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DNAcademy is a great primer for new domain name investors

Online course will help new domain name investors get up-to-speed in a hurry.

dnacademyI’m always a bit wary when someone releases a course about investing in domain names. There are a handful of people selling domain names as a get rich scheme, and this ultimately harms the industry.

But I believe a new online course from Mike Cyger, publisher of DomainSherpa, is a good resource for people just getting their feet wet in domain name investing. It will save them many hours of research, teaching them the basics of domain name investing in a simple online course.

DNAcademy covers the domain name investment opportunity, including buying and selling domain names, figuring out which domains to buy, running your domain investment business, and how to value domain names. Much of the course is dedicated to valuation, and going through it prior to investing in domain names will save people a lot of money by avoiding bad investments.

The course also includes video tutorials about how to use tools such as DomainIQ, Wayback Machine and ZoomInfo.

I wouldn’t recommend the course for everyone. It’s designed for newbies and perhaps intermediate investors. Uniregistry is even using a modified version of DNAcademy to onboard its new employees and get them up to speed on the business of domain names.

Cyger is himself fairly new to the industry, but he’s a voracious learner and has turned his knowledge into real money. He has interviewed some of the most successful people in the industry to build his knowledge. He started earning $20,000-$35,000 a year investing in domain names, until last year. Last year he sold about $230,000 in domains.

He wasn’t early to the game, nor did he get lucky. Instead, he learned how to spot good domain names and how to market them for sale. And while he’s not turning in Rick Schwartz-like numbers, new investors shouldn’t aspire to be Rick Schwartz. You aren’t able to travel back in time and hand-register domain names in the 90s. Coming into the market in 2016 requires a different strategy.

The basic version of DNAcademy is $349, and includes a year of access to the course. The Pro version is $499, and includes a private forum and regular Q&A webinars with experts. The ability to ask questions and get detailed answers in the private forum makes this worth the extra cost. I think novice investors can recoup this value quickly in terms of time saved and money saved not buying bad domain names (or finding a good one to flip).

Cyger is offering a $50 discount using the coupon code SHERPAFAN. (I’m not compensated in any way if you buy the course.)

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    • Michael Cyger says

      You are correct, Ryan. Selling = total sales volume. Making = gross profit (before taxes). My gross profit was 70%.

      If you want to take a personal tour via video Skype, I’d welcome the opportunity to do so with you. Please let me know. My email address is michael /at/ dnacademy dot com. I hope you reach out.

  1. The Truth says

    “He started earning $20,000-$35,000 a year investing in domain names, until last year. Last year he sold about $230,000 in domains.”

    Agree with Ryan. These claims unless backed by 1099’s or 1040’s are very Adam-Dicker-esque and will only harm the industry and not help it. All the info you need is already on blogs like Dotweekly, SevenMile, Ricksblog, etc. I wouldn’t be peddling a course if I were making money in domains. Feels like the late night TV infomercial guys.

    • Michael Cyger says

      @The Truth,

      I’d like to make the same offer to you as I did for Ryan. Please reach out to me at michael /at/ dnacademy dot com and I would welcome the opportunity to walk you through the course, and talk about how I was able to make the sales I did.

      And, you are correct. All of the information is available online.

      But new investors will spend weeks going through old posts, reading them, trying to glean the nuggets of wisdom from the puffery and misinformation that exists, and then put it all in a logical educational and usable order. I do this all for you. All my information is verified. All my tactics are trialled by me, personally. I cut through the multitude of tools that are available to those that are necessary. With the Pro account, you can ask me and other students any questions you have regarding the content. It’s condensed, easy to understand and professionally written. That’s what I’ve been doing on DomainSherpa for years and what I’ve distilled into DNAcademy.

      I hope that clarifies my point of view. You are correct, as am I.

      Best wishes to you. I hope to hear from you via email.

    • The Truth says

      Right and real proof like official tax returns and not the “Michael Cyger” proof like when he said he saw Adam Dicker’s “proof” of his claims.

  2. Gao Jing says

    Eeek… Selling picks and shovels, and shoveling about picks. Heads up if you’re second-language or subject to cognitive biases. (Sunk-costs, panic hoarding…)

  3. Ryan says

    Adam Dicker said he was making 5-6 figures a month on ReputationRepair.com on the Sherpa show also, is this like DNFCollege, which he basically goes thru a list of crap domains, and says every other 3 keyword longtail domain can be built onto a business, and I will give you a $45 off development coupon

    • Michael Cyger says

      I can only speak for myself, my shows, my products. I’ve been delivering consistently for the 5+ years I’ve been in the industry. I am fallible just like anyone else, and when someone fools me into believing something then I take action and remove their show from DomainSherpa. I have had to do it a handful of times over the past 5 years.

