Make Money With Expired Domains

If you’ve followed the 5 Minute Guide To Buying Expired Domains, you may feel pretty confident about quickly and efficiently finding and buying a good expired domain. Once in your possession you could use your expired domain to drive affiliate sales. But is that the only money making option open to you? How do you find alternative methods of monetizing your domain?

Here’s the trick: copy what other successful webmasters do. We have our own little laboratory in which other people perform the experiments at their own risk, and we can observe and assess. The only problem with our study is that we can’t gauge the experimenter’s success. But we can generate ideas for our own endeavours. In a nutshell, we need to:

  • Identify expired domains that have been bought with the sole purpose of making money.
  • Recognise the monetization methods employed for that domain.
  • Assess what kinds of sites are suitable for this kind of monetization.
  • Seek out and buy domains that fall into that category and monetize in the same way.

I’ve done the hard work in the form of analysis, so you don’t need to. Over the last few months I’ve been keeping a record of all the expired domains that were receiving high traffic numbers and that were bought by someone in the Godaddy Auctions. I revisited each domain around a month after the auction end date. This time allows for the 7 day Godaddy transfer period, and also gives some time for the new owner to set the site up.

The results are interesting.

Domain Date Traffic PR How Is It Now Being Monetized 20th Apr 2009 886 2 Cash parking 20th Apr 2009 5397 4 I think the site was accidentally dropped by the owner as the content now on it is the same as the Wayback Machine shows from over a year ago. Many of the links to articles are redirected to another site that has been suspended, and I remember that when I checked the site previously, it wasn’t suspended. I suspect dodgy dealings, but I have no way of knowing exactly what. When I originally checked this site, it looked like a traffic funnel to another site the owner ran. 20th Apr 2009 5625 4 Cash parking 20th Apr 2009 4037 4 Affiliate sales page. 20th Apr 2009 684 4 Affiliate sales page 20th Apr 2009 593 2 Ha ha – it’s not what you think! Affiliate sales page. 7th Jun 2009 582 3 Bought for resale by Cash parked in the mean time. 7th Jun 2009 928 5 Generic content to give the appearance of a genuine content site, but the links in the right sidebar give the game away. The site was bought purely for PR (this domain has a PR5). I would imagine that either the owner owns the sites linked in the sidebar (they’re linking to their own sites to give them a boost in the search engines) or that the owner is selling links. I’m sure that checking the WHOIS for those sites would give an indication. 12th Jun 2009 12477 5 Generic content used simply as a vehicle for Google Adsense. The site gets a lot of visits so the earnings might make the domain purchase worthwhile. The site isn’t indexed by Google though so there is a dependance on referral traffic. Even so, 12,477 unique visitors via referring sites isn’t to be sneezed at. 8th Jul 2009 21537 0 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 15912 0 Adsense for domains? 8th Jul 2009 11852 1 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 10863 2 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 10737 0 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 10096 0 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 9401 1 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 8058 0 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 7734 0 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 7676 0 Csh parking 8th Jul 2009 7506 1 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 6842 2 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 6557 0 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 5260 0 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 5219 3 WordPress has been installed but no content as yet. Because a CMS is there, I’m guessing that this site won’t join the hordes of domains parked for cash that we’ve already seen. I suspect that the owner is going to develop something here. 8th Jul 2009 5132 3 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 5108 0 Cash parking 8th Jul 2009 3068 o Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 44582 2 Seems like dummy content used as a vehicle for adverts. Nothing much going on here, but the 44K unique visitors are bound to pull some ad revenue. 9th July 2009 21965 4 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 18978 0 Wow. Real content for a change. Strangely, the content dates back to before the domain was being auctioned. Did the original owner forget to renew and have to buy it back? 9th Jul 2009 18834 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 18669 0 Some weird content here (not surprising given the macabre domain name) – and that is the highest Adsense/content ratio I’ve ever seen! 18.5K UVs / month with all those ads must surely be lucrative. Just an (high traffic) Adsense vehicle. 9th Jul 2009 18206 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 15821 3 OMG. The new owner has had a brainwave and is actually doing something useful with this domain. FAIL style posters. Yes, there’s Adsense, but the content is good (is it generic – has the owner just copied existing FAIL styly pics?). 9th Jul 2009 15686 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 14952 2 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 13942 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 10896 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 9207 0 No content yet 9th Jul 2009 8488 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 8456 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 8110 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 8023 2 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 7880 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 7315 0 Generic content used as a vehicle for Adsense. 9th Jul 2009 6342 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 5473 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 5103 0 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 4521 2 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 4341 2 Cash parking 9th Jul 2009 4330 0 Cash parking 15th Jul 2009 7270 0 WordPress blog installed but no content yet. 15th Jul 2009 19323 0 Cash parking 15th Jul 2009 11858 0 Cash parking 15th Jul 2009 11293 3 Kitten healing? Cash parking! 15th Jul 2009 2955 0 Cash parking

Make Money With Cash Parking

As you can see, the majority of the expired domains above were bought and then parked. On the one hand I’m a little disappointed that sites with obvious potential are simply being parked to make money, instead of being developed. However, on the other hand it’s a business decision to do so. If you can buy a domain that receives 20,000 unique visitors every month why not park it? Developing a site from scratch takes time, effort and money, whereas cash parking takes two minutes to set up. You can then sit back and watch the cost/revenue balance redress itself.

Which Expired Domains Are Right For Cash Parking

Obviously, traffic is an important factor in choosing a domain for cash parking. The more traffic you get the more revenue you’ll make. There is no point in parking a domain that receives no traffic. The lowest traffic domain above was receiving less than 1,000 unique visitors. As for what niche is best for your cash parked domain, it doesn’t seem to matter as we’ve seen a real mixture. In summary, it seems that if your expired domain is receiving more than 1,000 visitors it is ideal for cash parking. With that in mind, I can feel a little experiment coming on.

Weird Postscript

I’ve just bought the domain for $5. A bargain, especially when you consider that although it has only 4 inbound links, one of them is from a PR8 .edu page! Alas, that page isn’t even indexed, and has no inbound links so the PR showing on the toolbar must be wrong. Hence my link here to get the page indexed and see what happens. Oh well, it was only $5…