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In the third quarter of 2023, there were around 359.3 million domain name registrations, a 2.7 million increase from the previous quarter.

We’d wager that a fair number of those domains were parked, at least temporarily. If you’re interested in domain parking — or want to know if you can make money from it — you’ve come to the right place.  

Unlike vehicle parking, domain parking doesn’t involve any spatial awareness or exorbitant hourly fees. But to cash in on this practice, you should follow some basic tips.  

What is a parked domain?

If you buy a domain name and “park” it, you own it, but you don’t exactly use it as a normal website. Instead, you’re generally reserving it for future use or trying to make a quick buck by advertising on it.

It’s common for a parked domain to have no real website elements, save for some advertisement links on a very basic landing page.

Sound familiar? You’ve probably stumbled upon a parked page during general browsing.

You may have misspelled a website name, like www.gogle.com. But Google doesn’t miss a trick — if you arrive at this parked domain, which Google bought, you’ll be redirected to the main domain (google.com). 

Also, you may have accidentally added a .com to a keyword you’re looking for (quietquitting.com). 

You can end up at a parked domain if you accidentally add a URL extension to a keyword, like “quietquitting.com.”

If your parked domain gets enough traffic — and, crucially, if visitors click on its advertisement links — you could make some relatively easy cash from it.

Parking a domain is like parking a truck with advertisements (aka, a mobile billboard) on the side of the road for passers-by to see. Your truck is locked, so no one can use it, but if your advertisements grab people’s attention, you might earn some gas money.  

How to make money with domain parking

To earn from domain parking, you’ll need more than an impossible-to-remember Internet Protocol (IP) address for a basic webpage. After all, the entire premise of a monetized parked domain is attracting keyword searchers and sloppy typers to your page.

Steps for domain registration and parking.

1. Choose and register a domain name

If you don’t own a domain name yet, this is your first step. Remember that popular domain names are quickly snapped up, so don’t wait if you have the perfect name in mind. 

You can use the search bar on the Bluehost domains page to see if a domain has already been taken. If you’ve found an available domain name, you can register it with Bluehost. You’ll benefit from auto-renewal, domain forwarding and domain locking, all from an easy-to-use control panel.      

If your preferred name is taken, check whether it’s available under a different top-level domain (TLD). For example, you could register it under .netif .comis taken, which is somewhat likely, considering that nearly 46% of all websites use the .com TLD.

If your first motive in registering and parking a domain is to generate ad revenue from popular search terms, then you should do some keyword research before registering a domain name. This will help you gain the most type-in traffic (generated when users type the web address into their browser).  

When you’re all set, register your domain name for whatever length of time you want. If you’re just starting out, a year-long contract might work to keep costs down.

Typically, the longest period you can register a domain for is 10 years due to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) rules. 

2. Secure your domain name

After registration, you’ll need to lock in your domain. This prevents unauthorized parties from trying to transfer it. You might also want domain privacy protection, which ensures that the public (and potential scammers) can’t access the personal information you used to register your domain.   

If you register your domain with Bluehost, domain locking is included as standard, and domain privacy protection is available as an add-on.

3. Find a domain parking service

To earn from ads, look for a good domain parking service. As part of this service, the company will change your website’s landing page or homepage to show ads related to your domain name.

A domain parking service teams up with advertising partners to decide which ads show on your page. This decision could be based on your specific domain keywords or the traffic your website has generated.  

Some of them let you park your domains for free, and they’ll take a cut of the money gained from display ad clicks on your pages. Also, some services provide traffic data, which can help you sell your domain down the line.

If you own a large number of domains and are looking to park them with one service provider, you might get special perks, such as access to a personal account manager.

4. Change your domain name server (DNS) settings

You’ll need to change your DNS for advertising purposes. Your parking service will give instructions on what your parked page’s new nameserver or IP address should be. Note down your original settings in case you want to unpark your domain later.

