A lot of people looking to get into SEO and making money online pretty quickly stumble across the strategy of building out a ton of small Made For Adsense (MFA) sites to try and make a couple of bucks a day each. Their theory is rather than build out 1 or 2 sites and tackle just a few different, challenging niches in order to get traffic, they’re going to instead target a ton of low competition keywords and go for the easy money.
There’s a variety of reasons why this is a very short sighted mentality and the truth of the matter is the majority of people who want to follow this strategy end up failing miserably. As the title of this post says, if you want to become rich, you don’t go out and get 10 part time jobs, you get one good, high paying, high quality job. That same philosophy translates over directly to building out internet properties.
Just Look At The Numbers
When you start looking at the costs involved with building out 300+ mini sites, it becomes plainly clear that it’s an epic waste of time to pursue as a means for earning a living.
Let’s assume you can get domains for an even $10 each. So, 300 sites is immediately going to set you back $3000. Off to a terrible start.
Next, you’d be an idiot to run a network of this size off of a single IP/hosting account, for all kinds of reasons. First, you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket in terms of potential technology failures with server crashes, hackers, etc. Second, having 300 shitty MFA sites on the same IP is the equivalent of driving to Mountain View and walking on to Google’s Campus wearing a shirt that say’s “Dumbass” on it with an arrow pointing up. Yes, Google is very busy crawling the universe, but IP addresses are definitely something they take into account when scanning sites. If you establish a pattern of producing thin, terrible little content sites, and run them all on the same IP, there literally is no reason to ask if you will get slapped. It’s simply a matter of when you will get slapped.
So, having said that, you need IP’s and hosting accounts. Now, you could potentially get yourself a good sized VPS and keep requesting IPs for $2-3 bucks a month, but at some point, it’s going to start getting a little suspicious. Additionally, let’s say you did go out and get 300 IPs at $2/month each…that’s $600/month in IPs + your hosting account (probably $100 for 300 sites). That’s $8400 a year to host a ton of shitty sites. Yay.
So now we’re up to $11400 a year in costs, and we haven’t even built a site yet.
Cheap content can be acquired at a penny a word, average article length of 400 words, average MFA site size of 5 articles, that’s $20 a site for content. Multiply that and you have a $6000 content bill.
Now, unless you’re able to rank sites with pixie dust and prayer, you’re going to need links. Sure, there are tools that can help this, but you’re looking at a pretty tall pile of work. Good luck running Senuke on 300 sites. Let’s say you do $25 of link building per site, which is practically nothing: $7500 of links.
(Also, note that links aren’t a one time deal…you need to be constantly investing)
Total costs to get start and run an average quality MFA network of 300 sites: $24,900. So much fail.
In A Perfect World
So let’s say you do invest the cash and get yourself 300 sites. You need to monetize, and the easiest methods are: Adsense, Amazon, and Ebay, simply because you can embed some code and go.
300 shitty sites is a terrible thing to link together with a single Adsense account, and there’s a good chance you’re going to get your account shut down soon. Amazon and Ebay are admittedly OK options, but definitely not what they were a few years ago.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to average $0.50 – $1.00/day/site. So that’s $150-300/day. Let’s just assume it averages out to about $200 a day. At that income level, you’re looking at $73,000 a year in revenue. Doesn’t look too bad at all really.
Then you subtract out hosting costs and link building costs, which drops the income down to about $60,000 a year. Then factor in about 30% taxes getting taken out, and you’re looking at $42,000 in income a year. Blah.
Also, no one seems to value their time appropriately anymore. I’d rather spend my time shoving a spoon in my eye than crank out site after shitty site about stupid topics in order to make maybe $200 a year per site from it. I know that I am expensive; I know a lot of shit and my hourly rate is high. I try to think about that when it comes to what I spend my time doing. If I find myself fiddling with a WordPress install for more than 5 minutes I rage. You should too.
This Still Looks Pretty Appealing To Me, Why Are You Complaining?
Here’s the thing. The risks of running a business on a foundation of shitty low income sites is that there are so many ways for your network to get destroyed by a Google slap along with your hopes and dreams. Imagine waking up one day to find out your Adsense account got shut down. Or your sites all got deindexed. What do you do then? You have no argument, you can’t fight back, and you’re left with a bunch of shitty sites that aren’t worth the money you invested in them.
Also, anyone looking to truly build a business knows that you don’t build one on a foundation of shitty content and link spam spread out across a network of low quality sites. That doesn’t work in any line of business. It’s not a long term strategy at all.
Finally, these types of ventures are far too reliant on a single traffic source, organic SEO based traffic. Building a business that relies entirely on traffic garnered from ranking high on Google is absolutely idiotic. You have no control over what they can do to your sites and network, it’s just too risky to put so much time and effort into something like that.
Fine…What’s A Better Plan Then?
If you were really going to plop down $25,000 on a site network, think about what you could do with that same amount of money if you focused on 2 or 3 high quality sites. First of all, if you pick topics you are genuinely interested in, you can just hold on to the money and write everything yourself, pumping out good content while decreasing your costs. You could of course also hire writers, and with $25k, you could pick up someone full time at $2500 a month to write you a ton of great content to feed your sites, while you focus on promotion.
300 shitty Adsense sites are not an asset. A site with hundreds of pages of content, traffic coming in from a variety of sources, and a legitimate purpose and income is a true asset. Promote your site on social networks, via guest posts and articles, SEO, and anything else you can think of.
Build an email list. For the love of god, build an email list. You basically have income on tap with a list, and Google can’t flip your world upside down when you have a list.
Sell your own products on your own sites. Write guides and create products and software and sell them to your visitors. Everything you do like this is an asset, and is something that can pay off for a much longer time than a $0.50 per day site about yellow toasters.
The Truth of it All
There’s probably only a handful of people in the world who make decent money on MFA networks. There are, however, a ton of people who have focused on a couple of great quality sites and have built up true assets that make them real, good money.
The issue is that the 300 sites sounds way easier than building 2 or 3 sites in competitive niches. People are scared of hard keywords and authority sites, even though they’ve never tried to compete themselves. Long tails are your friend, start writing a ton of content and get yourself the long tail traffic and you’ll rank in time.
Short term mentalities are not a good use of your time. Building a quality site should be a 1-2 year project.
You should invest your time into projects you are proud of. 300 MFA sites are not something to be proud of at all. A big money earning site is absolutely something to be proud of.