XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> My Mini Site Experiment

My Mini Site Experiment

Posted on 30. Jun, 2010 by .

I have created several mini sites within the last few months. The reason why I did this was to actually make money through them. So in this article I want to share my experience with you on mini sites.

I have to warn you though. I haven’t quite mastered the art of building mini sites but I hope that this article will still prove useful to you.

For everyone who thinks about creating a mini site I can only say: Simply try it. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot of things while creating these mini sites and that’s why I will keep on creating more of them. The most important thing you shouldn’t underestimate with building mini sites is that you gain lots of experience especially concerning SEO.

My Experiment

I created my two first mini sites 2-3 months ago and simply wanted to see whether it would be worth it and whether it’s easy to make money through them.

Travel Mini Site

My first mini site is a travel related site. On it I simply offer information on traveling. This includes pictures from trips I did and lots of other things. With my travel mini site I haven’t tried too much out yet and to be honest the only way I am trying to make money through it is by using Adsense in combination with Amazon’s affiliate network.

To say the least I haven’t made any money through it. Not through Adsense and also not through Amazon’s program. The reason might be one of very obvious thing: Not enough traffic.

I haven’t really put much effort into building links for this web site. The funny thing was that the mini site immediately started ranking number one on Yahoo, probably because of the domain name. Still this doesn’t mean anything since I haven’t really gotten a lot of traffic from Yahoo and other search engines.

Here are some details about the site:
Backlinks: 9
PR: 0

So you can see that I haven’t really created a lot of links back to the site. Thus the traffic is … well you can’t really call it traffic ;) Here are the analytics stats:

You can see that there is not a lot going on. Still I think it’s a great way to see that the visitors are highly interested in the content because of the high Avg. Time on Site and Pages/Visit. Note that you have to take into account that this mini site has only around 6 webpages.

Public Speaking Mini Site

I create this mini site because I wanted to create a site where I would simply focus on promoting a product. Much like Glen has done it with his Bookmarking Demon mini site.

My site is solely focused on selling a product within the public speaking niche. The website itself only has two pages and the main page solely focuses on getting people to want to buy the product.

I haven’t made money through that site either (seems like I am not very good at). Again the reason can be multiple things. Maybe the people I am driving to my website aren’t really interested in buying the product. On the other hand it could still be the problem with the low traffic. The last excuse I know of is that I am doing a poor job of selling the product.

The reason why I haven’t done anything about it is that I wanted it to rank well in Google before doing any major testing or changes. That way I would get enough traffic to be sure that the data I am collecting is reliable. That’s why I have done some more link building for this website:
Backlinks: 50
PR: 0

As you can see from below the website gets around 150-200 pageviews per month. This is not much but again I am not promoting this website and all this traffic is solely coming through my link building efforts.

The interesting thing to see here is that this mini site differs completely from the other one. You can immediately see that the Avg. Time on Site and Pages/Visit are way lower than the ones of my travel mini site. The reason is of course is that it’s built to sell a product. Keep in mind that this mini site has only two pages so the maximum Pages/Visit would be 2.

So this is all I can really tell you by now about my mini sites. As you can see I haven’t been that successful but that doesn’t matter that much to me because I have learned so much along the way.

What do you think about this experiment? Do you think it’s worth it to build mini sites? Was this useful to you?

15 Responses to “My Mini Site Experiment”

  1. Jakes

    30. Jun, 2010

    I don’t really know which all sites fall into this so called ‘mini site’ category. Anyhow the following is what I would like to say.

    Mini sites have less number of links/pages and hence the probability that they appear in SERP is low unless you type that specific keyword that exactly suites your site. But in case of bigger sites like blogs the chance is more due to the large number of pages. So it is quite obvious that the traffic is low par in case of mini sites

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      30. Jun, 2010

      There are probably too many sites that are falling into this kind of category. And I totally agree with you. The fewer pages you have the less the probability of them appearing in SERPs. Still I thought it would be easier to get my pages to rank well you know. But still it has been a great experience and I am quite confident I will find a way to make it work even better.

      Thanks for the comment Jakes.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Murlu

    30. Jun, 2010

    Definitely worth the shot Julius, just keep building them up and up – backlinks and such.

    The best part about minisites are how little time they take so you can easily move onto your next projects while it grows organically.

