How to Increase Traffic and Revenue by Writing for Fewer Readers

How to Increase Traffic and Revenue by Writing for Fewer Readers

Reader Comments (67)

  1. Think the same can be applied to restaurants. If there is a restaurant that tries to do too many different types of cusine it just looks odd. They should just focus on one.

  2. “Competitors who focus on a well-defined topic will always appear to have more expertise”
    Great point! While it’s important to know how other industries/disciplines will impact your business, you have to specialize in something and hang your hat on it. Being a jack-of-all-trades is great, but knowing something really well is going to make you much more appealing to your audience.

  3. I’ve been contemplating this approach for a client. It is either build several “faces” or have one general landing page that touts my client’s USP and then offers very visible portals to the specialized industries. Have you tried the latter? What results did you have compared to what you’ve outlined here?

    • Hi Carrie,

      I have not tried the latter and for my clients I would not try it. I think for my clients it would dilute the expertise perceived with distinct landing pages/websites. I also would not do that if I still owned my offline business.

      That said, if your client’s customers use more than one service offered by your client, providing visible portals to the other specializations may make sense.

      I suggest you test both methods and see what converts the best. This is how I settled on the multi-site approach. I simply wasn’t converting very well. When I split up the services across several sites, conversion increased dramatically (so did aggregate traffic).

      I generally focus on organic traffic from the search engines; however, when I do testing I’ll invest in Adwords to generate enough traffic quickly for testing purposes.

  4. I hadn’t really thought about the hazards of presenting oneself as the “expert on everything”. Paring down the list of “expertises” may be the best way to go.

  5. You’ve convinced me. I actually just met with a designer yesterday and together we decided this was the best approach for the different kinds of writing services I provide. But then I woke up in the middle of the night worrying it might not work. Your post tells a different tale–thanks!

    • Hi Charlotte,

      In my experience it works for the right business. You can test both methods by having an “all-services” site and separate sites. If the “all-services site” approach works best for you (i.e. converts the best), your content on the other sites isn’t wasted. You can shut down the specialized sites and place it on your “all-services” sites.

      If resources and time is limited, consider setting up 1 specialized site, perhaps featuring your preferred writing service. Test it and if it converts well, replicate the method across all of your writing services.

      When I launched this approach the first time, I did it in steps. However, I was quickly persuaded with the method very quickly and scaled it up.

      Don’t throw in the towel too early with the multi-site approach. I had to test a few themes (i.e. site designs) before it worked. The right theme (StudioPress’ Enterprise in my case) performed spectacularly. I continue using Enterprise on several client sites to this day. It’s the first theme I now turn to when setting up a business website.

      I continuously test new layouts, copy, font sizes, color schemes, images, videos, etc. on my client sites. Little changes can make a big difference.

  6. Well said, Peter. As a copywriter myself, I know the power of specialization. Starting out, I tried to be a “generalist” — writing about just about anything. I quickly discovered doing so was the fast way to getting zero clients. Now, as a fundraising copywriter, I’m perceived as an expert in one area, which is much more appealing to my clients.

    I do like your suggestion of setting up different websites for different specialties — a perfect solution for any business owner or freelancer hoping to focus one more than one area of expertise.

  7. I’ve been thinking the same thing for our site/s. But here’s the dilemma: do you have a separate blog for each site or did you not bother with a blog at all and just have a services site, or with the case of writers, use the relevant articles for each site?

    We have a blog on our site so we can continually add fresh content for SEO purposes and I’ve tried to copy and paste articles from one site to another but it’s a pain in the neck and I keep finding myself only adding the new articles to the main umbrella site. Any ideas? Our main site is http://www.trendfollowing101 and that’s what all of our products are related to, but we’ve also got sites focusing on FX, ETFs, and other different financial markets.

    I even tried a “robot” that would feed one of my sites to all of the others, but I couldn’t get the darned thing to work! I’d really appreciate some good advice! 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hi Nicole,

      Yes, I have a blog for each dedicated client site. It’s a lot of work, but the results are amazing. I publish new blog posts 1 to 2 times each week for EACH site. The blog posts are focused on the service area. I have a list of over 2,000 keywords for my clients. I do extensive keyword research before launching the individual sites. Now I have a few years’ worth of blog post content topics. I stick to a consistent publishing schedule.

      I do NOT republish the same content across the sites. Each site features a distinct service where content from one blog doesn’t make sense on the other blog.

      If your individual customers use several of your services, it may not make the most sense to have multiple sites. However, I think it’s always worth trying with 1 test site. You never know. Perhaps having a site dedicated to FX will convert FX customers at a higher level.

      I should emphasize that you can easily over-extend yourself very quickly with this method. Generating content and promoting a site is a lot of work. I strongly suggest starting with one site – choosing the service you want to promote the most – and see what happens. If it works and you get more business, invest the additional revenue in new sites. Scaling up takes time and you’ll learn a lot about the method with each site you build over the long run.

      It’s imperative that you generate quality content consistently for each site as well as promote it sufficiently. If you build dedicated sites that receive no traffic, it’s a waste of time and money. One successful dedicated site is much better than 5 floundering sites.

  8. Great topic as this is something that so many small businesses run into.

    We’ve developed Landing Pages using Premise for each of our specialties and we drive people to these Landing Pages through out Blog Posts…

    What do you think of this approach versus creating a whole new website?


    • Hi Ryan,

      I’m a Premise license holder and love using it. Your proposed method will work if you wish to feature related services. If your customers could conceivably use more than one service, using landing pages can work. For example, if you offer web design and SEO, distinct landing pages, in my view, can work (I haven’t tested it, but I would try Premise landing page method).

      If, however, your services are distinct, similar to different legal services, separate websites are best. The reason being is you can:
      – have bios of the lawyers only offering those legal services,
      – customize the Contact form (i.e. “Tell us about your divorce situation”),
      – include testimonials relating to the specific service,
      – list case results/portfolio items related directly to the service.

      Moreover, the specialized site’s accompanying blog can focus on the one service. This is exactly how I set up each specialized site for clients.

      You can test both methods. Use the Premise landing page method on one site. Set up 1 specialized site. Send traffic to both and see which converts better. I use Adwords to drive traffic quickly when testing.

      The two methods aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have the umbrella site and specialized sites. Be sure to ensure content is unique across all web properties. For example, the umbrella site may be more general in tone while your specialized sites go into minute details.

      One of my clients has an umbrella site they set up before hiring me. They still have the umbrella site. I focus on the specialized sites for them.

  9. Interesting post Peter!

    While I do agree that its better to have various sites or blogs for your niches so that you can specialize in any one on each of those blogs, but what about simple freelance writers who can really write about any and everything? Do you feel they also need to make so many blogs for their niches, because most freelancers would write about any given topic. Sometimes its not possible to create so many blogs and then manage all of them, as they do require content as well as maintenance. Or perhaps this is alright for a limited number of business owners only.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      Good question. If you find your clients like the fact you capably write on a variety of topics, having a broader site may be best for you. However, if there’s a type of copywriting or a particular niche you’d like to focus on in the long run, I think a dedicated site is worth trying.

      I don’t recommend setting up 5 sites right away. Do the dedicated website method in baby steps. Test the method with 1 specialized site. It may be focused on “type of copywriting” and/or “niche”. Get sufficient traffic to the dedicated site to see if you acquire more clients.

      Another benefit of specialized site(s) is you can go after a particular type of client if you have a preference. If you prefer writing sales pages, but like writing sales pages across several niches, you could create a site dedicated to your sales copy services with a portfolio displaying only sales pages and testimonials from sales page clients (along with some sales stats/conversion rates from existing clients). Moreover, you could write extensively on the site all about sales pages demonstrating your expertise.

      However, if you believe your USP is your broad copywriting services across many niches, the dedicated site is not for you.

  10. Thanks for confirming what I have done. I am a pilates expert who is also a certified wellness coach, which means I help people learn the habits of keeping their blood sugar stable. I added a weight loss feature to the site and it has been a great combination! The other way would be like those business cards people hand you that have five different companies on them.


  11. Loved this article since I was contemplating the idea of multiple sites for two clients.
    I worry a bit about producing regular content, but the logic is there for why. Thanks for making it clearer.

  12. I am a food blogger, the owner of a homebased micro-bakery business and also a miniature artisan, and I instinctively chose to have a different blog for each of my activities/interests (even if the only real business is the bakery). I even have three separate facebook profiles (but please don’t tell the FB police ;).

    What I am wondering is, is it correct from this point of view to link from one blog to another? The three areas are somewhat connected (my food blogger/recipe developer role makes sense along with the bakery business, and the miniature thing is a fun counterpart of both as my focus is always on food – think food for very, very small people ;), but could those links affect the degree of expertise and specialization I’d like to be perceived at?

    I put those links to show my readers the other things I do/I’m interested in, to give them a well-rounded idea of who they are dealing with, but I’d happily give this up if it undermined my expert status.

    thanks for a very inspiring article!
    marcella from Italy

    • Hi Marcella,

      It’s all about who your target audience is on each site and your objectives for each site. If your blog readers are potentially bakery customers, some subtle links isn’t a bad idea. The key is testing different traffic flows.

