Diversification or Domination?

For some reason I’m wide awake now at 1 in the morning and don’t really feel like working on anything affiliate related, so it’s blog time. A question pops up (in my head at least) all the time : do I diversify and make smaller amounts of money through many sources, or focus on dominating one particular area in the industry (ie PPC affiliate marketing)? There’s both pros and cons to both sides of the argument :


  • There’s so many ways to make living online it’s absolutely insane. There’s people in every area of the area making millionaire incomes. I know bloggers that do tens of thousands a month. I know affiliate marketers that do six figures daily. I know people still making a solid six figures a month in Myspace. I know SEO people that dominate the market without paying a dime for advertising. There’s viral sites out there that make a ton…the list goes on…and on…and on. Tapping in a little into each market can really add up fast.
  • Security. If for some reason one industry starts to rapidly decline, you have a bunch of other backup revenue streams to keep the food on the table and the bills paid.
  • More potential to strike gold. The more things you do, the higher chances you have of stumbling upon something really nice. Believe it or not, many highly successful entrepreneurs got their kickstart to success by getting lucky. You could be the next one to find that completely random diamond in the rough and then scale it like crazy.


  • Like the heading says…domination. If you can dominate an industry, who cares if it dies out in 5 years, you can easily make enough income to stash away in a CD to leave you set in 20 years. Take $300,000 of it to live off of for the coming years and then withdraw your millions and live off that while you test other areas. Domination is where the money’s at.
  • More time to work on single projects. If you diversify, you may do SEO twice a week, affiliate marketing twice a week, and blogging twice a week. My focusing on just affiliate marketing, you get 3x the productivity and then 3x the results. It takes less time to test and find what works, and less time to scale it.

What’s the right answer?

Well, I’d like to know the answer to that myself. I’d have to go with domination, but the internet is so extremely interesting that all these other industries attract me. For instance I have ideas of a couple viral sites that I want to get working on, because one of them may hit the mark. And when you hit the mark with a viral site…viral traffic is the best traffic there is. I also have that SEO project I mentioned a week ago that I’d like to develop. So many things to choose from and only 24 hours in a day. For now I’m keeping most of my focus on affiliate marketing though, as I want to dominate the industry before I start to back off on it and focus more in other areas.

Let’s go further down the rabbit hole…

Since I’m in a blogging mood – let’s take this a step further. Affiliate marketing – diversification or domination? What’s better, $100/day in 10 niches or $1,000 day in 1 niche? Time to look at the pros to each end of the spectrum and evaluate :


  • More security, this is the most obvious pro. Some niches tend to be very volatile, and what is making us a lot can quickly dwindle down to nothing pretty fast sometimes. With more niches, you have more backup in case one dies out.
  • Soooo many choices. What’s stopping you from making $100/day in 50 different niches? I can tell you there’s affiliates profiting out there in more than 50 different products. Focus on a smaller scale and broaden your portfolio of offers.


  • Plain and simple, it’s where the money is at. If you can find a niche to dominate, you can make some BIG bucks. Shoemoney was famous for dominating ringtones back in the day…how much do you think he was making a month? Probably more than most full time workers make in 10 years. Niches are out there to dominate, you just have to find a working strategy and perfect it (or come as close as possible). In a scaled out campaign, smallest changes can make the biggest differences.
  • Love. Start making $10k/day on an offer and see how the network or merchant treats you, haha. Not really a factor but fun to think about…after all you could just be breaking even…

What’s the right answer?

Again, don’t expect all the right answers in the world from me. Don’t expect all the right answers from anybody for that matter. Let me pull out a quote from Pumping Iron by the great man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger :

Franco is pretty smart, but Franco’s a child, and when it comes to the day of the contest, I am his father. He comes to me for advices. So it’s not that hard for me to give him the wrong advices.

Now I’m not saying that anybody there is out to get you. I’m not saying that big affiliates out there give people wrong advice (because there is some GREAT advice out there in blogs and forum posts), a lot of times they’ll just bullshit their way around something and you’ll think you’re hearing good advice, but it’ll get you nowhere. Can’t blame them at all either, I’m just trying to say don’t switch your strategy just because I say “domination sounds better”.

Now after that little tangent, I do tend to prefer domination. Try and use a diversified strategy to pull different profitable offers, and then judge which niches can be scaled more. After that, it’s all just up to how much they can be scaled.

Or maybe…personal preference?

In the end, it’s all going to come down to what you prefer doing. Some people may be most productive spending all their time in one area, while some may get burned out way too fast. For me, I’d like to spend maybe 4 days of the week on affiliate marketing, and then a day or two developing my viral/SEO sites to take a break from the many stresses of PPC. Plus of course blogging has become a priority for me as well, so that’s almost a daily thing now.

Alright, enough writing for now. Have a good one.


  1. October 14, 2007

    Pareto’s says that you should work on the 20% that brings in the 80%. In which case domination wins.

    You should also manage you risks. I would look to spend most of my time (4/5th) on what’s the most profitable, and work on grassroot stuff at other times.

    Interesting post again.

    On my own PPC campaigns, I noticed my starting bid was getting higher for some adgroups. Thinking back to your article on Google Account and Quality Score, I believe this is the issue.

    I’ve used this account since I started messing around with PPC and it has an account CTR of just less than 1%! I’m in the process of opening a new account.

  2. October 15, 2007

    A couple of thoughts… if you are already good at one thing that you know works, domination is an option. But if (like me) you’re still learning then personally I am better off trying many things to find what works best for me.

    On the flip side of things, domination of a niche also brings one other advantage – if you build a site or network of sites all in one niche, you can sell those on later for big bucks. You’ll make more by dominating a single niche than having several.

  3. October 15, 2007

    I agree with Caroline, dominating just one niche is the way to go. Nice post.

  4. October 15, 2007

    Great questions you pose… I wondered the same thing while at ASE in Miami last summer, and shared my thoughts at the final session. Video of my answer is here.

  5. October 15, 2007

    Domination – hands down….

    1. Testing – with domination you get tons more volume meaning you can test more, fine tune more and ultimately super size the conversion rate. We are approaching a 20% conversion rate in a high dollar niche where our competition is seeing 6-10% conversion. Thats just not possible with a little volume in dozens of niches.

    2. Scale brings specialization – with millions of clicks each year comes the scale to have specialists – we have a person that work on just Yahoo, another that is just MSN and others that are just Google search and just Google content. You think you know more about MSN than someone who lives and breathes it every day? Content is a different animal than search.

    3. Security – If you get large enough you can be vertically integrated in an industry. You can work directly with manufacturers/suppliers/lenders etc.and be the 800 lb gorilla, most importantly cut out the middle men and put their profits in your pocket. Even an extra $2-$5 over tens or hundreds of thousands of units is good money and at that stage is almost pure profit. Sure an industry dies from time to time but dominate something for a few years and either start over with contacts and capital or enjoy pina coladas.

    4. Asset – with domination you build an asset that can actually be sold. Sure if you diversify and then dominate you might have something, but be a solid player in a niche and you have something desirable to companies trying to get into that niche or consolidators or even private capital. If you go blind or die tomorrow, do you have an asset you can sell?

  6. October 15, 2007

    Very interesting post. This is where I am now. I am not sure which direction to head into. I guess I would be waiting for one to catch a flame then concentrate on it. Until then it seems everything else is spread to thin. But very nice post.

  7. October 15, 2007

    My vote goes for Domination. I’d say you should spend 60% on the projects that are profitable and there is still room to scale, 20% on projects that aren’t yet profitable but you’re confident will be, and the remaining 20% on new projects.

    I’ve found it quite handy to list down all the different projects that I’m working on and then prioritise them. If an exciting new project comes in, I’ll spend some time on it but then access which category into fits into and how big of a priority it really is.

  8. Pyjammez
    May 2, 2008

    hahah what if you are giving us the wrong advices with affiliate marketing!!! just so you can make all the money! yeah, didn’t think of that huh.

  9. May 2, 2008

    How can he be giving us the wrong advice when he just laid out both sides of the track for us? He isn’t going to make the decision for you. It would be wrong of Paul to “tell” you what to do. Then if you don’t make jack, you flame him. He could try to teach 100 people affiliate marketing and making money online. Maybe one of them would be successful, the others would fall on their face. The 99 left would blame him.

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

  10. more productivity, lest time to test and scale, quicker results…dominate it!

  11. June 12, 2008

    If you are just starting out, or looking to expand, I would take the diversification route- try out lots of lots of niches until you find some campaigns that are profitable.

    After awhile you will start to gravitate to one or two niches naturally, probably the ones that are the most profitable. Pick one and then go the Domination route.

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