What’s Better: TEN Niche Sites or ONE Niche Site

I was sitting with Jim the other day (from the $0 – $2k Case Study) and we were talking about Rob. He has a portfolio of sites and he’s making over $30,000 per month as of November 2016.

Jim said something to the effect of:

“So a portfolio is the way to create a full time income, right?”

“No, not really. Most of the income comes from just one site” was my reply. See about $19,000 comes from one site. And my thought is that Rob makes $30,000 per month in spite of having a portfolio of sites.

Rob’s plan from the start was to build out several sites at one time. In fact, when you watch the coaching case study from back in 2015, you’ll understand that Rob wanted to scale his system to build up his revenue.

Here is the thought exercise that we’re looking at today:

Would you rather have 10 niche sites making $1,000 per month or 1 niche site making $10,000 per month?

(*I originally saw the question on Smart Passive Income from a post in 2011, though I’m sure it originated from somewhere else.)

People want to have a diversified income. They want to spread the risk among several efforts. It’s a popular statement for just about anything, and it sounds smart. You can pop into a conversation that you know nothing about, then mention that diversification is important and you’ll sound intelligent.

But in practice it’s not so simple.

I have my opinion and I asked a bunch of my friends about what they’d prefer. I’ll go first…

Doug Cunnington – My Preference

doug-cunnington-nichesiteproject-comI prefer to have one site that makes $10,000 per month. It’s simpler to work on one site versus many sites. Imagine if you had 10 meetings per day or just one meeting. You’ll definitely be more distracted and stressed out with 10 meetings, even if they were just 30 minutes each. I’m always talking about focus, too.

Want 15,000+ keywords? Get Them Now.

Here is the main reason that I prefer one site:

The Mind-Space of 10 Sites Is Stressful

People underestimate the mind-space that each simple task takes. Easy things like keeping the site up to date with the latest version of WordPress, theme, and plugins become a real hassle when you multiply that by 10. It might take 5 minutes to do that for one site but 50 minutes for the portfolio. Next thing you know, you’re putting off that task even though you know it’s important.

It might take 5 minutes to do that for one site but 50 minutes for the portfolio. Next thing you know, you’re putting off that task even though you know it’s important.

Example of one of my dumb ideas when I didn’t think about the mental bandwidth capacity: I started a case study with 4 sites as a test for expired domains versus new domains. You can read about it, but eventually it failed and it was WAY more work than I ever expected. If I set up a small team (as described here) to work on each site, then it would have been a different story. Well, the whole thing still would have failed, but I wouldn’t have been as stressed out.

If you’re thinking, ”Why does is it stressful to have a portfolio?” here’s why..

Each Site Has Overhead and Admin Work

Every site has some level of ongoing maintenance and this is the part that will eat you up. Each thing is small but adds up…

It might be something related to:

  • The domain name renewals
  • WordPress updates
  • Theme updates
  • Plugin updates
  • Backups
  • New content
  • Ongoing outreach
  • And so on…

You can imagine that most of that is pretty simple and won’t take much time. But other parts do take more time and a lot more effort. It’s the simple stuff that isn’t hard that will totally bog you down.

When Will A Portfolio Work?

I know portfolios work great and they have their place. As a counterpoint, here is when portfolios are a good move:

  1. When you have the budget to hire a qualified team, including a project manager. I have to include a PM since it’s in my background. The main thing is that you shouldn’t have more than about 6 people report directly to you or it gets messy. So if you have a PM, a Content Manager, an onpage SEO Manager, an Outreach Manager, then you’ll have a tight, lean team that will interface with their teams without you having to work with 10 individual writers.
  2. If you have a proven system that you know works. Rob Atkinson did this effectively, in fact, you can watch all the coaching case studies for free here. We developed the system over about 7 meetings and I turned a lot of the concepts into the Five Figure Niche Site course.
  3. When you already have a successful site, then it’s wise to start up your next one. Then, you work on the new site in a dedicated way and use what you learned from your first success. You can keep moving on as you build more successful sites.

