And how many baskets do you have spread around the Internet? If you are anything like me, you have too damn many eggs spread among dozens of baskets.
Following the overhyped “Multiple Streams of Income!!!”, “Multi Mini-Niche Site Cash Rivers!!!”, “Multi-Niche Tributaries!!!” mantra has led many Internet Marketers to waste money (and time) setting up multiple sites in areas that they have little or no interest in. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when I was contemplating setting up a site dedicated to “Diarrhea”. Come on, I’m a fan of regularity; but what insight can I provide?
I was concentrating so much on not putting all of my eggs in one basket that I neglected to work on making any of my eggs hatch. I had dozens of websites, most created by selecting high ClickBank Gravity products, not one of which was producing enough income to pay for its own upkeep.
I was ready to double down and create another dozen dysentery sites when I had an epiphany. If each additional site earns nothing, how many sites do I need to multiply by to reach one dollar in income? Even without a background in math, it was easy to see that an infinite number of crappy sites would not bring in one dollar of income.
Yeah, I know the logic, “If an infinite number of monkeys type on an infinite number of typewriters, they will eventually write the complete works of William Shakespeare.” Following that logic has led to an Internet with an infinite number of sites that read as if they were written by monkeys and an equally infinite amount of monkeyshit content.
I reject that logic because I don’t have an infinite amount of time to make my first dollar. I am also tired of the monkeyshit sites that clog up my Google results.
So, what to do? Following my new logic, a lot of the other advice I have been reading now makes more sense. Here is a list of my eggs, and why they didn’t hatch:
1. “Set up a bunch of AdSense sites and watch the money roll in.” Well, the money does roll in, in to Google’s coffers. My AdSense sites have never made much money. Because they were monkeyshit sites that did not provide useful information. I still have several “Made for Adsense” sites out there that are busy not generating income. My current AdSense total is $8.50 (not daily, weekly, or monthly; TOTAL). Of course, Google does warn that it takes a high traffic site to generate good AdSense income.
2. “Write an Ebook and sell it on ClickBank.” I did that, paid for a publisher’s account, advertised the book (which was pretty good, in my humble opinion) on my site, and waited for sales. Never made the money back. Now that I have more experience, I realize I made two big mistakes; First, I chose a niche that is broke (college students), and secondly, did not have enough traffic to generate interest in my Ebook. I should known better, I have put two kids through college and it seems that they have never paid for anything. What made me think the same demographic would pay for my Ebook?
3. “Set up a review site and fill it with affiliate ads.” Did that; never generated a significant amount of income. Once again, choice of subject and amount of content provided was too low to generate traffic. In the current marketing world, a five-page-mini-site is not going to make much money. The minimum number of pages to fill a “content rich” site has steadily increased over the last few years. At one time, a five page site could make money. Now it takes a 25 page site, with regularly updated content to entice visitors to stay and perhaps return later to seek fresh content.
4. “Use PLR content to fill your site with relevant material.” PLR (Private Label Rights) material is material that is given away or sold. Theoretically, the purchaser will use the material as-is as content on his sites, newsletters, and posts. The problem is twofold, first everyone else in the world has also had a chance to use the same material (duplicate content penalty, anyone?), and secondly the quality of PLR material in general is very low. In the science fiction world, there is a famous story about the writer Theodore Sturgeon. He was accosted by a fan who stated, “Ninety percent of all science fiction is crap.” To which Sturgeon replied, “Ninety percent of everything is crap.” This saying is now known as “Sturgeon’s Law.” Back to math; if there are 50 million pieces of PLR material available, how many would you have to read to identify the one piece that isn’t crap and has not been used already? Answer; more than you have time for. More dishearteningly, the monkeys are generating monkeyshit content faster than you can read. Yeah, I’m not immune to the law. Ninety percent of what I write is crap. But I don’t publish everything I write.
5. “Get traffic from article directories (also known as Bum Marketing).” Actually, I had pretty good traffic results with this method. Google Analytics shows that I get a decent amount of traffic from article directory sites. Once again, the problem was focus. I have written in different niches, under different pen names, aimed at getting traffic to my multitude of sites. The result is a lot of traffic spread out among a dozen sites. I was so concerned about “not putting all of my eggs in one basket” that I had baskets spread all over the Internet.
6. “Get backlinks to boost your PageRank in Google.” I have commented on square dance blogs, created mini-net link wheels, and purchased links from link farms all without significantly boosting my sites’ ratings. Once again, Sturgeon’s law dictates that ninety percent of the links from these methods are crap. Crappy backlinks don’t help your PageRank. Spreading the crappy backlinks among a dozen sites dilutes the minor boost of each backlink to the point where it is useless.
Note that each of the above oft-repeated maxims would be good advice, if interpreted correctly.
AdSense can work, IF you have a high traffic site that continues to have traffic.
Ebooks can work, IF you can target a good niche, write quickly and well, and include upsells and affiliate links in the Ebook.
Review sites can work, IF you have a lot of well written content, links from authority sites, and a lot of traffic.
PLR can work, IF you can get a source of high quality PLR, that fits your niche, and rewrite it to make it unique. For that much effort, I prefer to write my own unique articles.
Article directory submission can work, IF you can write well, stick to a few subjects, and do this on a regular basis.
Backlink strategies can work, IF you can get a source of high PR backlinks, relevant to your niche, and continue this on a regular basis.
What is the overall lesson to be learned from this exercise? Forget (for now) the “Multiple Streams of Income” mantra. If you have a day job, plus income from some internet sites, you already have multiple streams. Instead of setting up more baskets and running around like a chicken with your head cut off, concentrate your efforts on a few sites to grow them until they produce.
In other words, follow the maxim espoused by Mark Twain, “Put all your eggs in the one basket and — WATCH THAT BASKET.”