I own several hundred domains that have real websites on them, such as Dumb.com, Adoptme.com, and CheapFlowers.com, but for over 10 years I have also had around 9000 domain names that are basically just sitting there doing nothing. I have no plans to create sites on them, I just hold them in the hopes of selling them. In the 1990s I had many of these domains setup on a system I created where I manually put affiliate links on them targeted to the topic of each domain. But, maintaining these sites was a lot of work because affiliate programs were always changing, so I would have to constantly add/edit/delete the links.
In the mid 2000s domain parking companies started offering a service where they setup domain pages for you, and gave you a percentage of the income. See my previous posting about this. This worked great, because there was almost no work involved on my end. For a few years I was making around $10,000/month more from domain parking than the $6000/month in monthly domains fees that I was paying. But, over the past 2-3 years, parking income has gone down to where I make significantly less from it than my monthly domain fees, so that presents a problem for me. I make up for the lost monthly income by selling a few domains a month, but that is not really a good long term business plan. Eventually all my good domains will be gone and the sales income from them will just have gone to pay for the fees, so I will have ended up with nothing.
One reason I did not mind holding all of these domains over the years is that even if I lost some money on them from the fees, their value increased each year. For example, if you add up the individual prices for my domains the combined value for my portfolio is over $20 million. That does not mean I could sell my portfolio for $20 million, but that is what it would go for if I sold each domain one by one at a retail price (like to somebody buying a domain to start their new business). So, if domain prices increase even just 1% a year, that would mean my portfolio value would increase by $200,000/year, which is way more than any money I would lose in a year from fees. Any, most years domain prices have gone up anywhere from 10%-50%.
On the other hand, domain prices have leveled off in the past few years, and may never get much higher. Even if they do keep going up, having domains worth a lot of money on paper is not the same as having real money in the bank. When my domains were making an annual profit none of this really mattered, but now that things have changed I need to figure out what to do. Here’s what I am working on:
A) If I could sell all of my domains at once to one buyer at a wholesale price, like for $8 million for example, I would make $15,000/month in interest from the money in the bank (after income taxes and the brokerage fee I would net around $4.5 million from the sale) plus I would gain another $2000/month from the savings on domain fees (the difference between my parking income and my registration fees) that I no longer have to pay. That is way more than I can make right now by selling some of the domains every month. I have contacted several brokers about selling my portfolio, but they say there are very few buyers right now for portfolios of domains that have no significant traffic or income. But, I am still working on this.
B) Since I might not be able to sell all my domains at once, I am at least trying to sell more of them than I was before, so I have been listing more of them individually with brokers, and I have been more negotiable when a buyer contacts me about a domain. If I can sell twice as many domains as I had been selling before, then that income would be much higher than my annual domain fees. Even if I sell 100-200 domains a year, I still have enough good ones to keep selling them for the rest of my life.
C) Over 90% of my parked domains make less than the annual registration fee, and at least 50% make $0. That is not good. So, over the past few months I have instead been setting up most of my domains on a new system I built where I have actual content on the domains (mainly informational type articles related to the domain topic that I hired people to write for me), and I make money from the ads on the sites. These are known in the industry as minisites. Unlike parked domains, which generally get no search engine traffic, minisites at least have a chance of getting listed well in the search engines and getting lots of traffic. Google especially places a high ranking value on older domains, so my domains should do well.
D) I have around 350 geographic florist domain names (you can see a list of them at FindFlorists.com), which I had been pointing for many years to my GetFlowers.com site. They probably generated a few sales a month at GetFlowers.com, but they got almost no listings in the search engines because they all had the same content on them. So, last week I changed them to a new system where I have actual florist related content on each domain, and I make money from the ads on the page. So far it is not making more money than before, but my goal is that over time the domains will get a lot of traffic from the search engines. It cost me $3000/year in fees to own these domains, and I hardly ever sell any of them, so hopefully this new format will generate a profit.
F) I am working on setting up real sites on some of the better domains that currently make no money. I something like this recently with WatchMovies.com (see my previous posting about this), but WatchMovies.com was already making a lot of money from being parked, so it becomes a problem if I can’t make as much with the new site. But, if I setup a site on a domain that currently makes nothing, then I have nothing to lose. Next I am going to setup a site on my WatchVideos.com domain, which currently only makes around $100/month from being parked. Since I already have a bunch of servers and people working for me, it costs me almost nothing to setup new sites, so I plan on setting up more of them on my bigger domains.
In the past I have spent very little time selling and promoting my domains, and most of my time running my business and creating new sites. But, now that things have changed with domain parking, I plan to focus a lot more on figuring out the best way to make money from my portfolio of domains.
If you park them directly with Google on Adsense For Domains you might be surprised at how well they perform for you vs. another parking company.
I have been parking some of my domains directly with Google Adsense for Domains since they first introduced the program a few years ago. I would rank the performance as average. It is certainly better than many parking providers, but it was almost never the best for any of the domains. I only tried it with 10-15 domains, so it is not a very scientific test though.
You describe the situation perfectly, that a lot of domainers are in. Most do not have as many domains as you do, but the issues are the same for all of us.
Sometimes I wonder, how much income is even possible? It is not the case that every domain is going to make money. There is only so many clicks out there.
Take for example your 350 floral domains, that is a lot of domains. If you think of the top 10 spots on google getting the bulk of search engine traffic, then you could not compete – even with just yourself!
I suppose if you could go back in time you could carefully register a set of domains with one perfect .com domain per major keyword and then develop those; that might help in development. But time travel is not an effective tool yet.
So that means that you would be better served to sell the bulk of the 350 at reg fee and then focus on the best ones.
Interesting that 9,000 domains are a struggle but your biggest success was a single domain (bored.com). So maybe focusing is the ultimate answer.
