Rob Sequin Guest Post: Options for Your Domains | DomainInvesting.com

Rob Sequin Guest Post: Options for Your Domains

16

This is a guest post written by domain broker, Rob Sequin.

As part of my 2011 planning, I have been giving considerable thought about the current and future use of my domain names. This nice thing about owning a number of domains is that domain portfolio owners have numerous options for what they can do with their domains.

Of course everyone’s portfolio is different as are business models and goals but I thought that it may be helpful to offer some guidance about use of domains. Here is a list of what you can do with your domains…

  • Development
  • Forwarding
  • Leasing
  • Minisites
  • Nothing
  • Parking

Development

Summary: Website development requires skills and software. To develop a site you need to have a server, website design software/platform like xsitepro, WordPress, Dreamweaver etc. Development requires lots of time and skill or money if you have to hire a developer.

Pros:

Adds value to the domain so long as your development is appreciated by search engines, visitors, direct advertisers and potential buyers. Gives you the ability to place Adsense, affiliate ads, sell products, get direct advertisers etc. Ability to track everything with Google Analytics code.

Cons:

Time consuming and may be developed differently from what your visitors, direct advertisers or potential buyers are looking for thus just a waste of time.

Forwarding

To Developed Website

Summary: Forward related domains to a developed site already in your network that would be an appropriate “lander” for the forwarded domain.

Pros: Visitors land on a developed page therefore you get the best use for this forwarded domain. Developed site gets more traffic from type ins from relevant, forwarded domain. Why park a domain for pennies a day if you can forward to your site and capture a potential direct advertiser or customer. Why not spend those pennies a day and “buy” this traffic?

Cons: You have to have a related developed domain as a “lander”. Cannot offer forwarded domain for sale if it is pointing to a developed site. No stats for forwarded domain unless masked. If masked then visitor cannot see URLs of developed site. No search engine love for forwarded domains.

To Retail Sales Website

Summary: If you have a developed site that is a retail sales site, forwarding your domains to this sales site can increase sales.

Pros: You can have some advertising on the site but if it’s for sales of domains, limit ALL outgoing links. Direct sales to buyer, no third party marketplace with anonymous negotiations or commissions. Potential to upsell buyer more similar domains. Why park a domain for pennies a day if you can forward to your site and capture a potential buyer. Why not spend those pennies a day and “buy” this traffic?

Cons: Same as above to Developed Website.

Leasing

Summary: I know there are leasing sites and opportunities out there but not practical for most domain owners.

Pros: Generates guaranteed income over what Adsense, sales, leads or direct advertisers will pay you.

Cons: VERY difficult to find anyone to lease your domains, you need a STRONG contract and need to make sure leasee is not using your domain in bad ways. You give up all control of the domain.

Minisites

Summary: Epik, Whypark and DevHub are hybrids of parking and development. Not all domains are good candidates for minisite development but a great option for the right domains, usually product domains or long tail domains.

Pros: May generate more revenue parking and may get some search engine placement.  Adds value to domain since content is directly relevant to domain. Minisite platforms are very advanced today and offer many ways to add content and revenue generating features. You can probably have a “This domain for sale” link on the lander.

Cons: From my limited experience, I have not made any money nor created any search engine traffic from minisite development.  No public sales marketplace at minisite companies.

Nothing

Summary: Nothing means nothing. I am amazed how many dead landing pages or registrar landing pages I come across.

Pros: Not using domain could help if you are TM squatting. That’s about all the Pros I can come up with J

Cons: Dumbest use of domain, shows owner does not care at all about domain, adds zero value. In fact tells potential buyer that you are uneducated about domains, not using it and therefore you should expect VERY low offers and of course no revenue or search engine placement, no stats either.

Parking

Summary: Many people say that parking is dead or dying but this is by far the easiest way to make the most revenue with little effort. I have used Sedo (Google feed) and Parked (Yahoo feed). I admit I do not make much money from parking, which is not my primary source of revenue. I will say that I have tried MOST of the parking companies at one time or another and I have found that I like working with Sedo or Parked.

Pros: Change the nameservers, optimize the lander, set it and forget it.

Cons: Probably no search engine ranking but I have seen my domains rank with Sedo and Parked pages.

Sedo Pros: Best parking revenue, domain for sale link, sales marketplace, good stats but confusing

Sedo Cons: Cannot negotiate directly with buyer, buyer is anonymous, sales commission, no custom content. Landers are very generic.

Parked Pros: Custom domain for sale link, great stats, simple user interface, ability to add custom content, plenty of photos directly relevant to keywords.

Parked Cons: Adequate revenue, no sales marketplace. I understand that the transition to Bing has not gone well and Yahoo feed parking companies may need some time for revenue to recover.

Summary

You should have all your domain names in a spreadsheet or in some manner that they can be sorted and categorized. Make a column for near term use and long term use. Ultimately your long term goals might be something like this:

  • Development 5% to 20%
  • Forwarding 10% to 20%
  • Leasing 0% to 5%
  • Minisites 10% to 30%
  • Nothing 0%
  • Parking 40% to 80%

Short term use could be parking while long term use could be development. Parking is a great way to at least see what kind of traffic a domain receives then you can make a better decision about developing it. Be sure to have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish.

