Ever since AEIOU announced that “There’s no money in web design” there has been a buzz in the Domaining world about the future of MiniSites. I wrote a post last night about this and this morning Rick Schwartz wrote a great post about the issue. As usual Rick makes a great point:
I think we know the fate of the mini site. My suggestion would be this. Change the focus to mini BUSINESSES. A business has to be started on a profitable foundation and idea. (RicksBlog.com)
The point here is a good one – a MiniSite will only take you so far – a Mini-Business has incredible potential. Now here’s the catch – with a portfolio of hundreds or thousands of domains there is no way you can make each one into a Mini-Business – there just isn’t enough time! Here’s the thing – you don’t need to develop every domain in your portfolio – just develop the ones you think have the best business potential!
I started developing domains about fifteen years ago. No – I’m not one of those lucky people who bought domains fifteen years ago – I owned a company that made websites for high-end real estate businesses in the early days of the Internet. When I really got-into Domaining back in 2007 I was scared that I had missed my chance – all the good domains were taken!
I was wrong! All the good domains were not taken – they were available and many undeveloped!! In 2007 parking was still the main way people were making money with their domains and development really hadn’t caught-on yet. As a developer myself I avoided parking and started developing MiniSites – it was great to be able to use my development experience to make money again – except this time building sites for myself rather than anyone else!
Through this process I quickly learned a valuable lesson – not every domain is the perfect fit for a MiniSite or Mini-Business – of the domains I developed it became clear which ones had the most potential – they were making money! The fact that they were making money was no surprise though – these are the domains that had keywords with the highest search volume. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool has been a major asset for me and helped us focus our efforts on the domains that have the most revenue potential.
Now – onto Rick’s point. There are many domains in our portfolio on which a MiniSite is only an interim step while we transform the domain into a business. Kayaking.org is a great example – while we’ve had many compliments on the site (and some offers as well!) but it is still only in an interim stage. We are transforming this into a business which takes MUCH more time than a MiniSite but for a domain like this it is definitely the best choice.
So my point today is the same point I’ve made last night – building every single domain you own into a MiniSite probably doesn’t make sense. Instead – focus on domains you think have the best revenue potential, the strongest keywords, and develop them into MiniSites with an idea of how to turn these into Mini-Businesses in the future!
Want to see some examples of sites my company has built? Feel free to visit Linton Investments for a list of just some of the companies in our portfolio!
Thanks to everyone for all the great comments yesterday – keep them coming – this is an important issue!!