What is the best strategy: One big site, or many small sites?

Without doubt, there is much controversy or debate regarding whether you should devote your efforts to one big site or many small sites. And the truth is that both sides of the discussion have valid points to make. For a webmaster earning a significant income with a specific business model, that is the side of the debate that she will choose. For her, that has been her success and she will vouch for that method.

Since this article is not going to say one side is right and one is wrong, let’s examine the advantages and the best strategy of maintaining one big site versus creating a network or portfolio of many small sites.

Web Development

Pros and Cons of One Big Site

Maintaining one big site is much easier than many small sites. You focus your attentions on one niche and you are not distracted by what is happening elsewhere. For most people, it is more comfortable to organize their workload with only one site.

Further, your visitors are not “diluted” through a group of sites. For example, if you run a dog site giving people information about homemade dog food, how to keep your dog safe, how to build a dog house, where to let your dog sleep, what diseases a dog can get, etc, you will eventually grow a loyal following. People want to hear what you have to say and want to be involved in your “community”. But if you take each piece that we have cited and create a small site for each topic, now your users have to go everywhere to read your content. You have, in fact, decreased the number of people who will use your big site.

By developing one big site over the years, you gradually become a “professional” or an “expert” in your field. Your site is seen as the “go-to” place when someone needs information, and it is much more common for others to link to the site seeing it as an informational portal. We’ve built one of these sites ourselves at TechGeek.be; a tech website that’s really become a one-stop shop for technuts in Belgium!

But, the biggest and most worrisome issue with one big site is lost revenue. If something changes the traffic to your site in terms of the search engines or public opinion, you are vulnerable to losing your income. The expression “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” fits here.

Pros and Cons of Many Small Sites

One of the greatest advantages of building more than one site is that you can capitalize on seasonal markets. For example, selling handmade toys may be popular at Christmas, while a site talking about beachwear and swimwear will be busy during May, June, July and August. But one topic alone would not make sense because it could not generate enough income to see you through the whole year.

Another reason to have a number of smaller sites is to feed your big site. If you are an expert in your field, you can take specialty or micro niches within your big topic and give the smaller topic a focused venue. You can then let those users know that if they need other information, there is plenty on your bigger site.

Having many small sites allows you to pick and choose niches and build specific niche sites (more info on making money off niche sites is here. Often times, you are working on “trial and error” and you have no clue what site will take-off, earning the most amount of cash. By trying out different subjects, it will not be as devastating to you money-wise if one fails. You can afford to take the risk.

Lastly, when building smaller sites, you can build them and leave them. Static sites are those that provide maybe ten to twenty good articles on a topic, and no new content is added. You continually promote the site but you reap the benefits over and over on the same content.

But the biggest problem with working on more than one site is how to divide your time. You might end up wearing yourself so thin that all of your sites are duds and you accomplish nothing.

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