Entrepreneurial Diworsification

“There’s no reason to have a plan B, because it distracts from plan A”

I would have never been able to become a professional poker player if I had also been trying to be a professional day trader, an SEO wizard, and other things that might have interested me at the time. I wouldn’t have had the time or the knowledge to be really good at any one thing, if I was doing them all. Instead of being really good at poker, I would have just been mediocre at a lot of things.

I had a lot of business ideas I wanted to try before I finally decided on starting BlueFirePoker. It never would have had the success it did, if I had started several of my other ideas at the same time.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, if you’re like many other aspiring entrepreneurs, you have a lot of ideas. The problem is, instead of picking one and crushing it, you are one of the many making the huge mistake of trying to do them all at the same time.

“But, I thought I was diversifying….”

No, you’re misapplying that concept. Stop before you waste any more years spinning your wheels.

“What if I do a bunch of small websites instead of one big website, so it won’t be as risky. I shouldn’t do that?”

No, you shouldn’t do that. The logic that it might be less risky is baffling, yet many seem to share this idea.

Is it necessarily wrong? Well, technically no — I mean, it’s really a personal preference when it comes down to it, however, as with most situations in business, there’s an optimal and a suboptimal route you can choose.

The optimal route is rarely the one chosen, because it often seems like the “risky” route.

In this post I’m going to break down what diversification is and how it’s misapplied.

For people starting out, you should absolutely be focusing on one business, and not consider starting several.

Let’s get you on the right track.

Pat Flynn actually posted a question about this on his site last year: https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/website-diversification/

His question was: Would you rather have 1 site making $1k/month, or 10 sites each making $100/month.

A lot of the answers were similar to the mindset I see on forums and blogs all the time. Many people don’t have one successful business under their belt yet and are trying to start every site they can think of, all at the same time.

Remember what I said in the beginning about not having a plan B, because it distracts from plan A?

Many people are starting a plan A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J and not understanding why they never go anywhere.

Most aspiring entrepreneurs don’t know how to run a successful business, so instead of learning how to run 1 successful company, they start 10 unsuccessful companies and call it “diversification”.

If people are only attempting to make $1,000/month, it often means there is a substantial amount of business fundamentals that they need to learn, and if they’re attempting to do 10 things at once, they won’t be learning them. They’ll be too busy to learn where they’re failing and how to fix it.

Also, if someone focuses on 1 idea, they can put 100% of their effort into that idea. Instead, many people are dividing their effort into their 1st through 10th best ideas, with an average of 10% on each. However, if their goal was to make $100/month on each site, that’s not a good goal because in reality what that means is they’ll actually be spending less than 10% of their efforts on their best idea, and more than 10% of their efforts on their worst idea, since their worst idea will be harder to have be successful.


If they instead focused 100% of their effort on creating a $1k/month business, they can then choose to scale that to $10k/month if they wanted. If they attempted to start 10 $100/month sites, they wouldn’t even know which sites had the potential to turn into a real business yet. So they waste all their time on a bunch of junk sites instead of their best idea.

It’s absolutely fine to run a test on a handful of projects to see which you think will be best to start up. But to actually start up 10 things without knowing how to do 1 correctly yet, is absolute insanity.

Not to mention, if you do something great for one of your sites, whether it be a successful PR campaign, or whatever it may be, you’ll have to do 10 of them to have the same impact on the other sites. Let’s say you do a great promotion and increase a site’s business by 20%. Well, if you’ve got 10 sites, you realize all that work you did only increased your overall business by 2%. That sucks, especially for tiny startup businesses where the numbers are so small to start with. 2% growth on a tiny company is just 2% less tiny.

It’s about as efficient a way of getting money as going to the bank to withdraw $10k, and taking a bunch of pennies out to your car a handful at a time.

Also, you’ll have to spend 10x as much time researching the competition to stay ahead of them. Most people’s reaction’s to that are, “well, I don’t have to since I have the other sites to fall back on if something happens.”

Building a shitty business where you have no time to see what competitors are doing is not a business you want to “fall back on”.

“That makes sense. But if Google ever penalizes my only site, don’t I lose everything?”

This is the main concern everyone with an internet business seems to have. But if you have a real business, you aren’t 100% dependent on Google.

“But what if Google DOES penalize my site?”

Most people convince themselves that they should run a lot of sites in case Google penalizes some, so they’ll still have others that are making money. Well, people that think this way are playing the game not to lose, instead of trying to win it. They’re taking what they view as a non-risky route, instead of a route that enables them to make the most money. The funny thing is, the route they’re choosing doesn’t actually protect them from a risk standpoint at all, and in my opinion is probably a lot riskier.

First off, the fact that almost everyone’s immediate question revolves around Google is the scariest part. That fact alone shows that no one is considering, or even understands how to build a business that might not be 100% dependent on Google.

That’s a scary thought, and probably the most obvious thing that stands out to me as a lack of understanding what a real business might look like. If you’re basing your entire direction off of what Google might theoretically do, you need to take a step back and realize it’s more important than ever for you to learn how to build a real business.

Google should not be the determining factor on whether you make money or not. Your business abilities should. If you don’t have these skills, do you really think starting 10 shitty sites is going to help you acquire them? It’s not.

