Domain Investor to Domain Developer

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogWhile I haven’t stopped domain investing by any stretch, I have been spending quite a bit of time on development. From Tropical Birds, to Lowell, to Burbank, and soon to Torah, I’ve been learning as much as I can about development. Even with my severe lack of technical and programming knowledge, I’ve been able to learn enough to tread water with the help of my developer, a few friends, and Dreamweaver.
The purpose of development is to drive traffic to the website with compelling content, and either sell ad space or use Adsense to generate revenue. A parked domain name can be great if the domain name receives traffic. It’s a very low maintenence way to generate revenue from a domain name, and it’s perfect for someone with hundreds of domain names. However, if and when possible, I am a firm believer that development is critical.
A friend of mine, Steven Kennedy, is also a domain investor with some great domain names in his portfolio. Recently he decided to spend a day building out one of his domain names, Steven did a considerable amount of research on spider monkeys for his articles, and he used xsitepro2 (a web design program) and xheader (a header creation program) to build the custom site. Steven is monetizing it with Adsense banners. In my opinion, the site looks top quality, and it only took a day to create.
Not only will Steven be able to retain the visitors who type-in his domain name, but he will attract new visitors through search engine results.   Google and Yahoo like content. With a little bit of link building, some additional keyword research, a bit of SEO work, and time, Steven will have a website that receives much more traffic and hopefully additonal revenue. It took him a day to do this, and it’s something everyone can do.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Interesting.
    Nice job your friend did on
    I have to admit though, I am perplexed that on Aaron Walls keyword site, Spider Monkeys came up at 908. Heck, Palm Springs came up at 727.
    So does this mean that is a winner?
    Just kidding around.
    Nice post Elliot. I will have to check out Xsitepro.

  2. Whoa, we were thinking alike today El.
    I wrote a post on my blog post titled:
    “Domainers, Hello, the Net wasn’t made for what we do.”
    Here’s what I wrote:
    It kills me everytime I see so many ridiculous posts on domainer boards like, “Do you think the new unlimited TLD’s will lower the values of our .com’s?”
    WTF? Why do Domainers all think the Internet was made for what we do. It wasn’t!
    When the Internet was conceived, it wasn’t being designed to turn names into money, it was designed by the DoD’s ARPA to build an indestructable communications network in the event of nuclear war with Russia, such that even if some parts of it were blasted away the other parts of the “web” would still work. LOL, there wasn’t even a hint of commercialism, let alone buying and selling .coms.
    So when I see so many guys in this business fretting about loosing their “golden goose” it just validates the fact they don’t realize what the deal was and is for their future. This stream of ppc money that so many got rich off was not and will not be the way. It just happened and many got the benefit of the lazy man’s ways to fast money.
    What domainers don’t realize is the Net is all about providing useful information, services, products, entertainment, etc. With the keyword here being “PROVIDING”! That’s right people it wasn’t made to put up a landing page with ppc links on it. You’ve just gotten lucky that you could do that, but that chapter is coming to an end. You have to switch gears and get on with the real reason to own domains, and that is to provide a destination with a service or product of some kind. Yes, it’s time to really do some work and start creating and developing real businesses on your properties. The days of running parking lots are over. Now you have to build skyscrapers like everyone else does or at least tries to do.
    The real point being if you create a great site you have nothing to fear about whatever ICANN does going forward with a zillion new TLD’s. When you’ve created something of value on a web site that people will come to you’re now running successful Internet businesses, not just parking lots.
    So if you want to protect the value of your domain portfolio, quit whining and fretting about ICANN and start developing real web sites. And make sites that will get people to come back to them, not just a silly site with a 5 page static MFA layout. You can build small cost effective sites like I’m doing now, with interesting and good stuff on them, that get fresh content continuously. Don’t think putting up a site with a couple pages of stupid articles is going to do the job, it will not. You’ve got to be creative.

  3. xsitepro is fantastic! Anyone with an interest to develop should buy this program, sit down and learn it for a day with video tutorials and user manual then go at it.
    Very easy and highly productive. There isn’t anything it can’t do (unless you are doing some REAL heavy development then maybe there are restrictions).
    Also, they have an affiliate program that pays well so after you develop a site using xsitepro, mention that in the footer and give a link out to them… via your affiliate link of course 😉

  4. “WTF? Why do Domainers all think the Internet was made for what we do. It wasn’t!”
    Bravo. It’s not a fucking horse track. It’s not a sport. it’s a place to chase your passion and build your dream. Imagine if TV station were only bought on hope and speculation that someone would want them and in the near term they’d all be parked pages or just snowy interference. you’d be pretty annoyed trying to find something to watch that’s informative and entertaining, and see what Joe public sees.

    I will post your comment if you remove your anonymity. I don’t mind criticism – even if it’s to others who commented, but it’s not fair to blast someone without saying who you are.

  6. Yes, development must be the way to go. I feel vaguely guilty about contributing to the “white noise” on the ‘net by having hundreds of parked sites for the past couple years [almost none of which made any significant $] … but I also have XSitePro and XHeader now, and am gradually building a network of developed sites. (I was worried that my sites still wouldn’t look “professional”, but frankly, when I saw, it made me feel better about my own sites. His site has plenty of information, but it has the earmarks of a quick-n-dirty design job, with a crowded layout and lots and lots of text in a laundry-list style. No offense meant to Steven; we can’t all be pro designers, and I’m certainly not. It’s like the early days of desktop publishing – instead of being like a magic design wand, those programs simply enabled novices to churn out ugly documents. You need not only tools, but also expertise in knowing what to do with them.)

  7. I whole hearted agree that development is the way to go. I was on the other end of the domain game when it started going in 2004. I bought a few names and started to really build them out using ads, affiliate programs, articles, etc.
    Then I started thinking about niche domains to compliment my developed sites….and then my spending spree on domains began as I saw names getting gobbled up by everyone.
    So my skills in graphic design & web development were up to par (and have really excelled in the last 3 years) before I really dug into domains. I kind think back and wonder if I did the domain buying thing first then learned development….

  8. I’m moving all my parked domains and developing them into mini-sites. Revenue is almost always doubled in the first month alone. With some SEO and fresh content, the site will grow, along with the revenue. All for a few hours work.
    Once piece of advice I’d give to people considering doing the same would be to invest in a CMS which supports multiple sites. It will make maintaining so much easier.

  9. The best and most widely used CMS that everybody seems to be using this days for quick mini-sites development is the same platforms being used for BLOGS… with all the plugins and tweaks avail it is definitely worth looking into and experimenting with if you are not all that tech savvy.

  10. Nothing against xsitepro2, but don’t you think wordpress is easier and faster ? JUst go to cpanel/fantastico, install wordpress and ofcourse use xheader for the header and post the articles….the cms part really helps and then you can also use the “other techniques” to monetize, but then you are not a domainer anymore, you become a websiter :).

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