Affiliate Revenue from Domain Forwarding | DomainInvesting.com
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Affiliate Revenue from Domain Forwarding

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ForwardingI learned a great way to make money with a generic domain name by forwarding your domain’s traffic to an affiliate url of the website that may be the intended target of some of your domain name’s traffic. I don’t want to say where I learned this because I didn’t ask permission from the domain owner I saw doing this, but I’ve seen it many times and it’s fairly common although I haven’t done it yet myself.

Let’s say you own the absolutely generic domain name BestDomain.com and there happens to be a home cleaning products company that operates on BestDomain.co.uk. You know some of your type in traffic (especially UK traffic) is from people looking for this other website, but since your domain name isn’t  related to the industry in which the other company operates, it would be risky to create a cleaning site without infringing on the rights of the company with the co.uk.

If you park the name, it could piss the other company off that their competitors have a chance to convert this traffic via PPC link, especially because the parking company may display cleaning-product advertisements, which could be considered infringing. Additionally, if people are looking for a cleaning product on BestDomain.com, the conversion rate would be pretty low if you built a domain name-related website.

The next best thing to inquire about is signing up with the other company’s affiliate program, and forward your traffic to the affiliate link. The other company should be happy because they are paying for converted customers, which may have been lost, and you are happy because you are able to make money by giving people what they want with relatively little effort. In addition, if conversion rates are great, the other company may even choose to try and buy the domian name from you.

If you wish, you can also build your own website or company on the domain name, but using a service like ComWired, forward the traffic from the UK to the affiliate link. You can then use your domain name in a way you like, while not losing out on potential revenue from others.

Looks like a good way to generate revenue if you ask me! One caveat I recommend is to speak with an attorney about doing this first to make sure you aren’t violating the rights of the other company, potentially jeopardizing the domain name.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (10)

    David J Castello

    Interesting idea, but you could be shooting yourself in the foot if the recipient company’s legal department ever decided to get clever and pull a UDRP. How could you argue that your name had nothing to do with the Complainant’s business when you’re pointing your traffic to their affiliate site?

    July 24th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

      Elliot

      @David

      If they accepted you as an affiliate, they would have knowledge. If your name is generic enough, you might also be able to approach them and ask before taking any action.

      July 24th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Robbie

    I have been doing this for a while with a few domains I own and the revenue has been ok.

    The only issue is that some affiliate scheme do warn you about sending typo or tm names to there program is againest there TOS so I would say this is only for product / generic names.

    Regards,

    Rob

    July 24th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Jamie Parks

    I’d touch base with the management dept of the company that you are signed up as an affiliate for before ever doing something like this.

    IMO, the affiliate company’s legal dept may view this as a shady tactic and they could see your domain name’s affiliation with the company as a violator to their brand.

    Interesting idea to explore though. I’d just contact the company first and get the green light from them. In the end if your domain is helping them funnel in traffic that converts to real sales, why wouldn’t they want you as an affiliate?

    July 24th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    robb

    If the domain is too close to the company trademark, I think they would hate paying you to send them traffic through a domain they probably think should rightfully be theres.

    Also, if you forward traffic through the domain, and they cut you off or have problems with their site, your traffic becomes worthless. You could miss a few days or weeks revenue from this.

    Better to build your own page and put an affiliate link or banner on it, plus other affiliate links or adsense type ads, to diversify your revenue streams.

    The method you talk about might work well if you had something like tickets.com and made a deal with TicketMaster to forward your traffic to them. But how do you really know if they are giving you accurate stats from the sales you send them? It is probably giving too much control of the traffic to them.

    July 24th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

      Elliot

      @Robb

      Yes – but I am referring to straight up unquestionable generic domain names.

      July 24th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Bruno

    There is one company that has made this into their business model – Citizen Hawk.

    July 24th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Jamie Zoch

    The vast majority of affiliate programs do not allow URL redirection, so it’s always best to read the TOS before doing this.

    URL redirection using an affiliate link is often considered “cookie stuffing”. Do I agree about this, no…. to a point.

    Sometimes if something seems to good to be true, it often is. One would hate to see affiliate commission coming in like crazy and then all of a sudden, lose them due to the affiliate figuring out about the URL redirection. (forwarding)

    Just be sure to read the TOS. CJ.com I know clearly says if the advertiser allows forwarding or not without looking at the TOS, but most it’s hidden in the TOS.

    July 24th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Anthony

    Elliott I have been doing this for years … saves development/programming costs, no hosting, no seo, frees up all your time to avoid the noise and learn. No problems with TOS as some have suggested … as long as the domain is a generic. In this situation you and profit become one. ROI
    can’t be higher for invested time. The only problem is that you are building somebody else’s customer base. This is best done on domains that you have no immediate interest to develop and with aff programs that provide ” lifetime commissions ” if you can believe that.

    July 24th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Robbie

    Hello has anyone ever been an Affiliate for 1and1.com hosting services appreciate your replys thanks Rob

    March 28th, 2011 at 1:27 am

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