Great post! I tried to repurpose an expired domain to build an authority site (your method 1) – but it doesn’t rank as it should. i checked the backlink profile via majestic and and it’s clean. also checked the metrics of the competition. with the amount of trust and link juice my expired domain has vs. the competition, it should be on page 1 for those keywords. is there something i’m missing here?

Think of ways that the domains you buy would be a valuable asset to the buyer. Picture someone who would benefit from buying the domain in a space you are very familiar with. If this was you and someone was trying to sell you this name, would it be beneficial for you to own? Be honest. If so, why? If not, why? Use those answers to refine your search for names.
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Many non-savvy internet users may not even be aware of the existence of other extensions. That said, because there are many new extensions popping up every now and then, you can often find amazing one word and 3-letter domain names with these new extensions that are otherwise almost impossible to find unregistered in the .com world. Additionally, these new extensions are becoming more and more familiar to users every day, hence it's almost certain that their value will continue to increase as time passes and wider adoption manifests. 
If you are looking to monetize an idle domain, looking to third-party platforms would be a good idea. Many of these platforms such as Nameforest ourselves will create a logo alongside your domain, which will be added to the list of preexisting domains on their sites. This is useful as the demand for your domain will also be greatly increased after it is rented as opposed to a domain that leads to a blank site - thus making it easier for you to find a potential buyer.
Domains are more than a web address. They often have value that extends well beyond their initial registration price. Depending on how memorable it is or how well it ranks on Google, a domain that initially cost a few bucks can be worth a lot of money to the right buyer. That’s why domain auctions exist – to give domain owners an opportunity to sell their name for a profit, and give buyers a chance to get a name that can take their website to the next level.

Domains are more than a web address. They often have value that extends well beyond their initial registration price. Depending on how memorable it is or how well it ranks on Google, a domain that initially cost a few bucks can be worth a lot of money to the right buyer. That’s why domain auctions exist – to give domain owners an opportunity to sell their name for a profit, and give buyers a chance to get a name that can take their website to the next level.

The great thing about this is that it’s kind of like a metasearch engine for all the places that you can find expired domains around the web. First, let’s look at deleted domains. Okay? To do that, you go click on the deleted domains button here and then click on any top level domain that you want to get. I prefer .com because it’s obviously the most common top level domain.
Review Web Archive’s versions of the website: Examine the website’s history and how it looked like using the Web Archive. What was it about? What did it offer? This is useful for a variety of different reasons. It could inspire you as to who a good potential buyer might be (by analyzing the website’s content), and it could also signal some red flags in case the domain was being used for anything shady.

That being said, many things have changed over the years. The days of MFA and quick flips are mostly gone. My advice to those new to domaining and wanting to give it a try is to take it slow, do your research, and if you do purchase a domain with the hope of turning a healthy profit - put some real time into it and build something useful. That way it's easier to monetize and easier to sell.
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The less tech-savvy population on the internet is not fully aware of what the term ‘domain flipping’ means. If you are one of them, then this article is definitely a must-read for you. In this article, we will delve into the details of what ‘domain flipping’ refers to, how it is done, and whether it is a profitable part-time business opportunity or not.
The easiest way to see that is to go to HREFs and look at the anchor text. It reveals right away whether or not the site has been spammed. You also want to see if it’s been SEO’d too much. Right? In this case, it’s not because it has a brand name here and some natural keywords, but if the number one anchor text was like, cell phone management system and then the next one was like cheap cell phone management system, you’d know that the anchor text was manipulated and probably overly SEO’d. So, what you want as a site that has a natural link profile.
Use escrow services for direct sales. When you are dealing directly with the buyer, make sure that any money that is transferred goes through an escrow service. This will ensure that all checks clear and that you aren't left with a bounced check and no domain. Escrow services may add a few days to a sale and cost you a percentage, but they can save you a lot of heartache.
Hi I totally agree with you Domaineer42. My partner and I are web developers and are seeing a lot of ‘hype’ selling and not enough ‘real value’ selling based on actual search engine criteria. Recently brokers have knocked back selling domains with great potential value based on some pie-in-the-sky logic, defying even Estibot values we’re told to use. The domains were not our best but with four figure value, according to Estibot, I thought it was a great start as a newbie to domaining. In an industry which should flourish, some of these domain ‘fashionistas’ are making rods for their own backs by devaluing domains that have REAL potential value based on customer search. I don’t understand what is going on, but I have decided to opt out for awhile. We have quite a few domains in our repository, with data backed search criteria, trending upwards. Will bring them out of the closet when the industry is ready to get real.
To find popular phrases I opened up the Google Keyword Planner. This free tool by Google, allows you to find out how often a word or phrase is searched in Google. A phrase like “Yoga Mat’ has on average, about 10K – 100k monthly searches. That’s A LOT. However a more niche phrase like “Good Yoga Mats” only has 100 – 1K monthly searches. These seem similar, but I wanted to focus on the exact popular phrase that people are searching for.
Here's a test I have in process.  I bought an old $5 closeout domain from Godaddy TDname expired auction.  I put a quick minisite up and linked to it with a crazy anchor text phrase.  The domain is ranking for that crazy term now.  It's gone through one pagerank update and I'm waiting for a second to come.  Then I'll redirect the domain to another minisite.  I suspect the second site won't rank for the anhor text, but we'll see.  

Where do I start? So I heard about bitcoin and I know it’s all the craze nowadays. Let’s start from there. I’ll hop on Google Trends and type in “bitcoin”. Google Trends basically tracks the popularity of search queries over time, it’s often a goldmine for discovering currently exploding or soon-to-explode topics/terms..etc. So here’s what it looks like: