There are two main ways that you can make money from domain names – you can either use a domain name that means something (eg business.com) or you can use a domain that gets a lot of visitors. It may surprise you to learn that these domain names are not necessarily the same thing.
Most of the domains which are a word or phrase are already taken. To get a domain that means something you need to think latterly, think ahead and register a domain name before anyone else thinks of it. For example, in the boating world there were yachts, then super yachts, and perhaps now mega yachts – so if you can think of what the next term will be, then it may be worth your while registering the domain and waiting for a few years until the term becomes widely used. If you get it right then you may well be the owner of a domain name worth a lot of money.
The other way of making money with domains is to get a domain name that already has a lot of visitors, and then monetizing the domain – normally through advertising. This can be a lucrative business for those with the knowledge of how to find well visited domains and I will now try to explain how these domains come about, and how you can find them.
It is important to realize the distinction between a domain name, and a website. A good analogy is to think of the domain name like a telephone number, and the website as a company. When you call the telephone number you get to talk to someone at the company, which is similar to when you enter a domain in an internet browser you get to see the underlying website.
Imagine a sales company starts up, promotes its telephone number, and then at a later date the company ceases to trade. People will still be calling the telephone number even though there will be no one to answer it. If you were in competition with the original company, it could prove lucrative to have their old telephone number redirected to your company.
Domains and websites work in a similar way. A domain name gets registered, a website gets built, and then the domain/website is promoted all over the internet, sometimes with thousands of links pointing to it, which results in thousands of visitors. But a domain name can only be registered for a set period of time and at the end of this period the owner can chose to renew the registration. However, domains don’t always get renewed, so the domain becomes available again to be registered by anyone else.
These domains are called expiring domains (or expired after they become available to register again). If you can find an expiring domain that has been well promoted then you will have the opportunity of registering that domain, and making money from it. So the trick is to find these valuable domains. You need to find domains which are about to become available again, and then figure out how many links are pointing at each domain – in general the more links pointing at a domain, the more visitors a domain, and hence website, is going to get. This can be a lot of work, but there are websites that can provide you with this information.