Another Mini Site Developed & Launched

For a couple of hours this morning and a couple hours this afternoon, I built a mini site on my own: Knowing some html and having a VPS hosting package made it much easier for me to do this, but I think it’s something that most people with a few hours of time to spare can do on their own.

Mini site companies are great resources for people without the time or html knowledge, but for those who have the time and html coding knowledge, building a mini site isn’t too difficult. For those who have the time but not the html knowledge, it could be worth it to buy a book or read about html online. I am no genius when it comes to coding, so if I can do it, you can, too.

In my weekly newsletter which will be mailed late tonight, I outlined the steps I took to create my website. Hopefully this will be helpful to those who are interested.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Looks good Elliot.

    I have been using noomle to put my minisite up but I agree if you have some skills and a few hrs to play with then you should really do it yourself.

    It shall be interesting to see the results – I have found Yahoo really easy to rank in top spots on the first page but struggle with Google and I hear many others say the same.

    SE – Traffic is great for Keyword Rich domains. . .

    See some of my sites – They are a bit busy with content but again they took me 15mins using noomle now I need to spend a couple of hours sorting the unique articles and shorten them a little.


    Minisites are great and I can see them only getting more popular.


  2. It appears that development is the rave now as domainers are discovering that most companies just haven’t woken up yet to intrinsic value of generic domains. So to generate some return on a portfolio, minisites will likely be a big push for the next few years.

    My knowledge of HTML is practically zilch but another domainer recommended XSite Pro2 and I decided to give it a try. One basically selects from a menu of templates, loads appropriate text, photos and video embed codes related to their topic and a minisite can be launched with minimal technical knowhow. I have launched four wedding-related minisites in the last several weeks and will go for one more this week. Then it will be time to move on to another topic.

    I would be interested in how you go about driving traffic to a site once it has been indexed. Thanks again for the many informative articles.

  3. Ok, Elliot – you are scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one.

    As someone who is guilty of spreading myself too thin (and who has plenty of minisites), I have to imagine that your time could have been used a lot more effectively than building a minisite about a product that doesn’t even have 1500 results in google…

    Or was this done just to show the process?

    • @Gordon

      I reg’d the name a few months ago, and when I explored my portfolio, I thought it would be neat (and simple) to build an informational mini site. I suppose it was mostly done to show the process.

      I don’t celebrate Easter, and everything was closed today, so why not make a mini site? πŸ™‚

  4. That is the kind of site that could work well with Ebay’s Partner Network. There are only eight auctions for Bull riding helmets at the moment but there are 591 for Bull Riding.

    With Ebay, when they follow one of your links it sets a seven day cookie. If anyone using that computer buys something in the next week you get 50% of the final value fee. If someone registers with Ebay for the first time from your link the payout can range from $1 to $50 (I think) depending on Ebay’s determination of their quality.

    Ebay has a tool that generates the javascript you need to customize the display of selected auctions on your site, so they are easy to include. In our experience they don’t change the AdSense clicks.

  5. Elliot,

    You are correct, even a bit of HTML skills can get someone through the minisite process. If they use wordpress sometimes its even faster.

    Gook work.

    I just identified over 300 of my names that are prime candidates for minisites, now its time to determine the most effective way to get them all done, most of the time i find the problem is not the time to put the site up but actually getting unique content at a reasonable price. Doing that for a couple hundred domains can be costly….

    Always nice to see you getting your sites up Elliot.


  6. Very timely for me, Elliot – I’m facing just such a task this Mon morning, and your newsletter was the first mail read. Using your process as a guide will make it a whole lot swifter and easier to complete. Thanks very much.

  7. @Selebritiz

    Benefits are that it should be ranked in the SEs after a bit of link building. On a long tail keyword with little competition, it shouldn’t be too difficult to move to the top. Increase traffic and consequently revenue should increase as well.

  8. Mini-sites that provide little end-user value are nothing more than a click aggregation tool to monetize the traffic via higher volume due to SERP listings. It works very well on Yahoo as noted. It can even be done to arbitrage PPC traffic for the best.

    It is also necessary in many KW rich domains b/c though KW rich, many are type-in nil…thus a $8/yr liability to overcome.

    I have a feeling this one for the most part was for example of process, as stated, but I have to give credit for completing the task. That said, these types of sites can and do hit paydirt many times over via AdSense, affiliate, or other revenue generation.