I caution people that are new to niche sites and want to start more than one site. It’s trouble. Here’s why:

When you’re starting out you’re learning, and you’ll change your methods, your system, as you go. That’s a great thing and you should learn from your real life feedback and take action based on that. But the trouble starts when you implement something on all 10 sites and then realize there is a mistake. You have to fix it on 10 sites, while if you had only one site it would be just 10% of the work.

Rob Atkinson

rob-atkinsonThis is a great question, and I had a hard time trying to decide which side of the fence I’m on. But, after much deliberation, I would say TEN niche sites are better than ONE, especially if you’re first starting out.

Here’s why:

Test, Test, Test

While I do acknowledge managing multiple niches will spread your attention, it pays off big time when it comes to learning SEO. If you only have one website, you’re going to be ultra-conservative with your ranking techniques. I’m not saying a long-term approach to your site is bad, however, I personally love to experiment on my sites with different techniques. Having more sites let’s you become a better SEO, which you can apply to your one site.

Risk Tolerance

This largely comes down to the type of SEO you’re doing. I consider myself a gray hat SEO and know that I must have multiple sites to reduce the risk. I have a higher chance of losing my website to a Google penalty.

However, even if you consider yourself a white hat SEO, you would be a fool to think you get a free pass with all of Google’s Algorithm updates. For example, let’s say you’re get 50 guest posts for your site, and you go a little aggressive with your anchor texts. Boom, Penguin penalty. Google doesn’t care what type of links you have in that case.

It’s Fun

Yes, multiple niche sites are tough to manage. Many of my sites do get left in the dust. But I’m the kind of person that craves new things, and hopping around my sites keeps me more interested in my business. That said, I do envy people that put their sole focus on only one site, as I’m quite aware of the power of focusing on just ONE thing (great book by the way!).

Rob Atkinson is a great friend & digital nomad, making a great Full-Time income from Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites. He had a record month in Nov 2016 and you can see exactly how this “regular guy” ramped up his portfolio of sites using templates and processes.

Charles Floate

charles-floatePersonally, one site is better…

Managing 10 sites is a chore, they individually get less overall authority because your budget/time is split 10 fold and you will often end up (if you’re going after the same niche 10 times) overlapping in keywords and fighting with yourself.

I often find if I’m building a big authority site that I’ll unintentionally rank for keywords I’ve never found using my previous research, which allows me to be a lot more targeted with my budget/time on those individual low hanging fruit keywords than I’d ever be able to find on 10 different sites.

10 sites is likely better if you have good budgets and a huge team, but I’m all about ROI and it’s hard to justify the cost of 10 sites in an unknown niche.

Charles Floate is an SEO phenom from the UK and he’s 20, though he’s been in the game for years. Even though I can barely understand Charles over his accent, his YouTube videos are rock-solid and cutting edge information. (Just kidding about the accent, buddy!) Go check out some of his stuff, like the Link Building Quick Wins or WordPress SEO Strategy Guide.

Matt Diggity from DiggityMarketing

matt-diggityTen sites.

Hands down.

When you’ve diversified yourself amongst a portfolio of sites, you’re now protected against algorithm updates and shifts in consumer trends.  At the same time, you have more sites to experiment on with new SEO techniques and an exponential amount of new verticals to branch off in.

Matt Diggity is the man when it comes to Private Blog Networks and SEO experimentation. Most SEOs run a single test and call it a proven fact…Matt tests like he publishing is a scientific journal. If you have read Diggity Marketing before (and appreciate Gray Hat strategies), then check it out. Here’s one of my favorites.

Andrew from BrandBuilder.io

If there’s one thing I learned from being in this industry for over 8 years, it’s that you should do one thing at a time. While it may seem like a good idea and +EV (expected value) play to churn out dozens of niche sites and hope that each site will (eventually) bring in $100+/mo – that will almost never happen.