I really like your blog, its right on, and you are very talented. So IMO you could save yourself time by dumping the mediocre domains, putting 99% of the rest on brokers with a non-negotiable price (to reduce emailing), and then focusing on a very small number of development projects.
You could even develop something not just for making money, but to help the world.
My 350 floral domains are geographic, i.e. each one is a different city (savannahflowers.com, tampabayflowers.com, etc.), so none of them really compete with each other in Google.
In terms of keeping vs selling my domains that make no money, the vast majority of my domains are worth at least a few hundred dollars each $500, so it is not good business to let them expire or sell them for the registration fee. Of course it is not good business to lose money on them either like I do now, so that is the problem.
if you come up with a solution let me know. i’m in the same though somewhat smaller boat. but you stated the problem well.
Great and interesting post. I think the best option is trying to sell the “not that good” domain names and keep the good ones to develop them.
It’s very hard to sell mediocre domain names and I’ve been working on a new “promotion tool” that might help to sell the these domain names.
Good luck and take care.
Yes, I would love to sell my mediocre domains, but those are the ones that are the hardest to sell. Let me know once your promotional tool is ready.
To me this is a no brainer… you need to spend money to make money.
-Wordpress is free
-Between 2-3 dedicated servers you could host all the sites
-There are very good outsources from India and Singapore who worked for very low rates
Get a few workers to go around and just set up each site, i.e. install WordPress, install the plugins you want to use, optimize the site using All-in-One-SEO plugin
Get other workers to generate unique content for you
Finally, get a last set of workers to work on building some relevant backlinks to your sites
Throw Adsense and/or CPA offers on each site (if you have hundreds of sites relating to Flowers, instead of placing your CPA affiliate code on each site (which will be a hassle if you ever need to change it), put your affiliate code on a seperate site’s blank page, and then iframe that site on your hundreds of flower sites). This way if that affiliate offer goes away, you just need to change your source webpage and all your hundreds of flower sites will update, updating a CPA offer for hundreds of sites would take seconds.
You will spend some money up front to do all this, maybe on average $10 per domain name, and then $2/month per domain name thereafter for fresh content workers… but you should be raking in the dough once you start getting ranked in the SERPs.
Assuming these 9000 domains are all decent domains, you are leaving barrels of money on the table right now.
Just my 2 cents.
There is no need to build the sites by hand in WordPress. WPMU (WordPress Multi User) allows programs like these:
to automatically build the sites. Yes, having unique content and good backlinks is a big help though.
I might have a simple solution you can use to generate more income from your current traffic.
Please email me with your contact info and I will show you a quick demo.
Sounds interesting, I emailed you now.
I am in the same boat due to ppc decline…..I have even bigger portfolio.
I am also looking at all options and thinking of developing our tube domains (to start with). I am currently researching software packages for the purpose.
I all all kinds of domains in all kinds of categories, even flowers such as VIPFlowers.com etc.
We really need to find some solution that works.
Let’s help out each other with our ideas/tips etc.
As far as I know, Youtube has not sued anybody yet for using “tube” in their domain, but keep in mind Facebook claims exclusive use of both “Face” and “Book” when it comes to copycat type sites, and has sued Teachbook.com and FacePorn. It probably is not something to worry about, but just something to keep in mind.
Thanks for sharing your ideas and some of your domain names.
Have you considered leasing your domains to businesses? Then you could collect a monthly or yearly fee which would help cover your renewal costs and provide you will some extra operating cash.
Lead gen sites and affiliate feeds are also viable ways to monetize your properties, especially if you can get them ranking well in the engines or are promoting offers that have a high enough margin where you can profitably do online paid advertising. Granted this takes a good deal of time and effort, but if you know what you’re doing it can be worth it. I have some affiliate sites and they do pretty well.
Yes, I have done many lease with option to buy type deals, mostly when a buyer says they don’t have a lot of cash. I have also tried RootOrange.com, but that only generated a little revenue for me.
Yes, running CPA/Lead deals on my sites would be a good money maker, just too much work for me right now.
That has already been checked with a professional.
Plus we are not going to make you tube clones but more like social networks that also have media along with every thing else.
There are tons of tube sites there for long time, many tubes existed way before you tube. Tube is also generic and existed for long time before you tube came in to existence.
Regarding parking at google adsense, Try moving your top type in traffic domains to adsense for domains and see. Surely you will see an increase in revenue. But, adsense for domains has less click through rates imo than other parking companies. because, it lack of customization options such as templates and keyowrds. But defenetly worth a try. Also you better try the new above.com, which will act as a parking hub rather than yet another parking company.
I have tried some of my top domains on it. One of my other providers already used a Google feed for many years, so that is why it is not that much different for me. Yes, I have seen above.com and I opened an account with them earlier this year but have not tried it yet because I am switching away from parking in general.
That has already been checked with a professional many years ago. So many tube names and site have been developed/sold over the years.
Plus we are not going to make you tube clones but more like social networks that also have media along with every thing else.
There are tons of tube sites there for long time, many tubes existed way before you tube. Tube is also generic and existed for long time before you tube came in to existence.
PS: Please delete the domains from my comment above or just delete the entire comment as my intention was not to start a TM discussion.
Anybody remember “Boob Tube”?
I have shown Eric a possible solution to generate more income.
Please email me at bak70 @ aol.com if you would like a demo
Many domainers face a similar or worse situation – many domains which should have a value to an end user but just don’t make enough money in parking to offset the renewal fees. Consequently, one has to sell some domains just to pay for renewals. Make sure domains are listed at SEDO and Godaddy Premium Listings. It sounds like you are already working with minisites. Do have a critical eye on renewals as I would imagine it is difficult to launch in mass thousands of minisites. 90% of search traffic comes from a page one ranking and static minisites aren’t naturally going to maintain a page one ranking for long.
I have not tried Godaddy Premium Listings, but I have sold a few domains through Godaddy via unsolicited offers.
Here’s an idea (I have many). You’ve got some great domains. Why not “lend them out” to other domainers willing to put the time in to develop them and generate revenue. Then you get x% of that revenue and as long as it’s producing income, there is no need to pull it from the domainer.
Yes, I am open to that.
I think affiliate programs are one of the most profitable ways to monetize a site. To help reduce the manual labor of having to update the constantly changing affiliate links you could team of with a programmer who can help you automate the process a bit more.
Yes, at some point I might try something like that, but for now I mainly just want to get some content on the domains so they start getting listed in the search engines. I have found Adsense ads to be pretty profitable, so although affiliate programs might make more, at this point it would not make much of a difference.
Sell a part to the domainers community:
I am sure you can still make a good profit even if they are not end user price.
Thanks, I will try submitting some there.
Sent you email. Thanks.
Wow, I think you have a little too many domains to handle! If I were in your shoes, I would just concentrate on building on getflowers.com, which looks like a fantastic site, and sell off all those other flower domains, or drop them. I think this way you can consolidate your site into one big site, which I think over the long term will be more beneficial!
I am not sure I can’t do it all. It does not have to be one or the other. For example, now that I have those 350 flower domains setup with their own minisites, I won’t ever have to do anymore work on them again.
Forgot to add you are competing against 1800 flowers.com
Yes, thay are a big competitor, but my CheapFlowers.com/GetFlowers.com site offers pretty much the same exact service as they do, but without the extra fees. 1800flowers.com charges a fee of $10-$15 extra when you are about to pay for your order. I tried now, but could not find the exact fee because they don’t disclose it anywhere (at least that I could find) until just as you need to give your credit card.
I have some great ideas for this. What you need is a professional internet marketer with some serious software that can get all these sites developed and ranked quickly. With that many domains, you should be a millionaire many times over no question.
Shoot me an email
I would like to buy your top floral domains that have natural type-in traffic.
Email me your top floral domains with your asking price.
Email me at anunt @ yahoo .com
I have done business with you before…you bought meetpeople.com from me a while back!
None of my floral domains get more than a few visitors a day. I don’t know the exact traffic, but the first day I setup the 350 floral minisites on them my stats show only around 30 banner impressions total.
Also, I don’t think I ever bought meetpeople.com from anyone. I may have owned that domain in the past (I can’t remember, but it sounds like my type of domain) from registering it back in the 1990s, but I have only bought a handful of domains ever for more than the registration fee, so I think I would remember if that was one of them. I could be wrong though, since it is hard to remember the history of all of my 9000 domains.
Your situation is very typical I think. I would also suggest godaddy premium listings if you have any domains registered there. I’m seeing a nice amount of sales there . 1-2% per year or so. I’m curious about your current sales velocity. How many names have you sold this year ? Are you doing any outbound calling ?
I have sold around 60 domains in 2010. Most years I think I have sold 30-50, but i am trying to accept more offers this year. I am not doing anything different to market them, and have never done any marketing other than listing them on Sedo.com and Afternic.com and on my own site at NameShopping.com. A few times I have put some domains up for sale at auction, and that resulted in a few sales, but in general auctions have not been worth the effort for me.
No, I don’t have any domains registered with godaddy.com right now, although I have used them to register some domains in the past and am happy with them.
We’ve known each other for almost a decade, and I just talked to you about this – you’re a smart guy and have done a lot in the domain space (a lot of people don’t know this cuz you’re a phantom)
Contact me and I’ll set you up with something that will cost you nothing, but will make those domains sing for you better than before. You’ve got some beauties (I can attest to this). Let’s follow up on our last conversation.
I appreciate the offer, but I spent several months setting up my own minisite system, so now that I am finally moving all my non-adult domains to it, I want to give it a try first.
Eric, nice article. You inspire me. I’m not a domainers because of money. But I always interested in domaining world.
You have tons of really good keywords domain that I believe already get natural search on search engine. Too bad you failed to monetize that.
If I were you, I’ll build thousand of autoblog that can give me at least $1/day/domain. The autoblog will fetch productfeeds, article, news, video related to the keywords of the domain. set and forget.
It’s only need small investment of money.. 😉
Yes, I should have setup autoblogs years ago on my domains. But, I did try something like that using my own custom made autoblogging script with 1500 of my domains, and after 6 months it was not making more than the $80/month I was spending for the dedicated server, so I shut it down and switched back to parking. This was back when parking was much higher paying though than it is now.
Now there are lots of low cost autoblogging scripts I could use for this, but there are hundreds of domains doing this, so by building my own minisite script I hope to be more unique. Also, the autoblogging scripts and my old autoblogging system don’t use unique content, so search engines do not rank the sites very well. It may be better than parking, but it is not guaranteed to make money. My new minisite system uses unique content that I had written for me, kind of like how Demand Media does it.
Have you tried Whypark? It works for me.
No, I have not tried whypark, but I have read a lot about them. I have tried similar services like
devhub.com and smartname.com . Those services are better than traditional parking, and a bunch of domains that made me $0 from parking made some income with them, but 90% of my domains still made $0 with them so overall the increase in income for my portfolio was not that much. For example, for 2000 domains I switched for a year, instead of earning $0/month I earned $300/month. The income did not keep getting higher and higher though, it leveled off after the first few months, so there did not seem to be much potential to ever make enough to cover my annual domain fees.
Although my minisites are making less initially, my hope is that in a few years they will be a goldmine.
Hé body))))) you own 9000 domain name and you ask info
about what you coul’d do with your DOMAINS.
(Hé buy a yoyo and play with OK)
I do offer a mass bulk solution at DNF if your interested?
Send me an email and in exchange of a review I can make a deal for you.
I am not interested right now, because i am already in the middle of trying my own mass development system, but I will keep it in mind for the future.
find the best parking company and/or use google adsense! contact many big companies and try to direct sell your domains to them or so a firesale with a big domain auction company!
I have tried almost all the big parking companies already. The problem is because they get almost no search engine traffic, there is limited potential.
Yes, I am working in selling my domains through brokers and auctions. I am not desperate though, so I don’t want to sell for firesale prices.
Don’t we all have the same problem, well i do with less domains. I luckily own a mere 500 “mediocre domains”.
I just registered another “mediocre domain” after reading this post: mediocredomains.net
I think we are missing a mediocre domain marketplace.
Mediocre Domains @ realistic prices!
I will set them up on wordpress one at a time and put adsense on them, if interested, call me. 800-739-VILLAGE
Thanks, but there are lots of low cost autoblogging scripts that do that automatically, such as
I have not tried either of these, but there are dozens just like those.
Mainly though, I just spent several months setting up my own minisite system, so now that I am finally moving all my parked domains to it, I want to give it a try first.
Same here Eric; sometimes. I have several thousand domains focused in other service industries. (PaintingService.com, 3Estimates.com, PressureCleaningService.com, ColorDeck.com, SaleBin.com -etc -etc -etc) all mishmashed with ongoing development work on the sites with myself as well as freelancers I work with. I’ve focused my collections over the years on saturating my respective markets with true altruistic views on what I could do with the markets to better them. I’ve ventured down your road a few times but usually come full circle with new ideas on how to position my portfolio moving forward to keep up with changing markets (both domaining as well as the industries I’ve saturated). At some point, I guess, I would bundle the domains as I think they are more valuable having a concentration of them in cornered markets, but if I were you I would try and find your spark again as I’m seeing what seems to be a great innovator/thinker tripping up a bit. If it’s about money, then sell them and find your passion. Few understand that when it’s not about the $…it all works out.
I would much rather sell almost all my parked/minisite domains and build a few big sites (like I am working on with WatchMovies.com , and soon with WatchVideos.com). But, it is silly to sell my domains in bulk at fire sale prices since i am not desperate or in need of cash, but hopefully I can work on selling them a lot faster than before while I also work on creating some big sites.
It sounds like you’ve make a profit from them so it’s probably time to mass sell or drop the worst names with no traffic revenue and keep the one’s that do.
Around 75% of my domains have no significant traffic or revenue, yet are still worth at least several hundred dollars search, so it seems silly to let those expire, and it is hard to sell all those domains.
Prebuilt.com is a great tool for not only managing portfolios of this size, but also for creating revenue streams like paid business directories, paid text links, domain leasing, and paid domain redirection.
Email me directly if you’d like to learn more about it. Many of our users are in the same boat as you are.
Thanks, I will take a look.
A well thought out planning like this can really help long term. I picked up some great tips off this article on situations to be wary of when holding onto so many names.
You may always list some of your better ones for FREE on our site.
Just out of curiosity, have you tried a service like Elephant Traffic that pays for traffic? I’m curious what services you’ve tried and how it’s worked out.
No, I had never heard of them, but I looked at their site now and it looks interesting. Almost none of my domains have any significant typein traffic though, so I would not have any traffic to sell to them. I might be interested in buying traffic from them for some of my real sites though, so I will look into that.
I signed up for them now as a buyer. I don’t want to buy traffic right now, but at some point I might. If I ever have any high traffic generic domains, I will also try selling through them.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with domain leasing. I haven’t done it myself but have thought about getting into it. If you are looking to get into CPA or lead gen let me know. I might be able to help.
I do have another solution for you which I do not want to reveal here on this blog. Contact me.
I am in the same boat as the guy with the 9,000 names. Adsense has given me no traffic $$ what so ever. I am interested in your idea.
Contact me at bak70 @ aol.com for a easy way to increase revenue from your domains.
Interesting article. I can’t even imagine trying to develop that many names. Could you develop a process and outsource the whole operation? If they are lots of keyword rich domains, this could be possible. Do you have the cash?
I’m curious how you think the value of the domains is 8 mil….is that just based on potential? It’s not based on cash-flow. Not trying to be a jerk, but just curious.
Yes, I outsource a lot of work like that overseas. It is a lot of work to manage all of that though, which is why I setup an automated system to setup minisites on the domains. But, the content for it was mostly outsourced to article writers overseas. It just lets me manage it a lot easier having it all in one central system.
Based on cash flow, my 9000 domains are probably worth less than $200,000. $20 million would probably be what they would appraise for, but the only domains I ever sell for the appraised value is to end users, and I can’t sell my domains in bulk to end users, so that value does not mean much. I do get offers on domains that I sometimes turn down, and I can say that I could easily sell 4-5 of my 9000 domains for a over $200,000 total so that cash flow value is somewhat meaningless also. I based the $8 million on what they might sell for at auction, maybe in several auctions over a few months.
Some people have a few domains and earn very decent money.
You have to finally understand difference between quality and quantity.
if you have not caught that for so many years I really doubt you can do it now.
We are not good at everything…maybe its time to change your `profession`.
as You are just making mess on the internet…average person really hates that.
ps I recommend one dollar auction at Latona`s.
You’ve had positive success with development on great names. I understand trying to build out 9000 domains is a huge task and one that may never be met. The only thing that makes sense is keep developing names while selling others. If the financial crises turns around, I believe you would be in a better position to sell your portfolio.
I like Sully’s idea, better yet.. a domain investor association where everyone pools names to lend for development.
Yes, the lower domain market and economy makes things harder. I have not had much of a drop in interest in my domains, but nobody is paying crazy high prices for them anymore.
This is what happens when people get greedy.
Why did you register 9000 domains ?
Do you need a house with 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms ?
Do you need 5 cars sitting in your garage ?
Do you need 100 pairs of shoes in your closet ?
Sorry but I don’t feel sorry for you
Why are there 6000 Radio Shack stores? Why does McDonald’s have 12,000? Are they greedy? It is just business.
I get it. But, if those parked/minisite domains are relevant to those “big” sites you’re looking to build, it may be advantageous to develop those mini-sites with rich content while linking back to your “main” sites. Those link-backs at (I assume you’re under $7 renewals) are worth their weight in advertising when considering how google/yahoo/etc rank linked sites. So…. the <$7/year renewal fee on one link back/content rich site is a small yearly fee to pay when considering advertising/budget on your bigger sites. Spread the mini sites over several different shared/free server spaces, as I'm guessing it would be better if those links were coming from different entities . Also, there are tax advantages to having those renewal fees on minisites and utilizing the domains as a marketing liability: discuss with a CPA familiar with domains.
Last, I'm wondering if you've applied as an icann accredited registrar? With 9000 +/- domains, there should be a cut-off where the fees associated with accreditation fall below the threshold of what your paying to a registrar. Maybe putting 10-30k (I haven't crunched the #'s) in your pocket would be more than enough to hire a hundred freelancers to get some incredible sites up.
Keep my email, as I would enjoy hearing about what you decide…. Glen
I actually don’t plan on doing any linking among my minisites or to my other sites, although many people do that. I guess if they start getting some decent traffic I might do that at some point. I mainly just want to make money from the Ads on the sites. Some people say linking among domains owned by the same person (no matter how many servers they are spread over) is worthless for getting Google rankings. I have not tested this personally so I am not sure.
I don’t think for tax purposes it matters if I park the domain or use it as a minisite (or a real site). I treat the renewal fees each year as an expense.
I had at one point looked into being my own registrar, but it is a huge headache, and not worth the time and effort for me. I get a pretty good deal with Moniker.com by having all my 9000 domains there. If I were also looking to sell domains to the public, it would make sense to make myself a registrar though, since I already have a built in customer (me).
Most domain investors I know with 9k domains have none of those things you say, and even if they did, I think the rest of us would applaud and congratulate them on their success. They made their money and they chose to spend it how they wanted. Some of us choose to save for our children’s education, etc.
To the admin’s point, this is how capitalism works; calling someone greedy is judgmental and in my opinion, just wrong.
It is not really even greedy in my opinion. Back when I bought the domains, I lost big money on them each year paying the $35 annual Network Solutions fee without getting any income from them. Ironically I am still losing money on them now on a monthly basis. It is a risk I take as business man to make big money. It very easily could have gone the other way, where domains ended up being worthless (as some people have predicted over the years, and still do).
I don’t think the blog poster is asking anyone to feel sorry for him. He is just in the same boat as many of us, and we are all looking for ways to make our domains work for us.
If you see something cheap and think you can make a profit from it, you buy it up and put your capital at risk. It happens every day in real estate and investments. Posters like #44 make comments based on jealousy and a different type of mindset – if he could go back 15 years in time he’d probably be buying up generic domains left and right.
Yes, I wish I had bought 10 times as many domains back in the 1990s. They cost $35/year back then and I had almost no way to make money from them, and almost all of the ones I bought were on my credit card, so it was risky for me. I did have almost 400 real sites at one point (now I have around 200) so I was not just buying them for speculation, but speculation was a part of it of course.
Great and interesting post.
8 months ago I registered an expired domain name about videos with very little traffic.
I discovered the way to build a lot of backlinks and indexed pages on search engines so that now, in 8 months only the website is getting around 10000 visits daily.
My domain name is not good like your watchvideos.com.
I was wondering if we could do something together.
I am always open to offers. Email me at email@example.com .
“I guess if they start getting some decent traffic I might do that at some point. I mainly just want to make money from the Ads on the sites.”
My point was not to get the traffic and send your traffic out to your other linked sites. You would need the links in place to get the ranking (first) – to get the traffic (next). Your thought is like putting the carraige before the horse.
If you’re looking for $ from adds, I’m guessing from the uproar in recent blogs and your own experiences that they are not the way to go and may be on their way out. Perhaps you need to look more into user based subscriptions or into something like a drop-ship service with a company that offers a broad range of products. I’ve dabbled with Shopster and love it – although I have not implimented it on my sites yet, they are easy to work with. With your flower sites, maybe offering some sort of certification and badge to those you have listed on each geo-link may get them to start to champion your site(s) forward. Everyone wants to belong to something greater…
“Some people say linking among domains owned by the same person (no matter how many servers they are spread over) is worthless for getting Google rankings”
NOBODY can tell you the algorithms Google or Yahoo uses as they are proprietary secrets. Even if it doesn’t help with “Google” rank, most valuation companies look for linked-in sites when coming up with a monetary figure on your domain. Run some test sites through sites like freewebsitereport.org and see that they count linked sites. Also, Alexa uses those links as well when valuating your site. Get a few thousand linked in sites and you may have an easier time pointing to valuations when a buyer approaches.
Part of my tax comment was to lead you in a different direction of thought. Umbrella your domains under the few you want to develope. At least in your mind, it might calm the storm you seem to be going through and focus you better. Several thousand domains are a real problem. A dozen or so with several thousand linked in expenses is much less daunting. imo
None of my minisite domains have any Google PR yet since I just launched them, so that is why I am not sure linking among them would help any right now. Outgoing links to 0 PR sites might actually drain my Google PR. Also, Google algorithm may be a secret, but it is no secret they frown on things like linking among your own sites for SEO purposes, so they do everything they can to prevent that from working.
