Last year, I tried an experiment, something I had never done before. I made a spin-off.
No, I didn’t make a TV show! I actually made 3 different spin-offs of a website that I own. When I first decided to do the spin-off, I wrote about it here, Time for a Spin-Off? Only about 2 weeks later, I wrote a follow up article on the topic to report that the spin-off was already making money! To be honest, it is very rare for a brand new website to be earning money in just the first 2 weeks or so if it’s existence. I was quite happy.
Well, because that first spin-off was so successful, that is why I decided to do two more spin-offs last year. I did my second spin-off about 2 or 3 weeks later, and it was also a great success for me, earning money within only a few days after I started the new site. My third spin-off came much later, just a few weeks ago in fact. I wanted to make my 3rd spin-off site before the end of 2011, and I finished it just a couple of days before the new year was upon us. Again, it started making money almost immediately.
Why do I call these new sites Spin-Offs?
Well, because that is exactly what they are. You see, what I do is that I scour one of my existing popular sites to see what topics are garnering higher than normal amounts of user interaction. Articles that have a lot of Facebook shares, a lot of shares on Twitter, or a ton of comments. If an article has huge numbers in these interaction areas, that means there is a great interest in the topic, and it is ripe to have a site of it’s own, instead of being buried in the archives of an existing site. You see, on the existing site, the article loses it’s luster, and loses it’s interactivity, because people no longer easily find the article on your website. When the article is fairly new and still listed on your home page of your site, people come across it naturally, but when it is buried 700 or 1,000 articles deep on your site, only a few people will even find it. That’s why a spin-off is a natural thing to do. And that is why I call these sites spin-off sites, they are much like spin-off TV shows. Remember Happy Days, the TV show about life in the 50’s? Well, Happy Days spun off a lot of other TV shows too, and those shows made money. My popular website is also spinning off new websites that are making me money, so calling these sites “spin off sites” is only natural!
Plans for future spin-offs
I do plan to try to spin off at least 3 more websites this year. I have already started searching my existing websites looking for posts that have large numbers of interactivity, which is my criteria for a topic that will make a great spin-off site. I am sure I will have no trouble finding multiple sites that are ripe for additional spin-offs, and I will follow through and capitalize on those posts that give me spin-off possibilities.
How about you, have you tried a spin-off?