Every once in a while, a family friend or friend of a friend gets in touch with me to ask about their unused domain names. Sometimes these domain names were bought for a project that was never launched or they were previously used and are no longer needed.
I want to share the advice I generally give to people who own extra domain names but aren’t in the business of domain investing. Generally speaking, I recommend three options for them to either use their domain names, make money from the traffic their domain names receive, or to increase the likelihood of selling their domain names.
Three ways to profit from unused domain names:
1) Park the domain names to earn pay per click (PPC) revenue. It is free to sign up for a parking service account at companies like Domain Sponsor, DomainNameSales.com, or Voodoo.com, and I think all of those companies will accept customers who have domain names with traffic, even if the customer doesn’t own a large portfolio of domain names. If the domain names are for sale, the owner can add a banner to the parked page to let visitors know it is for sale. This allows for people to earn money and potentially sell their unused domain names.
2) Create or use a domain for sale landing page. Making the landing page clear that the domain name is for sale can help generate leads to expedite a sale. There are ready made domain for sale landing pages that people can buy or the domain owner can have a custom landing page created by a designer/developer. The only issue with this is that the domain owner will need to pay for a hosting account or use a web hosting service.
3) Redirect traffic to a related website owned by the person or company. This is the best option for a company that rebranded or a domain name that was previously used by the company. A domain sale is probably less important than lost or confused customers, and PPC revenue will probably be less than sales or referrals.
There is no reason a domain name should resolve to the domain registrar’s default landing pages when there are some good options for the domain name. I am sure there are other viable options, such as lead generation, but that is not my area of expertise.
Thanks for sharing the ideas.
Good ideas but probably wont work for gtlds since their low-volume of type in traffic will typically not justify the effort.
Suggest changing target of link about ‘for sale landing pages’ as outdated; perhaps point to ‘domain for sale’ wordpress themes available for modest cost that are much more flexible at themeforest.com and new services since that link was posted, like domain shops.
Disclosure: Not affiliated with any of above mentioned services.
The term may be outdated (I don’t really know). The article I linked to has (non-affiliate) links to WordPress themes on ThemeForest.
The only “recipe” I know that works is:
Test, test, test and test. And when you’re done, go ahead and test some more.
Sorry , I forgot to mention Elliot’s suggestion is good . Mine is for someone that wants to put an extra effort .
If you can learn the basics of PHP you will have no issue making one landing page and associating all of your domain names with it. You can do PHP calls to grab the domain name from the URL and parse it throughout your page as well as capture analytics based on that domain name.
Great post Elliot! This is often a question which crops up time and time again.
I think you certainly raise some interesting points. I think that on point three (redirecting traffic to a related website) It’s important to recognise that this option should not be used as a way to attempt to manipulate search results. Many times I’ve seen people do this without thought and Google will not give as much credit to a site which has been redirected from another. I think referring similar domain names is fine for examples miss-spellings or .co.uk to .com but domains with little similarity should be used with precaution.
I’ve been using Newsy for all of my unused domains – https://www.newsy.co – it’s been quite fun.