We’ve been in this business for a long time now…I guess you could call 10 years a long time…and as a result, we have built up a whole lot of ‘stuff’ that needs sorting out. When I say ‘stuff’ I mean websites. We just have too many of them and then there are the domain names – we probably have about 100 of them…most doing nothing but just sitting parked for maybe one day when we get around to using them.
Stupid really…we know we are never going to get around to it because we have enough to do already. We don’t want to build more and more websites. We have enough trouble keeping track of the ones we have, plus we created new ones after we were penalised by the Google animal updates.
In other words we have a lot of stuff and it needed sorting out…we needed a spring clean. So we have been spending the past month or so doing just that. Our main task has been moving most of our old sites over to one hosting account. We had 4 hosting accounts and we really didn’t need four. One of those accounts was a reseller account so we decided to move as many sites as possible over to that account. We figured it will make it a whole lot easier to keep track of everything.
So far we have moved 23 sites over. These are mostly our old sites (pre-Google updates) that we no longer really work on. We don’t want to get rid of them though as despite the Google penalties they still make us money. Just to give you an example, for the first two days in December we have made $338 on Amazon and $174 with CJ for those old sites. We have other affiliate accounts so we may have made a little more than that…I just haven’t checked.
So while they are still making us money, we aren’t about to get rid of them. We just update plugins etc as needed and every now and then we will go in and freshen some up by adding content or changing the theme…but most of the time, we really do nothing to those sites.
Then we have some new sites. We could probably classify these are Type A and Type B. Our Type A are sites that we created because we are just interested in the topic. For example, we started a gardening site because we are both into that at the moment and an ASMR site…if you don’t know what that is just Google it. So all of those are going over to our reseller account as well.
Our Type B sites are ones we created to replace our old money making sites. These are our product sites although we are tending to move away from the product based sites and moving towards more generic type sites. And when we say ‘sites’ there aren’t a lot of them. We don’t want to go back to having 20 or so sites that we have to work on.
These sites are going to stay on their own hosting account separate from the rest. We’ve been burned in the past from people finding out what our sites were. They would either copy them completely, or pick out reviews that we worked hard on and use them on their own site, or they would constantly check our site stats and tell us that our system didn’t work if we suddenly had a drop in traffic…blah, blah, blah! We still get those sorts of comments to this day.
So those sites are hidden…WHOIS made private, different domain name account, different hosting account, different Amazon account etc etc.
We’ve also moved the Affiliate Blog site over to the reseller account. In a previous post I wrote about how we moved the site to WPEngine hosting. We were happy with the move and would have liked to have stayed with them but it really wasn’t cost effective in the end. This site gets a lot of traffic and we would go over the allowable traffic usage each month. (Note that WPEngine also includes bot traffic in their calculation). This meant paying an extra $10 or $15 a month in fees.
If we moved up to the next level it would have been $99. That wasn’t a problem but we would have only been able to add another site or maybe two before we’d reach the traffic limit again. So in the end, we decided to move Affiliate Blog over to our reseller account.
There were also some sites that we trashed completely. They weren’t making any money and we knew we would never get around to working on them again. I think we trashed around 5 sites – I would have liked to have trashed more but like I said before, we aren’t going to toss away sites that are still providing us with an income.
Then there were the domain names. We just had way too many and they needed to go. So for at least 10 of them we just let slide and no longer paid for the renewals.
For about 30 other domains, we put them up on Godaddy Auctions to sell. They have already gone through a 7 day auction with no sales but the best thing about Godaddy domain auctions is that you can relist as many times as you like and it doesn’t cost a cent. So what we are going to do is just continue to relist them until they either sell or expire. None of them are terribly exciting so we don’t expect miracles here but if they sell then great!
So all in all, it’s been worth the effort. We still have a number of websites to transfer over so we are focusing on that at the moment but once that is done, we are going to feel a whole lot better having everything organised.