No not a dream, a stream. When do you decided that it is time to give up on a potential stream of income? I have been thinking about this a bit mainly in the realm of niche marketing. For those that are new this is where you create a website based on some well trafficked keywords in order to earn money from an affiliate or ad source. It can be a small site with a few pages of information or perhaps you have been working on a large authority site or blog. SO at what time do you call it quits and decide to put your time and efforts into something else?
Money vs Fun
This may be a deciding factor for some is that when does lack of enjoyment out weigh the money the site brings in? I mean some of your sites may be a blast for you to work on. If its the authority site mentioned above and its on a topic you just love you may continue with it forever even though it just brings in just a trickle of income here and there. Thats ok you love doing the research or blogging about the topic, money is not the only factor for you.
Other sites you may have created or purchased with a build and forget mentality and it was solely for the income. So at some point you will need to evaluate how much money and time has gone into it as well as how much more it will take and compare it to how much it has brought in. Pretty simple you would think, but sometimes you have an emotional tie to the site or in my case for some, you put so much in you just cant bare letting it go. Thinking maybe it will take off here soon.
As mentioned time is a big factor. There is the time you put in creating the site of course and perhaps time that is needed to keep adding to the site and keeping it going. A big time suck for niche sites is of course google. You dont make money if your site dosent get the traffic and a big factor there is Search Engine Rankings. With Google’s zoo of updates it can be a never ending job to keep your sites ranking. So you need to assigna dolar value to your time and weigh that of course against the income the site is producing.
So when do you drop a site?
Well I think a perfect time to do your evaluation is a month before your domain name is about to expire. For most sites this is when you are about to drop more money into the site. Ya I know you are saying its only $10, but look back on the year. If that site has not even brought in $10 in income then you have already lost money (and that dosent even take into account your time). I do look back at the history of the site as well. It may not have earned the $10 yet but has the income showed a steady increase. Im not saying $1 one month and 5 months later then another click for $1.50, I mean each month a steady increase.
Also look at your sites ranking history. Has it shown an increase for your keywords, steadily moving up towards that page 1 status? Or has it floundered all over the place from 50 to 500 the past year. Do you honestly think that with a little work you can still get it to the first page? If so re-check the competition just to be sure.
If it shows a steady history of improvement then perhaps you should keep it and nurture it along for a bit more.
Time to dump it!
After all this you may have to decide that the site is no longer viable or chalk it up to a learning mistake and just dump it. Time to put your efforts somewhere else!
Now that you decided to let the site go maybe you can try to sell it and recoup some of your losses? If you have time before the expiration then maybe put the site up on Flippa.com. Flippa requires some more investing though, $19 last time I checked, to sell the site and most likely you already have lost money on the site so may not be worth it to you. You could try selling privately as well and skip the fees. I myself have a page of Sites for Sale, where I put up sites I no longer wish to work on.
When expiration time comes along then the last decision is to be made. You can pay the domain fee in hopes of still selling it, or perhaps you still think its a killer domain name so maybe just dump the site but retain the domain for a bit longer in hopes that will fetch something in the future. At least you will stop putting time into the site and its no longer taking up space on your server.
Or the final death nail, just let it go.