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Focus on Top Producing Sites or Start From Scratch?

Adsense advice

     
5:49 am on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have about 10 sites that do ok on adsense. I earn below $1000 each month. My sites don't get a ton of traffic, the best gets 500 visits per day and the next two get about half that.
The others get very little traffic an earn very little.

Would you focus on the top 3 sites and expand the traffic on those or would you create new sites that may produce at about the same level.

My question is should I put most of my eggs in these 3 baskets or should I keep producing more sites (ie many baskets)

Having gotten to over $500 a month I feel that I have a good idea about what works and should be able to increase my earnings. I'm just not sure of the direction.

I know its just personal opinion but I do value the opinions here.

Thanks

11:19 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Actually I think that you should go for as many Adsense sites as possible - this is just my honest opinion - because you never know what keyword will trigger a $10 click! I have had this happen on pages that didn't get a lot of traffic and I was thinking about getting rid of the site but it is a legitimate site and it does serve a purpose and having that "$10" click just motivates me to keep the page going (and to find out what keyword triggered that $10 click! ;)
11:35 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Actually I think that you should go for as many Adsense sites as possible

ROFL
Making MFA sites is a bad idea. Never suggest to people that they should make MFA sites. Who will they blame when they lose their account[s]?

11:38 pm on Jan 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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<sarcasm>
If you're just going to chase adsense dollars, then by all means get as many sites out there as you possibly can. Multiple pages of thin, scraped content and plaster them all over the internet.

Chase those $10 clicks! Buy lists of high ranking keywords and scatter them liberally throughout your text. I mean you just never know where that next $10 click is coming from.
</sarcasm>

There are some MFA webmasters, and I use the term "webmaster" very, very loosely here because most of them wouldn't know a line of code if it bit them in the ass, who throw up 30 or 40 blogs about nothing, interlink them all heavily, throw up so many adsense blocks that there's very little else on the page, and actually have the audacity to think they they're contributing something to the web.

Concentrate on your main sites jonpoh. SEO them. Look for quality link exchanges among relevant sites. If you have other sites, fine, but avoid duplicate content.

You'll do okay. And if not at least you'll be able to hold your head up.

3:47 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Okay I can see where I am being misunderstood here - When I said put up as many adsense sites as possible I meant that if you have a website or blog in mind then surely add adsense to it - I wasn't talking about mfa sites. I'm talking about if you have 10 different interests and you have a site for each of them then why not add the adsense to them
4:22 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thats the problem with this board, every question is answered with that "Making MFA sites is a bad idea." and "Multiple pages of thin, scraped content and plaster them all over the internet."

No one said anything about that. My sites are all REAL sites, with content that I am interested in. I don't scrape content. I don't have 30 or 40 blogs. I don't even have 3 blogs..

But as I said some of my sites are bigger and doing much better than the others.

I guess when you post on this board you have to explain your entire history, motivation and content before people will give you any credibility.

I have been building sites for 10 years and operate several e commerce sites as well as a hosting company where I host over 100 accounts.

I am simply wondering if it has been your experience that its better to Focus your energy on 1 -3 sites or if most people that are reaching their goals (several thousand per month) are doing it with 10 or more sites.

4:43 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thats the problem with this board, every question is answered with that "Making MFA sites is a bad idea." and "Multiple pages of thin, scraped content and plaster them all over the internet."

If you are referring to my comment, mine was directed at Roseb44170 because [s]he said "Adsense sites" - and yes, MFA sites are a bad idea.

4:47 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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jonpoh;

I think it probably comes down to how comfortable you are with maintaining multiple sites.

I suck at that, so it's mostly one bigger site for me. I've certainly got the content that could be used on 30+ sites, but I'd never get around to maintaining them all.

I say that because you mention that 3 of your sites are really carrying the load at the moment.

There are real good arguments to be made for having multiple sites, for instance, not having all your eggs in one basket.

That won't help much if the sites suffer for lack of attention.

4:51 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I guess when you post on this board you have to explain your entire history, motivation and content before people will give you any credibility.

Not at all, but terminology can be a problem at times. esp when used incorrectly. It pisses me off when you see someone on TV stating how many hits their site has had, thinking that hits are visitors. I scream at the TV :o

There are people that come here with the intention of making MFA sites, and there are people here that do not want to help such people. So, please understand when people ask, as it is not always clear.

