How To Make Money Online Rebuilding Expired Domains

There are a lot of grumpy people out there who’ll tell you that all the best domain names have already been taken so don’t even bother trying anymore. I disagree. I think those people just don’t have any imagination. But that’s not what this article is supposed to be about. I’m here to talk about how you can make money online rebuilding expired domains. And you’ll need a little imagination for this, too.

expired domains money online

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Hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of domain names expire every day for any number of reasons. Maybe the owner forgot he owned it, maybe he’s moved on to another project, or maybe he doesn’t even work online anymore. For whatever reason, it happens. A domain, that may or may not have been getting some incoming traffic, is about to come back on the market. Should you buy it? And if you do – how are you going to make some money with it?

A large percentage of these soon-to-expire domains are not really worth looking into. They’re so-so names, they’ve never been developed, there’s no traffic or backlinks. Just some name that somebody thought would work and then for some reason they gave up on it. But many of these domains that are about to expire have the potential to be real money-makers. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn to tell the difference.

The so-called Internet Marketing gurus all have a list of things you should look for when choosing a domain name: It should contain a keyword, it should be a .com or .net, it should be memorable and easy to spell. In most cases these are all good guidelines but then how does Dmoz.com fit into that picture? What about Google.com or Twitter.com? These are some of the top domains on the Internet and they fit none of the criteria. Sure, they’re memorable and easy to spell now. But they weren’t in the beginning.

These gurus will also tell you that if you’re looking at expired domain names you should only go after those that have existing traffic and good backlinks and maybe some page rank. But what about that dead .com domain out there that’s just about to expire and it’s the exact match for your the .info domain you had to settle for? Whether it has existing traffic and backlinks or not is irrelevant because it’s a top level domain that will bring that much more traffic and search engine authority to your existing site.

The point I’m trying to make is this: The value of a domain name lies in what you think you can do with it and how aggressively you promote it.

That’s not to say that you should just snap up every expired domain you see. If you want to make money online rebuilding expired domains, here’s what you should look for:

  • Domain names relevant to your existing sites: Look for domains that will compliment your existing sites. If they already have some authority, so much the better. Redirect the traffic to your own site or rebuild the expired domain to make it profitable, too.
  • Domains with traffic/backlinks/PR, etc: Obviously, if you do find a domain with some great traffic and backlinks and a high page rank then yeah, if you think you can rebuild it into a profitable site then jump on it. You could even take it a step further and start flipping sites that you rebuilt on expired domains. Be careful, though. Some of these sites can cost a pretty penny.
  • Domains with bad reputations: Do your research before you buy any expired domain. Once the search engines label a domain as spam or porn or a hacker site you’ll never be able to overcome that reputation no matter how hard you work to promote that domain. Forget it and move on to something else.
  • Domains that someone else would want: Wouldn’t it be cool to log on some day and see that Google.com was about to expire – and nobody else in the world knew about it but you?! Well, I doubt that’s ever going to happen but every day there’s a domain that expires that someone else would want – if they only knew about it. YOU know about it! Buy it and if you don’t want to rebuild it yourself, put it up on the auction block.

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10 Comments

  1. Michelle

    I love how you call them “grumpy people” hahaha. I think the world is suffering from a bad case of the grumpies. People need to liven up, cheer up, and get creative; it’s so liberating! Love this post!

  2. John

    You know, this is actually really brilliant. There are people out there that do this is patents. Patents only last for one to a few years, and there are people that literally track where the patents are in their term, and if the inventor doesn’t renew them on the due date, they snatch them up and start marketing, selling, and making money off of them!

  3. Gorman

    I’m totally loving this, it sounds like a sweet opportunity to make some cash. Thanks for giving the breakdown, I’m going to have fun searching for domain names next time I have some extra money lying around!

  4. Shad

    I think you make a valid point, it’s not so much that it has to be easy to spell, so much as it needs to be catchy. Just like Google, Twitter Etc. They are seemingly nonsensical, but boy did they catch on! It’s almost like you never know what the new hot name is going to be. It’s like gambling!

    1. Anon

      It’s the opposite of gambling if you read the rest of the post. There’s a list of what to look for and why, so you’re making an educated decision. No gambling or risky business necessary.

  5. Affmaster

    This is extremely appealing to me, since it reminds me so much of real estate. It’s almost the same! You’re finding something that once belonged to someone and seeing what you can make of it now, and for how much profit. I like how you mentioned flipping the domain names, it’s just like flipping houses!

    1. Jony

      That’s very true! It’s a pretty similar concept, except it’s probably a whole lot easier since it’s all done online! How nice would it be to buy, fix up and sell a house from your computer haha.

  6. Mike

    This is something I hadn’t thought about, but it seems like a really good way that someone who keeps on top of it could make it a solid buck or two. Not my style, but that’s great that someone could read this and get into it right away if they wanted to.

  7. Mitch

    Haha I like that part about sites with bad reps. That would suck if someone bought a whole bunch of old porn or spam sites. No money would be coming in for those!

  8. Melissa

    As far as I understood then it’s not an easy thing to rebuild expired domains, but that is very nice of you to write this article

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