Mini Sites don’t always make mini money

mini.jpgI love mini sites!

Definition: A mini site is a small website with a very narrow subject focus and have their own identity often on their own domain name.

Mini sites offer several functions and can be used for PPC Adsense adverts or affiliate sales or product promotion, they tackle one narrow subject with an article and can be a single page or a few pages in size.

While some sit back and hope for that one big killer idea that will launch you into internet wealth and stardom there are people building mini sites by the bucket load and earning a great income from them. The joy of an adsense based mini site is that once it’s complete you can often walk away and have a small regular income from it to add to your portfolio, product and affiliate mini sites can often be promoted using Adwords & Pay Per Click to produce a profit.

A mini site could be a page in HTML with no fancy navigation or flash, it is designed for a purpose of attracting highly targeted traffic, the tighter the targeting the better.

So taking adsense as an easy example and the fact that a very quick mini site put together could easily make $1 per day($30 per month) just with rankings from MSN/Yahoo you could do a quick calculation and work out how many mini sites you may need.

Say $2000 per month would be a good initial target, $2000/$30 = 66 mini sites.
Does that sound a lot? Mini Sites are very easy to put together, I build 7 of them during a spare hour today, during that hour they were all created, uploaded and live.

5 Things you will need for a unique mini site
1/ Domain name
Domain names are cheap and there often deals posted on forums. Host Chilli are selling .info domains for around  $0.30!

2/ Hosting account
You will want a reseller hosting account if you don’t already have one, this means you pay a set monthly fee and can add unlimited new domains and websites. I have always used Fasthosts out of habit more than anything however there are much much cheaper reseller accounts around starting from around $5 per month.

3/ Basic template or layout
You may be able to do this yourself, or if like me you don’t code or do design then there are plenty of free website templates available online like OSWD

4/ Content
The subject of your mini site will be related to the domain and content, content is king so you must ensure that this new one page website has unique content, how do you get that? Well you could write it yourself or buy an article from an article writer. The problem with both those methods is that you usually end up with general low quality information, a better way would be to buy old essays from students, these articles have often had many hours spent on them with valuable research and are available electronically and are unique. You can therefore pay say $15 for a very well research & unique article that deals with one specific subject in depth.

So sometimes you need to find the article/essay before you know your topic and can then register a domain name that’s specific to the mini site topic.

5/ You will need a monetising method like an Adsense account to generate income from pay per click adverts. You could instead register with Commission Junction and use affiliate links in your mini site if you feel the topic relates more to products & services rather than information.

Once you have access to content, your hosting reseller account setup and a domain registrar to register domains with you can see how it could be very quick to build unique mini sites, having 100 mini sites could give you a handsome income.

Does this mean that mini sites are just another Made for Adsense scourge and generally another scar on internet. Not at all, using good sourced content means that rather than regurgitating articles already freely available you are adding content and information to the internet from which you can profit.

Note you will have to get some links to these new sites either by adding them to your signature in forums or submititng them to some directories so that the sites get spidered and indexed in the search engines.

You can also look back through your mini sites and look for one’s to develop further to add services or features that make it more useful to grow the traffic. One page websites can rank well and be very profitable so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. A mini site can be built just to supply a single purpose/function for example I own Tattoo Fonts which is a one page mini site which allows users to see text in a variety of fonts. The php code for this site was supplied to me for free and was run as a competion/task in a PHP forum, I gave a free domain name to the winning coder as a prize.

That single page mini site has earned:
$129.44 last month (February 2007)
$189 so far his month (26th March 2007) 

It gets around 900 unique visitors per day, 66 of those sites would be nice eh?

That is an example of a more valuable service based mini site that does more than just offer information thus making it the type of site that gets added to people’s favourites and recommended on forums etc.

Mini sites that offer a service need to have an angle, if your sticking to information mini sites then the content sourced must be of good quality and checked using tools such as copyscape to make sure it does not already appear on the internet.

When you have a large amount of information based sites then its quite common to get high paying clicks of $1+ from adsense so if you have some spare time and motivation you may not have to wait for that one big killer idea to start making money online.

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. Again a very informative post, i’ve got a few mini sites and i can only hope some of them become as popular as yours!

  2. Ash do you find mini sites more profitable than parking domains if they have a little traffic?

  3. Much more so, a couple of my best mini-sites are typo / vaguely trademarked names that already received traffic. Parking a domain that has little or no traffic is pointless.

    I’d like to really crack this mini-site game, my latest attempt is: Greyhound Racing i need to add more content and some SEO work and then see where it goes.

    I would prefer to monetise it using Adsense but for obivous reasons am unable to.