You’ll lose focus somewhere along the way and won’t follow through with anything that matters.

sideproject

Courtesy of CommitStrip.com. Check them out!

You should pick one vertical, one niche, one domain and construct the best possible website your visitors will love. Your work doesn’t stop when you fill the site with content, set up opt-in forms, create sales funnels… No, that’s when you need to start doing some actual (marketing) work. There’s no point in waiting for SEO to kick in – you gotta go out and hustle hard to get targeted traffic to your site from Day 1.

Andrew James: entrepreneur, digital marketer, wine enthusiast, hustler (in a good way) & the guy behind BrandBuilders.io.

Stuart Walker from Niche Hacks

For me personally it’s hard enough to focus on ONE site and give it all the time and attention it needs (there’s a lot to do) so how anyone can focus on up to 10 is a mystery to me.

My advise would be to focus on one site. You can grow it to new heights and income levels that wouldn’t be possible when you’re spreading yourself so thin.

And there’s always the argument about not putting your eggs in one basket but I don’t think that applies to any website where you treat it like a real business as you make sure you have multiple traffic sources and income sources.

So if one does dry up or runs into a problem there are backup options.

This is the only type of site you should be running IME, no point in running sites that only get Google traffic and can only earn from Adsense or Amazon’s affiliate network.

As Google traffic is unpredictable and not guaranteed and Adsense and Amazon ban all the time. You don’t have a real business if you can be out of business overnight by an algorithm change or a banning from a network.

So yes, one site only for me.

Stuart Walker is the founder of Niche Hacks, one of the top internet marketing resources. They seek to help over 5,000 individuals in the next 5 years find their profitable niche and free them from full time employment thanks to the online income they are generating with niche ideas and online marketing advice.

Dave Fox – Niche Site Project Success Story & Case Study

dave-headshotSince I have a number of sites myself, I’m going to have to go with “more sites = better”.  Although it does sound appealing to have one site that makes all the money, compared to 6 sites which make the same amount, for me it wouldn’t have been possible to entertain that option of just growing one single site, just because the reason I made more than one was because I was getting a bit bored with having one site in the first place.

So there’s that, but there’s also the fact that I was interested in trying out some different niches, just to see how they worked, and I couldn’t have done that with just one site either.  That said, the logistics of having a bunch of unrelated sites can be a bit crazy, I will admit, but if you can manage your time properly, it can also be pretty exciting to watch because you never know what is going to take off next.

It’s like betting on a horse race and you own 5 of the 10 horses.  To me that means less chance of losing.  That’s my 3 cents!

Connect with Dave on Facebook

Kevin Graham of Bulk Buy Hosting

kevin-grahamI much prefer the portfolio approach of ten sites earning $1,000 per month over one earning $10,000.

There are a number of reasons including:

  1. The higher multiples that smaller sites are tending to sell for on Empire Flippers
  2. Risk is spread across 10 sites, so if one site has a new competitor that out ranks you, you’ll only take a smaller hit to your earnings
  3. Higher liquidity – it’s easier to sell a $1k site than it is to sell 10% of a $10k site.

Kevin Graham is the founder of Bulk Buy Hosting and makes about $30k per month from his Amazon Affiliate Niche Sites. Bulk Buy Hosting is the premiere hosting solution for Private Blog Networks if you want to erase your hosting footprint.

Shawna Newman from Skipblast

shawna-newman-photoI’m definitely in the multiple site portfolio camp, with the main reason being that it minimizes risk – namely the risk of losing all your income overnight. If you have multiple sites, then it’s not the end of the world if one gets penalized by Google or takes a hit from a competitor’s negative SEO.

Another benefit of multiple sites is that you can test out different tactics on the sites instead of having to pick one and hope that it’s the most effective for your single site.

And finally, with multiple sites you can easily sell one off without losing all of your monthly income, unlike with a single site.

Shawna makes a full-time income from niche sites and blogs at Skipblast. She sold a bunch of sites with the Empire Flippers. Shawna says on her about page that she’s “tired of hearing how there are no women in SEO or Internet Marketing. There’s plenty of us and we make bank just like the guys.” I’m glad to have Shawna on the list! Check out her current cases studies.

