First of all to clear up any confusion, I titled this post ‘developing’ your domain names because I am going to talk about developing the domains in your portfolio into something beyond a parked page NOT full blown web development, which is a very costly and time consuming task. What I want to focus on here is moving your domain portfolio (or parts of it) away from parked pages and shifting more towards creating landing pages, minisites, or blogs for domain names. Why? PPC revenue is on a serious decline and search engines don’t typically index parked pages. By ‘developing’ domains monetization, traffic and the value of your domain should all increase.
There are several ways to create a different feel for your domain when you type it into your browser instead of looking at the same old parking pages. Before you dive into these projects you’ll need a hosting account (preferably one that allows you to host multiple domains), knowledge using cpanel, and some html or even php background will really help. I practice three methods for ‘developing’ domains.
First, I like to create custom landing pages for domains, it’s quite easy using html or a template service. I like to do this when I am promoting domains for sale or if I have a nice looking logo for a specific domain. Here are a couple examples: http://www.regastar.com and http://thesopranos.info, http://www.pokeravenue.net. These custom landers only took me a few minutes to make and get online. I like to use affiliate banners for monetization on these since there is not enough content to use adsense.
Creating a ‘blog’ using WordPress or a similar blogging software is a good way to add content to any ordinary domain. It’s not hard to setup a blog using cpanel and with some frequent updating you can get your domain indexed in major search engines pretty fast. There is even software out there that auto-updates or aggregates news specifically on topics you define (I don’t use these, I like old fashion way of hand writing my articles). Here are a couple blog sites (besides this one) that I have up: http://www.abudhabiblog.com, http://www.sickcars.info (recently sold but still up). My blog sites are not monetized to their full potential but the earnings from these sites make it worth updating them with new content frequently. *There is lots of $$ to be made with serious blogging and many more ways to make money using your blog, do some research I am just scratching the surface here.
Lastly, I want to talk about minisites. Minisites are multipage websites that are created to provide information, articles, pictures, links, etc. on specific topics relating to the domain being used. Minisites differ from fully developed websites because they usually do not provide a service or sell a product, they are mostly informational. I have had far better PPC results from adsense clicks on my minisites than I have for a LONG time with parking. I prefer to use a great free service called Noomle to develop some of my minisites. Also, you wont need to use your own hosting account if you are going to develop minisites with Noomle. It is very easy and is not very time consuming. The nice thing about creating minisites is that you can always go back and add more content, pages, etc. So, by making minisites you should get your domains indexed in search engines, assuming your content is halfway decent (hopefully multiple pages of your site gets indexed). Naturally, this will increase traffic to your domain, increasing it’s value. Here is an example of a nicely developed noomle minisite (not mine): http://www.efollia.com, another I created myself (not using noomle): http://www.palmdeiradubai.com and a poker minisite I created last year using my own templates (now sold, but still up) http://www.pokerjedi.com.
Hopefully this will motivate you to ‘develop’ some of your domains into something other than a stale parking pages. Don’t get me wrong I still have much of my portfolio parked, but I try to set some time aside from buying, selling, and general domaining each month to ‘develop’ a domain or two.