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?