How I Made 5 Figures Doing Something I Love
3 votes, 5.00 avg. tacos (92% full)

A few months ago, Hayden had the foresight to start NoHatDigital to teach people more than just how to build niche and authority sites. He created the blog to help people learn how to start a business so they can have a steady income and leave their corporate job or for the younger crowd, to build their own business to avoid a regular 9 to 5 position.

While I contribute an article to the blog every few weeks or so, I often struggle to come up with a topic because I really don’t like to write. But I’m finding this one a little easier than most as I realized this morning, I had a story to contribute which ties directly to NoHatDigital’s mission of teaching people to start their own business.

Finding Your Passion

Years ago I read a book called Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow. At that time, I was nearing the end of my Bachelors degree realizing I had devoted 4 years of going to college and I didn’t like my projected career path. So, rather than going into the working world, I kept going to school trying to find what I loved to do. And luckily I did.

passionFast forward many years later when I was working in a job I loved but had some extra time on my hands. I started reading about internet marketing and happened to catch Hayden Miyamoto’s first podcast with Spencer Hawes. This was the one where Hayden spoke about the Scrapebox/Xenu method of finding expired domains to build a private blog network.

Like many others I had to try it out and like many others I had limited success. Still, I saw the power of the method but put it on the back burner for many months while I was learning about other areas of internet marketing. Then last year, I revisited the podcast and thought I could build a more efficient crawler for finding expired domains.

While I am not a programmer, I have worked in information technology for 20 years as a data scientist. My strength is in analyzing customer needs and using data to solve business problems. During this time I worked with programmers to create commercial crawlers to extract information from the internet to build business databases.

I enjoy anything data intensive so I took the opportunity to work with a programmer to develop a crawler to find expired domains because I thought it would be fun. I didn’t plan to develop a private blog network of my own as I quickly learned I was not into building niche sites. I figured I could develop a cool tool and possibly sell some expired domains on Go Daddy auctions.

I started investing money in software development without a monetization plan because I really wasn’t planning to start a business. But 6 months after selling my first expired domain, I looked in my Paypal account and found I had earned 5 figures from selling domains and letting others use my crawler called Expired Domain Miner.

Here is why I believe I was successful.


You hear it all the time. Find something you are passionate about. This is especially true when you are building a business. You will be immersed in your endeavor, likely thinking about your business most waking hours. While I don’t think you need to be passionate about your niche sites, you do when starting your own business.

This is exactly what I found. Many facets of internet marketing are not interesting for me so I stayed away from them. But anything which is data intensive or requires text analysis and mining is right up my alley. This is why I enjoy building a crawler and finding expired domains.


The fastest way to generate revenue is to find an existing market which is under served. If you think about expired domains, the demand was tremendous but existing crawlers were more frustrating than fruitful so most people were buying them on auction. Unfortunately this makes it very expensive to build a private blog network.

So for me, this meant lots of opportunity which was confirmed when I did my No Hat internship almost a year ago. My intern group was large and some of the people in it were already very successful with some having their own seo companies while others had made thousands of dollars in ecommerce. A number of them talked about expired domains so I heard first hand about the power of them for a private blog network and the resulting demand.

Building a Better Mouse Trap

I was lucky I had the right background to build a better product than what was already on the market. Crawlers are cpu and memory intensive so it is very difficult to create one which is very fast and doesn’t cause your computer to crash. I know this from experience since even some of the ones I built to gather information to build business databases crashed at times.

Rapid Development and Monetization

Rapid-DevelopmentIt has been almost a year since I started on this project. This means my programmer worked on many versions and the crawler is still being enhanced today. The good news was I did not have to wait a year to profit as we initially built the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Essentially the MVP is used to validate what the customer needs while putting in the minimum effort to develop it.

My programmer and I used the process of rapid application development, meaning the programmer built the software quickly so I could test and provide feedback. In fact, I found the programmer on Freelancer and he created a small portion of the software even before I hired him. He wanted to make sure he could deliver on the speed I had requested as part of the specification.

