6 Ways People Fail at Monetizing Domains With Affiliate Offers

We’ve all been there… you see that perfect domain name… it’s keyword optimized as a perfect match for a high volume search term. We think to ourselves, “cool, I can pick this up and monetize it with affiliate offers and make some sweet money!” Ok, maybe it’s just me. I am a big fan of domain names and have been for almost two decades. I have made that fatal mistake and let those Google search volume numbers get me excited enough to buy a domain name. I often see domain names and start to think about how I can monetize them and affiliate offers quickly come to mind.

Truth be told, I still own over 100 domains names, although I really am liquidating many of them. In fact, when I used to sell one, I would often buy a few more to replace it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve made great returns on my domains. One time I sold one for $1,000 and bought 5 more in the same niche for $7 each, then sold one of those for $1,000 as well. It’s a great business if you know how to buy low and sell high, but I am straying from my topic.

So where do people go wrong in monetizing their domains with affiliate offers?

  • Assuming That a Domain Name Will Generate Traffic On It’s Own. A keyword rich domain name is no longer an automatic indicator of website traffic. The exception is if it a dictionary word, but if you have one of those, you most likely know what you are doing.
  • Failure To Launch. I won’t indict anyone else, I will put myself on the stand. I have bought (many) domains with great intention, but I simply did not do anything with them. In fact, I just renewed one that I had “great plans” for and I feel in love with it do much that I just had to renew it.
  • Overpaying for Domain Names. If you are a domainer, I highly recommend GoDaddy’s Discount Domain Club where for an annual fee ($120 at last check) you get wholesale prices that drop all of the cost of your domain name purchases and renewals. If you have 22 domain names, it makes financial sense.
  • Broken Links. There are several ways to send traffic to an affiliate offer. Sadly, technology failures occur that can interfere with your ability to have your domain reach your affiliate offer. Check your links from time to time to make sure they are still active.
  • Slow Servers. One time I was promoting a program where we expected to have lots of traffic. The Chief Marketing Officer for the company I was promoting happened to mention that my domain redirects were very slow and could result in people abandoning the search. I was using a registrar forwarding, however I upgraded to a shared hosting server and implemented server side 301 redirects which sped things up a bit. We never got the “massive” traffic spike we expected for the campaign, but I did see several sales come through the updated links.
  • Serving a Niche They Don’t Know Well. This is another area where I have personally failed in the past. While it seems simple enough to find an offer and connect it to a domain, the work that needs to be done to actually get relevant traffic to the offer really requires expertise or time, and most of us are limited on time. I do have a few of these that I have renewed for the past few years that I will finally be letting go when their renewal comes due.

I hope I haven’t discouraged you 🙂 If you get rid of domain names that are never going to produce for you, I have actually put you money ahead. My advice is to be real with yourself and make sure you don’t have anything that is robbing your focus from what will actually make you good money.

Most of all, get out there and make it happen!


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