How do I best make money from undeveloped domain names?
March 10, 2016 4:49 PM   Subscribe

I own several domain names that I intended to develop over the years and just haven't gotten around to it. Realistically I won't get around to it anytime soon. Right now there's absolutely nothing there. What is the best way to make them at the very least pay for their own domain registration fees, and preferably more?

I've had each of three domains for many years. Two of the domain names are provocative (not sexually) and one-of-a-kind and I'd be unlikely to let them go unless I got an unrealistically large offer. I get inquiries about one of these domains several times a year, but just tire-kickers; no one ever mentions a firm monetary figure.

That one was also developed somewhat by a previous owner as a personal site, and there are still links to it out there. Both of these domains surely also get direct type hits, although I'm ashamed to say I have no idea how many, because I haven't even got Google Analytics up to be able to see that.

The third is less special, very similar (one letter off) to a domain name I sold years ago to an artist for $750. I would probably let it go for a similar price (I'm sure the artist who bought the other one doesn't want it). The artist simply found the domain name, I wasn't advertising it for sale.

I'm tired of feeling lame for never doing anything with these domain names. What is thebest place/way to sell the arts-related domain name? How can I at least put something up quickly on all three that will gain some type of revenue? I've been looking at domain name parking services but feel way out of my element, and they seem rather sketchy so far. I also don't know what I don't know; perhaps there are other ways of approaching this?
posted by mysterious_stranger to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I agree that domain parking services are sketchy. Likewise, if you put up some sort of placeholder page on your domains and put advertisements on those pages, that would be sketchy too. I doubt that either option would cover the cost of the domains' registration unless they are the sort of domains which are very frequently visited due to typos or other such reasons.

I think your best bet is to sell the domains or let them expire. I have no advice on selling them, but I'm sure others here will.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 7:38 PM on March 10, 2016

I agree that unless you put at least some time into building the sites a tiny bit, you won't make enough to cover registration and should just sell them on Fippa or Godaddy or Sedo.
posted by third word on a random page at 12:26 AM on March 11, 2016

Put them on Sedo or Afternic. People do buy from those domain markets -- when I'm spending client money, I sure do!
posted by DarlingBri at 3:23 AM on March 11, 2016

Best answer: If you don't care about building a reputation for the sites, you could pay some content writers to fill out them with content and then just use them for passive income generated by ads. I think people who do this make about $50 per month. You'll need to really home in on what people are searching for and make sure you have good content. This post from Alexis Grant might have some helpful information.
posted by betsybetsy at 6:16 AM on March 11, 2016

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