Discover how a teen founder grew his business to $20k/mo selling expired domains
Most people just laughed when I said I wanted to start my online business at 15. I dropped out of school at 16, and I built a thriving online brand at 19, earning $20,000 in average monthly revenue. For someone residing in India, where the regular income per month is at $200, is it good enough? Certainly!
Hi, my name is Sumit Kumar Bansal, and I’m the founder of SerpNames.com ❤️. Our company provides aged SEO domains to help affiliate marketers save time and money on doing link building from scratch. 😎
Do you want to know how a dropped-out kid with zero networks surprisingly built a profitable business (out of expired domains) with zero capital investment, using a simple yet powerful business strategy? 🙈 It is so easy that you, too, can apply it right away and expect genuine success in all areas of your life. Read on!
It all started in 2015. I was 15 back then. While most teens of my age didn’t even have a single dollar in their pockets, I learned few of my friends were already earning dollars from event blogging. So, I asked them how only to be told, “this is not your cup of tea.” 🥺
Without batting an eyelid, I pursued it anyway. I was once a go-getter, and if I wanted it, I would make it happen.
Right from there, I did blogging as a side hustle and kept this secret from my parents until I got my first paycheck, $117 from Google Adsense, to be exact, as proof of income. Brilliant, I know! 😜
In event blogging, the rule is simple. To earn more money, you should rank your post on Google’s first page, period. I only wanted quick money, so I didn’t care much about the quality of my posts.
Instead, I relied heavily on spammy link building to boost my rankings. Somehow, it worked! 🤷♂️ I remember I was making around $200-$400 from one local or international event alone. Although, sometimes no income at all after working for months, business as usual.
But this thrilled me even more. In my mind, who really cares about studying when I, too, can make money already. So it happened. 😁
I often got good grades, but then in my 11th grade, I failed ALL my subjects, and I only had three months before the final exams. The next thing I know, I was with my mom at the supervisor’s office. If I am to describe my mom, she’s the sweetest and most innocent woman I know.
When my supervisor ranted how I was going in the wrong direction and blah blah blah, she just cried. I was mad, of course. 😠 Really, really mad! 😡 You know what happened the next day? It got more intense.
In a closed-door, I was sitting next to my dad with the same supervisor in front, but this time along with the other teachers. I was in a hot seat because they all wanted me to focus on my studies saying business is risky and I can’t live a sustainable life. They’re afraid of what my future holds in a very competitive real world. But to no avail. I even had my plan B – leave the school and leave the house. 🤐
But lucky me, I have a very supportive dad. If I am to describe him, he’s literally my hero, whom I respect so much. He is also a businessman, so he gave me the chance to pursue what I wanted. We left the school, and I never went back.
Little did I know, while my grades were falling apart, I was also on pace for another awful story. 😩 Four months before 2016 ended, I prepared for the biggest event I ever did, the upcoming New Year. I was able to rank it in the top 4th position on Google’s first page, but five days before the actual event, my site got penalized. 😭
I was about to make $10,000 by working for almost four months burning the midnight oil, and just like that, it faded. 🥺 What happened? Low-quality content. Spammy backlinks. A Google Update.
I felt like being hit with two stones at once. I dropped out of school, and I lost my online business. But the latter hurt the most, so I wanted to do it even better, this time, on selling aged domains. 💪
While it is indeed a very lucrative business because of its increasing demand, the real question is, is it sustainable? I guess not. It’s the same with all the companies out there. I am just so blessed I learned the trade secret early on to achieving sustainable success. If I had not discovered it, I might have run out of business years ago.
And today, I want you to have this secret, too.
In 2016, while I was still on event blogging, I figured out how to scrape expired domains for my personal sites to boost my rankings. 🙊
Later, I discovered they have a growing demand in the SEO market, so I started selling them. At first, I only charged my clients around $5-$20 for telling the domain names, and they will register them on their own registrars.
