monetizing domain names of former websites

I love DNJournal’s detailed profiles of major players in the domain name business, telling how they got started and how they made it big. Today I re-read Sahar Sarid’s story for the third time. I’m also big fan of his blog, TheConceptualist.com. I learn something from it every day. So I went back and read his story again, because I am in need of some encouragement…

Like Sahar, I am intelligent and I read voraciously, but was a rebel in school. Like Sahar, I struggled for many years and once drove an ice cream truck. Like Sahar, I believe in looking ahead and creating my own opportunities, and like Sahar I believe in doing something that will benefit people and make the world a better place, not just enrich me personally.

And yet I’m struggling. I’ve been in the domain name industry for two years, but I don’t feel that I’ve gotten the return that I had hoped for. I needed to be reminded that many of the very wealthy domainers of today came from humble roots. I needed to be reminded that it doesn’t take a lot of money to get rich in this business. It takes grit, study, perseverance and the ability to learn from your mistakes.

Don’t get me wrong, my situation is not totally bleak. I’ve made some nice sales, and I’ve managed to build a portfolio that gets a lot of traffic, but only about 20 of my domains are truly profitable. As for the others, I have yet to figure out how to monetize the traffic properly. For example, I’ve got this one domain name, WebPark.net, that gets 500 uniques per month but has only a 1% CTR. The result? It makes a little over $1 a month. Ok, technically it’s profitable since it makes more than its reg fee, but it’s not nearly fulfilling its potential. Another, merkezi.org (merkezi means market in Turkish) gets 270 uniques per month and only 0.75% CTR. Less than one percent! You want one of them? Make me an offer. Maybe you can monetize them better than me.

I have many like that, and they’re driving me batty. Good traffic, low CTR. Almost all are parked at Sedo. I need to begin working on strategies to monetize them better. I’ll move some to other parking services, and for others I will build small websites. Others may become blogs. And some I will sell.

I spotted a few suggestion’s in Sahar’s bio that may help me, such as brokering domain names to gain experience, and finding a system that works and building on it. I do believe in this business, and I do believe in what I’m doing. I think I’ve got all the pieces of success laid out in front of me; I just need to figure out how to assemble them properly.

Are you struggling in your chosen industry, whether it’s the domain name business or something else? What strategies do you use to keep yourself motivated? Are there certain people at the top of the industry who inspire you? Tell me about them.



7 Comments to “Learning from Sahar Sarid”

  1. Brian | September 24th, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Keep at it, sounds you found some tactics that are working. I would stick with those and try to refine the rest. I am not a domainer – yet. I am rather an seo that like you see’s a great opportunity.

    I also have found that by using “domainer” tools I can get better results quicker with decent domain names …

    One tip with parking:

    Trafficz pays not only by click but also by impression (you prob know this already). My strategy to this point has been to start building my portfolio. Some sites I build as soon as I regester – others I park.

    If parked domains are getting traffic but no clicks … I slap’em up at trafficz.com

    I expect to launch my “domain sales site” in the coming weeks (late 2007)…Will be interesting to see what happens.

    Anyway, stick with it 😉

  2. W.H.A. | September 25th, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Brian, thanks for the tip. It won’t hurt to move some of my high-traffic names to TrafficZ and see what happens.

  3. The Old Vic | October 14th, 2007 at 12:43 am

    I’m only a beginner in domain names, and don’t get much traffic either, but it seems to me Sedo is the worst possible place to park a domain.

    How do you sell your domains? I have listed most of mine with Afternic and have parked them with a couple of companies but so far have received zero in the way of offers.

  4. W.H.A. | October 14th, 2007 at 3:44 am

    Hello Old Vic, thanks for your comments. Why do you think Sedo is a bad place to park? They are an industry leader. I’ve found that if I optimize my pages well, I get good CTRs.

    As far as selling, you have to make an effort to find parties who might be interested in buying, and contact them. You can also post your domains for sale on forums like NamePros.com and DNForum.com, but since you’re selling to other domainers you won’t get top retail prices. There are some good threads on NamePros about how to find end-users. Check them out.

  5. The Old Vic | October 14th, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    I parked a few domains with Sedo and was getting practically no visitors and only ever had 1 or 2 clicks which were paid around 3 cents each, so I was not too impressed. Are you just using the plain vanilla Sedo or the Pro version ?

  6. W.H.A. | October 15th, 2007 at 12:36 am

    I’m using SedoPro, but I believe the payouts are the same. SedoPro just offers better tools for optimizing your pages. It’s true that I receive a bonus percentage on top of the regular payout because of the number of domains that I have parked there, but I still get earnings of a few cents per click on some domains. Others pay quite well. It depends on the subject matter.

    If you’ve found other parking services that work better for you, that’s great.

  7. Aaron | October 18th, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Your first step to making more money with those and your other names should be to ditch Sedo. In my opinion they are one of the worst monitizers out there. If you can get in you may want to try domain sponsor or trafficZ if not try Traffic Club. All should be better than Sedo.

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