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.).

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.

  1. Research keywords & evaluate competition of those keywords
  2. Purchase domains
  3. Add domains to my hosting provider
  4. Install WordPress on each domain (in this process I set up the name for each site)
  5. 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)
  6. Install themes on each niche site
  7. Modify themes as necessary (sometimes free themes will have links and other things in the footer that you may want to remove)
  8. Configure basic WordPress settings
  9. Install plugins
  10. Configure each plugin
  11. Configure on-site SEO (mostly through the WordPress SEO plugin)
  12. Add informational pages (contact us, about us, privacy policy)
  13. 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
  14. Add and configure AdSense ads (manually and with the help of a plugin)
  15. Review articles and publish them on each site
  16. Use The Best Spinner to spin PLR articles (found for free within The Best Spinner’s software)
  17. Perform backlinking with Unique Article Wizard using the content I spun
  18. Perform backlinking with Article Marketing Robot using the content I spun
  19. 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.
  20. Order and publish secondary articles
  21. Add backlinks to secondary articles using the same tools mentioned above
  22. 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.

Conclusion

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!

Also, if you found this article helpful, I’d greatly appreciate a share on Facebook or a retweet via the buttons to the left of this page! :)

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22 Responses to “The Art of Batching Niche Site Creation”

  1. Hi,
    Instead of adding and configuring each plugin every time you can use duplicator plugin for all your site. I haven’t tested it but i know there are some plugins available for that.

    [Reply]

    Adam Reply:

    Eric,

    Something that I did a while ago was create a template site within my cpanel which has my plugins that I use and 5 different wordpress themes. All of my themes and plugins are already configured to what I like to do so all I need to do when I start a new site is simply copy the files and paste them to my new site.

    This might be something that you want to try.

    Also, I highly recommend batching. I do batching but for link building because links on relevant pages hold more weight.
    Adam recently posted… Im Making Money Online – Niche Site Details

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Adam, that’s very helpful. One thing I do when I create a new batch of sites is copy the plugins folder from a previously created site into all of my new WordPress installations. This saves me the time from having to install each plugin individually, however I still need to go in and activate/configure the plugins.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Rohit, this is something I will look into.

    [Reply]

  2. If I’m understanding this right, your sites start life as one page sites?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Technically, each site starts with 4 pages (main article, about us, contact us, and privacy policy pages), but yes, only 1 page of true content.

    Over time, I slowly add content to each site, and the sites that appear to have more potential will probably end up with more content.

    [Reply]

    Neale @ Living in Thailand Reply:

    Very cool, their is hope for me yet :-) I’m going to batch 10 domains I own, next month and the other 10 the month after. good to know single pages can work and it’s ok to put adsense on them. Thanks

    [Reply]

    Neale @ Living in Thailand Reply:

    Nice spreadsheet also thanks

    Eric G. Reply:

    Sounds like a good plan, Neale, let me know how it goes!

  3. I seriously love your articles. I came into this knowing absolutely nothing about making money online and now I’ve been able to add so much to my one site that I have right now. I’m just about to the point where all I have to do is write articles and as soon as I’m there I’m going to start building niche sites! I love that you write down everything step-by-step and it’s easy to understand. Thank you!
    Sarah Anderson recently posted… Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sarah – it’s comments like these that make me happy to continue writing on this blog.

    Best of luck to you, and please do let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.

    [Reply]

  4. Hey Eric,

    Where do you get your articles from?
    I forgot :)
    Ralph | Social Media Explained recently posted… Pro’s and Con’s of Facebook Ads and Facebook Fan Pages

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I get my articles from textbroker.com.

    [Reply]

  5. This sounds good and is something I should try. I’ve got about 8 domains ready to go for some adsense sites. I used Manage WP to clone the sites but now need some articles.

    Bit skint at the moment so can’t really afford the $20 for a 1000 word article x 8 to set them up though.

    Who do you use for content?
    Joe recently posted… Monthly Round-up: January 2012

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hi Joe,

    Sounds like you have a good batch of domains to start with. I use textbroker.com for my content and have been quite pleased with them (at least, the 4-star quality articles).

    [Reply]

  6. Hey Eric, I’m about to begin the process of batch creating some Adsense sites. I have 10 ready to go but that took some time to research the keywords. So now I’m batching my keyword research with SEMRush. I haven’t done any competitor analysis yet since I just signed up 2 days ago but I’m able to generate hundreds of thousands of seed keyword ideas during this process for later evaluation.

    It’s not cheap ($67/mo) but I’m only going to use it for one month and hopefully generate enough keywords for the entire year or even next year. Then when I need ideas again, I’ll sign up for another month.
    Harlan Yee recently posted… My Three Most Viewed YouTube Videos Of 2011

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’ve never used SEMRush before, but that’s an interesting idea (pay for one month and get enough use out of it to hopefully last a year).

    Let me know how the sites turn out!

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Eric – In regard to task #5, why do you only use a theme on four sites max? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to use the same theme over and over again? I’m just curious about why you do that.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    While it would be more efficient to keep using the same theme, I think it’s good to diversify. First, you’re less likely to have Google catch you with essentially “made for Adsense” websites. It’s not a sure thing that they ever would notice, and hopefully you have good content anyway, but it’s to your advantage to have the sites look different.

    Also, changing the themes allows you to test different themes – you may find that certain themes work well with certain niches and others don’t.

    4 sites is an arbitrary number I picked – you could be super picky and have 1 site per theme, or 10 sites per theme – it’s really up to you.

    [Reply]

  8. This Batching Niche is truly valuable because it can bring a huge help to have a faster way of attaining task.
    Wenz28 recently posted… Dating Tips for Men

    [Reply]

  9. My wife and I are currently working on a batch of 9 Amazon Affiliate sites. I definitely agree that batching can be effective and efficient if done correctly. If we’re not careful though, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or sidetracked.
    John recently posted… General Game Plan

    [Reply]

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Reshaping My 2012 Business Goals | Ambition - February 6, 2012

    [...] I originally intended, I will start batching microniche websites (thanks for the idea, my4hrworkweek.com). Basically you group together tasks for several websites [...]

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