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opinion Why I Develop Every Domain Name Investment

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About 10 years ago I discovered the secret to domain success. Though, not much of a secret, domain development is a wonderful way to improve upon your investment, yet it is highly underutilized. Once I figured that out, I began developing everything I could get my hands. It’s one of those things that I’m so passionate about, I tend to recommend development to everyone I talk to, even if it wasn't even remotely close to the topic they initiated. It's funny sometimes, the expression on people’s faces when a conversation they started with me makes a 180 degree turn from, "Where can I find an end user for my domain?" to "You should develop it, and here's why!"

Here’s some great reasons why I prefer to develop every domain that I invest in.

Parking vs. Developing

I can certainly understand the draw for many to create a large portfolio of parked domains. Who wouldn’t? It requires little more than your checkbook to amass a stockpile of potential, little energy expended, residual income, and it typically makes back your investment, but why sit on a pile of domains for pennies when you could be making 10x the return on each developed domain? It almost seems fiscally irresponsible once you know what you’re missing out on. I hear it over and over again that people park because they don't know how to code, design, or just don't have the time or money to pay someone else to do it. I get it. I realize that those can be legitimate obstacles for some people. Personally, I think it's a cop-out and a negative mindset. They just have to put their mind to it.

There's always a way to schedule at least 30 minutes a day or budget $10 to $50 a month to put towards developing a domain. I think that sometimes an investor just has so many domains in their portfolio that it's overwhelming to even consider developing them all. I get that too. I understand the feeling of that kind of pressure. Like with anything in life though, one step at a time to get the ball rolling and eventually, in a week, month, year, or decade from now an entire portfolio can be developed. Progress is still progress, no matter how long it takes you.

The main reasons why I stopped parking are:
  • I made more per click (PPC) when I developed vs. a percentage of a click with a parking company.
  • I had more freedom and control over my content and design when developing.
  • I boosted the value of my investment as it grew in traffic, revenue, etc.
  • I was able to save money each year once my domains were able to pay their own renewal fees.
  • I generated profit from my portfolio until the domains and/or websites sold.
  • There was no pressure to sell, and I could hold out for the best offer since there were no more yearly costs per domain.
  • I was able to be found in search engines when I developed, giving me better reach and potential for visitors.
  • I had more control over what type of ads displayed on my pages to avoid any unforeseen UDRP’s.
Quick Flipping vs. Developing

There’s nothing wrong with quick cash. Especially when I started out, I always liked a quick flip where I could turn a $1 coupon .com investment into $10 to $200 within 24 to 48 hours. Frankly, I find that quick flipping is a good way to get your feet wet until one learns more about the industry and how to assess value. Every quick sale you make puts you one step closer to the actual value with cold hard cash that a buyer places at your feet so that next time, you can start putting fixed prices on similar domains.

The quick flip approach can be a particularly satisfying one, especially if you're a fast cash kind of person. However, 9 out of every 10 times, a quick flip leaves lots of money on the table that you could have put in your pocket. Let's not forget how much time it takes out of each day to keep moving each of your domains in a marketplace. We’re talking about a lot of hours per day. Most investors start to realize that while such a business model might be sustainable, they'll burn themselves out and be investing more time than the money they make. How much is your time worth?

In the end, while certainly more time consuming, developing a domain helps you make more productive use of your time. It also allows you to save time in the long run by never having to list the domain for sale. Not to mention, the revenue it generates every year to pay its own renewals and bring profits while it waits for a buyer to inquire about it. Domains will Increase in value each year as more viewers find and refer them to others.

Think about the long term and possibly diversify a little at first. Start out with a few quick flip investments coupled with a few long-term investments, just be careful while developing that you don't infringe on any trademarks.

Long Hold vs. Developing

Just like with quick flipping, it's beneficial to develop and have your investments paying their own renewal fees and bringing in profit each year. It's great if you can afford to renew undeveloped investments every year and not bat an eyelash. However, you'll have more peace of mind if they pay for themselves.

