One of my readers wrote in recently, interested in how to make money on parked domain names. I specialize in creating niche affiliate sites on my own domains, so I decided to reach out to my friend Gene Pimentel. He was kind enough to answer a few questions on the topic of monetizing domain names...
Hi Gene! Since you are a professional Domainer, I was hoping you could shed some light on this topic for us. First, what exactly is a "Domainer"?
Hi Lynn, I'll be glad to help shed some light on domaining.
A "domainer" is a person who registers or buys domain names with the intent to sell. The key to being a successful domainer is to get your domains to pay for themselves through monetization. This allows you to have an unlimited number of domains in your portfolio at no real cost to you - IF you choose domains wisely.
There are many strategies that can be utilized to monetize domain names depending on the quantity and quality of the names.
First I'll talk about quantity. If the owner has a substantial number of domain names that are not being used for anything at the moment, the first thing he or she should do is "park" the domains.
Parking a domain simply means creating a free account at one of the major domain parking companies and uploading a list of all the domain names.
The parking company will automatically place a web page on each of the domain names, containing many clickable ad links. The links are paid advertising similar to Adsense, and are contextual. They reflect the keywords found in the domain name. When your visitor clicks on a link, you are paid for the click (the parking company also receives a share of the click revenue).
This is a fast and easy way to instantly monetize all of your unused domains. The amount you earn per click varies greatly depending on the type of ad clicked on. Some clicks can earn you several dollars each, but most will earn a few pennies to a dollar. It all adds up.
That's where quality comes in. The better the quality of the keywords in your domain name, the more each click can earn. By quality, I'm talking about keywords that are desirable to advertisers in very competitive markets, like insurance, health, financial, etc.
The main benefit to parking your domains is that you can instantly monetize all of your unused domains with virtually no effort. Naturally, you will be better off to build your own website on your domain name and monetize with your own ads and offers, but while you're waiting to get to each one, you may as well let your domains earn their keep automatically. You can have a portfolio of a thousand domains that cover their own registration fees if you choose quality domains. In fact, this can be a profitable business model in itself.
In my opinion and in my experience, two of the best parking companies are Parked.com and Sedo.com. Sedo.com goes a step further by allowing you to list all of your domains for sale on their site, and handles the transaction through their escrow service automatically.
Do you usually monetize your domain names until you sell them?
Absolutely. Whenever I register a new domain name, the first thing I always do is park it unless I have other immediate plans for the domain. Using a service like Parked.com allows you to customize your parked page as well, giving you more flexibility in monetization. It also lets you do some basic on-site SEO to attract the search engines.
What are the top 3 ways to monetize domain names in your portfolio?
1) Parking as described above. Very little effort, but also little pay. The idea is to get the registration fees covered, for as long as it takes to develop or sell the domain.
2) Redirect the domain to an affiliate sales page. Think ClickBank.com Think RAPbank.com. Again, there is almost no effort in this, and just one sale over the course of the year will easily pay for the registration fees. This can be very profitable with good domain names containing keywords that people search for, related to the product or service you're redirecting to.
3) Put up a squeeze page, giving away a free product with high perceived value but no cost to you. The visitor is required to enter their email address to receive the free product, and you benefit by building a mailing list in that niche.
Set it up with a good autoresponder like Aweber, so you can load up many weeks worth of mailings ahead of time and multiply your chances of exposure to the list members. The autoresponder sends them a "newsletter" every week for let's say 26 or 52 weeks, and every email contains links to products you're offering along with the good content they signed up for.
You can purchase great PLR autoresponder series for this purpose very inexpensively. Once the system is in place, it runs completely on autopilot and works like a great salesperson for you, week after week.
Great tips, Gene - Thank you!
How many domain names do you own, and are you currently monetizing those domains? Leave a comment below - and be sure to include any questions you have for Gene. Have your own tips for how to make money on parked domains? Share those with us below as well!
Next, we'll talk to professional domainer Kenny Goodman:
Ways to Make Money With Domains
p.s. Have a hard time finding good domain names that are actually available? See: How to Choose a Domain Name