      If you’ll take the time to watch the two videos on the DNAcademy.com homepage, you’ll see that this course is nothing like any other.

      If you’d like me to walk you through it and show you, I’m happy to do so. It would be my pleasure. Just let me know.

    • Michael Cyger says


      Andrew verified the information.

      If you would like me to tour you through DNAcademy, just let me know. I’d love to meet you via video Skype and walk you through why I think this is the best accelerated learning system ever developed for domain name investing.

      I hope to hear from you.

  4. Andrew Allemann says

    I have reviewed Michael’s financials from last year, including escrow statements and contracts, and can confirm that he generated over $200,000 in domain sales last year.

  5. Michael Cyger says

    Thanks for verifying my sales information, Andrew.

    For anyone that doesn’t think or doesn’t believe that DNAcademy can benefit you, please contact me directly at michael /at/ dnacademy dot com and I’d be happy to personally walk you through the course and provide you a substantial discount. We also have a risk-free money back guarantee.

    There’s no “get rich quick” plot here. Just great content, delivered professionally. That’s why Uniregistry decided to standardize on our course for on-boarding new employees (with some customizations to fit their business).

    There are many testimonials on the homepage at the bottom of the page. I encourage you to reach out to them if you have any questions. I’m proud of this course. I applied everything in it and believe in it.

    • Aaron Strong says

      Andrew – Thank you for the verification.

      Michael – I do believe a congratulations is in order…Congratulations!!!.. I could definitely benefit from your course…Wishing you the best!

  6. fatih says

    after Tobys and Dickers i have trouble with trusting people in this industry. i like Michael. seems like a nice person but i dont believe this a 499/month academy is worth what it offers. if you dont have tens of staff and mathematics involved this is a personal skill that has to be within you.

    • Michael Cyger says

      Thanks for your comments, @Faith. You’re not the only one feeling that way.

      DNAcademy is $499 for 12 months at the Pro level, and $349 for 12 months at the Basic level. (That’s per year, not per month.) My intention is that you’ll have mastered the content in 12 months and not need to renew.

      I offer a money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied, or after buying you feel like it’s not the right course for you.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. Shane Bellone says

    I’m a firm believer that success cannot be taught. As I’ve said before, selling a business model is not as profitable as having a business model, unless one is unsure of their ability to replicate the results.

    This does also seem to be rather opportunistic considering DNForum.com went offline around the same time DNAcademy.com first appeared. This is not conclusive evidence that The Dick(er) is somehow involved, but it does make one wonder.

    My advice is not to question the legitimacy of Michael’s claims — which in my opinion are beyond reproach — but to think about what hasn’t been asked or answered. That’s generally where the truth hides.

    • Michael Cyger says

      Success can be taught, but not every investing opportunity is for every person. I will not invest in options, for example. I don’t want to have to sit in front of my computer all day watching the markets and timing buys and sells or worrying about which way the market is going.

      DNAcademy is not in any way associated with Adam Dicker or DNForum.

      I appreciate your thoughts Shane. If you want to ask a direct question about the course, I’m happy to answer it.

  8. ada says

    I liked domainsherpa at the beginning.
    Now it became just advertising platform for Schilling and similar guys. There is no education there anymore.
    I would recommend people not waste money, just visit forums, good blogs and they will get much more and for free.

    • Michael Cyger says

      Hi Ada,

      “Now it became just advertising platform for Schilling and similar guys. There is no education there anymore.”

      DomainSherpa is still the same place as always. It is the place you can come to learn from successful entrepreneurs and investors, in-depth, in long video format. And I still ask all the tough questions — the questions that everyone’s thinking but most are afraid to ask.

