3 Common Assumptions About Domain Monetization

As many of you know I’m a latecomer to the domain game and even though I was building websites in the mid-90’s I didn’t start buying domains until 2007. When I first started buying domains I had read a few blog posts and thought that I knew enough to be dangerous. Well I was right about the dangerous part, profitable, not quite as much.

Like most people I had some assumptions based on the limited experience I had in the space at the time. Over the years I’ve moved fast, started many projects, killed many others, tried different roads and quickly abandoned those that were paved with failure. By sticking with what worked and discarding what didn’t, I learned from experience and built a solid business that quickly outpaced my day job. Now 100% of my income comes from Domaining and I sure am glad I made all those mistakes years ago otherwise I couldn’t have made the moves I’ve made over the last year.

Last week at WEBfest I spoke to a number of new Domainers who had lots of questions, and assumptions about domain monetization. I could see that some assumptions are still alive and well and as usual, I’m here to squash them. I squashed these years ago through trial and error, hopefully I can save all of you time and help you focus on where the money is.

With that said, here are three common assumptions about domain monetization:

  1. Putting a website on a domain name is an effective monetization technique – just a website itself isn’t going to cut it. The #1 problem I see new investors encounter is spending $2,500+ on development and think that since they spent thousands of dollars, their domain should start magically generating thousands of dollars. It doesn’t work that way, yes, you have to spend money on development if you can’t do it yourself but no, that development will not suddenly start monetizing the domain. Instead this is only the foundation for monetization, not the end-all solution.
  2. Google killed exact-match domains – incorrect! Listen to what Google themselves said and you’ll realize that Google killed exact-match domains with crappy content on made-for-search websites. High quality sites built on exact-match domains are doing just fine. There are a lot of nice advantages to exact-match domains, just treat them right and don’t fill them with low-quality spammy content.
  3. You need massive traffic to make money – more traffic does usually mean more money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make good money with a lower traffic levels. It all depends on the niche you are in. If you are building a site in a niche where you can sell leads for $500/each then a few thousand visitors/month could make a nice little passive income machine. If however you have a site that makes $0.25/click then yes, you’ll need pretty significant traffic to make meaningful money. This is why picking your niche and finding the best way to monetize in that niche is so important.

Of course there are many more assumptions than these, feel free to share your own below or comment on any of these. Happy Friday!


{ 10 comments… add one }

  • adi weitzman February 15, 2013, 5:48 pm

    Other assumptions:

    1. All the good .com names are taken.

    2. You have to spend a lot of money to buy a domain name.

    • Morgan February 15, 2013, 5:53 pm

      Good ones @adi!

  • Louise February 15, 2013, 6:20 pm

    My latest web project, Responsive Web Design Examples is doing okay for the exact match domin, not so much the title. BTW, I profiled MorganLinton.com on EmergingDomains.com, which was linked to on Domaining.com, a couple weeks ago . . . You go, with your responsive theme!

  • Louise February 15, 2013, 6:21 pm

    Sorry, here is the working link: Responsive Web Design Examples.

  • onedot February 16, 2013, 12:22 am

    I’d like to know why someone would choose “responsive web design examples” as a domain or title?
    Why choose the name “responsive”? Is it in lieu of “beautiful”, “great” “fantastic” or some other adjective?

  • Jin February 16, 2013, 12:38 am

    I don’t know coding as domainer but mini site cost is 400 and I did it and they designed HTML site and that’s it.

    No don’t do it get a Wordpress or cms website that you can mange yourself and that you don’t have to hire developer to add article and stuff.

    And build traffic , it is not goin to land until you start building link along new content and get awareness of the site.

    Try different adnetworks change placements , one network may pay you 1 cent per click other may do 5 dollars. And be patient.

  • Joe February 16, 2013, 1:21 am

    Great points there, Morgan. I’d like you to dedicate one or two posts to #1.

  • Morgan February 16, 2013, 10:23 am

    Thanks @Joe – great idea, #1 is an important one and definitely worth a post or two!

  • joe February 16, 2013, 11:27 am

    Hi Morgan!

    Just now send an email to you, for more or less a problem regarding this new important post for me, thanks Morgan!.

    Now understand things that you yourself find your own way to start as Domaining in 2007 the difference is that you be in the market and industry where appropriate also be big business for some domain names that have traffic or 1000 users in three months and pay for them. example: $ 22,000 USD.

    I be looking for a similar company to yours for a strategic alliance, joint ventures because I just do nothing with the great domain names that take my wallet and many new ones to buy and register my keywords be a total of more than 10,000 million users each month, this month I have to create a new company, my lawyer told me to since the old partners be filled only want money without putting anything from you work at least four hours, from his house.

    Interesting that money to be put a vase on a table this month and come to collect, these are my partners. No thanks I otherwise work harder to get ahead with my work domaining, strategy, advertising, keywords and other more innovating new methods for tomorrow is future.

  • Louise February 19, 2013, 12:03 pm

    @ onedot said:

    I’d like to know why someone would choose “responsive web design examples” as a domain or title?
    Why choose the name “responsive”? Is it in lieu of “beautiful”, “great” “fantastic” or some other adjective?

    Go to iPadPeek.com, and enter, MorganLinton.com into the url bar, and try the iPad, and a couple of iPhones, portfolio and landscape view, to see what I mean. Same content fits different screens – that’s called, “responsive.”


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