Plus, most people with 10 shitty sites are using the same traffic and monetization strategies on every single one. Do you really think that’s good diversification? It’s silly if you do.

A lot of people say the reason they wouldn’t start 1 site, is because they don’t want to put all of their eggs in one basket. You don’t HAVE any eggs, let alone a basket at this point. Focus less on scrambling around on this egg hunt trying to fill your basket and more on putting things that are worth something into it. The easter bunny would not deliver most of the shit you’re putting in there.

I prefer something more along the Warren Buffet mentality of putting all of your eggs in one basket, and watching that basket very closely.

Diversification is fine, but if you’re at the stage where you’re trying to create your first $1k/month, you should NOT be focusing on diversifying. What the heck do you have to diversify?

Most of the people who are saying “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket” are just regurgitating shit without really knowing why they’re saying it. They fear losing money, and heard some shit that sounds smart so they just repeat it as if it’s relevant to their situation, all the while racking their brain over why they just can’t seem to make any money.

It’s like the guys who invest in 147 different stocks. They like to think it proves they know how to manage their money and diversify their portfolio. The only thing it proves is that they have no idea what they’re doing.

It’s not going to be “less risky”. The risk is that you’re going to be wasting so much time on shitty sites, instead of spending it building a real business.

“Why would that be risky? Say, for example, I know SEO — why wouldn’t I just do that on a bunch of sites?”

As I mentioned before, if you’re attempting to build a real business, you shouldn’t focus 100% on SEO. Is it wrong to START a business by focusing on SEO. No, not necessarily. I’ve done it myself, and would consider doing it again if the opportunity made sense to do so.

However, if your whole plan on any business is to drive traffic through SEO, chances are you’re not building a real business.

There’s SEO, there’s PPC, there’s Facebook advertising, there’s selling on ebay, there’s selling on amazon, there’s google products, there’s social media marketing through your FB and twitter channels, there’s sales through affiliates… the list goes on and on. These are just a handful of methods if you’re selling a product. We haven’t even touched on all the ways to monetize other types of businesses.

Increasing your sales and marketing channels—within one business—will help you build a brand, and build authority in your space. You can’t build a brand, or authority for your business if all your efforts are divided by 10.

A business that has authority in its space is going to have a LOT more value if you ever go to sell it.

Most often, the only type of sites people have time to create if they’re working on 10 at once, are generic sites with very little value.

People don’t pay much for those.

They will pay more for a business that has authority.

“Why will a buyer pay more for an authority business?”

A buyer will have the same concerns about risk/diversification as you will have. If they’re thinking of buying your business, do you think they’d rather buy 1 business that has a killer brand, big social media presence, dominance in the niche, multiple streams of income, or 10 random sites with none of that? A dominant business is going to be worth a lot more to a buyer than a collection of businesses with little to no value. Without any authority, the others could fall apart and be worth nothing at any time. A competitor can’t come in and replicate your authority business overnight. But they can easily make a better site in any of the 10 spaces you’re in, causing that stream of income to be negatively impacted or wiped out altogether. This clearly impacts the overall asset value.

You WILL have an asset with resale value if you build a beast of a business. If you go the other route, do you really think you have an asset someone is dying to buy? Of course not.


“But can’t I outsource most of the work and still have 10 sites?”

That’s a nice thought… but then you’re going to be spending time finding/managing va’s instead of on making money. The more time you waste managing/randomly doing other “chores” that don’t equal money, is poorly spent time. ESPECIALLY if you haven’t created your first successful one yet. A lot of newbies are trying to be moguls with a million sites rather than making 1 actually work first.

“So where do I start?”

Knowledge is the #1 thing at this stage in the game for you.

You’re going to learn a lot more trying to create a legit business that can make money, rather than trying to figure out the latest spam techniques and “diversifying” your spammy shit across multiple sites. Stop thinking like broke bloggers.

“Is it okay if I just spread my risk to maybe 2 or 3 sites?”

I’ve said it before but it’s important enough to say again– diversifying when you’re talking about such small numbers is the silliest thing ever.

If you make $5 do you put it in your pocket or do you diversify and put 50 cents under the mattress, 50 cents in the stock market, 50 cents in the bank, etc… Your thought process is crazy. You don’t have anything to diversity yet, you’re WAY to early in the game.


Get KNOWLEDGE. People building these shitty sites don’t acquire the knowledge they need to build a real business. They’ll have to learn something totally new when they want to start making real money and create a real business. Even if it takes a little longer to learn the knowledge and execute building a real business, that knowledge will stick with you. One route gives you skills you can build on, one route doesn’t.

10 pieces of trash, is still trash… you have to decide – would you rather be a garbageman or a businessman?

I know a lot of people who used to run a huge amount of sites. They made a little bit on each one, and just pumped out more. Most of their sites don’t make money anymore because Google decided the quality wasn’t any good. Since they relied 100% on one strategy, and they didn’t have control(Google did) it’s often going to wipe out an entire strategy when Google makes a change. If they had built 1 site they could have spent all their time building a high quality authority site, which would be much more resilient to the Google gods.

As I’m writing this, a friend I haven’t talked to in a while skypes me to catch up, and mentions he lost a bunch of $5k/month income sites due to the latest Google updates. It happens at every level. If he had 1 monster site instead of a bunch of smaller sites, would he be in the same situation? No.