      Here are the last 10 interviews (http://www.domainsherpa.com/interviews/):
      1. Drop Catching Programming Expert on the Domain Name Expiration Process – With Chris Ambler
      2. [Tutorial] Find and Contact the Right Decision Maker for Domain Name Sales – With David Kelly
      3. Hardcore Hustling Tactics to Buy and Sell LLLL .com Domains – With Jeffrey Emerick
      4. How a Premium Domain Name (Ring.com) Can Boost an Already Successful Startup – With Jamie Siminoff
      5. Ahoy, Matey! PirateShip.com Flipped in 21 days for $18,500 Profit – With Daniel Levi
      6. [Tutorial] Know Before You Buy: Domain Name Due Diligence – With Bill Hartzer
      7. Don’t Overpay for a Domain Name, Think Creatively! – With Zalmi Duchman
      8. The Riches Are in the (.Tickets) Niches – With Steve Machin and Gary Fisher
      9. $21K Profit Flipping 2 Domains in Less Than 4 Months – With Christian Calvin
      10. Sales Persistence: 120 Contacts to Close a Single Sale – With Joe Uddeme

      The last time Frank Schilling was on a DomainSherpa show was January 18, 2016.

      Any journey starts with a single step. You have to decide to get going in a direction you want to go. It’s doable if you take it one step at a time. But too many people do it alone for too long and are not sure of the path. Now there’s DNAcademy.

      Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and I’m not likely going to change your opinion with data.

      If you want to learn more about DNAcademy, I’ll personally walk you through the course via video Skype and perhaps it will provide the missing piece to your investing that has prevented you from being as successful as you wish. If nothing else, maybe something I share with you will be beneficial. You can reach me at michael /at/ dnacademy dot com. I hope you reach out.

      Best wishes to you,

  9. ada says

    He was making 20-30k a year from domaing, but last year he made about 200k.
    What a great progress. Let me guess, he sold a domain which he bought 15 years ago or earlier.

    • Michael Cyger says

      Hi again, Ada.

      “Let me guess, he sold a domain which he bought 15 years ago or earlier.”

      No, I didn’t sell a domain name that I purchased 15 years ago. In fact, I only entered the domain name industry 5 years ago, and even then it took me a couple of years to figure out the industry — just like most people who entered recently. And the largest portion of my domain name sales (and profit) in 2015 was from a domain name that I purchased two months prior.

      Here’s my full story, if you care to read it: http://www.domainsherpa.com/about-michael-cyger/

      I’ll be the first to admit that last year was unlike my previous, but I’ll also be the first to admin that luck favors the prepared. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that luck continues into 2016, just like most other investors.

      If you take DNAcademy, you’ll learn a little about negotiation too. I wouldn’t have had the year I did in 2015 without being able to negotiate offers that came in. My tactics may not be for you, but I also go into many options in the DNAcademy course.

      If you’re thinking it might be for you, reach out to me at michael /at/ dnacademy dot com and let’s chat about you.

      Best wishes to you.

  10. Joseph Peterson says

    @Michael Cyger,

    I’m skeptical. Certainly about the value. Also about the objectivity.

    Buying a textbook to learn Chinese – 200+ pages, plus exercises written by university professors, plus video tutorials – that would cost us about $20-$60.

    What beyond that does this DNAcademy course include to justify upping the price by a factor of 10 compared to similar content published in book form?

    A private forum. Yet that can be nowhere near as comprehensive in terms of content as an established forum like NamePros, which is free. Surely, the DNAcademy forum would be a ghost town in comparison. Questions could be answered by more people with more cumulative experience & more quickly elsewhere.

    DNAcademy can’t offer much 1-on-1 attention from Michael Cyger. After all, you’re busy with DomainSherpa and other businesses. Too busy to be anybody’s tutor.

    Regular Q&A webinars from experts? How is that different from the free DomainSherpa podcasts you already produce? How regular? And what experts? If we’re talking about Frank Schilling, then that’ll be simply a Uniregistry sales pitch. If we’re talking about Shane Cultra or Ali Zandi, then they’re already readily accessible on their blogs and via private messaging.

    1 danger in gathering a private captive audience of newbie domainers is that – away from more experieced observers – they’re susceptible to all sorts of veiled sales pitches. That is, after all, how Adam Dicker used his DNF College.

    That isn’t an unwarranted concern, Mike. DomainSherpa is financed by advertisers, and they would definitely love to have you “educate” DNAcademy customers about what they’re selling. When your advertisers ask you to talk about them in front of that DNAcademy audience – a group that has already demonstrated a willingness to listen and hand over $500 – will you tell your sponsors No? If not, then domainers are PAYING for biased information.

    Estibot springs to mind. That’s a DomainSherpa sponsor. At NamePros new domainers might be warned not to rely on Estibot, and they might be dissuaded from signing up. Right or wrong, that is likely to be the gist of discussion, the consensus. But at DNAcademy? My guess is that such an opinion would jeopardize your advertiser relationships. So how could you afford to be objective?

