This post originally appeared on the Flippa blog.



I overheard this interesting conversation at the Flippa HQ the other day.

“I’ve already parked my kid’s domain name. It’s all set.”

“Great. You can give it to him when he’s 21. It’ll be worth more than a car!”

OK, maybe not, but you have to forgive us. We can’t help but to obsess over websites ,domains, and apps here at Flippa. It’s just so much fun.

The future is digital. The future is now. And digital real estate is serious business. It gives companies and individuals the chance to build a platform, get heard, and above all, make money online.

Do you have your own piece of land? Here’s why it’s the best investment you can make for 2014.

1. Become your own landlord

My grandmother always used to say that it’s better to own a house than to rent it.

In fact, there’s a lot of “renting” going on online. Just think about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You provide them with your private details and they give you a “free” space to interact with your friends, followers, and colleagues.

Why not spend more time and energy on your own property?

Bottom line: It’s not a good idea to build your entire business on someone else’s land.

Copyblogger calls this practice digital sharecropping, and it works in a similar fashion to the the feudal system, where the landlords reap the rewards, and the peasants do all the work.

We don’t know which empires will stand strong in the future. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn change their terms and conditions on a regular basis, and as tenants, we don’t know what they have in store for us.

Empires rise and fall, and that is true for the online world as well. Remember what happened to Squidoo and MySpace? These places are still active, but they’re not nearly as powerful as they once used to be.

So, why not buy your own digital land and start creating your online assets right now?

We’ve seen it happen again and again. Smart, motivated people invest in websites, domains, and apps. They see an opportunity to make better use of the land, which the previous owner had missed, or didn’t have the time to do something about.

Jon Yau, the buyer of StockPhoto.com, is a great example of someone who not only sees the value in digital real estate, but is also determined to make his new land work for him and his business goals. Heck, he even convinced his wife it was worth the $250,000 investment.

2. Choose your own lifestyle

Yes, a full-blown website requires maintenance, but it’s not as much physical labor as looking after a block of land and a house. You decide how far you want to take your website, domain or app, and how much you want to work on it.

You can access your digital asset from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a decent Internet connection. And this is what makes it so much easier and valuable to own digital properties.

Forget spending three hours in a car to get to your summer house – your digital assets travel with you. They don’t care if you’re in sunny Australia or snowy Sweden!

3. Make money with your land

Of course, you can make money from your digital property. After all, that’s the dream. Whether you want to spend more time with your family or quit your day job, your digital properties can help you achieve that.

Obviously, it’s a lot of work, but it is doable. The sad truth is if you don’t own any digital property you’re not even in the game.

Owning your own land is the most efficient way to make money online because you reap the rewards. Whether it be through advertising, selling your own services and products or becoming an affiliate for someone else’s product, precious digital real estate can help you earn more money.

Over to you

A block of land is always a block of land. No matter how virtual it is, the land is still yours to use in any way you choose. The question is what you will use it for. To establish your latest startup? To grow your online portfolio? To give to your children on their 21st?

In the digital age, your websites, domains, and apps are your most valuable business asset. What’s stopping you from investing in digital real estate? And how do you plan to make your land more valuable in 2014? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

If you do plan to purchase a digital real estate and need some help getting creative, check out this post.

Image credit: Peshkova/Shutterstock