That’s a title you’re not going to see on most domainers blogs but I can guarantee many people are holding domains that don’t even generate enough revenue to pay for renewal fees. I treat my domain portfolio like a company. I don’t necessarily have to make money this year, but if I don’t break even I’m going to have to make some layoffs. Layoffs are drops or sales. I won’t sell my moneymakers or premium names. I don’t want to be like the idiot government of Illinois and sell off my parking meters to a private company. I won’t give up strong long term cash flow for near term gain. I simply figure out on Jan 1 what it costs to renew these domains and that’s my sales goal. I really don’t care how I make the money, whether it’s parking revenue, a site’s ad sales, or the actual sale of a domain, it has to break even or I will cut the domains that are least likely to resell or bring in revenue. Sounds simple enough but there’s a catch.
I’ve easily reached that total because of a few good sites so I’ve decided to “split up the company” and not count the full sites in the domains. These sites each bring in enough for renewal every day and are skewing the results so I now use that money only for acquisitions and site improvement. Revenue from fully developed sites go back into new names or developing sites. That leaves the micro sites and parked names on their own and forces me to develop more names to reach my goal. I find that by forcing myself to look at what my domains are really generating, that I am more inclined to either pick better names or develop the name to the point it can generate enough revenue to pay for itself. Usually it does much more than that. It generates enough to pay for a few more “gambles” I’ve made that could pay off later. This has taught me another lesson.
If you learn wordpress and get a good hosting company, you can put up 6 sites for the cost of paying someone to do one. Yes, my time is very valuable, and yes AEIOU does a great job, but it is certainly something you can do yourself. I compare it to mowing your lawn. Sure you can pay someone to do it but it’s really not that hard and it’s good for you to get out a little and move. When you develop your own site, you are learning how to do it so that if you want to make changes you can do them quickly. You become proficient at wordpress which will enable you to crank out sites or take one site and really make it nice and valuable to the people that may come to it.
In summary, if you can’t generate enough income with your domain to pay for renewal you really need to take a hard look at whether that domain needs to be a part of your portfolio. It doesn’t necessarily have to be through parking. Companies have many different ways of making money and many of them are not the way the original owners planned on generating revenue. But they have to generate revenue and if they don’t cut expenses until they do or shut ‘er down and liquidate so you don’t lose any more money