It’s simple business 101. You work long and hard to create a successful business or entity……………and then you see if you can do it many times over. It’s hard enough to build a successful small business and becomes even more challenging to take that, supersize it, and generate the same margins. So why do so many in the domaining world think they can scale BEFORE they achieve success?
The old saying is quality over quantity and although this doesn’t apply to all, it certainly applies to web development. Sully had a nice interview with a group that is mass producing directories and sites, more than 3,000 to be exact. While I’m sure the guys have a business plan, their early results don’t reflect success? Under 11,000 uniques last month, their third month and that’s with 3000 sites. That should have been the traffic to their first directory before they attempted to build more. Of course it’s too early to tell how their business is going to do, but common sense tells you that turning out 3000 sites in a few months isn’t going to result in the highest quality sites.
As billions of sites are added to the web, Google is going to be forced to do a heavier “weeding out” of sites they deem lesser quality. How they determine what is lesser quality is always subject to debate, but I think it’s safe to say they are leery of large mass scaling of sites with no content. I also feel that when you build your sites for Google, the greater the chance that Google will turn on you. You want to create a site for PEOPLE and if done with a little SEO, Google will like you as well.
So Shane, you’re so smart how do you build a large group of sites that are successful? It’s simple don’t. Start with one site. Get the traffic, content, and revenue to a point that you feel reaches maximum profitabilty. Then and only then do you take that entity and try and recreate the same model for a different purpose. You analyze what made that business successful and translate it into the new venture.
If the new site is in the same realm/niche as the old you can even bring traffic over. Instantly your new site has users. You think BenHuh paid a million for ICanHazCheezburger.com because he thought he could recoup his money just making funny cat pictures? No, he loved the business model and realized he could use the already successful site’s model and build on it. Sure, he saw better ways to monetize the site than presently being done but knew there was more value than that. He saw that a successful, heavy trafficked site was all about number of eyeballs, and user content creation. The users sent in the original pictures for writers to create content. He could take those eyeballs and introduce them to a new site and have them generate content for that site as well. A few months later, Failblog.com is a hit. In Ben Huh’s own words
“I think a lot of people kind of get this idea of big dreams, and they immediately want to go to a big dream, but you got to think small, you got to win that little battle. And once you win that little battle, then you can win a slightly bigger battle, and then so on and so on and so on.”
In summary, show me a business model that was successfully scaled and I’ll show you a business model that was successful BEFORE it scaled.