How I Monetize My Domains

Labeled as opinion in Domain Parking and Traffic Monetization started by Eric Lyon, Apr 14, 2015.


  1. My last article "Why I Develop Every Domain Name Investment" generated several questions revolving around how I deal with monetization and content creation. So, I decided to write this article about how I like to monetize my domains and create content. Let's skip the small talk and jump right in the deep end of the pool, shall we?

    My top choices for monetizing (Bearing in mind I develop everything):
    1. Downloadable Products
    2. Services
    3. Lead Generators
    4. Content driven PPC
    Now, I'm going to break down each of the above 4 options and elaborate a bit more.

    1. Downloadable Products
    Everyone has a different favorite: mine is related to my passionate service niche. My primary downloadable product is design related and comes in the form of vector packs, brand designs, and stock illustrations.

    (Note: Once I start traveling more I'll be adding Stock Photo's to the list of downloadables as I take more pictures.)
    • A. Vector Packs - These are pre-designed sets of creative images. Whether it’s a set of x50 silhouettes of dancing positions, a set of 30x dog poses, etc. All are done in 100% points/paths vector so that another designer can purchase usage rights from me to use them in their upcoming projects and edit them if needed. Such packs make it easier for a designer to create projects on the fly in less time. Packs range anywhere from Free to $15 each. The beauty of this product is that it has unlimited purchase potential. Set it up once, then leave it for life to keep selling over and over again to different designers.
    • B. Brand Designs - These are a one-time sale product where all copyrights transfer to the buyer upon purchase. This is how I recycle my designs that are not chosen by clients who utilize my design service. In short, I generally provide 5 unique brand samples to a client, they choose 1 and I retain all copyrights as the designer to the 4 they didn't choose. Exercising my rights to the designs, rather than trash them and miss the opportunity to maximize my time/profits, I package each of them up for a 1 time TM sale with copyright transfer. I've now just turned 1 service sale into a potential 5 sales, instantly. Pre-made brands sell for anywhere from $15 to $99 each (one time purchase).
    • C. Stock Illustrations - Much like the vector packs, these can be sold an unlimited amount of time or I can sell them once with exclusive copyrights. Most the buyers of these are using them for their book or magazine publications. Sometimes, even in eBooks (which is another downloadable revenue stream). These generally sell for anywhere from $1 to $99 depending on complexity / time invested.
    • D. Stock Photos - This upcoming revenue stream will be photos I personally take during my travels and hold copyrights to as the photographer. Each photo can generally sell to developers / marketing agencies for anywhere from $1 to $30 each and have an unlimited purchase potential.
    2. Services
    This ones my primary bread and butter winner. I provide vector based design services that range from branding corporations with a creative Logo/Mascot to illustrations, coins, t-shirts, business cards, cartoons, comic strips, caricatures, icons, banners, flyers, magnetic car door signs, and much more. Services vary in price and can range anywhere from $30 to $500 on average depending on complexity / time invested.

    I generally try to stick to pre-packaged service options with a flat rate to make it easier for both the client and myself. However, there are times when an hourly rate may be needed and that's currently set at $25 per hour.

    3. Lead generators
    I love, love, love lead generators. In a nutshell, a lead generator is a small mini-site that has been optimized to target a specific service or product line. After some creative and targeted SEO/SEM strategy implementation, the mini-sites put a smack down on page #1 of google search within the top 3 to 8 listings. These are also referred to as Doorway sites/pages by some people.

    My lead generators are a crucial contributing factor to my business. For instance, when someone visits one of my geo city targeted mini-sites geared for corporate identity, it provides them with the basic information they need to make an educated decision on whether or not I provide what they need. If they should decide they want more information or develop the uncontrollable impulse to make a purchase, they then click on a call to action button/link with instruction on how to proceed and introduced to my primary service/product brand so that they know who they will be dealing with moving forward.

    Basically, a generic brand that refers to a primary trusted brand to do business with after educating them a bit on what they were looking for. A lead generator should educate, evaluate, establish trust, and then refer to an authorized brand that will take care of the purchase and support process.