I got hit by the same updates. I had a collection of e-commerce stores doing around $40k/month revenue, and got chopped down to around $20k/month overnight after the Google changes. The business was mainly built on SEO, so we felt the hit pretty good. If instead of having a bunch of sites under that business, I’d focused on building 1 big authority site, I guarantee there’s a substantially less chance the site would have been affected.

Something that no one will think about when making a decision like this, and ought to be considered… your network.

What do I mean by that?

You’re substantially holding yourself back from expanding your network if you’re focusing on shitty little sites. The only people you’ll be able to relate to are other shitty site owners. You won’t have any real connections with people doing real businesses. The beauty of having a good network is, as you grow, your network grows and progresses as well. Many people move up to bigger and bigger deals, and it helps to be associated with people like that and see what type of big opportunities are out there. You can learn and grow along with other people you’re associating with. If you stay in the tunnel vision that is ‘shit marketing’, no one legit has any reason to want to associate with you. You don’t realize it, but you lose great connections because you’re not working on anything worthwhile. Call it, “networking opportunity cost.”

Long term, quality destroys quantity. It’s not even close.

Quality is not going to happen if a business is getting 10% of your efforts.

Focus on building a business where you can confidently say, “if I wanted this product/service, I would buy from this business over anywhere else”. If you’re building a business where you’re not able to say that, it’s probably time to re-evaluate what you’re doing.

If you’re doing things the same way most ‘make money’ bloggers are doing it, you’re doing it wrong.

If you change your route and it seems “risky”, consider that it might just feel unnatural because you’ve never done business the right way before.

If you found value in this post, please share it and leave a comment with your thoughts. 🙂

99 Responses to “Entrepreneurial Diworsification”

  1. Chris Waldron

    Love that you added about building a trash site. The problem is that people who focus on one thing, never take time to see if they are doing it correctly. After a while they have no results and hop around for a quick buck. Since they never learned what works in the first place, what makes you think it’ll work on 10 more sites.

    Pick one thing, and be better than you can imagine at it. The longer you are in the game, the further you move up to the top of the chain and the markets trust expands for you.

    Nice post Billy!

  2. Joe

    I just did all the mistakes you describe in the post.

    I started out a few months ago and I bought about 15 domains, since ideas kept popping in my mind… I spread my energies and got nowhere.
    Then I hired VAs. And got nowhere.

    Then I realized what I was doing wasn’t working and decided to focus on one website, but with the mentality of using tricks and gimmicks to get people to buy my affiliate shit.

    Then I realized that this “business” had no spine, and was doing nothing I could be proud of.

    So I decided to focus all my energy on writing the best possible articles I can, I’m writing my own books and am putting all my energy in creating an awesome, unique, authoritative blog.

    And I hope to be on the right track this time.


    • Billy

      Good to hear about the changes Joe. affiliate marketing often = no control/limited potential. Good luck with the blog!

      • Joe


      • Joe

        Actually the only little problem I have now that I’m writing both posts and books is that I don’t know if I should hold myself back when writing a post.

        I mean, it’s difficult to write an half-hearted post, but I’m still a bit afraid that if give everything I have in my posts people won’t buy my books because the posts will be enough…
        if you know what I mean.

        What do you think?

        Should I write my posts like “if there is no tomorrow” and give everything I have forgetting about my books?

        Or should I calculate and just give enough to create interest but not too much to make my book useless?


      • Billy

        I had the same question, as I’ve debated writing a book. After talking to some successful writers, they told me not to be afraid to give stuff away for free. If it was good, the audience would grow and there’d be demand for a book.

        There’s not much competition in the blogging space- if you have good things to say, say it. You will gain an audience quickly because it’s very easy to stand out due to the lack of competition. There’s TONS of “okay” bloggers though, and you’re going to have trouble building an audience if you’re also an ‘okay blogger’, so don’t hold back.

  3. Graham

    This post is pretty timely….I have one site, and just decided to start another because the first isn’t doing well. First is a vegetarian site, the second would be about hair care.

    The business model is basically focusing on SEO to drive traffic….then along comes a good friend of mine, multi-millionaire, owns a big company here in Jamaica, wan’t me to buy into his business as a minor partner [less than 1%] and take a management post because he wants to leverage some of my connections…my first thoughts were to take the post and outsource my website work and keep building more sites…

    Now that I’ve read this post, I’m wondering if I should:

    A. Not take the job and not build a new site, and just focus on making Vegetarian Magic a quality site in the Veg space

    B. Not take the job and Focus on the new hair care site and make it quality as it has less competition in it’s specific keywords

    C. Drop both minor projects, not take the job and put my effort into a major internet based B2B project that I was hesitant to do because of its size.

    D. Take the job and focus on it fully to learn from someone that is actually a successful businessman

    E. Take the job and outsource what I can but focus only on making one site great.

    These are important options I now have to think about, thanks for helping me think a little more clearly. If you have any advice I’d be grateful.

    One Love,

    • Billy


      You need knowledge at the stage you are at. If you have someone who is very smart/successful who is willing to take you under their wing, do that. I obviously don’t know the person you’re thinking of, so don’t know if they are a good person for it, so you have to try and judge that yourself. However, if they are, it’s a no brainer to get involved with them in a way that allows you to be in a ‘mentee’ type role.