And by posting on FB groups randomly, I started earning good money. No competition yet, and no capital needed. 🤑
But one ordinary day, while I’m spamming the groups with ads and privately messaging random prospects, one guy responded back with kindness.
He suggested that I create a website where people can easily visit and see all the domain details rather than listing them on a spreadsheet. He’s discussing a totally new concept for me with patience without asking for anything. 🤯
I was genuinely grateful because he enlightened my path hence DominatingPBNs came to life. 🤗
Later, I learned about auction domains, where people bid to get high-quality domains, and so I participated and never went back to scraping expired domains again. This time, I already invested heavily in domains competing at higher costs, so I decided to revamp my website to make it more professional. Then I started charging domains for around $300-$1,000+. 😎
And just like that, I became a multi-millionaire in Indian Rupees at 18. I really thought I was so successful already. My basis? I was making a lot of money. 🤨
But I realized I was not that successful as I see it. I can’t feel it. Back then, I only wanted to prove to everyone I did the right thing when I dropped out of school. I only wanted to make my family, especially my dad, to be proud of me. 🥺 But there’s so much more to life than just chasing money and getting someone else’s approval. Later, you’ll see.
In the 1st quarter of 2019, I faced financial difficulty when my business started to go upside down. There was a sudden drop in sales. 😱 In the 3rd quarter, I decided to rebrand everything to SerpNames, just in time when I learned of this powerful business strategy that literally saved our struggling business. It’s so powerful that we were able to build a successful brand later. 😊
When you launch your own business, do not overwhelm yourself with confusing business terms and complicated marketing strategies when all you need is clarity on your offer and your market at first. What can you provide to whom you want to serve and how? 😉
Once you get the clarity, you can also use this strategy I used to establish a sustainable business. Unless you know this at heart, you will realize this is the only fundamental way of doing business. I’m referring to the 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success. 😍
Let me start with the first law, The Law of Value.
Before you take someone’s money, you should be asking yourself, ‘Is my business adding more value than what I take in payment? Does it serve my ideal market?’ It might sound simple, but it’s often the most neglected one. 😕 I ignored it too when I was running Dominating PBNs because money was my only priority. I thought providing my clients high-quality domains could justify the money I was getting from them.
But when I learned of the law of value and applied it on SerpNames, our priority shifted from how we can earn more to how we can serve more. 🥰 Besides providing the highest quality domains in the market alone, we strive to add more value by giving them the warmest heartfelt service, before and after they buy from us because we believe we are more than just a domaining company. ❤️
And our clients love it because they feel it. 🙈
This alone has made such a massive impact that in the first few months we broke our sales record hitting $35,000, our best month so far. 🙏
“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”
I’ve never been so satisfied in my life (business and personal) if it weren’t because of what I’ve learned so far in my journey online. 🥺 Ever since the rebranding, we’ve managed to get an average monthly revenue of $20,000 consistently.
The first law is so powerful that this alone can bring unexpected results in your sales, trust me! As of this writing, we just finished the recent broadcast of our newest batch of domains from the auctions, and the result was mind-blowing. Guess what! 13 out of 16 domains were sold before uploading them to our inventory.
We keep on thinking about what else we can do more for our clients, nonstop. 😇 So right now, we’re in the process of a major site redevelopment to provide a much better buying experience to our clients and on our way to launching affiliate programs soon to bring more value to the people around us. ❤️
As for the business operations, our biggest expense is our domain investment since it’s now getting more expensive in the auctions. But we’re operating at a minimal cost since we’re hiring people from developing countries like India and the Philippines sharing the same vision. I am the youngest on the team, so I labeled myself their ‘boss baby’ 👼 just so they feel SerpNames is our second home, and we consider everyone as a family.
I first met Rahul in 2017, our Tech Geek and the jack of all trades, who helped me with all the technical stuff. Two years later, I met Leslie, our Director of Happiness who helps me in securing happiness for our clients and who became my best friend too. Almost a year later, I met Sunita, our Director of Operations, who now handles the SOPs.
