‘Stop Me Before I Domain Again’

Written By: Donna Schwartz Mills

They appear to be average American women. They meet in
parenting chat rooms and discussion lists to exchange photos
of their kids, cheer on each other’s pregnancies and
ccasionally complain about their husbands’ snoring. They
swap recipes and advice on schools and diets. They seem
normal in every way.

But these women share an obsession – a dark secret that
their offline friends may not understand.

‘Stop me before I domain again,’ jokes Nita Jackson of
OrganizeTips.com < http://www.organizetips.com >.

These all-American women are also webmasters; entrepreneurs
who feel a rose by any other name should get registered
before someone else snaps it up.

‘Every word or name that you hear, you wonder if it is taken
as a dot.com or dot.net,’ says Wendy Shepherd of
ComputerMommy.com < http://www.computermommy.com >. ‘I dream
about new domains at night, and am always looking at
something and wondering if it is a domain name yet.’

According to NetNames, there are over 22 million dot-com
names registered around the world with ICANN estimating that
21,000 new domains (of all kinds) registered weekly. If
you’ve ever had a problem getting the name of your choice,
this is a factor.

‘Our company owns about 150 domains right now,’ says Nancy
Price of Myria Media < http://myriamedia.com >. ‘To one
degree or another, about 30 are in use right now. The others
are saved for future development, to protect our trademarks
and/or intellectual property (such as, variations of the
names of our main sites) and also some generic terms.’

Like Price, most of the women buy names for their business
use. Surprisingly few of them collect domains with the idea
of selling them later.

‘The second I bought my first domain, I fell in love. Ever
since, I change projects about twice a year,’ says Amy
Fleeman of ColumbusMoms.com < http://www.columbusmoms.com >.
Amy has made a little bit of money selling domains she owns,
but is picky about who she sells to. ‘I tend to sell cheaper
than I should because I want them to go to ‘good homes,’
(ie other webmasters I know do good work vs some stranger
on eBay).’

‘I get ideas, buy the domains, and actually put them
together from start to finish. I design the pages, the
graphics, install the CGI, advertise, get content… Then
once everything is in place, I get the fever to do a new
one. So I sell the old one and go at it again! I usually
have several projects going on at once. So, I guess I’m not
as addicted to registering the names as I am building the
actual community from ground up.’

If domain buying is ever officially classified as an
addiction, Shelley Pietras would qualify for treatment. As
owner of YourDomainForFree.com
< http://www.yourdomainforfree.com >, Pietras can feed her
habit with ease. In the course of one month, Pietras has
tripled the number of names in her collection to ‘an even
90.’ She says ‘Four are in use right now, and the rest -
Well, we do plan to use them, sell them, give them away as

‘Each domain that was registered came from an actual
business idea. When the idea hit, the domain was registered.
Whether or not all these ideas will ever be put into action
remains to be seen, but at least we’ve got the first step
out of the way!’

Nita Jackson also feeds her habit by being a registrar
< http://www.PCMindToday.com >. Like Price, she started
buying names that were related to her site,
OrganizeTips.com, because she did not want competitors
getting them first. She spends about $500 each year on a
total of 16 domains (two of which are actually operating
as websites).

‘I plan to develop the rest and work my fingers to the
bone,’ she says.

With so many names already registered, finding a good one
these days is hard. Price offers this advice:

“Take your time coming up with a good name. You should
probably check to see that it’s not a trademarked term.
Then, when you go to register the domain, also buy the
common variations (hyphenated, pluralized, etc.). Finally,
don’t talk to anyone about your plans until you have the
domain name on record!”

About the Author

Donna Schwartz Mills is editor of NOBOSS Online, the
weekly newsletter for home-based entrepreneurs working the
web. Subscribe by sending a blank email to
subscribe-online@noboss.com. Visit today for
tools tips and advice you need to help grow your home based
business while raising a family – http://www.parentpreneurclub.com

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