$3M~ Website Sale, AMA

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The general consensus around here seems to be that more than 1 project creates lack of focus and suboptimal results.

You, like @MrMedia (from his AMA), have multiple sites, and it appears your strategy moving forward is to again have multiple sites.

Is this due to FOMO/ADHD, or do you think it is a sensible strategy for affiliate/display/content sites? Does organic search represent a good portion of traffic/revenue for your sites and is this how you protect yourself against algo updates?

In the early days it makes little sense to have 3 sites all failing and demanding attention.

Once you are established and cash flow positive it makes massive sense to spread risk across multiple websites, each funded by the other more established site.

If one gets spanked then the others will continue to flow cash so although shitty you live to fight another day.
 
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In the early days it makes little sense to have 3 sites all failing and demanding attention.

Once you are established and cash flow positive it makes massive sense to spread risk across multiple websites, each funded by the other more established site.

If one gets spanked then the others will continue to flow cash so although shitty you live to fight another day.
Absolutely agree, that point is massively important.

Established a winner and use that to fund the rest. Find domains and do all the topics/content that are your largest earners all over again!
 

illmasterj

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Thanks!
Find domains and do all the topics/content that are your largest earners all over again!
When you say "find domains", are you referring to relevant domains with existing authority/links, or quality brandable domains?
 
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When you say "find domains", are you referring to relevant domains with existing authority/links, or quality brandable domains?
Looking for a Mix of Branded Domains that have some Links, but thats not always possible, so we'll get a new Reg domain that is niche relevant.

Good brandable domains are hard to find nowadays, so lately we've been looking at drop catch to find brandable domains, most are without links but have a good brand name to them.
 
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You have multiple websites going after the same kws?
Yes, we cover the top 3-5 positions of the SERPs with all our web properties to mop up all the traffic we can get once we've established the the niche is profitable.
 
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Our strategy is to Cover the top 3-5 positions of every kw we go after.
So you have several sites in the same niche covering the same topics and could more or less rewrite the same articles? I assume you just need to make sure they are independent sites in Google's eyes (ie different GA account, no interlinking, different backlinks, etc)?
 
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So you have several sites in the same niche covering the same topics and could more or less rewrite the same articles? I assume you just need to make sure they are independent sites in Google's eyes (ie different GA account, no interlinking, different backlinks, etc)?
Yes, thats 100% correct.

Different dedicated IP's, different gmails, different tracking for each, no overlapping in anything at all. Not even the same themes.

We build them so they can stand on their own feet as separate entities and all content will be unique and different.

Its rather difficult to achieve this and expensive, when your dealing with premium hosting providers like I've mentioned above, but its worth the hassle if the niche converts well and has good payouts.
 
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Thanks @tothemoon, TBH I had thought of this before but never implemented it. I mean, if you have the content ranking already, it's gonna be much cheaper to rewrite and reproduce on additional domains. Just need to get the complete independence thing correct. Cheers

For high traffic sites, Either AWS (Ec2 with NVME drives) or Google cloud behind their Cloud CDN load balancer.
How much traffic a day are we talking for this setup, or peak at once / "real-time" number in GA?
 
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Congrats on this big success.

How do you do keyword research for a new site? Is it possible to get 100k+ monthly traffic only with content?
 
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How much traffic a day are we talking for this setup, or peak at once / "real-time" number in GA?
I tend to start with Digital Ocean droplet and once things start to pickup, i migrate over to better hosting environment.

For one of the bigger sites, we had like 6000-8000 hits per day and moving to GCP w/ Cloud CDN Load balancer seemed to help with load times and response times.

You can definitely get away with lesser hosting requirements, I just like to go over the top for no reason at all. :D

How do you do keyword research for a new site? Is it possible to get 100k+ monthly traffic only with content?
We look for low hanging fruit KW's and go after those first. Low volume, Low comp to drum up initial traffic and then start to scale up.

You'll need to share via Social media and other sites (Q&A, Pinterest, etc) and eventually once you start to hit #1 for kws, you'll get Natural links if you have a well designed and branded site with active socials, etc.

100K a month is doable, we had 300k UV's by pumping content out for years, but remember we got a lot of natural links from big news media outlets and such, so that did help with the rankings of new content due to the domain authority that was built up over time.
 
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Thank you so much for doing this AMA. This is ridiculously impressive. Congratulations.

Did you ever try to create your own products or any sort of email marketing?
 
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Did you ever try to create your own products or any sort of email marketing?
Hi thanks!

No we didn't, Email marketing would've proved profitable, but really never got around to setting it up. Wish we did though!

We're looking into more retargeting and email marketing on the new sites we're working on, as this seems the way to get easy conversions with the existing audience we currently have!

