Is it time to think about a spin-off?
What’s a spin-off?
For those who are not familiar with the term, it is used pretty widely in Television. When a Television is particularly successful, the TV executives will spin-off other shows from it.
For example, do you remember the popular old TV show named “Happy Days?” Happy Days was set back in the ’50s, although the show ran in the 1970s. Happy Days was so popular that a number of spin-offs came to be over the years:
- Laverne and Shirley
- Mork and Mindy
- Joanie loves Chachi
- Fonz and the Happy Days Gang
You see, they will take characters from the show, and start a new show based on that character. For example, Joanie was Ron Howard’s sister on Happy Days. She was not one of the major characters on Happy Days, so they could take her out and start a new show based solely on her.
Well, what about those of us who are publishing websites, can we have spin-offs too? Sure we can!
As I think back, I have never done a spin-off of a website as I recall. But, this week I decided to do one. On one of my websites, there is a page that gets a ton of traffic and questions. The page has more than 400 comments on it because nearly every day somebody asks me a question about that topic of that page. So, I got thinking that since this page has a really built-in audience and has proved to be popular, it should be a website of its own! Because of that, I bought an appropriate domain name for the site, and yesterday I started setting up the site. It’s almost ready to go!
Now, if you want to do a spin-off like this, there are a few things you should do, so that you can take advantage of that built-in traffic that is already visiting the “old site” that you are spinning-off from:
- Buy a good domain name for the spin-off.
- Set up a site based on the topic of that page that you want to spin-off from.
- Once the site is ready to go, set up a “301 Redirect” from the original page to the new site.
- Delete the page from the original site, and let all traffic go to the new site instead.
So, what is a “301 Redirect?” Basically, it is a setting for the page that you are moving. When a person goes to that original page, they will be automatically redirected to the new site seamlessly. In fact, if the person has the original page bookmarked in their browser, the 301 Redirect will even automatically update their bookmark to the new site! Also, the 301 Redirect will automatically notify Google and other search engines of the new location. What is good about that? Well, the search engines will transfer the rank from the original page to the new site. For example, right now if you do a Google search for the topic that I’m doing a spin-off from, I rank #3 for the search, on the first page. Once the 301 is in place and Google makes the changes, my new site should rank #3, or possibly even better since it’s an entire site rather than just a single page.
What about you, do you have any sites that you can do a spin-off from? If so, it could be a great way to expand your web real estate holdings, and build up some good traffic on a new site by redirecting your old visitors to the new location! It really works!
Deryl Neil Adams
happy days “jumped the shark” a long time ago, let it rest !
Daryl… did you read the article? It really is not about happy days… that’s just a tie in. It’s a good idea to read what the article is really about before commenting.. otherwise you can make yourself look rather.. well….
Deryl Neil Adams
yeah i know that i just always wanted to use that saying ! good luck with the site !
As you well know, Bob, I am in the process of spinning off my main site. Probably I am doing it the hard way (multiple spin-offs instead of a single one). What may happen within a year is that I will discover that some of them work and some of them don’t.
And that is certainly okay.
Hi Tom – I think that even if some of the sites are less successful than others, which is to be expected, the project is a success! I would leave all the sites in place, regardless of the results, because the success will increase as time passes! Good luck!
True. I would probably just focus more on the ones that seem to be more worthwhile. I have a couple of websites where I do absolutely nothing with them (although the domain names could likely be sold for quite a tidy sum) and yet each month they still bring in money.
Hi Tom N – That’s one thing I love about the Internet. For many sites, once you get enough information there to attract visitors, they just keep chugging away and bringing in money month after month! Nothing is nicer than that!