Glenn Stok is a systems analyst with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. This informative article is based on his professional insight.
If you have unused registered web domains that you're not using, you can still put them to use making a little money while they’re parked.
A parked domain is one that you own but that you are not using at the moment.
If you want to make the domain "live," then you need to use a hosting service so that you can place content on the site. This is necessary in order to have a live domain. Otherwise all you have is a web domain name. Once you have a host, you can create pages of content and you can use AdSense to monetize those unused domains.
You can advertise on unused domains by placing AdSense ads on the pages of your parked domains if you follow AdSense rules and terms of service. But there are important details to keep in mind.
Include Useful Content on Parked Domains
If you do decide to place AdSense ads on your parked domains, you will need to have some content there too, otherwise the ads won’t work. I suggest you make it your business to write some useful content yourself, so it’s original, and make it relate to the domain name.
A match between the domain name and the keywords in your content will enhance the automatic placement of the proper ads that visitors might relate to, and they just might click on it.
So the thing is, you don’t want useless content, and you don’t want ads on a page all by themselves. You want content that will answer questions that people may be searching for. You need to consider this activity a business, so do some research if you need to. Write something useful to place on your parked domain site.
By no means should you copy your new content from somewhere else. Most content is copyrighted. You can lose your domain for copyright infringement. And you can be sued. Aside from copyright issues, duplicate content is easily detected by all search engines, and your site's ranking will suffer for it.
If you have multiple domains, don't use the same content on each one. That will only reduce the ranking of each site. It's going to take some time and hard work, but you should write original content unique to each domain name.
As I said, this is a business, and good business takes some effort.
How to Save Money on Domain Site Hosting
Hosting used to be expensive, but not anymore. Many hosts offer a service that lets one host multiple domains under one account at a fixed price. So there is no need to pay extra for each domain being hosted.
I have used many hosting services. Two that I highly recommend are Site5 and BlueHost. Both offer services where you can host an unlimited number of domains for a flat fee. From my own experience, I can tell you that they have a wonderful support system.
Despite the excellent service I received from Site5, I eventually switched to BlueHost because they offer a discount for the first billing. If you start with three years and prepay, you can apply that discount to all three years. I found this to be a huge savings.
I’m not mentioning prices here since they change from time to time. So you should do your own search for web hosts, and you need to check each one out yourself to compare.
I also suggest you do your due diligence by doing a simple search for any possible complaints about the hosting service.
Many hosts offer domain registration too. But I found cheaper registrars. One I like is name.com. You can register a domain with one company and host the site with another. All you need to do is set the DNS routing of the domain to the hosting company.
When someone places your URL in his or her browser, or clicks on the URL, your site is found by following the DNS addresses. Registrars do not charge extra when you set up DNS routing to another host.
Buying Domains to Use
If you want to buy domains to use with AdSense, you can find them by just typing ideas of names in your browser to see if they exist. Or you can search for expired domains.
There are many sites that help with this, and you can find them with a Google search for “Expired Domains.” You can also check for domains for sale on eBay.
Another way to get domains is to keep track of companies you might know who are going out of business. There is a possibility that these domains will still be getting traffic that might translate into some Google AdSense revenue.
How to Get an Expired Domain
If you see other domains that are about to expire, keep an eye out for when they become available. If it’s a domain that has great value, you may not be able to get your hands on it. Many firms grab these and then sell the names for a lot of money.
Sometimes you might be lucky. Check the domain's whois information as it approaches its expiration date. If you see that it's in a Redemption Period, then wait 30 days and check again. That is a mandatory waiting period that gives the other party time to pay up and keep their domain.
Final Thoughts on Using a Parked Domain
Earlier I spoke about including content on your parked domains so that meaningful ads get placed on those pages. That helps with SEO, so you get more generic traffic (traffic from search engines).
However, since your primary concern might be just holding on to domains, and not really making money from them, you might not bother with writing much content yet. If you do place AdSense ads on these sites, check the AdSense terms of service carefully. You may need a certain amount of content in relation to the number of ads you place.
If you don’t care about SEO for your parked domains, you might still get traffic from people who are just typing a domain name into their browser. This is where some ingenuity helps. If you can think of a good domain name that could be what people might happen to type directly into their browser, you'd get that traffic.
If you find a good domain with preexisting traffic, then you might just make some money from it based on the domain name itself.
Whatever you do, the main concern is keeping a parked domain alive to some degree until you are ready to use it to its full potential. Keep in mind what your ultimate goal is for any domain. You definitely don't want to do anything that might reduce its value going forward.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Glenn Stok
Keng Wongwittawat from Bangkok, Thailand on February 01, 2012:
Thank you! I've never known this before. I have over 100 domains that are not active. I will try your methods.
Chuck Bluestein from Morristown, AZ, USA on December 29, 2011:
Great article. I do not have a parked domain but I am thinking about parking one to save the hosting fee. Or I can mask it (points to an active website but does not show the URL for it).
Lisa HW from Massachusetts on March 21, 2011:
I'd heard of it, but never really paid much attention to it, so interesting read.