Do mini-sites still work?

by quatto
36 replies
Been trying my hand at web businesses for 4 years and have pennies to show for it. (I take full responsibility for this)

Been told by many different people from many different places that authority sites are the only way to go now-a-days, but also been told by many different people from many different places that mini-amazon-sites are still doable for beginners. (Been having a hard time with this lately as well)

I know opinions will differ. Just curious.

Unrelated questions...what is a good exact phrase search count for a keyword? (Again, I know this will matter on product, market, site, etc, but in general...)

What if everything lines up nicley to compete in a niche but the #1 site on google for that keyword phrase has Pr rank of 1 to like 3, do I still go after it?

Thanks - this is a great site
#minisites #work
  • Profile picture of the author JCorp
    Definitely mini sites still work! Have tons of them making income every single month. And no, I don't have amazon mini sites, I guess I haven't caught on yet, but regardless my mini sites are my main income, they work, and I believe they'll continue to work for years to come.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4116791].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Originally Posted by quatto View Post

    Been told by many different people from many different places that authority sites are the only way to go now-a-days
    That's BS.

    You only need one page in order to grab the number one spot for a keyword.

    Anyone who tells you different just doesn't understand this.

    I have clients with small websites that rank number one for over 100 keywords/phrases.

    Don't let what people tell you about search engines determine what size and shape your business should be.

    You don't control the search engines and definitely should not make them the focus of your business or you could find your business disappears one night.
    Signature

    nothing to see here.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4116866].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Hamida Harland
      I'm concentrating more on authority sites these days, but I do still have some mini sites ranking on page 1 of Google. So yes, they do still work.

      It's not a good idea to rely solely on search engine rankings for your income though - you never know when the big G might decide they don't like your sites anymore.
      Signature
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4116928].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author davidjames42973
        Originally Posted by Hamida Harland View Post

        I'm concentrating more on authority sites these days, but I do still have some mini sites ranking on page 1 of Google. So yes, they do still work.

        It's not a good idea to rely solely on search engine rankings for your income though - you never know when the big G might decide they don't like your sites anymore.
        I have quite a few mini sites and I have found that a good amount of them lost their rankings. This year I am focusing on adding more content to the sites that still rank to work on creating them into authority sites and to help keep their rankings. As for the other mini sites, they still occasionally rank for long tail keywords.

        So yes. I've been taking the authority site route this year. Instead of having 100 mini sites for one niche, I can have one site that has 100+ pages of content instead.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121334].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author hikamendoz
          agreed david. content and that too orginal along with quantity of it can prevent any problems like these.........
          i think too much gets killed by google panda and too short should be avoided
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121340].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Claire Sharp
    Yes, of course mini-sites still work. You can still earn huge income with mini-sites as long as you did it right.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4116950].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author 1stpage
    Yes, they still work. Actually they work best as a foundation for a larger site or network.

    What I mean is that you can get in to a lot of different niches with a low cost of entry with mini sites, then figure out which niches & keywords are producing for you and scale up from there.

    For example, if you had 10 minisites you may net (on average) 2 performers (the 80/20 rule). Those winning niches could have the potential to be developed in to an authority site or more minisites and having already vetted the keywords you can justify dedicating more effort, time & money on those.

    In other words, I would look at minisites as an easy way to "taste" keywords & niches to find out what deserves more attention and further development.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4117473].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author highrank
    Hey quatto,

    I'll try to answer all of your un-related questions:

    1) A good exact phrase search count is pretty subjective. You can do some math though to check. Lets say best case scenario is 1% conversion rate. If your keyword has 1000 searches per month and you get 100 visitors from that search, you will make 1 sale. If your selling something that costs 3 million dollars then it's pretty good, if not you might need a different keyword.

    2) Of course you should still go for it! It will take a little longer to compete for the #1 spot with aged websites, but if you are patient you can reach it in less than 6 months.

    Hope that helps.
    Signature
    FUNNY FLAPPY BIRD FAILS!

    ---> Flappy Bird <---

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4117569].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Gaz Cooper
      Without a shadow of doubt Mini Sites work and I believe will continue to work for a long time to come.

      Kickin it on Amazon

      Gaz Cooper
      Amazon Cash King
      Signature
      Beginners get Started with AMAZON, we will give you a FREE custom made Amazon Site when you purchase hosting through us contact us at http://authorityzonesupport.com/

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4117625].message }}
      • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118067].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author tehnolife
          Banned
          No, and I will tell you a few reasons:
          1. You don't provide value to your readers, and if they saw the article on another place they won't buy from you.

          2.Google doesn't accept anymore copied articles.

          So, don't do that.