  9. I left off more detail on the above…1) it is hard to do what Elliot did by yourself over and over. Usually one will quit 10 sites in at most. and 2) for those who are just starting, actually know/learn the subject so you don’t just KW stuff the pages but provide good end-user info. 3) to do what Elliot did, you do have to see the LT picture…$100 x 10,000 =

  10. @ Greg : “you do have to see the LT picture…” what is LT picture ?

    So, if im gonna make mini site :

    1. buy domain ( keyword rich )
    2. make 5-7 pages about my keyword
    3. add adsense
    4. link building
    5. Waiting for traffic
    6 $$$ ???

    after we done, just leave the mini sites ? ( with no updates ? )

  11. @Selebritiz
    LT= long term

    Re you’re question about the mini-site plan. I am going to keep it updated when I see articles about bull riding helmets in the news and if I have other information to add. It will be very low on my list of things to do. It’s not going to make a lot of money by any stretch, but some related keyword phrases have pretty good Adwords cost per click, so just a couple clicks a month will pay for the name and time in the long run.

    As Greg said, with parking, no traffic makes a name worth -$8 annually. With a developed mini site, all revenue defrays the cost of holding, and anything over $8 is profit – with the exception of my personal fixed overhead.

  12. One way to stay updated on any category related news for this type of site is to set up a Google Alert with the keyword(s).

    You’ll get emails any time the subject is in the news. They’re hit or miss as to relevance, but it’s a pretty simple way to get quick updates, and also to learn about the subject.

  13. We’re talking about bull riding helmets here – there probably aren’t 5,000 people in the country that ride bulls.

    (hell, the term “bull riding helmets” has only been mentioned on the ENTIRE INTERNET 1500 times….)

  14. I love these mini sites. They usually rank exceptionally well for long tail keywords even if you don’t update them at all.

    The only problem is that they make business sense only as supporting domain for another site, or if you do thousands of them. πŸ™‚

  15. Hello Elliot/All,

    I have a background in web development, but am very new to the idea of developing websites to maximize ad/affiliate revenue.

    I’m currently working on putting a few of these mini-sites together to see what I learn.

    I’m curious to know whether you/others think mini-site development could ever be profitable enough to do full-time? I realize that this is a difficult question to answer due to the many variables involved, but generally speaking, how many sites would one need to say make a mortgage payment — 25, 50, 100, 500?

    Also, if anyone can point me to available case studies about the economics of mini-sites, I would be very grateful.


  16. Elliot – And that is why you should never advertise on the content network!

    Because right now some poor sap who is advertising bike helmets is out $7 because the word “helmet” is bringing his ads into your site – and a bunch of your readers are clicking the ads…

    (there doesn’t appear to be a single person actively targeting the phrase on adwords – besides the generic guys – )

  17. Just an FYI, Google is likely going to de-index that site for lack of content. It just looks like a MFA (made for adsense) site which they hate and frequently nuke from search.

    I’m guessing the the $7 you earned today is coming from the high CPC insurance ads?

  18. @Jon

    Not sure what insurance ads you’re talking about because I didn’t see any when I visited (although there are mechanical bull ads and other things like that). I assume Adsense will detect the content and place ads accordingly, which might take a few days.

  19. This mini-site stuff cracks me up.

    Elliot, your geo sites are really impressive!

    But this mini-sites post should be called “Look at me I can use a template, reword some content, cut and paste Adsense, and upload files to a web server”.

    Even the examples from ( I think) are from free templates I’ve seen before.

    • @JS
      Thanks for the compliment on the geos. I actually sold an ad today on – so now I have even more motivation to get the site finished ASAP.

      About this minisite… like I said, this was a 4 hour project (maybe) that I did while everything was closed on Easter. It was 40 degrees here, and I didn’t want to be outside. I wanted to try something out. I blogged about it because there are a lot of people who have much better keyword names that are afraid to do mini sites, and I want to show how easy it was for a guy like myself to do, so others shouldn’t fear them – or worry about paying thousands of dollars buying dozens of mini sites when they can probably do them on their own.

      BTW, there are a lot of readers of my blog who wouldn’t know where to start with any of this, and I hope the info I sent them was helpful.

  20. True…..good point. The free templates are a good start to learn CSS.

    Now find a rodeo DB (or create one yourself) and a tutorial on .htaccess.

    Regarding (congrats!), are you going door to door, e-mailing, or did someone contact you?

  21. As Tobias mentioned above:

    “I love these mini sites. They usually rank exceptionally well for long tail keywords even if you don’t update them at all.

    The only problem is that they make business sense only as supporting domain for another site, or if you do thousands of them.”

    Spending 4 hours on this stuff is too much, Elliot.

    If you can get it down to 30 minutes, you will be ok.

    As for the name selection, I wouldn’t of picked it personally because as Gordon mentioned there aren’t too many ads for this stuff and it’s just an odd subject.

    Trick is to pick good keyword domains in established industries, for which there are plenty of search activity and advertisers too interested in reaching out to those users.

  22. @Mike

    I agree with what you said. Just showing people they shouldn’t fear the process. I can also probably create new ones in under 30 with the template and an image change.

  23. Hi Elliot:

    I, for one appreciate the lesson on quick website development.

    However, I can’t help but comment on the incredible potential of My thought is to fully develop a site with a database on how to procure chrochet patterns specifically for use underwater. I would have a salt water and fresh water page. Regional experts blogging on the advantages of cotton vs. synthetic materials. Pages on the history of chrochet. Indo-European influences. South-Asian colorings. Australian outback historical references.

    Thanks for the motivation.


  24. Elliot,

    Thanks for the excellent post, especially for those of us still struggling with just how to go about development. I started with a GEO-site consisting of a simple templete design but decided I needed to get serious and hire a developer to redo the site. Problem is that I actually had much better rank & traffic numbers with the crappy site I did myself! So I’m seriously contemplating following your lead and learning some HTML & going back to doing it myself.

    Also I feel I must defend the honor of bull riding. The truth is that better than 1.5 million fans attended PBR (Professional Bull Riders) events last year, with a high of 90,000 attending the PBR World Finals. Top riders now earn up to $1,500,000 a year. More than 104,000,000 viewers tuned in to watch bull riding on TV last year, with labeling bull riding “the fastest growing sport in America”! (Yes, I proudly admit that I am a back*** country hick!) There are more than 800 PBR riders alone with only a small percentage of bull riders ever reaching this level. If you get out of the city and get to rural America (I know, a scary thought for many!) you will find crazy people getting on bulls every weekend in arenas all over the country.

    So don’t sell your little site short – you’re early in a growing wave of interest. The riders are like hockey players used to be – only now is it becoming “acceptable” for riders to wear a helmet, since this is a sport where you “cowboy up” and never show pain, even after taking a blow to the face from a 2000+ pound bull who wants nothing more than to throw you to the ground and then run a horn through your backside!

    See you in San Diego!

  25. I love that first ad that’s showing up in the middle column right now… “Deals on Brain Damage. Find what you’re looking for.”

    Dynamic insertion at its finest.

  26. Building the mini sites is one thing…… Anybody can build em. 12 year olds do it on hosted blogs x100s and pull in much more traffic.. They just do it their own ways and slightly better versions.

    There is many ways to profit from domains, original content and various optimization.

    Truth is, the visitors to mini sites are 1 time visitors and when they come to your site you better know what you are doing on the OPTIMIZATION and MONETIZATION end because if you develop 100 mini sites but never thoroguhly tested the MONETIZATION of the traffic that you will be pulling in….

    LOL — sucker !

    • @Jon

      True – they probably should. Unfortunately, people looking for bull riding helmets probably won’t click those ads either πŸ™‚

      I think my next mini site will be πŸ˜€

  27. Elliot, as always, appreciate the development lesson.

    I’m interested in getting VPS hosting so would like to know who you ultimately decided to use, and why? Thanks!

    • @Deb

      I use Liquid Web for $50/month (need to find a promo code I believe). They have fantastic customer support 24/7 and I have never run into any problems.

  28. It was fun to see Elliot update $7 on 3 clicks. As noted in a few comments above…the AdSense that gets displayed makes all the difference. Elliot has been able to get Brain Injury Attorney ads (when I last checked) ad thus probably $3+ on avg per click.

    As many domainers will confirm from their own portfolios, we have a few names that only get 5-7 parking clicks a year…but they may be $10 clicks just due to the keywords. A specific example is – that BoA ad at the top is probably high dollar and this is with a GoDaddy parking page.

    If you are smart, there is more to the big picture than what meets the eye. I would have never developed this domain (helmets) at first glance, but this also proves what you see is not always what you get…like on Britain’s Got Talent.

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