Some years back, while pondering many different business ideas, I come up with an idea for a blogging network. It was to be a network of news related blogs. The network would consist of about 75 different blogs, a different blog for different areas for sort of localized news coverage. I already owned a domain that I thought would be a perfect domain name for the concept. The domain name that I had in mind was a name that I was using for one of my major businesses. I thought it over and didn’t see any negatives in doing this, so I moved forward.
So, I had my business on the root domain (domain_name.com) and I had about 75 subdomains set up for these different news blogs (blog1.domain_name.com, blog2.domain_name.com, etc). I hired a few people to do the writing for the different news sites. Everything was going great. The blogs were well received, and got plenty of traffic.
After about a year or two of running these sites and also my business using the root domain, I started thinking about selling the business, the one that was the original user of the domain. The news sites were making about $1,000 per month through advertising fees only, and were continuously growing. The main business on the site, though, I had kind of grown tired of and wished to sell it and move on. I had all of my plans in place when I realized something.
What about those subdomains?
I wanted to keep those news blogs, and keep earning the money that they were bringing in. However, if I sold that main business, my blog network would be gone too! Why? Well, if I no longer owned the main domain, I also would no longer own the subdomains!
So, I decided to buy a new domain to use for all of those news sites, move the sites over to the new domain, set up some 301 redirects to redirect search traffic to the new sites, and free up that original business domain name. By doing this, I figured that I could keep my news sites, albeit on a new domain, keep that income, and also be able to sell my other business.
I implemented all of this. My next step was to sit there and watch the success of my news sites go down the drain! Why? How? I can’t say for sure why it happened, but it did. Pretty much as soon as I made the change, I watched the income from those news sites go to zero. I have built the sites back up over the years, but have never been able to attain the success that they had on the previous domain name. I ended up not selling that other business either.
So, I made a big mistake in this instance. Hey, we all make mistakes, right? But, this mistake cost me money.
When was the mistake made? When I moved the sites, or when I first decided to do the subdomains on my business site? In my opinion, the mistake was made when I originally set all of this up using the subdomains from my business site. I should have considered the ramifications of doing that from the start!
Oh well, we live and learn. I know now to think these things over more carefully, and also to not use business domains for adding a second business! You may want to separate those businesses later, and having them tied to a single domain just may make that separation impossible.