Trying Out a New Side Jam — GoDaddy Domain Parking
I have a confession to make.
In the last 6 months or so, I’ve become a domain junkie.
It started out pretty harmless. I’d think of a cute name, go online, and see if anyone already had that domain.
Or I’d check out the domain auctions and bargain bin sales, to see if I could get a great deal on something I might be able to use in the future.
And of course, you pretty much have to do a search on your own name. And then look up the names of your family and friends — and dogs, just in case. (Unfortunately, all of our names are already taken).
But anyway — that’s how it all started. Tooling around on the internet. Seeing what interesting or quirky domain names I could find. Picking up a few here and there, in case I wanted to start a new project down the road.
Forgetting the fact that I already had buyer’s remorse with my primary domain name.
I mean, going back 2 years ago — would I really buy “sidejambiz” again? Probably not. But I thought I was sooo amazingly clever to come up with the term “side jams”– and was heartbroken that someone already owned that domain.
So my next great idea was to add “biz” to the end — because surely that made sense, right? But never mind the difficulty in explaining it to people verbally, so they could actually go online to find it.
And then there was that time I tried to actually buy sidejams from the current owner (a large domain reseller). They offered to sell it to me for $1,500 — which really isn’t that horrible of a price — but would’ve been a huge mistake for me financially. Thank goodness I had a few online cohorts to talk me off the edge of that cliff in time.
But when it comes to most of my obsessions, I have a tendency to go overboard. Could be the OCD in me, because I tend to become infatuated with accumulating things I decide I like.
Whether it’s a pair of shoes, comfy sweater, or eyeglass frames. If I become enamored with it, then I’m buying it in every color and style.
And do you see how this type of behavior might mess someone up financially?
While I’m still working to come to terms with these obsessions, it has been quite the journey. The amount of excess afforded to these seemingly ridiculous possessions, and the recent resolve to minimize the gathering of “things”.
Once you acknowledge how ineffective it is to pursue happiness through acquiring material possessions, it really opens your eyes to a whole new world.
Why Sign Up with GoDaddy Domain Parking?
So why would I decide to sign up for Domain Cash Parking with GoDaddy — Well, it really was more of a “Why not?”
As most stories often start out, I was wasting time surfing the internet. Hoping to stumble across the holy grail that would catapult my online money making opportunities. Because so many randomly-random people have found success on the internet. Surely there was room for one more.
And as I browsed GoDaddy’s domain auctions, looking for anything that was ending soon and had a fair amount of traffic (with a low purchase price) — a link caught my eye.
Cash. Parking. Now what in the world could that be?
Basically, if you have a bunch of URLs just laying around, you can set them up on GoDaddy’s nameservers and have ads placed on them.
Anyone who lands on the site and clicks on those ads will send income to you. Passively.
What’s the Difference Between GoDaddy’s Regular Domain Parking and CashParking?
Okay, so whenever you purchase a domain name (through GoDaddy, or any other domain registrar), it will be initially parked somewhere, while it waits for you to do something with it. The majority of the time, your registrar will do that for free.
Once you purchase your domain, it will be set up with the GoDaddy default nameservers. And there it will sit, floating around in cyberspace, until you connect it to a hosting service & turn it into a functional and customized website.
However, with GoDaddy Domain CashParking you change the default GoDaddy nameservers to specific nameservers for CashParking.
If you’re not sure how to change your nameserver in GoDaddy, it actually is pretty easy. The section where you would do this on your GoDaddy account is in your Domain Manager. (Which is, incidentally, the same section where you’d add a GoDaddy CNAME, if you wanted to map a subdomain to another domain ).
For the specific URL, you’d go to Manage DNS, and scroll down to the Nameservers section. And it’s here that you would either choose Default or Custom.
And once you’ve changed the default nameservers to the custom ones for CashParking (ns01.cashparking.com/ns02.cashparking.com), you’ll be ready to get started with earning passive income through your domains.
Can You Customize or Optimize Your Domain Parking?
When it comes to your default GoDaddy domain parking, no — there is no customization. The page will display verbiage such as “This web page is parked FREE, courtesy of GoDaddy”.
With GoDaddy CashParking, however, you do have some options. Once you add your domain to the CashParking dashboard, you can choose to have your page optimized automatically, or you can customize it yourself.
If you check the box that says “Use optimized keywords and templates”, then GoDaddy will do everything for you. They’ll determine which category of advertisements would be applicable to your domain. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
For example, one of my domains has the name of a flower in it. So GoDaddy CashParking assigned it to a Home & Gardening category. But I really wanted it to fall under a Health related category, so manually changed it to that heading.
If you want full control over ad display categories, you can even enter your own keywords. You have the flexibility to revise the category whenever you want. And there are many different categories to choose from, such as Education, Business & Finance, Family, Food, Health, Real Estate and Travel. Once you select your main category, you’ll have the option to drill down even further, into sub-categories.
How Much Does GoDaddy CashParking Cost?