99% of the people who buy domains from me are end users and never go to any valuation sites, so pumping up the value just for that purpose won’t really help me. Almost all domain sales I make are to people who are going to use the domain to start their business, and they don’t even ask about traffic or appraisals or search engine rankings.
I am not sure what you about problems with ads. Other webmasters may be getting paid less, but I have not seen any decrease in Google Adsense or Casalemedia, which are the only 2 ad networks I use. As long as I can get traffic to a site, those ads make a lot of money for me.
“pumping up a site just for that purpose”
I’m NOT telling you to NOT have viable information or NOT to try for a great return user base on your mini sites. To the contrary, all your content and sites should be useful enough to make users interested in bookmarking it or remembering it enough to type it in direct. Yes, if you’re offering unrelated garbage at the end of your link, you will suffer. Excuse me for not looking over your list of domains for sale earlier as I see those you are selling are all over the board and have little relevance to the two you want to develope.
I’m coining the word “Google Centric”, and at the posting of this reply, GoogleCentric.com is available. It’s a term I’m going to start using for those who are revolving their lives and businesses around Google to a fault. While I’m guilty of using Google for many things (spellchecker; deictionary; research; adsense) I’ve learned through owning several businesses that one should NEVER put all their eggs in one basket. The switch could be shut off, leaving one in the dust. You’ve become a slave to Google (and whatever other add co you’ve mentioned) and it seems evident in your blog as well as your replies. I’ll go out on a limb, with all due respect, and let you know that you will fail in short order unless you get back to business without dancing with the devil: Google.
As angry and disgusted anyone may be about what I’ve said…. let me clarify. There are thousands of ways to make money with domains outside of Google and without having to be ranked with Google. And here’s a unique thought…. If your domain is incapable of making waves outside of Google (ie: isn’t “sparkable” to set a blazing path to countless users returning..) RUN from it! It’s like owning a business. If there’s no interest in your business – it’s not vialble and will be a worthless money pit!
Could a new trend or fad come along that will make a domain of yours viable? Sure! But, understand you’re going to simply be paying registration fees until/if that happens because you’re not looking to create those trends. Luck with that.
I agree it is not good to rely just on Google, but if other search engines overtake Google, then hopefully I will rank well in them. You can say it is not good to make money just from search engine traffic, with no real business or engaging content on the domains, but for many years I had these domains parked and they were making me a profit of $10,000/month and at that time they really had no content on them (just typical parking page type search engine links). Also, my main goal is to at least break even on each domain until I can sell it. My goal is not to make a business out of each one, my business is holding them until I can sell them for a good price.
I also have 200 “real” sites that don’t depend on search engine traffic, so that is a big part of my business. I agree with you, I would not want to just have a business that depends on minisites or parking or trying to develop all 9000 of my domains into real sites. But, that is just part of what I do.
-800Flowers.com did NOT rely on Google to take them where they are today.
– Facebook.com did NOT rely on Google to take them to the levels they are at today.
Yes, I agree, that is why I have 200 real sites like that (CheapFlowers.com, Dumb.com, Adoptme.com, etc.). But, there is also big money in selling my domains to end users (not other domainers, who care about traffic/income/appraisals), so it is better for me to have some content on my domains and get them listed in Google then to have them just sit there and lose money.
I think you are answering your own questions…
So, if I’m hearing you correctly….it’s no longer working. Parking a domain with adds has all but come to an end. Either the search engines are frowning on the “good old days,” or the end user is getting smarter and frustrated with endless loops of links and they are not clicking thru….
If the aforementioned is incorrect, it’s your SEO understanding that is flawed….because things should be the same….but I think not.
This is what I was getting at before when I mentioned the amount of similar blogs pointing to fat-add revenue coming to an end. If Google is getting good enough….. why would anyone spend time clicking thru adds when google gives you your answer in a billionth of a micro-second? There’s no need to look at your add links. “I” remember the days of going through endless links to find an answer. Today, I am much different and get my expected answer in that billionth of a micro-second.
Maybe the curve is telling us that we need to go after our own markets (or create them) in order to succeed in domaining. That means taking what prompted you to register youngwriters.com and offering a quick forum for writers to share their stories. Simply “squat” on domains with links – you should (nowadays) expect to pay a yearly fee before selling it..(if that’s your business)
gotta go… GhostHunters is on! lol
Best of Luck Eric! Do keep in touch!
Parking a domain no longer works well. I am not sure why. I don’t think it has anything to do with end users though.
I get very high clickthrough rates on Google Adsense ads, just as high as many years ago, so I am not sure what other blogs are talking about.
I have tried setting up forums or other simple sites on various domains, and it has never been worth the time and effort for me. If I went through the trouble to do that on 9000 domains, managing them would be a nightmare.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 hahahahahahahahahahhaahhahahahahahahah
I can help you develop these with WordPress Auto blogs…We just finished 60 sites today. We guarantee our work.
I know all about WordPress auto blog scripts like
and up until recently I would have been willing to try that type of thing, but I am almost finished creating my own minisites on my 4000 non-adult domains so I want to see how well that does first.
I have a domain parking method which might interest you.
Currently have a client I’m doing a JV with and we’re doing 50k on just 50 domains.
Have submitted my email through the post.
That 75% is what’s giving you headaches every time they need renewing. Are theses names two or three tier dot com’s? it sounds like it, and yes they’re hard to sell.
If you had something like ‘computers.com'(single word generic) or ‘2011.com'(NNNN.com) you won’t find any problems regarding potential buyers or getting them listed on T.R.A.F.F.I.C.
I’d look to list that 75% of domains on all the auto auction platforms like sedo, bido, cax, DP, DNforum, TDNam, NamePros, Flippa, etc and really push them hard to sell.