      Making a bit of money now is not as important as getting knowledge. Knowledge is more scalable than money at this point for you- acquire as much of it as you can.

      • Graham

        I’ve decided to work with the dude. Separately, right now though I’m doing something I never did before for my website: A Business Plan.

        I’m doing thorough competitor analysis, looking at their traffic, earnings, PR, backlinks, # of pages, type of site, etc

        An analysis of the niche and the size of the market online.

        Looking into the target demographic and where I could reach out to them.

        The quality of site I’d need to build to be competitive with the top players in the broader niche.

        A detailed marketing plan and budget, that doesn’t ONLY involve SEO.

        I’m doing this for the original veg niche I was in and the other niche I see an opportunity in, and comparing. Looking at it now it’s kind of crazy that I never did a fully fleshed out plan before going into the veg niche originally. Keyword analysis really isn’t enough if you want to run a legit business.

        I’m going to decide between the two of them and put the effort into building an amazing site. I wont be starting work with the guy until April, so I feel like I can have the plans complete and the site constructed before then.

        After which my plan is to basically work the two jobs, ie, my site and for him. One at night and weekends and one during the day. And with part of my salary hire VA’s to do the tasks that can be outsourced.

        Would this still be too much of a split in my focus for either project?

    • Billy

      If he’s good, you shouldn’t split your time. You should be inhaling all the knowledge you can. Why take in 50% of it if you can take in 100% of it.

  4. Greg

    Love the images. Keep ’em coming (typo above though “woris”) 🙂

    Your counter-intuitive views are super refreshing.

    I think having a couple blogs/sites is useful. Instead of transferring content I usually just tell bloggers to start anew…helps for SEO purposes ya know?


    • Billy

      Thanks for catching that error Greg! Fixing now.

      Not sure I understand 100% what you’re asking about the transferring content/starting anew for SEO purposes– Can you explain?

  5. Andraž

    Billy, nice post.

    This was my mistake at the beginning, when we created our first product, then we created another, and so on. We didn’t sold anything, we thought if you build a good product, they will came. I’m an programmer and I didn’t have any idea of selling and marketing. When I realized that 10% is product and 90% is marketing and selling, I changed my mindset and now I also make money from my products.

    • Billy

      I agree that a lot of effort should be spent on marketing, however, if someone spends a lot of time on creating the best product, that often works as marketing within itself. Therefore, less active marketing is needed, since the product/service tends to market itself to some degree. Does that make sense?

      • Andraž

        Yes, I agree, but you must make an initial push. You must find a way to show your product to people…then, if product is ok, they will spread the word.

  6. Graham

    are there any books you would recommend people read for a change of mindset concerning business?

  7. Glen

    Thank you for this post. It reinforces my decision to build one site and be the best at it. I love to listen to blogs and podcasts but I think there is a point they brainwash you into thinking that building a business is easy and you can follow a step by step to be successful.

    • Billy

      Glen- my best advice here is: Listen to those you aspire to be like. Ignore EVERYONE else.

      The majority of blogs/podcasters do NOT know how to make money. However, they make their living telling others how to do it. Make sure you’re listening to the right people.

  8. David Gonzalez

    Damn… My head started to hurt a bit as I read it… best reason to explain it would be Neville Medhora’s quote: “The Truth will set you free… But FIRST, it will piss you off!”

    Thanks for The Truth!

    only change I’d make to this article is to give 99% of readers the heads up that this post will NOT be what they want to hear… but it’s what they NEED to hear… and to keep reading even after they start squirming. 😉

    Keep up the great work!

    • Billy

      I should have talked to you before I posted- love that opener for this post. Maybe I’ll save it for another it might make sense for.

  9. Kenric

    A big example is that companies like CSN (Wayfair) and Hayneedle use to have hundreds of small stores and consolidated them all into single huge stores for more branding and presence.

  10. Dennis

    Billy, great stuff as always. Refreshing to read from someone who KNOWS vs someone who THINKS he knows..

  11. James Petzke

    One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is being too diversified in my entrepreneurial ventures. Last year, it wasn’t uncommon for me to be focusing on half a dozen different websites during any given day. Unsurprisingly, none of them did anything great. I guess I just had to learn that lesson the hard way.

  12. Andrew Youderian

    Great points, Billy! I’ve seen this myself as well, not only with my own eCommerce sites but in anything I’m doing. The projects where I am 100% focused on something for an extended period are the ones where I’ve been thrilled with the result. When I’ve tried to outsource or multi-task numerous businesses at once is when the results have been less than spectacular.

    As you grow and gain experience, I think it’s possible to do more than one site. But the key, at least for me, is when you’re ramping up a site to REALLY focus on that one project for an extended period (6 months, preferably a year). Once you get some momentum, prove the concept and can outsource it effectively only then can you (or, at least, I!) move on to something else. But until then, it’s too early to try to diversify.

    Great post!

    • Billy

      Thanks for stopping by Andrew! Ya, I went against my own advice in the e-commerce stores space trying to put too much focus on scaling quickly instead of creating monster sites. I basically outsourced 99%+ of everything with the stores. Lots of pros to that, but definitely plenty of cons. Sounds like you’ve done it the right way with yours!

