eCommerce Strategy: Mini-sites Empire or Giant Site?
I’ve been wanting to follow-up with the article I wrote last week about Benefits of becoming an Authority in your Niche. As I stated in previous post, I don’t think the “get as big as possible” scheme applies very well if you are willing to get your feet into e-commerce.
There are two different approaches to eCommerce. You can either try to build what I call a Mammoth site, the best illustration is Amazon; or you can try to build an Empire of mini-sites like HayNeedle.
The Mammoth eCommerce Website
Many people online are blindly promoting the creation of Mammoth sites. They generally don’t have many arguments except some like: “Hey Amazon did it, so why can’t I ?”. Well, sorry to tear down your sweet dreams but there is likely absolutely no chance that you will succeed creating an Amazon-killer just like that. Amazon have been in the landscape for a very long time, competition between eCommerce sites was not as fierce as it is nowadays. Imagine, Amazon is already 17 years old, that’s an eternity web-wise.
If you wanted to create a Mammoth eCommerce site, you would need very very very very deep pockets, because all the SEO work that was done for 17 years to promote Amazon won’t be defeated by your 4 daily hours of SEO. Stop dreaming already!
The eCommerce Empire: Network of Mini-Sites
And here comes the other possibility, you already understood that I am a complete fan of this approach. Building a mini-sites eCommerce Empire is the key to expanding an eCommerce business in 2011. Now, take this with caution. If you are just getting into the online game, don’t jump in and build 200 eCommerce websites, this won’t make you any good.
What I would advise you to do is, in a first step, find a niche with an opportunity and good potential earnings, preferably with low competition. From there, get your website built, promote it through every mean possible, free traffic as well as paid traffic, make bank on it. This first step will let you know how things are working.
From there, use your hard earned cash to get your website rebuilt. Build a very strong backend that will let you plug other websites to a single backend. Maintenance will be way easier that managing 20, 50 or even 100 backends. And it will allow you to expand a lot faster.
At this point, you should have the money and the structure to start expanding into a mini-sites empire. Mini-sites are really great because you can create keyword-rich domain names to rank more easily into Search Engine Results. And the SEO will pay faster by doing some laser-targeted websites to take over small niches.
In the end, all that is left for you to do is: find markets with opportunities, plug new websites into your existing backend, get the SEO work done, buy some additional traffic and bank. Rinse, and repeat, over and over.