A question from a subscriber in the speaking/info-products business:
"How do I manage multiple websites (multiple products) and link them together in the most strategic – and profitable/productive – way?"
In the old days (circa Spring 2006), having lots of mini-sites was a good strategy. Register the domain names with different registrars, host them on different servers, link them all to each other, and keep churning them out to create your own happy little web-ring.
Trouble is, mini-sites tend to get the cold shoulder from Google these days. Too much salesy-ness, not enough content, and virtually no "authority."
The Google Slap of summer 2006, along with subsequent Slaps that continue to this day, penalized non-relevant and non-authoritative sites by increasing their minimum bids to up to 100 times the bids of the best sites. Instead of a dime a click, folks were paying ten bucks.
You can keep your mini-sites, but don’t use them for Google landing pages. Use them for two other functions:
1. Testing URLs
If you have product-specific URLs, they might convert better than your main site. For example, www.free-lead-generation-course.com is more descriptive and benefit-laden than askhowie.com). You can use the mini-site URL as long as you forward the page to your "authority site."
2. Experimenting with conversion from traffic sources other than search
You may want to try things that Google doesn’t reward or allow, like pop-ups, flash sites, and other things. Remember, if you send offline traffic to your site, you can do whatever you like on it.
But if you intend to drive search engine traffic (paid and/or organic), then spend the time to turn your main site into an authoritative source of information on your topic. Remember that inbound links are the things that make Google go "ahhh," and create a site that other Web sites will link to as a service to their readers.