When I announced the “official” launch of MegaSites.com yesterday (the actual launch took place in 2013 but wasn’t public, I basically limited myself to a few pilot projects to test the concept), I made it clear that developing small websites is *not* a viable long-term business model in 2014 and beyond. As some of you who have been around for a while know, I’ve been repeating this on DomainingTips obsessively for several years.
Unfortunately, I still come across the “maybe I’ll develop it later on” mentality way too often. In fact, let me just start by saying that if you used the word “maybe” or a synonym, the domain in question is probably not development material.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record: at this point, only serious development projects are worth it if you’re in it for the long haul. Small websites will constantly fight to survive, whereas genuinely useful ones will thrive. That brings me to the point I’m trying to get across today:
You won’t and shouldn’t develop most of your domains!
Realistically speaking, it’s next to impossible to build genuinely useful sites on lots and lots of domains. You have to be selective, brutally selective in fact. For the most part, I’d recommend limiting yourself to these two reasons:
1) You’re genuinely passionate about the topic the website will cover
2) The domain in question is one of your “buy and hold” assets
For example, I decided to build a megasite on VFH.com for both of these reasons. On the one hand, VFH.com is definitely a “buy and hold” domain that I’m not willing to sell unless I receive a good offer and on the other hand, it also represents a nice choice for a website related to something I’ve always been passionate about (Vitality. Fitness. Health. or in other words, anything that has to do with embracing a healthy lifestyle).
The megasite currently has over 100 articles and even things like infographics. As time passes, more and more quality content will be added. Thus far, my writers handled absolutely everything and created the “foundation” but since it’s a topic I’m very passionate about, I might actually start writing some articles myself every once in a while.
The bottom line is this: there’s no longer room for mediocrity.
Build a megasite on one or a handful of domains for which such an approach makes sense and as far as the other ones are concerned, keep them parked or point them to a “domain for sale” landing page. No need to reinvent the wheel, simply be reasonable and start understanding that providing value is the only way to go in 2014 and beyond.