With so much emphasis on developing domains now I think it is important to take a look at the bigger picture. For those of you who read my blog regularly you know that I have been a huge proponent of developing your domains. At the same time I employee a variety of different strategies to monetize my domains. It’s important to understand that development is key, but not the only way to profit from your domains. So how can you diversify your domaining investments?
First I think it’s important to qualify who should be diversifying. If you have 20 or less domains I would suggest you develop them all. It is not an impossible task and as I’ve said before, you don’t have to do the work yourself. Think outside of the box and find a way to develop your domains for a low price – try the top domaining forums to find a cheap developer. If you have 50+ domains it is unrealistic to expect that you can develop all of these – this is where diversification becomes important.
So first, determine which category you are in. If you have a large portfolio then this strategy will help you make some money. If you have a small portfolio I’d go the development route and focus on getting traffic to your existing names.
Okay, so I’ve defined the target audience, now for the strategy. First, pick your top 10-20 domains and develop those. As I said above I wouldn’t sacrifice much of your own time as development can be an unbelievably time-consuming process. You can always develop 1-2 yourself but remember, it will be power in numbers that will really make you some money. Now for your first diversification step – parking. Yes, parking is still alive and kicking and should be a component of your domaining strategy. The trick is picking the right domains to park.
Parked domains should be those names that people are usually looking for a specific piece of information. If you parking page has a link matching the keyword they are looking for then you stand a good chance of getting clicks. It’s important to use a tool like WordTracker to pick your keywords. WordTracker can let you see what related keywords people are usually searching for. This is essential for creating an effective parking page. If you know the keyword that your users are searching to get to your page, and the most common keywords they would seek after this, then you will have a much more targeted parking page.
I’ll take a quick pause here for those of you who are confused at why I would promote parking if I am a huge domain development proponent. Like any investment domaining is about diversification. While development is the key to my strategy, it is through diversification that you can monetize all of your names.
So you have some developed domains and some parking pages…diversified yet? Not quite. The next diversification strategy I use is blogs. While this is my main blog I have a number of domains that I use for blogging. The great thing about a blog is that they are quick to create, rank well on search engines, and are easy to update with fresh content. For an example of some domains I am employing the blog strategy with take a look at: ForexNightOwl.com or RareWisdom.com. You don’t have to update blogs like this every day but just by posting once a month you are creating a website that has fresh content – which search engines love. On top of this you can actually make a valuable resource. I’ve been Forex trading for a while now and thought it would be great to make a blog tracking some of my best trades. I don’t post often but am seeing traffic grow each month. It took a total of about 10 minutes to build ForexNightOwl.com and using a service like Blogger makes it easy to put monetization tools like Google Adsense directly on your blog.
Okay, so you are developing, parking, and blogging, are you diversified now? Almost, but there is still more to go – Forums. Web Forums are a great way to create recurring monthly traffic and fresh content. If you use a service like GoDaddy they have free scripts for creating Forums quickly and easily. You don’t need to be a PHP guru to setup a forum. One forum I have recently started is NEDomainers.com for domainers in New England. While this is yet to take-off, over the course of the year I plan to really grow and develop this forum into a web community. Look at forums like DNForum – their advertising costs are unbelievable. Build a community with repeat monthly traffic and you too can charge a pretty penny for advertising.
But wait there’s more! If you employ these strategies you will be well-diversified in your domain investments. Some of these strategies don’t take much time at all, others are a bit more time-consuming. Remember, the goal here is to spread out your investments across multiple strategies. This way if one works better than another you’ll know and be able to put more focus where the money is.