Consolidation: The Key To Profitability

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:

  1. You can build up a network of sites on different IPs and link around liberally.
  2. You stand less chance of losing your entire income through a penalty.
  3. Each mini-site can be built up over time to become an authority.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. AdSense Smartpricing means that each click earns less because your site has no value.
  3. 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?

3 thoughts on “Consolidation: The Key To Profitability

  1. brettbum

    I think you make a great point with a lot of experience behind your insight into this trend.

    I do agree that Adsense goals are disappearing for a number of sites. However, there are a number of new options popping up with innovative ways to provide web site owners, even bloggers new forms of revenue streams.

    Scenario 1 – Some of these work on the old Google model of burning through the traffic, but paying people up front to help them burn more traffic in their own door. I’m referring to the sponsored article business model of build up PR to drive more search traffic.

    Scenario 2 – However, others are rewarding bloggers for creating good blogs with good content and in some cases completely bypassing the Made for Adsense mini sites, which are paying bloggers to promote them in scenario 1.

    So in a way its back to an old model with CPA and CPM, but in a way its also CPA/CPM 2.0 or possibly 3.0 depending on where you start your version count. 🙂

  2. Mike Hamanaka

    Consolidating your websites is a strong move, rid yourself of websites you know longer update, their value will eventually diminish.

    You should have no more than 5 major websites, for diversity purposes. Of course the best method is to have all 5 websites on completely different servers with different web hosting companies.

    If you have the serious need to build a mini-site, make it a vertical integration to one or more of your 5 major websites.

    What do I consider a major website?

    -At least 100 unique visitors per week.
    -Content updates at least every 30 days.
    -Earn a minimum of .25 cents per day after your first month in business. (at least enough to pay the server and registration fees)
    -Significantly promoting your site at least 3 times per year.

    If you are serious about your website, wether it is a blog or web magazine, you should be counting thinking long term. Most webmasters who host advertising only get paid monthly at best. Think if I post an article and it takes 1 hour to write and publish, how much will I earn in today, this week, this month, this year, and next year. Most of the time I can say that today I will make a small amount, but by the end of the week any buzz about my posting will have reached its final destination and regular viewers will have already seen the content.
    (US currency) Today I hope to make .50 cents on the increased traffic’s ad revenue. By the end of the week I hope to make $3.00; this month $10; this year $30; and next year $20. If you earn ad revenue from publishing one content unit into 3 or 4 years after the posting, consider yourself a good passive income generator. If you figure that you make $50 over the next 2 years for 1 hour of work.

    The same rule can be applied for developing your website’s infrastructure, but expect your great new infrastructure to only earn you half as much money for the time it takes to write new content.
    Never forget that content is king, good luck with your publishing empire.

  3. McGelligot

    Over the years I have created 20 or thirty small websites. Some do more than pay for themselves. However, there are others that are only getting a few pageviews per day. One or two do not even pay for the domain name fees.

    I also have a general informational website upon which almost anything I post will generate fairly good traffic. What I am thinking about doing is taking the articles I have written for the poorly performing sites and putting them on the general site. I can’t see any downside to this except the possibility of getting dinged by Google for duplicate content, which would hopefully be avoided by redirects. The other thing that might be a worry is that at one time there were links on one or two of these sites to gambling websites. I would not want the transfer of this information to also transfer any penalty the original site might have gotten from linking to a bad neighborhood. The links were removed months ago.

    Am I just paranoid? Should I just go ahead and migrate the articles?

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