How to Build More Successful Mini Sites

Posted on 09. Oct, 2010 by .

Lots of people seem to be interested in building mini sites these days. And the reason is pretty simple. They offer you a way of earning an income without having to work too much on them.

And that’s also the reason why I like them. After a talk with Moon on Skype I decided it might be a good idea to create an article dedicated to mini sites on things you need to keep in mind and how to make them better and rank better.

If you want to learn how to build a mini site then read our previous post.

Link Structure

The link structure is an important part of every website, and here we are not only concerned about links from other websites. Your websites should get lots of internal as well as lots of external links. Many people think that external links are much more important than internal ones and I don’t totally agree with that. While external links can get you to rank well for certain keywords, internal links can achieve that as well. I think Hesham does the best job of creating such an internal link structure. If you take a look at his posts then you will see that he always interlinks them.
The reason why I believe this is important (especially for Google) is that even though Google knows about the content of your site it doesn’t trust it as much. In order for Google to believe that your content is relevant it needs links, external or internal ones.
Remember it doesn’t care whether these are external or internal links. So one big part of ranking well on search engines is to interlink your pages using the specific keywords you are targeting for each of those pages. If you have a page on external hard drives then you would also link back to that page with the anchor text “external hard drives”.
In order to do that effectively simply create multiple pages on your mini site with each of them targeting a different keyword. Then interlink all of these pages and the homepage. If you do that you will definitely be ranking a lot better within no time. But don’t go overboard and cluster your pages with links, 2-4 links per page are going to help enough with SEO without destroying the usability of your site.

I’ve also noted on many mini sites that people make the mistake of adding too many external links (links to the product they are promoting) to their mini sites. Don’t do this. Place 2-3 links to your product on each page but make them highly visible.

Domain Wisdom

Most people will tell you that you should go for .com domains if you are looking at building a mini site. And I truly agree with them. There are other people who are using .org, .me and other domains but I don’t usually use them. Either I try to get the .com or .net domain. Generally you will want to have an exact match of the domain and your keyword. If you are again looking to rank for external hard drives then externalharddrives.com would be the ideal domain. But most of the time this domain won’t be available. In that case simply add something to the domain such as pro, hq, info etc. so you would have externalharddriveshq.com which is still pretty good.

Sometimes when looking for keywords you find yourself attracted to keywords like playstation 3 games. That’s a bad decision though. Due to copyright infringement you shouldn’t buy playstation3games.com because you could get sued for it. If you take this thought further you can actually create mini sites that will rank very well though.

Some products have a unique product name. This is usually the case with cameras and displays. Now let’s say you want to promote a camera such as the Nikon D3100. Notice that you can’t use nikon in your domain name since it would be copyright infringement but instead you could try and get the domain d3100.com which would certainly rank highly for the keyword d3100.

If you look at Google’s Keyword Tool you will realize that a broad match of the d3100 has 18,000 searches per month. The exact match will only get you around 3,000. Still if you would rank 1st then this would definitely get you a nice amount of traffic.

You can of course try this technique with other products. For me personally this strategy – adopted from Info Product Killer – has proven to be extremely effective since I have websites ranking on the first page of Google without any backlinks.

Don’t Sell

Another common mini site mistake people make is that they are trying to sell people the product they are promoting. But you don’t have to. If you are promoting a Clickbank product then the sales page will be enough to convince the person to buy it. Because of that you really don’t need to the product on your mini site.
Simply present some information on your mini site. Say what you can about a product but be honest. Honesty is very important on mini sites.
Don’t claim to be a person you are not. Because naturally most people won’t believe you. And it also destroys your credibility. Even though mini sites are very anonymous most of the time you should still behave in the same way that you do on your blog.

Additional Thoughts

I recently created a small video on one of my mini sites in which I talked about the certain things that make my website rank well. I think it is going to help you understand the things I’ve talked about above. The mini site I am looking at in the video is Hybrid Cars Disadvantages.

What Do You Think About Mini Sites?

I personally love mini sites as I mentioned above. They offer me a way of earning an income while not having to work too hard. But what do you think? Do you like the concept? Was the information above any useful?

