As much as domainers like to talk about “potential” and dream big, bills have to be paid and bellies have to be filled.
One of the most important questions you have to answer will always be this: what ultimately pays the bills and puts food on the table?
Make no mistake, even domainers who always aim high had to ask themselves this question.
For example, Rick Schwartz had type-in traffic monetization as a reliable income stream. That strategy is obviously no longer effective in 2017 and beyond, so domainers have to adapt.
There are quite a few potential options:
1) Simply paying the bills with domain sales proceeds. Perhaps the most obvious approach but do keep in mind that if domain sales are your only income source, aiming high during negotiations is easier said than done. If you’re sitting on a fat cash cushion and have lots of income producing assets, it’s easier to turn down offers than it is when you know you have a mortgage payment to make and not enough liquidity to cover it
2) Having a “real” job, something a lot of domainers do and if that’s the case, one can simply treat domaining as a lucrative hobby; not the option I for one would choose (being a freelancer was the closest I’ve been to having an actual job, never had a 9 to 5 one) but I’m sure it works for many
3) Other online projects (websites, blogs, online businesses, you name it): this is the approach I’ve personally chosen; I’ve run development services, broker domains every now and then, run a YouTube channel, sell my newly published book, offer consulting services and so on; by doing this, I spread my risk across various activities and as such, am reasonably diversified; over a period of several months, domain sales can end up being my main cash source but things can change and market conditions worsen, another income source can take over
4) Owning offline income producing assets such as real estate, stocks and so on: in my case, rent income is a very reliable cash source, something different enough to constitute healthy diversification and passive enough to generate income without causing too many headaches
… and so on.
What about you guys? What pays the bills in your case?