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Monetization of premium .com domains

Labeled as question in Domain Parking and Traffic Monetization started by inforequest, Jan 15, 2019.

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  1. inforequest

    inforequest New Member

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    Hello all,

    Long time reader, but today I decided to finally come out of the shadows. I have been a domain investor for nearly 20 years, but mostly on the buy side. I own a small but well curated portfolio of mostly single dictionary word .com's. Categories include geo, foods, medical, legal, clothing, adult and what I call general misc. Due to professional reasons I am now finally able to begin the monetization process. I've had to sit on the sidelines due to outside employment restrictions. For those who have been in the trenches, here are my initial questions:

    1) Is domain parking for premium high traffic single word .com's a realistic method to generate revenue?
    2) Would it be advisable to park the domains as an individual or do so under a business entity (LLC, S-Corp etc). The domains are not typos and are dictionary words, but we live in litigious world. Hence looking to legally protect myself.
    3) In a perfect world with ample time I could develop each and every domain into full SEO optimized sites, but alas who has that much time. Therefor what are some alternatives to parking monetization?

    Thank you in advance. Best regards, InfoRequest
     
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  2. Dave

    Dave Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Could you let us know at least one domain? This will aid us in offering advice.

    Do you know the type in traffic of any of them?
     
  3. inforequest

    inforequest New Member

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  4. eightturn

    eightturn Peter Askew ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Re questions, and my opinions below:

    1) Sure, if your traffic levels are high enough, you can eek out some revenue from your domains. What I'd suggest doing is parking them all, then checking traffic levels after a month. After that time, cherry pick one that has some significant traffic levels and consider developing it.

    2) LLC is prob your best bet here - but talk with an accountant or lawyer first & get their recommendation. I run 2 domain businesses, one's an S-Corp where I'm the sole owner. I have another LLC where 2 other friends and I pooled money together to buy domains.

    3) I always suggest developing. But I hear you - it can be overwhelming, as domains provide a lot of different opportunities. If it's any help, here's how I approached it years ago. It's not rocket science. I just looked through my whole portfolio, and cherry picked one domain, just ONE, that struck a chord with me personally, and had a built-in business model. That was DudeRanch.com. I built it as a simple marketplace/directory for dude ranch vacations. It was profitable almost immediately. I'm about to hit 10 years in operation now. So try one, give it 6 months to 1 year to see if it moves in the right direction (ie, in traffic, or revenue, or signups, or whatever). If it doesn't, scrap it and try another of your domains.

    Hope this helps..
     
  5. inforequest

    inforequest New Member

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    Thank you for those who took the time to respond. Very much appreciated.
     
  6. biggie

    biggie Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi

    it a crying shame that you missed the big days from parking years ago

    if that name you posted is representative sample, you prolly wouldn't have had to work so long, before coming out the domain closet. :)

    Good Luck!

    imo...
     
  7. Jeff_Libert

    Jeff_Libert New Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    To get more and better responses you will need to step a bit more "out of the shadows". Pompeii.com is nice but it's also not much to go on. I might not say the same for Rome.com.

    If they truly are generic put up your best DOZEN domains for consideration and advice.

    OTOH, IF you are so concerned about litigation - which it being 20 years after your registered the domains (I'm guessing) is doubtful or would be dubious - then you are already screwed by your fear.

    Put 'em up or stay in the dark. Most folks, when they aim to help, like to know what they are aiming or shooting at.
     
  8. golan

    golan Leo.Domains Gold Account VIP

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    Parking is dead. Develop them.
     
  9. inforequest

    inforequest New Member

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    Some very helpful suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
     
  10. rlm

    rlm Established Member

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    Do not park high value domains unless you are damn sure what is going to be advertised. Brandable dictionary words are often highly trademarked - for example "Summit". Its not a product or service, but there are tons of company names and trademarks using the word Summit. In fact its a great sign that it is indeed valuable. I would only consider parking domains that are clearly descriptive products or services and then be sure the ads are reflective of its common generic use. For example, "Apples" are a common fruit, but it could also be computers. So you need to ensure the ads are only for the fruit, not the computers. ALSO make sure that your parking company isn't geo-targeting different ads to different countries. You can lose a domain for infringing on a trademark that you never heard of and that only exists in some foreign country - you may have never even seen the offending ad because it was only displayed in that foreign country.

