The Decline of the MiniSite: AEIOU Bites the Dust

Rick Latona announced on his blog today that AEIOU would be leaving the web design game with a post titled, “There’ no money in web design. AEIOU is getting out of the outsourcing business.” This is not a big surprise in a world where Domainers are starting to become less confident in the potential of MiniSites.

Now with AEIOU out of the business and are the two major players left standing. However AEIOU’s vocal exit from the development community could be a sign of what is to come. Here’s the reality:

– Just putting a minisite on a domain name will not guarantee that you’ll make money

– Many new Domainers buy junky names thinking that putting a minisite on the name will suddenly provide revenue and a high selling price

– Using PPC on a minisite is no longer a sure-fire way to generate revenue

– People are spending thousands of dollars on websites that aren’t even close to making them back their initial investment

Now let me be clear on this issue. I am not saying that MiniSite development companies don’t built nice sites. That’s an argument I don’t care to get-into – what I can say is that many new Domainers are unrealistic with their expectations of what a MiniSite will produce. If you use the Google Adwords keyword tool and find that 20 people a month are searching for the keywords in your domain – you might just have a bad domain name.

As you probably know I love analogies so here’s a good one. If you buy a storefront on a street with little traffic and put-up a basic storefront with a cookie-cutter design would you really be surprised if your store didn’t turn-out to be a huge success? MiniSites have their place but some domains need a full-scale website. Look at – he runs a very popular blog – if he never had a blog there and just put-up a five page mini-site – do you think the domain would make much money? On this domain – – do you think a mini-site would get the same-level of traffic as my blog – no!! So don’t expect your MiniSite to get a lot of traffic or revenue unless you know your domain has keywords that people are actually searching for!

Now you might be saying – wait – what about content!! True, content is King, I’ve said it many times. It takes more than just good content on your own site though – you need other people linking to you, articles with good anchor text linking to you – in short – you need more than just a site to get traffic. So good content is essential – and yes – plenty of MiniSites have great content but there’s a lot more to it if you really want your domain to make good money.

So what is my grand unifying point here? Simple – just because you put a MiniSite on your domain doesn’t mean your domain will get traffic and revenue. It’s a process and oftentimes just building the site – not matter how great the content – just isn’t enough. If you’ve spent thousands of dollars on MiniSites – don’t despair – you are most likely moving in the right direction – but in many cases you’re not done yet – you’ve only just begun!

MiniSites aren’t dead yet – but the death of AEIOU could signal the beginning of the MiniSite Recession…

Share your comments and let your voice be heard! What do you think about AEIOU calling it quits – is there really no money in web design any more?

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton