Summer/Fall 2015 - Issue #78
Parking and Selling
If you're like me the nature of your domain business has changed. A few years ago most of my income was from domain parking or from affiliate income. At one point I made some substantial money from those of you who became my affiliates. Thanks! In 2015 this income is minimal, and parking income itself is less than half of what it was at one time. In 2015 I am making more money selling domains.
Michael Gilmore has a series of blog posts that confirms this trend throughout the industry and adds some nice historical details. Michael has studied domain name monetization more thoroughly than about anyone in the industry. He has been able to see inside different parking companies and a series recent articles on his blog provide a great perspective on the domain industry over time. Check out his initial post "Critical Insights Into the Domain Industry" and his follow-up posts.
I always wondered how the "new kids on the block" were able to boast better parking revenue. Gilmore's perspective is without peer and his ParkLogic service comes highly recommended for those with large portfolios.
How to Price Domains
Gilmore recommends pricing most brand-able domains at around $1500 each in order to sell enough every year to cover expenses. A quote from part 4 of his series:
I've actually priced mine closer to $2000, but I agree with his idea. Get your domains out there. Build your own website that exposes your domains to a wide audience and use escrow.com to provide a safe and secure experience for yourself and buyers. Also list your domains on Sedo, Afternic, and DomainNameSales unless you have an exclusive brokerage deal. I've tried those deals for some of my better domains and not had much luck yet.
What to keep and what to let expire?
I have a tough time with this every year. My portfolio is not nearly as large as that of some companies, but paying registration fees on over 1000 domains every year takes a toll, especially with parking income falling. I've had to make some tough decisions lately and I've let some of my weaker domains drop. Here's how I made those decisions.
1. Keep two word dotcoms that make sense. Most of my domains are two word health-related .coms that I picked up during the .com crash. These have retained value and I believe that they will continue to be valuable. I sell enough every year to stay afloat.
2. Dump the .net and .org versions when you own all three extensions. For a while I owned a number of domains in the .com, .net, and .org version, thinking that a buyer might want to corner the market on that domain. Rarely does that happen. As the new tlds have emerged these .net and .org domains can be let go. There is just no demand.
3. Dump new tlds unless they are really spectacular one-word domains. It's going to take a while for a real secondary market to develop with most of these tlds. I've recently seen a huge uptick of spam that uses .xyz as the originating domain. I guess .xyz is the new .info.
4. Dump most typos and domains that "seemed like a good idea at the time." I bought a bunch of domains that ended with "superstore" back when SmartName Shops were doing well. Nothing much happened with them. I recently decided to let these go, even though someone made an offer (with a bad email address) on BidetSuperStores.com. I was the Mental Health Resources on About.com for several years and afterward I bought a bunch of names that began with the word about. Nobody was interested. I allowed these to expire.
Domain Parking Consolidation
Here are the details about the consolidations that have occurred in 2014 and 2015. These are reported in a more timely on NameMonetizer.com.
July 23, 2015
NameDrive and Parking Crew announced last week that the NameDrive parking platform will now be "powered by Parking Crew." The NameDrive announcement stated:
Your NameDrive domains should be showing up in ParkingCrew now - but you man need to do some manual tweaking.
TrafficZ closed its doors at the beginning of 2015. It was the first domain parking company that I used. I remember Kevin Vo contacting me to tell me about the service, and I remember being skeptical that I would make any money off ads. I was wrong. TrafficZ brought me a good income for a number of years. Their tools allowed me to see which domains got traffic and attempt different ways to monetize those domains differently if they were not making money at TrafficZ.
I got an email from Bodis.com on January 30th stating:
I tried Bodis when they first developed their service and was not initially impressed. Since that time they have spent a good deal of effort developing the service and I hear good things about it. I'm just not sure it is worth the effort to try them again. I'm pleased with DomainSponsor (now part of Rook Media), Sedo, and NameDrive. I still get enough parking income to supplement my domain sales income every year, but it's not like the good old days.
On April 21, 2014 Oversee.net announced that Rook Media bought its Domain Sponsor monetization business. Domain Sponsor was founded in 2002 as one of the original domain parking companies. Rook Media claims to be Europe’s largest domain monetization platform.
Earlier in 2014 DomainFest was interestingly produced by Domain Sponsor, in contrast with past DomainFests which were produced by the parent company Oversee.net. Was there already an informal deal?
What's left of Oversee.net? A press release by Corinne Forti stated that "Oversee can now focus on more aggressively developing its growth businesses. The company has been continually enhancing its online portfolio of web properties and mobile applications with strong brands that engage user’s passions."
Most of you subscribed to this newsletter years ago, maybe even when it was called Domain Parking News. The frequency of issues has has dropped, but I'm still here and still monetizing my domain portfolio. Please write me with any questions or concerns, and feel free to unsubscribe if you have moved on from the domain business.