If you want a revenue stream then test parking, test minisites and test development. If your goal is sales then be sure to have your domains listed for sale in several locations and/or forward them to your own retail sales site. If you goal is to bring in direct advertisers then you’ll want to develop good websites with unique content that offers value to your visitors.

Good luck. I hope this helps with your domain planning for 2011.


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.


Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | | Facebook | Email

Comments (16)

    don

    I think leasing is underated…we lease 2 websites presently for lead gen that are routinely optimized with fresh content and backlinks to improve their performance, its a win-win for both parties..

    December 14th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Larry

    One of the problems with a site that is developed (and of course all this depends on the circumstances and the name) is that if the site looks to good you are less likely to attract offers from end users.

    Generally an end user will equate a parking page with “for sale” but will equate a developed site with “not for sale” and move on. Of course there are exceptions.

    This isn’t the best example I can think of but dogwalker.com or slipperyelm.com are very likely not going to attract end user offers. torah.com probably would if modified slightly to remove “coming soon”. If you owned a piece of real estate and put “coming soon” nobody would contact you to buy it, right? Same with “under construction” although that is seen so frequently you would get inquires from end users.

    Maybe the answer, assuming no trademark issues, is to develop the site and then have a pop up with “this website and business is for sale”

    As far as attracting “low ball offers” it is better that someone makes an offer and is in the game then never makes an offer. It only takes a minute to reply to an email about an inquiry.
    I’ve had lowball offers of $2000 end up at $150,000.

    December 14th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Will

    Minisites can generate revenue, but you can’t treat a minisite like a parked page. The missing ingredient is SEO, but I get the impression that SEO = more work, which is what many domainers don’t want to do… work.

    Even WhyPark suggests adding unique contact pages and link building for its customers. Learn about SEO and include it as part of your effort toward monetizing your domains.

    December 14th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Michael Castello

    Rob is a smart guy. Enjoyed the article, thanks!

    December 14th, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Steve M

    Nice summary/overview, Rob; thanks.

    December 14th, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Pat

    Very well thought-out piece. Thanks.

    December 14th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    landon white

    @ Rob

    Thanks for sharing …

    December 14th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Poor Uncle

    Thanks for the overview. Nicely done.

    December 14th, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Stephen Douglas

    Nice article, Rob. I’ve been advising my clients (including you in 2007 when you first emerged) on every point you stated since 2004, so you learned the industry well – but everyone already knows you’re dependable, educated and a good consulting investment for learning about domains if you’re a beginner or even a novice. You’re probably one of the best domain consultants of the four I personally know and recommend. This is worldwide, by the way.

    However, thanks for giving out knowledge for free on information I’ve been charging clients for years. I thought El was bad, but this article might compete very well with all his freebie talk. THANKS A LOT! 😉

    I noted something ironic in your article – you had “Nothing” posted ABOVE “Parking”. LOL. Was that a Freudian slip? But I agree with what you say, one of the strangest things I come across in this business is a powerful domain name, not online, the owner is unreachable and anonymous (or not), and the domain does NOTHING. I don’t think the owners are aware of how much they’re robbing themselves of revenue. What’s the deal with that? I’ve tried to figure it out, and I wonder if it’s a domain owned by someone who went to another world with Hendrix, and his heirs don’t have any idea of its value or what to do with it, other than to renew it. Any thoughts?

    keep up the good work, broey.

    December 15th, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Joey Starkey

    Thanks for the insight Rob. I have been slowly developing all of my names.

    The income has been increasing so well on a few sites that I am considering taking them off the market and keeping them.

    Anyway thanks for sharing.

    Joey Starkey
    memphisDomain Broker

    December 15th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Ron Wells

    Nice post Rob!

    December 15th, 2010 at 9:47 am

    roy messer

    I have tried most parking venues and for me, Hotkeys.com has proven to be my top choice.

    December 15th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Jason

    Another option is to use Why Park to set up a web directory. I wrote an article about landing the top resume company as a directory. When you get a quality company to list, others will follow. One listing is enough to renew 20 .con domains per year.

    Leasing is a good option. Developing a site is good if you have Elliot’s skills. For the most part, I host all my domains at Why Park. Many sites are positioned well in thf search engines. I write custom articles to build instant traffic. I monitor traffic through statcounter.

    Thanks for the tips. Great assessment.

    December 15th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    David

    Nice article Rob, Excellent pros and cons.

    Hard at work in only thse 3 areas (already near my goals):

    Development 80% or more (mostly small sites)
    Forwarding (framed) 5% to 10%
    Parking 5% to 10%

    December 15th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    NetJohn

    What do ya’ll think about the attributes & effectiveness of managing domain parking, testing traffic & rev and comparing/analyzing multiple domain parking venues on the Above.com platform ?

    December 17th, 2010 at 12:54 am

    chris

    very good article! I took some advice and wrote about it on my blog!

    December 20th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Leave a Reply

Name *

Mail *

Website