Adsense: Finding good ideas for a tool based Mini Site

Tools2 Months ago I revisited the subject of mini sites breaking them down into the 3 main types being, product based, information based & tool/calculator based.

I think it is pretty safe to say one of the most successful method is a tool or calculator based mini site. A tool or calculator does a simple job cleanly and quickly that is of use or service to the visitor thus making it extremely bookmark worthy and link worthy through social sites such as Digg/Stumble etc etc

The obvious examples I have shared before are Tattoo Fonts & Tattoo Tracer, both of these mini sites cater for visitors by providing a useful service quickly and efficiently.

The reason I am covering this topic again today is that I had a few requests by people asking for ideas or inspiration for mini site topics.

The main & obvious types of tools are;

  • Calculators ~ mortgages/savings/investments
  • Dates ~ Birthday day (Mon-Sun)/how many minutes old you are
  • Dates ~ Due dates for pregnancy/menstruation
  • Conversion cal ~ weights, currency, measures & distances
  • Conversion of file types ~ list of good programs for various conversions

All of the above have been done in some form or another but that is not to say they are ruled out, you can still create your own tool based on one of the ideas above however there are a couple of important points to remember.

You want the experience of using your tool mini site to be a good one so:

  • Don’t use adverts for the first 6 months at least, preferably longer to allow natural backlinks, people tend not to link to ad heavy websites.
  • Keep the page layout simple and clean
  • Make a prominent ‘add to favourites’ bookmark button or link
  • Add in tags to remind users to use their social bookmarks

To step away from some of the obvious tools and look further then you can use Overture and do searches, creative thinking here can turn up gems that few others would think of, it is always a good idea to see what people are actually looking for.

A simple search for “Tool” brings up many results, most of which may not be helpful but some offer an insight into potentially useful tool ideas.

Norton Removal Tool

Norton removal tool – 5328,
Check the domain availability: .com is reg’d however nortonremovaltool.net is available!

So it’s searched for and there is a good domain available, sounds like a great start for a new mini site that can offer info or a program – that domain is still available now as I type this  ;)

Other searches that may throw up interesting mini site ideas could be

  • converter
  • convert
  • solve
  • finder
  • “how to”

Everything is at your fingertips if you wish to build mini sites, tools have the potential to build traffic levels way above the norm and can earn $$$ + per month each if done well, I’ll leave it there for today :)

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Thats a great idea and I really like it.

    It has a lot of various potential. I will go there and see if I can find something that I can work on and see how it gets on.

    Does the extension of the domain matter? say if its .info or .com?

    Because atm I would rather go for .info than .com becuase its cheaper. ;)

    • I have never used .info to be honest Abdul so not really in a position to comment on how they rank.

    • I always prefer .com’s Abdul due to it being the first domain extension that people think of when typing something in. I also havent used .info though, but I dont have any interest in .info though.

      • I’ll prefer a .com too as .info gives a spammy feel although, once the site is mature enough, domain becomes only a secondary thing.

        • I understand why .com seems better but I think .info are still useful especially if its an information site such as a calculator or a tool making it relevant. At one point I managed to get a .info to be a hosting company which did well for a while

        • .info are cheap and as a result have been heavily used for MFA’s therefore they are genereally perceived as poorer quality sites, that is my understanding of them, that may not relate to ranking though.

  2. Nowadays, the idea of having a .info domain was changed. People think that websites with .info domains are ‘crappy’ or MFAs or a crash test type of website. It lost its meaning of being a mark for a information-based website.

    Great article Sir Scott, short and sweet. The idea of a Norton Removal Tool website is kind of offset though, people can just go directly to Symantec’s website and get it there. Just my two cents. But it sure did give me inspiration :)

  3. Ok, so here is a question. How do you find, or get tools to use? I’m not a coder, so let’s say I have a great idea of a tool to put on a mini site. How do I get one made?

    • You can contact coders in sites like digitalpoint.com or even scriptlance.com

      there are lots of places where coders advertise them selves and for people like your self to post in too.

      • Yep, as Abdul said I also posted on DigitalPoint and was helped out, I have also posted on rentacoder.com for someone to make a script, I am the same as you Justin and can’t code.