  4. Yep that’s me! I can’t really do anything specific really, it would make my life a lot easier if I could design or code or something! great links there for templates cheers 😀

  5. I have a business proposition for you if you want to follow up through email.

    I’m serious by the way, hopefully this will be enough to entice you to respond. If not, I can find other avenues to advance my work, your loss not mine.

    Oh, and when you do send me that follow up; word your email carefully so I, and my email host, may know that the email is actually from who it says it’s from.

  6. Previous comment directed at author/runner of website…

  7. As a side note I noticed Ash used HTML code in the reply (although incorrectly from clicking on the link).

    Do you support HTML code or BBCode

    Of course I had to include some code to try

  8. I missed off the http:// section! I think it supports both HTML and BB.

    Scott could you fix it?

  9. You can post basic html, links, bold, italics and bits like that. I’ve now fixed Ash’s post thanks.

    Charlie, I’ve added a contact form ( http://selfmademinds.com/contact-us/ ) so feel free to get in touch that way.

  10. you’ve mentioned it gets around 900 unique visitors per day. all from search engine? after you’ve created your ministe did you do linkbuilding, buy links, link exchange etc or did google just find your site…

    thanks

  11. Traffic from search engines, links, diggs, all sorts of places, no I didn’t do any promotion on that minisite as it’s quite viral and does its job of making people recommend it to others with no effort on my part, so I gave it about 3 links from my sites to get it spidered and it’s run itself ever since.

  12. It is the first time I read about Host Chilli, do you recommend them for .info domains? Ever had a problem with them?

  13. I haven’t used them personally Tiago, just found they offer really cheap domains so worth pointing out I thought.

  14. Speaking of Digg where are your easy “Dig this” icons?

    I can see a lot of these being pretty popular already.

  15. Initially we’ve been focusing on quality content (which will continue) and not so much the marketing side. You’re absolutely right though it’s certainly worth doing. Thanks for the push 🙂

  16. I agree quality content is key to a successful site but IMO the little “Digg it” buttons are very unobtrusive and easy to use/add since they provide the code 😀

    Also noticed you use WordPress and there is a separate HREF=”http://www.aviransplace.com/index.php/digg-this-wordpress-plugin/”>Digg This – WordPress Plugin.

    P.S. whether you add now or later its easy enough for me to digg posts with the Digg This! Firefox add on.

  17. ok, I have some domain names, I have a reseller account, I can design and code sites, I have an adsense account…….. why the hell am I not running several mini sites like you’ve talked about…… somebody slap me!!

  18. Just a for info, Tattoo Fonts finished up making $235.42 last month showing that a mini site with a tool or calculator or some hook certainly helps greatly, the 7 information mini sites that I made are already earning and I’ll be making more this month.

  19. Any hints on locating essays / articles would be most appreciated. 😉

  20. Sent you an email.

  21. Scott, great read, thanks for your help

    Mally

  22. Hi Scott, I´m new at this business. Just started a blog last month and I´m trying to learn whatever I can. Never heard before about minisites. Precious info, thanks.
    But I have a serious doubt:” how can a single person know so much to have dozens of them?”

  23. I don’t know about all the subjects, that is why I source informative/accurate and unique articles from student essays/dissertations so that the content is of a high calibre, that way it can generate traffic from all manner of search terms specific to the topic called long tail keyterms. Having unique content is not enough ~ it has to be good content Stratorider in my experience for maximum effect. I have pay for the content from sources that I trust to ensure its accuracy.

  24. Can you leave me some url´s just to see what it´s all about?
    A non-related question, I´ve also gathering some info about proxies, but are they legal?
    If so, are they also profitable?

  25. Hi Scott. Where do you get student essays?

  26. I think I’ll revisit mini sites in another posts soon as I have a few questions that deserve a new post really. Proxies are legal but not usually profitable.

  27. Yes l definitely agree with the auther!
    l have seen many sites which have a very simple layout and a very simple programmed codes, they work in a very narrow area even on one subject sometimes but they gets very huge traffic from google and they earn huge incomes…
    Thanks foır the article.

  28. Recep, what kind of site do you have running? It seems odd?

    Scott, how long has your mini page been up?

    Nice article, what do you think is the best niche for a mini page?

  29. Great information! The only thing I would like to point out is that it is easy to create mini sites but it’s not as easy to get traffic to those sites. Without traffic there’s no income. What advice or tips do you have for getting some traffic going to these minisites?