Jon Haver from Authority Website Income

The answer will depend on your situation but for me I prefer to have TEN good sites vs ONE great site assuming they are all making a meaningful amount.

The big reason is that although you give up some ability to focus and really drive improvements on one site you gain by being able to run more tests.

The more you experiment and test the faster you learn and I believe in the long run the ones that can test/learn and implement the fastest will win. So by having 10 meaningful sites it gives me the ability to test a lot.

My one caveat is that each site needs to be meaningful, I would rather have 1 site making $1,000/month then 10 making $100/month but I would rather have 10 making $1,000/month then 1 making $10,000/month.

Jon Haver blogs at Authority Website Income. Jon Haver is a 32 year old, husband, father, engineer, sports fan and huge geek when it to comes to automating and outsourcing any activity. He’s one of the first guys I read about back in the day when I was getting started online.

Kent Chow from Niche Up

kent-chow2-300x225I prefer to have 1 Authority site and have 2-3 smaller niche sites. I would mainly focus on one site to grow as huge as I can. It’s very hard to switch working on multiple niche sites at the same time. I’d like to focus ONE project.

To reduce the risk (have all eggs in one basket), I’d maintain a few smaller niche sites and publish content on weekly basis. They are on the side in case the main authority site gets hit.

Also I can sell off those smaller sites in case I’d need some cash flow.

Kent Chow blogs at Niche Up and he’s been building niche sites since 2011.

Will Blears from One Man’s Brand

Great question, this is something I’ve reflected on numerous times and my answer would have to be ten niche sites and I will explain why below.

Now, ironically, my answer isn’t reflective of my current situation, it isn’t that I haven’t tried – I have more than 10 established websites with about 7 making money, but one of my sites makes the majority of my revenue so whilst I’d like to have 10 sites each earning $1,000 each, in reality I have one site that makes five figures and a handful of sites that make four figures.

We all know how the saying goes, ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ and I am a firm believer of this when you are building Amazon niche sites. Interestingly, my opinion does change when we start talking about authority site projects, you know those sites which add an incredible amount of value, are bespoke, have unique features and assets and are built with the intentions of growing a brand, for example The Wirecutter. If that is what we were referring to then I’d change my answer to one site. However, since we are really talking about niche amazon sites which as much as I hate to admit it, are more of a rinse and repeat strategy then my answer sticks at 10 niche sites.

So why do I think ten niche sites are better than one?

It all boils down to risk, reward & cashflow.

Risk

Having one uber niche site which is hitting five figures every month is awesome, but it can be quite risky. I am not sure talking from the perspective of Google rankings, but also other factors such as the site being hacked, the site going down due to website errors, wordpress errors, database errors e.t.c these are all things which would instantly reduce your income to zero! Whereas, the risk with having 10 established niche sites is significantly lower, if one site goes down you have 9 others to support you.

Reward

Admittedly, having one site hit five figures is a fantastic achievement, a huge motivator and also proof that a niche Amazon site really can achieve a huge amount of success. The strategies I’ve used to hit five figures with one site are no different to that which I use for my other sites, its simply down to the market, average price and demand as well as the fact that I rank in Google.

The issue I have with having one site hitting five figures is that as the site grows and grows the size of the opportunity to continue growing gets smaller and smaller, you get closer and closer to the ceiling at which point there is no where to go. Whereas, if you have 10 established sites all hitting $1,000 each (which by the way is a ridiculously massive achievement) then you quite possibly have a huge opportunity for 10 websites to grow exponentially and potentially hit five figures each!

Cashflow

This is a huge factor for me.