Thanks
 
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How important were backlinks for your success? Seems like they weren't too important for you early on when it came to ranking low-comp keywords. Can you discuss purchasing links, acquiring via HARO as well as receiving links naturally?

Thanks again!
 
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How important were backlinks for your success? Seems like they weren't too important for you early on when it came to ranking low-comp keywords. Can you discuss purchasing links, acquiring via HARO as well as receiving links naturally?
I would imagine they were important, but like I said in previous posts, we didn't focus on them much. We did some basic outreach to sites that had resource pages and we did personal guest posts (we didnt' pay for any links) and ended up getting more natural mentions on big sites and business sites over time.

The better content you have, the greater chance you have for someone to link to it. This includes citations/sources for every post, custom graphics, custom videos (which we're seeing is becoming more popular now to UX and retention/bounce rates) and really well designed themes and branding.

As for HARO, we worked with a company that would get us HARO links as we monitored the process, it got us some good brand exposure as most links are for your homepage from our experience with HARO.

Thanks.
 

secretagentdad

American Dad is the best show of all time.
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Here’s some weird ones.

What Do you think about 3 or 4 year cash flow valuations for organic traffic websites? is it sustainable? Do think the long run trend is toward higher or lower multiples?

What do you think about sem rush?

What do you think about hubspot?

What do you think about Marin software?

What do you think about fiveer?

If I have 100k to invest Should I buy semrush stonk, hubspot stonk or organic traffic sites with lower end valuations?
 
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What Do you think about 3 or 4 year cash flow valuations for organic traffic websites? is it sustainable? Do think the long run trend is toward higher or lower multiples?

I do feel like they will only go up from here and out - Mainly due to Covid and people wanting to work from anywhere in the world (location-agnostic) and having the freedom to not see anyone if they so wish.

I'm personally see valuations go for massive numbers in local businesses (car dealerships, mechanic, auto body, etc) and now online businesses seem to be following that trajectory.

If you look on the major broker sites, Im seeing sites go for 48X that are very low DR/DA and can easily be rebuilt within several writers and 6-12 months time.

There's a demand and we need to serve that market as best as possible imo.

What do you think about sem rush?

Love it - Use it daily and as of lately (since the jumpshot shutter), its traffic estimations seem way more accurate than AHREFS.

Even some of their backlink data is better, as I'm noticing loads of domains and hosting providers blocking Ahrefsbot by default.

(Tip: check Lost RD's in AHREF and look at each RD individually by manually going to the "lost" page website, you'll see some are still alive!)

What do you think about hubspot?

I dont use their service, but was approached by their marketing team to work together, but it never materialized, so no comment there.

What do you think about Marin software?

Sorry, I dont know much about them!

What do you think about fiveer?

I use fiverr for Translating articles to different languages and getting logos made. Thats all really~

If I have 100k to invest Should I buy semrush stonk, hubspot stonk or organic traffic sites with lower end valuations?

Definitely the latter - I dont mess with stocks as I feel its a rigged game (as many of you already know or read about).

I've come to the realization that I know very few things (content sites, basic seo and links) and I stick to them.

The 1 time I tried to veer into ecommerce, I got scammed out of $12,000 in charge backs !

I immediately killed the processor and went back to affiliate/lead gen !

I think the stock market is good, especially if you have a method and are disclipined and can really stay on course - but for most, it get emotional. I used to follow a guy on reddit and his strategy seemed legit, I just never had time to dive into it much tbh.

Thanks! Good questions overall!
 

secretagentdad

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Like your style.
I disagree on organic valuations.
Think they’re to high generally.
Going to be selling all my stuff soon if you’re right.
Glad to here you also don’t like rigged games

Indulge me.

If you owned keywordshitter.com what would you do to offer a paid version and make as much $ as possible with out pissing the audience off?

I want to sell some stuff with out ruining it. So not really interested in ideas that restrict functionality for free users.
 
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Thanks for the AMA and congrats on the sale!

What advice would you offer to someone setting up a team and processes of their own (team of writers, editor(s), SEO, link building, keyword research)? How do you ensure things work smoothly and remain scalable?

What does your editor do (apart from the obvious)? How active or knowledgeable are they in the niche? Do they fix content that's not right conceptually, or is it just spelling, grammar, and tone/style?

Finally, how do you provide topics to your writers? Do you give a full content brief with h2s and h3s etc, (if so, created by who?) or just the main keyword and some guidelines and let them have at it (or something different altogether)?

Sorry for bombarding with questions... :D
 
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If you owned keywordshitter.com what would you do to offer a paid version and make as much $ as possible with out pissing the audience off?

