The Art of Batching Niche Site Creation
I discussed this briefly in my last AdSense case study post, but I wanted to dive into a little bit more detail. Batching is a familiar concept to many of you, especially those who have read The 4-Hour Workweek. Tim Ferriss references it constantly. For those who don’t know or remember, batching is a productivity technique that essentially helps you work more efficiently. Here’s a more technical definition:
Batching: The act of grouping together the performance of identical or similar tasks in order to, as a whole, complete the tasks quicker and more efficiently than if each task was performed separately at different times.
Naturally, I had to ask myself: “How can I apply this concept to niche site creation?”
Is Batching Niche Sites Even a Good Idea?
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to batching niche site creation, especially because this isn’t typically an activity you would attempt to batch. It may still not be a good idea depending on how you work, but I’m going to explore it anyway. Let’s start with a standard pros and cons list:
Benefits of Batching Niche Site Creation
- Complete each step of the process more efficiently
- Become better at each step of the process due to repeating tasks multiple times within a short period of time
- Have multiple niche sites “in motion” from day 1 (domains begin aging sooner, sites can theoretically begin earning sooner)
- Helps segregate each step of the process, which may make it easier to outsource bits and pieces
Downside of Batching Niche Site Creation
- Lack of focus on one site due to juggling multiple sites at once
- Risk of overwhelming yourself, leading to demotivation and incomplete projects
From what I can see, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and if you’re careful, you can avoid the downsides mentioned above.
How Many Sites Should You Batch at One Time?
This is going to vary by person, because everyone has different levels of “free time.” If you have a full time job like me, you won’t necessarily be able to create large volumes of websites frequently. I would argue though that batching allows busy people to create a relatively high volume of websites.
Normally, if you’re creating a site one by one and you work a regular “9 to 5″ job, you might find yourself creating one or two sites per week (including time spent backlinking, etc.), if even that. So, in a given month, you might end up with 4-8 sites. That’s not bad, but you could be creating more by batching your tasks.
My Batching Schedule
Before I go into the specifics of each task that I batch, I wanted to give you a high level view of my batching schedule. In the past couple of months, my batch size has typically been 20 – in other words, I will create 20 sites at time and run them through my batching process.
- Week 1: Research & buy domains – Because researching does take a bit of time (read about how I research here), I generally try to research 3-4 domains per day during this week.
- Week 2: Perform my initial setup, order content, and add the content.
- Week 3: This is the “break week” where I let my new niche sites sit, become indexed, and age a little bit. I don’t usually like adding backlinks right away because it may not appear natural to the search engines (others may disagree). During this week, I’ll usually perform some upkeep of other niche sites (adding more backlinks, content, etc.).
- Week 4: Begin backlinking process – usually, I will do my backlinking process on 2-4 sites per day.
With this plan in place, I have no problem building 20 niche sites in one month. Sure, there will be upkeep in subsequent months, but when everything is going according to plan, that’s what “week 3″ is for.
The Tasks I Batch
Keep in mind that, outside of maybe a few exceptions, I will complete each task for all sites before I move onto the next task. If you want to read more detail about any of these steps, most were explained in my AdSense niche site public case study.
- Research keywords & evaluate competition of those keywords
- Purchase domains
- Add domains to my hosting provider
- Install WordPress on each domain (in this process I set up the name for each site)
- Find and download 5 new (free) WordPress themes to use for the batch of 20 – Each batch of 20 sites I create uses 5 themes that I have never used before, so that each theme is only used on 4 niche sites (at most)
- Install themes on each niche site
- Modify themes as necessary (sometimes free themes will have links and other things in the footer that you may want to remove)
- Configure basic WordPress settings
- Install plugins
- Configure each plugin
- Configure on-site SEO (mostly through the WordPress SEO plugin)
- Order content - I start with 1 article per site (700-900 words each) and the article’s title is based on the keyword used for the domain
- Add and configure AdSense ads (manually and with the help of a plugin)
- Review articles and publish them on each site
- Use The Best Spinner to spin PLR articles (found for free within The Best Spinner’s software)
- Perform backlinking with Unique Article Wizard using the content I spun
- Perform backlinking with Article Marketing Robot using the content I spun
- Research keywords to use for secondary articles - I haven’t discussed this as part of my process, but I will usually order and add a second article to each site after about a month passes from when I’ve created the site and started backlinking it.
- Order and publish secondary articles
- Add backlinks to secondary articles using the same tools mentioned above
- Repeat steps #19-21 as desired (some niche sites will have more content than others, depending on how the site is performing)
There may be some minor steps that I am missing or grouping in with larger tasks, but hopefully this more detailed list gives you a better idea of which tasks I batch and how my process flows.
How I Keep Track of It All
Once you’ve done this process a few times, you may find yourself with 60 or more websites, each at different stages in the process. It would be nearly impossible to track this from memory, so I of course use an Excel spreadsheet that I created.
Below is a screenshot that shows some of the spreadsheet template, but for those who are interested in seeing the whole thing (and maybe using it), you can download the Excel file (for free, without opting into anything) by clicking here or by clicking the image below.
I’ve left an example in the template for you to see how a couple sites looks when each has varying levels of progress.
Is there anything you think I can do to make this batching process more efficient? Do you have any feedback on my niche site tracking tool? I’d love to read about it in the comments!
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