Go Deep

The first key to making money online is to just get started. You can read until you’re blue in the face and not learn 10% of what you will be just getting out and doing it.

The second key is to go deep.

Oil GusherAs you’re out there just doing it, you’ll eventually begin to come across some things that work for you. With a little time and attention, they then begin to work really well. Keep nurturing them and they start working really well. Then you’re off and running. It’s like striking oil.

That’s when you’ll be faced with a choice.

If you been experimenting with several different things, it’s likely that you have more than one that’s showing promise. Does going deep mean you have to leave those by the wayside? Probably.

You’ll find it very hard to focus the time and attention where you need to if you’re trying to manage 3 or 4 (or more!) projects at once. Keep a couple if you need to, but don’t jeopardize big success by trying to keep multiple plates spinning at the same time.

Isn’t Going Wide Just as Good as Going Deep?

I know a lot of people have bought into the niche site concept. Create lots of little niche sites, each with a few pages of content, and then move on to the next site. “Set it and forget it.”

That’s a good short-term strategy, but it stinks in the long-term. Here’s why.

You may be able to build 100 niche sites that eventually generate a stunning monthly income (I doubt it), but that’s all you have is the income. No one’s going to pay you more than 1X or 2X that income to buy the sites from you somewhere down the road.

The alternative is to build something of substance, something of real value, that not only will provide you a great monthly income, but that someone will pay you 5X or 10X for someday — in the same amount of time it took you to create those 100 niche sites.

Let’s Do the Math

100 sites X $100 in monthly income for each = $10,000/month

1 site X $10,000 in monthly income = $10,000/month

On the surface, the two scenarios are exactly the same. When it comes time to sell, though:

Your network of niche sites sells for ~$180,000 (1.5X annual income).

While your single site sells for ~$600,000 (5X annual income).

Let’s say it takes you 3 years with both strategies. To make the same amount overall with niche sites as you would with a single site, you’d actually have to be making more than $33,000/month — more than triple what you would with one site.

Still think niche sites are a good idea? The only people getting rich from niche sites are the people who are selling you the e-books and online courses. It’s not a long-term strategy.

Go Wide to Go Deep

Now, can you roll out 5 or 10 (or more) niche sites, see which one(s) show promise, and then focus your attention on those? Absolutely. Go wide first to see where you can have some success, and then go deep once you find some things that work for you. Just don’t plan on staying wide much past the point where you find signs of oil.

Taking My Own Advice

“Go deep” was actually a note I wrote to myself more than once during the Elite Retreat. I don’t think anyone touched on it specifically, but for multiple speakers it was clear that their success was a direct result of them discovering something that was having success and shifting their focus to it.

Maybe I was more aware of it because I definitely wasn’t going deep. At that point, I was probably working on 10 or 20 different things — some of which didn’t even have any prospect of being profitable. I liked that, though, because it fit with my A.D.D. I didn’t have to stay on any one thing for very long, because something was always popping up somewhere else.

I had had great success at that point, but a large part of it was serendipitous. I knew I was handicapping myself by trying to do so many things at once. Most of those things were actively working against my success, yet I still find it hard to let go of some of them. I even find myself wanting to pick up new things and trying to justify them. Crazy.

I’m working on just two things now. That’s it. (Other than some maintenance things.) My filter for everything now is whether it strengthens one of those two things. If it doesn’t, I don’t do it.

It’s a lot harder for me than I make it sound (I’m all the time finding something that I can get into). So far, though, I’ve been pretty good about sticking to my guns.


  • Goran

    September 2, 2008
    at 9:36 am

    I totally agree with you. This is absolutely true. Most people waste too much time reading and researching without putting what they have learned to practice. And once you have found your own standards and methods, that makes for a good routine and guideline.


  • Dey

    September 2, 2008
    at 10:37 am


    Yes, I agree with you about going deep. I guess at the moment, I am going wide as I prepare myself to go deep. Your analysis makes a lot of sense. But how does one really know when one has a project or concept that is of the “go deep” caliber? And then, there a so many intangibles which require that all the cylinders are flowing at the right level. I am not there yet, but this article helps me refocus, regroup and rethink about my various projects.


  • Jason

    September 2, 2008
    at 11:43 am

    >But how does one really know when one has a project or concept that is of the go deep caliber?

    Measure your traffic… If you’ve done good, Google and/or returning visitors will reward you!


  • Shane

    September 2, 2008
    at 3:21 pm

    Yep, traffic’s a good measure. If you’re onto something, many times you’ll see it in your traffic. You may see it in your revenue instead, though, or it may be that you realize that you’ve discovered a great niche. “Success” can take many forms.

  • […] here? Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed so you don’t miss anything!As I’ve pointed out often, income is great, but it barely holds a candle to what you can make when you sell a site. If you […]


  • Jared

    September 15, 2008
    at 10:58 pm

    Wow… I totally needed to read this!

    Whenever I begin to see some success with one of my sites, I can’t help but feel the itch to start another project. My mind begins do fantastic math (which always results in me quitting my day job) and before you know it, I’ve got pen and paper out to draft a new site.

    I think to truly “go deep,” you need to dedicate at least a good year of consistent updates to a site. If your site has any value, you’ll definitely know it by then (whether it’s by traffic or income)… not to mention you’ll have outlasted most of your upstart competitors. As a bonus, after a good year of being indexed by Google, you’ll start to see some extra love from search traffic.


  • Jenn

    September 17, 2008
    at 7:07 am


    I think you’re exactly right. I started my site, Atlanta on the Cheap, a month ago, and I’ve noticed the same thing. Consistent updates, relevant information, and a targeted audience generate much love from Google, email subscribers and other return visitors.


  • Aqeel Syed

    April 29, 2009
    at 2:41 pm

    Amazing concept! I totally agree with you Shane 🙂
    I’m working on this approach for quite some time, had created 6 sites and see which sites turn good for me.

    Thanks for this brilliant piece of advice 🙂

  • […] here? Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed so you don't miss anything!Last September, I wrote about how important it was to focus when you found something that was working for you — and what a constant challenge it was for […]