    I'm sure many place names are also used in trademarks with certain products or services, I'd bet Pompeii has trademarks on it somewhere too. Imagine if there's a Pompeii-Insurance company that is trademarked, and your parked page links to insurance on Pompeii.com. You lose! So personally I would NOT park any valuable domain like that not even temporarily. Focus on development or sales. Point the domain to a inquiry form - you'll make more money selling one good premium domain in a decade than you'll make parking domains for an entire decade... Its not worth the risk when the reward is so small, not to mention if you make it clear the domain is for sale rather than just parked, you'll have a much better chance of eventually making a good sale.
     
  11. eightturn

    eightturn Peter Askew ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Listen to this suggestion, imo.
     
  12. inforequest

    inforequest New Member

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    I am keenly aware of my lack of subject matter expertise and appreciate the continued dialogue. Needless to say I don’t intend to park any domains.

    I am also aware that my skill sets do not include design capabilities. Has anyone had experience utilizing the services of any professional website design firms? Or going the niche web design route?
     
  13. Captain Midnight

    Captain Midnight New Member

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    I too plan to step out a bit more here in 2019 since I've been lurking here for a long time (5 years?!) and this is my first post!

    Anyway, I got into the game about 20 years ago, I applied and was given access to the shared registry system for .com/.net/.org domains as a public root server. I wrote a program to download and monitor which domains were missing from the previous period and made a spreadsheet of domains that could become available to put in my list and automatically slammed the crap out of multiple registrars with email templates while I was at work.. lol... those were the days.

    It's hard to take the time to develop a good domain. I did develop a few domains from my portfolio and threw them against the wall to see what sticks. A couple of them did and was profitable, but most need more TLC (aka just sucking time from me).

    I stumbled upon this thread while looking for a self-hosted solution to park some of my names on. I'm technical enough and like to customize if I can. I like to maintain control of where things are going.

    I'm up in the air on what to do next. Most of my traffic is going to DomainNameSales aka Uniregistry since Frank started it, but want I to make a change. I think these are the most viable options:

    1 - Develop the domain into a 'business', be passionate about it and run it like a job. - Sounds like a job that requires a lot of attention.. and I don't have a lot of attention.

    2 - Self-host the domain with a For Sale option (NET the profit / no broker or service fees) - This is my likely option to pursue. I might just tweak my Uni account and direct inquiries there and broker everything myself otherwise.

    3 - Sell it at an auction (i.e. NamesCon, here, etc. but high commission fees) - You get a lot of visibility, but likely attracting domain flippers which means you're likely to sell at wholesale.

    4 - Find an independent broker that's reasonable on their commission fees - This may be my secondary option if #2 doesn't pan out.

    I would be interested to hear everyone's opinion as well.

    Thanks!
     
  14. LLLL_Domains

    LLLL_Domains Established Member

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    We went with #2 for keua.net portfolio, main problem is marketing and traffic, when you park them you don't need to worry about that, so I'd say first try the #3 if it didn't work try the #4 and it didn't work either try #1 and if none worked then try #2, or if you have strong social media presence or a big marketing budget etc just go for #2 and be patient.
     
  15. barman

    barman Established Member

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    No one's mentioned leasing or lease to buy? I'm not familiar with leasing but it seems like most time I've come across premium names, they're available to lease (instead of straight up buying)

    Also, I'm a developer ... take it from me - it's never as simple as "just develop it" Throwing up a Wordpress site with 6 bad articles is not "developing" a site but i've seen that happen time and time again. When it comes to developing you need to treat the name and the potential business on it as a real business if you want to maximize the time and money invested and potential profit.
     

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