I know I’m not the only affiliate with a portfolio of inactive domains. It happens to us all – even though we don’t have the time to build the websites, we get inspiration for a domain or website, find an excellent domain name and purchase it, even though we know full well there’s a very good chance we’ll never develop it.
So – what do we do with those inactive domains that are just sitting around gathering dust?
A lot of people like to use domain parking pay-per-click which has slightly relevant ads to the domain name. If anyone clicks those ads, the person that owns the domain name will make money from it. This might seem like a good idea – but really, you need an amazing type-in domain to make any serious money from something like that.
And if you have an amazing type-in domain, why the hell aren’t you developing it?
Pay-per-click domain parking may work in some areas online, but I don’t know anyone that has made much from it when it comes to the gambling industry.
So – what do we do with those undeveloped domains?
It’s very simple. You don’t have to install WordPress on them. You don’t have to build a mini website or anything like that. All you have to do is add one page of content. That’s it. Just one index.html file.
Write an article yourself, or get someone to write something for you. Try and make it at least 800 words, a solid piece of content, and talk about the website. Get some keywords in there. Make it one really good article about your site, or on the topic that your website is about. Get links to it, and get it indexed in our friends at Google and Bing.
One of the major reasons you should be doing this is it will help age your domain, and especially in this current day and age, an aged domain is a lot more valuable than a brand new domain. An aged domain or website generally has a lot more “trust” in Google than a new domain.
To use a real life analogy – let’s say you want to buy an Ipod Touch and you have two choices. You can buy it from Steves Ipod Store or Joes Ipod Store. Both have the exact same prices and deals. The only difference is Steves store has been around for five years, while Joes store just opened yesterday.
Are you really going to buy from Joes store? You have no idea if he is a fly by night operation, while Steves store has been in business for 5 years, so you can assume Steve isn’t going anywhere, and that he must have built some sort of reputation and trust to still be in business 5 years later.
That’s a large part of how search engines work. Given two websites of exact same value, the older website is going to be the one that the search engine indicates first. Especially in this day and age where so many spam sites and blatant affiliate marketing websites are opening up every day – Google and Bing are going to trust the older websites more than the newer websites.
(Not that I am stating that you can’t dominate the SERPS with a new domain – but it’s going to be a lot easier to rank with a trusted domain.)
By getting the domain indexed, you’re also going to have a very good chance of avoiding the Google Sandbox Effect(Assuming you believe in this).
The sandbox effect usually only affects new websites, so in 2 years time when you decide to build on this website, you will not have the sandbox effect to deal with. Or if you decide to sell the domain, you will be able to make a lot more money. Believe me – people will spend more money on a domain that is indexed and has had an active website for 2 years compared to a brand new website sitting on a parking page for 3 years.
Of course you shouldn’t JUST do one article – you should go one step further. I’ll show you a few of the websites I have set up so you see what I mean:
- 7 Card Stud Guide
- Big Jackpot Slots
- Dealers Choice Poker
- Play Cribbage for Real Money
- Poker Bad Beat Jackpots
- Where To Play Razz Online
Go on, have a look at any those. Now notice what I’ve done. I haven’t just stuffed random content in an index.html file to satisfy search engines – I’ve made a page that is appealing for the potential web visitor too. It’s a nice simple design and easy to read. Even more – I’ve given myself the chance to make money from those websites. I’ve provided information that the visitor may be looking for and provided affiliate links to poker rooms and casinos.
But wait – I’ve also went one step further. I’ve added the option to enter your e-mail address, so that when the website is launched, I send them an e-mail letting them know that the website is up. So I get to harvest e-mail addresses, and if I choose to launch the site, I’m able to market it to people right off the bat.
You can also use all this to judge what sites you should develop. Do you get some long tail hits on a certain site? Does one website get a lot of e-mail subscriptions? Then that is a site I may want to develop, and push up on my priority list. The Play Cribbage Online website for example has already made me some affiliate money, has had a fair bit of traffic and quite a few e-mail signups, so immediately that jumps up my priority list.
For a website like that especially – where I don’t know if it is going to make any money – something like this is a great move. I’ve tackled risky niches before where I am not sure if they will make money, and have spent valuable time and money developing a website only to see it get no visitors, despite a lot of hard work and effort.
By creating this index page and monitoring the stats, I know there is an audience out there that is interested in playing cribbage online for real money, therefore it is a lot less of a risk when I develop the website.
Of course you can take it one step further. What if my Poker Bad Beat Jackpots website gets hits for a phrase like “poker bad beat jackpot strategy”? Well, I could set up an additional page on that site that deals specifically with poker bad beat jackpot strategy, and get more visitors that way. I could even write up an e-book on bad beat jackpot strategy and push it on the website, in exchange for money, signing up at a poker room or even just e-mail addresses.
Who knows – it may even give me ideas for other domains. What if my Online Poker for Fun website gets a lot of hits for the phrase “Poker Play Money”? Well, I may want to build a whole new website specifically for that.
To summarize – why aren’t you doing this with your current domains? Can you think of one good reason as to why you shouldn’t do this, compared to the multiple reasons I listed as to why you should?
Because I can’t.