05Mar Expanding A Website
Lesson #23: Growth – Expanding Your Empire
There will come a time when this first site has become successful, it is profitable and you have little left to do on a regular basis. At this point, you are truly able to make money in your sleep. Whether you are eating, sleeping, working at your day job, or doing anything else, this site is making you money. That is a great place to be. But this is not the place where you want to relax or retire from this business.
When you reach this level, you may want to consider expanding by starting new sites. This lesson will help you determine the right time to grow your business and walk you through the process of doing just that.
Choosing the Right Time to Expand
Obviously, the time to expand your network of websites is not while you are still building your first, and certainly not while you are brand new to this system. Most likely, at the time you are first reading this, you are not ready to start building new sites.
For me, I have a set of criteria that lets me know if it is time to move on or keep working on the first site:
- I have completed all of the initial start-up work on my first site and only have the ongoing weekly article writing to preform.
- I have optimize my advertising as much as possible (i.e. testing new affiliate programs or changing the colors on my AdSense Ads). I am pleased with my average earnings per visitor.
- My search engine rankings are strong. I show up on the first page for the main terms that I am going after.
- I have reached at least 75% of my revenue goal ($200/week for us).
If you cannot answer yes to all of those, you are probably not ready to move on just yet. Refocus your efforts on the first site until you can clearly say YES! to each item on the checklist.
Remember what was said in the last lesson about keeping your focus. This checklist above will help you look for that fine line between losing your focus and truly being ready to expand.
Building a Related Network
One of my favorite strategies for growth is to create an entire network of somewhat related websites. For example, building my first site on Apple iPods and then another site on Apple Laptops. This way, you can help each site grow and create synergy. Does that make sense?
Because I build sites that are related, I am able to send visitors from one to another. I am betting that the visitors who are interested in learning about Apple iPods will also be very interested in Apple Laptops, too. This gives me even more leverage when I create the new site, it will grow faster and make my job that much easier. This same principle applies to virtually every niche and can help you grow your success exponentially faster than building a handful of scattered sites on different topics.
Another advantage is that you already know this niche, it has proven itself from your experience. No need to relearn all of the basics, find all the competitors, research all the specifics, locate affiliate programs, etc. You know it works, you know it is profitable, and you are poised to succeed much more quickly. This is an option to consider when you are looking to expand.
Growing Your Existing Site
I want to take a quick time out from what we are discussing to bring up an important point. Most of this lesson is referring to starting brand new sites. But you do have the option of growing the site you currently own. This could work for a number of reasons: you already have search rankings, you already have traffic, you know this site is profitable, and it could be easier than starting something new.
You may want to turn your basic site into something even more powerful. Have a custom design created, write more content, get new features developed, and maybe even add a new profit source (like selling your own info product). Who knows.
How to go about doing this is beyond the scope of this course, but there are plenty of guides and tools that can help you out along that path. Searching on Warrior Forum (http://warriorforum.com) for this or posting it on that forum as a question would give you dozens of results. I just want you to be aware that it may make sense for you to grow your current site as opposed to starting a new one. That call is totally up to you.
Repeating this Course with New Sites
Once you have completed this course, the process of repeating what we have learned will be much quicker. You can preform all of the tasks that we covered in a matter weeks instead of months.
When you do decide to expand your empire, I suggest that you start back again from the very beginning of this course and review each lesson. Then, do the homework assignments listed to build your next site. In other words, use this course as the training wheels, or the scaffold, for as long as you need it. After you are confident in your own skills, you can start developing a more unique system that works for you.
You have already learned the skills you need and repeating the process is as simple as starting from the beginning and working your way back to this point.
P.S. If you are using HostGator to host your websites, you can share one account for multiple sites, so the only real cost for this new site is the $7.50 domain name. Once you have the site you just login and click the + sign that says Addon Domains and add your new site to the account. You can also reuse a paid WordPress theme if you bought one – the more sites you build the cheaper and faster they become.