I’d then look at getting single tier names (not necessary dot com’s) with the revenue generated from the sales as a portfolio investment strategy 🙂
As the old adage goes ~
“better having 1 unit of quality than 10 units of quantity – as I’m sure everyone else has 10 units of quantity too!”
Yes, I have all my 9000 domains listed on Sedo.com and Afternic.com, and I listed a few on cax yesterday. I have tried selling them on the forums like namepros but I really want to sell to end users,, not domains looking to buy at firesale prices.
I agree, if I could sell all my less valuable domains and use that money to buy a few killer ones, that would be much better.
I think domainer’s should unite like a union and start our own parking/dev company so we make and share in all the profits. Have our own registration company and sales company. Tired of seeing the other companies get rich as we wallow. Each domainer pays a yearly fee to offset marketing needs.
Just a thought..Would be nice.
Don’t get it…Is NameShopping.com your company? Looks like a bunch of names have sold there for good money. How do you promote or sell your names.
NameShopping.com is my site where I list all my domains for sale. My company home page is impulsecorp.com.
I think one of the premises from which you stand is misleading you….its the same myth where some domainers continue to believe that opting to develop these domains to minisites will get them indexed by the Search Engines and “hopefully” bring some traffic (income).
For the sake of this discussion, let’s focus to where 80% of the SE traffic is comming from….Google…
Getting indexed by Google is one thing…getting traffic is another…..Just because you have created minisites for your domain doesn’t mean you’ll be generating enough traffic and income to surpass the “X”amount of dollars that costing you to maintain your them…
Your domains/minisites are indexed, alright! But if your sites are not even in Google’s first page for the keywords
that bring bring you enough traffic, then you might as well head back to parking….
I know you said you don’t get much income from parking these domains, but so will your minisites..probably even less..and yes, contrary to what other will say, you need to maintain these ministes with some content…..if you disagree, just read about the Google Caffeine algo that started June this year…
all my best,
Most of my domains are very good in terms of SEO keywords and will get listed pretty well for the low search volume topics. But, even being listed near the top for many search terms does not always translate into a lot of traffic. But, if I could make just $1/month from my 4000 non-adult domains, that would be more than I was making from parking them.
I will look into what you said about the value of updating sites. I had not heard that, but it seems logical Google would take that into account.
You have some great domains.
What if we take over the development and promotion part and we share % with you?
I see some of your domains have potential to generate $300-$500 per day with some hard work.
If you are interested let me know via email.
I can be reached at ajeetroy @ gmail.com
I would have been interested in something like that a few months ago, but now that I finally have almost all my minisites setup, I want to give them some time to get listed in Google and I want to see how much money they make. If that does not work out well, I will consider your offer.
I have sent you mail. I can develop few of your web properties. They got potential and I got expertise which can generate enough money. If we can discuss I am confident you will not have to sell any more domains from your portfolio.
Fantastic post about an issue that so many of us domainers are in. While I don’t have anywhere near as many domains as you, I do own approximately 600 domains. Like you, a sizable percentage of my portfolio consists of high type-in traffic generic adult domains. You have not mentioned what you are doing with the thousands of adult domains you own. As parking with them has also decreased, I’d be very interested to know just what you are doing to monetize your adult domains. Hoping you’ll care to share 🙂
Again, thanks for posting such an interesting article – I’ve got a bunch of ideas to explore on my mainstream domains from some of the comments.
A month ago I changed all my adult domains to be parked at xpays.com. They are not a parking company though, they put up a splash page giving the visitor some free content and then it tries to get them to signup for a free trial. I get paid $35 for each signup. Xpays has many different types of sites, and directs each of my domain to the best matching site of theirs. I switched my domains to their dns, so I did not have to do anything to set things up.
I am making around $2000/month from xpays with my 4000 adult domains instead of $1000 that I was making before from traditional parking. But, the pages still have no search engine potential, and are I am still making less than the annual domain fees, so ideally I would like to sell my adult domains.
@ Rajeev Kumar
I will be interested in looking at what you offer about revenue sharing development of my domains.
We have over 10 thousand domains of all kinds.
Check the whois for one of my domains (VIPFlowers.com, Changeroom.com, Chithi.com, IndiaPoker.com etc). Get my email from the whois and email me your idea/proposal. If I like your idea then I can send you my domains list as excel file.
Please let me know your experience/portfolio/location in the email along with your proposal.
This is a problem many of us have. I have 600 domains, around 400 are UK cclds, the rest are .com. Smaller problem than yours but just as fustrating! I would be very interested in hearing how things progress in the future.
Eric, can you show us (me) a sample of what one of your minisites looks like?
Some examples of my minisites are:
I have not done any site design for the minisites yet so they look awful, but I will have that done in the next few days. Search engines don’t rank them any differently based on how they look so design has been a low priority for me.
Eric I going to get all your domains sold! I am still listing them up for sale on my site http://www.webdomainsbuy.com/ for the last few months. I have had NameShopping.com page open so long on my computer that I still have your old layout with the prices! LOL I just adjusted my site to say make an offer on all your domains. That might attract more people. My twitter feed http://twitter.com/WebDomainsBuy has over a 1000 followers now manly its all your domains tweeted every half hour. I am thinking twitter might be a good way to find an end user.
I think the reason why park pages don’t work anymore is because there is so many people building sites now and Google has real sites with content to put up in front of the park pages.
I removed the prices from NameShopping.com because I have the domains listed with prices with some brokers (like Sedo.com and Afternic.com) so they would rather I not have the prices on my own site.
Interesting that you went with the old school basic text kinda sites for your minisites.
Should be interesting for you to see how they do.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Adding things like videos, news feeds, ecommerce affiliate products, etc. are all penalized by Google as duplicate content, so there is not much point in adding that stuff just for getting listed in the search engines. Yes, it is good to add all that to make the site better, but for now I am just trying to get all 4000 sites launched and listed so I am focusing on the unique content part.
