This was a statement I sent to the guys at Epik this morning but it applies to everything you do in business. We all get caught up in add ons. We buy a house and can’t wait to finish the basement or add landscaping. We buy a car and add nicer rims. It’s human nature. But while we are looking to add to the experience we forget to look at the core of what we are doing.
I am going to say it straight, mass produced sites suck and there is a reason why Google deindexes them. But the sites don’t have to suck. The “get and send em” model can be a very lucrative model if properly done. A method that some have figured out and some haven’t. Whether you do them in bulk or do them as stand alone, you can make a money making site.
Another key to a successful site is the amount of time you put in. You have to write original articles and add info for a site to have any value. Content is what brings users. To take a company like WhyPark and Epik’s mass produced site and to not help in its development is taking potential revenue out of your own pocket. Epiks costs and splitting half revenue? Well that’s a story for another day but it still doesn’t relieve you from duty of adding value to your own properties. It IS your site you know.
Another issue is the lack of reality that that all these are glorified parking plans. A consumer is really not shopping at our sites. It’s merely a directory of products scraped from the net based on keywords. It’s a simple concept and easy to do so why would anyone expect to make good money on something that’s easy to do. How many things make money with little effort? All I come up with is stealing and prostitution.
In short, you can put all the bells and whistles on your websites but you really need to make sure that the sites has a business model and your expectations are temepered to that business model. Before you start putting in fancy graphics and spending all your time on layout, think to yourself, “How will this site make money and what is the best way to earn money given my time and financial constraints?” Think in reality. Expect big things from big effort but don’t think you are going to make good money from a 10 man hour site. As a matter of fact, count your man hours. I would be curious to hear from people the man hours to revenue relationship. I bet there is a correlation.