Eeny, Meeny, Chili Beany. Let’s look into my crystal ball and see what it has to say about the future of Internet Marketing. Specifically, the future of mini niche websites. Are the days of throwing up five mini-sites a week soon to be a thing of the past. Or are mini niche sites going to continue to be a popular, profitable marketing tool? I’ll tell you my thoughts on the matter and then I’d like to hear yours.
Just two or three years ago mini-sites were all everyone talked about. Yes, niche blogs were great but we all know how long it takes to build up a big blog with plenty of buying traffic. But mini-sites were easy. You just included five or six articles, built a few backlinks and voila! You had a ranking, money-making site. Easy Peasy.
But that was two years ago, before Panda and Penguin and the upsurge in social proof. The emphasis is increasingly placed on quality content and reader engagement. With mini-sites, the quality of the content is sometimes questionable. Not always. But let’s face it, there are plenty of unscrupulous marketers out there who just use PLR to throw a site together. And with true mini-sites there’s no reader engagement to speak of.
Are mini niche websites dying? In a way, but I don’t think they’re dying out altogether, I think they’re evolving, they’re adapting to changes in technology and search habits, just like all websites and blogs have to do.
Two years ago a lot of bloggers used scraped content and PLR articles to populate their blogs. They covered every available square inch with ads and banners. Then they built their black hat backlinks and watched the money roll in. When a mini site started to slide in rank they just built two or three more.
These days, I think mini-sites have their place if they’re affiliated with a larger blog or website. For example, If you have a blog about how to make money with affiliate marketing, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to attach a number of mini-sites promoting relevant products on sub-domains. Granted, in the past it was harder to get a sub-domain ranked, but these days a sub draws some search engine authority from the main domain.
But attaching those mini-sites to your blog also gives you credibility with the searchers who land on those sites, especially if your blog or website has a large following and has brand recognition on the Internet.
Mini-sites have plenty of benefits: They’re easy to build, but more important, they’re easy for buyers to read and navigate. They don’t have to sift through categories and scroll down through your older blog posts. Everything’s right there on the page and it’s easy to take your reader by the hand and lead them directly to the buy button. So, in this respect, mini-sites are better than blogs.
However, Google prefers blogs because there’s a steady stream of new content and blogs will almost always rank higher than mini-sites. But if you attach your mini-sites to your blog, everybody benefits. Your blog ranks well, visitors find your minis through your blog, and your minis have more credibility in the eyes of the reader because they’re associated with your blog.
Now, what about you? Do you think mini niche websites are dying? Or, are they simply evolving into something even bigger and better?