Lack or organization can result in reduced profits and lost opportunities.
I’m frazzled. So much going on. Just completed a big domain sale. Is the escrow wire in the bank? Just got an offer on another one. How should I respond? I know I have a bunch of domains coming up for renewal, but they’re all at different registrars. Consolidate with all of those EPP codes or just renew? I’m getting about 10 renewal notices a day from GoDaddy, Dotster, Moniker, etc. I have some software I purchased that came with a 21 day guarantee that expires soon, but I haven’t even had a chance to try out the software. I’ll probably let the guarantee pass and then figure out if the software is worthwhile later. I’ve got parked domain names that just slipped in earnings, and I haven’t had a chance to figure out why. I paid several people for domains via PayPal recently and need to make sure the domains were pushed into my account.
Sound familiar? I know I’m not the only one with a million things going on. Maintaining a domain name portfolio and web sites takes a lot of time and organization. The “get rich quick” guys didn’t tell you about that, did they?
Over the years I’ve developed ways to maintain my domain portfolio without going crazy. Clearly, it hasn’t worked 100%. But it has helped me stay on the sane side of the line. Here are some tips I try to practice:
1. Know all of your domains — all in one place. I use Watch My Domains Pro. It let’s me sort all of my domains by registrar, expiration date, host name, etc. It also imports whois data.
2. Renew in advance. I don’t wait until a domain is about to expire to renew it, especially if it is a good one. Why not pay a few years in advance for an asset worth $10,000? It’s a smart insurance policy.
3. Consolidate registrars. This is especially important if you have domains you won from expired domain auctions. These domains could be managed by any number of registrars. It’s easy to forget about them or get stuck paying exorbitant renewal prices. Find a couple registrars you trust and transfer your domains there. It’s always good if you have a personal connection at the registrar. Some registrars will even let you pay off your transfers over time (e.g. Moniker). Better yet, consider founding your own personal registrar if you have thousands of domains.
4. Create a disaster plan. What happens if you get hit by a bus tomorrow? Will all of your domains end up expiring? Picture all of the people you despise in this business bidding on your prized domains at SnapNames. Ouch. Write down all of your registrars, passwords, and a plan for your spouse or someone you trust. Place it in a safe deposit box. I did this a couple years ago and it gives me peace of mind. Thinking about death or disability isn’t fun, but neither is losing all of your domains. You have life insurance, right?
5. Don’t take it too seriously. The moment you start taking the domain business too seriously it will no longer be fun. The moment you freak out about a 5% drop in earnings on one domain is the moment your domains will start to control you. What good is the money if you always worry about it?
Feel free to comment with additional ideas. I can use a few more to keep my head on straight.