Buy your domain name right now if you haven't.
In fact, buy your domainssss. With an 's.' For both your personal brand and business brand. This is one of the smallest, yet most important investments as we enter the technology era. Whether you use your site to enhance credibility, simply educate friends on your interests, or to drive 100s of new leads to your brick and mortar store, you've got to own a great domain name for your purpose.
If you're not going to do that, just stop reading and go away. Seriously. If you can't take action, my content has no value to you. <3
Auctions: A couple ways to get into domaining.
Before you read this section, prepare to spend more than the typical ~$10 it will cost to register your domain.
a) Build a 'Small Website' from Scratch: Auctions can be a great place to search for domains with a specific keyword in them. I build a lot of websites for concrete contractors to help them with lead generations, so I love looking for a short domain that might look something like "www.concretedayton.com"
After identifying a brandable domain name, I would look at how much traffic the site gets, and its age. Was it registered this year or 10 years ago? Because if it was 10 years ago, used by a Dayton Concrete Contractor, then that's going to help my SEO strategy.
c) 'Park' the domain name. Domains that aren't in a niche I'm familiar with, I would plan to 'park' them. I use ParkingCrew.com right now, but parking has slowly declined over the last several years. I would look at a domain that gets at least 1,000 unique visitors per month, and also something simple that the parking provider can quickly figure out so that I can monetize the traffic coming to the site.
One of the best parked domains I bought at auction for $17,
d) Would this be worth a lot to someone else in specific?
Invest in similar (or even competitors) domain names long-term.
Even if a site has never been registered does not mean that it's not valuable. If you can get your hands on a strong brandable domain name by hand ("Hand-registering" is the term for registering one that has not been previously owned or has never been at auction), go ahead and do it. $100 will usually buy you 10 years of holding that domain name.
Chances are if you're a talented domainer, you will sell that domain for much more than $100.
It's the wild, wild west out there guys, and I don't want you to not buy the land while it's at a good price.
You can always build a house (website), but you can't always get the best land (domain name).
Wait, Matt, what about cybersquatting. Is that a thing? If you want more information on this, here's a great post by my friend Morgan Linton, "A word of caution to startups that think someone is squatting on a domain name."
If you're interested in how easy it is to build small websites, you can also look at these two others we own.
Boulder Window Tinting
Fort Collins Concrete Contractors
Hope you guys enjoy this info. Comment below with questions or additional resources! And if you need help building a 'small website for your startup, please check out our services.