“Opportunity” is and, indeed, has been the buzzword which has powered corporate America for more than a century now at least. That one word has translated a number of ways and into various approaches to business in American history. That same opportunistic, go-getter spirit lives in all of us, and it may well be that you, too, want to make your mark in the latest “get rich scheme.” The 1920s had bootlegging, the 70s and 80s had the Pyramid Scheme, and now we in the Internet Age have the domaining industry. What is this new Internet industry, which is gaining more press by the day? And what are the real effects of a “career” in domaining? As with the Roaring 20s, the hype, in the end, far outstrips the substance and can, in the end, lead you and others towards a terrible crash.
WHAT IS DOMAINING?
Being such a young industry, the domaining industry is still one being both defined and refined by those within the field as well as on the outside looking in. To take the broadest definition, domaining has to do with “domain names,” that is, the names and associated tags you can use for your website. Of course, certain names are more attractive to others and, in theory, a more attractive and effective domain name can lead to more traffic for your website and that, in theory, can improve the chances of your domain name ranking higher in search engine searches, all of which, in theory, can help generate revenue for you in the end—“in theory” being the operative words here concerning this “new and exciting” business venture. If you think that there are quite a few “ifs,” “maybes,” and “in theory” references in that description, you’re right, but you’ve picked the wrong word.
All those “ifs?” When it comes to “domaining,” replace every “if” with “opportunity” and “highly improbable” with “challenging” and you have an accurate idea as to the general risk/benefit of this particular enterprise, with the former far outweighing the latter in most cases. You may be wondering how, then, this enterprise could possibly be such a hot, trending online business idea if the risk of failure is so high, the price of a failed investment can be steep and the reputation so dubious? When gold was found at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, the following year marked the Gold Rush where, indeed, those building business to profit from those seeking gold were the ones who had truly found a veritable goldmine in terms of easily-led and exploited clientele. And then, of course, there were the bootlegging and then Pyramid schemes of the 20th century, and for every millionaire those schemes might have made, there were countless others who, in the end, were forced to see that the whole thing had in the end led to no value added in terms of their wealth or lives. Domaining may have you selling brochures on “Get Rich” schemes, but those who actually will get rich from domaining are likely to be those who haven’t sold a brochure in their life—and are getting you to “invest” in an idea which serves them and can bankrupt you.
MYTHBUSTING THE DOMAIN GAME
So what are some of the common myths surrounding this new “business opportunity,” and how do they pay off (or not?) To begin with, as with any online job, the sales pitch often centers around this aspect as if “online” meant “free as a bird” or “a calm, passive, work-at-my-own-pace job.” As with most “investment opportunities” promising to help you “get rich quick,” this can be technically true but practically false—in contracts with such slick salesmen, the devil, as always, is in the details. Sure, you can work at your own pace—provided that you don’t mind potentially losing your home or not being able to pay your bills. Money doesn’t simply roll your way in the Domain Name Game—you can be passive if you want, but if you want to make any actual money, let alone money which you could hope to actually sustain and live off of on even a meager budget, you’ll have to work not only quite actively, but quite intensively as well. Whether there’s a substitute for hard work or not, this certainly isn’t one of them.
Domain-pushing masterminds also like to put forward the idea that you can buy in for just a small amount, pump up prices as you register these domains, and then sell in the end for a big pay day. If this scheme sounds suspiciously-familiar, then you’re onto something, and evidently smarter than those in the domain name game business think you are—this is essentially a high-tech, elaborate and very round-about way of presenting a classic con strategy in both stock market dealing and Pyramid schemes. You may be promised a big pay day later, but will that day ever come? Not likely, and all the while, those who have the certainty of cash that was once yours are laughing all the way to the bank.
All of this, of course, from the high-risk environment to the idea the get rich scheme to the perceived passivity and proposed idea that a small bet on your part can pay off later big-time all traces back to a central motif—gambling. And what more classic gambling mentality is there than the man or woman who sits there, having lost half their money already, buying in again while saying “Hey, all I need is one big hand and I’m back in the paint!” The same principle is preyed upon by the proponents of this enterprise.
One big pay day, one big win. That can happen in the domain name game—
But only to those people who, after all, aren’t doing the actual domain selling, but are betting on your being gullible enough to fall for half-truths and empty promises.