1. Welcome to DNTrade. If you want to find out about the latest domain name industry news or talk, share, learn, buy, sell, trade or develop domain names - then you've come to the right place. It's a diverse and active community, with domain investors, web developers and online marketers - and it's free! Click here to join now.
    Dismiss Notice

Mini-site development - Pro

Discussion in 'General Domain Discussion' started by neddy, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,669
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Following on from my post about my son doing some mini-sites for me, I wanted to mention some of the sites I have had done by professionals (and members of this forum).

    Firstly, I have to say that I have many hundreds of domains, and I just want to do something other than park them.

    I have used the services of three members - Jonathan, Paz and Djuqa. What they have done for me has been fantastic. I'm not into saying one is better than the other, because they all have their own styles, and I think that's great.

    And because I have a lot of domains to develop, I'm going to keep using all three designers. It will be interesting for me to compare rankings and ROI at the end of 6 months.

    One of the sites Jonathan did for me was www.BankruptcyInformation.com.au. This is now ranked Page 1 on Google, and I'm very happy.

    One of the sites Paz did for me was www.HotModels.com.au - already this is on Page 1, and has the potential to earn a lot of income.

    And a new one that Djuqa did for me will no doubt be right up there very soon. Have a look at www.StradbrokeIsland.com.au - this was a different project to a standard mini-site, and I love it.

    I recommend them all! Just remember one of the first laws of ROI - you have to spend money to make money!

    Cheers, Ned
     
  2. djuqa

    djuqa Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    2
    Neddy
    Thanks for the Great RAP
    Some regular style minisites I have done for Ned
    As for great ranking on Google
    Minisite.com.au is
    #1 for minisite on Google.com.au
    #1 for minisite on WebWombat.com.au
    #2 for minisite on Yahoo7.com.au & minisite.info is #9
    #9 for minisite on Bing.com

    Remember this, a Minisite is not my hobby or pastime, they are MY Business.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  3. paz

    paz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Ned, it was great working with you!

    I'm happy to keep working for members of dnTrade for a reduced price to help boost the .AU domain industry.
     
  4. marketingweb

    marketingweb Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    Question re mini-sites

    I just had one question in general re minisites, and here seems as good a spot as any.

    I notice most "made for adsence" sites and sites that would be classified as mini-sites seem to not have logos, or to put it another way their logos are basically always just the site name in a single colour in a very basic font - normally white Arial on an image background, as well as looking a bit the same in some respects.

    The question I am curious about is (as someone with far more experience in "normal" website than adsence mini sites): Is this intentional, or just a cost thing / different skill area thing?

    By this I mean, are they done like this because the developer is trying to keep costs low and graphic design isn't a major part of their skill base, OR is there some proven formula that says "if you look a certain way people would rather leave by clicking an advertisment"?

    BTW I am NOT a graphic designer and end up either outsourcing that part or just doing my best depending on the project budget, perhaps this is what others are doing also?

    Thanks
    Matt
    www.marketingweb.com.au
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  5. djuqa

    djuqa Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    2
    Graphic logo design is one of those areas that cost money, but have no direct earning power.
    Minisites rarely need a logo for brand recognition



    BTW MFA (made for adsense sites) are a NoNo, real minisites have More content than ads.
     
  6. paz

    paz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    0
    I only use graphic logo's when I'm building a brand. Minisites have no real brand and don't need to build a graphical representation of the site for people to recognise and identify around the web.
     
  7. jam

    jam Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Graphic elements on a site can be the difference between making $1 a month or making $100 a month.

    I believe all the above sites listed are "made for adsense" sites.
    The sites are not really adding much value to the internet.

    Ned's goal out of this is to get as much ROI as he can, and putting up these mini sites will result in more income then if they are parked.

    I would like to the see the return on these sites.

    djuqa, pax, and Jonathan, from previous sites, how long on average will it take to earn back the $XXX ($169 from djuqa) price for a minisite?
     
  8. djuqa

    djuqa Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    2
    149$ actually is my price to dnTRADE members (less for Qty).
    One metric you missed in your calculations is that the minisite does not have to pay for itself. It adds value and can be resold with the domain.




    Plus with over 600 minisites of my own and clients completed. They are not MFA sites. I use more content than ads, the content can be edited & replaced and the sites can stand alone without the adsense.
    Indeed some of my highest earning sites use aff. links only, just like your Pretty HTML Boilerplated Affiliate sites which @ 84$ an hour will cost more than my $149 (less for qty).
    I have tried various combinations and adding graphic elements like a logo adds very little added value & almost no extra income.
    But if needed can be added simply and quickly by my graphic Designer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  9. marketingweb

    marketingweb Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    A follow up question

    If one had the time/efficiency and ability to make a site with a proper logo that looked a bit more like a "regular" site rather than a mini-site/MFA whatever you want to call it, would revenue be better, worse or the same, on average?

    Or another way of saying it, ignoring cost/development efficiency, which would get more click throughs? (would like to see a couple opinions here if possible).

    Thanks,
    Matt
    http://www.marketingweb.com.au
     
  10. paz

    paz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a graphic designer I can understand you feel that way. I don't believe it is as important as most people think it is most of the time.

    Although I wouldn't call them made for adsense seeing as there are better ways to monetise them, they can be seen as in the spirit of MFA sites. These sites were designed to get clicks - but I think there is one key difference between how and why they get these clicks.