If you’re a Bluehost customer, you can manage your DNS settings under Domains > Advanced Tools in your Bluehost Account Manager

Alternatives to domain parking services

Although parking services are a common way to make money from parked domains, they’re not the only game in town. Here are a few other options: 

Redirecting

One indirect method of making money (or at least boosting traffic) from a parked domain is to buy a domain name that is similar to your main website’s homepage. For example, say your website is called parkeddomains.com. You could buy up and park parkedomains.net and parkeddomains.tech and then redirect them to your primary domain.

Once you buy the additional domains, you can configure your redirect settings using your web hosting provider’s control panel or account manager.

Bluehost customers can do this by opening cPanel and scrolling down to Domains > Redirects.

Domain redirects in Bluehost’s cPanel.

Here, you can manage your permanent and temporary redirects.

Redirect settings for Bluehost customers.

Waiting

You can also register domains based on speculation (spacetourism.com) or a business idea that you haven’t got off the ground just yet (californiabikes.com). In general, the sooner you buy a domain, the cheaper it will be, so it pays to register a domain long before you intend to use it.

You can park a domain for a new business idea, like californiabikes.com.

Flipping

People engaged in selling domains, sometimes known as domain flipping, might park a domain for a while to make some passive income before selling it for a higher price than they originally paid.

During this period, the parked domain might give visitors information on how to buy it or state that a new website is under construction or coming soon.    

Domain parking for cash: best practices

Here are some best practices you should consider during different stages of your domain parking trip.  

Domain parking could be a good earner for your business if you follow these best practices.

Choose your domain name wisely

Do some keyword research, but watch out for buzzwords that might not stand the test of time. For example, “barbenheimer.us” probably has a limited shelf-life. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest can help you find useful domain names related to your website’s future audience or content. 

Go for a reputable domain registrar and parking service

You can buy a new domain from Bluehost in a range of top-level domains, such as the ever-popular .comand the flashy .tech. Also, if you want to purchase shared hosting or dedicated web hosting services, you’ll get a free domain name for a year.

Bluehost is a trustworthy domain name registrar.

Do some research on domain parking services, and pick a company that has been in business for a while and has good reviews. 

Avoid cybersquatting 

Don’t try to profit off a company name that isn’t yours. This unethical use of personal names, company names or trademarks could land you in legal trouble, which will be a huge waste of time and money.    

Watch out for domain expiration dates

If you choose a good domain registrar, it should auto-renew your domain before it expires or at least notify you well in advance.

If your domain expires, someone else can buy your domain name, and they’ll be well-positioned to capitalize on your business acumen (or luck). 

On the flip side, you can use ICANN’s Lookup tool and check out when certain domains are due to expire. With some domain name savvy, you could snap up a bargain after the original owner’s domain redemption grace period lapses.

Consider your website’s reputation

Don’t let domain parking damage a future website’s reputation before it even launches. If you’ve seen parked domains before, you’ve likely noticed that the generic ads and website templates can look tacky.

This could have a detrimental effect on your business prospects. For example, if you’re launching an upscale website in the future, but people visit it when it’s being run by a parking service, they might get a bad first impression.

In this case, it might be better to create an ad-free landing page for marketing purposes.   

Know when to cut your losses

If you have a laundry list of parked domains that are draining your finances and showing no ad-based earning potential, move on to another venture. Monetized domain parking is a tricky business that won’t work for everyone.

Final thoughts: Domain parking — your guide to monetizing domain assets

Without a domain to park, your venture is doomed from the start. So, your first port of call should be a well-known domain registration provider, like Bluehost.

And if your domain parking side hustle goes awry, consider putting your catchy domain names to better use.

You could repackage a parked domain into a fully fledged website, such as a blog or eCommerce store.

Need some help building a WordPress website? Check out Bluehost’s website builder, which is perfect for launching eye-catching and feature-rich websites in a flash.  

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    Education
    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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