3 Common Assumptions About Domain Monetization

As many of you know I’m a latecomer to the domain game and even though I was building websites in the mid-90’s I didn’t start buying domains until 2007. When I first started buying domains I had read a few blog posts and thought that I knew enough to be dangerous. Well I was right about the dangerous part, profitable, not quite as much.

Like most people I had some assumptions based on the limited experience I had in the space at the time. Over the years I’ve moved fast, started many projects, killed many others, tried different roads and quickly abandoned those that were paved with failure. By sticking with what worked and discarding what didn’t, I learned from experience and built a solid business that quickly outpaced my day job. Now 100% of my income comes from Domaining and I sure am glad I made all those mistakes years ago otherwise I couldn’t have made the moves I’ve made over the last year.

Last week at WEBfest I spoke to a number of new Domainers who had lots of questions, and assumptions about domain monetization. I could see that some assumptions are still alive and well and as usual, I’m here to squash them. I squashed these years ago through trial and error, hopefully I can save all of you time and help you focus on where the money is.

With that said, here are three common assumptions about domain monetization:

Putting a website on a domain name is an effective monetization technique – just a website itself isn’t going to cut it. The #1 problem I see new investors encounter is spending $2,500+ on development and think that since they spent thousands of dollars, their domain should start magically generating thousands of dollars. It doesn’t work that way, yes, you have to spend money on development if you can’t do it yourself but no, that development will not suddenly start monetizing the domain. Instead this is only the foundation for monetization, not the end-all solution.
  1. Google killed exact-match domains – incorrect! Listen to what Google themselves said and you’ll realize that Google killed exact-match domains with crappy content on made-for-search websites. High quality sites built on exact-match domains are doing just fine. There are a lot of nice advantages to exact-match domains, just treat them right and don’t fill them with low-quality spammy content.
  2. You need massive traffic to make money – more traffic does usually mean more money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make good money with a lower traffic levels. It all depends on the niche you are in. If you are building a site in a niche where you can sell leads for $500/each then a few thousand visitors/month could make a nice little passive income machine. If however you have a site that makes $0.25/click then yes, you’ll need pretty significant traffic to make meaningful money. This is why picking your niche and finding the best way to monetize in that niche is so important.

Of course there are many more assumptions than these, feel free to share your own below or comment on any of these. Happy Friday!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton