If you run twenty sites or zero websites and are looking to start a new one then you might want to weigh the costs and benefits of creating a flexible content website.
Confused? Its exactly how it sounds. Thinking ahead about the other categories of topics your site can support is an all around fail safe in case you decide to switch topics later or if your interests or tastes change. This can mean a slight topic change, or a full one.
Websites like this come in two flavors.
Specific Topic Websites With Multiple Subtopics:
The best example I have for this is a real life scenario of a site I just launched. It came up when I was drafting out my original plans for mmorpgexposed.com several months ago. Except back then, it was more like warcraftmacros.com. To fill you non-gamers in quickly, Warcraft is a game and a Macro is a scripted button which combines multiple actions to make game play easier. Creating a site like this would be VERY limiting in terms of the content that I would be providing for it. However that is what I am interested in. In the scenario that I wanted to write an article or two about non-macro stuff, my efforts would probably have to be last ditch manual links (which would never allow that kind of content to grow) or I would have to create a brand new site from scratch (silly because I already run a site about Warcraft Macros). After I decided I wanted to support more than just Macros, one week later I decided it would be a good idea to code the site so I could provide content about any MMORPG. Now, if I drop Warcraft and pick up another game, its not like I need to start and promote a brand new site. Also my content choices with the new site have a large range.
Non-Specific Topic Websites With A Generalized Theme:
A “HowTo” or “Guide” site is an example for this website type. I particularly like this kind of site because it lends itself to being very diverse in the ways you can monetize it. Here’s the strategie I like to use with these sites:
- Browse affiliate products on sites like NeverBlueAds or Clickbank.
- Find an Ad you like with a decent payout.
- Make sure you know something about the topic and/or WANT to know about it.
- Research said topic for a day or two
- Read articles, and take notes. Only jot down facts – no sentences.
- Write your own article based on your notes.
- Pop in your targeted ads!
Now your integrated affiliate links are much more likely to be converted into leads or sales! Likewise if you find that ad publishing services like Google Adsense are reporting low eCPM for one topic, you know you’ll want to test articles in other niches that are more profitable. Having a site with a generalized theme allows you to choose ANY topic.
A drawback to this is for the site that creates one article about diamond rings, another about magazines, and then 20 guides about gardening. This wont exactly show well as you’ll simply be known as “The Garden Guide Site”. I would aim to have your topics spread more evenly. Either don’t repeat an article topic more than three times or create your site in such a way where you start off with 20 guides about gardening and then create 20 guides about magazines etc. Doing the latter version of this is more like having a specific topic website with multiple subtopics. But you’re in a much safer place when it comes to your options and future growth.
Take into consideration:
- Site Design & Coding – Sites with multiple subcategories tend to need more room and more functionality. The more functionality you have, the larger your initial time commitment is going to be when coding and setting up the site. However, knowing that you want to support add ional content subcategories in advance will save you double or triple the work down the road more often then not.
- Time – The time commitment for something like this is larger but much more rewarding and significant in overall potential.
- Advanced Decisions – Make a decision of what subcategories you will support early on or you’ll be.
- Bad Niche Market - If you have more than one favorite hobby and wanted to make money online with it then you can always try another one of your hobbies on the same site! Sorry, not too many people have a pet rock collection, why not try coins instead?
I have created sites for one topic, and end up focusing (and enjoying) a subtopic even more two years down the road which I never would have realized beforehand. Don’t just sell apples, sell fruit baskets and everyone will find something they like. Unless of course you don’t like fruit… but then you’re just being difficult. :p
Entrupeners, Subscribe for the lastest tools, tips, and tutorials.