I have a confession to make. I have a rare compulsion–an addiction really. I am addicted to buying domain names. I wish I could stop and I do believe I have the addiction beat, but it is definitely something I should have stopped sooner. If only there were a domain name intervention.
It has gotten bad. And it all started so innocently.
Addicted to Buying Domain Names: The Beginning Stages
One of the most exciting things about deciding to start a blog is picking the domain name. With my first blog, I had no knowledge of what constituted a good domain name. Through common sense I figured shorter names were preferred. As were real words. As were only letters rather than symbols. I also figured a .com name was best, since most of the sites I visited had the .com extension. (not that I knew it was called an extension then).
I ended up with www.brokeprofessionals.com, which became my first blog. I thought the name accurately portrayed the theme of my blog: a personal finance blog through a personal lense: that of a young professional with a ridiculous amount of student loan debt. Later my wife became my co-blogger.
As a former English major and long-time failed novelist, having my own blog was from the start magical. Although I wrote all day as an attorney, that is different. I became hooked.
I began to dream of having multiple blogs.
I knew if I ever open my own law firm (a personal dream), I would blog for my firm. One day while talking with a representative of my domain name provider, the fact that I was a lawyer somehow came up. “You should purchase X domain name”, he said. “It’s for sale for $2,000, but that would be cheap compared to what it may be worth later on.” It was a good domain name. But it wasn’t in my area of law. Nor did I have $2,000. This conversation accelerated my path to ultimately owning 18 domain names.
Addicted to Buying Domain Names: The Middle Stages
I began searching for good domain names. I purchased most of my domain names during this period of time. Some examples are: www.injuryautolaw.com, www.municipalcourtlaw.com, www.municipalcourtattorneys.com, www.superiorcourtlaw.com, www.lawcollaborative.com, www.lawslipandfall.com, and lawforblogs.com.
Then I read short domain names are rare. I purchased www.4agy.com and www.zerjo.com. I began to stay up at night thinking about how I could develop these names. I though www.zerjo.com sounded like a Google-esque great nonsense word for a website.
I purchased www.mobilepublicrelations.com, thinking a pr consultant friend of mine would like it (he did not).
I made two more purchases, www.bloggingupstart.com (to blog about blogging), and www.discreditors.com (an idea for a blog that was so bad that I won’t even disclose it.).
Addicted to Buying Domain Names: Rock Bottom
I woke up one day realizing I had spent hundreds of dollars on domain names that I would likely never use, despite my best intentions. When I sold www.brokeprofessionals.com, I purchased a few more domain names so I could keep blogging. That was when I purchased www.freelancepf.com (my business name), and www.debtpayer.com. I also purchased www.lawclerkships.com, where I know blog about legal employment.
I didn’t know what to do about all the domain names I had. It was embarrassing. I called up my domain name provider who stated that a few, such as www.injuryautolaw.com or www.municipalcourtlaw.com could be worth “4 or 5 figures, at least.” I was no longer sold. I tried listing the domains on sedo.com, but they did not sell. They are currently listed in a godaddy auction but after three days there have been zero bids. The starting bid for most of them is only $10.00.
I never set out to be a domain name flipper, I just got overambitious. I am not looking to do anything but break even, but I know even that will likely not happen. A few of the domains I plan to keep and develop later on, but I definitely can now admit I own too many domain names.
Addicted to Buying Domain Names: The Aftermath
As with anything like this, the first step is admitting the problem. Publicly admitting this problem will hopefully go a long way in stopping my domain name buying addiction. If anyone has any ideas about unloading some domain names, I am certainly open to suggestions. If anyone else suffers from this rare addiction, I would be glad to hear about it.
Now if you’ll pardon me, I have to go unplug the internet…all of this talk of domain names makes me want to do a little domain name searching.
Have a great holiday weekend.
Chris Thomas, owner of the online freelance writing and web-copy company, FreelancePF. Chris’s interest in personal finance stems from leaving grad school with six figures in student loan debt.