    It all takes time – one minisite I created just recently started topping the main keywords – a year later. It’s starting to bring in decent money but it all took some time.

    Keep us updated on the progress of these :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      01. Jul, 2010

      Yeah I have to agree with you on that one. It doesn’t take much time to set them up. Still the most annoying thing about mini sites is SEO or link building for that matter. I have been link building for over a month now and it has been tedious. How do you build links back to your mini site?

      I also have lots of new ideas for websites and how to make money through them. I am excited to try them out :) I will definitely keep you updated on the progress. Thanks Murlu.

      Reply to this comment
  3. blogcop

    30. Jun, 2010

    Hope you’ll be continuing this experiment. You won’t get any serious traffic until the site has been around for at least 6-12 months, because search engine traffic doesn’t really do anything for the first few months. Jakes mentions a good point above, having more content gives search engines more to index, but the age of the domain is more important. You can be very well indexed with a relatively small site once you’ve been around for a while. Keep at it and I’d be interested to see how you’re doing at the 6, 9 and 12 month milestones…

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      01. Jul, 2010

      I will be sure to continue this experiment. I found it extremely interesting to have to do all these things by myself. And yes you might be right, traffic might only start to pick up after a certain period of time. But still Glen from PluginID has managed to get his mini sites ranked number one on Google within a matter of a week. That’s why I will continue to try and improve my SEO skills to become better at it.
      And yes Jakes has a good point there. More webpages will certainly give you more traffic. Will see how it works out :)

      Reply to this comment
  4. Eric

    01. Jul, 2010

    This is really cool. I haven’t created any mini-sites yet and would be interested in learning to do so. I have heard it’s not too hard and I”m sure with enough hard work and time that money will eventually come in.

    Of course, nothing beats the learning experience you gain from doing this and nothing beats the value you’re putting out there to your readers/buyers.

    Keep up the good work! :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      03. Jul, 2010

      Thanks Eric. I am glad you like the post. It was actually a lot of hard work to get these sites to rank somewhat well.

      And yes the most important thing about this is the experience you gain from doing these things on your own.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Michael

    01. Jul, 2010

    Cool. Why are you keeping the URL’s secretive?

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      03. Jul, 2010

      Well the problem usually with mini sites is that the main work is in finding a niche and thus the keywords you want to rank for. Now if I were to post the URLs on my blog it would thus make it possible for every person to simply copy the keywords and niche I have found. You know what I mean?

      Thanks for the comment Michael.

      Reply to this comment
  6. mizcash

    06. Jul, 2010

    Hi Julius, I am glad you gave these stats as I am about to try something like this. I want to nexperiment with mini sites and the results I get. Thanks alot and I will let you know the results.

    Reply to this comment
  7. satrap

    08. Jul, 2010

    Nice experiment Julius. I like many others haven’t done anything like that. I always thought of mini sites as only sales pages. Which in a sense they are. I think the best reason to start a mini site is to promote a product on it. And optimize it with “buying” keywords, and drive highly targeted traffic to it. I am sure other people use mini sites for verity of reasons, but its the only way I can think of that would be worth the effort. But then again, I don’t know muh about mini sites, so I could be totally wrong.
    Any way, thanks for sharing your experience, its always good to read posts about hands on experiments. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      10. Jul, 2010

      Thanks Satrap. And you are right about mini sites. Thats what they are usually about. Simply promoting a product and optimizing for buying keywords. But at the moment I am rather trying to create sites that offer information instead of directly selling a product.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Rick LaPoint

    29. Aug, 2010

    I have tried several mini-sites, full of great seo, and (what I thought) was good copy.

    But the thing I have noticed when looking at at the mini-sites of others is

    1) lots of traffic according to Alexa
    2) that traffic probably comes from their mailing lists, not search; that’s what got me looking at the site, one those pestering emails.

    And the reason I was on the list in the first place is because they were JV’d with someone else who had me on their list…

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      30. Aug, 2010

      Hey Rick,

      That’s an interesting point you mention. There are some people who build mailing lists on their mini sites. It’s an interesting way and it probably makes them even more money over time but that strategy isn’t be right for me. I rather present genuine information and let the user decide for themselves whether they want to click on the ads or not. Email marketing done solely to promote products is too intrusive for me. What do you think?!

      Reply to this comment

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