Rapid application development meant I was able to use the crawler to sell expired domains very quickly. This money was then used to fund additional development. So while I didn’t have profit the first few months, I did not need to pay money out of pocket for additional development.

Marketing – Or My Lack of Marketing

I am not a marketer nor am I a salesperson. So you may ask how did I earn 5 figures from expired domains? Since my No Hat internship group often talked about expired domains, I mentioned what I was doing. Most of the group already knew my background was in Big Data so a few of them were interested in expired domains I found or getting access to the crawler. Those who tried the crawler loved it and then sent their friends my way so most of my sales were through word-of-mouth.

The other opportunity I found was through Hayden. He mentioned on a blog post he was looking for expired domains. So I contacted him and became the main supplier of domains to Domain Jawa. I have also used this method with others who are posting on forums looking for expired domains and had success. In other words, I just reached out to those looking for domains.

Getting Focused

Selling expired domains isn’t as easy as you might think. Each customer uses different metrics to determine if they want to buy a domain. Some focus on Domain or Page Authority while others focus on Trust or Citation Flow and still others focus on getting links from Huffington Post or the New York Times.

I quickly found I could work with a few people who needed large private blog networks rather than selling domains to individuals. This made the process much more efficient for me as I focused on just a few large customers. At the same time, I limited my sale of the crawler to people via word-of-mouth because I wanted to minimize support and didn’t want to spend time on marketing and sales.

Rise and Fall?

Rise-and-FallI mentioned earlier I passed the 5 figure mark in my sixth month. The crazy part was I never expected the crawler to turn into a business because I was doing something I enjoyed. While I am writing the article a couple of weeks since some of the NoHatDigital private blog network was deindexed, you may think it could be the end of my business.

But like a lot of people in internet marketing or SEO, you get hit by Google and then you need to make changes or pivot your business. The good thing to know, it is not the end of the world.

So, going forward I have a plan in place for the crawler plus another idea I am considering developing. My plan going forward is to use the crawler to find domains which have value other than for SEO purposes. The domain industry is huge and there are lots of other opportunities for selling brandables and keyword rich domains.

Domainers look for keyword rich domains not for SEO purposes but to make it easy for customers to find their web site. For the brandables, I’ve already had 10 domains accepted into a marketplace for companies looking to purchase this type of domain. Prices generally range from $1000 to $5000 per domain so for the price of registration, the sale of one domain makes a significant profit.

The second idea I am considering is to use the crawler to build a service like Ahrefs or Majestic. I already have 42 million backlinks but I would need to add additional servers to get to the 1 trillion backlinks ahrefs has. Still it could be done with the right investment.

Finally, the expired domain market is not dead! While I lost some customers the last couple of weeks, I gained some new ones so while I am not seeing this part of the business grow, I am maintaining a steady state.

Takeaways- Here is How You can Be Successful In Your Own Business!

  • Find your passion and develop a product idea in that area
  • Solve a business problem experienced by many
  • Play to your strengths
  • Build your Minimum Viable Product to start
  • Leverage your network to kick start sales
  • Try different business models to see what best fits your product and your strengths
  • Rise to the challenge when you need to pivot your business

Have You Found What You Love To Do?

I am always surprised when I speak to someone about starting their own business how few people know what they would do if given the opportunity to escape the corporate grind. This really is the first step in creating a successful business.

Have you found what you love to do? Let me know in the comments section below.

Lynn is one of the teachers of our Private Training Course. The PTC will teach you everything you need to know to build a solid online business that will give you financial freedom. If you want to know more about it, you can sign up to our presentation webinar by filling the form below.

How I Made 5 Figures Doing Something I Love
3 votes, 5.00 avg. tacos (92% full)
    • Sure, I’ll put that on the development list. Another option for now is using a Windows VPS. I use with success and it just costs $12 per month.

        • No, I have not been impacted and neither have most of the people I know with PBN’s. They are still very effective for ranking money sites. Just don’t leave a footprint for google to find.

  1. Thank you for this awesome post.

    It really made some things clear to me.

    I’m just entering my 1st year of college, and I wanted to find a way to make some side money.

