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Should You Build One Large Site or Several Smaller Ones?

How many websites and blogs should you run simultaneously? Some believe that building one huge portal is the way to go. Others prefer investing in site networks. I’m going to write about both cases and hopefully help you identify the case that best suits your needs.

One large site and nothing else

Some people pick a niche and put all their time, money and efforts in a single website, hoping that it will eventually become a dominant force on that topic.

The best thing about this practice is precisely the fact that you concentrate everything you have in one project. There won’t be any parallel sites to distract you from your aim. This is especially recommended to disorganised individuals. Besides, if you have to devote part of your time to a day job, or to studies, or to spouse and children, having a single site may be better than adding yet more duties to your already tight daily schedule.

Then main problem about this approach is represented by that old saying: “Don’t put all eggs in one basket.” If your only project fails, what are you going to do?

An ever-growing site network

Several bloggers and webmasters believe that when it comes to building web properties, the more, the merrier. They have one or more networks formed by dozens of small sites. None of them is intended to make more than a few bucks per day. But together, all those sites build up and eventually generate great profits.

The best thing about this approach is precisely this diversity. You put your eggs in many different baskets, thus reducing risks. If a few sites fail, no problem, because you’ll have many others to make up for them. This gives you the freedom to experiment a variety of promotional and monetization techniques. With the lessons learned, you’ll improve and expand your online business even more.

However, there is a disadvantage to this scheme: it’s time-consuming and requires self-discipline to work. If you have time-management issues, a site network may not be for you.

What would I choose?

While I do leave the definitive choice for you — only you can know what works best in your case — , I certainly have one or two personal thoughts to share.

What I used to choose was a sort of mix between these two online business models. I had a few sites, but none of them was too large and I never tried to turn them into an actual network. This worked for me because I also had a day job to deal with. Nonetheless, now I believe I should have tried to expand my business. The other day I missed the chance to make some good money because an advertiser contacted me and I had only a few sites to sell ad spots on. Had I invested in more web projects, he’d have bought more ads. Well, it’s never too late to learn with our mistakes, right?

This doesn’t mean that the very same thing will happen to you if you don’t start a large site collection. Nor does it mean that one single site couldn’t be lucrative. I’m just sharing a real-life experience with you, so you can see how these things may work in practice. Different webmasters have different experiences, though.