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Emoji Domains and Other Domain Hacks

Have you heard of Emoji Domain Names (EDNs) before? Chances are if you’re not a domain investor you haven’t heard of EDNs before. EDNs are relatively new and few and far between. To understand more about EDNs, I caught up with Max Guerin, a domain hacker and the seller of our largest EDN sale, ☁.com for $13,500.

How did you get started with domaining?

I started nearly 10 years ago when I was 20. Back then most valuable dot-com were already gone so I looked at alternatives (this was before new gtlds) and placed my luck on domain hacks which were slowly being adopted by startups e.g. del.icio.us instagr.am. I went on a registering spree and grabbed as many as I could and soon I had a solid portfolio. My first big domain hack sale was webc.am which I sold for $6,000 in 2011.

You sold the EDN (Emoji Domain name) ☁.com for $13,500 over a year ago. Tell us about when you acquired the name, and why the domain sold for that price?

That’s correct, it was a surprise for me since it was the first emoji domain auction on Flippa (that I know of) and I didn’t expect it to go pass the $10K range even though I had put a BIN price of $100,000 which is definitely an accurate value for it now with the recent spike in emoji domains registrations. Looking back to when I purchased it in 2011 for less than $500 it’s one of the best domain investments that I have done.

Do you see EDN’s growing in popularity?

Definitely and faster than people in the industry might think. When Marc Köhlbrugge of BetaList.com unveiled 😁.to last summer, a website that allows people to register available emoji domains under the .to extension no one not even myself (the nice guy who gave him the tip about .to emoji domains) would have thought that within days most of them would be registered (Nearly 75% of single emoji domains registered in 2 days! What’s next?). Next, I see more extensions allowing emoji domains which could lead to top gtlds like dot-com or dot-net to make it possible again to register everyone’s favorite pictograms.

If someone wanted to buy an EDN, how would they go about registering a domain?

Want to register an emoji domain without a sweat? Just head over EmojiDomain.com and in less than 5 minutes it’s done.

What are your favorite domain hacks?

cryp.to, intern.et, and 🐈.to (gato or cat in spanish). Where do you see the future of domains going? Blockchain technology has the power to revolutionize a lot of industries including the domain industry which is pretty saturated right now even with new gtlds and could definitely use more decentralization. We are already witnessing rapid changes with initiatives like namecoin and .bit and I see a lot more coming with perhaps a new organization similar to ICANN but decentralized overwatching this transition.

If someone wants to get started with domaining, what would you recommend their first steps to be?

  1. Get informed (e.g. namebio.com)
  2. Use the right tools (e.g. domainr.com)
  3. Find your niche (e.g. domain hacks, crypto domains etc.).

These 3 steps achieved get your business going but never forget to stay one step further.

What are your thoughts on gTLD’s (like .club, .xyz, etc…) overall and do they have staying power to compete with .com’s?

People want to have a variety of choices that’s what new gtlds offer. It took 20 years for dot-com to establish itself as “the king” extension, just give new gtlds 10 more years and they will achieve that status. The big question is which ones?

Max Guerin is the Founder of claim.club, a business that uses domains to provide up-to-date branding and marketing strategies. You can view his Flippa profile to view his latest domain sales, or follow him on Twitter @DomainHacks.