And something I am very jealous of Rob for 😛

I have one site which generates the bulk of my income, I can’t raise cash quickly without selling my big site and therefore drastically reducing my income. The other issue is, a site as big as that will take months to sell, you have to find a buyer with enough money, then there is a significant amount of time invested in due diligence, communication e.t.c

Whereas, Rob and others who have a network of sites hitting four to five figures can quite easily raise cash by selling one of their assets, reducing their monthly income ever so slightly and probably finding a buyer relatively quickly as well. Just look on Empire Flippers, Amazon niche sites with historical records which generate $1,000 – $2,500 a month sell like hot cakes!

With one big niche site, your hands are tied.

These are the three biggest factors, and why I would always choose ten niche sites over one, however as I mentioned above my answer changes when we begin talking about larger projects with big picture goals.

Will Blears blogs at One Man’s Brand and he has 11 years experience in Online Advertising and dabbled in everything from building Proxy Websites to being a Clickbank affiliate & vendor, to promote CPA offers through Paid Advertising. Now he specializes in Amazon Associates.

Matt Allen from Dumb Passive Income

matt_up_north_fbKnowing what I know now, after several years of experience with building and running niche sites and blogs, I would say that ONE niche site is better than ten. This, of course, is assuming that the same amount of money is being earned in either case. But I prefer not to think in static terms like that and I look towards future growth and potential.

I know and understand the importance of diversification. Many will argue that ten sites would be better because if one goes down, you still have others earning. This is true. But – as a guy who currently owns and is managing several different niche websites (not quite 10), I can tell you that it is very difficult to effectively manage and maintain many websites at once. Even with the use of helpful tools and virtual assistants – it’s nearly impossible to give each and every site the attention that it needs in order to earn at its full potential.

If I had it to do over – I would prefer to run just one single website. If I put 100% of my focus on just one website, the potential for earnings and growth could be magnified and multiplied much easier than if I were trying to divide my attention between as many as 10 sites at once. I would pick a broad niche that has many smaller sub-niches and I would build out the best content on the internet for each sub-niche. Doing all of this on ONE domain that builds up authority would have really powerful long-term implications. Just stay away from any black-hat link building techniques and you shouldn’t have to worry about the site tanking in the search engines one day.

Matthew Allen is a full time trucker – part time blogger and imaginary entrepreneur. He is the only known trucker who is blogging about creating passive income online. He blogs at Dumb Passive Income.

Other Thoughts on the Portfolio

Here are some problems with the portfolio of 10 sites making $1,000 each:

People Look to Diversify Too Soon

The time to diversify is when you finished a project and it’s in a steady state of ongoing support and maintenance. That means the niche site has stable traffic and can be reviewed once a month or once a quarter to make sure it’s not suffering due to neglect.

The wrong time to diversify is when you’re starting out and don’t have a full grasp of whatever you’re launching. I did this myself: I tried to launch about 5 sites all at the same time. None of them really took off, not until I ignored 4 of them and focused on just one site.

People hear their role models talk about diversity and think they should do it, too, even when they’re beginners. It’s a big mistake to emulate your mentors when you’re a beginner.

“I Get Bored Easily or I Get Distracted”

This one makes me laugh since it’s sort of like an excuse. On the SPI blog post, a person named Kevin said this:

“I’d go with 10 sites over 1.

Reason one: I get bored easily. As an entrepreneur I want to continue learning new things and starting new projects…” (*He listed 3 other things that aren’t important…)

I’m willing to bet he doesn’t follow through and complete projects that he starts. It’s a cop-out excuse and I call B.S. on that.

I used to say that in some form in the past, but I’ve learned that the less I work on the better. It’s funny when you get started in internet marketing because it seems like a crazy new idea that will never work, until you make your first few dollars.

Then, you realize there’s this whole world of opportunity–all you see is opportunity. You feel like you’re going to miss out on one thing and another and another, so you start more and more side projects. You’re left with several side projects.

Finally

There is no right answer for everyone. As you can see, even pros and experts have very different opinions. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself.

And, WHAT ABOUT YOU? What do you think? Leave a comment below and tell me:

  1. How many niche sites you currently have.
  2. If you’d rather have 1 niche site or 10 niche sites and WHY.

Check out my YouTube Channel for tutorials and demos.

