The arguments for and against tackling more than one niche site are both strong.
The debate rages on.
I’ve taken the multi-site approach with a portfolio of 17 niche sites (Fat Stacks being one of them).
I have friends who focus on one site only growing it into a monster.
Table of Contents
- My reasons for tackling multiple niche sites are as follows:
- Which brings us to today’s questions:
- Should ALL of your content be leveraged across ALL sites?
- Should you start out in this business with more than one site?
- Should you link among your sites with dofollow links?
My reasons for tackling multiple niche sites are as follows:
Diversify traffic and revenue streams
Yes, I’m spread thin and my bigger sites’ growth trajectory suffers by tackling many sites, but I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I know Warren Buffet says to “keep all your eggs in one basket, but watch that basket closely,” but even he’s well-diversified inside Berkshire Hathaway with outright ownership of many companies and large investments in multiple companies. He’s also diversified across multiple industries including insurance, energy, railroads plus his gargantuan $90 billion in Apple stock.
Big sites tend to enter plateau phases and can suffer a worse fate such as decreasing traffic. That said, with diligent focus, they can also grow to dizzying heights. I guess prudent me fears the worst and so I strive to diversify traffic across multiple sites.
Grow multiple assets vs. a single asset
If you have one huge site, when you sell it, you essentially sell your entire business. A different strategy is growing multiple sites with the intention to sell them here and there over time for large cash infusions and to capitalize on a high ROI.
Enjoy the challenge and stave off boredom
I love the challenge of getting new sites to 500 to 2,000+ daily visitors. For me, that’s a sweet milestone because that’s when it starts earning meaningful money and if ad/affiliate revenue is decent, is self-financing.
Self-financing sites are a thing of beauty because you can then grow it indefinitely without losing money and you end up with an asset that rapidly increases in value.
For example, a site earning $20 per day, which can be self-financing, is worth around $18,000 (based on a 30-month net income multiple). From that point forward you have a sizeable liquid asset that in time will grow in value – probably generating a far better ROI than investing in stocks (unless you’re Warren Buffet). Note, that getting to $20 is the hard part.
It’s good to have rainy day sites in the event of a catastrophe
If ever my biggest earning site crashed and burned, I’d much rather have a few aged sites on the side with 2,000 to 3,000 daily visitors primed to grow than start from scratch.
For me, this is a very compelling argument in favor of multiple sites and that is the growth trajectory is largely based on time which we have no control over. You can publish all the content you want on day one of a new site, but it will still take many months for that content to rise in Google search and start earning.
By publishing multiple sites, you leverage the time factor by having multiple sites grow in value merely by sitting there with some good content on them.
This is the most salient point for today’s article and that is when you have multiple niche sites, you can leverage your content.
The fact of the matter is that many topics can be framed for multiple niches.
Which brings us to today’s questions:
- Should you publish the exact same content on multiple niche sites? NO
- Should you publish similar content on multiple niche sites? YES – but do it right
While seemingly the same question, they are very, very different.
1. Do NOT publish the EXACT SAME article on multiple niche sites
Yes, folks say that duplicate content issues don’t apply to the same content on multiple sites. And yes, I’ve seen the exact same content on multiple sites rank in Google.
Nevertheless, I don’t think it would be a good idea to have multiple sites all with the same content among them. This is NOT the approach I take. I can’t imagine two sites with identical content would both fare well. I could be wrong and I’m sure there are clever SEOs out there who could prove me wrong. I just don’t think it’s a great long-term strategy.
2. Leveraging some SIMILAR CONTENT among multiple sites is fine (IMO)
As set out above, one benefit of publishing multiple niche sites, especially if in big, broad niches, is you can leverage your content across multiple sites.
Here’s why it works.
Many article topics apply to multiple niches if you frame it correctly.
Here’s an example:
Suppose you publish a fashion and a travel site. Guess what? You could publish about travel apparel on both sites. The approach may be different, but the time it took to get the photos and the expense of buying the apparel is leveraged.
Should you target different keywords?
Yes, you definitely should. At least I do.
There are usually multiple keywords for the same topic.
Returning to our fashion and travel site combo, here’s an example.
- Fashion site title: My favorite outfit when flying that looks fabulous and is super comfortable
- Travel site title: The Best Type of Shirt and Pant for Long Flights (for Women)
While both articles are pretty much the same, they are framed slightly differently.
For the fashion site, the emphasis is looking good while being comfortable when taking long flights.
For the travel site, the emphasis is on suitable clothing when traveling by plane for women.
Is it okay to use the same photos in two articles on different sites?
I think this is okay. After all, many use stock photos that are used on many sites. However, it doesn’t hurt to use slightly different photos for each article. When you take your photos of your products or whatever it is you’re writing about, you might as well take tons of them so that you have more than enough for both sites.
With respect to whether you should use the same stock photos, it’s probably okay. I’ve done it. The key is reframing the article so that it’s targeted to your respective audiences.
How I leverage my content quickly?
This is pretty easy to do and in almost every case, publishing the second version goes much, much faster than the first version. In some cases, I rewrite it for a different audience. This requires a totally different introduction, different headings, different focus but in the end, the general content is the same.
Another approach is to outsource as a rewrite. I do this as well. I just order it up as a rewrite on WriterAccess. Often I’ll further tweak the intro. I may also tweak the content order instructions asking them to frame the rewrite to a particular audience.
Nevertheless, you can often submit a rewrite for a lower per-word rate than it cost for the original due to the research and/or photos required.
Should ALL of your content be leveraged across ALL sites?
What I mean by this is whether you should restrict content topics to those that you can use on more than one site?
My answer to this is NO.
Do it when it works out. If you implement this restriction you may miss out on many great keywords and topics.
Should you start out in this business with more than one site?
While I’m all for leveraging content across multiple sites, I’m still of the view that you should not launch a second site until the first is performing very well and that you’ve developed systems for its growth.
However, if you go the multi-site approach, you may choose your second niche based on your ability to leverage some content from your first site.
The learning curve is long. You will be far less efficient during the first year than someone who has been at this for 5+ years. Focus on growing one site, getting efficient, building traffic
What about cross-promoting sites? Is this a good idea?
This is actually another advantage of publishing multiple sites. You can drive traffic to and from when it makes sense to do so.
Whatever cross-promotion you do, it needs to make sense. Promote content of one site on another that is relevant to your readers.
This is one of those hot-topic SEO issues.
Some folks say it’s fine with Google to interlink your sites with dofollow links as long as the source and target articles are relevant, linking out serves as a good reference and is good for the user. In theory, I agree with this. If it’s good for the user, it should be fine to do. I also believe that “in theory” Google is okay with this.
BUT, Google’s ago is an algo and every link is not manually reviewed. This means interlinking with dofollow links could become victim to some algo link building penalty. I suspect it’s unlikely, but it’s possible. Accordingly, I do NOT interlink with dofollow links. Call me paranoid, but the benefit/risk ratio isn’t worth it for me.
Yes, many other sites owned by publishers with multiple sites do interlink sites with dofollow links with no problem whatsoever. While the risk is low, there’s still a risk.
For example, I link to my sample niche site in many places on Fat Stacks but I do so with nofollow links. I don’t want Google to think I’m trying to manipulate search results for my niche site.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.