Every once in a while, I meet someone like myself who has their hands in multiple businesses. Frequently they ask me the same question: Should I have a separate website for each business? I know that there are more of you multi-passionate people out there, so I’ve written this post just for you.

Having multiple streams of income is smart. As the old saying goes, you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. But how do you maintain so many?
I know you’re probably overwhelmed at the thought of having multiple websites, and I don’t blame you. Keeping one website maintained can be a lot of work or expensive if you’re hiring someone to do it for you, so the thought of having more than one is exhausting.

It really comes down to three things: brand recognition, credibility, and workload.

Ask yourself these questions*:
  • Do I want the task of keeping up with two sites, two brands, and two contact forms?
  • Will the credibility I’ve built with business A enhance business B?
  • Do I want to do the work to build and maintain two different brands?
  • Who is your audience for business #A?
  • Who is your audience for business #B?
  • Do the businesses make sense together? Do they have anything in common?
*These questions were written with two businesses in mind, but feel free to add a third or a fourth, the point remains the same.
Those last three questions can be considered the most important. I always advise my clients to put everything underneath one website if it is related.
For instance, of Molly’s business is selling gift baskets, but she also teaches Zumba, it probably doesn’t make sense for her to have only one website because the businesses don’t really have much in common and don’t really make sense together. The audience for each of those businesses is different as well.
On the other hand, a friend and client of mine teaches yoga and is a massage therapist. She keeps both businesses on one website because the audience is so similar and the businesses make sense together because they have a lot in common.

Having one website also diminishes your workload.

Depending on what your marketing plan is, for each website you’ll need a blog, a Facebook page, an email address, a newsletter…the list goes on. Marketing is so much simpler when you only have to work with one brand.
Don’t forget about keeping fresh content on each of your sites for SEO and making sure it’s updated.

Having only one website allows you to offer more value.

When you are offering multiple related services, it helps you and it helps your potential clients to have it all in one place. I could have separate sites for web design and copywriting, but having them available on the same site shows my potential clients that I can offer them more value. Not only can I build them a gorgeous site, but I can also take on the sometimes onerous task of crafting copy for those beautiful, brand new pages.  Now my clients know, right up front that they don’t need to search for someone else to write copy or do it themselves.

My client and friend mentioned above can do the same. When she has a client who is ready to do all it takes to heal their aching back, they know that it’s one stop shopping at her studio. They can get a massage and learn how to keep their back loose and healthy through yoga. Value for the client, business for her.

How many businesses do you have? Do you have a separate site for each? Why or why not?