Why Build 1 Site, When you can Build 2?

July 27th, 2007 by Chris

Horizontal expansion in your niche is a very good thing. So good of a thing that you might as well do it from the get go. Have a neat idea for a site? Great, build it and a related site at the same time. Cross promote, cross link, and you’ll do better.

I’ve talked about this many times in regards to content sites and ecommerce sites. The idea being the content site gains the traffic and the links and while you will make money off it, the goal is just to break even and earn your profit with all the traffic you send to the ecommerce site.

However it also works with two content sites, if one is more profitable you can build a secondary site to help promote it and only aim to break even on the secondary site while the first one brings in the dough.

Once a long time ago there was an issue with the Google toolbar where pages on a popular domain would get a high PageRank based purely off the weight of the domain. This was very commonly seen on Geocities. The root cause of the issue was that the pages were not yet crawled and so Google had to guess at a PageRank to display in the toolbar. They don’t do that anymore but it caused many people unwarranted glee way back when. Still, being the scientific soul that I am I had to test it so I made a mini site directly related to one of my sites and stuck it on Geocities. In the end, once it was crawled, it got a really low PR. But I also got it some incoming links, decent ones, including one from DMOZ, and linked it to my site. It at it’s peak was actually ranked in the top 10 of Google, and is still in the top 20. This, for a site I put 2 hours into one weekend years and years ago. It is of course peppered with links to my main site on the topic and to this day provides great on-topic PageRank and traffic.

I’ve done other horizontal expansion things as well. I have my sword ecommerce site. I then bought The Fantasy Forum which at the time was an extremely popular place to discuss collectible swords. I also have a dinky little medieval costuming site that is meant to carry tutorials on making your own costumes. It only has around 6 tutorials, but that free information does attract good links and okay traffic, and of course it links to the sword site. I have a new manufacturing business too that is also going to be swords, another horizontal expansion, and my existing traffic & customers from these sites will help there. Finally I have a couple medieval fantasy based games in the works and if they’re ever finished that’ll provide a nice new source of traffic for my ecommerce sites. Oh, and a third ecommerce site related to the genre as well.

Then I’ve got my little growing gardening network, this one is newer. I started with a gardening blog, I’ve mentioned it before here how it gets a lot of respect despite not being too old or having a lot of posts. Namely for being #1 for “gardening blog” on Google so when companies are looking for blogs to advertise on, or bloggers are looking to fill out their blogroll, I’m easily found. This results in the site gaining a good amount of incoming links (I’ve had an easier time link building with it than any other site I’ve ever owned). I later expanded it until a relatively still unpopular article site and forum (not that different from Website Publisher in truth). This expansion though is very much a “for later” type of expansion. As I talk about in my longevity article I’m thinking very long term here.

Then I opened my first (and not my last) gardening related ecommerce site, and being able to promote it with my content sites makes the job of promoting it much easier.

Now, I’m making a third mini network. In addition to gardening I also like to cook, and I like to cook healthy food. Not like rabbit food, but burgers, steaks, man food, I just make it healthier. My main new site, which isn’t launched yet, is a nutrition site but it takes a unique angle rather than just another article site or calorie counting site. Then I decided, you know, I like to cook, I might as well make a cooking blog. This will help promote it, so I’m doing that now as well. Cooking & nutrition aren’t 100% related, but they’re close enough that I should be able to get some cross promotion mojo going on.

The more sites you have in one niche, the easier your promotion work will be, and I’m not really recommending you putting the same content on multiple sites, that’d be spam, technically. Rather I recommend making different sites with different content but within the same niche, or to pair up ecommerce sites and content sites. The rewards are great.

2 Responses to “Why Build 1 Site, When you can Build 2?”

  1. ToddW  Says:

    I will be a reader of the MAN FOOD site. I don’t like to make food at all but when I do it’s MAN FOOD!


  2. Louis  Says:

    Hi, I am new here and am interested in website development.

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