Small differences in Domain Names – No Narcissism here!

Recently Shane had a great post about how to make money with 5L domain names.  What I found even more interesting were the comments and domain names that people had registered.  Some were ok and some were just bad.  I think Shane has a good grasp on what sells in that arena and he gives some good feedback in the comments.

Domain Name Narcissism

If you Google “Narcissism of small differences” you’ll see that in most cases people point out small differences to feel unique, ie important.  In some cases you’ll find that in domaining, but usually only in negotiations where the seller is trying to make a point for more money.  However, what a small difference can be in domains is ultimately huge – do you think Google would be as dominant as they are if you had to Goggle them or Guugle them?  Domains, and more importantly, brands rely on small differences.  Memorability, uniqueness and brandability are huge factors in domain names.

What I can say is that most of what Shane wrote is true based on my experiences.  I registered probably 50 5L .com’s and .net’s and I have a couple of additional tips:

  1. Stay away from 5L .net’s, org’s etc unless you know EXACTLY how you are going to sell it or monetize it.  There could be some links and history that is useful or you might be able to sell it to the .com owner if they accidentally let them drop, but in general stay away.
  2. Your 5L hand reg is probably worthless.  There are almost 12 million, yes MILLION, combinations of 5 letters not counting numbers and dashes.  Unless you can hand register something like AAAAA, XXXXX, myxxx, lover, hoser, golds, rings or something like that (you can’t btw), your hand registered domain is unlikely to ever sell.  There are some that are worth buying and keeping and Shane has a list that he has for sale that are pretty good.  I did keep a few I had picked up that dropped, but eventually let over half of the 50 go.  I’ve sold a few, but small in relation to the percentage of 5L’s that I owned.

The important point of “Narcissism of small differences” that you can leverage is the fact that people generally want, and do care about the domain name.  They become invested in the domain name and that is why a company will spend hundreds of hours and countless dollars to get just the right domain name.  They will then notice the difference in other, less worthy, domains and spend quite a bit of their resources on a perfect (for them) domain name.

I have just over 20 5L’s right now and there are a few that I really like and here is my narcissistic evaluation of a few:

  • – Well, this one is probably the most obvious because it sounds like wifi.  In my spare time I’d like to start a forum on wifi… or sell it to Rob over at Epik to go with his
  • – Anything vampire related is hot right now and has been for quite some time.  There is/was an online magazine called vampd so there is some traffic.  I’ve had several offers on this one over the last year and I’ve turned down offers of 500+ so that is a good sign. 
  • – I really like this one for a social networking/chat site.  That isn’t really my cup of tea, but someone will want this gem – Two real words in a 5L that actually make a phrase is pretty brandable, imo.
  • – Sounds like Diesel and there is pretty interesting traffic to it for some reason.  Plus I just like it.
  • – This is a single word in Spanish and there is a developed site on another extension.   Also, it has 2 words if you make it Ace Is – as in “Ace Is Good” or something like that – I’m a poker buff so that is the way I see it.  Since it ends in IS it could be Ace Internet Services and I’m thinking about creating an branding my development arm under that name next year so I may hold onto this one as well.  Always looking for offers though.
  • Finally, I’ll throw in this one that I actually found and hand registered without much of a real plan, but I think it works… – sounds like Fake which I think is funny and I wanted to use it for a parking lot of Q/A’s I have – so it would be Frequently Asked, And Answered, Questions.  Goofy, I know, but for some reason it just clicks with me and a FAQ site can get decent traffic over time.

Anyway, good luck with your domains and if you have any insight or commentary on what I have listed feel free to let me know.

~~ DomainNitro ~~

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