  4. Great post as always, Scott. I wonder, how would you classify a service sites such as evite.com or meetup.com? On one hand, they are designed to do one thing. I guess they are not targeting a small enough niche to classify as a mini-site?

    • Cheers Ed, evite does a single purpose but I’d say its quite a large developed website now selling gifts as well rather than mini site, I would normally call a mini site something that should be pretty quick to either put together or get coded, sites that let people send text messages & invites would generally be good tools so would fit under the remit.

  5. Interesting strategy. Do you think the trademarked term in this case could cause issues? I don’t know if Norton goes after people for that sort of thing or not.

  6. I doubt on that thing Ed, Norton Removal Tool is free they should thank you for making another site for them, lol. Norton should be more aggressive to people who produces cracked programs of them rather than attack people who makes a website for Norton Removal Tool. JMTC.

    Ok, anyone here has a good heart to give me a domain name?

  7. Oh, lol. You mean I can just follow the contents of this site: NRT?

  8. ive just found a good niche based on this post. my problem is the domain. only the .us and the .co.uk is available. will this affect my search engine ranking? im planning to register the .us.

    thanks.

  9. Thanks for you informative post – I need to find a programmer!

  10. Wow, whoever saw this post and made http://nortonremovaltool.net/ directly, I salute you for being quick! I wonder why the one who made it use WordPress though, it’s only about featuring the product, not blogging ;D

    • Worpdress is used for other sites as its easy & quick to install without having to FTP changes etc so it seems to be popular even for mini sites.

  11. I know, but well, he will not be adding content later on as he is only featuring one product, he could have just used a simple one page design, just my two cents though.

  12. I personally would have used WordPress because it IS so easy to use. Even for a “one page” site…

    If you’re using AdWords to promote a site, I’ve heard it said that Google loves the following 3 things:

    - contact page
    - terms and conditions page
    - about page

    I’m no pro, but using wordpress and it’s MANY free templates would make life easier.

    Either way, this is a GREAT post! Definitely going to make somebody (HOPEFULLY me) money. :-)

  13. Hi all,
    sorry about that, couldn’t resist the temptation.
    Not too sure about having wordpress though, as per scots good advice on my other sites I’ve changed from WordPress to basic html.
    By the way if anyone wants the domain http://nortonremovaltool.net/ you are most welcome to it (this cost me about £6 or maybe less). My idea was to see how many people would visit the site, as I am quite new to this, I find any traffic to be very very exciting !.
    So please let me know.
    ATT

  14. Thanks Matthew,
    If you thinkg this would be of use to people then certainly, I am happy to put links.

  15. I want it, I want it! :D Please. Hehe.

  16. ATT, why not? I need something for me to do in my summer. But since you’ve started doing things for it already, it’s no problem at all, just thought of replying to “if anyone wants the domain name, you are most welcome to it”. Just don’t ask for a refund though, I ain’t got no Paypal. :P

  17. Hi Scott, would you care to comment on this idea?

    Using WT I found the following phrases with +150 daily searches. “How to select a cat urine remover”, “How to choose a cat urine remover” and “cat urine removers”.

    The domains CatUrineRemover.net and .co.uk are available.

    The idea was to make a 1-page site by having a student essay written on the topic (+1,500 words).

    Why would or wouldn’t this be a good idea for a mini site?

    • If you believe it will get traffic and it is not competitive then that would make a great basis for an info mini site.

    • I’d expect you’d also find a fair few affiliate programs for that sort of site, I know I’ve sold a few things on Amazon connected to cat urine (crazy I know)

  18. Well I’m giving it a try to see how it goes. I’m currently hiring a writer on Elance and as far as I can see I’ll get a 1,000 – 2,000 word article for about $80-$100.

    I expect to build a few links to the site to get it indexed and hopefully the article will be good enough to have people linking to it on their own.

    I expect to start adding aff deals and adsense once the sites gets some decent traffic. Might take 6 months or so but if I can make $10-$15 per month that’ll still be a good ROI.

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  1. [...] useful. This clearly takes some extra effort to do the programming, and then you need to find some mini tool ideas that people would actually want to use. The idea is that the tool becomes viral, so that you spend [...]