To Develop or Not to Develop

There is no question that certain domain names I own shouldn’t be developed by me. Purely and simply, they are domain investments, and the goal is to eventually sell them to an entity that does want to develop them.

Some domain names I shouldn’t develop are in highly competitive verticals, and it would be virtually impossible to rank high enough in search engines to drive traffic and generate revenue in a cost-effective way. Other domain names are highly targeted and specific, so even with a high ranking website, there wouldn’t be much traffic or a great pay off with development.

However, there are some domain names that I own that might make good candidates for smaller sites that can be monetized effectively with affiliate banners or Adsense, using the services of AEIOU,, or Choosing what to develop in this manner is difficult.

Out of the names below, on which would you develop mini sites, and on which would you hold simply as investments?

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. I would keep – easy to dominate local search and has high cpc. Also, it is a hot topic, there is a large need, easy to get content for and has good growth potential.

  2. Honestly, i would not waste time to develop none of those domain names nor would i advise to hold those names for the future. I would strongly recommend to sell all those domain names at any price and use that money to buy one good premium domain name and then develop it.

  3. Anunt,

    I know a little bit about good domain names – this is what I do for a full time living.

    Some of those aren’t as valuable as my best names of course, but I think your comment is about as silly as your monkey gravatar.

    What are your top 5 domain names?

  4. To me, appears strong.

    Also, I’ve heard radio advertisements on religious stations that appear to be sponsored by the Israeli tourism board and your site probably could have a lot in common with the same consumers.

    With links to that kind of advertising, along with some Bible-related tourist and vacation sponsors (for example, el Al airlines, and perhaps a few hotels and some Jewish and/or Christian companies) could have terrific potential!

  5. Elliot,

    The vacation niche is very competitive.

    I second the development of Kinda makes me a hypocrite since I owned that domain until a couple months back when I listed it on I’m not sure if you bought that directly from me or if someone flipped it to you.

    I would optimize the home page for the generic “parabolic skis” term and then create pages for all the different ski manufacturers using WordPress and the PHPBay script as a means for optimization. With Ebay moving to a PPC model in October, I think my suggestion would easily be a $3 to $6 a day earner.

    See for an example. I created that this past spring.

  6. Jerusalem Vacations might be an interesting one to develop but again as you state you would have to look at the search volume for that phrase and longer-tail keywords, the competition and your interest in the topic before plunging into developing. I personally can’t see me developing a site where I don’t have any interest in the topic. And I have found with one exercise-related site where I have considerable interest and knowledge, the topic was too competitive and so a great domain with ~25 pages of content sits in relative obscurity.

    But you can hire someone else to do the minisite if the phrase has enough search volume and isn’t overly competitive.

  7. I would use these as the top two:

    The others I would hold onto but I wouldn’t count on making much if you decided to build a mini site with them. Perhaps as a directory site with companies featured on it. would make a great travel portal. You could sell direct advertising as well as affiliate programs (Travel, Cruise, Airline, Hotel, Car Rental). It would be fun to write about and any vacations to the Caribbean are suddenly tax deductible (make sure that you take a lot of pictures for your website of course=))

    An easy way to develop would just be to throw up a smaller site (10-20 pages) and either work with a drop shipper or sell through Amazon.

    Good luck either way.


  8. I’d say would be a pretty good one to develop with affiliate links for Hotels, flights etc, due to the strength of the keywords it would probably rank number 1 in Google (above for the two keywords is showing 75 Hotels in the Dubrovnik area

  9. I would develop this name

    Only as the CPC is good, I own a few debt / credit score names and they all earn good money!

    If you want to know more hit me up.


  10. Until and are making $100,000 a year – each…..I would focus 100% of my time on this blog and working on new features for those domains.

    Short of taking that advice, since you already have some vacation sites developed, I would build out

  11. I think and monetize it with things like Travelocity for booking hotels and flights, and packed with information about all the top tourist hotspots, scenic views, restaurants, clubs, etc.

    Anunt, I find it funny how you own (supposedly) and the domain doesnt even resolve for me, my god you havent even managed to park your domain correctly.