      • Andrew Youderian

        I’ve done it both ways, Billy – the right way AND the wrong way! After some initial success, I think it’s tempting to thing / say “Heck, I’ll just outsource everything and manage the process”. But often, that leads into problems. I think it’s important not to underrate:

        1) Really focusing on one thing for an extended period

        2) The quality of work you do and connections you create as the owner. Knowing what you can outsource and what should be done by you, the entrepreneur, is really important.

        Despite the mistakes, it’s been a good learning lesson even if it was necessary to learn first hand.

        Great post, please keep them coming!

    • Evan

      Hey Billy & Andrew,

      These two replies are valuable and true.

      My first e-commerce site I knew nothing at all but I poured about 8 months of learning everything every day and applying it.

      That was the most profitable site of all, and I ended up flipping it! After that I tried to start 2 stores simultaneously in different niches that I didn’t care about the product type. Though I worked myself silly, they really didn’t get anywhere significant.

      I have my main project (Motive In Motion) that is more important to me now and one other e-commerce project, but I am seriously considering giving it another go with a big authority niche site that I will have related to something else I care about. I would love to progress with the right focus this time and since I’ve learned a lot, I don’t want it to go to waste.

      Anyway, thanks for the timely insights guys! E-commerce Fuel & Forever Jobless are packed with value.

      It’s always important to remember to get serious on one thing. This diworsification concept has affected thousands of famous entrepreneurs and is one of the biggest catalysts to failure

      – Evan

  13. Johnny

    HAHAHAHA! TELL IT! Oh man, I’m gonna run out and tell everybody I know about diworsification. It really is impossible to give value when your efforts are constantly divided.

  14. Joey Augustin

    I love that you lay it all out there, and challenge those stupid cliche sayings. Thanks for the original thoughts on entrepreneurship and business online.

    I am a web designer and developer and want to expand my business beyond just designing and building as an exchange of time for money, but I find it difficult to pull my nose back from what I do technically and see the bigger picture from a business perspective. I’m just tired of the “find your passion e-book style blog tip crap” that is flooding the web. Any recommendations for someone like myself? I know that’s vague, but I feel like I’m in a vague point in my professional life right now.

    Thanks so much Billy!

    • Kyle

      I am in the same boat and would love to see an answer to this…

    • Billy

      Most people who say things like ‘follow your passion’ don’t have anything else to say so they say that because they think it sounds profound. It’s important to be passionate about things you’re working on, but most people saying things like that are professional regurgitators. They just repeat what everyone else says and they have no idea why they’re even saying it.

      How/why do you want to expand your business? What’s your goal?

  15. Tim

    Would you rather be a garbageman or a businessman? Love it.

  16. Kang

    I did exactly what you advised not to on the TFL forums by starting 5 different threads attempting to chronicle 5 different businesses.

    Of course, I had my behind handed back to me on a silver platter and was able to gain traction on the one business I had most momentum with, which made my “case study” an epic fail.

    Looking forward to going back and making things right again, this time putting more focus into the business overall instead of thinking of diversification right off the bat.

    This is gold Billy, thanks!

    • Billy


      One of the ‘easiest’ ways to learn, is often the ‘hard’ way. It often teaches us the most. Happens to us all.

  17. Antonio Rillera

    Great post, I have made these same mistakes time and time again. I think I own about 50 domains right now and none are making money. Just the other day I got sick of trying to do 10 things like shit and said I was going to pick one business, one idea and stick to it with no plan B, and boom today I see this post.

    Found out about you on Fastlane Forum, I actually signed up for Mixergy premium last month just to hear your interview on blue fire poker, how about that. Anyways good stuff brother, keep it real and look forward to more posts.

  18. Cherie Mathews

    Hey Billy David the founder of Internet Marketing Party posted this on fb so I read your article and have one question. What about squeeze pages used for banklinks pointing to the main website? Good idea or nope still not a good idea?

    Thanks Cherie B. Mathews
    Founder and CEO of healincomfort com
    Austin Texas

    • Billy


      It’s irrelevant. I don’t mean that’s good or bad. I just mean if that’s a big question within your business, it shouldn’t be.

      Whether or not you have a squeeze page does not mean anything for whether or not you have a real business. Focus on building a business, and then worrying about everything else. A squeeze page is one of 1,000 “everything else’s” people tend to focus on, instead of what’s important.

  19. Vincent

    Nice Billy. I had exatcly this conversation with a friend few weeks ago and we both recognized that we are not focussing enough to one business.

    your post comes at the right time to remember to do the right thing!

    quality post! very good


  20. Glider

    You link to Pat Flynn, yet he does the opposite of what you have just detailed. he has niche sites, authority site, iphone apps and has tried wordpress plugins and all sorts.

    So which is it? his catchphrase is “be everywhere”

    • Travis

      I think that you are missing the whole point here Glider.