          Originally Posted by schttrj View Post

          Do you think a mini-site with unoriginal content can work IF proper SEO be done?
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118102].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author quatto
            Follow question about a mini-site...

            I have seen several ways to create mini sites choosing just 1 product (from Amazon) and hammering away at that one product. Makes sense.

            Is it possible to do the same thing but pick a category, for example, garage sump pumps (no clue about sump pumps, just randomly picking it for this example) and then find a solid keyword, make the mini site and review a few sump pumps -set it up the same way as if it was one product? Or does this become an authority site? Need some direction with this thought process...

            Thanks again
            Quatto
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118175].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author 1stpage
              Originally Posted by quatto View Post

              Follow question about a mini-site...

              Is it possible to do the same thing but pick a category, for example, garage sump pumps (no clue about sump pumps, just randomly picking it for this example) and then find a solid keyword, make the mini site and review a few sump pumps -set it up the same way as if it was one product? Or does this become an authority site? Need some direction with this thought process...

              Quatto
              Sure it is, there can be different degrees of "niche" to a minisite before it would be considered an authority site. In some ways the terminology is subjective as well or at least open to interpretation.

              Here's how I look at it with regards to levels of "niche" (and is just my .02)...

              You'll hear single product focused sites called microsites because they serve a narrow, micro niche. The biggest benefit to these is that they can be easy to rank for due to less competition, tight on-site theming, and focus in general. The biggest drawback is that sometimes the traffic volume just isn't there - it really depends on the product. Note that microniche sites can also be keyword based, they don't have to be products.

              Up from there you have niche review sites (which is what you describe), niche content sites, etc... Personally I like this level because you can rank internal pages for keywords (eventually) and these sites can be grown out. The downside is the broader the focus the harder to rank at first (generally speaking, there are many variables).

              Up another level you have authority sites - lots of content, broader focus.

              Keeping with your example, you may have a structure that looks like:

              home improvement (niche) > sump pump reviews (sub niche) > xy123z sump pump review (microniche)

              ... where as each level is a different site, a different degree of focus.

              But if you are just starting out, or even if you are experienced and entering a new niche you can start with the lowest level and be able to *quickly* get a feel for the niche, figure out if it is a money maker, etc... before spending all the time and money to develop larger sites.

              If you do find that a niche is profitable for you and you want to build bigger sites in that niche, you can use your smaller sites as feeders to your new sites - backlinks, traffic.

              On the other hand, if you find that a particular micro niche site is a dud, you haven't wasted too much time and energy on it and can sell it, use it for links, whatever.

              Since you say that you haven't had much success so far, my advice to you would be to start small with a narrow focus site - could be keyword based, could be product based and go ahead and hammer away at that until you get a feel for whether it's a good niche. If not, move on and try another. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.

              Better yet, if you have the time, money, and ability to stay focused while multitasking, testing out several small niche sites would give you the best feel for what is working since you'd have others to compare it to. Just remember that striking out 80% of the time is normal and expected.

              From there, if you stumble on a money maker build up and build out in that niche.

              As far as keyword volume, personally I'd take ballpark 880 exact searches / mth or higher unless we are talking about a high ticket item, high CPA, or high CPC adsense niche, then lesser traffic could be justified. It's hard to give a set in stone figure for this one because there are many factors to consider.
              Signature

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118541].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author quatto
                Originally Posted by 1stpage View Post


                Since you say that you haven't had much success so far, my advice to you would be to start small with a narrow focus site - could be keyword based, could be product based and go ahead and hammer away at that until you get a feel for whether it's a good niche. If not, move on and try another. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.

                Better yet, if you have the time, money, and ability to stay focused while multitasking, testing out several small niche sites would give you the best feel for what is working since you'd have others to compare it to. Just remember that striking out 80% of the time is normal and expected.
                Ok, so lets say "garage sump pumps" is my category. Amazon has 20 or 30 "garage sump pumps" (limited reviews however). "garage sump pumps" gets 2000 exact searches. Garagesumppumps.com is taken, but the #1 site on google only has 3 backlinks and a PR rank of 2. I buy garagesumppumpsonline.com

                Is this advisable so far?

                Continuing, now I create the wordpress site...

                How would you handle the site? Bunch of reviews? Does each review get its own page? (still focusing on "garage sump pumps" as keyword?) or just use a blog form and review several OR hammer away at one garage sump pump?

                Would this be an ok method to get started?
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4120527].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
            Banned
            Originally Posted by tehnolife View Post

            No, and I will tell you a few reasons:
            1. You don't provide value to your readers, and if they saw the article on another place they won't buy from you.

            2.Google doesn't accept anymore copied articles.