Many investors I've talked to rebut the thought of developing because they feel like their premium one word .com’s value has already hit seven figures, so why bother? But I say, you already own the domain, so why not take a dive into the deep end of the pool and see if it can swim with the big boys? Developing on a parked investment that already has a phenomenal potential will only better your chances at furthering that value and getting more buyers’ attention.

Don’t let this long hold mentality get in your way. If you’re lucky enough to score a premium domain for your portfolio, developing it could make all the difference. Chances are that if you have such a premium domain that everyone already wants and people talk about, developing it even into a five page mini-site could crank out cash like an ATM machine every month.

In Conclusion

There's literally no good reason why an investor shouldn't want to expand on their investments, so that they can profit passively while they wait for the right buyer. They could even have it generate leads for another investment project of theirs. Sometimes one has to sweat a little and dig their heels in before they can find the true potential in an investment. Don’t forget the age old line, β€œit takes money to make money,” and what better way is there?

Now that you know, there’s no more excuses. It’s time to stop procrastinating and start being productive with your investments. Before you know it, you’ll be telling all your friends to develop, like you’ve been doing it all along. I know I did.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Nice post @Eric_Lyon . Reading this article was like opening a blank page in my mind and then trying to learn something that I already knew but was never really aware of.
I think its time for me to look at my parked domains in a different way which is going to be more profitable.
Thank you for this tip :)
 
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I read this years ago, and although I am not sure if I got it right, this is the basis of what it said:

"If you think it takes money to make money, you are wrong. It takes work, time, and a great idea. I got the idea, if you got the time."
 
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Making a site from scratch getting traffic and relying too much on Google is much harder task, you know something like Designing so that helps with your ranking and its not easy for others to replicate that. You may say that its a lazy attitude, but somethings just can't be done by everyone, I have made websites done seo and ranked many times in some particular high competitive niches. Its very hard now to get to the earning position of google, without taking much effort and time.

There are not much revenue to be earned for small keywords that just brings traffic which is not worth the time and effort we put. I had more than 100 micro adsense website 1.5 years back which were earning very nicely, but the whole scenario changed when google went down on microsites, that made me back to square one.

If we are to devote time and resources on domains that we build and develop its quite easy to do on 5 websites if they are in the same niche, but doing that on many websites at one time is not practical. Even if we take all the pains and make a website rank well and Google just do a penguin dance and we are thrown out from the game in a day.
 
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Making a site from scratch getting traffic and relying too much on Google is much harder task, you know something like Designing so that helps with your ranking and its not easy for others to replicate that. You may say that its a lazy attitude, but somethings just can't be done by everyone, I have made websites done seo and ranked many times in some particular high competitive niches. Its very hard now to get to the earning position of google, without taking much effort and time.

There are not much revenue to be earned for small keywords that just brings traffic which is not worth the time and effort we put. I had more than 100 micro adsense website 1.5 years back which were earning very nicely, but the whole scenario changed when google went down on microsites, that made me back to square one.

If we are to devote time and resources on domains that we build and develop its quite easy to do on 5 websites if they are in the same niche, but doing that on many websites at one time is not practical. Even if we take all the pains and make a website rank well and Google just do a penguin dance and we are thrown out from the game in a day.
then you developed them the wrong way if they got penalized and dropped from google. I know plenty of mini sites that were either not effected or ranked better after google penguin and panda. It was all in the tactics they deployed to build and market the sites that effected their positions in search.

one should always develop for a real person and not for a search engine anyways. If people find it useful, they will organically share/refer and you'll move up in search naturally. If you aren't sure how to build sites like that, hire someone that does (I personally don't develop for anyone but myself and do not offer any services for development).

you can see how I like to develop my own here: https://www.namepros.com/threads/how-i-monetize-my-domains.855413/
 
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I beg to disagree and I understand that you have very limited knowledge about SEO. One thing is that at that time I was not trying to sell the domain or website it was mainly for adsense revenue. I have seen your post about the way you have provided how you can make money from the websites that we develop. All these and many more types of methods are there to make money with developing websites. The thing we are in debate is that if a domain investor should spend his time devoting to development of his names or he should just sell the domain alone.

