It’s a fact of marketing life today that if something is for sale, someone has figured out a way to build a rewards program around it. Let’s take for example a domain rewards program. OK, most of you are asking “what the heck is that?” Allow me to explain.
Domains are website addresses, those things that start with http://. You have to register a domain before you can build a public website on top of it. There is a central registry for all domain names, called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is where your domain is catalogued, but you buy and register domains from any one of the dozens of domain name services on the Internet. You can register new ones – you make up the domain name – or purchase existing domains that have expired. There is even an auction market to sell expired domains that are considered valuable. A valuable domain is one that has had a lot of visitor traffic in the past and ranked highly on search engine results. You see, advertisers are willing to pay more for ads on highly ranked websites. That means more money in the pocket of the website owner.
Competition for registering domain names is pretty cutthroat. After all, each competitor offers basically the same service. How do they differentiate themselves? One way is through bulk discount incentive programs. For instance, one popular domain vendor offers a 31% when you purchase six or more domains at the same time. Another offers free private registration (it keeps your personal information private, protecting you from spam and scams) when you buy five domains. It’s nice to comparison shop among the different domain sales sites – there is always a good incentive plan lurking about.
Now that you have your domains, you probably want to extract some value out of them, but you don’t necessarily want to go through the hassle of creating a website, lining up advertisers, billing them and collecting your royalties, etc. There is an easier way to achieve domain monetization – you use parking companies. Basically, you point your domain name to a parking company, and it sets you up with an ad-filled website. You and the parking company share any ad revenue. The trick is to pick a domain name that will attract visitor traffic. But if you are ingenious enough when creating domain names, and you take advantage of bulk pricing when you register your domains, you just might be able to make a nice profit by letting a parking company do all the work for you.