I am simply wondering if it has been your experience that its better to Focus your energy on 1 -3 sites or if most people that are reaching their goals (several thousand per month) are doing it with 10 or more sites.

There are too many varibles to say one way or another. It depends on how much time you have to dedicate to each site. How large they each are. Niche... and IMO, SERPS help.

From what i've seen, I get better CPC when I am high up on page 1 than I am low down on page 2.

Try one (or two) of your larger (or busier) sites first. If you can handle another, then do so... and so on and so on.

5:07 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am simply wondering if it has been your experience that its better to Focus your energy on 1 -3 sites or if most people that are reaching their goals (several thousand per month) are doing it with 10 or more sites.

That is actually a tough question to answer, at least for me. I think you can make the most money focusing just on one site, but that also gets to be a bit risky, like putting all of your stock market money into one stock. If you buy one stock, it could be a Google or it could be an Enron.

There have been a lot of stories here over the years of people who had just one site, something happened to it and then they couldn't pay their mortgage or employees' salaries. For me I have enough sites that when there are algo changes I usually don't notice the difference. Some sites my go down in traffic and some sites might rise but my income comes from enough different sites, keywords and search engines that it all tends to even out. I find it more interesting to work on lots of different topics, though sometimes it gets hard to keep track of everything.

Lately I've been spending my time trying to buy another site I've had my eye on even though I have no idea where I'd find the time to work on it. But with interest rates so low right now, web sites are the one place I know I can usually make a pretty good return on my investment.

In a post from several years ago Brett once said:

"Long term SEO rocks on the net today because those that survived the purges, survived because of one simple premise: diversification. Build pages big, small, in between, high density, low density, multiple small domains, single big domains, lots a links, no links, deep content, shallow content, but content, content, content. Keep those users come back for more. Make the search engines your unwritten partners - even when you feel they let you down. Give the visitor what they want, when they come from an SE to your site. "

5:14 am on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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That won't help much if the sites suffer for lack of attention.

That is a good point. A lot depends on the type of sites you have. I try to make mine as low maintenance as possible.

2:03 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"Multiple pages of thin, scraped content and plaster them all over the internet."
No one said anything about that

No, of course you didn't jonpoh. You'll note that I had some sarcasm tags around that. I think you misunderstood me. Let me get a couple cups of coffee down and I'll try to explain. Your question is a good one. I was reacting to a different post.
2:34 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am simply wondering if it has been your experience that its better to Focus your energy on 1 -3 sites or if most people that are reaching their goals (several thousand per month) are doing it with 10 or more sites.

My question to you is:

1. Do these sites have evergreen content and not require updating very often, and by very often this could possibly mean only changing the date in your copyright .inc once a year

OR

2. Will the sites be in a constant state of updation with new content being published or existing content being amended?

If it is #1 then go for the multiple sites and especially so if they are covering different subjects.

In the case of #2 you may find the workload huge in maintaining multiple sites and constantly updating pages, you would need to have a very strict work policy to give multiple sites constant improvements.

And just to let you know that after 16 years my biggest two sites are still my biggest AdSense earners however the contribution made by many others is very welcomed.

I'll tell you a psychological advantage of creating multiple sites...I find they're much more fun to build and even though I am still using my own template design, I can try new ideas and experiment whereas that could be disastrous with an established big site.

Realistically I don't believe there is a definitive answer other than "eggs in one basket" however if one loses one's AdSense account it's a mute point altogether!

2:48 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Huskypup, My sites are "evergreen" for the most mart. I do update often but the content does not go out of date.

I appreciate your views. My main site relates to a particular hobby and or craft. I only get about 500 visitors per day on this site. I hear people getting 20 times that traffic or more. I rank well for a small list of terms but cant seem to get beyond 500 visitors a day. Would you be happy with that on a niche site or do you think i should continue to try to grow that traffic?

The other new sites that I build are fun and I'll continue to build them i'm sure. I've been at this for about 7 years and am just about to pass the $23k mark for all time. That sounds good, and i am happy with it, i know I should be able to earn that every year.

2:57 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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To answer your question in a more clear cut way... which sites should you focus on.. and I've been faced with this same question myself. As always, your milage may, and probably will, vary.