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38 comments… add one
  • Gosh dang! We all make some very good points and there still is no definitive answer one way or the other. Lol. I suppose it still is, and will always be, just a matter of preference and opinion based on experience and goals.

    • I completely agree. It’s simply a matter of personal preference and one’s ability ($) to handle a project from start to finish.

    • Matt, thanks for the contribution! Yep, it’s a toss up for sure.

  • Cheers for letting me break up some of the testosterone 😉

    And I definitely wanna agree with your point of “The wrong time to diversify is when you’re starting out and don’t have a full grasp of whatever you’re launching.” Gotta know the basics of what works before you start going balls to the wall.

  • Depends on availability of time and resources.

  • I can see the value in doing both. I think focusing on one site is probably better for productivity and maintaining sufficient “Mental Bandwith Space”.

    However, I can’t get over the fact that if something happens to that one site, you can see your income disappear. I hear too many stories of people losing revenue to one site going down or having the platforms they are invested in disappear or become banned.

    I would say to focus on one site. Get it generating revenue. Have systems in place to have it running with the help of a virtual or local team. Once that is established you can start on the next one. At least when the site is up and running you can collect revenue or sell it while you are working on the next. However to work on 10 sites at the same time. I think that would be mentally exhausting.

    • Samuel, you nailed it. You gotta do this one site at a time, or it gets a bit hard to manage.

      So many people want to have sites on a part time basis and 10 sites would most likely be a full time gig if you’re starting them all from scratch.

  • Great list! I’m just getting the hang of niche sites. I have a couple, but only one makes enough extra cash to pay a bill or two. It’s great to see another WOMAN in the niche site building world. I was wondering if there are any women who try to create niche sites instead of food blogs or DIY blogs (although those blogs do make a lot of money). Thanks for including Shawna on the list and showing me that there is at least another woman out there working on niche sites!

    The biggest challenge I face with my first money-making site that ranks well in Google is that I chose a niche that has initially low dollar items – my average item cost is $35-40. So the margin is lower.

    I started writing about the products because they fell into an area I was familiar with and also follow along with my hobby. It’s the old conundrum – write about what you know and love or pick a topic I don’t know and try to figure it out. I chose the former – otherwise I wouldn’t have a niche site at all.

    I’ve since started writing about more expensive products in my niche after I crunched someone else’s Amazon report. They write about higher ticket items and the average cost for their items sold is $100. I’m starting to get products making $15 in profit from Amazon now which is helping with my commissions. It seems like a no-brainer to write about expensive products, but when I started learning about niche sites, I didn’t consider that aspect at all.

    And, no one really talks about price points for the items one should write about when they give away their “freebie advice pdf” to get you on their email list. They usually say “write about what you know”, or research keywords and write about low competition products. The other point when starting a niche site is to find low competition products that cost a lot to purchase. Why slave away writing about products that will only bring in $1.20 or $.80?

    I started a second niche site related to the first and find that it’s easy to write and cross reference each other where relevant. I see traffic going back and forth – and I can also focus on other affiliate marketing ads in the sidebar and in the posts where relevant.

    Thanks for posting a great list – and including a woman! 🙂

    • Hey Carli, Thanks for the comment and I’m glad to see more women in I.M.

      Once you have those bigger prices ranking, then you’ll be set. I think a wide price range is great to have.

  • I was hoping for some sort of clear answer! I have 5 or so affiliate sites that are up and running and sometimes feel like I’m spread too thin. But, I do like the diverse income sources that comes with that. Hmmm.

    • Jackie, thanks for the comment! I was surprised to see everyone’s take and no clear trend.

      It’s all a matter of preference. 🙂 5 sites does sound like a lot. Do you think any of them has hit their potential?

  • Hey doug, This is real great to read thoughts of expert on this confusing topic 🙂 ,

    I prefer to have more sites only when I am able to make good amount of money from one site.

    Last year my one sites hit $10000 then only I decided to go for other sites. U know its really tough to focus on many sites and make them successful .

    So my vote goes to one site at a time and after getting good results I go for other sites

    Thanks

    • Shahnawaz, thanks for the comment! I agree about getting one site off to a great start, then move on to the next.

      Do you have a site doing $10k/month? If so, maybe you can be featured as a success story…

  • I prefer to start with one main site and other smaller sites which I will mainly be using for testing ideas and stuff I learn.

  • If not 10 but one should at least have 3 sites, as mentioned in your article about being safe from google updates. Also since I outsource my content, I am easily managing 5 sites. 2 Big and 3 Niche based. Yes 10 is a very big number with amount of work needed, but I will still recommend having 3 sites. Sometimes luck do favor and u never know which website suddenly picks up.

  • Just to defend the “I get bored” mentality a bit more. The reason I pick certain sites is sometimes based entirely on profitability, and not so much interest. So, I will pick that profitable niche up and roll with it for a while. I may even gain interest in that niche, since I’m learning as I go, while other sites that I start out thinking are really exciting, end up being a drag. For me, the excitement factor is key. In fact, if I didn’t make this fun for myself, I’d probably just go get a normal job because if its boring to me, it basically *is* a normal job. I didn’t get into this to turn it into eating meat and potatoes with no salt or seasoning every night. If I commit to one boring but profitable site. Profitability is not the main thing for me, but it is a close second to not wanting to stab my eyes out. On the other hand, there’s trends out there right now which are the opposite of boring to the point of being totally ridiculous. Go on Youtube and watch some of those Frozen Elsa videos where there’s a bunch of guys in Spiderman costumes running around. Those guys are buying lambos, but do I envy them? No. Why? Because they’re morons. Go “prank” your own mom, scare the living sh*t out of her and make a few $1000. These are the trends of the day, folks. There’s certain things you couldn’t pay me to do.

    • Dave, thanks for contributing! And I see your point about making it interesting for yourself. You’re your own boss so you should make it a job you like!

      And, thanks for the Frozen Elsa tip…I didn’t know.

  • I am not sure I buy the whole risk reduction argument. If you have one site or ten that use the same, or similar, SEO tactics, then all of them are going to get hit if there is a change to Google’s algorithm.

    You can argue that each small site may do better at different times of year to even out your earnings. I can also see that if you have a production line of sites you want to sell on, then I can see how building and ranking multiple smaller sites would work well.

    However, I have found that if I put content on a new site it ranks about six months later with a lot of work, whereas if I’d put the same content on an existing site, it starts ranking in days/weeks with little effort. So from an ROI perspective, I much prefer making a big site bigger than working on many smaller ones.

    • Matt, thanks for the comment!
      Yeah, you summarized a lot of what I left out.

      I think the content play on an existing site is really powerful.

  • Habib

    Tnx for the post.

  • Newbie = Baby Steps= One is more than enough to learn because 90 % fail before making a dime online.

    Personally, more is better IF IF IF IF you have Rocking Stars Writers who don’t need so much Guidelines to make a kick ass Article.
    To save time , I train my writers to do all the data entry ( pictures, links) , I have just to give then an extra $$$
    Cheers
    Azedine

  • Oh, to have one site making $1000/mo… Much less $10,000.

    I have three sites and I’m starting a 4th. I start the first three around the same time and with three very different ideas. One started gaining traction earlier this year and gave me the confidence that I can actually make money at this. The second one is now starting to make money, but I suspect I’m just getting holiday purchases. Although, it’s not a real holiday oriented site. My third site is the “ugly sister” site. I started it with a “funny” concept. And, as a result, it won’t have nearly the quality the other two sites have. I have very low expectations for it. But, I’ll keep it around because it’s kind of my SEO playground where I don’t care if it get’s penalized.

    That brings me to my fourth site. I feel like one of my mistakes with my first three sites was picking a niche with less expensive products. I’m trying to change that with my fourth site.

