At the start of 2012 I made it a point to be much more focused on tracking my monthly revenue, expenses, acquisition costs (of websites) and charitable donations etc. This has proven to be very fruitful as I can look back on a monthly basis at what websites I bought, projects I worked on etc. to see my results. But now as I look towards the second half of the year I'm again trying to think about what areas to spend more time on and where to use my money.
Building a website empire through acquisition is what I've been most recently focused on in 2012, but it's of course more easily said than done so I thought I'd share the challenges I've faced and to hear what others think as well. Specifically I'd like to discuss the idea of buying any website or by focusing on just one area.
Challenges Faced In Building A Website Empire: Any niche (from monitor reviews to Cancun travel advice) vs One Niche (i.e. auto insurance)
What to buy? Any niche or one niche:
I've been buying more and more websites but one of the challenges I've run into as my portfolio grows larger is the decision to focus on one specific niche to buy in or not. As for now I've just been buying anything that I can see will be a solid investment regardless of niche. While this strategy can be employed for the purpose of diversifying income streams and to grow faster (by buying more websites faster) I've found it can also potentially lead to a lower overall potential income. What I've found is that the more websites I buy and the more markets I move into the more I feel pulled in too many directions. I like having little websites that make $1,000 a month with minimal input from me etc. but to truly grow when these smaller properties are in all different niches it can almost feel like more trouble than it's worth.
Who to hire? Contract writers or writer/editor for a bunch of related properties
Continuing with the previous challenge if you opt for buying websites in any niche the problem quickly becomes evident that it's not possible to hire writers that can write for multiple websites in the portfolio. There is a slim chance that you can find someone who can write for various websites where expertise really is required (if you want to keep the level of content quality high). So what I've found is that now I'm in a role focused on keeping content coming while sitting in the middle of everything.
Scaling relationships with advertisers
By focusing on buying websites in any niches yes I'm able to buy more sites and more quickly but there is very little (if any) advertiser cross over. If I had an empire of a few dozen sites in the same niche the power as a publisher is much greater when it comes to attracting advertisers. It's also worth mentioning that advertisers are likely more willing to work with a larger group of websites as it's less people they need to work with to reach X millions of people per month.
I'm sure there are many more challenges I could list out, but it feels like the conclusion I've come to is that if you're trying to build a website empire and really grow yada yada yada it makes more sense to build a network of properties around one niche, but in practice it feels much more difficult to implement (especially for those of us easily bored of focusing on the same thing day in and day out). I've been buying anything but it feels like I'll eventually need to pick a specific area to focus on if I want to continue building the website empire.
What is your website buying strategy?
Do you try to buy anything that looks like a good investment or do you focus on only a specific niche, topic, area of interest etc?
Feel free to agree / disagree with any challenges I've shared here. I'm just curious to hear what others are doing in regards to the one niche vs any niche angle.