How can I park or monetize my domain names?

By , April 22, 2010

Domain parking refers to monetizing otherwise unused domain names via pay-per-click advertising.

There are numerous companies that exist soley to monetize “parked” domains in this manner. Most domain registrars “park” their customers’ idle and unused domains and monetize them, often keeping the revenues for themselves.

If you have domain names simply “parked” with your registrar, you may decide you want to monetize them yourself. If you do, you need to select a domain parking company and then configure your domains so that web traffic to them goes to the parked page provider’s system.

One thing you should never have to do is pay a parking service or registrar to monetize your domains (there are some regsistrars who charge for this). The money flow goes the other way. You, the domain owner, are supposed to be the person who gets paid.

Some parking companies have minimum portfolio size requirements in terms of number of domains owned or aggregate daily traffic before they will give you an account.

One of my favorite parking systems is Parked.com out of New Orleans.

I have been parking some unused domains with them for about a year and I am very happy with the results. While your milage may vary, for starters I got about a 15% to 20% lift in revenues on the group of domains I moved over there.

Some of the other things I like about Parked:

  • The landing pages are among the better ones I’ve seen, aesthetically easier on the eyes and laid out in a more logical directory like structure.
  • Instant optimization: I can change what keyword to optimize the landing page for on a domain by domain basis, and the landing page updates immediately. Very handy.
  • Quality traffic analysis: I can get a detailed breakdown on where my traffic is coming from on a domain-by-domain basis, including how much traffic is “type-in” and how much is being referred from other web pages, country of origin and breakdown by keyword.
  • Ability to specify alternate destinations: If in the event they can’t monetize or populate your traffic (perhaps due to country of origin of the visitor, for example), you have the ability to setup an alternate destination where Parked.com will redirect the user.
  • Custom title tags and meta tags: you can specify your own title and meta tags which can help your search engine optimization.
  • Ability to list domain as “for sale”: one of the big dichotomies about unused domains is whether to sell them on the aftermarket or monetize them via parking, well you can do both, monetizing the domains via Parked.com while also listing them as “for sale”. The best part of this is you can specify your own URL for prospective buyers, putting you in complete control of any aftermarket process.
  • Reports via RSS and XML: which make it easy to keep an eye on your earnings in realtime and import them into your own accounting systems.
  • Twice a month payouts! And Paypal is one of their payout options, very nice.

There are other domain parking platforms as well. Domain Sponsor has also been a favorite of mine for years, and for regional traffic I have found Sedo to have some good returns. Sedo also has a good escrow process for any domains you wish to sell and perhaps functions more effectively as a domain aftermarket. But with the instant activation and twice monthly payouts, I highly recommend Parked.com.

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