      Also, what are your objectives for each web property? If your sole focus with all your web properties is to generate more bakery customers, you will want to promote your bakery. However, if you have distinct objectives with each site, focus each site to achieve the distinct objectives. For example, if you focus your blogs to build up a readership and/or subscribers, focus those blogs on that.

      If readers of your blogs get the sense you’re solely trying to sell them on your bakery, it may dilute the effectiveness of your blogs. However, related cross-promotion can work. Test various traffic flows/promotions to see what works.

  13. This is something I have been trying to figure out for myself for a while. I’m still not sure if I would benefit or not. I am an interior designer working with high end clients oncustom homes. My foucs is on green, sustainable design- which some people REALLY want, and others are almost turned off by it.
    The reality is that what I do isn’t that different for either client, and that there are benefits to incorporating green features into any home- but client’s may not perceive it that way.
    Woud you suggest setting up two sites or can both be served by the same site with specialized pages talking about green design in the layers as opposed to front and center- or put green design front and center since that is my passion?
    I would love to get some feedback on this from others- check out my website at, and facebook page at

  14. Hi Peter,

    That’s an interesting approach and as a business owner, it’s one I hadn’t considered.

    I’m curious what your thoughts are on a business such as mine where we sell software and hardware products from multiple manufacturers (we’re known as a VAR – Value Added Reseller). Our domain name is our company name, and while we sell 5 different products, I’m not sure what the strategy would when it comes to creating new websites for each product? Should I consider keeping the main “” site, which is our main business site with all products and services then creating 5 separate blogs or WordPress sites (mini sites?) for the individual products? That way, I’d highlight the individual products with their own site/pages, but not get a way from the “branding” of our company name and our main corporate site?

    You’ve certainly opened my mind to a host of new ideas, not the least of which is “logistically, how would something like this work for me?”



    • Hi Todd,

      Do customers of one product buy the other products? If so, one site is good (or at least I don’t think I’d invest the time and money into separate sites). If the products serve distinct markets, separate sites may be worth trying. You might frame the site to serve the market rather than focus on the product so that you can present the product in a unique light.

      If I were you, I’d create a microsite for the best selling product. I’d test conversion of the microsite to the umbrella site.

      Take a look at 37Signals. They have an umbrella site for all of their products at and they also have separate sites for each of their software products (i.e. For you that might be a great example to analyze because they are very successful.

  15. …it’s the same reason why neurosurgeons make A LOT more than general praticitioners. It’s the same reason why we fork over big bucks to buy exclusive products and the same reason we LOVE to brag to our friends about the specialist we just hired to solve a problem.

    The specialist wins without a resume.
    The specialist does not have to prove herself.
    The specialist is the only solution for the perfect (smaller) audience.

    Great post, Peter.

    -Joshua Black

  16. Hi Tanya,

    If you want to focus on building a green interior design business, a website dedicated to green interior design is a good idea. It’s a terrific way to differentiate yourself. Until you have a full time green design business up and running, continue with offering all interior design services.

    One of the benefits of specializing is working toward doing the precise type of work you want to do. I realize that you may have to be a bit of a generalist until your chosen specialty is built-up, but your ongoing marketing focus should be on the exact services you wish to offer.

    I’m not an interior designer, but I’m sure there is a growing demand for green design and carving out a specialty in that area could be an excellent long-term strategy. More to the point you’ll do exactly what you want to do.

    If I were you, I’d create a separate green design website/blog OR modify your existing site to a green design focus. I checked out your website, which you can maintain as an umbrella site offering traditional and green design. Alternatively, you could modify your existing site to focus on green design if you can afford to forego traditional design for the time being. My point is that you should create an online campaign focusing on green design if that’s your preferred design niche.

    The benefit of modifying your existing site to focusing on green design is the site is established so you can probably gain traction faster than starting a new site. The disadvantage is you will forego non-green design jobs (unless you’re hired by word-of-mouth).

  17. I absolutely agree Peter, I had a client who were very ‘diluted’ in their marketing communication, because they tried to appeal to too many different customer groups. My argument was that it impacted on their social media success heavily because it was difficult for site visitors to know if they really ‘liked’ the company or it appealed to them. Have you ever used WordPress multisite/MU to implement this strategy?

    Thanks for the great post

    • Hi Jessica,

      I’m glad you like the post. Thank you.

      I’ve never used WordPress multisite/MU for this strategy. I’ve looked into it, but have read some accounts on how difficult/frustrating WP multisite/MU can be. Therefore, I do separate WP installations for each site. It works for me; however, I see no reason a WP multisite set up wouldn’t work. It may make managing the process easier.

