NEW YORK – Unless you have been living in a cave for the last few years, you’ve caught wind that parking your domain names is potentially the worst thing you can do to monetize them. Today, you need to DEVELOP your domain names into real web services to earn realistic profits from them, but development is not always easy, especially if you do not know how to do any of it yourself, as it can be VERY EXPENSIVE.
Development involves an ‘idea’, planning, design, development, testing, hosting and marketing. The more you know how to do yourself, the more profitable your website will be; if you need to farm-out every single aspect of it, you’re leaving very little room for profits unless you have an absolutely golden idea.
As far as getting your project off the ground, what you need to do is find a good developer to help you develop your domain ideas, or a good team of developers, likely overseas, so that your costs can be minimal, compared to what you might pay here in the United States, or any other more economically developed country.
Here are some basic options:
- OPTION #1 – Learn about writing content, web hosting, DNS services for your domain, and HTML so that you can do most, if not all of the creation and development yourself. If your site has to do complicated things, such as allowing user log-ins, you’re going to need to learn some programming and basic database administration too. I suggest the combination of PHP and MySQL as they are both reasonably easy to comprehend with good effort and easy to find programmers for.
- OPTION #2 – Find and hire a single good freelance programmer who also has talent with visual elements and the UI (user interface) so that he or she can build not only your websites functions, but can build the front end as well as the look and feel of the site and service.
- OPTION #3 – Find and hire a single good freelance programmer who has friends and associates who are also freelancing and he or she can help you choose when to hire and pull others in on the projects.
- OPTION #4 – Find a full development company who has access to a well-rounded talent pool such as one of each or several programmers, graphic artists, and basic search engine optimization people.
This is something you should spend a great deal of time vetting for as the people you consider working with need to be, in my opinion, more trustworthy, then super talented – it is often difficult to find both. In these situations, I personally value trust first and foremost, over talent, as these people may, from time to time, require access to things you might not ordinarily be comfortable giving out, such as access to your DNS records, advertisement panels, PayPal or point of sale accounts for APIs or other secure portions of your domain and/or hosting control panels.
Depending on your level of expertise, will depend greatly on what types of access you would need to give out; I recommend giving out as little as humanly possible, in even the best case scenarios, because anyone can make mistakes and/or are vulnerable to computer compromise. Plus, no one will likely store, save and keep hidden your credentials as much as you will.
So if you have some ideas for some of your domains and have been hesitant to do anything with them, you’ll potentially never realize their full potential until you bite-the-bullet and build them out into what you have been dreaming they could one day be. It might be cheaper than you think.
Just try to find the best developers and partners you possibly can. Vet them well and get to know them with a small test project. There are tons of freelance developers out there and many companies looking for work. They are everywhere, the domain forums, Linkedin, Freelance sites, even Craigslist; you name it. Just go to any of these sites and search for ‘freelance developer’ and you’ll see they are easy to find.
With a little luck, that domain you have been holding onto because you know what it ‘could be’ one day, might be better off yours forever, earning while you’re asleep, rather than selling for a decent one time return.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Searchen Networks Inc. and Internet Advertising Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, authored a ‘how to’ book called ‘‘Mastering Your Website’, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy company Searchen Networks®