I would say that it would depend on the size of portfolio and his availability of time and his interest in the niche which he would have invested. As some of the members here have pointed out the stronger points, It would not be just not worth the time and money spend.
 
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I beg to disagree and I understand that you have very limited knowledge about SEO. One thing is that at that time I was not trying to sell the domain or website it was mainly for adsense revenue. I have seen your post about the way you have provided how you can make money from the websites that we develop. All these and many more types of methods are there to make money with developing websites. The thing we are in debate is that if a domain investor should spend his time devoting to development of his names or he should just sell the domain alone.

I would say that it would depend on the size of portfolio and his availability of time and his interest in the niche which he would have invested. As some of the members here have pointed out the stronger points, It would not be just not worth the time and money spend.
Right, what works for one won't work for another and if there is no passion behind what someone does, it will probably fail. If one can't develop and has no money to hire a developer, they are probably stuck. Unless of course they get a little creative and find a partner that knows how that is willing to split revenue on digital real-estate. There is more than one way to skin a cat or get a domain developed.

My SEO/SEM knowledge is very limited compared to some of the consultants that have been around since the beginning of search indexing. I am thankful that all my SEO/SEM trial and error failures since 2005 taught me how to sort / improve / rinse / repeat. Allowing me to easily (Still to this day) achieve page #1 within the top 10 listings of google for assorted long tail key word/phrase terms. But then, I'm not about bulk traffic, I'm about targeted converting traffic. So I build for niche campaigns that are tailored to my very specific geo needs with highest probability of conversions and lowest chances of server resource strain.

My advice is that people should stick to what works for them, but to never be afraid to step out of the box and try something new on the side. The only way one will know 100% for sure if something won't work for them is to try it. And even then, many go about it the wrong way after reading countless seo guru blogs from people that just read what someone else blogged about and recycled it in their own words without ever struggling through the trial and error process them self to learn hands on.

Same with domaining in general, one should NEVER quit their day job and dive into domain investing blindly as their sole source of income. They should play the domain investing game on the side to make sure it's right for them till they find their niche or decide to toss in the towel.

Both domain investing and developing small digital business models are not for everyone. It can get very frustrating for most people trying to wrap their head around it all and hitting brick walls at every turn. However, it also doesn't help to tell everyone that domaining sucks, developing doesn't work, seo is garbage, the internet is evil, nobody can make money online, etc, etc.. such a mind set is very demotivating and like dominos, it spreads to others and discourages them from even trying.

So again, We agree to disagree with one another and what works for me wont work for you and vice versa. That's fine, because at the end of they day we both achieve the goals we put our focus on. The only thing I disagree with, is putting negativity into perpetual motion and blanketing failure as the only result to anyone that has a large portfolio and wants to develop. Where there's a will, there's a way. Not everyone will be able to achieve a completely developed portfolio, however there are some with 500+ / 2,000+ domains that can and will.
 
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I beg to disagree and I understand that you have very limited knowledge about SEO. One thing is that at that time I was not trying to sell the domain or website it was mainly for adsense revenue. I have seen your post about the way you have provided how you can make money from the websites that we develop. All these and many more types of methods are there to make money with developing websites. The thing we are in debate is that if a domain investor should spend his time devoting to development of his names or he should just sell the domain alone.

I would say that it would depend on the size of portfolio and his availability of time and his interest in the niche which he would have invested. As some of the members here have pointed out the stronger points, It would not be just not worth the time and money spend.
Developing a site gives more profit than just selling the name. A person who don't have development knowledge, interest and time can never develop a site hence he will make lesser profit/may not be able sell the domain at all.
 