  18. Great info about specializing. My focus has been on specializing as a romantic travel expert. I have niche sites, one that focuses on the state of Geogia, I find that because its specialize people spend a lot of time on the site. Its information they’re looking for. I just launched a new Romance Travel Magazine site, staying focus on my niche but trying to become more of a hub and including locations worldwide, It will be interesting to see if I get the same kind of results. Another good thing about specializing is that you get really good at writing about a topic. You definitely become an expert. And as you mentioned, that level of expertise is valuable.

  19. Peter – it’s a compelling idea. But the first question that comes to mind is whether there would be potential duplicate content issues with Google. Here’s what I mean, following your example of a Writing Service … Say the main website is You set up and to target those different audiences. But the services you offer and a vast amount of the content on the various websites is essentially the same, except that each refers to a different audience. Or would you propose creating 3 totally different websites with substantially different content for each target audience?

    • Hi Mark,

      That’s a valid concern. My approach is totally different websites with substantially different content for each target audience. If you believe there would be too much similar content, the multi-site approach isn’t good.

      For example, if you’re a writer offering services for sales pages and online catalogue copy, you could create two sites, each dedicated to the different services. The substance of the two writing services is, in my view, different enough to warrant 2 different sites. Writing a blog and content on sales page copy is quite a bit different than for catalogue copy.

      Probably the best approach is to build a distinct site targeting a preferred type of copywriting service. So, if a writer offers a variety of copywriting services to pay the bills, but would ultimately like to focus on sales page copy, that writer could create a separate sales page copy website/blog to build up the sale page copywriting business.

      For my clients’s sites, there is not one page of duplicate or similar (re-written/spun) content across their sites with the exception of bios if they offer more than one of the services within the company. In this case I “noindex” the second bio or substantially re-write it. Same thing with the contact page/address page. Otherwise, the home page, services pages, blog posts, etc. are unique and focused on specific topics.

      The bulk of the sites I set up are the blogs. I add unique posts weekly to each site.

      If you aren’t prepared to build up separate sites, it’s not worth doing. I wouldn’t create a brochure site for each service. Instead, I focus on building out large business websites with a blog that’s updated regularly.

  20. How about for Web Design companies that offer graphic design, web design, and web marketing services? Or do you believe the company should have a site just for Graphic and web design and another for its marketing services?

    Thank you

    • Hi JC,

      If I were to set up a web design company website offering marketing services, I’d probably use just one site. They’re fairly related services and customers of one often are customers of the other services.

      If your long term plan is to focus on one of the services, consider a separate website focusing on that particular service to build up a specialty. If you plan on continuing to offer all 3 services, one site should do the job.

      That said, it never hurts to test results. If you’re going to split up the services, probably separating the marketing is best. You can buy traffic to a separate site and to your umbrella site for marketing services to see which converts the best.

    • Hi Melissa,

      That’s a great point you bring up. I use unique domains because a savvy visitor might go to the root domain and see a generalist site. That’s just my approach. I’ve waffled back and forth on the subdomain vs. unique domain quite a bit.

      The obvious advantage of subdomains is saving on the domain cost. Other than that I see no real advantage to subdomains. That said, I’ve never used subdomains so I can’t say for certain whether it’s better, worse or indifferent.

      Do you see visitors to a subdomain going to your root domain? Probably most don’t so it’s not a big concern. All I can say on this subject is I use unique domains, but if you’ve built up subdomains and are getting traffic, I doubt I’d change anything unless conversions weren’t good.

      • Thanks for the reply Peter — I’ve only been freelancing about 6 months so my website is still really a growing part of my marketing, and I haven’t seen the kind of conversions I would like… perhaps I’ll try adding unique domains for one of my services and see how it goes.

        – Melissa

  21. I’m a freelance writer who writes almost exclusively about senior care, aging and health for websites. Specializing has served me well, but I have yet to optimize my website for those topics because I’m also interested in writing about others. Your strategy so fits what I need. I now plan on creating a sister site. Thank you.

  22. Specialization sells in a massive way Peter. I am stunned how many people sell everything under the sun on their blog. Do you go to Pizza Hut for a fish sandwich? Yep, they’re both meals, but totally unrelated. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  23. This is so true. In the beginning I thought that a general “be sexy for your husband” site would be more appealing, but I realized there was a huge need for an even MORE TARGETED niche, teaching exotic dancers how to be classy, professional, sophisticated women who can turn the most profit for themselves and for their clubs. When you do internet marketing right – it grows slowly but surely – but who really knows what they are doing when they “start out” anyways! The first few years you are learning the business and tricks of the trade! It’s after a good 3-5 years when you start to see your list organically grow and then with greater numbers you sell more products based on statistics and a good marketing/sales funnel. So long as your content is awesome and you are serving the needs of your niche!

