If you buy and sell domains online or have registered a good number of domains for business but are not using those domains, you are sitting on a huge potential that is being poorly utilized or even wasted. What is this potential? Domain traffic, or traffic that comes through those domains. Traffic is easily the biggest online currency and sought after commodity. Yet, many domain name owners easily give away that commodity or just let it waste.
The biggest online businesses thrive enormously because of, yes, traffic that comes via domains. Google is hugely successful in large part because of (developed) domains sending traffic to their advertisers, and they gladly share their revenue with domain name owners that want to participate in their PPC (Pay-per-Click) affiliate program. There are other businesses that are very successful by copying that Google model. Your domains may get traffic either through type-ins or old links (if the previous owner had a website on the domain). So how can you stop wasting your domain traffic and start benefiting from it?
First off, let's be clear, not all domains have traffic. In fact most don't, especially those recently registered. But many do and there are ways to find out if yours do as well. How can you find out? The easiest way is to park your domains at one of the “domain parking services”. If you do a search online, you will find a number of them. Make sure that they offer traffic stats. Or, if you have a hosting account, you can add the domain names as “add-on domains” and check the hosting stats. It only takes minutes to do either of these.
The first point to remember is this: make sure each of your domains resolves. This means that if someone types the domain into the browser it will display something, either a parked page or a website. As mentioned already, parking a domain is the easiest way to utilize domain traffic and get some revenue from it. However, parking payouts are extremely small for the most part unless you have a domain with a LOT of traffic. Some of the top domain parking companies include ParkingCrew.com and SmartName.com.
Another very easy and quick way to utilize domain traffic is by pointing or redirecting the domains to your existing website. This could be a blog, a business site, or any other site you own. If you do this, then include trailing text to let you know that visits came through a specific domain. For example: http://YourExistingWebsite.com/?ref=ForwardedDomain.com. Be sure to include the '?' sign, otherwise the redirect will go to a non-existing web page. This way, when you check your stats, you will be able to quickly see which visits came from which domains.
Once you have a good idea as to what traffic and how much comes through your domains, you are now able to make important and educated decisions. “Do I develop the domain into a website?”, “Do I sell the domain?”, or “Do I let the domain expire?” (if it gets zero traffic). To be sure, zero traffic does not automatically mean it is worthless. It may be an excellent name for a business, so you may still want to develop it into a website or sell it on the aftermarket. If you decide to sell it, you can use one of the aftermarket marketplaces such as Sedo or Afternic. They make it easy to list your domains but take a percentage of the sale price (or fixed fee, whichever is greater).
Developing domain names is the optimal way to profit from traffic. Even domains that get zero traffic on their own can be developed into profitable websites, if done correctly. However, if you develop those domains that already get traffic then you are already ahead of the game. Clearly, though, developing domains into websites can be very time consuming and/or expensive (if you don't have the expertise and must hire someone) but yields the biggest rewards. So you may decide to park some domains and develop the best ones.
The downside of parking and selling on the aftermarket, as mentioned earlier, is that although you are not completely wasting your domain traffic, you are giving it away to a certain extent with very little to none compensation. Parking revenue is down and you are getting a small percentage of it. If you point your domains to a sales page on one of the big marketplaces, you are sending free traffic and those visitors can easily browse away from your site to any of the thousands or millions of domains listed. So it is not the most effective way to utilize your domain traffic.
Fortunately, there is another option available to you. For a low monthly cost, you can sign up to a domain sales platform such as Domain Market Pro. This domain management software allows you to build your own domain marketplace to sell domains and get paid via PayPal, wire transfer, or an escrow service. It also allows you to create landing pages that can be monetized. This way, you can benefit fully from your domain traffic and avoid having to share revenue from your domains or pay commission on domains you sell. You can still list your domains on the other marketplaces mentioned but anyone interested can go to your domain shop and buy from there. So you are leveraging these marketplaces to send traffic to you instead of the other way around.