In some ways I’m a one-site portfolio. My biggest site accounts for about 88.3% of my portfolio revenue (not including Fat Stacks). My second site accounts for about 9.1%. The rest 2.6%.
Not exactly a diversified portfolio, is it?
Some readers have asked questions such as “aren’t you scared you’re one update away from losing a lot of money?”
My answer is yes, it’s a concern. That’s why I’m growing a couple more sites. They’re well on their way. It’ll take time for them to earn anywhere close to what y biggest site earns.
Do I have any regrets?
No way. I focused on one site for years intentionally. I knew it had a lot of potential. I rolled the die and chose to focus on one site instead of divide and conquer.
Who knows, maybe I would be better off had I built out two or more sites at the same time… I doubt it.
It’s not as if my site hasn’t had ups and downs. It sure has. I’ve lost 25% of my traffic from updates here and there. If you own a site long enough, it’s bound to happen. Nevertheless, over time, it’s continually grown.
My focusing on one site does not mean that I haven’t taken steps to reduce the risk from being on the wrong side of Google updates. I have taken steps. Admittedly, it just kind of happened but looking back I made some good moves.
What did I do to lower the risk of losing a ton of traffic with one site?
I published and still publish many different types of articles.
I don’t focus on any one particular article concept. For example, I don’t just publish reviews. I don’t just publish listicles. I don’t just publish Q & A. I don’t just publish how-to articles. I publish plenty of everything including some reviews.
I’ll stick my neck out and suggest I’m more diversified using the article diversification strategy owning one site than a portfolio with 5 sites that are all reviews. I’m sure some readers will disagree. It’s just a hunch.
In addition to publishing all different types of articles, I branched out into many different sub-niches on the same site. I’ve probably gone a bit far with some but the point is the site has evolved into a broad site within a broad niche. It works. It’s working.
If I tank for one sub-niche, the others are there to keep on earnin’.
If a particular type of article stops working, there are many others to keep the site going.
Room for improvement
The one weakness area right now is that I’m a bit heavy on spring and summer content. I don’t like seasonal sites. I have to admit this site has evolved with a spring/summer bent. It definitely gets more traffic and earns more then. I’ve recently launched some winter-oriented sub-niches in an effort to balance it out.
In fact, I’m focusing a big chunk of my second biggest site on winter to balance out portfolio revenue. That’s working pretty well.
Diversifying traffic isn’t really a viable diversification strategy
I’ve read over and over that it’s a good idea to develop multiple traffic sources. I disagree and here’s why.
Let’s say you have a site with 300,000 monthly visitors and have managed for half that traffic to come from non-Google search sources.
Let’s further suppose you get clobbered with a Google penalty and lose all search traffic. You’re down to 150K monthly visitors. You’re still in business but will you be motivated to keep working on the site? Can you even sell such a site?
I know I’d not be terribly interested in the site. I know some folks do really well with Facebook and other traffic sources, but if cut off from Google search, that kinda kills the site IMO.
That’s not to say chasing other traffic sources isn’t worth doing. It is. I do it with some success. I just don’t do it with the intention of replacing Google search traffic. The additional traffic sources are gravy.
It’s easy to get stuck in an article rut
I’ve gone through periods where I publish the same type of article for months. Like you, when I see something working, I get excited and do more of it. Everyone should do that but the way Google is targeting updates to certain types of content, it’s a good idea to diversify everything you do.
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.
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.