    • Jennifer, that is so true. You really don’t know what you’re doing when you start. As a former coach of mine always says, “you don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going.” The key is to not give up. The learning curve may be long, but once we get it we’ll be internet marketing rockstars.

  24. This is a topic I am currently struggling with. Through my blog I want to attract new recruits, but feel that I should also have more product sales features to help with traffic searches.

    Running two blogs would be too time-consuming for me, but in reading your post, perhaps I just need to make the decision to focus on recruitment only and streamline my articles.

  25. Hi Peter,

    This is a great post, and I love the case studies. I would have never thought about doing multiple websites for a single business, but it makes sense and you have the pudding to show it. Thank you for the thought-provoking post!


  26. I keep hearing “specialize, specialize, specialize,” but I’ve always had a hard time accepting it. “Won’t that narrow my target market too much?” keeps running through my head.

    However, the case study in this post with the umbrella website and the specialized websites may have just convinced me. I’ve been selling a pronunciation course for English as a Second Language speakers – I thought I’d specialized enough, since it focuses on only pronunciation (and not vocabulary, grammar, and other aspects of learning English) – but my conversion rates are next to nil.

    So I’ve just sketched out an outline for a pronunciation course for BRAZILIAN learners of English (most of my experience is with Brazilian students). I can use some of the material from the more “general” course, but I’m going to remix, tailor, and brand it specifically for Brazilian students. I’m nervous about putting in all the work when I’m really not sure if it will sell… but I’m too curious about the effects of specialization NOT to try it!

    • Hi Shayna,

      Test it with a simple site and buying some traffic to see if it converts better. If it does, build out the microsite. This microsite isn’t always the best method; however, it’s certainly worth testing. Slight increases in conversion rates can mean a lot more sales.

      The only reason I did this approach with my offline business initially was I had deplorable conversion rates. I HAD to do something and figured specializing the services sites might do it. My hunch was correct. The difference was incredible.

  27. “Write for fewer readers, and you’ll gain more customers.” – this is a great idea I have learned from your article.

    Unfortunately, I took a domain which is very broad (like personal development) and considered it a narrow niche, but the results showed me that I became a “Jack of all trades”.

    • Hi Cristi,

      If your general domain is established and you have content, there’s no reason you can’t refocus the site to something more specific. If it’s a new domain and not an estabilished site, it may be best in the long run to niche down and choose an appropriate domain.

  28. So totally answered what to do with the website. Break it down into each one. Thanks for helping me sort out the blundering around trying to fix it. Separate it, great tips!

  29. Just another real estate agent here. When we agents make the decision to build a website (or have one built for us) we kringe at the idea of leaving potential customers out. So, for example, it might be tempting to use a url like or; these domains attempt to include every possible buyer and seller in the Phoenix market. Problem is they are not very specialized sounding. My two websites are area focused, and still the competition is fierce. Sadly, the fight for key word supremacy/dominance iI s not always won by the most professional agent.

    So, how to stand out? Well, not exactly sure, but this post you have written has me thinking about ways to further segment my appeal to potential clients by being even more specific; maybe I could have a website just for people wanting to sell their home in a specific area. This would cast the buyer business aside to some degree, but perhaps the commitment to represent strictly sellers would make my services even more attractive. Interesting. Very interesting……

    • Hi Johnin,

      There’s a distinction between creating specific sites for specific and distinct purposes and creating sites simply to target different keywords. I’d leave the “keyword-chasing” out of the equation.

      That said, separate Phoenix buyer and seller agent sites would work. Your buyers are often not your seller clients and vice versa. Buyers and sellers seek distinct services.

      Please avoid duplicating content across sites. Each site should be a stand-alone business website offering unique and valuable content. Since April 24, 2012 this is especially true with the Google Penguin update.

  30. Peter,
    In your opinion would a blog that publishes content about various personal finance topics (banking, insurance, credit cards, credit scores, loans, mortgage, etc. ) be better if it followed the model of maling a site for each category?
    We could consistently brand each one so look and feel are similar. I have an established blog (1,000 articles )be so this would be major shift.

    • Hi Randy,

      I believe the topics you list could warrant their own site. Those sites would be focused sites. However, if your business’ intent is to cross-sell products to the same customer, separate sites may not be the solution given the investment needed to create the sites.

      Try one test-site and see how it performs.

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