Parking is great. You can resolve a domain name to some name servers, add the domain name to your favorite parking account, and let the visitors and clicks roll in. This is easy, but it also pays less than the potential of building out a new site with actual content and gaining revenue directly from your visitors.
With development, there are a couple things you may want to keep in mind. If you are going to be developing a site and you need a really awesome domain name, then you will probably have to look at buying one from someone else on the secondary market. However, if the domain name just needs to be a roundabout description of your site then the chances are you can find it cheap and easy.
Coolgames.com may cost you $x,xxx, while coolwebgames.com may only cost you $xxx, while coolwebgames.info might only cost you about $10 (right now it is not even registered.)
Always keep in mind that if you start running your own site with a domain name, you don’t have to buy it on the secondary market in order for it to have some value. It will attain value once you start putting time and money into it. Development is what makes the domain worth the most because it is no longer just a domain; it’s a “web estate.”
Which Extension Should I buy for a Site I am Going to Develop?
Obviously, if you are going to build a web site you will want the .com if it is available. However, if it is not available or if you cannot afford the .com, but you really like the name then you can choose from the other available extensions. Coolwebgames.info is a fun name, but you need to keep in mind the way the human mind works. If you use anything other than a .com for your web site you can expect to lose up to 10% (on a good day) of the traffic that is looking for your web site.
Example: people looking for Epik.net will accidentally type in Epik.com
Why? Because .com is king! People expect a popular subject to be on the .com version of the domain. Even if a site is heavily branded with the extension (i.e. authorize.net) people will still sometimes type in the .com out of habit.
To state it again, you can expect to lose up to 10% of your traffic to the .com if you are using ANYTHING other than the .com. (At least in the USA as we use the .com as the extension of choice.) Things are a bit different around the world where the ccTLD’s (country code top level domain) are bigger, but .com will be the most used the majority of the time.
Let’s qualify .com with a caveat however; Comcast.net and Authorize.net are BIG brands with tens of millions spent on advertising their .net domain names. With a nominal budget, the stats may be even worse for the non-.com domain owner. SpringfieldSeptic.net on a car-door magnet is a fleeting memory of motorists passing by. By not having constant online, TV, print, radio, and other omnichannel marketing touchpoints to SpringfieldSeptic.net, users typing that domain may be far more likely to type in the .com. It wouldn’t be surprising if 50% or more of that typed-in traffic is lost to the .com.
I am not saying to not use any other extension, I am just saying that going with other extensions can and will cause confusion or mistypes with some people. It is always better to get the .com if you can. If the .com is unattainable then go for the .net. If the .net is unavailable, then it is your choice. There are a lot of extensions out there and you have a huge variety to choose from.
Going Straight to the Ad Provider
When you send traffic to a parking company, that company takes a cut of the money that the ad clicks generate and then gives you what’s left. When you develop a site to go with your domain, you put all of the work in yourself, but you also keep all of the money generated from the clicks made and products sold, etc. It takes more work, but it is also makes more money.
Do you own a domain like MyArcade.com? Does it get traffic from people looking for an arcade site? Buy an arcade script and integrate Google Adsense or Yahoo Publisher throughout the site. When visitors click on the Google Adsense banners then you will get paid. Typically, Adsense clicks pay much more than a click from Sedo.com or anyone else.
If building out a site is so profitable why doesn’t everybody do it? Two reasons: time and knowledge. Most often people do not have the time to develop a site. It is easier to get a domain that makes money and park it than it is to actually take the time to develop it. To a lot of people, if a domain is already making money there is no reason to focus on it as there are plenty of other things they could be doing.
The second reason is know-how. Many people have no concept how to get started designing, hosting, or implementing any kind of semantics involving a web site. The great thing about the Internet is that there are tons of people out there who can help you with building out your site. It does not matter if you do not know how to design one yourself. If you have a great domain that has tons of generic type-in traffic, it is probably a good idea to get a site built ASAP with an integrated affiliate program, Google Adsense, third-party pop up ads, or anything else to get increased revenue instead of just a few dollars from parking.
To the above note, you will almost always get paid more for developing your own site than if you use a parking company. But the downside is that designing a website and hosting it takes a lot of work.