Domain investors acquire domains with one goal in mind: profit. Whether it's short term profit or profit to be materialized months and years down the road, domain investing is a practice that requires strategic planning.
Monetization, development, and subsequent sale of domain names is a process that depends on the quality of the assets involved. Poorly chosen acquisitions become "dead weight" that eventually ends up becoming expired and abandoned. On the other hand, carefully selected domain names from the get-go, eventually become the seed upon a strong portfolio is built.
What makes a domain "great" as opposed to one of lesser quality? Let's examine some of these characteristics that when present define a great domain name.
By default, we identify great domains by the most popular extension, dot .com. It's the king of TLDs, the top searched term alongside a keyword, and the most populous.
But don't discount other TLDs, often in conjunction with the keyword itself; new gTLDs offer the ability to form meaningful pairs of keyword+TLD and create superb brandables. Country extensions (ccTLDs) are most valuable in local markets, or in addition to international campaigns with a local focus. Many of these, as single word domains, can be extremely valuable for localized campaigns and for enforcing local presence—you can thank Google for that.
Brevity and clarity of the keyword are the top qualities that define the domain's core value; it's the foundation of a domain's worth. Dictionary words, whether nouns, verbs, or gerunds, are by default the most sought-after domain variants, and the type of domains that appreciate in value with time. Also, they are the ones that can find the widest number of applications and use across a multitude of industries as brands or corporate names.
But even longer domains, or composite keywords are valuable as assets, as long as they are descriptive in nature and devoid of any spelling complexities that might lead to common typographical errors. For example, combinations of adjective + noun can form great domain names that are suitable for products and services.
One has to remember that in the world of brands positive keywords are important, while negative terms or terms of dubious nature should be avoided. Even the shortest, negative term won't form a domain of choice over a longer, yet positive keyword. It's important to gauge a domain's value as it'd apply to specific, but also broader industries. By taking that approach at the point of registration or secondary market acquisition, a domain investor ensures that their money is well-spent.
Both the Uniregistry Market and Afternic carry a plethora of domain inventory ready to be acquired at a range of budgets. Domains in the aftermarket are field-tested for qualities that are often sought after by end-users and investors alike.
Keyword clarity is another fundamental element that great domains possess. Certain words might have alternate spellings, or be difficult to remember, especially when not everyone is a spelling bee champion! By selecting keywords that cannot be mistyped or confused for others, you ensure that the domain retains a strong value and a great potential as an asset to be resold.
In a nutshell: Great domain names can be acquired at a reasonable cost. Keyword quality is as important as the domain's length, and while .com is king other extensions might work well for local markets. Combine the best choices when following these guidelines and you'll be on your way to build a solid domain name portfolio.