One website vs. multiple websites? That’s the question. If you’re struggling to figure out what to do, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the benefits of both, the three types of site owners we have as customers, platform stacking, SEO effects, and more.
Let’s dive in.
Multiple Niche Sites or One Authority Site?
Opinions differ on this subject.
Some people view owning websites like real estate; they want a portfolio of properties that produces regular cash flow.
Others want to focus only on one, so they can build a reputable brand (that produces regular cash flow).
Cash flow is the recurring theme, with no right or wrong answer. Before deciding, consider what your business goals are.
Here are a few benefits of having multiple niche sites or one authority site:
Benefits of Having One Authority Site
Here are a few reasons to go the single-site route.
Easy to Start
Having one site lets you put 100% of your focus into it with fewer distractions. They’re easier to maintain and make operating things simple.
Plus, all your products and services are located on that site, making upselling and cross-selling to your readers easier.
Lower Operating Costs
It’ll cost you less money to operate a single site.
Once you cross over into hiring writers, VAs, developers, and hosting expenses, things start to add up.
If you only have one site, the operating expenses will be considerably lower.
Lets You Build Authority Quicker
Having a single site lets you devote your entire time to that topic. In addition, you can publish more in a single vertical, which enables you to go deep.
Having this narrow, singular focus earns you points from search engines as they start viewing your content as the authority and will start rewarding you with higher rankings in the SERPs.
It also signals your audience that they can depend on you to publish consistent, high-quality content, which wins you more repeat readers.
Benefits of Having Multiple Sites
If you’ve got the resources and deep pockets, here’s why you might want to consider a multiple-site strategy.
Tailor Your Marketing to A Specific Audience
If you’re a big business with multiple brands, products, and services, having separate sites lets you narrow your focus and focus on the people most likely to buy from you.
This lets you target different keywords for your offerings to attract more targeted and qualified leads.
Finally, you can tailor your messaging to those demographics, which can improve conversions.
Several Physical Storefronts In Multiple Countries
Having multiple sites with country-specific URLs makes sense if you’ve built a worldwide business.
You’ll be sure to send visitors to their local retailer versus one in another country that may not have the correct products in stock.
Like when we tell bloggers who monetize their sites with Amazon affiliate links to localize their international traffic.
Each country has a specific URL suffix, for example, ebay.fr (for France) or amazon.de (for Germany).
When Should You Expand into Multiple Sites?
The consensus is when you’re starting, build a single site until you’ve mastered getting traffic and generating revenue before expanding.
This approach takes years, but it lets you master your craft, learn the business, and build resources, so if you’re thinking about branching out, you’ll have the funds to scale quicker.
As you build your first site, think about what products or services you can attach to it because these are all ways you can create diversified revenue streams.
Is Having More Sites Really Diversifying?
Starting more sites isn’t necessarily diversifying if you rely solely on one traffic source.
For example, if Google is the only thing bringing you traffic (and sales), you’re subject to its algorithmic whims (known to destroy a site’s page views in a heartbeat).
Another example: Using the same SEO strategy for all your sites. If it gets replicated by competitors, you’re more at risk because all your sites have the same weakness.
That’s why we stress the importance of diversifying your:
- Affiliate programs
- Revenue streams
For instance, if Google stopped sending us traffic, our customers would still be using our WordPress plugin Lasso.
So as long we’re building those relationships and keeping our customers happy, we’re less affected (and still making money).
Much like having an email list.
That’s an owned audience. So you’ll always have access to your list and can sell to them if your traffic takes a hit from another source.
Diversification is key.
But Google isn’t going away either.
The flip side to this argument is that having multiple sites can shield you because core updates affect sites in different niches differently. Just because one site loses ranking doesn’t mean they all will.
Stacking Your Traffic Sources
Using multiple traffic sources simultaneously can gain you a competitive advantage.
For example, embedding videos in your blog content. You’ll increase a reader’s time on page because of the embedded video content in your article while providing an excellent user experience.
Then, you include links to your site in the YouTube show descriptions. This strategy lets you win more SERP real estate when done right.
This two-pronged approach lets you create traffic streams from Google and YouTube (if using YouTube as your video platform).
Just like the below Ahrefs example ranking for blog and video content for the query “how to do keyword research.”
The Distinct Niche Site Owner Camps
Based on our customer data, there are three types of niche site owners:
- Private Equity: The rare birds. These owners have an extensive portfolio of sites (50-150 websites) with at least one massive authority site.
- Brand Builders: These owners focus on a single topic and build a brand around one large site. (e.g., Retro Dodo or Epic Gardening).
- Expansionists: this group goes wide but never builds any real large authority sites in the niche (e.g., 3-10 small sites)
In our experience, the Brand Builders who work on one site and go deep have the most financial success.
They’re also less reliant on Google because they’ve created multiple acquisition channels and revenue streams.
Sidenote: One thing our founder observed: Your niche doesn’t matter as long as you care deeply. We have customers earning $500k/yr in oddly specific niches. The common theme is they’re willing to give more love than anyone else to their topic.
One Website vs. Multiple Websites FAQs
Should I have multiple websites for my business?
If you’re a beginner, starting with one website and going deep before expanding is better. If you’re a big brand, begin by asking what the benefits of having multiple websites are at this stage of your business. Does that contribute to your goals? Consider the benefits of both sides, as mentioned earlier in this post.
Can a website have multiple niches?
Yes, a website can have multiple niches. For example, our site in the personal finance niche, Listen Money Matters, writes about several sub-categories, from budgeting to investing to debt.
This differs from having multiple sites in the same niche or having multiple sites pointed to one big site.
That strategy requires a little more finesse and expertise. You have to be careful you don’t cannibalize your content and confuse search engines which can prevent you from ranking.
Does having multiple websites hurt SEO?
You run the risk of creating duplicate content that can impede your progress in getting your posts to rank if you have multiple domains in similar niches. This is because when Google (or any search engine) encounters the content, it won’t know which one to rank.
On the flip side, if the sites are in unrelated niches, it shouldn’t be a problem as they’re not competing with each other.
One Website vs. Multiple Websites | Final Thoughts
I hope this post sheds a little light on whether you should have one website vs. multiple websites.
In our co-hosts’ experience, starting with a single site, going deep, and building domain authority + revenue is the preferred approach, especially if you’re just starting and have few resources.
Which avenue will you take? We help all kinds of creators build and scale profitable niche sites.
If you want more on this, check out the latest episode of Seeking Profit!
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