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gdndd

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<Great article ! It's mainly the difference between Domainers and Webmainers ... Both are very different, the mentality is not the same ... ! To me, I consider website development as being much more risky than "simply" buying and reselling domains (not so simple actually)... Too much work for a tiny probability of profit since, as in domaining, it's always a matter of finding the right end buyer! To me, the most important things are keywords and being a good seller (with a real strategy)... So, it means that time is your best friend as well as your worst enemy !

I've met couple of guys doing Webmaining for living... But most of them where living in Asia, where the cost of life is much more lower and where you can hire a web designer for almost nothing ...
 
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nickole

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Thinking of developing kansasvacationhome.com and selling...is this feasible?
 
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Thinking of developing kansasvacationhome.com and selling...is this feasible?
Anything is possible with the right elbow grease. KansasVacationHomes (plural) might have been slightly better, but the singular is just as doable. The real question isn't whether or not it's feasible though. You should be asking yourself: 1. How will I monetize it? and 2. What kind of unique information can I write for this that people will stay on the site to read? If you can answer both those questions confidently, then you can move to the next steps and start planning if you'll want it to be static or dynamic, establishing a brand/logo, how you'll market it, how you'll optimize it, etc, etc. if you can't nail down the first 2 questions, then you need to brainstorm more, hire help, or sell it to someone that can answer those questions.

Generally, it's just 10x easier to develop what you already know about. However, just like back in high school or college, you can always take a few weeks to study up on the industry, target markets, geo location, keyword research, etc, etc. to get up to speed enough to pull off a development that people will actually stay on the site and visit more than one page of with the intent to convert (e.g. buy something, click something, subscribe to something, download something, etc.).

At any rate, the bottom line is that any domain can be developed. Some you just have to get way more creative than others to offset any negatives the domain itself may have. For instance, something like grubdubdigdog.info would be negative domain appeal, nobody would probably want it, however if it was developed creatively in a way that anyone who visited found them self smiling at the page or in so much shock they were uncontrollably compelled to share it with a friend, you could potentially still generate revenue from it in some fashion.

Of course, i don't suggest one should just buy any Blah name and develop it. Just pointing out that some accidental reg's may still be salvageable in some fashion.

I wish you luck,
 
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nickole

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Thinking of developing kansasvacationhome.com and selling...is this feasible?

No, who in the world goes to Kansas for vacation.

Also, exact match:

kansas vacation - 90

kansas vacation homes - 10

kansas vacation home - 10

vs. something like

orlando vacation homes - 3600 - but that one would be too competitive, wouldn't even try that one

Way too low. I generally do niche sites nowadays, easy to rank for usually, not much work. In the past, I went too niche. Where there is just not enough people interested in the subject to make a site for. 10 exact would fit in that category.
 
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nickole

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saw many vacation home listing for kansas...the site could be for kansas city..or the state i guess
 
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saw many vacation home listing for kansas...the site could be for kansas city..or the state i guess

Look at the exact match in previous post, way too low.

Then really look at the listings. You would be going against well known sites like Trip Advisor and AirBNB to other great sites that might have a page, section for them.

You will have no chance with this one, you would just be wasting your time.

Part of developing is picking the right name to develop. Looking at the competition. Seeing if there is actually people looking for what you want to develop etc.
 
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nickole

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thanks,i see your point...guess i will just stick to flipping only the domain to a smaill time vacation home owner.
 
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most of them where living in Asia, where the cost of life is much more lower and where you can hire a web designer for almost nothing ...
You don't need to live in Asia, to pay cheap web designers from Asia. There are plenty of online freelancers. Although arguably, in online marketplaces transaction rates are done using United States dollars.



who in the world goes to Kansas for vacation.
Err.... Dorothy? LOL
 
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Sam Roy

Top Member
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Great and very helpful post! Would you throw some light on how to develop and monetize a domain?
 
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domaininlet.com

Established Member
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Eric et all,

Curious about costs: what's the most efficient way to host multiple development sites?
 