    I would love if one of them could make $10,000/mo. But, right now I feel like it’s unrealistic to think that any of the sites could grow to that value. I hate link building, so my sites will grow slower than those with those talents.

    So, my answer is… Enough sites to earn what I need to replace my current salary and still pay for insurance somehow!

    Regards,
    Jagger

  • Hi, Doug

    First of all, Thanks for publishing a great experts opinion post. In today’s date, I have 2-3 niche sites on the same niche but targeting different micro areas.

    In this case, My approach would be to have 10 different sites and that actually help me diversify my income stream and decrease the risk of google algorithm updates.

    I believe that google won’t understand and look out which link building methods have you used for your money sites. So, Instead of focusing on single website I will go for multiple niche sites approach.

    What is your suggestion about if the main website(generates $10,000 alone) got penalized then how would you recover back?

    Thank you,
    Aakash Patel

  • Arif Ahmed

    We always hear about niche sites so how about niche consultancy like Digital Payment Consultant or Web Analytics consultant? Does this make sense?

    It would be great if you can cover a post on how to become a consultant.

    • Hey Arif, thanks for the comment. I may have a bit to add to that conversation on the productized service end.

      Niche sites are an easier way into the online world in my opinion…

  • Another great post Doug. Personally I think, when big guns saying 10 sites they still talking about one in the long term as only one bring the most amount of money. It’s just psychologically easier to focus on on thing – your mind is clear, you know where to go, you know competitors, you can easily manage all activities. When you have 10 – you have to decide yourself into 10 pieces and think like 10 different people, it’s very stressful and you 100% loose focus. I really like Ken Chow meaning: 1 general and 2-3 soldiers, but you can afford soldiers only when the General is mature enough and you have money to test. Regarding selling small websites – it works only when you have the main source of income and building the brandable niche with a though if selling it on Flippa is not the approach I like, I prefer to build a small brand around niche with big players, overtake them in Google rankings and then offer them to buy the winner.

  • Mohammad Umair

    Hi Doug.

    If I had a choice, I would start off with more than one site initially (not necessarily 10 though). Over a period of time, it will be clear which ones are showing signs of positive growth. I would then cull the ones not giving much ROI and focus on those which are giving good returns.

    After that it doesn’t matter if I end up with one site or more than one, at least I will be aware that those sites are worth putting in more efforts.

    Would love to hear from you.

  • Great post, always nice to hear different opinions from various experts. I too have found that creating many sideprojects always stay right as the name says “on the side” or on the bottom of the to-do list.

    I ve had 500+ sites back in the adsense days and also run my own pbn so i am used to the hassle of managing multiple sites, but if you are creating a brand than 80% of the focus should be there.

    Sincerely, Igor Buyseech

  • Tecmobs

    I prefer a one niche site because its very easy to manage

  • i THINK 1 WEBSITE IS MUCH BETTER THAN 10 SITES. THOUGH IT IS RISKY . ONE CAN FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONTENT, 10 sites will require more work and attention little distraction may occur as where to focus.

    • Dnyandeo, thanks for the comment! (But, WHOA, lose the caps lock, buddy.)
      I think diversity is important but people try to diversify too soon.

  • Good arguments on both sides, and one of the cool things about this post is that it sends a lot of link love juice all around. Not to mention the perspective of successful internet marketers. Just think of all the backlinks that will come out of this post and comments!

    Maybe a different way to phrase this would be to ask, depending on where people are in their internet journey. Focusing on one site or one thing as a beginner is a good idea. But having more than one site does spread risk.
    What I am wondering is how to set up a structure of services I can use to automate the process as much as possible. On the other hand, paying for all that is a challenge, until cash flow can support it.

    One big problem of sole affiliate and SEO people is that there are so many variables to take care of, that getting to that place where there really is passive income is a dream that most of us have not realized yet.

    For sure, more than one well developed site to spread risk would be nice but may not be so feasible, until one is really experienced.

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