      Think of a superstar athlete that is also in commercials or movies etc… How did they get sponsored to do the commercials and movies in the first place? Obviously it was because they are extremely good at the sport that they play. That talent lead to other ventures and sources if income. There is a reason that you don’t see benchwarmers in commercials…

      So you need to think of the concept of ‘Be Everywhere’ as a marketing tool. Pat Flynn knows how to run a business because he first did it with his green exam academy site. Now he is replicating that same business knowledge with his security guard site, passive income site, apps, etc…

      Be everywhere does not mean do everything. It means to build your skills, use those skills, prove they work, and then you actually have a reason to ‘Be Everywhere’ because you will have an audience that actually wants to listen.

    • Billy

      Pat Flynn is not the opposite of what I’m talking about. He’s one of few people in the blogging space who do a great job of this. Look at his blog. It’s an extremely high authority blog. He has many sources of income on his blog. His brand is huge. Blog posts, podcasts, other bloggers mentioning him, speaking events, etc… Look at his niche site. He didn’t launch 74 niche sites at the same time. He launched that one and built it into THE authority site in the niche. So, if he ever went to sell that site he’d get a substantially higher multiple than if he had just built a bunch of thin sites. Pat’s able to have many different things bringing him in money, because he learned how to do it. I wouldn’t advise someone to go start a bunch of different income streams today. Start with one. He started with one, and kept learning/building on that.

  21. Sergio

    Yo just read this article after I saw pat Flynn post it on his wall. Your post is really challenging me to think different. I know I’m doing a lot things but that’s because I know that I’m in the learning stages. Or maybe I hate my nine to five so much that its blinding me to a lot of mistakes that I’m making. Maybe I love learning more than I want to earn money? I’m going to have to dig deep the next few days and find out what I really want to do with my life. Thanks for the kick in the butt!

    • Billy

      Hey Sergio, thanks for stopping by from Pat’s site.

      It’s awesome that you know you’re in the learning stages. Knowing that, I’d recommend focusing 95% of your efforts on knowledge. I don’t just mean ‘book knowledge’, but execution knowledge as well. What do I mean by that- well, most people starting out focus on the money. Money is important in early stages, but ONLY if you have the knowledge to increase it at a rapid rate. So, get involved in things that you think will teach you the most, not necessarily make you the quickest money.

  22. Fiona

    I totally agree with your post, I run one website and have been doing so for the last 3 years and it is now a large reputable site within my niche.

    During the last 3 years I’ve come up with many other ideas for new sites, and have been offered parternships in a couple other sites but ultimately I couldn’t find a way to do any of them without it impacting on my current site. I wasn’t prepared to risk my well established current site for the potential of a new site so instead an focusing on improving what I’ve got.

    I put so much work into my current site that I can’t imagine it would be even 1/4 as good if I had been running another site or 2 at the same time.

    • Billy

      Fiona, how did you end up deciding on your site? What’s your goals with it?

      • Fiona

        I know it seems like quite a random niche but I was doing some social marketing for a sewing site when I noticed a big gap in the market, that there was no one specific site in the UK dedicated to promoting sewing businesses. So I went for it and learnt about the industry along the way.

        My goal for this year is try to cut down the amount of hours I put in whilst still trying to grow the traffic and profit. I’m doing a bit of a revamp at the moment, really focusing on SEO and good quality images(Pinterest is proving a good traffic source).

        I’m also writing a book too, on running a craft business 🙂

      • Billy

        Awesome. What type of traffic does Pinterest bring? Does it convert well? What’s the best article you’d recommend on how to use Pinterest- I’ve never used it before.

    • Ian

      Sorry for jumping in on your thread Fiona.
      I wanted to suggest an article on how to use Pinterest.


  23. Ali

    Billy.. Great post, thank you very much
    Just wanted to say that you’re right, I think this is what’s keeping me from getting any real results in my business. I think (Diversifiying) is one of the bad habits that we inherited from the TOP internet marketing GURUS, maybe it was right 4-5 years ago, but as you said the business environment has been evolving along with google and networking.
    Also I was always thinking that if I want to start a SHITTY site or blog I will never connect it to my Facebook or G+ account, because I don’t think, I would be so proud of it, I think this what you meant by networking cost, and it’s very true. so Thank you for this post again, I think this was a mind openner for me.

    • Billy

      Thanks Ali.

      Good point- if it’s not something you’d want people to see that you owned it, it’s probably a red flag that you shouldn’t be wasting your time on it.

  24. Quinton Hamp


    This really hits home for me. You’re right, I don’t even HAVE anything to diversify.

    What a lot of us shit bloggers don’t realize is that we AREN’T diversifying. we are taking the same bad content, the same spammy backlink profile, and attaching it to ALL of our sites.

    Hence the devastation from a Google update.

  25. Scott

    This post totally hits the nail on the head. I’ve been spreading myself way too thin lately and it’s leading to stress, lack of time, and a bunch of half-finished ideas, from freelance writing to niche sites. If I just picked one and went all in 100%, I think I’d be in a much better place.

    • Billy

      Exactly Scott- I’ve run into the half-finished idea dilemma myself. There’s so many ways to make money out there, sometimes it’s a curse. Focus on your best idea, crush it, then after that’s on auto-pilot, move on to your 2nd best idea.

  26. Angela Wills

    This is definitely an important topic that many of us learn the hard way. I THOUGHT that I was focused by having one ‘brand’ but many sites and products – same issue. I had way too much going on all under the one general topic to be really good at any one thing!

