Revenue leakage mostly occurs when you think a particular setting for your domain(s) is turned on and it’s not. From experience, we have found that it’s not untypical to find that between 10-15% of the potential revenue generated for a portfolio is actually lost due to mismanagement.
So before you go and try to squeeze another few percentage out of your parking partner or broker can I suggest that you get your own house in order first. If you do this then I guarantee that you’ll discover a significant jump in revenue.
So what sort of problems can occur? The obvious one is whether the nameservers for your domains are still set to where you think they should be. I know that they are set but are they set correctly?
If you’re juggling multiple accounts at different monetisation solutions, then it doesn’t take long for a mess to be created and you have no idea what is set and why you set them. This is particularly true if you also have multiple registrars and have no idea which domains are actually at which registrar.
So out comes the spreadsheet with the mighty vlookup command and after spending a lot of time and effort (have you accounted for that btw) downloading lists of domains, correlating them with parking solutions you finally get around to checking the nameservers.
Now you have to find a program or service that allows you to do this on a regular basis. This wasn’t initially too hard until you discover that some of your more esoteric ccTLDs need to be setup in specific ways for them to be installed correctly….doh!
Finally, all of the data is in Excel and you begin cross referencing each of your domains to ensure they are where you think they should be. This is when you get a bit of a fright because domains you thought were pointing to one parking company are actually pointing to another.
Worse than that, there’s quite a number of domains pointed to your registrars parked page and earning money for them rather than you! Those thieves! You then remember that you were late with your renewal payment because of a friend’s wedding so the registrar actually wasn’t doing anything wrong by pointing the DNS to themselves.
Then you discover something really strange. Some of the domains that you knew you had added to your parking account are no longer there. This means someone else is earning money from the traffic! Now the parking companies are thieves! You then remember that you were interrupted by your wife for dinner just before you hit the submit button to add the domains to your account.
After looking a little more closely you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a particular domain was absolutely added to your parking account. In fact, it was but you forgot to respond to the email about there being a conflict with another domain owner so the domain remained in their account.
A couple of months ago you read in a forum that a particular parking company seemed to be paying out more than others. In a flash you’d setup an account and added a heap of domains (luckily you’d remember to set the correct nameservers). You check the account, wondering why you haven’t been paid and discover you’d forgotten to setup the payment details and send in your tax forms.
So you’re staring at your spreadsheets and like the sun slowly sinking into the horizon three things float to the top of your consciousness. The mess in front of you is full of bad data and doing renewals is next too impossible – decision, renew everything just in case. The second is the problem is only going to get bigger the larger and more successful your domain portfolio becomes. The third issue you realise is this is going to be an ongoing battle and you’ll have to go through exactly the same cycle next month.
So much for having a nice passive income on the side from domains…..this is seeming like a bit of work. If you are really honest with yourself, you can probably relate to doing exactly what I depicted in the above scenario. Domaining takes work.
If you don’t believe me that revenue leakage is a big issue, then take a look at the charts below for a test conducted by a domain owner with a LOT of domains. I picked two out (there were many more) and changed the domain name (for obvious reasons) as they illustrate exactly why managing a portfolio is non-trivial.
The red area in the chart highlights the fact that the nameservers for the domains were suddenly pointed elsewhere. The client had no idea why this happened and switched the domains back. There were some cases where the domains were moved away, switched back and then moved away again!
So the question then becomes…..what’s the solution? I’ll dig into what I do in the next article.