Eric if you log into my site somebody wrote you and had a idea for using your dating domain names. It sounds kind of like what your doing with your adult domains. You might want to check it out.
Thanks. I looked now. I have tried affiliate dating sites like that one in the past. They are ok, but not better than parking or a minisite in my experience. Maybe it would be better if my domains had a lot of typein traffic, but my problem is that I need unique content on the domains so they will get traffic. Showing a premade dating site won’t get any more traffic than a parked page because it is not unique content.
Hi Eric – thanks for your answer about your adult domains. I, too, have mine ‘parked’ at xpays and have for about 6 or 7 months now.
Initially they earned slightly more than from traditional parking (I was previously using skenzo and DDC for all my parking – still using them for mainstream with earnings staying about the same over the past year).
I was making almost $3000 a month when I started out with xpays, which was great even though it was a third of what I made just a few years ago. My latest check from xpays was for only $350 though and income from there has been declining steadily since June. Ouch.
Do you mind if I ask where you had your names parked before? I have found that adult names do drastically different at different parking companies and am curious as to what you tried.
Perhaps if we collaborate we can find a better revenue stream for our adult names. Feel free to email me if you are interested.
Right now I’m thinking of switching a few of my adult domains back to where they originally were parked to see if the earnings there have declined as substantially ad at xpays or if they do better than at xpays.
I refuse to believe that this is all our adult names can pull in per month. I am thinking about trying to find a partner to develop out the names using wordpress as a CMS and affiliate programs. I get tons of type-in traffic, but it would be great to increase that with natural search.
I had the domains parked with ddc.com, smartname.com, namedrive.com, and trafficz.com. I tried Skenzo for a few domains also. Yes, I worry using xpays.com will lower traffic for the domains because they have no unique content on them. I don’t want to setup adult sites myself though (or with a partner), even if they are just landing pages, due to the legal risks.
This post articulates all the reasons why I am constantly pulling for the mass domain development platform providers to get it right. One will eventually, from a search engine and an affordability perspective. I’m a big fan of your blog and have learned a lot from the transparent way you run and talk about your domaining business.
Yes. That is true. Whatever you do, stay away from Parked and anything else related to Directnic.com.
How do you manage 9000 names? I mean, do you use software at home? Excel? A database? Custom software? I can barely manage 1000 names.
I have them all in a database at NameShopping.com . I can’t manage them really though, it is just a list. But, I have all my domains at 1 registrar (moniker.com) so that makes it easier to manage them.
Try managing them using Prebuilt.com. It’s free. Features: folder and sub-folder creation and management, auto-polls DNS to allow you to filter by DNS, sort by exp date (auto-determined). We built this system specifically to manage and monetize our portfolio.
That system looks great, but I am no longer parking my domains so it would not help me any.
It’s not really a parking service. But that’s neither her nor there. You don’t need to use the monetization benefits of prebuilt to manage your names there for free. We have hundreds of users who just use the system as a domain manager.
All those features are great, but moniker.com’s system already does a lot of that for me, and the rest I already setup at NameShopping.com. I have a full time programmer who works for me, so I have customized a lot of things that I have needed. Management is not what I need. Back when I was parking domains, your service would have been good though.
I will work through all your domain names setting up sites ,with free server hosts ,or with a paid server building content that is true to each name.This is the key!!
I am building http://www.standrews.tv .I have done all the the seo But the problem is If you type in any combo of st andrews tv you get me!!!type in st andrews and you dont see my site for dust!!The problem here is that other sites in st andrews have more “history”and when I went to the local paper for some publicity they told me I was in competition with them!!!!Solution …spend time working on each site with the best content and new ideas you can come up with….then !!!Put a link a small text link would do to each site in your network. After 1 year of building good websites with cool stuff.Anyway For 300pounds a week I would build your sites,not as a scam but good content free sites for locals and visitors.I am an artist and a web builder.
I appreciate your offer, but I am already setting up minisites like that on all of my domains. I am 75% done right, and will be fully done in the next few weeks, so I want to see how my own sites do first.
Boxcar would be a logical choice as the site caters for bulk sales and traffic there is picking up too. As I said earlier take the bulk for your two tier/three tier names that are not returning roi, clear them and with the profits invest in a killer dot com/net.
Your better off with 20 ‘killer/com-net’s’ than a thousand mid range two/three tier com’s. After all it’s that ‘desirability’ factor that keeps single generic com’s/net’s at an investment premium.
For example have a look at bido’s highest recent sales record – a nice generic net too may I add, and bidding was fierce for it too (I know I was there..lol), some food for thought..
Yes, I currently have some domains for sale at boxcar.com and have tried some others in the past few months, but I have not had any significant sales (both were no reserve auctions: 0dollarhost.com sold for $1 and
DrugSpy.com sold for $11).
I would suggest you if you want to Sell/Buy your brandable domains, you must try http://www.Yourmaindomain.com
I googled and have some domains which are also sitting and doing nothing and came on this topic.
I was wondering what would you recommend one to do with these domains. I would like to see some income generated by these domains but lack the time to create an actual website out of it..
Thanks in advance
You could try parking the domains, like at ddc.com . Some other parking companies are listed at
If your goal is to sell the domains, you could also try parking them at Sedo.com. They will then be listed for sale and be parked at the same time (sedo has a good parking service), and Sedo.com is the leading domain brokerage in the industry.
What losers — 9000 domains? You all are the pathetic, greedy squatters that take all of the names that normal people actually need. You are the bottom feeders of the internet.
You are WRONG, WatchMovies.com etc is not a name that anyone can claim to be “squatted” on.