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Posts Tagged ‘domains’

How to Monetize Your Domain Names

This is a blog post that was planned for some time, and then a friend asked me this exact question, so I knew it was time to pull it from the archives.

To make money online, you have to facilitate money changing hands. Making money with a domain is similar to making money with any other website in that you ultimately have to drive people to the domain and get them to take an action which ultimately results in money changing hands. It doesn’t even have to be their money, but an action has to be taken. The big take away here is that you need to have visitors to your domain – and lots of them – to make any money of substance.

That said, here are several ways you can monetize a domain and most are based on my personal experiences.

1. Contextual Ads. This is one of the most popular domain monetization strategies. The most widely known contextual ad network is Google’s AdSense. To make money with AdSense, you simply place a snippet of code on your website and ads are displayed. When visitors click on the ads, Google gives you a percentage of what that advertiser paid for the click. In essence, this is an affiliate program for Google AdWords (Google’s Pay Per Click platform).

How much money you make per click will depend on the industry your content represents. If advertisers are paying a lot for a click (such as lawyers), then you can expect to see a few dollars per click that is generated from your site. In other instances, where the cost per click is low, you will just see a few pennies per click.

If you have lots of content, this might be a good option for you, but if you are just starting out, you will likely be disappointed with your initial earnings.

2. Selling Advertising. If you want to have more control of the ads that are served on your site (because you won’ with AdSense), you can solicit advertisers for your website. What you earn will be proportionate to how many visitors your website has. Ads are typically sold in terms of “x” dollars per thousand visitors (known as CPM pricing). For example if your website gets 10,000 visitors per month and you have a price of $5/CPM, you would charge $50 per month to your advertisers. Ads can be sold in many formats including banner ads, text link ads, and in context ads.

3. Selling Affiliate Products. If you can find companies that are related to your website that have an affiliate program where you can get paid for sales referred to them from your website, this can be a lucrative proposition. Unlike selling advertising where you are paid up front, this is more of a performance based ad, where you are compensated whenever a sale is made or a lead is produced (depending on the program). I recommend using affiliate ads in conjunction with other types of ads because the returns can be quite significant. For example, one company I run affiliate ads for pays a $100 commission for referred sales and others pay ongoing monthly commissions.

4. Domain Parking. I have tried this with a few different companies and found that if I had enough traffic to make money with a domain parking program, I would make even more if I controlled the content. Essentially these companies run contextual ads on your domains and share the revenue with you. It’s pretty simply to put up a single page website using WordPress and you can keep 100% of the ad revenue or any other revenue you generate from the website.

5. Sell Your Own Products. If people are coming and buying they might as well buy from you. Ecommerce systems are easier and easier to set up, and you could be up and running in no time.

6. Lead Generation. If your domain has traffic that is geared towards a certain niche market, you could sell leads either through a lead company or by negotiating a deal with a business owner.

The more revenue your domain (website) generates, the more value it will have. You might even be tempted to sell a domain if you get a decent offer, but before saying yes, you have to look at a few factors:

– How much money the site brings in for you and how long it would take to rebuild that income.
– How long it would take to earn what they are offering you.
I like to get at least 24 times the monthly revenue for a sale, but there are times when selling for less than that makes sense (i.e. the market may not be around for a long time). I will address selling domains in a future blog post because there is a lot to be said on the topic.

If you have any further questions about monetizing domains, please feel free to comment below and I will respond as soon as I can.

How Domain Renewals Can Effect Your Online Presence

There is more behind managing domain renewals than many people realize. The basics of domain management are:

1. Find a DOT COM domain, making it as short as possible. People think “dot com” and don’t like typing long URL’s.

2. Keep your renewal period out at least 3 years – and preferably 5, to show that you are going to be around.

3. ALWAYS USE AUTO-RENEW! I am amazed at the number of websites that still go offline because someone forgot to renew them. It’s super bad for business, as people may suspect you’ve gone out of business. Ever worse, the longer you go with your website down, the higher the likelihood that the search engines will notice – and you don’t want that.

As far a where to register, I recommend GoDaddy, but I do not recommend using them as a hosting provider. For hosting, I recommend HostGator.

I hope this is helpful.

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