April 13, 2010
When I’m being introduced at seminars and tele-events, the emcee often points out that I have over 1600 websites. This usually grabs the attention of audience members who have to wonder why I have so many websites, and how I manage them. So, let me enlighten you.
First of all, I have friends who talk about wanting to set up 500 to 1000 profitable websites, each earning as little as $1 per day on average. If this can be accomplished, then my friends would be at or above the income level that they really hope for, and if it can be done in a way that requires very little maintenance, then it would also afford them the lifestyle that they want.
That’s part of my thinking too, but I’d like to have 2000 niche mini-sites, each earning an average of just $1 per day. That’s $2000 per day ($730,000 per year).
I am working on accomplishing this by the way.
I see having something like this as being equivalent to having a vending machine route, where the average machine isn’t in the busiest location, but each one is profitable, and they require very little maintenance.
I want my websites to be my virtual vending machine route.
I think that what really pushed me to actually start setting this up was listening to my friend David Perdew, founder of the Niche Affiliate Marketing System. He teaches something similar. You can listen to an interview that I did recently with David where we discussed this very topic at: http://timic.org/DavidPerdew
People listening to David and I talking, have to wonder if it’s even possible to build 500 or so mini-sites in a reasonable amount of time, without spending a small fortune. The answer is yes, especially if you build them on the easy to set up, optimize, and maintain WordPress Blog platform.
I personally can install and customize a WordPress Blog in under 10 minutes, and that includes uploading my own custom header graphic. I’m talking about a blog that has several dozen plug-ins also installed, configured and activated.
I’ll admit that I “cheat” when installing the blogs. I use a piece of software that automates much of the process. A programmer friend has created an installer that only asks for my domain log-in info, and it uploads and configures the blog for me automatically.
My friend who wrote this software pointed out that since there are millions of WordPress users, hackers and criminals know all of the default settings, so his installer changes the default settings AS it installs the blogs, making your blog installation much more secure.
I know, you’re wondering how you can get your hands on this miracle blog installer… and how many hundreds of dollars does it cost. I’ve actually convinced my friend to GIVE you a copy of his installer. Like many programmers, he likes having his work used, so he’ll give it to my readers if you’ll just visit http://timic.org/111
Many of my readers are also paying $20 a month or so to host their sites, plus they are paying extra for each domain that they add onto their hosting account, so when they do the math, they calculate that hosting just 500 domains has to cost over $1000 per month. They can’t afford to spend that kind of money at this point.
I CAN afford to spend that much on hosting my sites, but I don’t. In fact, I spend less than $500 per YEAR to host up to 5000 domain names. That hosting is spread across 5 different pairs of IP addresses, so I can cross-link some of my related websites, and it doesn’t look to the search engines as if I’m just linking to myself.
Here’s where I get that fantastic hosting deal: http://timic.org/112
If you check out that url, you’ll see that when you get hosting where I do, that the very same blog installer that I use is included
Now, you also have to wonder how I manage so many sites. My answer is two part…
First of all I keep my sites fairly streamlined, and I use automation a lot. I’m also very organized and very disciplined. I do things on a schedule, and that makes sure that I can properly manage all of my sites.
Secondly, I don’t do it all myself. I maintain a help desk, and have links on most of my sites pointing to one centralized help desk. Tech/Customer support personnel log-in regularly and take care of 95% of the support tickets that come in without any input from me.
In fact, my help desk personnel have pre-composed answers in a drop-down menu for 99% of the questions or requests that they get. So they can respond to the typical request (something like a misplaced download link) in under a minute.
Before you object to the expense of operating a help desk, or having someone work for you, remember that my goal is $2000 per day. If I spend even $500 of that per day for others to do the work for me, I’m still left with over half a million dollars per year… before taxes.
I think that I can manage to live on that and that the average person can too. In fact, I’m aggressively setting most of it aside for a rainy day… I live a fairly simple life-style and have other income streams… such as my offline consulting and joint venture brokering businesses.
Another part of this strategy though is that as you build out all of these mini-websites, some of them will naturally blossom, and be worth a lot. When I have a site that suddenly grows to where it’s worth say $5000 or even $10,000, my plan is to sell it. $5000 for a site averaging $1 per day is nearly 14 years worth of income, so to me it will make sense to sell off many of those sites.
You see, I view it all as a well-thought-out business. I do have a complete plan, but it’s fairly close to what David shows you in a video posted on his site, at the first url that I mentioned above.
The only other mystery may be, “How do I get traffic to all of these sites?” That’s something that I’ve spent the past 14 years really mastering. It’s also the topic of another 10-part article series that I wrote.
If you’d really like to learn how to plug traffic into your websites, using all free and low-cost methods, grab the traffic generation course that Doug Champigny and I recorded.
Doug Champigny has been online for about as long as I have, and we recorded an MP3 where we spent over three hours explaining 15 different ways that we plug traffic into our websites. You can download that MP3 to your iPod, or burn it to a CD, and then you can listen to it while out exercising or on a long drive… or commuting back and forth from that J-O-B that you want to leave.
You really can set up a series of mini-websites that are very much like having your very own virtual vending route.
How long this will take you depends upon how much time you have to devote to it, what tools you use, and how willing you are to get someone to help you. Even though I’m very good at setting up mini-sites, I don’t do everything myself.
I also don’t spend a lot of cash, even when I get someone else to do 90% of the work. Instead, I just make them a partner, and use software to track sales and automatically share the profits with them.
How much you can actually make from doing this depends upon so many factors that I can’t even begin to guess. Probably the biggest factor is how well you research your niches, and confirm the profit potential before you even start.
Most of the time that I spend on many of my sites IS doing that research before I even decide on the niche. Putting in the time to actually do the research (or feasibility study) is what ensures that I don’t waste a lot of time. Admittedly, I’ve been doing this so long that a lot of it is now intuitive. So, you may have to spend a little more time doing the research than I do.
Anyway, I’ve just laid out a big part of my retirement blueprint. Once I get those 2000 mini-sites “clicking” then I quite literally could have someone else take my “operations manual”… my notes…. and run things for me, while I spend all my time just enjoying life… or should I say enjoying “The Internet Life-style?”
Willie Crawford has been running online businesses since 1996. To continue learning from him, simply visit his main website and subscribe to his free newsletter athttp://WillieCrawford.com/