If you’re searching for the common ingredient to many of the online empires today, you’ll see that they all have many sites that all are offshoots of one big site. TechCrunch, ICanhazcheezburger, Break, Penguin Media, Gawker, and even Domaining, all started with one popular site and used the traffic to grow other sites.
This is a strategy, in my opinion, that trumps the “build a bunch of little sites” strategy that seems to be the rage right now. Domainers have all these names sitting there, so we figure if we spend a few hours throwing up 5 pages that Google will index it and in comes the money. 300 hundred sites that bring in a $1 a day sounds like great money. What if you concentrated all the effort you put into those 300 sites into just one site. I’m guessing it will make more money than the sites individually. If you have some category killers perhaps this won’t be true, but those need full development anyway.
As the main site begins to grow, you add another and throw traffic and your followers over to it. And so on, and so on. Eventually you’ll have a few nice size sites, that if they share a similar niche, can be put banded together as a total package to sell to advertisers. I have an interview I’ll be putting up soon with a person that did exactly that. He started with one and built that into a 4 site empire that gets 500,000 plus visitors per month.
There are a few reasons why most domainers don’t do this. One, they are domain flippers, not developers. They may have a killer domain but they are no expert in that particular niche and hiring someone to write is a cost most people don’t want to put up front. Secondly, most domainers aren’t patient. Putting up a mini site takes a few days and you feel like you’ve accomplished something quickly. A large site takes a few years. It takes time to draw a following, get real backlinks, and convince advertisers this is a real long term project worth putting their advertising money into.
So put some thought into it. What would your best domain earn if it received your complete attention? Are there other domains that you own that if developed, the readers may migrate over and read that as well? You might be surprised how much money you can make.