Sunday, July 15, 2007

Monetizing Domain Names Part II

This has become an ongoing experiment of mine, and I'm taking it to the next level now. I'll get my alpha wherever I can, thank you!

As I've already detailed, I have been looking to sell 6 domain names that I have owned for about 10 years. After doing a fair amount of reading and generally sliding into the industry in the last 5 weeks, I had an epiphany yesterday. If the domains have 5 figures worth of value after this long, without having been developed, then how much more would they have if I were to turn those domains into active properties - real, live, web sites.

As luck would have it, I don't have to imagine for 2 of the domain names. These are 2 that my partners and I began developing back in the late 90s for a venture which fell apart due to inexperience and under-capitalization (mostly the former). While I kept one of the sites online for several years, it basically languished, still bringing in the occasional visitor (most recently in May 2005, according to my e-mail).

Now, what occurred to me is that, without any further effort, I may possibly get 6 figures for the best name at auction. However, with a small amount of effort, and Google AdSense, I might be able to increase the value of the property significantly. Maybe even to the point of making it viable on its own and not requiring a sale to monetize it. So that's the current direction of this experiment - turning the sites into cash flow generators using Google AdSense.

On a certain level, I feel bad for putting ads on the sites. I mean, I never wanted to do that, even ad advertising became an accepted monetization scheme. However, it sure beats trying to generate online retail or membership sales in terms of ease, speed, and growth. My AdSense account became live a few days ago, and although I have to hack some of the code to fit the text links in, I imagine I can actually start this experiment by the time the weekend rolls around.

The auction that these sites may possibly run in is scheduled for Saturday, 4 August. So let's see how much progress I can make before then. If things look promising (or even if they don't), I may withdraw them from the auction to spend more time developing the sites. We'll see. I do have high minimum bids set for the auction so I won't be mad if the domains manage to sell, but I don't want to limit the amount I can get for them if it is at all possible to enhance their values.

Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

I truly wish you luck, but don't count your chickens before they hatch. Those domain value tools tend to overprice 99% of domains. Unless you have a single word domain, you're not likely to get much from it if it isn't one that people type in on their own (which you would know because the sites would not be getting occasional traffic, but a lot). The truth is that unless there is specific person that wants it or it has a lot of traffic, you will likely not have any offers (or ones well below $100). Here's hoping that I'm wrong...

Khyron said...


The whole process of appraising the domain name that I did have appraised was started by a potential buyer. He wanted to offer $10,000 USD (he is German I think) but then recommended the appraisal. As I mentioned, the appraisal came back at $14,500 USD.

Now, I also own the .com version of that name, and from having it parked during June, I know that it received 1000 type ins, since the site was not being advertised at all. That was between 6 June and 30 June. Not bad.

Now I have put the old site up and informed some of my friends to test it for bugs, coding errors, etc. I installed Google Analytics to track progress. All of this happened since Thursday, so the initial traffic numbers have sucked. We'll see how they look at the end of this week when the site is allowed to fully take traffic, plus searches start finding it, and then I can start letting people know that it is back online.

Not trying to get ahead of myself at all, but if the .net version of an usused domain name can fetch almost $15K US, then what is the .com worth when it is pulling some actual traffic? Probably a bit more.