Using minisites, also known as microsites, to make money is nothing new under the sun for Internet business owners.
For as long as I can remember and have been involved with Internet businesses, dating back to 2000, web gurus, developers and website owners have been developing and optimizing minisites, simple 1-10 page websites, in hopes of gaining greater search engine rankings and striking it rich financially.
The deception of minisites and all their hype
Many website owners, looking to get rich quick using minisites, spend countless hours researching keywords, both head keywords and long tail keywords.
Once finding lucrative keywords worth taking a chance on building a fortune, many minisite owners spend an endless bankroll to buy keyword domain names.
In addition, minisite owners spend countless dollars to have content written, targeting page-one search rankings and minisites designed and developed.
The flood gates are opened and the minisite process is replicated as quickly as humanly possible to maximize the greatest ROI.
One after the next, minisite owners create template designed and search optimized content, spinning article content using their long list of lucrative keywords.
Of course, most minisite owners try to disguise their minisites as value-add websites only to be snuffed out and penalized by search engines.
Minisite owners launch minisites, and wait and hope for page-one search engine rankings that lead to increased website traffic, conversions and high-volume sales.
Take notice that in all this minisite talk that I have yet to mention the launching of a business model.
And this is where the rubber meets the road for those wondering if minisites are the answer to drive more sales and make more money online.
The truth about minisites, minus the hype
You can make money doing almost about anything on the Internet using minisites.
The difference in success and failure for most minisite owners starts with their business model and plan.
See, what most minisite owners fail too or don’t tell about their minisite experience is whether or not they have a true business plan.
Most of the minisite hype is about how much money they made pushing affiliate vapor wares, or the latest and greatest fade sure to bring you into hundreds or thousands of dollars a day.
Most minisite owners claim to be in a such secretive and lucrative niche that they don’t want to share their secrets in fear of losing market share.
Truth be told, only a few minisites are making money worth writing home about and those minisites are in emerging or very niche markets.
Most minisites are nothing more than a hail mary attempt to make money based on the success stories of others, or some guru selling an ebook about how to make money using minisites.
From spinning content to publishing non value-add content, many website owners crank out as many minisites as humanly or systematically possible.
They have not a true business plan or model besides the spray and pray minisite development tactic.
In fact, most minisite owners hope the vast number or volume of minisites created will translate into a minimum of $2-5 per day using Adsense or another PPC affiliate, most never do.
When using ppc platforms and networks fail to produce revenue of any sort, most minisite owners then shift their focus to build out quick-turn minisites using affiliate products produced by others.
They hope to sell mass volume for a cut of the sale of someone else’s work. However, this only works when the product is a value-add product and limited in supply.
Most affiliate-centric minisites are pushing products to pad their pockets financially without a care in the world towards truly servicing their customers.
It’s more about pushing content to achieve the sale but not nurture the relationship.
Minisites: Wanted dead or alive?
Asking whether minisites are dead or alive will field you a variety of answers.
Most website owners or those looking to make millions on the Internet, and looking to have this question answered are trying to lessen the time and effort it takes to reach their financial success.
These individuals don’t want to invest the time to research and create a fundamentally sound business model.
Ironically, they waste more time, effort and money throwing minisite hail marys about topics that they are not passionate about.
In my humble opinion, I think too many times that people try to game the search system because they’re blinded by dollar signs and easy “passive” income.
Instead of focusing on dollar signs or trying to do the least amount of work possible, focus on something you are very passionate about and willing to spend countless hours researching and writing about.
Sure, you may or may not get paid, but it will be very evident that you love what you are doing.
And typically speaking, those who do what they love and have a solid business model and plan in place are the ones who reap the biggest rewards all the way around.
My two cents on minisite adventures
Personally, I will go on the record to say that I’ve had moderate success with certain minisites.
Although I own quite a few hundred domains, I can only count 5-10 minisites that have really been worth the time and effort.
These minisites are ringing up enough monthly income to cover my annual renewal expenses for my domain portfolio.
But then again, those are the ones that I implemented and executed a sound business plan.
I tried to run up the hill on hot topic minisites that I was not passionate about only to find no search engine love, no sales and a bunch of crickets chirping.
I wouldn’t say it wasn’t a waste of time because I quickly learned that having a field of dreams mentality was not going to get the job done or ring the cash register.
Today, I’ve perfected my process for researching, developing and managing minisites in the most profitable and efficient manner: creating non-affiliate focused and true value proposition, putting customers and their needs first and having a sound business model and plan in place.
To me, minisites are not dead. But understand I’m making this statement based on the fact that I’m operating minisites as true businesses and not just ppc affiliate or affiliate marketing websites.
In addition, I have found financial success by focusing on passionate areas within my life as well as focusing my minisites on local niches.
Now I’m not making enough money from the minisites to support my way of life.
However, my minisites are increasing in traffic and revenue as each month passes, scaling based on their respective business models.
In closing, my goal is to not pump and dump content for the sake of making a sale.
Whether local, regional, national or global niches, my goal is to build and operate businesses built upon a sound model and to serve markets I’m passionate about.
Then and only then do I ever look to build out additional minisites.