Review – The Insider’s Guide to Domain Name Speculation

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Most ebooks consist of a skimpy twenty or so pages that advertise the author’s Website. And with a title like this, you might expect it to be full of hype about how to make your fortune selling domain names.

But it’s not: this ebook is different. Open it up and you find 120 pages (at my screen resolution) of solid information and a hard-nosed assessment of the domain name speculation business. Of course if you have read Lee Hodgson’s articles here on SitePoint, you wouldn’t have expected otherwise.

Who should read it?

Although the book’s primarily aimed at those who are interested in the acquisition and sale of valuable domain names for a profit, it’s also essential reading for anyone who’s in the domain name business, who’s after a domain name for their own site, or who just wants to know what domain name speculation is all about.

What does it cover?

The book’s introduction makes the important distinction between speculating and cybersquatting, before looking at what you need to be a speculator and how much money you can make. Chapter 1 takes us on a tour of the history of domain name speculation, from the absurd frenzy of 1999 and 2000, through to the more shrewd strategies used to grab expiring domain names that emerged in 2001, and continue to mature in 2002.

Chapter 2 thoroughly explains how to select valuable generic domain names, and includes a detailed value rating of each of the Top Level Domains (TLDs) — com, biz, tv, etc. This is followed by a careful and intriguing analysis of what makes a name valuable. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that any short, decent-sounding domain name has value, but this book provides an excellent method that anyone can use to determine whether a name has real commercial value — and provides access to an essential free tool that is sure to help in your assessment of names.

While chapter 2 concentrates on the inherent value of the domain name itself, the next chapter goes on to examine the additional value of domain names that have residual traffic. Again, Lee provides a rating for each of the different types of residual traffic, and discusses a number of tools that enable you to locate these valuable names. He also describes the two methods by which you can generate income from residual traffic, and provides a detailed formula for forecasting the lifetime income for the domain name — which, of course, is essential in the determination of a domain’s value.

Chapter 4 gets down to the nitty gritty of how to grab the best names, exploring both the tools available for the identification of valuable expiring domains, and a range of different name grabbing techniques and services. It finishes with a number of name grabbing strategies to suit the time and budget you have available. If you think it sounds good — you’re right! There’s more information and advice in this chapter alone, than in almost anything else previously published.

Most readers will want to race ahead to the chapter that explains how to market, negotiate and sell names for maximum profit, but don’t be tempted to skip Chapter 5, as it provides vital advice on how to manage a domain name portfolio safely. The next chapter describes the different sales strategies — the section on marketing, in particular, contains some surprising but illuminating advice. A discussion of best price negotiation, the sales process itself, and the transfer of the domain name follows, along with an explanation of the important pitfalls of trademarks, domain name disputes and legal issues.

Also included is Lee’s complete series of groundbreaking "Domain Goldrush" articles, first published here on, which provide detailed coverage on the inside workings of the expiring domains industry’s evolution and its future direction. Finally, a comprehensive set of links to domain speculation resources and a glossary of domain name terms round out this complete guide.

Is it worth it?

I can safely say that you won’t find this much information on domain names and expiring domain resources anywhere else on the Internet. But just as important is the absence of hype from Lee Hodgson’s advice and commentary. If you’re new to domain name speculation, then there is little doubt that this book will save you its retail price of $37 many times over. Even if you are a seasoned domain name professional, you’ll find this book a mine of valuable information.

For More Information

Cost: US$37

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Tony BuryTony Bury
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Tony Bury publishes free Expired Domain Names, Free Flash Animations and Search Engine Optimization Hints.

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