Build one site or many?
There is an interesting post on Net Business Blog about why it is better to build one website then building multiple websites. Dee Barizo's (Net Business Blog) centres around the authority of a website and the fact that gaining more quality inbound links on a single websites leads to an exponential growth in search engine traffic. Building too many websites leads to not enough time to build quality content on each of them and not enough quality inbound links. The "authority" factor seems to becoming more and more important in Google's search engine algorithms.
It is hard to argue with the logic of Dee Barizo's article. However, I do believe that it is not a "one size fits all" argument. You can pick a niche, build a single website and go all for nothing to make that the best website on the planet for that niche. But if the niche is too competitive with authority sites already occupying the space, you are going to have a very tough time breaking in. So you are forced to pick less a competitive niche. You are then faced with the prospect of having less potential traffic. Even if you reach number one in Google, you may not gain enough traffic to make enough money. So you are forced to build a second niche website. And a third and a forth. Before long, you are in the domain of the many websites.
In a perfect world, it would be fantastic to concentrate on one single website. The website would be of a higher quality then your many smaller websites. But this is not a perfect world. It comes down to a trade off between competitiveness and potential traffic.
My general strategy is too not shy away from small, highly targeting, niche mini sites. At the same time, I spend more time on my bigger sites. I have 3 or 4 websites that will remain "flag ship" sites and that is where I spend a lot of my time. But have some smaller niche sites can be a valuable addition to any portfolio. It does not have to suck to much time from my main sites. It is possible to build a niche mini-sites in a few hours and do a bit of regular SEO and achieve a high ranking. Just pick your niche wisely.