I currently have 30 websites. 20 of those monetized with adsense or some other ad serving platform. 10 of my sites have no ads at all, nor will they ever. The majority of these sites are over 5 years old. Several are 8 years old and 3 are 10 years old. I have found, simply by sitting here and watching, that the older sites get proportionately higher standings in SERPS than the younger sites. Age of site is a significant factor in Googles ranking algo - and I mention Google because 80% of my traffic comes from Google. They are the go-to SE as far as I'm concerned. I concentrate on my top traffic sites but not to the exclusion of lesser traffic sites. Nor have I stopped developing new sites. It's a complex mix.

Age of site. Heck, age of page. Here's a good example: An affiliate company I've worked for for years... They released a new product recently and I had an inside line on it. I knew a month in advance that this product was going to be released and set up a page about it. I didn't have the actual product yet but I knew it was coming. I jumped the gun and I wish like hell I could do this on every product they release. I'm showing up in SERPS within days. A month later when the product is actually released and 1000 other affiliates climb on board I own the keyword and associated keyword phrases. It's been a month now and I'm still at the top of the pack (except for the parent company).

Oh, I'll get knocked off sooner or later. The bottom line is that I'm there now and taking full advantage of that position. Age is a huge factor in search rankings.

Would you focus on the top 3 sites and expand the traffic on those or would you create new sites that may produce at about the same level.

Yes, I would focus on the top 3 sites. Yes, I would also create new sites. I wouldn't abandon any aspect of my network in favor of another. My oldest sites are my best producers, in terms of sales and in terms of ad revenue. These are the sites I concentrate on, but certainly not to the exclusion of others. Delegate your time. I don't know about you but I'm a one-man operation and there is never enough time to go around.

I have been building sites for 10 years and operate several e commerce sites as well as a hosting company where I host over 100 accounts.

Sounds like me. I'm getting ready to sell my hosting though. It's waaay too high maintenance.

Interested in buying about 40 accounts?

3:00 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Okay I can see where I am being misunderstood here

No, you're not being misunderstood Rose.

Not by me anyway.

Actually I think that you should go for as many Adsense sites as possible

That's all you have to say.

3:14 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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wyweb. I may be interested. I just bought a companies hosting clients a few years back. I learned a lot about how to value hosting.

I charge $29 a month for hosting. Are your clients paying a fair price? Or do you host for $5 a month?

3:18 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Would you focus on the top 3 sites and expand the traffic on those or would you create new sites that may produce at about the same level.

Experiment, identify and work. My guess is you are the kind of webmaster who anyway will still be creating new content and new sites.

I say experiment because you don't really know for sure how a site will perform until you create it and make it grow. And pretty sure you will develop it anyway.

Identify the behavior of the website, per example I have a website doing just fine with Adsense, for years and with no updates at all. I tried design changes to increase earnings and surprisingly, the original design works just great. I recently focus on that site to add more content and in my case... it didn't make a difference. This kind of site just need to maintain the traffic and the content is not so important so is not FOCUS, is also the kind of focus you need for a project. After the years now I know for sure I can make other sites grow while this one only needs stable traffic.

3:22 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Are your clients paying a fair price? Or do you host for $5 a month

We can't talk about this here. In fact this will get axed when the mods come around.

As well it should.

I'll PM you.

3:25 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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One of the key factors to consider is whether you are building static sites or using CMS. Updating content may be easier with a CMS but think about having to do security updates etc across 30 or 40 individual sites. Look for a CMS will handle many sites on one codebase so you only have to update once for all your websites. It works best for evergreen content.

An alternative way to scale is to delegate or hire people. Give each as cluster of websites to manage and then do the quality check and give direction. Obviously you have to be making enough money to do this and from the numbers you mentioned, you probably don't fall in this category.

I prefer the security of multiple sites for the reasons mentioned already.

3:31 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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wyweb, yes PM me.

all others, thanks for the input. I realize that every site is different and there are no Rules about traffic and income. It just is what it is.

Thanks

3:34 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Would you focus on the top 3 sites and expand the traffic on those or would you create new sites that may produce at about the same level.

It depends on the sites you have.

1. What is their level of market saturation and profitability? Is there a lot of potential for traffic increases?
2. Does the site make enough per visit for it to be the best use of your time?
3. Will your current sites lose visitors if they lose your attention?

Never stop thinking, and always experiment. I try to launch a few "experiment" sites a year. Most hardly ever get any traffic...so I let them sit idle.