            So, don't do that.
            3. Bigfoot likes Zagnut.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121066].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Annette White
              Mini site do work. But in my eyes it boils down to the same thing. You have to know how to drive traffic...
              Signature
              How To Create Products In Minutes:
              CLick Here To Find Out MORE!
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121288].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author frankl
            Originally Posted by tehnolife View Post

            No, and I will tell you a few reasons:
            1. You don't provide value to your readers, and if they saw the article on another place they won't buy from you.

            2.Google doesn't accept anymore copied articles.

            So, don't do that.
            Still, there are a lot of sites on first page that simply grab the Amazon description. So I guess Google still doesn't care about copied content.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5750551].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Michael Franklin
              Originally Posted by frankl View Post

              Still, there are a lot of sites on first page that simply grab the Amazon description. So I guess Google still doesn't care about copied content.
              Google cares about copied content but there are ways around it and one of the ways is to take content from different places from different PAGES within a particular Amazon product page.....Copying and pasting one long passage from a description doesn't work very well!
              Signature

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5750567].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author freeman84
    how does a one page sites rank top Google? by getting more backlinks?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118156].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPR
    Yep I have a few mini sites targeting one product and making money on autopilot, so if definitely does still work!

    Made $240 on one such site and havent touched it for months.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118177].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Giftys
    We've had some good luck with mini-sites for feeding our larger money-makers. Where you can't always land the keyword from the big site, the mini-sites can often land them if they're focused on that word.
    Signature

    WWJD

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118225].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tokaje
    You will have to distinguish between "buying" keywords (people search for a product), and "info" keyword (people search for information), and have to treat them different whichever one you into.
    Often the long tailed keywords, are more product specific (Nike Air Max 90), but not always.
    There is a free keyword tool out there, and its free right now, called Keyword Hunter, that CAN distinguish between the to types.

    Tom
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118539].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Tyson Faulkner
    Sure they work, but I think it's more important to focus on your business strategy and growing your business as a whole.

    Just trying to "make money" on the internet with 1 page sites in a bunch of different niches isn't the type of business I'm personally comfortable with.

    I'm focusing my efforts on delivering value to people and building my business around helping a certain group of people achieve the goals they're after.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118568].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Franklin
    Interestingly enough, I just had a student who inquired about the authority site vs. mini-site debate! Anyways, without a doubt, I've found that you're much better off building a bunch of mini-sites than 1 authority site.

    The nice thing with mini-sites is that you can go after both category and product keywords with each site. So with one site, you can be ranking high on google for multiple keyword phrases.

    And it is very doable! If you are comfortable with Wordpress or HTML, you can build up a nice base of mini-sites in a short period of time! You can go after way more keyword phrases in the same time that it would take to build 1 authority site.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4118769].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author 1stpage
    What you describe would be a mid-level stradegy which would work, sure. If the 1st page competition is only PR3 or less and the backlinks to the top 10 pages are reasonably beatable, then you can realistically rank for your main term.

    An exact match domain would get you there faster and with less work initially, although adding a word will work too - it just takes more effort / time.

    You are correct that all that really matters is the strength of the competition - you will have to meet or beat them. Also, it is helpful to know if they have any authority backlinks like a Yahoo directory listing or DMOZ listing. Market Samurai will tell you this, if you have this tool. Otherwise you can scan the quality of their backlinks manually with Yahoo explorer.

    If they have a lot of authority site backlinks, homepage backlinks, or other links that will take you time or money to replicate (yahoo dir & dmoz), then you have some work cut out for you since you will have to make up for it in volume. If the backlinks are from profiles, article directories, web 2.0's & the like then you shouldn't have a problem "meeting & beating" them.

    It really comes down to how fast you want to see results & how much work you are willing to put in before you see results. If you are eager for some success, I'd lean towards a smaller site dedicated to a single product that has good enough search volume, exact match domain available, and little competition. If you are willing to work away at it and wait for results, then absolutely go ahead with the category level site assuming a closer look at the competition's backlinks checks out ok.

    One other point to consider (and I know that I am reiterating this again, but it bears repeating) - you can't know for sure that "garage sump pumps" (I know it not the real KW) is profitable. There's no way to know for sure until you try it which is why testing out a niche with a laser focused microsite can be a good idea.

    Ive come across many keywords that I thought for sure would make big bucks only to find out that for whatever reason these products just don't sell or the Adsense ads in a niche just don't pay what I was expecting based on the data. It happens - lots actually. The best way to know if a niche is worth all of that time & effort is to attack a very small piece of the pie (single longtail kw or single product microsite) before you spend months on a site that may or may not reward your efforts.

    Just something to consider, because it can be discouraging when it happens but is completely normal. You can sort of spread out your risk with small small sites to test and build more from there based upon what is actually making you money.

