The unending flow of Google updates has certainly made one thing clear, that your website has to deliver value and have high quality content in order for it to survive in the SERPS. If you game the algorithm whether it’s through private link networks, social signals, blog spam whatever… they’ll catch you eventually.
So the question now for people looking to make money online is…
Is it better to have one authority website or should I have ten smaller sites to diversify the risk?
Let’s start with authority websites.
WhiteRaverRafting.com is an authority site in the electronic dance music space. It took a little over a year to get to that level and I have written around 800 posts. These posts are a lot shorter than what you’ll find here because mainly I’m describing a new release and promoting it to the audience. I haven’t done any grey hat or illegitimate linkbuilding to that site, so I’m not worried about getting penalized by Google or de-indexed from the SERPS.
The dilemma is that the music blog doesn’t generate the type of revenue that I wanted and has largely turned into a lifestyle for fun type blog that I’ll post on a few times a week. Yesterday we broke the story on will.i.am stealing from Arty & Mat Zo and got over 35,000 visitors. I have plans for world domination, but monetization just isn’t there.
So that brings me to this –
- Would it have been better to start a few different sites during that time?
- Or am I just being stupid and improperly monetizing the site?
Certainly the opportunity cost of spending all of that time building WRR, included other websites that I could have been working on. There’s no guarantee they would have been successful, but maybe there would have been a profitable site in there.
It’s easier to create niche sites (free guide) once you have experience and create a repeatable process. You know exactly what sort of content to write, an estimate of how much you need and what sort of linkbuilding you’ll have to do in order to get the page to rank. Once you throw adsense on the site you can start making money quickly and it will also give you an idea of what ideas are working and which ones aren’t.
If you start ten sites and immediately gain traction in three or four of them, then you can always put the other six on hold and put more effort into the one’s that are bringing in visitors and money. With the money sites, you can begin to explore other ways to monetize them and even begin sourcing your own products. This will be a much more profitable tactic than just doing Adsense.
If these sites are in a topic that you don’t enjoy doing, it’s going to be hard to grind through the initial work. If you’re going all the way and building social profiles to generate real fanbases, the effort here will be tremendous. Driving real interaction and conversation about your topic is a lot harder than just setting up a facebook page and expecting it to happen.
I wouldn’t take this approach unless you have experience building websites before. You should only look to create multiple sites a time if you’re experience and probably have a virtual assistant or other service provider doing the more mundane tasks. Think of this method as a way to test a few markets and see what works.
Strategy for the Pros -> Niche Domination
You see this with a lot of media companies, but it can also be done in less glamourous industries as well. Niche domination is when you buy a bunch of domains related to your topic.
Let’s use ArmoredCarNetwork.com, my niche site that I’m currently building as an example….
I know through market research that people are usually searching for these things related to armored cars:
- company reviews
Doing that I could create sites using a mix of my main keyword “armored car” and one of those topics. Give each of the sites a different look and when someone Google’s for any phrase related to armored cars, one of my sites would come up.
This is niche domination and even if you see it in a market you may not recognize it. Super affiliates will do it all to hide the link between them and the sites that they run.
Whitehat example: Break Media (privately held company targeting 18-34 male demographic)
Their 18-34 male demographic is huge and serves as a perfect way for them to monetize their content by signing on big brand name sponsors. We see the same thing in dance music with dubstep.net, house.net, etc.
Don’t expect all of the niche dominators to be so transparent. They’re actually more like a renegade Bruce Wayne…. playboy billionaire by day… online hustler by night. You might see five or six sites in the same market with different designs, different products and even separate LLCs. It could be the same person or persons just dominating that area.
Starting from the beginning
You’re probably here —–> “I want to make money from websites”
But what you need to evaluate is —–> “What do I know about making money from websites?”
Without having a foundation or framework to build off of, it’s really impossible for you to successfully build more than one website at a time. You could be doing something wrong in the early stages (even keyword research) and that could be preventing you from moving forward with all of your ideas or some of them.
Breakdown your skillset, where you’ve found success and what areas you would consider to be weaknesses. Are there reasons why your website(s) aren’t at the level you expected them to be? Maybe you need better design, different styles of content or better social promotion. These are things that you have to address instead of looking for that one “winner”.
Trust me the winner is out there. I’m still looking for it too, but everyday I’m trying to find out what I can learn to be a better online hustler and how I can refine my process.
Too many of us are searching for the right answer or direction when really we need to continue to evolve our own skill sets and do more. I probably have 100+ domain names in my namecheap portfolio now and most of them are total crap. I spent too much time looking for the winner instead of just getting better at what I’m already doing.
So 1 website versus 10 websites?
Both can work.
- If you have an massive readership + social following, your monetization methods are unlimited.
- If you’re building small niche websites you can use traditional methods and then sell the sites.
These strategies are very different, but they are both business models with unique systems and processes. So, either can be effective way to make serious money but they need to be done right.
How do you do it right?
Work hard. Test new things. But more than anything build processes and make a business out of it. Then once you get rich you can share your secrets with me 😉
Right now I’m building 5-10 new websites. Want some help with yours? Get in touch.
Subscribe to Ben Hebert
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox