Mini-sites can be a great way to market a niche product or to just create an informational site that you monetize with Adsense or related affiliate offers.
A mini-site will typically have under 20 pages. Navigation should allow any page to access almost any other page on the site. I’ve found it best to keep all content ‘above the fold’ which I define as viewable in a maximized browser on a 1024×768 screen. Some people reduce this down to 800×600 but when you look at today’s web stats you’ll find that this smaller size only accounts for about 5-10% of visitors to most sites.
Another key part of a mini-site is having a very tightly defined, but rich, message. Everything on the site must be geared toward promoting the main theme. If it is to sell a particular product or service, don’t run Adsense or any other advertising that distracts visitors from the main message. Everything should lead to closing the sale.
Of course, if your objective is to get them to click on external advertising offers you should design your site so that it acts like a hub or kiosk that the visitor will return to in order to get more information. This means that your content has to be good enough for the visitor to bookmark or at least keep hitting the back button to view.
Promotion of a mini-site also depends on your objective.
If it is to sell an item you will want to purchase advertising such as Google Adwords or other pay-per-click or pay-per-sale methods. Buying traffic like this does require a hands-on approach to insure that a campaign is properly optimized so that you aren’t wasting money on unproductive or overpriced keywords.
If your plan is to have a build and forget reference site, then you will want to use methods to build backlinks, such as forum posts or directory submissions, with the goal of having your site rise in search results. This takes longer to return results but it can easily lead to a site that receives a few hundred views a day at no cost to you beyond basic hosting.
As for content generation, if you Google on “Mini-Site Creator” you’ll find a lot of options, some for free and others that cost money. I would recommend going for the no-cost options unless you feel totally lost when it comes to designing web pages.
That’s it for this time. As always, I’m open to questions or suggestions so leave me a comment if you have one.