  30. Ratman: I have had mini sites for over 12 months, I’ll report later back about the one’s I created last month and how they are doing. Any niche works as long as you can be very specific on the topic, ie don’t cover ‘weapons’ get an essay on Roman Empire and their weapons, literally hundreds of thousands of niches can generate small traffic on any domain.

    Two options Paul, either source a small traffic domain or make sure the article/text you get is of high quality, ie student papers/essays, that way you can pick up traffic from long tail search terms from a well written article. Both options involve zero promotion which is often necessary when creating many mini sites. I will probably be doing follow up posts about finding cheap low traffic domains and how my mini sites are doing.

  31. Hey Scott and hello to all…I’m Patty and I’m interested in knowing how to start a website, domain, and or mini site. I’ve searched many websites but unfortunately, there’s knowone stating how to start. Please advise…your help and help from others as well is greatly appreciate. Thanks

  32. Is it a good idea to build many mini sub domain sites instead of one domain for each topic?

  33. Just a questions about buying essays. I want to give this mini site thing a bash and have been looking at essay sites. Do you just do a basic cut and paste of the essay for the mini site or do you have to get permission to use it for that purpose, or are there sites that give you that permission by buying the essay?

    I’m going to try 5 sites at first and see how they go.

  34. You can buy unique essays that you get exclusive rights to that you can then copy/paste Garry.

  35. Thanks Scott, I’ll have a dig around for some decent ones.

  36. Hey Patty, i´m a newbie also but i´l try. To register a domain, first you need a name e.g. “fresh water”; then you´ll register it at: namecheap.com, Godaddy.com, hostchilli.com… it will be like: http://freshwater.com (you can choose between .com, .info, .us, .org,….), then if you don´t code you´ll need a template see coments above and finally you´ll need a server and content to your site.
    Check those forums, they have all the info and contacts: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/

  37. Hi Patty, i wrote a basic article about creating a mini-site, it may be of help: http://www.quickwhois.co.uk/blog/how-to-create-a-simple-mini-site.html

  38. Is it ok if i create the mini site using one domain name?

    look at problogger, darren from Australia.
    he has many mini site using same domain name.

    http://www.breakingnewsblog.com/ has so many site which is using sub directory. is that ok?

  39. Using one domain can be done as well Jack however mini sites can offer a way for domainers to better monetise their domains, if your starting from scratch an old well trusted domain can offer good results but will probably lose some of it’s magic after a while after it covers so many different topics without being able to be defined in any one topic by Google.

  40. I guess you could probably use one domain with a number of ‘themed’ subdomains. Of ocurse you run the risk of Google frowning on subdomains in the future then…

  41. .com domain is not cheap. 😀
    Using one domain name can save more money. 🙂
    I don’t need to think of the new domain name. Do you update your mini sites? If yes, how often do you update it?

  42. Personally I have recently used mini sites for existing undeveloped domains rather than have them doing nothing but yes you can use a single website, better to use folders/directories rather than sub domains. I dont update mine, they are designed as a one time setup and then residual income.

  43. Jack, if it worked so well I don’t think a Google search for http://www.breakingnewsblog.com would come in 30th. It also hasn’t been updated in 3+ months so it doesn’t really live up to it’s name LOL

    This post on the topic is old but has a lot of great points.

  44. wecwzrd, http://www.breakingnewsblog.com has a lot of blogs using one domain name, but different folders/directories.

    Scott: Maybe i will try to use one domain for one mini site to see how is it. 🙂 how many unique visitors do you get for your mini site everyday.

  45. You can’t really beat age Jack.

    I have a one month old mini site doing 5-10 visitors per day and I obviously have TattooFonts.net doing almost 1000 per day and all sorts in between. I would go with one domain, one niche subject, a great well researched article and then look for the long tail keywords to make it pay.

  46. i have one domain which has few folder for different website. each website has a niche subject. so far, there are 2 website get over 100 unique visitors per day. there is one over 30 unique visitors per day but less than 100. I don’t know if it is because it is of my sites are 6 months old.

    how old are your mini sites?

  47. I notice that they payee on Tattoo Fonts is “Tatto Fonts” in Paypal when you go to donate.

    May I ask how you do that? I.e., Paypal allows only one business/premier account and one personal account per person. And it’s hard to imagine that you’d be using a “Tatto Fonts” payee account for your other websites.

    This is a intersting issue for folks that have multiple businesses and want to use Paypal in a professional way (i.e., have the account reflect each business).

  48. I now have my first minisite running!
    it´s only a first try, so it´s not near perfect, but anyways i´m happy with it.
    Thanks for giving me a new perspective of all the possibilities…

  49. Very very very interesting post! I always think about that but I’ve never found the “energy” to do that before today!

    Thanks 😀

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