    I’ve worked really hard to narrow in on my best stuff and just do that. For me it ended up being moving from teaching topics like email marketing, blogging, podcasting and more to just focusing on teaching people how to use WordPress for websites. It’s also freeing to know you don’t have to keep up on so much stuff and you can still make as much or more income.

    I think we really do try to overcomplicate things for ourselves sometimes.

    Thanks for this post and reminder!

    • Billy

      Ya, exactly. Dominating a subniche is a similar example. A lot of people even with only 1 business, try to do too many things within that one business, instead of being the best at 1. Same exact problem people run into. Perfect example Angela.

  27. Andrea

    I became self-employed at the end of 2011. In the beginning I feel like I didn’t diversify at all, which was a problem, but then I rebounding by spreading myself too thin, which was also a problem. My groove came toward the end of 2012 when I spent time building a solid brand and a reputation for being good at what I do.

    I have about 25 domains that I’ll be letting go this year; I’m keeping a handful that are extensions of my brand and have defined purposes, but the rest were stupid “You know what might work?” kind of ideas that I don’t have time to flesh out. This post was fantastic and is relevant to many of the entrepreneurs I know; we all need to spend time figuring out what really works and giving up on the hat tricks.

    • Andrea

      *rebounded. Gotta love grammar mistakes first thing in the morning!

    • Billy

      Thanks Andrea! What made you take the jump in 2011?

      • Andrea

        That’s kind of a long story. I had switched roles within my company, going from a salaried position to one that paid by the billable hour (I was a psychotherapist in my former life). Shortly afterward, there were a number of changes in the agency and with the state’s Medicaid system that affected how many hours I could bill per client. Suddenly I was bringing home a little more than minimum wage.

        At that point my freelance income was already paying my bills, and the money I made at work was basically only enough to put gas in my car to get to work. So I decided it was a great time to try freelancing full time. I’ve had some hiccups but overall it was the best decision I ever made. Amazing how much one can accomplish when there isn’t any other choice!

  28. Craig

    I agree, if you can’t get one site successful, what makes you think you’ll be able to get 10 or 100 sites successful? It’s putting the cart before the horse and relying on luck that one site will hit it big.
    How is that any different than gambling?

    • Billy

      Gambling is fine if you’ve got an edge. Most people attempt to avoid any chance of a gamble because it’s viewed as risk, so they do things where they limit their chance of success, in hopes of limiting their potential for loss. By doing this, they increase their potential for loss, but it’s disguised as opportunity cost.

  29. Victor E. A. Silva

    Billy, your posts are REALLY inspiring. You’re helping me, thanks.

  30. Chanté

    You are absolutely SPOT ON!
    We all read everything out in the “blogosphere” and think we can emulate it too; thus, spreading ourselves too thin, in areas we don’t know sh#t about, and wasting a lot of time.
    I came to this very same conclusion on my own, at the end of 2012. There must be something in the air! My life is all about being streamlined now; cutting through the fat, and keeping it simple.
    I was glad to see a new post from you, and look forward to the next one…whenever that comes!

  31. mayana

    Awesome post 🙂 I especially like your graphic!! It’s a nice visualization and applicable to a lot of different situations.

  32. Max

    Great setminding, full of inspiration and motivation!

    P.S Thanks for the BFP,
    Great help from you and Ryan!

  33. Dave Kimbell

    Hi Billy,

    I have been reading and re-reading your posts and comment responses. Came across your blog last Sept via Andrew Youderian’s fb page. Found your thinking refreshing, inspiring, and challenging. Then I neglected to bookmark the site! Some weeks later, I went to re-read your first posts, and flipped out when I couldn’t find them or remember the site name. Thanks for getting back in action.

    You’ve repeatedly noted that you intend to do future posts on things like, Due diligence, EV, where to go looking for the deals everyone else overlooks, etc, etc. I’ll add my voice, I am keen to see your posts on all those topics, with a caveat: I am less interested in WHAT you do, than I am in the WHY and HOW. Reason being, I imagine the WHAT may need to change with time, but not the WHY and HOW.

    Would also be interested to learn of any tools you particularly recommend using (or avoiding).

    FYI, I am currently researching niches for my first online eCommerce venture. Haven’t much clue what I’m doing yet, an I oscillate between wild excitement and abject terror. My goal is to launch something and make my first sale before the end of March, and then by the end of the year, replicate the income I was making as an aerospace engineer.

    • Billy

      Hey Dave, glad you found me again! Thanks for the kind words.

      I’ll definitely include why/how I do things. I agree- the ‘what’ isn’t so important(I actually detail this in depth in some posts I haven’t published). What/how is all that matters. I’ll often try to give examples from my own experiences. Most things that apply to one thing, can be applied to another as long as someone understands why a certain idea or concept is being applied in the first place.

      I have a feeling you’re going to do pretty well on your new e-commerce project, as most people are focused entirely on “what” everyone else is doing and trying to replicate it, instead of thinking along the lines that you are.

  34. Niki

    I love your articles! I’ve read so many different blogs and they all seem to be saying a lot of the same useless information. I love your fresh spin and how raw you are. You say like it is and actually know what your talking about.

