For as long as there have been webmaster forums there have been arguments for and against having multiple sites. When AdSense came along and revolutionised how people could generate and income online the rush started to build lots of mini-sites, each one targetted to rank for a particular high-paying phrase.
I for one can say that for some time I was firmly in the pro mini-site camp. There are some very valid arguments for diversification:
- You can build up a network of sites on different IPs and link around liberally.
- You stand less chance of losing your entire income through a penalty.
- Each mini-site can be built up over time to become an authority.
- If one site makes $1 per day then wash, rinse and repeat your way to profit.
However, as time has gone on this approach has become less and less profitable for several reasons:
- Google clearly prefers aged links from authorities in your niche, which are hard to come by when your site is only a few pages of regurgitated drivel. Therefore, you will struggle to rank.
- AdSense Smartpricing means that each click earns less because your site has no value.
- CPA and CPM are making a comeback, which means you need traffic to make money.
With the recent dumping of arbitrage accounts there may be a slight uptick in your AdSense revenue, but I wouldn’t rely on that to pay the bills. There certainly is a place for the mini-site, but if you want to make money online then I would advise you to consolidate on a core few sites spread out in the niches you are most interested in, develop a brand, earn authority, build a base of subscribers and work your way up.
At the end of the day it all comes down to time. You might have 100 sites earning on average $100 per day, but are you ever going to get the time to improve them? Currently I am in the process of consolidating what I own, whittling down my portfolio of sites to a core that can then be be built up over time.
What are your thoughts? Diversify or consolidate?
It’s not true: it’s not only .com domains that have resell value. I see .info TLDs (Top Level Domains) selling like hotcakes. Some registrars have a sale on them, and people are buying them up on one year’s registration and reselling for a small profit.
Some people are even building a static website using a cheap multi-site hosting account, adding about 10-20 pages of content having Google AdSense ads, and then selling them for $150-$200 at Sitepoint Marketplace, or one of the numerous other places. Not a bad return for a bit of work and low startup costs. (Hint: hobby and health topics seem to sell the most.) My observation is that .net and .info TLDs seem to be popular for this activity.
The .tv TLD is an area that I think will become hot. (Is that hard to see; not exactly prophetic, since Internet TV is growing huge.) Because the yearly registration costs range from $25-$39.99, there are still tons of great choices. Actually, the reason for the availability is due to a historic problem. The .tv TLD stands for the island nation of Tuvalu. If I understand correctly, a company did a deal with the country, but couldn’t guarantee registrants what the yearly registration fee would be. So some people paid big money (thousands) and are worried that that’ll be the yearly fee. Others have been reluctant to register. Unfortunate but true.
Regardless, I’ve registered 3-4 or myself, and one uses clever wording – if I do say so myself – in a popular blogging niche. (Sorry, won’t reveal it until the site is ready to launch.) My feeling is that if I can develop some screencast how-to tutorial videos for it, I could probably sell it for 5 figures next year. But without any content, the domain may go unnoticed. (You have to weigh several factors before you decide whether or not to develop a domain.)
One other trend I’m seeing is that more bloggers who are or want to become Pro Bloggers are getting “vanity” domains. These consist of their name and .com, .net or .biz, depending on what they do besides blogging. Some use a variation of their name. A domain name can be a personal brand, whether you use a .com or a .name TLD.
[Raj Dash is a full-time blogger who's dipping a pinky toe into the domaining world and writing about it at nameSonar.]
I have been mulling this over in my mind recently and decided to jot down a few thoughts after reading Raj’s post on how his father was ripped off over a money making scheme.
For as long as capitalism has been around there have been entrepreneurs who have bent the rules and pushed the ethical envelope. In fact, it may be said that since the internet these ‘get rich quick’ schemes have become an even more prominent scourge.
Sadly, in the words of John Chow, “the market is huge because there really is a sucker born every minute”. Do not allow yourself to get fooled into thinking you can just setup a blog, write a few posts, slap up a few ads and get rich overnight.
Sorry, that just doesn’t happen. Here’s a few reasons why:
- The odds are against you
There are already millions of sites online; you can be sure that if there is a way of making money online someone else is already doing it.
- The web is all about money
When I started out online it was a very different place, ie. people would link to you simply because that was the done thing. Thanks to Google the internet is now governed by link buys, so naturally acquiring links is extremely challenging. Now it’s all about money if you want any link love. Sad but true.
- It’s who you know, and what you know
Just being a smart kid won’t cut it. That degree isn’t going to get you any links or build your brand, not directly anyway. You need to make connections, beg, barter and work your way into networks if you want to get anywhere. Gone are the days of the closet webmaster.
- The big guys get bigger
It’s the same old story, the rich get richer. Just because a site is old and viewed as an authoritative resource people will link to it. The more links the site gets, the more authoritative it becomes. The more authority it accrues over time, the more people link to it. Authority in perpetuity.
- You need real determination
You’ve got to come to terms with the fact that you have a lot of very hard work in front of you. Any other webmaster worth his salt is working long hours to get ahead, many will be working harder than you. In a society that demands instant results, making money online will require you to swim straight against the tide.
Don’t let that get you down though. There are plenty of money making opportunities out there and if you work hard enough at it your dream may come true. It just won’t happen overnight.
I’ve just got married, and hence my finances (or what is left of them) are a little more constrained. So naturally I have been neck-deep in bills like never before. But what this means is that I have first hand experience with saving money while spending money. That sounds a bit weird but that’s the way it is. Life is about balances, and your financial life is all about how you can balance your outgoings with your incomings.
For what it’s worth, here are a few tried and tested tips that have really helped me.