With the current state of the economy here in the US some of you might wonder if domaining is still a viable means of online income. Here’s my experience. I have a lot of domain names just sitting parked right now, but one by one, I am developing them. I choose the best, most interesting names, develop a site, get it indexed, get some traffic and sell them at a nice profit. All this, of course, takes work. So many people want to just buy a domain name and sell it at a huge profit without doing anything to it. That works for some really high-powered domain names, but for the average portfolio, it doesn’t … at least not for me.
Even if you don’t want to develop, in order to get more than reseller profit from a domain name, it’s going to take work. In order to make a real profit from a domain name, you need to sell it to an end-user rather than a reseller. Finding and contacting those end users takes time and work. I’ve done it both ways … finding end users and developing. I enjoy developing more than cold calling (via email) end users.
There’s a trend to develop mini-sites rather than park a domain. That’s a good start, or at least a better alternative to parking sites, but I develop full sites rather than mini-sites. It’s all about the end user. As an end user myself, someone who purchases sites, I never throw money at “made for Adsense” mini-sites. Number one reason is that I could throw that up in no time myself. Number two reason, I don’t find them fun or appealing in any way. If they make you some money … good, but people pay pretty well, even in this economy, for a well-developed and designed site in a hot niche.
Here’s some sites I’ve sold recently:
Here’s some I have in development:
That’s just a few of them. I have more in different stages of development. Once they are developed, I get them indexed and get traffic going to them. How do I do that? Simple. I own Firestorm Forum, a social bookmarking exchange community and when I exchange bookmarks, let’s say Stumbles (that works best for me), the site is indexed within 48 hrs .. usually 24 and has great traffic stats immediately (unless, of course, the site is a real dog). It works beautifully and having the site well-indexed in Google and traffic stats to show off adds a great deal of value to the site and gives you some selling points for listing.
Where to sell?
I have my best luck selling on Sitepoint. It costs money but has been well worth it for me. One tip for selling a site on Sitepoint is to make a great sales page. Be sure to mention all of the assets of the site … how many posts, how much traffic, revenue if any, site features, potential to make money (ie … do you already have Adsense and ads in place?). Here’s one of my listings to give you an example of listing the site’s selling points.
One thing about developing nice sites to sell … you can even flip a weak domain name if you have a great site established on it … not a really crappy domain name … just a bit weak. Of course, if the site is really great, it might even sell to someone who purchases a better domain name for it.
What kind of sites to develop?
I have two favorites … WordPress blogs and Joomla sites. Many people know how to set up a WordPress blog, so that is probably the easiest site to get established. Joomla sites are a bit more complex and often the best components to add features to your site are commercial, so you have to sink a little money into the site. To tell you the truth, 6 weeks ago I wouldn’t have been able to put a nice Joomla site together to save my life. Then I bought one really cheap and had to buckle down and get to know Joomla in order to add value to the site and fix some problems. It didn’t take long to become a Joomla enthusiast and all in all, it was a pretty short learning curve.
So that’s it …my advice for selling domains in a bad economy. Works well for me. Hope it does for you as well.