25 Responses to “How to Build More Successful Mini Sites”

  1. Mandeep

    09. Oct, 2010

    I think having a mini site is a great idea. However, as you get more and more of them, it may require a significant amount of time to keep them updated. Then again, you may not need to update them too often. Also, I like the point you make about not saying anything about the product but, rather letting the clickbank page do the work. Great Post, Julius.

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      10. Oct, 2010

      Hey Mandeep,

      I totally agree with you. The more you built the more work you have also. I am not sure whether that’s completely the case with my mini sites though. Usually I built them once and then leave them running to see how they are doing. Then what most people forget is to do some serious testing. Glad you like it and thanks for stopping by.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Mike

    09. Oct, 2010

    Great points about domains, Julius. I knew Darren Rowse spent $6000 to get his problogger.com domain few years ago so choosing a right domain from a start is a must-have. I am also experience my niche site right now, about renewable energy. Not good so far lol

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      10. Oct, 2010

      Hey Mike,

      I am glad you like it. Yeah Darren spent a lot of money to get the .com domain. I mean the domains for your blogs are much more important and probably need a lot more time to decide on which one to take. With mini sites though it’s pretty easy. You always try to get the full keyword as domain name.

      Your mini sites is not going well? You know what my first mini sites were terrible. They didn’t get any traffic and didn’t rank well either. But after a while you start to figure out what works and what not. My advice would simply be to build more mini sites to get more experience. That’s what has worked best for me.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Patricia

    10. Oct, 2010

    Hi Julius
    Great to see your post up. Very comprehensive and long term once I monetize my blog that is my plan. I will bookmark this for future refence. I did see Moon talking about it too so there’s a few of you busy at the moment eh?!
    Patricia Perth Australia

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      10. Oct, 2010

      Hey Patricia,

      yeah I am glad I did get the post up. I can only tell you that you should first focus on building your blog and creating great content. After a while you will also find a way to monetize it. But be sure not to try to monetize it too soon. What has worked for me is simply asking your readers what they would prefer, like etc.

      Reply to this comment
      • Patricia

        11. Oct, 2010

        Thanks for that Julius. I have had my readers actually ask when I am going to start making products available so some of them are eager to see what I will have on offer. Probably be a few weeks before I get a shopfront up as a techie will have to do that for me. Working hard with establishing myself in my niche and hopefully it will all go forward.
        Patricia Perth Australia

        Reply to this comment
        • Julius

          12. Oct, 2010

          Hey Patricia,

          what kind of products will you be selling? Lavender products like physical products? There is a great piece of software available which is called Magento that let’s you build online shops easily. Maybe you want to look into that.

          You are right though, making people eager to see your products is definitely a good plan. I hope everything is going well on your blog.

          Reply to this comment
  4. Steve

    10. Oct, 2010

    Julius,

    Good Stuff on ways to build a successful mini sites.

    I would almost say you didn’t stress it enough. (even though you made it plain as hell how important it is)

    Domain name for a niche site is a “make it or break it” decision. There is such an advantage built into having keywords in a title that trying to compete in competitive keywords you cannot survive without that advantage.

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      10. Oct, 2010

      Hey Steve,

      thank you. Yeah I figured that I didn’t stress certain things enough. I mean there are lots of things that are important and the domain is one of these things. I probably should have said that. The thing is that people think that the domain is not as important when they consider ranking for a certain keyword but the truth is that it matters a great deal. Thanks for mentioning it. It’s always great to get some good feedback :)

      Reply to this comment
  5. Alex@Jocuri

    10. Oct, 2010

    You did a great job with your website I hope you will make some big bucks with it, but I want to be honest with you the talking in the video made me drowsy, you should write down what you want to say and then make the video (it’s good and I appreciate the effort but you could do better).

    As far as I know, and have read from Google Webmaster Guidelines, you should link all your pages in such a way that no pages is further then 3 clicks from your main page.

