Many people are a bit confused about the concept of domain parking and they get even more puzzled when they hear that one can actually make money parking domains. Good thing you found this article, then, as it is meant to make you understand exactly what domain name parking is and how you can use it to your advantage.

When to Park a Domain

In most cases, people buy domain names when they’re just about to build a website. There are also cases where a person buys several domain names because he hasn’t really decided on which name to use for his website and he wants to prevent others from buying the names he’s choosing from while he’s still deciding. Whatever your situation is, there will definitely be a certain period of time when the domain you bought will just be lying there without an actual website. This is the best time for you to park your domain.

Domain Parking: How to Go about It

Parking a domain is similar to parking a car in the sense that you have a domain, but it’s just lying there without being used. With parked domains, however, you have the option to monetize the domain or not. When you choose not to monetize a parked domain, it will simply show a “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” message whenever a person types the domain name on his browser. When you decide to monetize your parked domain, it will show a temporary website where advertisements are displayed.

This is how you go about domain parking:

  1. Register a domain.
  2. Test the domain’s traffic. One thing you need to bear in mind is that the terms and conditions of all domain parking companies prohibit the advertising or promotion of parked domains. I repeat, you CANNOT advertise your parked domain to get traffic. This is why you need to first make sure the domain is already getting traffic before you work on monetizing it.
  3. Register with a parking company. Of course, you should take this step only when you’ve verified that your parked domain is getting a fair amount of traffic.
  4. Follow instructions on how to use the parking company’s service.
  5. Target the ads that appear on your parked domain such that they’re related to the domain name. This tip is especially important if you’re just parking the domain temporarily and plan to use it for an actual website someday. The ads should relate to the future content of your website.

This is how you earn money through your parked domain:

  1. An online user types your domain name into his browser.
  2. He is taken to the web page with the advertisements and links.
  3. If he finds an ad or link he’s interested in, he clicks on it.
  4. If the owner of the website where the ad or link leads to earns from that visit, he pays the parking company a certain amount and the parking company shares the amount with you, since the revenue came from your domain.

Choosing a Domain Name for Parking

How do you know whether a particular domain is a good candidate for parking? You’ll have to go through a verification process, of course. Let’s assume you’re still about to buy a domain. Whether you plan to use the domain for your website in the future or you simply want to hold it to prevent others from buying it, here’s how to make sure you can use it for parking purposes:

  1. Determine your niche and its staying power. Having a niche is important for any business because it provides you with a focus. And if you want your business to succeed, you’ll have to make sure your niche has a lasting appeal. The same is true for domain parking. The niche you choose for your domain should have lasting appeal so you can make the most out of it.
  2. Create a list of topics relevant to your chosen niche. For example, if your chosen niche is jewelry, you could list topics like bracelets, necklaces, anklets, engagement and wedding rings, and fashion earrings. Write down as many relevant topics as you can.
  3. Identify popular keywords for each topic on your list with the use of such tools as Google Keyword Tool. Create a separate list for keywords with the highest search volume for each topic, as these are the words that hold the most promise as domain names.
  4. Check for available domains based on the keywords you’ve identified using domain registration services like Godaddy.com or Domaintyper. List down the shortest domain names with .com extensions (stick to one-word domains if you can). Remember that shorter names are easier to remember and will therefore attract more traffic.

Choosing Parking Companies

It’s a good idea to register with more than one parking company. With the domain parking industry being very competitive, you do have a lot of good options. To begin with, you may want to consider these companies:

  1. Sedo – This is a good starting point where you can park your domain for a few weeks to get a fair gauge of your domain’s performance. You may then try to adjust your layouts or switch keywords to see if the domain’s performance improves.
  2. Voodoo – This company is known to offer the highest payouts. They also offer Auto Optimization, which automatically determines the best keywords and layout for your domain. If you don’t like this automatic function, they also give you the option of manually customizing your domain.
  3. DomainSponsor – This site is known for supporting foreign traffic and the Zero-click Model. It is one of the best-known brands assembled by Oversee.net, which is the brainchild of Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient Lawrence Ng. The site helps monetize over 2 million domains and there’s no reason for yours not to be one of them.

Whenever you choose domains for parking, be sure to avoid blacklisted domains, as these are almost impossible to monetize. You can use the Google Blacklist Tool to find out if a particular domain is still good or if it isn’t worth your time. As a final tip, you should always look at a domain investment as a loss until you actually start earning profits from it. Therefore, you should never spend more than what you can afford to lose.

About the Author: Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc a leading SEO company in Vancouver that provides services to businesses across North America.