    4. Content Driven PPC
    I think this one is probably where most bloggers and first time site developers land that don't already have a service or product of their own. Nothing wrong with it as long as you are creative and unique with it. Basically, don't rip others content or use any aggregated content feeds. Duplicate content will only hinder your potential and keep you in the depths of the pages in search nobody goes to.
    • A. Unique content - Get creative, use your own words, don't be afraid to express yourself. If you have writers block, go for a walk outside, clear your mind, and take notes of things you see that inspire you. Take that inspiration & write about it. Or get targeted inspiration (E.g. if your sites about beer, visit a free tour of a beer brewery and then write about it)
    • B. Optimizing - Make sure that you implement at least the basic on-page keyword/phrase SEO techniques (E.g. title, description, H1, deep linking anchors, 3 click from landing page rule, 250+ word min. per page, fast page load time, etc.)
    • C. Ad Placement - It's important to note that the human eye has been trained to read from left to right. That means the very first thing they see is in the top left corner of the site/content area. It's also just as important to understand that many people now days avoid banner ads due to a built in fear of being sold, much like when a salesman at the store walks up to you as soon as you enter and asks if they can help you. (I’m sure the visualization you just had helped you understand what I mean). With that in mind, focus a bit on contextual links that are strategically placed within the meat of the content and targeted to the page topic.
    In Conclusion
    That's the short and skinny version of how I monetize and create content. Naturally, I can't give away all my secrets, but I can assure you that with some hard work, dedication, creativity, and strategic campaign planning, you can turn any of your domains into a lucrative revenue source that not only pays its own yearly renewal fees, but also increases its value and brings in a profit until it sells.

    Feel free to ask questions on this blog article. I'm happy to offer my opinion/insight.

    Remember the 5 P's of development success: Proper, Preparation, Prevents, Poor, Performance!
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. svede

    svede Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks a lot for this thorough write-up!

    As a developer, I have mostly done custom sites for clients or #4. However, I am looking more into lead generation (#3) and this is very helpful. One thing that would help me better, would be examples. Would you happen to have some examples of a primary product/service site and some lead generation (particularly Geo-based) sites that you have done that you don't mind sharing?

    Thanks so much!!
  3. Absolutely, you can find an example of one of my lead generators at the bottom of the following article I wrote a couple weeks ago: My View On Local Geo Targeted Domains
  4. mhdoc

    mhdoc Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    This has been amazingly timely and helpful. I've had many of the "parts" you use for your system floating around for a long time. Some earn income as you suggest in item #4. I had not been able to see a good way to assemble them into a network that would drive them to a product/service.
  5. Beezy

    Beezy Top Member VIP

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    So in your scenario - say you saw an expiring domain name that was like and the auction listing said it had 2400 uniques last month.

    Is this something you would grab and develop with some sort of lead capture back to your logo business?


    I have a few similar domains right now and am trying to figure out if I should throw up tumblr blogs and build up a following but also include a way for the readers to contact me for work. (I do wordpress design and development)
  6. it really depends. I normally always research traffic claims and never take a listings word for it. If i can verify its not forced / paid / exchanged / redirected traffic, I may buy and develop it. However, generally I build from scratch with no traffic as long as it's a niche targeted domain I'm confident I can generate organic leads from within 90 days. For me, 1 sale pays for 1 to 10 years renewal.

    generally, if a lead site doesn't pull its weight in 6 to 8 months, I flip it and start over with another domain idea (when time allows). I stay rather busy these days so I don't have much time anymore for personal side projects.
  7. AGAME

    AGAME Gold Account VIP

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    I would love to know more about Lead Generation in terms of what to do with the leads once I've got some amount of them.

    For example, say I have a local lead generation site for car insurance in a particular city. Once I get a couple of leads from my one-page-site, are there companies out there that will purchase those leads?

    Even more questions arise like, are there middle-man companies that will buy the leads and then do whatever they do with them (sell them to larger insurance companies like GEICO. State Farm, Nationwide etc) or is it worth the effort to try to sell those leads directly to those larger companies? Are these lead records in my database "dead" once their sold or am I allowed to sell them to as many insurance companies as I want?

    Also, do lead records generally have a "lifespan"? If so is there a website available which can tell me something like "car insurance leads are hot for 3 days and then warm another 3 days and then cold after a week", but "life insurance leads remain hot for about 30 days and then become warm another 2 weeks after that and then they're deemed 'cold'" Would be great to know what leads are hot and when for pricing them by the record. And there is another question, how many records to collect before selling them or should I rent them?

    So many questions about this! Anyone else like to hear more about this particular topic?
  8. there's a lot to cover in what you're asking so I'm going to set aside some time this week to write an article about how I deal with various types of leads that find there way to me that I don't personally offer a service or product for.

    I'll tag you and reference it when I roll it out next week.
  9. AGAME

    AGAME Gold Account VIP

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    Thank you!! Looking forward to it!
  10. svede

    svede Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I am looking forward to it. Thanks Eric!
  11. Enfant

    Enfant Established Member

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    Eric, thank you for a very useful info.

    Just a question: what is better - to have 1 solid site (domain) with well written unique content or 10...20...30... with automated? Provided that domains are either high traffic with backlinks, generic top keywords or combination of both?
  12. If I had to only choose from your propositions, then I would say "1 Solid Site with well written unique content". I would never suggest anyone use any form of content automation. Just to many negative variables involved with them.

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