    As for what to build in the way of pages on a category level minisite, I'd go with both reviews and longtail keyword focused articles. This would give you the most chances to rank as well as help your site be less of a "thin" affiliate site. In general, you should have no more than 1 - 3 (tightly related) keywords per page that you are optimizing for. Take the extra time to do a really good job with content & on-page optimization because this will give you one extra advantage over the competition.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4120929].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author hikamendoz
    They work for the moment you dont hit the google filters or their algorithms. Once you hit that you see many of them losing out on rankings. But if you see gogole panda update, the sites that are now on first page have the keyword in their domain.

    So all i can guess is that with google being very smart--- the purpose with whihc site has been made decides its life.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121328].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HigherPrThanGod
    Originally Posted by quatto View Post

    Been trying my hand at web businesses for 4 years and have pennies to show for it. (I take full responsibility for this)

    Been told by many different people from many different places that authority sites are the only way to go now-a-days, but also been told by many different people from many different places that mini-amazon-sites are still doable for beginners. (Been having a hard time with this lately as well)

    I know opinions will differ. Just curious.

    Unrelated questions...what is a good exact phrase search count for a keyword? (Again, I know this will matter on product, market, site, etc, but in general...)

    What if everything lines up nicley to compete in a niche but the #1 site on google for that keyword phrase has Pr rank of 1 to like 3, do I still go after it?

    Thanks - this is a great site
    It's all about conversion ratios in my opinion. How many targeted hits would you have to send your sponsor before it converts? I'm in adult so I can often get this information easily - because they tell you. In setting up Amazon product sites, you can only spend a lot of money on PPC to test and come up with a conversion ratio.

    As of now though, I only go after a keyword if I can get the .com .net .org and it has at least 8k in monthly exact traffic. This way I can at least send 50 uniques a day to my sponsor. But I'm aiming to have 50 sites generating 2-4 sales a month each so I don't do the "one main site" thing.

    I did not like messing with Amazon crap, myself. The commissions were pathetic. I'd rather make $35 per sale.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121512].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Targeted Traffic
    single page minisite still outsells social media when it comes to selling on the Internet.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121722].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gskesavan
    Mini-sites work! They will continue to work forever, but only if it provides quality and USEFUL content to the visitors. So dont make things easier by copying content. Write your own stuff and update your blog once in 10 days or so for 2 months.

    A minisite is not a website that has just 1 piece of copied content. It is a site that focuses only on 1 keyword. So please update content whenever you can and keep it original.
    Signature
    Keyword Research Service! Rank On Google Page 1 without any Backlinking ($25 ONLY)
    Skype Me At gskkesavan

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121841].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Clyde
    Nobody ever start with authority sites right away.

    You start with mini sites, and build the winners out.
    Signature

    Generate Unlimited Number of Micro Niche Keywords, Multi-threaded EMD Finder PLUS More!




    50% OFF WSO.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4121972].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Gary Zaydman
    Mini sites still work well. Long-term authority sites are always going to win out. As @uniches posted above most people don't start of with authority sites. You just need to build it out. I like to go for sites to have at least 100 indexed pages, blog posts etc.
    Signature

    Best pressure-less sales method to get local small business clients to try your services www.reputationrebelsystem.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4199487].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ChrisMcDonald
    This thread is good! Quatto has found his answer though and I believe doing well so far with his ventures at the AMZ Academy.

    Personally I'm going to have product number sites all linking to a niche review site for those products

    Chris
    Signature
    English Speaking Writers - 400 word, 100% original articles for $6. Larger projects undertaken
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4199547].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author 919492
    The more authority your site has the more you will rank and the easier it will be to rank other pages that you add to the site. So I highly would recommend building out an authority site.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5750529].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Giftys
    Interesting to see that this thread is still active. I posted in it last year.

    We have several mini sites. We take the ones that are performing the best and optimize those. That's been a strategy that's been working. For example, we have "gifts for hairdressers" (we're in the gift business). It was performing well on it's own before we really did much with it and we were getting some sales from it, so we started with that and built on it then significantly increased those sales. Then we moved onto the next better-performing site. By the way, that site is on the first page of Google and it's got a zero page rank.
    Signature

    WWJD

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5751025].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Duc
    For me mini sites still work, too. But you have to do what it takes to rank them. Most of the time this is the expensive part. After this, of course, you can pick the best and scale them up.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5778284].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MarkUSA
    I have a question on mini-sites vs. authority sites? When does a site stop being a mini-site and become an authority site? Say for example you ordered an Adsense site from a provider on Warrior and it came with 10 unique articles. Over time, you write another 10 articles on the topic. Is it still a mini-site? If so, how many articles would it take not to be a mini-site any more?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5778759].message }}

Trending Topics