And right now, we’re growing. Just recently I learned to delegate more of my mundane tasks so I can focus on helping people, which is the one thing I love doing the most. 🙈
There’s one thing I would recommend you, though. Before you even try to scale out your business, you should have already applied the first law and see its power working. You can then proceed with the next law, The Law of Compensation, because this is the time when you can grow exponentially. ⚡
How many lives are you touching? How many people are you serving? According to this law, it is not just a question of value but also a question of impact. As for the near future, we are planning to invest in paid ads because it is time to expand the people we reach to bring more impact. 👊
Also, I’ll be launching SerpCopy soon to provide affiliate marketers with done-for-you affiliate sites built on expired domains and to help them outsource SEO copywriting.
“Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.”
When I started my online business, I only had one way of promoting my domains and that’s spamming FB groups to death. I only wanted to get more sales, that’s why. 😆
Gradually I shifted my mentality from getting sales to simply come to a place of help mentality. Since then, I consistently stay active in the group to help one soul at a time, even if it has nothing to do with buying expired domains. 😌
Believe me, this is where you’ll start getting unexpected results. You’ll see more clients and referrals coming your way. 🤭 The best part, before you know it, you’ve already built your army of personal walking ambassadors. They are your most treasured network who are personally invested in seeing you succeed (your buddy, mate, friend, anything you call it).
You’ve become known to anyone as someone who genuinely cares and just loves to help without expecting anything in return. ❤️
When you want to see your clients grow and do repeat business with you, you only need to create influence. 😉 How? That’s by putting their interests first more than yours. This way, they’ll trust and like you personally. 😇
I remember chasing clients before for case studies because I gave them discounts, lol. 🙊 In real-life, I learned to give up the win-win proposition and only focus on their wins because when you do…
When you genuinely place their interests first, you’d be surprised they are actually more than happy to offer what you want without you asking for it. 🙈
“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first.”
Based on what I’ve told you so far, I guess you know what my answer is. 🤭
I started my online journey looking in the wrong direction, with money as my priority. But if I were to start it over, I wanted to embrace who I really am. 😌
I remember when I started, I had doubts—a lot of self-doubts. I was so afraid to step into this online world mostly dominated by native English speakers. I was so scared they would only notice my grammar mistakes, so worried they won’t trust Indian kiddo, and so terrified that I can’t simply make it. 🥺
But then changing my focus made a lot of difference. I ignored all my doubts and focused on what I can offer them instead. And that’s me. All I need to do is be a person and be a friend to anyone. It’s all that matters. ❤️ I wished I had started it sooner.
So if you are currently in doubt right now, just change your focus and forget all those insecurities. When you’re in any kind of business, just be yourself and try to help anyone with kindness without keeping track of records.
You only need to be a friend. 😊
One more thing, though, If I were to start over, I would like to focus on saving a small portion of our income for business growth and emergency funds.
We couldn’t grow our business exponentially because I took the huge risk of helping my family with the maximum funds possible (our house and my dad’s business expansion). That left me with minimum investments for the business. 😶
SerpNames would be at a different level today if I had not helped my family, but it would have no meaning, 🥺 so I didn’t regret it at all. But it does matter to save even just a portion in building emergency funds.
It also pays to focus on creating systems and processes right at the beginning to eliminate the inconsistencies and make sure the business operates in automation.
“The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.”
Team Collaboration & Task Management – Coda
This is where we process all our domains, from creating action plans, brand boards, archive recovery up to the promotion stage are recorded with SOPs.
One thing is a must, though. We make sure we’re working with love and having fun at the same time. ❤️
CRM – Streak
It is a CRM platform for Gmail where we typically manage our emails to attend to everyone’s queries. We make it as simple as these formats.
Communication – Skype
Basically, we just stick to Skype for messaging. We do have a small team that is still manageable. We just created group chats for each task category like domain hunting, domain promotion, headquarter, and even weight loss goals. 🏋
Online Tools – Moz, Majestic, SEMrush, Screaming Frog, SurferSEO, Ahrefs.
