I’ve had a few comments over the past several months asking about how many sites I have so I figured now is as good a time as any to give a list of my websites. I’ve included little blurbs about each site, a bit about earnings and some hopes I have for the websites. This is type of information is something I always wonder about when I read other web developer’s blogs so hopefully reading this will give you some inspiration and a bit more insight into how I earn money online.
For some of the sites I haven’t listed the URLs beucase they’re simple ideas that would be pretty easy to copy. Most of my simple sites don’t really make any money but I am living in hope.
Travoholic.com – This is my first ever site that I started back in 2001 and it’s about budget travel. When I started it there were only a handful of sites about budget travel and backpacking and I felt I could offer something that was better. I always start out ambitious! I have always felt that where you stay has a big impact on your experience, especially if you’re a solo traveller, so I wanted to build a site with a focus on hostel reviews. The idea was a good one and I’m pretty sure it was the first site to use several different criteria to rate hostels. Unfortunately I was busy wasting my time in university and the site was neglected until 2005 when I started taking things a bit more seriously. By that point I had missed the boat and there were plenty of sites that filled the hostel reviewing gap. But this is when I discovered Adsense and after that first click for $0.03 I was inspired to improve my site and start others. Travoholic.com earns about $50 to $100 per month with Adsense, a pitiful $2 to $10 a month with Hostelworld.com and a small amount through advertising. I haven’t done a thing with this site in years but I have a few ideas for how to overhaul things. Because its an old, trusted domain and does well with Google, I think it has a lot of potential.
Working Holiday Info – This was my second website and it’s my favourite because of the little cartoon characters I’ve added. I totally went over the top with the artistic flair I added to the site, but it was fun. This site was penalised ages ago by Google and dropped down to PR0 so I haven’t had much success with advertising, although I haven’t really tried. I don’t have any affiliate programs on the site either so there’s nothing doing there. Adsense does well with around $80 to $100 monthly. This site could use an update and I could also see myself selling info packages specific to each working holiday country.
Nerdy Nomad – You’re on it! This is my only blog and it isn’t my aim to make money from this site. For me, blogs aren’t the way I want to earn online (I prefer to build a site and forget about it). I have this blog because I love connecting with people who are into travelling and web development. Plus it gives me a place to keep a few of my travel tales and it helps to have a place to ask questions and get feedback from you guys. I earn a bit through advertising deals but I don’t go out and look for them.
Stuck in London – This is my most popular site with over 350 unique visits a day. The site is focused on a specific niche that I know a lot about in a city I know a lot about so it is a great fit. Adsense has been the main income source with around $200 coming in per month and I am also starting to have high quality advertisers contact me about partnering up. I’m in the process of adding a few affiliate programs that seem like a good fit but time will tell if that works. The information on this site is of a high quality and I think that’s important for being able to keep attracting advertisers.
Travel Insurance Sites – I have three old travel insurance sites that focus on a specific niche and account for almost 100% of my affiliate earnings. I have recently finished another four websites that are targeted at a different niche in the travel insurance market. I know they are good ideas that will work but I need to get them ranking with Google before I see any earnings and that will take a lot of work that I don’t have time for just now. I’m considering an Adwords program but I probably won’t get to that until next year because I don’t know a thing about them and will need to do some research before I get started and a lot of tweaking once I get things going.
Adsense Sites – I have two websites that were created solely to put Adsense on them. I don’t like these sites but having seen a few net friends do well with them, I thought I would give it a try. I need to do loads more SEO for these sites to start performing and I won’t have time for this until after Indonesia next year. They’re on the back burner for now and don’t earn me anything.
Stuck in Beijing, Sydney and New York – These sites have been my attempt to get a little network of city sites going similar to my London site. The Beijing site is the oldest and ranks well with Google but doesn’t get as much traffic as I would like. The Sydney site’s content isn’t as good as I would like it to be but after a recent barrage of SEO it’s starting to rank. The New York site is brand new with good content but I haven’t done any SEO yet. For each of these sites I expect to earn a bit with Adsense but I’m hoping the main revenue source will be through city-specific advertising. These sites are all a work in progress and so far none of them are doing much.
London 2012 Olympics – I love the Olympics, I love London and I love making websites. This one sprung from a conversation with my friend Mike who ran a site for the Beijing Olympics. It seemed like an interesting idea and I didn’t think I would ever get a match more suited to me than the London Olympics. I’ve had a couple of lucrative advertising deals but, other than that, I haven’t earned much. I expect to earn a lot through Adsense in the months running up to the Olympics but I will need to get cracking on the SEO for this site. I think there are other ways to squeeze a few bucks out of this site but will have to brainstorm and get to work soon.
Wanderstruck – I started this site last year as a pure travel blog. The plan was to have a place to write about my travels, post photos and keep friends and family informed. My aim wasn’t to make money off of the site. I have since realised that I don’t really like writing blog posts about my travels. I find them difficult to write and they were taking up far too much of my time and I always felt guilty for going weeks without a post. At the moment this site is empty but I’m working at building a site about travelling in Africa. This is a massive work in progress and it’s the site I’m most excited about.
Backpacker Niche Site – I have a website about a very specific type of trip that Aussies, Kiwis and Saffas take around Europe. I actually forgot to register the domain at the beginning of the year and had to buy it back which screwed me over for this year’s earnings. Normally this site earns well during the summer with Adsense and insurance sales. I also have a partnership with a company who is a perfect fit in the niche and they pay me a pretty high yearly fee to advertise. I have lots of ideas for how to improve this site but it’s one of my lowest priorities right now.
If you haven’t been counting along, here’s a summary of my sites:
- Working Holiday Info
- Nerdy Nomad
- Stuck in London
- Stuck in Beijing
- Stuck in Sydney
- Stuck in New York
- Insurance Site A
- Insurance Site B
- Insurance Site C
- Insurance Site D
- Insurance Site E
- Insurance Site F
- Insurance Site G
- Crappy Adsense Site A
- Crappy Adsense Site B
- London 2012 Olympics
- Backpacker Niche Site
Wow, I didn’t realise I had so many websites until just now. Like I said before, many of these are either brand new and doing nothing for me or they’re old and neglected and doing nothing for me. I’m an eternal optimist though and think that all of my sites have potential. I think one of my main issues is always wanting to move onto new site ideas before finishing the SEO and promotion work on the others. I love the building stage of web development so this will be a hard habit to kick.
I do think that having a network of sites is key in this business, at least in my experiences. Often one of my best sites will randomly start sucking for a month and another will come through with a great month to save my ass a bit. It’s strange how that works. Diversification is important with revenue streams (Adsense, affliates advertising, your own products etc.) and I think it’s equally important to diversify your sites by having a few different topics even if they are still a part of a broad niche like what I’m doing with budget travel.
I hope this has been helpful to people. Don’t feel overwhelmed because I have almost 20 sites. I admit that I have gone a bit crazy over the past few months. I think as few as four or five quality websites is fine. More sites doesn’t always mean more money, especially when you lose your focus and fleet from project to project without doing the SEO work.
Either way I hope this post helps. I would be interested in hearing about other people’s website portfolios. Do you dabble in the crappy Adsense sites or stick with one or two high quality ones? Blogs or static sites? What works for you and what is your ideal number of sites?