    I’m now working on a business plan to open an online boutique. But after reading your article I’m wondering if I still should. I’m currently between jobs and was putting all my efforts toward opening as soon as possible. But I also wanted to start a singing career and acting. Should I just focus on the one I want most? Or continue on opening up the boutique and pursue my performance pursuits as well? Your advice is greatly appreciated. I’m also still working on my business degree and will probably have to work a 9-5 since all these ideas are in the beginning stages and not producing profit.

    • Billy

      Thanks for the kind words Niki.

      Wow, sounds like you’re trying to do a lot of things. Job + school + anything else at all seems like a ton to have on your plate. I think I’d figure out what you want most, and then set up a plan to accomplish that. Ask yourself what each thing will bring you, and if it’s worth doing it. What will an online boutique bring you? What will a business degree bring you? What does a singing career bring you? etc… Figure out the best route to get to where you want to go. It’s often not what was initially planned, but a lot of times we just go along with the flow and do what we’re “supposed to” until we realize what we’re supposed to do may not provide us with what we want to have.

      • Niki

        Thanks so much for the advice!! I usually get told I have to much on my plate but never a practical approach on how to remedy it. I’ve started the process on trying to find what I want the most. Not as easy as I thought. Maybe I will indeed focus and master one thing and then open a business. The fact that you focused solely on becoming a professional poker player instead of pursuing many endeavors really inspired me.

        I often go with what I feel and love a challenge. For example, I was working in Human resources as my day job, modeling, competing in pageants, going to school part-time all awhile training to become an amateur boxer. To say my success in all this was mediocre would be an understatement. Now, I want to just find my niche and be successful. I’m really glad I found your blog!

  35. Sachin Bille

    This is freaking great post Billy. I stumbled upon your blog from an interview of yours on another blog. I gone through this post two times. Most of thing I related to my blogging journey where I always had thought owning multiple websites to earn more but I failed to do so. Even I failed to make justice to my money making website.
    Your post opened meny channels of my mind that was closed or I over looked.
    (last part with links edited by Mike)

  36. David

    Great post Bill!

    Quick question, drop shipping or a fulfillment company?


  37. Dejan

    Good article. Just wanted to post a different view I read just today and I remembered your post:

    Whatever works for a person? Maybe start with one project and do others when the first one is already successful?

    I know I can’t focus on only one project, I need something beside, even if it’s just experimental. Otherwise I get depressed, bored, lose willpower while experimental projects keep me interested and on my toes.

  38. Rich

    As someone who is starting out in ecommerce it amazes me of peoples churn n burn attitude and expectations of getting a site up as quick as possible to make a quick buck. It takes any business around 3 months to set up and another 6 months to a year to adjust, build a brand and become profitable. E com should be no different and the thought of building 10 sites and hoping for a big bite seems daft and probably have a better chance on the roulette table. I could imagine that once you fully understand how to have 1 successful store the process to open more becomes fairly quick and considerably cheaper which means a tidy profit. When you have owned several online businesses are the setup, budget, technology and management processes very similar or varies according to the product and target audience.

  39. Jessica

    Hey Billy!

    Firstly, this is a brilliant, down to earth and honest post.

    For a young woman (only 22) starting out on the road to researching absolutely everything to do with making money (eventually), this post is just what I needed.

    I would like to ask you, what are your thoughts on Niche Sites? The type that Pat Flynn describes on his blog and podcasts. It seems that they can be a success, if a great amount of research and key word analysis is done before hand to really target an audience and give them something unique (good content and information)

    What are your thoughts on this?

    I understand its a kind of ‘passive income’ that not alot of people agree with or think that it works… But if you find a successful niche, that alot of people are searching for, with not much competition, and you are giving them one off resources that do not require you to have a ‘presence’ (ie: creating a job openings page that you get commission on, affiliates programs that actually match up to what they want etc).. could this work?

    Forgive me if I am totally naive here, im new to this, and I am trying to learn as many things before I go forward with anything I do.

    Jess 🙂

  40. LP

    Excellent advice. Diversification can be included via several monetisation strategies on your one authority site.

  41. Fred Owusu

    Wow this was a long post Billy. Great information though. While I was reading, I was thinking about Spencer Haws and how he build 200 sites. I guess he got lucky but I think he is an exception. I agree 100% with you on keeping all your eggs in one basket. Without reading your post, I had this mentality. I am focusing on a niche site and when successful I will blog about it. Been in the game for some time now. Made my mistakes and now starting on a clean slate. Wish me luck.

  42. Joe

    Hey Bill!

    I just found your site and I’ve got to say that i found this article just at the right time. Right now I’m 50% owner of a tattoo shop. We’ve been open for a year and lately it’s been starting to get quite profitable, but i’m always working 10am till 9pm 7 days a week. I’ve been saving money from this venture and i feel like i should make use of it to increase my income. Now the question is should expand this business into clothing and maybe a blog, invest in restate by buying some small apartment units? or maybe go back to school and learn some business skills?

    I’m somewhat lost and at 22 years i don’t feel like i have much experience if you could point me in the right direction and maybe give me your opinion on what i should do?

  43. Tim

    All of your posts have been gold Bill. So glad that I signed up when I did!

  44. richentrepreneurs.com

    How and where did you create that comic in your post?

    I would love to use something like this for my blog!

    I apologise if this question has already been asked of you in the comments section…

    Thanks Billy


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