    Long story short, my buddy turned me onto to selling expired domains a few months back.

    I’ve been able to build a nice small income on the side, and I’m thinking about ramping up my efforts without spending too much more time if necessary.

    Would you recommend your software as a good option?

    Thanks again for the great insight!

      • Thanks for taking the time to reply.

        I’m definitely going to try out your software (who can resist that price!) :)

        I t sounds like it will definitely save me a ton of time and generate better results for me.

        Monitoring multiple drop services, expired domain sites, Xenu + SB,etc. is taking up a lot of time lately.

        Thanks again!

          • Lynn,

            Thanks again for the awesome insight.

            Something came up, so I unfortunately missed the special 50% off deal.

            Do you have a email list I can sign up for so that I can be notified of any future specials?


  2. Hi Lynn,

    I enjoyed your article and appreciate you sharing your business journey.

    I unstand the model you mentioned to find your customers when selling expired domains for those interested in building out a PBN. The customer profile is clear to me.

    A couple of questions…

    1) I am curious what you mean by “brandables”? I assume you are not referring to Trademark deviations. Please provide a couple examples so I can better understand what you mean by the term “brandables” and who might be the profile market for these type of expired domains.

    2) Also curious, how do you go about identifying (or filtering) your pool of potential buyers for “keyword rich” domains? What is the profile of the buyer and what kind of forums/communities examples? Could you provide an example? (thanks)

    I too enjoy working with data and pattern analysis. I first heard of Hayden from Spencer’s blog post about 6 months ago. Must have watched that video 35 times (like watching a great movie a dozen times and absorbing the “one liners” from Caddie Shack – you almost know the script as 2nd nature). After the 4th or 5th time of watching the video, I thought… heck… they outline the problems… why not write my own Crawler that addresses the issues and makes the process more efficient… so I did… and put it on the back shelf… call it passion, insanity, or shinny-penny-syndrome, I enjoy seeing patterns in business processes and leveraging technology to solve a problem.

    I’d be curious if it’s worth dusting off the tool I wrote and how I might make a nickel with “brandables” and “keyword rich” expired domains.

    Thanks for your insights…


    • Hi Jim,

      Thanks for reading about my journey! In answer to your questions.

      1. No, I’m not referring to trademark deviations. Brandables are short, memorable domain names. Start ups often purchase brandables. You can see examples at

      2. Keyword rich domains are the most common domains being sold on Godaddy, Afternic, Sedo, etc. Generally businesses are buying these domains. I just did an analysis of domains sold on these aftermarkets during the first couple of months and found keyword domains are the biggest seller when compared to numerics, brandables, etc. at the price point of $2000 plus.

      I don’t necessarily think you need a crawler to find keyword domains as you’ll see many of these available on drop lists. I did find the crawler helpful for identifying brandables because I have hundreds of millions of domains in my database so by searching for very short domains which are available I could find brandables.

      • Hi Lynn,

        I am grateful for your response! (thanks)

        I had no idea that BrandBucket existed. Interesting observation glancing through the site that they focus on .com’s and include a logo as a value-add (brilliant concept).

        Curious, you mentioned you had 10 accepted into their marketplace… How many have you sold through them? Who determines the listing price? (even 1 success would be a lot of fun)

        As a footnote… about 8 years ago I grabbed about (50) .com domains for the fun of it. I would pick a topic, make a list of 10-20 creative .com names over breakfast that were 6-8 characters in length and reserve the ones that were relevant/memorable for the topic. I then got the bright idea of getting Federal Trademarks for (5) of the domains I owned. After plugging along for 18 months learning the application process, (3) of the Trademarks were accepted (registered) by the USPTO for the IC (International Class) selected. Got the nice Gold star letters framed and they hang on the wall in my basement. One was (an online antique business) and another was (lawn furniture and lawn ornaments).

        Got bored and let the Trademarks and domains expirea few years ago… too late now to list them on BrandBucket as someone else now owns them… but I loved the process of coming up with the names and going on a treasure hunt with reserving the domains.

        Thanks SO MUCH for pointing me in the right direction and for the quick response.


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