Cash Parking with Content

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B&W drawing of chef tossing pizza pieMost of my “normal” friends never heard of cash parking or domain monetization. And some domainers I’ve spoken to don’t realize that there are parking sites that allow you to add your own content to a parked page. I’ll try to address both audiences.

For the uninitiated, domains are web addresses. Not websites, just addresses. You can choose to build a website that will reside at the domain, but you can also park the domain. Parking is when you hand your domain address over to a cash parking site. They apply a template to it, fill the template with ads, and host the site on their own server. It may sound a little bizarre, but there are millions of dollars changing hands in this tidy little business. The reason? Click-through advertising! Hopefully, someone will find your website, click on one of the ads, and then buy whatever is being sold. You and the parker get a piece of the action. If it sounds unlikely, you’re right, it is. But every once in a while, that lucky click will come through, and you’ll collect, um, well a few coins, or perhaps some serious latte money if the goods are pricey enough.

Why would someone suddenly show up at your domain, much less click on an ad? There are a couple of ways it could happen. First, you could think up a new, terrific domain address and buy it for about $10. The address is terrific because it exactly matches a possible search engine query typed in by one of our planet’s inhabitants. Think “sex.com”, which recently auctioned for a large fortune. Now, if you can’t think of a brilliant new domain, you can buy an old one that has “dropped” – lost its previous owner and is now up for sale or auction. They can be much more costly. What you hope to buy is a site address that is heavily bookmarked and linked, so that it generates a lot of organic (unpaid-for) traffic. That’s a hard process to make work; I’ll address it in a later blog.

So, you’ve signed your domain over to a parking company, and just hope someone finds it with a search engine. Can you do anything other than hope? Why yes, you can put some content on the page (about 250 words) that may increase the likelihood of being found by a search engine. For example, if you had, in an instance of blinding brilliance, shucked out ten bucks for pizzaratings.net, you would be fighting against hundreds of parked pages and real websites featuring pizza-related themes. Get in the game by writing a keyword-rich ode to the glories of pizza and paste it on the web page – it’s not much, but its free and it can’t hurt.

Not all parkers offer this service. One that does is parked.com; there are no doubt plenty of others. You may not make any money with this scheme, but at least you get to practice your writing (budding freelance writers take note), and you get bragging rights at the next big game when the conversation turns to pizza.

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Copyright 2011 Eric Bank, Freelance Writer

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