    Remember, Mike, you have censored, blocked, and even rewritten my comments at DomainSherpa because they were partly critical. So it’s hard for me to imagine that you’d allow all questions to be heard impartially within DNAcademy

    At one point, Adam Dicker and his NicheWebsites business were a DomainSherpa sponsor. Prior to that, DomainSherpa was pitching Protrada, whose Troy Rushton also helped sell Adam as an expert – there again with expensive courses.

    My point is this: You mentioned that DNAcademy has been in the works for years. So if you had released it last year, then your students might well have been paying to hear from Adam or from Troy or from you about their services! Honestly, Mike, back then you would have included them as experts … as part of what justifies that $50 to $500 markup!

    Mike, in many ways I like you. But you’re the same curator, the same flawed judge of trustworthy experts, and the same overweening protector of guests and advertisers now as before. It’s only sensible that we react with trepidation.

    There may be value in DNAcademy for some domainers. But I really can’t fathom what justifies the markup from a $50 textbook to a $500 package. For all the reasons mentioned above, I’m inclined to advise domainers not to buy. Not having looked at your lessons or watched your experts within DNAcademy, that’s bound to be my initial stance – like that of most people who aren’t loyal friends.

    Like I said, I’m skeptical. But I’m persuadable. And I could be wrong. Persuade me.

  11. Danny Welsh says

    When it comes to enlisting legitimate expert help solving the handful of big personal problems worth investing whatever money necessary to to solve (‘how to make money’ is a big one of those, but by no means the only one, I think price tag rarely matters as much as people think it does.

    After all, money as most people believe it to be isn’t even real.

    @MikeCyger, I don’t know all the facts about what other people may have said or done but you’ve taken a shellacking here while showing nothing but class, and for that I’m empathetic. I couldn’t do it, and said ‘fuck it, I’m out I don’t need this shit’ as far as having a public life. Good on you for trying to be the sharer you are. I met you and looked in your eye, and I’d trust you. You may never see this but then again maybe you will…so here goes.

    Raise your price man. I have a good number of friends that sell $1000+ price-point packages of information products, where traditional information (which we all know is reaching the ‘free line’ where the masses of people that value money over time will spend hundreds of hours to save five hundred dollars) is not sold alone but combined in a way unique to someone with your skillsets, insight, knowledge and subject matter expertise and connections. I made hundreds of thousands of dollars early in my business career writing sales copy for these clients to sell millions in their products. Though I wrote for a few niches, I intimately know the opportunity seeker because I was the market myself through my own late teens and early 20s. I bought all that stuff, and some I used and most I didn’t if we’re being honest. It’s human nature to take your umbilical cord and want to plug in to another place, and some people never come to the realization that that place doesn’t exist in the real world.

    If people want a book, they’ll buy a book. If they want to spend the same or more hundreds of hours scouring forums and blogs that a subject matter expert did and don’t value the leapfrog you’re offering….let them. Hell, if they want to rip your course off of pirating websites there’s a kind of person that will do that, too.

    None is or should be your target customer if you want less headaches and happier customers that use what you sell to enhance their lives.

    Information together with experiential elements, done-for-you services, seminars, masterminds, coaching, group coaching, retreats, tools etc now that’s another story (and that may very well be what you’ve built with DNAcademy I have no first-hand knowledge yet I do know that typically excellence in one thing translates to excellence in others and at least two of your business projects I do know are excellent). Back to those friends and past copywriting clients of mine from when I freelanced for the info gurus in real estate, dating, stock investing etc. Those that increase their prices are invariably happy they decided not to charge $500 or less. At $500 or less you deal with a class of people who can’t afford to lose, yet in my experience they expect to lose…and so often justify why not to try and risk rather than allow themselves to attempt and succeed.

    It’s the reason that the single fastest way you can double the PROFIT (not sales volume) of an information-product business is to triple the price of the highest-level offering while simultaneously a) creating a lower-level offer at 20-33% of the previous offering (an automated one, or standard book or CDs only with no experiential components) and b) giving a 1 year or more 100% money-back guarantee on both.

    Both of those moves are counter-intuitive but it’s how you deal with a better class of customers that expect to use and benefit from the information you provide. I’ve only met you the once, but I think you deserve that.

  12. Lee says

    Love what Mike has to offer I have seen him on Youtube many times, I’am also a domain investor and have done well in the past couple of years however next month I’am planning to join the Pro Version of Dna…I know this will make a huge difference to all that I do!

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