Everyones heard of domain names. If youre reading this then youve certainly heard of them: youve typed one in your browser or clicked on one to get here! Domain names are the universal means by which you and everyone else navigates the internet; that little string of text (usually starting with www) that takes us everywhere from checking e-mail to surfing for the latest Missy Elliot video. That said, its easy to see why domain names have contributed to the astronomical success and coolness of the internet. Yup, thats right, the internet started as a small network of college geeks connecting their computers together so they could become even nerdier. The only reason cool folk like you and me started using the internet is because it became so easy to navigate and the internet became easy to navigate all because of domain names. If they didnt exist wed all be typing in long strings of numbers like 22.214.171.124 instead of google.com or 126.96.36.199 instead of yahoo.com etc sounds like fun huh?
So thats what we know about domain names. However, far more important is what you may not know about domains and the industry thats mushroomed around them. There are big bucks to be made in the domain biz and were going to tell you all about it.
What makes A Domain Name Valuable?
Over 400 million domain names have been registered as of January 2006 and it is estimated that 20,000 names are being reserved or registered everyday. So what separates a domain name worth millions from one thats not even worth the cost to register it? Here are a few factors which contribute greatly to the value of any domain name.
The Top Level Domain (TLD) extension of the Domain Name.
.com and .net TLD extensions currently have the most popularity because these were the first extensions to be registered back in the early 90s. Domain names on the internet have come to be defined by these two TLDs. This doesnt mean that this will always be the case. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ) who overseas the Domain Name System (DNS) file, approves new TLDs every year and these gain increasing popularity over time. Regional TLDs additionally help in identifying domains relating to a particular geographical area .US and .EU being prime examples.
Domain Name Contains popular keywords
What makes buyonline.com worth six figures and aquireonline.com practically worthless? Both are great sounding domain names but buy online is more likely to form part of a specific search term that someone would enter into a search engine. Search engines read the text of your domain name and are more likely to display your website in search results for matching keywords. If your business sells a new product, lets call it a zigtag, you can get far more visitors to your website by registering the domain name [ rather than [ . Its all about the trafficability of your domain name and not just any traffic but targeted traffic. Targeted traffic means visitors who arrive at your website because youve got content that they were searching for on a search engine for example. Great keyword domain names have the ability to automatically drive targeted traffic from search engines.
Domain Name is Generic, Short and Pronounceable.
Keyword domains can drive traffic from search engines but an even more elusive and coveted source of traffic is from direct type-ins (i.e persons typing the domain name directly into a browser). It usually takes many months of online marketing and promotion for a domain name to build high levels of consistent type in traffic, but the right domain name can get it naturally. Music.com, Weather.com, buydvds.com or sellcarsonline.net are all examples of domain names with great natural type-in traffic. People simply expect that when they type-in Music.com theyll see something that grabs their attention regarding popular recording artistes or downloading music files. Also, making your domain name as short as possible and as pronounceable as possible can drastically increase its value. Domains that are short and pronounceable are more easily remembered by web surfers (some of who have memories no longer than a mouse double click) and thus more likely to get targeted type-in traffic.
The Domain Name is Registered for 10 years or more in advance.
Remember earlier we said that 20,000 domain names get registered everyday? Well an equal number of domains expire everyday. Yup, about 20,000 domains fall by the wayside having been registered only for a year or maybe two. This means that thousands of links on thousands of pages will go dead (if the domains hosted developed websites this is a big inconvenience to many internet users) or it means that the domain name didnt meet any of the previous criteria to make it a valuable domain name in the first place. Search engines like Google are now beginning to pick up on this and will automatically assign a higher Page Rank (PR) to websites hosted on domains registered 10 years or more in advance. Even if your domain does not host a developed website, having it registered for a few years in advance will make it more attractive to buyers who wont have to pay to renew the name a year or two after getting it from you.
You may be surprised by the number internet-users who cant spell. For the record, were not. Literally millions of domain name typos are registered everyday. Domain names that are close enough to the spelling of another domain that receives good type-in traffic are likely to get many accidental type-ins per month. While this will increase the typo domains traffic, people usually smarten up once they see that the wrong page has loaded. Developing a website on a typo domain that has similar content as the correctly spelt domain is the best method of utilising typos. The traffic these domains receive is less targeted than those fitting the above-mentioned criteria for a valuable domain name. Even so, a big chunk of the domain name aftermarkets earnings comes from typo domains.
These are the basic tenets that one should look for in a domain name that is at the very least worth registering.
How do I Turn My Domain Name Into Real Cash?
Now that youve got the .com/.net domain name thats got great keywords and is easy to remember youre probably thinking oh so Ill just sit here and wait for Bill Gates to offer me 7 figures, right?. The simple answer is that any valuable item if under utilised becomes a dud (yes, thats a technical term).
Here are just a few ways of making your great domain name work for you:
1. Develop a Website
Develop a content-rich website thats relevant to the keywords that may be in your domain name. This method has unlimited potential for traffic and earnings. We dont have to tell you of the millions that are being earned everyday by the top websites on the internet. These websites utilise a combination of having keywords in their domain name and website content that is relevant to those keywords. If you cant find they right keyword rich domain name for your area of interest dont despair. Some of the top websites on the internet simply made words up or acronyms which could mean anything, Yahoo and Google being prime examples. Its all about business development and the more your promote your website and domain name the more youll earn for your products or services (or get advertising) over time.
2.Get involved in the Domain Aftermarket.
Millions are traded daily on the internet buying and selling domain names within the domain aftermarket. If youve registered a name that someone else really wants, they maybe willing to pay you much more than the registration price to get it from you. Sometimes, a lot more. Business.com sold for $7.5 Million while website.com sold recently for a luke-warm $700,000 and Blogster.com sold for $100,000. You may have a great domain name but youll miss out on figures like those if you dont get involved.
Here are our top picks of domain name aftermarket website:
: Buy, Sell, and discuss domain names.
: Trade domain name online, Pay a one-time membership fee for full access to the forum.
: Have a great domain name with a fully developed website that you want to sell? This is the place for it.
: Perhaps the most comprehensive and international domain trading service. Uses Escrow to ensure that you get what youve paid for.
[ Domians.com : The trusted marketplace for domain names.
2. Park your domain name to earn cash
Many website now offer domain name parking services. With this service you can park your domain name by allowing a parking service such as sedo.com to use your domain to display their advertisements. They do all the work. All you do is set your domains nameservers to theirs and with a little promotion of your domain name ( on your part) youll earn money. Youll get paid for every person that clicks on the ads displayed on your parked page. Some parked domains make up to $100 per day but the really great names can make upwards of $1000 per day. Most parking services let you park as many pages as you want so the potential revenue is boundless.
Getting started in domain name parking is easy and few in any parking services will charge you to park your domain. Here are a few of our top rated parking services :
: along with domain selling and trading, sedo has emerged as the leader in parking Programs. With hundreds of thousands of dollars paid out daily.
: One of the highest revenue paying parking services in the business
: Another high paying parking service. Tens of thousands of domains already parked.
: Great service out of the UK. Expect medium sized payments
: Not as big as the other guys but theyre easy to use and pay on-time.
With all the great opportunities to make easy money in the domain name biz theres no sane reason not to get involved. But dont be fooled. This isnt some get rich quick scheme. Youll need patience and insight from the experts, but rest assured that in reading this article youve already done half the work. Now that you know exactly what makes a domain name valuable and how to earn cash from it youll surely avoid the most common newbie mistakes and will be well on your way to earning some serious money quickly.
Ready to get started but dont want to spend a whole lot? Here is our top pick for one of the ABSOLUTE cheapest domain name registrars on the internet: