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Mini Sites

How to Use Mini Sites to Generate a Monthly Income

I have recently come across the idea of mini sites. I first heard about mini sites from Patrick over at One Million By 30 where he has created a great tutorial about how to set up mini sites.

In one of his posts he mentioned Glen from PluginID who has created a cool ebook called Cloud Living. In the ebook he talks about the two ways he makes money through the Internet. One of it is from his blogs and the other one from mini sites that he has created.

I have recently bought the ebook and it’s really useful so let me try to help you understand what mini sites are about.

What is a Mini Site?

Mini sites are basically websites that only contain of 1-5 pages, that’s why they are called mini site. The main purpose of mini sites is to make money. You do this by focusing on a very narrow niche and try to rank for solely one keyword in a search engine. There is also another strategy that relies on PPC campaigns to get traffic to the mini site but most of the mini sites rely on SEO.

On your mini site you are promoting a product but only one that you have used yourself and that you believe in. Then you link to the actual product through an affiliate link and once someone buys the product you start to earn money. That’s the whole theory behind mini sites.

Basic Approach

Creating a mini site can be broken down into several steps. Here is the basic approach:

  1. Picking a product
  2. Researching the competition
  3. Building the mini site
  4. Generating Traffic
  5. Optimizing the Site

I am actually creating a mini site myself at the moment so I will see how it works out in the end. Even if it doesn’t work out too well I will still have gained a lot of useful experience which I can definitely use for my next project.

The Benefits of Mini Sites

The biggest benefits of mini sites are that once you have gotten them to a certain point they start to generate cash automatically without you having to worry about these sites too much. But this is also one of its weaknesses.

The problem here is simple. If you just let the website run itself then you might miss out on opportunities to optimize the site. It’s important to remember that what works today might not work tomorrow that’s why I think it’s important to keep optimizing your mini site.

Update: If you are interested, then read my recent article about How to Build a Mini Site, I hope you will find it useful.

Have you already built a mini site? How do you like the idea of creating mini sites? Would you like to hear more about mini sites and how you can build them?

Hi, I am Julius Kuhn-Regnier. I have been blogging for more than a year and a half now over at And Break! My blog is about helping other bloggers to achieve what they want. Also be sure to check out my guide about speeding up Wordpress.

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{ 63 comments… add one }

  • Luc May 26, 2011, 11:21 pm

    When I first started trying various methods to make money online, I thought I had to build one giant site, put new content every day, and people will just find it. Well, that didn’t happen:) I put soo much content that was unique, and it all stayed in the dark – because the niche was too small, and the traffic was slow. But it was making me 50$ a month. Then I discovered the power of mini sites. Some of them make me 50$, some 100$ a month. And I love it.
    Great article, thank you.

  • Karan Labra October 19, 2010, 6:52 am

    Well I think that it must involve intense Search engine optimization before it starts making money.
    Karan Labra recently posted..Blog Promotion- why to use press release to promote your blog My Profile

  • mk akan June 5, 2010, 5:26 pm

    i have read a few a information on minisites and affiliate marketing..but have been delaying action..this post has just pushed me to set a date and start something on a minisite…thanks

  • Jason Jumat May 19, 2010, 10:25 am

    I have heard about mini sites before. Didn’t grab my attention really as it sounds a bit too good to be true (if I can state it like that). But you have settle this for me. Mini sites, although I don’t have enough info (yet) to really encourage me to go with it, won’t work for me. You have stipulated this in so much words that it will take much energy from my side and I think this is energy I could have spend with my blog.
    .-= NEW from Jason Jumat @ I need lots of money now´s last blog ..Product Name =-.

  • Udegbunam Chukwudi
    Twitter:
    May 7, 2010, 2:04 pm

    I most definitely wouldn’t mind more info on minisites as I might want to explore that area later in the future to increase my earning potential online ;-)
    .-= NEW from Udegbunam Chukwudi@Work Online Nigeria´s last blog ..StrictlyOnlineBiz’s Top Blog Posts Of The Week 10 =-.

  • Chadrack
    Twitter:
    May 6, 2010, 11:31 am

    Apart from my blog mini sites are my next source of income online. But biggest of the problems with mini sites is generating traffic to them. To do that easily you’ll need to invest some money in google adwords.
    .-= NEW from Chadrack@Home Business Marketing´s last blog ..$19,521.06 a month with ClickBank on Autopilot? =-.

  • Agent Deepak May 5, 2010, 1:12 am

    I have read Patrick’s post but haven’t tried making mini sites myself. Hopefully in future.
    .-= NEW from Agent Deepak@Blogging. Marketing & Success´s last blog ..Blog Launch Post Series and Giveaway =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 5, 2010, 1:33 am

      I have to say that it’s a cool experience building a site from scratch and having to do SEO for it. You should try it too ;)

  • AJ May 4, 2010, 11:34 am

    Another thing worth mentioning is that minisites can sell for a lot of money on sites such as Flippa…People are too lazy or do not know how to develop sites. You can make a ton of money by creating a minisite making a few bucks (for evidence) and than “flipping” the site.
    .-= NEW from AJ@Best Wordpress Themes´s last blog ..MiniBuzz Wordpress Theme =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 5, 2010, 1:31 am

      Another good point there. You could actually make lots of money by creating and flipping mini sites.
      It just depends whether you make more money through the mini site itself than you would make selling it. You know what I mean?!

  • Des May 4, 2010, 10:05 am

    I’ve built a couple of mini sites, and I find that they do take a fair amount of time before traffic starts to build.

    I’ve never tried one based on a single product though, so I will definitely give that a go. I have made the mistake of setting too wide a niche on one of my sites in the past, so I would like to see the results of doing almost the opposite, with a really tight single product niche.
    .-= NEW from Des @ Affiliate Progress´s last blog ..Are Blog Comments Important? =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 10:20 am

      Yeah I am interested in it too. I picked a wrong niche too so I don’t know whether that will work out to my advantage ;)

      But with my mini site I solely focused on one keyword. I am still just trying to get some good search engine rankings but of course it’s hard to get those through Google. I might also experiment with some automated submitting software. We will see ;) Thanks for the comment!

  • Lee Ka Hoong May 4, 2010, 4:09 am

    I think it’s something like creating a sales or pitch page to promote affiliate product, then starting a campaign with PPC campaign such as Google Adwords. I’ve not done any mini sites which promote affiliate product, but I’ve been building quite some micro niche sites which target micro niche and make money from Google Adsense.

    Creating mini sites and make money from affiliate product would be my next project.

    Interesting post Julius!

    Regards,
    Lee
    .-= NEW from Lee Ka Hoong´s last blog ..50 Free Professional Blogger Templates =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 10:19 am

      I have also just recently started to create mini sites so I am not yet sure whether it’s that effective. But I like the idea so I will see whether it works. I will definitely keep you up to date though.

  • Josiah May 3, 2010, 11:05 pm

    Many sites are right up my alley, i make a nice extra chunk of cash each month from just a few mini sites. I mainly use WP because of it’s ease of use and control over content. I wouldn’t dare put a money site up on hubpages or blogspot where it can be taken down for whatever reason.
    .-= NEW from Josiah@Free iPad´s last blog ..WoW on the iPad =-.

    • Murlu
      Twitter:
      May 3, 2010, 11:18 pm

      Agreed.

      Hubpages and Squidoo lenses are nice if you don’t want to make the investment in hosting and domains but if you’re serious about creating and controlling your own content, you need your own system.

      Wordpress is great because you can set it up so quickly and the additions of the plugins make it very useful to promote and build better content.

      Static HTML templates are nice because of the ease of creating and skinning them. You can give your minisite a unique look in an hour or two, plus you get the experience of coding your own website.
      .-= NEW from Murlu´s last blog ..15 Wordpress Plugins To Install On A New Blog =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 10:17 am

      Yeah I wouldn’t either put a site on hubpages or blogspot. It’s rather a way to build backlinks.
      I am actually not sure whether I would use Wordpress. It takes a lot more time to set up Wordpress and to customize it to make a suitable mini site out of it. But it can still definitely work.

      • Josiah May 4, 2010, 12:56 pm

        Investing in a paid Wordpress theme takes a lot of the work out of it, especially when you expect to make that money back within a couple weeks. ThemeForest has huge selection from 12-34 dollars.
        .-= NEW from Josiah | Tumblr Layouts´s last blog ..Vintage Scrapbook =-.

        • AJ May 4, 2010, 2:20 pm

          For a minisite I would actually stay away from Wordpress, because of security issues and simply because it is not needed. Themeforest is nice, but I would rather go for one of their HTML templates as opposed to their wp ones. At least on a minisite…
          .-= NEW from AJ@Best Wordpress Themes´s last blog ..MiniBuzz Wordpress Theme =-.

          • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 5, 2010, 1:35 am

            I have to agree with AJ here. Of course it depends on what you want to put on your mini site. I have created a travel related mini site and used Wordpress because there are lots of plugins available that make it easy for me to add functionality to the site.
            But generally I wouldn’t use Wordpress

  • Murlu
    Twitter:
    May 3, 2010, 3:41 pm

    I’ve built a few minisites around a few specific niches I know quite well. The first couple weren’t all that optimized, they were more an experiment.

    Over time I started to develop a checklist and formula for creating them. At this time, I can create one, set it up, publish content and start promoting in roughly 4 – 5 hours flat.

    The return has been ups and downs. I use a combination of Adsense and Amazon Affiliates to monetize which has generated a small passive income.

    I plan to write about it in detail in the future but for now, I wan to continue to experiment and get the formula down pat.
    .-= NEW from Murlu´s last blog ..How To Make Money Online With ArticleMe =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 10:16 am

      hmm interesting. I don’t really use Adsense and Amazon affiliate network. Well for one mini site but not for the other one which is the mini site I am mainly working on.

      I can by now also pretty easily create a mini site. Once you get used to it then it doesn’t really take long. Thanks for the comment Murlu ;)

  • Colleen May 3, 2010, 1:56 pm

    We use mini sites to garner local traffic. Localized mini sites are easy to rank in Google as the keyphrases are not that competitive.
    .-= NEW from Colleen´s last blog ..16th Annual Safe Kids Saturday =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 10:14 am

      Interesting idea. It is a lot easier to rank for local keywords so mini sites should do pretty well there, I agree.

  • Onibalusi Bamidele May 3, 2010, 9:20 am

    Hi Julius,

    The mini site thing is a good concept especially if someone wants to make money online. I will have to consider it soon.

    Thanks a lot for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 10:13 am

      I am glad you do Onibalusi. I am trying it out right now so I will keep you up to date on how or whether it’s working but it seems promising.

      Thanks for the comment

  • Bogdan May 3, 2010, 9:08 am

    I believe this is also the concept of auto-blogs: create 100 auto-blogs that generate small revenue monthly but when x100 the final sum is quite ok. Am I right?

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 10:12 am

      Nope not that I know of. I don’t you can even compare it to that at all. These aren’t automated blogs that steal content from other blogs. I hope this helps ;)

  • Patrick Toerner May 3, 2010, 7:11 am

    Hey thanks for the mention! My site is switched to a faster host now, so it is bareable to go to browse through now. I am glad you are trying out some mini sites. Pretty sure we emailed about it :)

    And I use a wordpress blog for my minisites. Just make the landing page its own template, and with super cache the page loads the same as a html page.
    .-= NEW from Patrick Toerner´s last blog ..Picking a Product to Promote on Your Minisite =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 9:44 am

      I am glad your site is running better now. Thanks for the comment by the way.

      Wouldn’t it be easier to just use static HTML pages instead of setting up a whole Wordpress blog?

      • Patrick Toerner May 8, 2010, 4:54 am

        Well I have done both and I think a wordpress blog is the easiest. I get sick of editing html, and if you are going to add a lot of content, like 10 or mor epages, wordpress is the clear winner. Also, wordpress is great for seo purposes. IF you want an inbetween check out 19pages. I haven’t tried it, but I have heard great things.
        .-= NEW from Patrick Toerner´s last blog ..Awesome Site for Cheap, Unique Content =-.

  • Vivek Krishnan May 3, 2010, 4:49 am

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • Chetan May 3, 2010, 4:26 am

    Nice post. I agree with most of it although consider the following:-

    Mini sites usually don’t rank as quickly in serps… Google takes into account the trust/age of domain factor. It will take probably around 3 to 6 months for it to rank in the top ten (even for less competitive keywords)

    On the bright side, I would say it needs around 20 pages of unique content to get some quality traffic & conversion.

    Having said this, I am sure there are seo experts who can rank mini sites in just a matter of few days if not hours!

    Take Care
    .-= NEW from Chetan@elearning´s last blog ..How to Eat Healthy on a Student’s Budget =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 9:43 am

      I agree. Mini site don’t rank as quickly in Google at all. What I have found is that they rank quite well in other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing. After a few days of creating my mini site I was already ranking number one on Yahoo for the keyword I was targeting.

      There are many people who are able to just rank well within a matter of days. But I think most of them use some kind of software because doing everything yourself and also ranking well is not possible.

      • Murlu
        Twitter:
        May 4, 2010, 10:32 am

        Yeah, generally it seems minisites take a little longer to show up in search engines. If you can time some of the release of the content, it should help keep spiders coming back to the site for days on end once it’s up and running.

        You could always use a bit of article marketing to build backlinks. Websites like Squidoo gets spidered very quickly which would then (hopefully) send it your way.
        .-= NEW from Murlu´s last blog ..How To Show More Posts With CommentLuv =-.

        • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 5, 2010, 1:36 am

          To be honest I mainly rely on article marketing to build backlinks. But I will also soon try out some software to do it for me. We will see how it goes ;)

  • Nile Flores May 3, 2010, 2:28 am

    Mini sites are a great idea. I get web design commissions for them, as well as copywrite sites for niches, like for social media marketing speakers. It really helps a lot.

    In the past, there were site owners that were just copying and not realizing after a time that duplicate content was frowned upon. The rules have changed a lot in the past 5 years, and even more so in the past 10 years in social media marketing.
    .-= NEW from Nile Flores´s last blog ..Tutorial: CSS Rounded Corners =-.

  • James Pruitt May 3, 2010, 12:06 am

    I have built a few mini sites. Depending on how you optimize your site, you can easily make an income using them. however, it sometimes takes a while to get the rankings that you need for it to work.

    What i like to do with mine is find product specific keywords, and target those first. Often they have less monthly searches, so there is less competition. However, since they are specific to a product you are promoting, they often convert much higher than more general keywords.
    once i get some quick rankings on the low search terms, then i will target higher searched terms with more competition..

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 12:44 am

      Interesting point there James. Thanks for mentioning that. Product-related keywords are usually easier to target and rank well. The only problem is that you will never outrank the product itself. Also it’s important to see that the less known the product is the less traffic you are going to get through product related keywords.

  • Dennis Edell May 2, 2010, 3:51 pm

    Excellent lead-in Julius, I look forward to a follow-up once yours has been running awhile.

    I’ve been reading about them for years, but never sunk into one myself, yet. it’s one of the reasons I bought the Xsitepro software.

    What do you use?
    .-= NEW from Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Do You USE Aweber? I Want Your Affiliate Link. Part 2 =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 12:42 am

      Thanks Dennis. Yeah I am also looking forward to how it’s going to work out. So far I am using Google Adwords to drive traffic to my mini site. But it doesn’t seem to convert so well at the moment.

      What is Xsitepro? Does it help for building mini sites?

      • Dennis Edell May 4, 2010, 12:29 pm

        Julius, Yep it’s designed for it, among others things.

        read up a bit at xsitepro.com or I can email you my special link. LOL Kidding, let me know what you think.
        .-= NEW from Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Updated: Do You USE Aweber? I Want Your Affiliate Link. Part 2 =-.

      • Dennis Edell May 4, 2010, 12:31 pm

        Julius – as for your conversion issues, how clear is your call to action?
        .-= NEW from Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Updated: Do You USE Aweber? I Want Your Affiliate Link. Part 2 =-.

      • Dennis Edell May 4, 2010, 12:34 pm

        OK not sure where my last comment went…

        Yep XSP was made for it, among other things. Check out xsitepro.com and read up a bit…or email me for my special link. haha kidding, let me know what you think of it.
        .-= NEW from Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Updated: Do You USE Aweber? I Want Your Affiliate Link. Part 2 =-.

        • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 5, 2010, 1:46 am

          I took a look at it and it seems nice. The only problem is that I still think it’s easier for me to simply do it not using such software. I can design my mini site really quickly and I don’t need a fancy design.
          Thanks for mentioning it though.

          • Dennis Edell May 6, 2010, 9:26 am

            You may have read into it a bit much. With XSP you can go as simply as you want. 1 page no frills if you want.

            It’s software like any other (Front page, Dreamweaver, etc., what do you use?) but designed for really easy use and specifically for Internet marketers.
            .-= NEW from Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Would You Like to Read a TRUE Make Money Online Blog? Part 1 =-.

  • Shirley May 2, 2010, 2:30 pm

    I also heard Glen talk about Mini Sites but that wasn’t my first time of hearing about them. I think they are a really great way to make money online.

    It’s a very cool and valuable concept :).
    .-= NEW from Shirley´s last blog ..Social Media Traffic Is Not Good For Making Money With Adsense =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 2, 2010, 3:26 pm

      I think they are too. I am just getting started so I will be sure to update you guys on my progress if you would like to hear more about it.

      • Shirley May 2, 2010, 3:59 pm

        I sure will :).

  • Dave Doolin
    Twitter:
    May 2, 2010, 1:53 pm

    Mini-sites are something I need to start learning very soon. I have an excellent suite of domain names, but I haven’t yet put them to work.
    .-= NEW from Dave Doolin´s last blog ..Wanted: Staff Writers for Website In A Weekend =-.

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 2, 2010, 3:25 pm

      Hey Dave, well I will hopefully be covering more of this. My mini site is already up and running but just for a few days now. I will update you guys on my progress.

      So you would like to hear more about mini sites?!

  • Andrew
    Twitter:
    May 2, 2010, 1:02 pm

    Julius

    When you say mini-site – are you meaning a WordPress blog with a few pages or a Hub-page?

    Andrew
    .-= NEW from Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..Improve Search Engine Optimization With LinkedIn =-.

    • Hesham May 2, 2010, 1:05 pm

      Both Sounds good for me! even creating the mini-site using WordPress will give more control!

    • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 2, 2010, 3:24 pm

      I have built a mini site using a Wordpress blog but it’s not the best way. You can simply create mini pages using XHTML and CSS because using Wordpress will slow down your site speed. What do you mean by using hub pages?

    • Dennis Edell May 2, 2010, 3:49 pm

      Traditionally HTML static pages.

      Some more recently have chosen to intertwine the phrases mini-site with niche-blogging.
      .-= NEW from Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Do You USE Aweber? I Want Your Affiliate Link. Part 2 =-.

      • Tad Chef May 3, 2010, 2:20 am

        Using WordPress for minisites is not a good idea because you have to keep watching for hacks and updating. Maintenance cost is too high. WP is too bloated for that purpose.

        • Julius Kuhn-Regnier May 4, 2010, 12:40 am

          I agree. Just using HTML static pages is the best way.

        • Dennis Edell May 6, 2010, 9:30 am

          Just sayin’ what I see. If “I” were to do a true mini-site, 1 2 3 pages or so, then absolutely, I would go static. :)

          Possibly a 1-column blog. No posts, no sidebars, just pages.
          .-= NEW from Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Would You Like to Read a TRUE Make Money Online Blog? Part 1 =-.

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