This hustle requires a small investment (usually $5 to $10 dollars), but when done correctly it can yield much, much money in the return on your investment!
On the internet, websites technically are identified with a number called an Internet Protocol address (or IP address for short). It’s similar to your street address, i.e. 123 Main Street or 521 Peters Street, but it’s a longer set of numbers. Since it would be a pain to remember that long sequence of 8 or more numbers, people normally identify websites through their domain names, i.e. google.com, yahoo.com, etc. Well there is an industry where people have discovered that you can make money by registering and selling these names to the top bidder. The people who do this are called domainers, and buying and selling domain names is what they do for a living. To get more background information on these internet pioneers, check out this article from CNN: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/busi…64591/index.htm
Of course, in order to make the most money you site needs lots and lots of traffic. Domainers will buy a domain that has the kind of high traffic that they can profit from. There are 3 main ways they do this:
1) Buying expired domains that had some traffic. Buy a boatload of these and either resell or make money off Pay Per click programs. Here’s a story on a dude that made over $100 million dollars doing this kind of thing: http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/002073.html
2) Buying typos. Let’s say for instance there is a brand new website that pops up (kinda like MySpace or YouTube a couple of years ago), the site does a lot of advertising and gets people to come to the site. It gets branded heavily, and the word spreads about the site through word-of-mouth advertising. Now the site is able to make a TON of money because it has good traffic, it may show a few advertisements, and it probably has faithful subscribers.
So how does all of this benefit the domainer?
A domainer buys the typo variations of the site and makes money sending traffic to the same site (as an affiliate). In other words, the domainer gets paid BIG TIME just for kicking back and taking advantage of the bad spellers and accidental typos! The sponsor does all the heavy work branding their site and domainer just redirects the traffic and collects payments on the lost traffic. How easy is that?
3) Buying domains based on traffic trends. Using sophisticated tools and databases, domainers figure out the new trends in website traffic and buy type in domains for those. Example: If Nike releases a new product that uses regular words as its name, such as “‘new shoe’ by Nike,” a domainer will buy newshoe.com or nushoo.com or newshoo.com and other variations. Typically Nike or any other corporate giant argue any kind of copyright or trademark infringement because the name of the site comprises the use of common words. However, if Nike trademarked a name such as ‘Nikeaza’ or something else that is very distinctive, they may indeed have a case. If you try to register a ‘proper’ name that describes a company product or service, the legal department of that company name send you a cease & desist letter with wording that isn’t too friendly. As long as you are careful and use a bit of common sense, you should be okay.
Despite employing the methods listed above, domainers still look for domains that have good traffic. You can help them (and help yourself in the process) by coming up with a distinctive name involving a product type or hobby that you like. For example: 555baseball, Movie333, howtoplow or something along those lines. Make it something that is distinctive and easy to remember. Availability and your imagination are your only limitations here.
Now, here’s how you make money with that domain:
1) After you come up with a name, check it’s availability and register it at any domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.com or 1&1.com or or another inexpensive domain registrar. Some charge around $9 a year, while others like 1&1 charge much less. Register your new domain for at least 2 years (the maximum is 10 years) and use that time to build it and create good content.
2) While you build your site, let it make money for you! Park your site on sedo.com so you get paid for straggler traffic. The key here is to build traffic history for your domain.
3) Advertise your site! Place your domain name on anything you can think of, such as your myspace page, friendster, personal profiles, etc. Put it in your e-mail signature line. Hate those e-mail chain letters? Now put them to use by placing your site in one of your ‘replies’ or ‘forwards’ and send it back to the person that sent it to you (hey, they ASKED for it! But just don’t spam anyone who didn’t ask or won’t be receptive to it). Some websites and forums have signature lines, so you can also place it there. Again, creativity is key, so use your imagination and don’t be shy! The more you advertise the more people know about it, so make advertising a habit.
4) Keep up your efforts and monitor your traffic at sedo or wherever you parked it. Once you get enough traffic you can put it up for auction at sedo and other sites like it, or even on eBay.Once you begin, it doesn’t take that much effort to maintain and repeat the process. The key is to make your promotions a habit. It’s kinda like real estate…prices only goes up with time and increased exposure, often with little or no skills involved!
If you think you can do this, you can get started right now! Below I’ve included a way to check and register your domain, so be sure to use it! You never know until you try, and you don’t want to look back and say “I wish…” We’ve all done it when Google and Microsoft blew up only a few years after their stock IPO’s. Don’t make the same mistake twice!!
Much thanks to D Town for his contribution.