I'd leave the free portion there, but have a login with a backend that you can save kws and have a history of your searches, Get KW volumes (which i know is free via keywordseverywhere), and then have upsale section to get a competitive analysis of a kw based on your own KW competitiveness metric that you come up with.

I've used your tool before and still do quite often - But I wish it would save my searches so i dont search for the same keyword multiple times.

its a great tool nonetheless.

What advice would you offer to someone setting up a team and processes of their own (team of writers, editor(s), SEO, link building, keyword research)? How do you ensure things work smoothly and remain scalable?
Find good writers (which is the single hardest thing to-do right now) and make sure you get them a content briefing for every topic and be 100% clear with what you expect. In other words, Lay out what they need to write about to the T as if your explaining yourself to a 1st grader.

The more direction you give them, the better chance you have of getting the content you want out of them.

Than your Editor (2nd question above) doesn't need todo as much editing, additions, removals etc. Editor will need to format the content (if not formatted correctly or writer used to many Bolds and Italics, add lists and images), get all the on-page elements and alt tags dialed in and then published it.

We usually will Write the TITLE,, the h2 headings and h3 headings, along with any Informational/FAQ questions we can to answer either before/after the content.

We also create the permalink exactly as we want it (we stick to short permalinks, usually the head term of the product/topic we're targeting... eg: Title: "Best 22LR Rifle for Beginners & New Shooters", our permalink would be /22lr-rifle-beginners)

This is sent to the writer and editor to ensure that they're both on the same page and they know what they need todo.

(We use trello and add both writer and editor to the trello board and we just @ them with what they need to-do on a specific card and if they have any questions, they'll message us on that particular card/topic so we know what they are referencing. We do not use Google docs/sheets under any circumstance, Way to paranoid in terms of footprints, etc.)

I feel like Truly this is the toughest piece of the puzzle - Finding Writers & Strong Editor.

Once you have writers for each site, the editor can work on all the sites and you can continue planning content and monetizing as needed. I try to keep editor out of the loop when it comes to monetization, as we use coded links for everything and dont want to confuse them and give them more work.

Also, we dont use any content agencies, we try to find full time writers via LinkedIN or upwork and train them exactly as we need them to work. We'll give them an example of how we want the article to read and look like and give them a "test" article todo that is "paid" if we end up using it.

Most of the time the articles come back looking great and we pay them the instant we get it back from them to instill a bit of confidence in the process and most writers will be asking for more work quickly, as we pay weekly and promptly. This has lead us to retain good writers and many of them are still with us.

Thanks for the Questions!
 

illmasterj

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Is this the first portfolio you have sold?

Does your non-compete prevent you from operating in the same niche?

If so, how do you choose your next niche? Is it closely related or completely different?
 

LiamGallagher

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@tothemoon and @MrMedia

Amazing stories and inspiring, to say the least. Here in the forum we are some who dream of someday having an exit like yours and be able to live full time from this.

I have saved up some money from my current job, and I am ready to invest in the creation of sites, so my question is:

How much would you spend on a brand new site before making a decision, (either to sell or to keep it)?

My plan is the following:
  • Post around 4 posts a week, ~1300 words per article on average
  • Wait at least one month to see how the articles initially move
  • Wait another 30 days to see where they finally settle. In the meantime, I will share the posts on social media and some public spaces to get free links.
  • Check out the analytics and optimize articles even more.
I was thinking about spending $40 USD per article ($0.030 per word) or $640 per month on content alone. I know that some results are visible after waiting 3 or 4 months. Does that sound reasonable enough? or should I invest more at the beginning?

Thank you very much
 
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Is this the first portfolio you have sold?

Does your non-compete prevent you from operating in the same niche?

If so, how do you choose your next niche? Is it closely related or completely different?

1. 2nd Sale of a site, 1st one with Multiple sites.
2. Correct, cannot work in the niche for 3 yrs.
3. We look for non-network/non-amazon affiliate programs with decent payouts and look into the serps to see other affiliates who are in it - Do some quick DD to see if domains are strong or are beatable in 6-12 months. Then find domains and start hammering content! We already had sites going before we sold, so now those take precedence, as well as new sites in finance niches that we've acquired.
 

blackwar85

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Hello!

Can you also give us more insight into how the deal was structured? Was there an earn-out/seller's note? If so, roughly what percentage the earn-out was from the total sum?

Thanks.
 

Sutra

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Typically, how far reaching are the non-compete agreements? For example, say I have a site about muscle cars - The best muscle cars for street racing, the best muscle cars for the track, The top carburetors for muscle cars, where to find racing tracks in your area etc. etc.

Would a typical non-compete prevent me from starting a site about car parts - engines, wheels, headlights, carburetors, interior seats, etc. etc? The car part site wouldn’t specifically be about muscle cars but obviously there would be some overlap.