With the recent Panda updates, many small, low content sites have taken a battering in the search engine results page.
That’s why it surprised me that I came across a new product that is pushing small, affiliate based sites.
Minisite Riches by Brett Ingram is designed to make ready-made sites in various niches, to help speed up the creation process and bang out as many small sites as possible.
The Sales Pitch
The sales pitch is fairly standard. It pushes ease of use and the usual “no skills” required angle. Its core idea is to not only install a WordPress site for you, but to fill that site with content, terms and conditions, and images.
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Along with that it states everything is SEO optimised and geared towards affiliate commissions and list building.
It all sounds pretty good for $11 bucks, but is it really?
Purchasing Minisite Riches
Buying the product is pretty straightforward, as it goes via JVZoo. As usual there is an upsell, in this case you can pay out $27 to pick up 10 more niches, as the base product only comes with 3 which is a little lame.
Skipping that, you get access to the members’ area.
Here you can download the software, upgrade to 3 different offers, and buy hosting and domains via their affiliate link.
There are also 2 videos showing you how to use the software.
This is will shock some people, as the sale pitch stated no technical skills needed, but within 20 seconds of the first how to video you are advised to make a database!
It does at least guide you through the process but to me that is a fairly technical process, so the pitch lied.
After that you need to upload files via FTP and mess about uploading an installer zip and file. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that they go through the steps bit by bit is nice, but it certainly is not simple.
The Dangers of PLR Content
It wasn’t made clear about how the content was created in my new site, but by analysing the zip file you get, it becomes clear. The content (posts, settings, images, etc) is all pre made in the bundled database and files.
Sounds good right? You don’t have to do anything! Well, not quite. First of all, every single one of these sites will be the same, at least to begin with. This will probably be the case much later on too, as few newbies will edit the content.
Not only that but the content supplied is far from original, as a quick Google search for some of the content in their example site, led me to believe that the content is scraped from other sources.
As such not only will you have the same content as potentially hundreds or thousands of sites out there, you will have word for word plagiarised content.
I can’t begin to explain how bad that is. Google will slam any site for unoriginal content. Even if you start adding your own posts and articles, by leaving the supplied content there, your site will be unlikely to make it in the search engine rankings.
Combine that with the fact that you only have 3 ready-made sites for your purchase, and the product really becomes quite limited in scope.
Talk about being crippled from the get go!
The other major flaw of Minisite Riches is the fact that as a newbie you will have no clue what to do with the site in terms of traffic. There’s no way that a site like this will pull in traffic without some aggressive marketing.
The supplied theme is actually a premium WooThemes theme called Gazette. I know, you may be thinking that there is a problem with the legalities of that, but there isn’t, the licence allows it to be given away and shared. The problem I have is that the version supplied hasn’t been updated since 2011!
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While there are no known security issues with the theme (I checked), it is still a bad sign that they are supplying such an old theme, that will not be updated (unless you buy it from WooThemes that is).
The Bottom Line
Is Minisite Riches a scam? No, but it is certainly borderline in my opinion. While they give you something for your money, it is highly unlikely to make you a return without serious investment of time and money.
Personally I think you would be better off installing WordPress yourself, with a free theme and starting your own content. Yes it will take longer and yes you will need to learn more, but not much.
Building the site from the ground up is definitely going to put you in a stronger position in the long term: you will have more experience and not have the shadow of a Google slap (for duplicate content) hanging over your head.
I rarely request a refund for the products I buy to review here, but I have already submitted a refund request for this product, which I think sums up my opinion of it quite clearly.