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Make money from domains

Note: There are several domain related ideas on this page but I'm going to expand on some of them here.

Domains:  Buying and selling domains was a lucrative business when the internet first started becoming popular. Think you've missed the gold rush? You can't be more mistaken.

First, you must know that there are "domainers" making millions as we speak. They are automating the bulk-buying of domains to "park", monetise "type-ins", or sell for ransom (subject to not violating somebody's trademark). But the story doesn't end there. There's an active market in income generating domains (even if there is no content or site hosted on it) and opportunities to build powerful portfolios of niche domains. And you can do it, too.

Local search opportunities

"Local Search" is another big opportunity and a lot of it ties in with owning the right domains. Think "your town" + "xyz service" or "widget" ... all in one URL. Then think how many permutations of town + service domain names are still available. There are literally millions. Don't see the opportunity to make money here? Then do the research, dig out whatever you can on the terms you don't understand fully and explore. I promise, promise, promise you there's a lot of money in domain names - both new/unregistered and using/trading in already registered ones. A study way back in 2004 reported that 25% of internet searching is local in nature. Yet, it's widely accepted at webmaster conferences that less than 5% of marketing effort is targeted at local search. The disparity leaves a big opportunity and savvy webmasters are cashing in right now.

New TLDs

Keep an eye out for new TLDs. Perhaps you can sign up to newsletters from companies who are active in the domain market, like SEDO, and they're bound to notify members when there's a new TLD on the horizon.

Apart from the obvious opportunities that new TLDs represent there are also the mistakes registries make that you can capitalise on. For example, when .eu first was released the registries were pretty dumb with their policies on ampersands and other unusable symbols. A company that had such symbols in its name or trademark wasn't automatically considered as having any rights in the associated domain. How is that a problem? I could have started a company call Goo/ &Gle Ltd and I'd have had as much right to as Google themselves would. As you'd expect opportunists had a field day with this one.

The more difficult the registrars make it for big companies to protect their trademarks the more opportunities it creates for someone to help. It doesn't have to be malicious or a blackmail scenario. You could buy up all the trademarks or near trademarks that Big Company would have bought, and sell it to them for less than it would have cost them to get the portfolio themselves (what with their layers of bureaucracy, advisors, lawyers, consultants and half-wit part-time webmaster).

Expired Domains

Every day thousands of domains expire. Many of these have lots of incoming links and regular traffic that can be monetised simply by parking the domain, posting some topical information and serving ads, or reselling the domain. Occasionally, a high PR7 or PR8 domain becomes available and can be picked up for a few dollars.

Even those entrepreneurs looking to start a new venture would benefit from buying an established domain as it's a lot easier to get an old domain ranking well in the search engines, and the owner can capitalise on existing incoming links, bookmarks and traffic.

So how do you get in on the action?

There are several ways. You can register with companies that provide notification services and you can buy specialised software to filter expired domains based on your preferences and alert you to opportunities. Here's one article describing it. And, before you head off, you may want to read the 5 Minute Expired Domain Checklist.



There are even several other articles in the mainstream press (copies online) about how people have made it big in the domain business. The press have covered annual seminars in this game, interviewed the big players and made a big fuss about the "dot com boom" coming back. There's a lot out there to read if you do a little searching.

(The best places to buy domains)