The average lifespan in the United States is 79. Albeit, there are domainers spanning the globe, but I’m writing subjectively from the States. If you start at 21, you have roughly 21,000 mornings to achieve success. If you’re older (like myself) or if you’ve had one too many cheeseburgers (again, writing from the U.S.), you have a little less time on your hands to reach your goals.

Regardless of whether you’re a full-time, part-time, or casual domainer, there’s no silver bullet for the proper schedule as it varies widely. Whether you’re still wet behind the ears or a veteran wanting to try something new, this is one avenue to take that’s more sales oriented. With that said, part of being successful at something is developing and modifying a routine and making it a habit.

Success is subjective by nature, but it is achieved through a work routine combined with small and large accomplishments. Achieving success overnight without effort or an initial feeling of triumph is rare (like winning the lottery) and is often gone just as quick (like most lottery winners experience). So this piece will focus primarily on habitual sales rather than holding onto a portfolio until your winning ticket comes in. Fair warning, I know once you name something you want to keep it, but your domains are not lost puppies, they’re inventory. You can read more about how to mentally let go of your domains here.

Of course buying domains is important and you can’t sell what you don’t have (unless you’re a broker, in which case you probably don’t need to read this and you should get back to developing leads), but anyone that advises you to prioritize other tasks before sales has an ulterior motive or is running a non-profit organization.

1) Sales – If you’ve ever heard of the strength model, you know that self-control wanes throughout the day and becomes fatigued by the conclusion of it. How you mentally perceive tasks alters; difficulty increases and affects you on a psychological and physiological level. This is why I place extra emphasis on sales early in the day in case you get distracted by other events (day job, kids, pets, pizza).
Focus on any tasks that are going to 1) produce income the fastest and 2) will be quick. Accomplishing these short monetarily rewarding tasks can give you the ego boost that will get you through the rest of your schedule. Some of these could include deals that are nearing the end of due diligence and need one brief phone call or email, warm leads that have made offers near your sales ceiling, last domain pushes or transfers before payment is received, etc.
2) Reading – Keeping up with trends and news is key in this constantly evolving market. Finding new books to read, following popular blogs and participating in a forum can make all the difference. Being part of a domaining community can drastically improve your wherewithal and expand your network on a daily basis. Not only does this help with research and identifying new sales and buying habits, but it can be a motivational tool as well.

3) Buying Domain Names – Everyone is going to have a different acquisition strategy (keyword domains, trends, brandability, typos, spellos) so I won’t get into niches, just buying domains in general. It’s important to appropriately account for the time it takes to perform each way to acquire a name, otherwise a day could literally be spent just purchasing names:

a) Hand Registering – Most registrars have discount codes. Remember to think at the margin and make use of them!

b) Back-Ordering/Drop Catching – This is a labor intensive route as you have to place back-orders at the last minute to edge-out others who are aiming to grab the same domain name. Pending delete domains routinely end in the morning while Pre-Release drops usually end in the evening. Depending how your day is structured, plan accordingly.

c) Private Acquisition – Bill Sweetman recently wrote a great article that addresses everything involving this.

4) Longer Sales – After you’ve slotted out some time for buying, you can circle back and reply to any more immediate inbound offers to buy your domains, then move onto more time consuming sales tasks that might directly or indirectly lead to a sale.

a) Listing your domain portfolio on different classified listing and auction platforms. If you’re following this route on Flippa’s auction platform remember that there’s a larger success rate for sellers that launch their auction with a low starting price (to produce a bidding mentality) and time their auction so that it ends at peak times in the middle of the week, from 3-6pm PST. Paying to upgrade your listing will obviously help in marketing it, but you should probably reserve this tactic for your better inventory.

b) Following up on more warm leads you’ve researched or interacted with.

c) Marketing your domains or perfecting how to monetize and price them appropriately.

d) Speaking with your broker.

e) Responding to low ball offers: This includes answering those less attractive offers that start with $10. It’s best not to burn bridges, but you also don’t want to prioritize people that are going to be finicky or dance around a sale.

5) Plan – Part of having a routine is planning for the immediate and long term future. Keep a list of tasks you need to complete for the following day and long term goals you want to accomplish. Statistics show that if you commit a task or goal to paper or document it somehow (I only use paper for hard copies of my taxes now), you’re far more likely to accomplish them. Remember to update your daily list and add new tasks. It’s even more effective if your long term goals are something measurable. The more concrete, the easier it is to reverse engineer a strategy and set benchmarks.

6) Research/Reassess – Winston Churchill provided great advice when he said “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Sticking to a general routine and strategy is great, but make sure to reevaluate and modify for better results. Studies show that measuring your results, and not the time you spent, will improve your work efficiency.

7) Sales Bookend – Again, respond to any immediate pending offers and quick things you can push through. If you attend networking events near you, remember to connect the dots with small business owners and pitch them a domain name!

As you can see, this is a triple-decker sales sandwich. Scheduling will change from person-to-person, especially if you’re new to the industry and are researching and buying domains rather than selling them. When making your own schedule just remember as Stephen Covey said “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”