So now you may be wondering — is there a cost for GoDaddy domain parking? I mean, will they just let me cash park all of my domains out of the kindest of their hearts? Like when Uncle Fred and Aunt Ethel vacation in their RV, then park overnight at “The Walmart”?
Well, no — because GoDaddy is a business, and if they’re allowing you to make money off of domain parking, then they need to make their money too.
So yes, there is a fee charged to be able to park your unused domains on GoDaddy for advertising.
There are actually two options for GoDaddy CashParking — Basic or Premium. The Basic level pays out 60% of advertising revenue on your parked domains.
And the Premium level pays 80% of the advertising revenue (which includes a free GoDaddy auctions membership). At the time of this post, the Basic membership costs $3.99 per month, and the Premium membership is $9.59 per month. This is based on a 24 month commitment.
However, GoDaddy very often has Promo Codes that will bring these prices way down. If you decide to take it slow, and only sign up for one month at a time, you can apply the Promo Code to that as well. Right now, I’m seeing two different codes available on the site — 30% off all new products, and 25% off all orders.
What Are Your Actual Expenses?
In addition to the above, if you’re planning on setting up CashParking for your unused domains, you’ll have to factor in the cost of the domain names themselves.
This is where you need to decide, are you going to only use domains you would’ve purchased anyway? Or do you intend to pick up more domains, with the purpose of trying to make money with CashParking?
Since I already had a few domains, I figured there’d be no harm in throwing them on there, and trying this out. In addition, I picked up a few names discounted on auction, just to see if I could test this out. Having no prior experience in domain investing, or domain flipping, I decided to just wing it.
I looked for domains with a Buy Now price of $5, and also looked at some of the metrics in the domain listing. Namely, estimated value and current traffic.
I don’t think estimated value is really a great indicator of future success, but figured it couldn’t hurt. And the theory behind current traffic is if the site is currently receiving some form of traffic from the previous owner, then maybe some of that would carry over to my ownership. If people are already going to these sites, even if the original site is no longer active, maybe they’ll click on the ads.
How Much Money Can You Make Cash Parking Your Domains?
Once you have all of the domains set up and optimized in your dashboard, the only thing left to do is …wait.
There’s really no way to promote or boost traffic to your sites. (Note: GoDaddy monitors the CashParking domains closely, and will suspend any users suspected of click-fraud). They really want to focus on organic traffic, people genuinely clicking on the ads. It’s not like you can put an SEO strategy behind a site that has nothing on it but ads.
So how profitable can this really be?
That’s the million dollar question.
Or maybe the $1 question??
While I haven’t quite abandoned the possibility of this being fruitful some time in the future, it definitely hasn’t been a cash cow.
I’ve been a member of the Basic program for roughly 2 months, and have made a whopping $1.17.
But I suppose it’s still early, and I’m willing to let this experiment play out.
The deal I got when signing up for the Basic program was for a 2 year commitment, with a generous promo code. So I paid less than $50, and have the 2 year membership paid in full.
Right now, I currently have 20 domains listed with CashParking advertising. Some of them I already owned, having purchased previously. But the additional “bargain” domains I purchased cost $55 in total.
At this point, I don’t plan on buying any more domains. At least for this activity. I’m sure if one catches my eye, for personal reasons, there’s a possibility I may accumulate others.
And it’s also important to note the law of large numbers in this equation. Because you can list an unlimited number of domains in CashParking. So if someone really wanted to, they could purchase an insane number of domains, list them all under CashParking, and start making money.
That’s not an investment I’m willing to make at this time. But it does potentially justify the argument that the more URLs you put out on there, the better the possibility for passive ad income.
So where does this leave us? I think it’s a bit premature to say. But I’m excited to find out more about this opportunity, and share it with you all.
With so many new and interesting ways to make money online, it’s hard to determine which are legit, which are a waste of time, … and which will make you want to pull your hair out in utter agony for even thinking to start a blog in the first place…
But I digress.
Because what is life, but having the opportunity to fail, succeed, and have a heck of a fun time while doing it?
I love the challenge of trying to make a buck in fun and interesting ways. And boy, has it been a challenge.
‘Cuz (to let you in on a secret) the people who say how easy it is? They may or may not be giving it to you straight. At least not initially.
Maybe they have some prior experience, or maybe they’ve had some help. But to get the initial ball rolling — it takes gumption. It takes blood, sweat, and tears. And you gotta truly LOVE doing it.
That’s what I’m going for — and I’d be thrilled to have you with me on this crazy ride.
A Review of GoDaddy Domain Parking
Robin is a full-time business professional who has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. She is also a personal finance blogger who shares her first hand experience with the struggles of money and debt. On Mastering the Side Jam, she focuses on ways to maximize efficiencies to make & save money, pay off debt, and live your best life.
She has been been featured on The Money Mix, Rockstar Finance, The Financial Diet and Women’s Money Talk, and has been quoted in various online publications.