However, a one day, one page experiment from a year ago is now my top performing site in terms of both traffic as well as AdSense revenue. Also, I have been able to tie the topic of that site to what was previously another "failed experiment" site and make that other site profitable now as well.

There is no clear simple answer to your question. It depends.

3:40 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Would you be happy with that on a niche site or do you think i should continue to try to grow that traffic?

Great, I have loads of niche sites like that and once established let them grow naturally. Sure it's nice to consider having sites that get 50,000/500,000/5,000,000 visitors per day however the more trafficked sites also have considerably more competition and, usually, considerably more every day expenditure.

My overall B&M global industry is huge, it's an ocean with millions of minnows and a few blue whales, I occupy a small niche bay at the edge of this ocean where I can happily play all day almost untroubled by predators, storms or drought, I am THE recognised global specialist in my niche field and constantly in demand.

In my experience trying to attract more visitors to niche sites is quite difficult when one is already #1 therefore when using AdSense it is in trying to increase your EPC and CTR which becomes more important.

I took a decision last October 2009 NOT to develop my main trade directory site any further but instead added three blogs and added new site content there. These blogs are now contributing 5% to overall earnings with their CTR being double that of the regular pages plus these posts are a lot, lot easier to do!

wyweb makes some VERY important points and I agree wholeheartedly, try and keep to the KISS principal and you'll make your work and life a darned site (sic) easier to manage:-)

3:48 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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it's an ocean with millions of minnows and a few blue whales, I occupy a small niche bay at the edge of this ocean where I can happily play all day almost untroubled by predators, storms or drought...

That's almost poetic pup.

I knew you had it in you...

4:05 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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My question is should I put most of my eggs in these 3 baskets or should I keep producing more sites (ie many baskets)

Regardless of which way you go, you're still putting all your eggs in one basket. The AdSense basket.

And just like any other, the bottom can fall out of the AdSense basket and leave you with no eggs.

Diversify.

FarmBoy

4:35 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yes, except that when using that analogy it would be like the demand for eggs dropping off, sure the chicken farmer has a problem then, but while the market is buying eggs, he is still best off to carry them in a few baskets...

hahah. Thanks farmboy. I'm betting you know all about chickens and eggs. (based on your name)

6:22 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yes, except that when using that analogy it would be like the demand for eggs dropping off, sure the chicken farmer has a problem then, but while the market is buying eggs, he is still best off to carry them in a few baskets...

Or the farmer could get kicked out of the egg co-operative and even though he has his eggs in several baskets, he has no market for them and no income.

FarmBoy

6:33 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Your point is well taken and respected. I have begun to diversify using some affiliate programs and direct selling of ads as well. I have seen a lot of talk about that here lately. All good advice. (and it will be followed)

Thanks again.

8:03 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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jonpoh - I was thinking whilst out walking my husky:-) that there is one further element you need to take into account probably making multiple sites the better choice.

For argument's sake you have 10 sites x 100 page v 1 site x 1,000 pages.

If you get bored it is far easier to sell a single small site than a large one and proportionately the value of 10 smaller sites may be worth more than the one large site of the same size since you would maybe have more willing buyers since the cost would be lower for an individual site.

Heck, if it's a good small site it may fetch a really good price in proportion simply because the buyer may have seen opportunities or an application for it you have not.

12:15 am on Jan 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I faced this question about 5 years ago and here's what worked for me.

I followed the implied advice of the adage about the "jack of all trades and master of none". It made no sense to run multiple sites about multiple unrelated subjects.

Pick one: it could be your favorite, or the best performing, or whatever yardstick you want to use. Build additional sites from that one theme. You will, as your success grows, probably sell or drop the other (unrelated) sites.

And now here's one of those ubiquitous fictional examples: you start out with a hobby site about simple workshop stuff and home repairs. Add sites to make a family that includes shop tools, cabinetry, antique restoration, fine woods, and so on.

You'll find that your family makes you an authority of sorts in the general woodworking area, and don't forget that the SE's love authority. Your audience will double dip, even triple dip, from one of your sites to another. Advertisers will see not just one possible site, but a whole collection of on-target marketing possibilities. Affilate relations -if you pursue that angle-- will have more potential as well.

You'll work more efficiently when what you research for one site has uses in other parts of the family.

If it makes sense to you, try this approach.