A while back it occurred to me that I had quite a few (over 100) parked domains that I had done nothing with! They were just sitting there, collecting dust and advertising for the domain company should you type a name in. This got me to researching how to make money with parked domains. What I learned is that if you have a lot of domains, those domains can be another source of income for you. And if you’ve followed me any at all, you know I’m all about extra streams of income!
After a few months, my research has taught me several things. One is that no matter what, to make good honest money at anything online, it takes some patience and effort. Finding ways to make money with parked domains is no different. I tried several methods to make money with my parked domains and I’ll share some of my findings with you below. Let me just say this though, if you’re expecting a story about how I made a killing with parked domains, you’d better go read something else!
To be honest, the only people I’ve ever heard of, or know of, who are making a lot of money with parked domains are those who have thousands of domains. These are your domain brokers and domain speculators. I don’t know of anyone with a few hundred domains who are making huge profits. But then again, the whole notion behind a parked domain is that the only traffic it gets is type in traffic, so unless you have a few super popular domains that are one or two word keywords, you’re not going to get the traffic that you need to bring in huge amounts of dollars!
So, here’s my findings over several months.
Adsense for Domains
If you have an Google Adsense account, then you have access to this feature from Google. Basically what happens is whenever someone types in your domain name, for example; example.com, and comes to your site, you’ll get a small amount of money if they click on one of the ads on that site. These ads are very similar to Adsense ads (afterall, it is Adsense we’re talking about!).
I moved 10 domains over to Adsense for domains to see how well they’d do. I didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t expect much. And it’s a good thing, I hardly made any money at all. But after all, they are just domain names with no content so I shouldn’t have been that surprised!
Domain Parking Sites
Chances are at some time or another you’ve typed in a domain name into the address bar of your browser and got a generic page with a bunch of ads on it. Maybe you misspelled the name or you thought the domain you wanted was adsenses.com rather than adsense.com. Whatever the reason, the generic page you see with all the ads are generally hosted by a Domain Parking Site.
In a nutshell, here’s how most domain parking sites work. You transfer your domain dns to their servers. This is generally really easy to do and most web hosting companies have a feature on their hosting dashboards to make this easy. If they don’t, you need a new host or some written instructions!
There is usually no charge for you to transfer your domain’s DNS to their server. I would be suspicious of any company who wanted to charge you to do that. These companies usually make money by putting ads up on the generic pages that pop up when someone types in your domain name. Most of these domain parking sites keyword target their sites so you have a good chance whenever someone clicks on an ad.
Don’t try and pin down any of these sites as to how much they’ll pay you per click. The price varies by how much the advertiser pays for the ads and how much of those dollars the domain parking company wants to keep.
Again, I transferred a little over 10 domains to one domain parking site to see how well they would work.
All I can say is that they paid just about as much as the Adsense for Domains did. I didn’t make enough money to get my blood pressure up, but again, the only way most people get traffic to a domain without a website is if someone just types it into a browser.
Probably my favorite way to make money with parked domains is using affiliate programs. But the downside is it takes a lot more work!
For starters, there are two ways you can go about this.
Method number one involves getting a blog hosting account. One where you can host unlimited number of domains! Like I said above, this take some work but it can pay off a lot better than the other two methods.
Then you create a mini site. You add a page or two of content that is keyword targeted to whatever your domain is. You’ll also want to add a privacy, contact and about page to make the search engines happy (you know, just in case one of them may actually rank your site)
You’ll then find an affiliate programs that is in the same niche as your domain name. For example, if your domain is rustyoldbottlecaps.com, then you’d want an affiliate that is about rusty old bottle caps! Don’t try and feminine products to people who are looking for rusty old bottle caps, that’s affiliate marketing 101!
You can promote this mini sites the same way you promote any other site, but the whole point is that these domains are ones you don’t have time to fool with, so you throw up some content and affiliate ads and forget them.
Method number two can be easy or hard depending on your host. Some host allow redirects, others don’t. Some make it easy, most don’t! (this is also called ‘domain forwarding’ by some companies)
The thing here is that you’ll redirect (or forward) the domain to a site that closely resembles the redirected domain so your traffic is targeted. If you have a parked domain like rustyoldbottlecaps.com, you wouldn’t point it at a site about online dating. However, perhaps you have a site about antiques and that site has an affiliate program that you’re making a few bucks off of. You may do yourself a favor by having your type in traffic from rustyoldbottlecaps.com domain redirected to your antique website!
At the end of the day, I didn’t make a killing with any one method, however creating a mini site with affiliate links did end up making me the most money. But it does take a lot more time, which is why these domains were sitting in the first place, I just didn’t have time to build on them! Obviously if you have thousands, or even a few hundred domains, the mini site method won’t work for you unless your a mini site creating monster!
So what I did was to plan to take a few hours each week and work on putting up a mini site or two on each domain.
These are just a few ways to make money with parked domains. There are others, but I’d say these three ways are most popular.