investors need to approach domain investing as a business, and that includes doing marketing, research, inventory, cash flow, and other business practices before making sales.
Providing Domain Visibility with Soon-to-Launch Analysis Platform
Domain investing requires understanding many different principles and background knowledge before launching a successful business. That is why GoDaddy acquired the DNAcademy — to teach users how to manage it all.
“Most people need to learn how to manage inventory and cash flow to be successful. At DNAcademy, we teach everything from A to Z, from understanding the importance of domain names, the characteristics that affect value, how to value domain names, how to buy domain names at wholesale and sell at retail, and how to manage your business,” said Mike.
With DNAcademy, users can enter their domain business with confidence in how to find valuable domains, bid on them, and sell them to the right buyers. This way, they can build a profitable domain name portfolio that improves over the years. A highlight for GoDaddy’s Discount Domain Club members is that they can enjoy the benefits of this learning experience and its domain investing tools at no additional cost.
GoDaddy will also release an analysis platform to help users gain visibility and data insights from their domain searches. Similar to the Zillow of the real estate industry, this platform hands users the analysis tools to make informed decisions with detailed data nuances.
“You will able to type in a domain name, and it will bring back a whole bunch of information about it. In addition to how many words, it will tell you what the search volume is, how many advertisers are searching for those keywords in search engines, how many companies in the world have those keywords in their company names, and all the 35 characteristics that define the value of a domain name,” said Mike.
All users can anticipate the launch of GoDaddy’s DNAcademy integration on January 3, 2023. Also, GoDaddy team members will attend the Internet Commerce Association’s (ICA) annual membership meeting in Las Vegas in January. The ICA is a nonprofit organization representing the rights of domain name investors worldwide.
“This is a tighter-knit community of primarily domain name investors, some part-time, some full-time. And it’s a great way to network and meet people. Paul Nicks, the President of Domains from GoDaddy, will be one of the speakers at the end, and I will be attending as well. If you want to meet Paul and me in person, you can attend this event in January,” said Mike.