    P.S. you have a striking resemblance with one of my friends :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      10. Oct, 2010

      Hey Alex,

      Thank you. I am trying to but to be honest it’s one of my mini sites that is not performing very well. Anyway we will see what happens. Yeah I am sorry for the video. When I first created the video I just started to talk about the things that came to my mind. After watching it myself I felt it would confuse readers. That’s why I did another one, the one I posted here, where I actually wrote down what I wanted to talk about. But that time I also found it hard to focus on the things I wrote down and I guess I got carried away because really there is so much to talk about. Thank you for your feedback, seriously. I always try to improve the things I do and this will definitely help me to create better videos.

      Well I am not sure about the Google Webmaster Guidelines. And of course it’s true what they are saying. Every page on your site should be easily accessible within 3 clicks. But especially with mini sites you don’t have a lot of content. Therefore you should be able to reach each page within 1 click. With sites like Amazon this is of course completely different.

      P.S. I hope that’s a positive thing ;)

      Reply to this comment
  6. Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog

    12. Oct, 2010

    Hi Julius.

    I like the concepts behind mini-sites and your informative post. Now with so many people wanting more passive income, this method can be worth of consideration.

    I didn’t enter in this zone but I’m always interested to know more about it, may be I jump in it later.

    Thanks for sharing this appealing article!

    Cheers,

    Gera

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      12. Oct, 2010

      Hey Gera,

      yeah I totally agree with you. I also think it’s an interesting concept. The huge advantage of these sites is that you really don’t have to do a lot once you have built them. But again that’s of course also a disadvantage.

      Would you want to read more information on mini sites?

      Reply to this comment
  7. TrafficColeman

    13. Oct, 2010

    The key to niche/ mini sites is to educate..and let the people make that choice to buy..it’s just that easy..also give good content.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      14. Oct, 2010

      I completely agree. You don’t need to sell someone something. Just give them information and let them make their decision themselves. Obviously the better the information the more people are likely to buy.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Moon Hussain

    15. Oct, 2010

    Hey Julius!

    Haha, cool to know that our conversation inspired you to write this post. Looking back, those mistakes seem so easy avoidable.

    We should chat soon again!

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      15. Oct, 2010

      Hey Moon,

      yeah we definitely have to chat soon. Our conversation really was the reason why I created this post. The mistakes you made are easily avoidable. But that’s always the case when you look back. The great thing about making these mistakes is that you will learn through it.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Dan Lew

    15. Oct, 2010

    Hey Julius, instead of spending loads of time and money on separate sites, you can still rank really well for different inner page urls.

    I often do reviews on certain pages and this is a great way to makes sales and convert those pages and get them to the 1st page of Google if you target low competing keywords.

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      15. Oct, 2010

      Hey Dan,

      yeah I totally agree with you. I am also trying to do this (for example take a look at my WordPress Speed page). I definitely should do that more often as it is extremely effective.

      Are you making a lot of money that way?

      Reply to this comment
  10. John

    16. Oct, 2010

    minisites also need marketing. social backlinks are essential to rank your minisite quickly

    Reply to this comment
    • Julius

      17. Oct, 2010

      Hey John,

      Well I am not so sure about the marketing. I don’t really like to market my mini sites but it might be a good option. And yeah I do agree that backlinks are important to rank your site quickly. Still if you do SEO right you don’t need to go back and build as many links to rank well.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Jocuri

    25. Feb, 2011

    Hi Julius, you obtained a really useful weblog I have been here reading for about an hour.
    I am a newbie and your achievement is really a lot an inspiration for me.

    Reply to this comment
  12. drupal web development

    06. Apr, 2011

    Its great idea of having mini site.For any site to be successful links are more important.It may be external links or internal links.More links develops page ranking.Some people thinks that external links are most important than internal links, But they both are very important for any site development.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Ryan

    16. Oct, 2011

    I think mini sites are a great idea. Many people who are discovering their niches can really benefit from long term success. I think you have a great post and it’s good to spread the word about pursuing niche mini sites. One thing I felt that was left out is updating the site with build up of competition over time from others trying to do the exact thing.

    Take care,
    Ryan

    Reply to this comment

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