    Not totally agree with George, I think every domain developer needs a wide range of sites, preferably 100 or more. I remember someone on here who owned I believe it was, and the site seemed good but they were on the third page of Google, which 99% of searchers are not gonna search that far. So we need to diversity.

  12. jumped out at me. Croatia is becoming THE place to holiday in Europe. Could make a visually stunning site with lots of photos of the unspoiled Mediteranean paradise.

  13. Elliot…that’s just my honest opinion…no harm done buddy…sorry!

    Anthony David…i am in the process of getting developed by Rick Latona

    Once again…sorry Elliot!

  14. A lot of people do what you said Anunt, its just that Elliot is not one of them from what I’ve seen. He buys solid keywords in .coms and develops them fully. Anunt you are on my facebook and I think you have owned for a long time, care to tell us how long you’ve owned it? And what have you done in that time? The obvious thing is you should develop a website about saxophones with it, which even after I think about it for one minute there are so many things you could do with a topic like that. Second, why would you put a minisite by AEIOU on a luxury domain name? You could build a whole community website for saxophone enthusiasts. If you dont want to do that then stop wasting your time and put on auction at Sedo or something.

  15. I think mini-sites are a waste. I know too many people who make only pennys with them. Google will not even disclose what your rev share is with them. I would develop your “vaction” sites through an affiliate program such as “TravelNow” or something similar. They share the rev in online bookings and provide good stats. Take a few lines of html and they are easy enough for anyone to build. As for these other name… SELL them. As you said, they are too specific.
    I developed the two domains I bought from you ( and because they have a broader range of generic interest.

  16. @ Tony

    You are right – but I have a reason for my development of mini sites on these. I listed some of the names at my ideal sale price, and they didn’t sell immediately. Instead of liquidating them, I would rather start the building process but do it economically. I want to keep the development cost low so that if someone does want to buy them, I don’t have to raise the price too much. Additionally, since some aren’t making much parked, they will probably make more with a mini site. Finally, a mini site has a better chance of getting ranked than a parked page. When someone buys one of these names/sites, they will already rank in the search engines (I think).

  17. I don’t entirely agree with the minisite/seo ranking being a draw for potential buyers. SEOs will certainly recognize the benefits, but most end-users will see the developed site and presume that the domain name is not for sale. I think a parked domain can attract more interest.

  18. From what I can see Parabolic is a trademark of Elan skis. They designed them back in ’93 and Tm’d the name shortly after.

    Just thought i’d mention this as I was researching what they were when I saw you mention them. I’m a skier/snowboarder and have never heard of them here in Europe. I actually own 2 pairs as well.

    Out of your list I like DubrovnikVacations. I’ve got some Croatian geo coms that I want to develop so particularly like them.

    all the best

  19. Elliot

    You have some nice names in there.

    I would tackle debt name right away and during these tough times, should do well and plus its not a bird adsense click. These debt related names are paying out very well imo and build traffic first though

    Like your geo vacation names as well.

    The great idea about a mini site is that its very expandable into a full blown website. Perfect example is and you have the traffic.

    I would do a mini site and then have Kevin expand the site into a directory as well. But I would do something like your tropicalbirds, tons of content on debt and then throw a free directory up for short term. Worry about traffic and search engines, revenues will follow imo.

    A name I was shocked you didn’t throw in the mix was That’s an awesome name and to be honest shocked no one bought it at 2k by now. I would either 1. Keep that for the long term or start that off.

  20. I would develop as a minisite monetized with a hotel a affiliate system. I would then link between it and In the future you can do it as a large site.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Spaceship Doubles its DUM

At the end of July, I wrote about Spaceship surpassing 100,000 domain names under management (DUM). The registrar continues to grow, and its Founder...

You Can Now Hide Estimated Value at Dan

Last week, announced and deployed a feature I did not like. On the user control panel, Dan showed GoDaddy's Estimated Value for each... Buyer Comments on Acquisition

This afternoon, Axios reported the sale of the domain name. Kismet Group, an Australian private equity company, acquired the domain name to launch...

“We love to share success!”

If I see two friends or colleagues that could benefit from meeting over a shared interest or converging path, I am always on the...

It Pays to Know Random Phrases

My eyes bulge out of my head sometimes when I see a somewhat obscure term in a domain name coming up for auction. Oftentimes,...