These are all the tools we use for domain hunting mostly and for SEO purposes. Ahrefs and Screaming Frog are my favorites.
Email Marketing – GetResponse
We use this in promoting our newly captured domains from the auctions because we have this Exclusive Waitlist where interested marketers can reserve their domains.
It was June 15th, 2019. I celebrated my 19th birthday. I thought it was just a usual birthday again, not knowing I’d received the most special gift I will treasure for the rest of my life. It was a gift from Leslie. 🥺
I first met her when I was looking for a copywriter. Even without experience, I trusted my intuition and chose her. I felt how genuinely sincere she is in helping me right from the beginning. And I was right.
She’s uniquely different. She touched and changed my life in all ways, and I’m forever blessed for that. 😭 And on my birthday, she shared with me her secret behind her enthusiasm for helping people. It’s wrapped like this.
When I opened her gift, I never imagined this would bring so much impact to my business and personal life. If you’re wondering what that gift was, it was a book. I bet you already knew it just by reading my story above only IF you’re familiar with this book. 🤭
If not, it’s The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. 👇
This is where I learned the idea of giving. So powerful that it drastically changed the way we do business. If I am being honest, I’m still chasing money until now if I didn’t read it. I’ve always felt the need to serve and make a contribution to the world around me. But I have no idea how. And The Go-Giver book showed me the path. 😇
My story is living proof that all the laws of stratospheric success explained in the book will bring in unexpected results only when APPLIED.
So when you read it, don’t just put it in your head, but make sure to place it in your heart and in your hands. ❤️
Oh, and this is my life’s motto…
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar.
I’m also grateful that I met Colby Wren. I was a stranger to him yet he often corrected and educated me on how to do business, how to talk, how to behave in public and a lot more. At first, nothing was really making sense, but gradually, it started becoming clearer, especially when I read The Go-Giver book. Colby will always be my mentor. 🤗
And will forever be grateful to Spike Wyatt, the guy who suggested I created a website for my domains. Months later, after our conversation, I reached out to him again to express my gratitude and pay him back, but I was so surprised to see his answer. 😲👇
And just like that, he left a lasting impression. What a nice way of leaving an impact, huh!
Up until now, I still cherish his advice as it keeps echoing in my heart. His words are already engraved in my soul. 💘
“Try kindness. It never hurts to be kind to people”, in my online journey, I proved this to be true. You never know the impact you can bring to someone else by doing a simple act of kindness. It’s massive.
It’s the same with running a business. Let me show you how powerful kindness is for a service provider.
I once hired writers for my health site. Among the sea of applicants, one stood out the most because she cares so much about her clients. I just love her approach, and so we became super-duper best friends.
Her name is Kinjal. It’s been more than a year now, and even if she doesn’t work with me anymore, we are still connected on a much more personal level. And she’s on top of my mind when someone asks for health writers, always! 😉
Throughout my online journey, I learned that living and running a business are meant to be about building genuine relationships with people no matter the distance and no matter the time zones. It just makes us feel alive. 😇
Anyway, have you ever wondered what the 5th law is about?
You know precisely that everything operates in a cycle. Let’s just say the money you paid for something else is the income received by someone else. If you try to cut the cycle, the economy dies down.
It’s the same with the law of giving. It operates in a cycle, too. When you give, someone else receives, and you receive what someone else gives. So, it makes sense when the book says “the secret to getting is giving, and the secret to giving is to stay open to receiving.”
If you feel inspired by this story, you can always reach out to me, and I’ll accept all your lovely messages. Let’s be friends. ❤️
Oh, and if you have any questions, drop your comment below ^.^
Anyway, I’d like to end this interview by sharing…
5th Law of Stratospheric Success: The Law of Receptivity.
“The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.”
Rooting for your happiness, ❤
Sumit Kumar Bansal, Founder of SerpNames.com