I’ve talked about this before on ccTLD Investors but I think it is an absolutely critical point to make when it comes to investing in ccTLDs – go with what you know. I can tell you this through my own failures, which I’m never afraid to admit.
I started investing in ccTLDs in 2007 but dramatically increased my purchases in 2008 and 2009. At that time I thought you never could have too many ccTLDs and with so many emerging markets, the sky really was the limit. While I can’t say I was wrong, I can say I really didn’t know enough to make great investments when it came to a vast majority of my purchases.
The problem was, I was investing in markets that I didn’t know and really didn’t take the time to learn the intricacies of what was valuable in each market. Here’s the problem – you see a great one-word .COM sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, then you find-out the same name is available in .vg or .ag, or some other relatively obscure ccTLD. Then you think to yourself, well if it sold for six-figures in .COM it should sell for at least four-figures in a ccTLD right? Not always and in most cases the answer is just plain “No”
If a hot keyword is available for hand-registration in a particular TLD there is usually a reason for this – it’s not a good domain to own. Unless you’re talking about taking part in a sunrise or landrush but that’s a whole different story.
Now looking back almost four years later I have learned a valuable lesson. The ccTLDs I have done the best with are those that I knew the market well, namely .US and .CO.UK. I was able to build a solid business with .US domains as I know this market and knew what people in the US were searching for. With other ccTLDs this wasn’t the case and I made a lot of bad investments.
So if you’re getting started in ccTLDs where should you start? Start with the country you live in. If you live in Canada give .CA a shot, if you live in Germany, .DE is a hot one, and if you live in Australia .COM.AU has continued to see strong growth. The next critical step is to set some metric off success. For me this was to make over $1,000/month and I hit that goal with .US pretty quickly. I am yet to hit that goal with any other ccTLD.
Once you hit your goal, then you can get a bit more adventurous and try another ccTLD, but before you start buying – ask an expert. This is what I’m doing now with .DE. I’ve always been interested in .DE and want to make some investments in the space. Rather than diving in and guessing I’ve decided to consult a few people I know that have been successful with this ccTLD. You can’t expect to be an expert right-away, you need to take the time to learn, experiment, set goals, and then hit them!
I will keep all of you updated as to how my investment adventures go. For my first purchase, I’m looking at buying a $x,xxx name in the .DE space. However before I even think of making this investment I’ll be running it by my friends who are experts in the space and can help me make a sound investment decision, if you’re not doing the same, are you really making an investment?