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mjamescork

Established Member
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@Eric Lyon Great video and some really insightful advice which may not work for some but certainly something I'm looking into. I haven't been interested in domains for too long and although spent my life surrounded with technology (self taught and confident in most basic things), have no formal education in design or anything computer related for that matter, hence joining this forum amongst others to increase my knowledge.

Even though it's interesting reading your thoughts on developing, monetization and domaining in general i just think your thoughts on life and freedom (in the video but also in other blogs Ive read of yours) resonate with me. The whole concept of breaking free and being able to travel and pursue a more rewarding life and not trapped in one location is so appealing. So that's basically my goal.

  1. Teach myself as much as possible.
  2. Learn from my mistakes.
  3. Develop a few sites (doing free courses online with WordPress at the moment) that I have a genuine interest in or knowledge about but with an ability to generate a passive income.
  4. The aim is not to become a millionaire but rather make $1.5k-$2k a month so I can relocate back to a small village on an island i fell in love with whilst backpacking in Thailand (Ko Chang, Google it :laugh:)
I realize now that its all about taking baby steps...it's hard to look at a portfolio of 3k+ domains and get bogged down by the daunting task ahead (I've only got 50 by the way, all brandables). But I think if I take one step at a time and focus on it, maybe not 30 minutes but a day, long weekend or longer then maybe it will in time generate $50 a month.

Sounds small, but that's $50 closer to my dream and i'm still young (33 is young OK!) so I've got time and am enjoying the process as I know with every post I read, every question answered, every plugin I get introduced to I'm just that little bit closer to breaking away from the corporate prison I'm in and and embracing the off grid lifestyle i crave.

Keep up the great work, you're helping a lot of people get where they want to be and I don't think you even realise it.
 
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Potential.Domains

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Stumbled upon this valuable piece of information via a link on today's Flippa newsletter for websites, and I must agree that it makes more sense to develop vs just parking. After all, revenue from parking is no longer what it used to be.

Come to think of it, the revenue share from parking companies is very poor (low) compared to a developed site. Their Ad feed provider will first get their cut from your earnings, then parking company gets their cut, and domain owner is left with the remaining crumbs?.

However, with a developed site, you get to have more control, and can even ditch Google by selling ads directly to Advertisers β€” keeping all the proceeds and building relationship with advertisers.

One of the important points made by Eric in this post, is to utilize (maximize) the full potential of your domain investment.

Imagine having a domain like career.com for example and parking it is only earning about let's say $500/mo in ads. Meanwhile, if it was developed into a let's say, career blog (or, service) site, it could be earning over $5000 in ad revenue, and maybe an additional $10,000 in lead generation, not to mention other types of potential revenues. Many would be willing to get involved and work on such project without domain owner β€”lifting a finger, all for a small commission or revenue share.

But of course, someone with let's say, over 10,000-50,000 domains cannot possibly develop them all, but they should at least consider developing the most potential.domains, even if in partnership with others. It will still be a win-win!
 
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Kachi

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Which tool/site did you use to get this statistic. I am a newbie.
No, who in the world goes to Kansas for vacation.

Also, exact match:

kansas vacation - 90

kansas vacation homes - 10

kansas vacation home - 10

vs. something like

orlando vacation homes - 3600 - but that one would be too competitive, wouldn't even try that one

Way too low. I generally do niche sites nowadays, easy to rank for usually, not much work. In the past, I went too niche. Where there is just not enough people interested in the subject to make a site for. 10 exact would fit in that category.
 
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Kachi

Established Member
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Google Keyword Planner
My little journey so far has thrown up many people saying that the numbers from Google Keyword Planner is not reliable. How true is this please?
 
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My little journey so far has thrown up many people saying that the numbers from Google Keyword Planner is not reliable. How true is this please?

It comes from the source, it's how many search Google. Or course you have to factor in Google's market share in search vs. Bing/Yahoo.
 
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