opinion

Biting Off More than You Can Chew

Stephen Yagielowicz
Tell me if this sounds familiar to you: you’re sitting there minding your own business, or off in the process of performing some sundry task, when all of a sudden that little light bulb over your head lights up – ding! An idea is born; this time it’s for a new website and you have just the perfect domain name for it. A few moments later you’re at Network Solutions hoping to acquire the domain – and bingo! You’ve just added a new property to your portfolio.

If you’re at all like me, this isn’t the rarest of occurrences. Indeed, many webmasters have amassed sizeable domain name collections and endless websites, all vying for those elusive sales.

The problem is “what happens to those websites?” In some cases, they never see the light of day, in many cases, even if they do, they do not realize their profit potential, simply because they are competing amongst themselves for the webmaster’s care and attention; something that is in very finite quantities, especially for the lone or part-time webmaster. After all, how many hours are there in a day, or more specifically, how many hours of your day are you willing to devote to building, maintaining and marketing your websites – and how long can you keep up that pace?

Once upon a time, it was all about casting the widest net that you could, building as many sites as possible in order to increase your cyberspace “footprint.” Today, however, with increased competition and savvier buyers, it’s time to switch from casting the widest net possible and instead casting the best net that you can. Quality, not quantity, needs to be the name of the game for small operations hoping to succeed.

If you consider each of your domains and websites to be separate businesses, you should see why this is important. How many businesses can one person profitably run? “One” is the correct answer, but in the world of adult webmastering, “correct” isn’t always “right.”

With this in mind, I’m thinking that individual webmasters should probably limit their projects to perhaps three sites at most; an amount that allows for spending two days a week working on each. That’s not a lot of time, but if you’re running fairly automated sites like TGPs, then you might get away with that. Of course, focusing on one site lets you maximize the quality – and thus the profitability – of the site.

I’m sure that some of you – ‘one man bands’ running hundreds or even thousands of “sites” might disagree, but in this case, “the more the merrier” doesn’t apply. Or to put it another way; how many successful businesses do you know of that are only operated two days a week?

Of course this doesn’t equally apply to larger operations, such as major sponsor programs offering dozens of sites but providing adequate staffing and capitalization to run them at an efficient level or to those whose individual “sites” are simply different front ends on a common backend, but even in these cases, oftentimes less is more.

Think about how thinly you’re stretched and how spending more time on fewer sites can increase their quality, effectiveness, traffic levels – and your bottom line. Remember; don’t bite off more than you can chew.