Tips & Tools To Choose a Great Domain Name

Sex.com and Hotels.com are the two most expensive domains ever sold

This Madrid hotel sign covers the top two domains!

Are My Domain Names Worth Selling?

I registered my first domain in the 1990s. Now I own over 100 of them.

Any time I’m playing with an idea for a business or a book I register whatever relevant domains I can find. That’s not so easy to do since all of the one word domains are gone and probably all of the two-word domains, in English anyway.

10 Most Expensive Domains Ever Sold

According to Business Insider, the 10 most expensive domain names sold to the end of December 2012 are:

Domain Sold For Year Sold
1 Sex.com  $13 million  2010
2 Hotels.com  $11 million  2001
3 Fund.com  $10 million  2008
4 Porn.com  $9.5 million  2007
5 Business.com  $7.5 million  1999
5a Diamond.com  $7.5 million  2006
6 Slots.com  $5.5 million  2010
7 Toys.com  $5.1 million  2009
8 Clothes.com  $4.9 million  2008
9 Candy.com  $3 million  2009
9a Vodka.com  $3 million  2006
10 Shopping.de  $2.9 million  2008

Makes the puny $250 I sold one for look pretty pathetic! (Mind you, I gave him a deal because I liked his business and he wasn’t making much money yet. Call me a softie!)

How much is it worth paying for a domain name?

This is what got me going on this post. The name I want for my new book is registered by someone who is just using it as a junk advertising page. I wondered how much they might be willing to sell it for, so I used a tool called Valuate.com. According to them, it isn’t worth anything, but I doubt that the owner will agree. We’ll see.

Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

  1. Try to match, as closely as possible, your brand/company name or a word that is closely associated with your business.
  2. Try to get a .com. If you are based in Canada, get the .ca too, but ideally you do want both versions. A lot of people start their “search” by typing in your brand or store name followed by .com.
  3. Keep it short, if possible. That’s getting harder and harder to do. I really wanted to use FrankOnline.com, but that’s held by a comedian in the U.S. I did get FrankOnline.ca, but decided for consistency I’d use the longer FrankOnlineMarketing.com and .ca.
  4. Easy to spell. If there is likely to be confusion about how to spell it, get the misspelled variants and point those domains to the main one.
  5. Being early in the alphabet still helps. This isn’t as big a deal as it was when we relied on printed Yellow Pages, but there are still alphabetical listings on the Internet, as I discovered when I started putting Web Mystery Shoppers into directories!

Domain Name Tools

Checking availability

There are several tools that help you generate ideas for domain names and discover if they are available.

One of the most interesting ones I’ve found lately is domainhole.com. It has a bunch of different tools to help you brainstorm ideas as well as checking to see what’s available. It even has one that will generate 5 – 10 letter domain names that sound like real words but aren’t. So if you don’t have a brand name yet, maybe you’ll find something good in there!

How many domain names do you have registered? Have you ever sold one?

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