    They are not made to TRICK people into clicking.

    The content I write is broad and filled with nice keywords, but it leaves the viewer needing more information and asking questions. A good place to find answers to these questions is by clicking the conveniently (but not deceptively) placed ads.

    I'd rather come across a minisite than a parked site!

    For these particular sites? Would be interesting. I'd say Jonathan's site might earn the most because of the average CPC of the niche. There may be more traffic to hotmodels though - I haven't checked the searche volumes for them all.
     
  11. paz

    paz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ignoring cost of development, I would put maybe 10% more effort into design elements (maybe some nicely incorporated social elements such as twitter widget etc), and infinity % more effort into content.

    Content is king, always has been always will be. People are FAR too wrapped up in design.

    Just look at dnTrade, we come here because of the content, the design is basically standard. Even if there was a competing site in this exact niche, I would sign up to the one with the most posts and the least bullshit/spam.

    For me, when making a site I think of it like this:

    The idea of a minisite is to get people to leave via ads.

    The idea of a content site is to get people to stay, to tell their friends, and to come back often.

    They both have their place.
     
  12. jam

    jam Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry if you took offence to that djuqa. I think its great your clients are using affiliate links. And my "Pretty HTML Boilerplated Affiliate sites" as you call them will cost far more then your minisites, and I would believe the ROI would also be better then your minisites, but what I'm doing is totally different to you.

    And if your talking about selling the site and domain at a later date a great design will always get you better offers.
     
  13. Jonathan

    Jonathan Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    1
    How long will it take for a minisite to pay for itself?

    From my limited experience, that's a difficult question to answer and depends on several different factors. Aside from taking search volume, average CPC and competitiveness into consideration for the keyword(s) the minisite is targeting, there is always the possibility that for one reason or another Google just won't take a liking to one or more of your sites.

    Having said that, personally I would be aiming for most of my minisites to pay for themselves within 6-12 months. At the very least a minisite should pay for its own hosting and reg fees while the domain that it's sitting on appreciates in value. Plus, even if a domain doesn't earn much but it's sitting on page 1 (even at the bottom) it will make it a much easier sell to potential end users imo.
     
  14. aHugeList

    aHugeList Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    "One metric you missed in your calculations is that the minisite does not have to pay for itself. It adds value and can be resold with the domain."

    Very valid point.
    In fact I took the time to make quick logos and stick up some mini sites on some domain names I had been trying to move for months and they sold straight away ... and for more than I was asking for the domain alone - very little extra work (they were very simple mini sites with some rewritten PLR articles and a couple of affiliate banners) one of the buyers also decided to keep the hosting so I got a new hosting client from it too.

    I'm planning to do the same with my next batch of domains for sale. Im not sure it would be worth my time for great names - but for "ok" names it does add more value and interest I think

    www.stockforecasts.com.au
     
  15. djuqa

    djuqa Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    2
    I used to DO site's exactly like yours for clients and the ROI was often worse than the minisites.
    So my full price Dreamweaver and other pretty Editors now sit unused.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  16. Newk

    Newk Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Djuqa, I was really impressed with your lenses site. How long did it take you to put up, and are you seeing traffic and revenue yet?
     
  17. djuqa

    djuqa Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks for the enquiry
    Actually is a placeholder site until I develop into camera/photography site

    Only took a short time as do all my minisites .
    and yes Traffic & income (still small but building)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
  18. marketingweb

    marketingweb Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0
    Personally I really like JAM's sites, and I didn't at first realise that a lot of them were affiliate sites. Personally if I put my "consumer" hat on rather than my "developer" hat on these are the sort of sites I would actually use/trust, as is the www.debitcards.com.au website that someone else on this board has done (can't remember who sorry). Whereas most mini-sites don't have the "trust factor" in my opinion.

    I'm NOT saying they don't work or i'm more of expert than anyone else here, more that if someone goes to one of Jam's site for example they may appreciate the content and service and then utilise an affiliate product. For a stock standard mini-site, I think people are more likely to want to leave in many cases - whether they leave by clicking "back" or leave by clicking an advertisment/adsense is what makes the money.

    Just my opinion!

    Matt
    Marketing Web
    _____________________________
    Marketing & Web Design Australia
    Steel Cattle Yards
    Free Christian Dating Australia
    Promotional Products Australia
     
  19. jam

    jam Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would say this is why most would earn more than other mini sites, a lot of these mini sites don't provide anything to the user other then boring content.

    If you can provide a service to the user you are going to make far more income.
     
  20. djuqa

    djuqa Membership: Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    2
    So are a lot of my minisites.
    An Affiliate site that is a minisite is no different in earning potential than more developed "Sites". As I have said before I started doing minisites because of the HIGHER earning potential than the websites I used to produce for MYSELF.
    This was before I started doing them for others.

    A 1 page minisite that is correctly targeted to a niche with well positioned aff. ads can and does earn as much as a Multi page site.
    Granted some minisites are absolute crap, but that is not because they are a minisite but because the developer did a crap job.


    But each to their own.

    Marketingweb
    That site you quote debitcards.com.au is a Wordpress Based Minisite and not a real good one, nothing more.
    So why would it have any more trust than any other Minisite.

    jam , you produce some great sites, but do not confuse pretty with effective.
    Pretty can be effective sites, but only if designed to be affective as well as pretty.
    BTW some of your example sites displayed on your home page, JAM, qualify as being only minisites.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010