$3M~ Website Sale, AMA

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Quality content is everything, especially well researched articles that have custom images and your own Youtube videos embedded into them.
Did you focus on growing a Youtube channel as well? Or did you just create short videos to support the content in the articles (like examples / graphs)? And what kind of videos did you make?
 
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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?
Hi -

Deal was full payout - I've sold a domain/site in the past and lost my ass on the payout portion as the buyer just stopped responding, etc - Grant it, that was only like a 15k deal, but nonetheless, a lesson learned for future deals (such as this one).

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.
It all depends how you structure the deal in the APA and in specifically, in the non-compete section - this is where a good M&A lawyer comes into play and I feel like mine was very well versed in this.

In our NC section, it was very specific. So in terms of your question:

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.

I would've specifically stated in the NC that we would not compete with anything to do with "Muscle cars, muscle car parts, muscle car accessories, muscle car engines, (whatever else you have about muscle car)" and be very specific about what your not going to compete in.

The more specific and drilled down your NC is, the better you are in terms of starting another website in the auto niche (in your case) and not having any issues.

Be very specific with NC, dont go for the overarching category (in this case Automotive & Cars) as that will limit you for X amount of years.

This is a great question and I think it deserves a lot more thought and time when going into a sale.

Did you focus on growing a Youtube channel as well? Or did you just create short videos to support the content in the articles (like examples / graphs)? And what kind of videos did you make?
Short explainer videos help with bounce rate and UX and we didn't focus on YT much - although We hear its a massive generator of profit if done correctly.

Thanks
 
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Congrats!

Did you have tax consideration in mind (especially compared to if you have to hold it for 2-3 years)?
Was it an asset sale? Only long-term Capital gain tax?
 

Wills

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What was your monthly profit margin overall on these sites prior to selling? From reading what you posted it sounds like about 80k in revenue minus whatever it cost to pay the writers/editor/host the sites?
 
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Congrats!

Did you have tax consideration in mind (especially compared to if you have to hold it for 2-3 years)?
Was it an asset sale? Only long-term Capital gain tax?

Great Question, Doesn't come up often enough really and definitely still a pain point to this day (considering its tax season).

Long Term cap gains is 20%, depending on the allocation of the sale (goodwill, intangible assets and noncompete).

This doesn't include your state income tax (if it applies to you) or sales tax.

With how long term cap gains changes potentially coming into play for US citizens, selling a long term asset might not be favorable anymore, which is really a bummer.

What was your monthly profit margin overall on these sites prior to selling? From reading what you posted it sounds like about 80k in revenue minus whatever it cost to pay the writers/editor/host the sites?
Profit margins were through the roof, i'd say like 90% - 95% profit margins or so - sometimes higher, sometimes lower, depending on the amount content production we would put out.

Without going into to much details, yes - they would average around that marker for L12-24M.

I was advised by close business acquaintances to not sell, as those margins are unheard in brick and mortar businesses and tbh, if they were not my friends, they offered to buy the assets. Corona killed lots of small businesses, believe it or not - Online businesses thrived for the most part, even B2B business, not just consumer focused ones. There's definitely a shift happening with investors sitting on cash - just look at the broker marketplaces and multiples are through the roof right now.
 
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Congrats on the sale.
Your site structure - did you break things into categories, tags, silo?

Organising writers, you mentioned trello. Any ninja skills you have with that? If you have plans for 100+ articles boards can get messy.

Finally - images and videos. Do you have a graphic designer? Images left to editor? Video and other graphic assets were done by yourself?

Thanks for taking the time to post.
 
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Your site structure - did you break things into categories, tags, silo?
We broke into simple categories and made the noindex. We dont ever use Tags, just had no reason to use them.

Organising writers, you mentioned trello. Any ninja skills you have with that? If you have plans for 100+ articles boards can get messy.
Yes, so we'd create a board for each site, then add writers to them. then upload topics for each writer with content briefs in each card with detailed information about what we needed for the content. usually topics to cover, article layout and expected products/services to review.

Once they finished an article, we would have them move it to another column that would notify us that the article was finished and reading for editing, etc.

Finally - images and videos. Do you have a graphic designer? Images left to editor? Video and other graphic assets were done by yourself?
We created all featured images 100% in-house with article main kw in the image to get some OCR recognition from it!

As for in-content images, we just used basic product/service images from the manufacturer website!.

Thanks
 
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Congratulations! Would you mind expanding on your process for finding these program?

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
 
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Congratulations! Would you mind expanding on your process for finding these program?
Thank you - usually just look through competitors' sites to find out who they advertise with and then search in google for "referral program" + brand name (or "affiliate program") and then check their sites to see if they have an in-house program. If not, you'll need to reach out to someone at the company and get a call or email to discuss being accepted into their program. Many of these private affiliate programs are very lucrative and rarely advertise on big aff networks.

Did you use pagination for category pages?
Yes, category pages show 20~ posts and are paginated. Again, category pages are noindex (but set to "follow" for meta robots to all for better crawling) to ensure there is no duplicate content showing in serps.
 
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I would like to know about the content you created for these sites.

How good would you say it was? Was every article the best/most helpful result for its primary query? Was the same information available anywhere else?

Secondly, how rich would you say the content was? Did you conduct any original research, take any original photos/screenshots, or create any original diagrams, inforgraphcs or tables?

At least for me, content quality is a difficult balance to strike, hence the questions!

Thanks for doing this BTW!
 
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How good would you say it was? Was every article the best/most helpful result for its primary query? Was the same information available anywhere else?

Yes, we went into the sites with the thought of eventually flipping them (although we didn't think this would get such a big cash out), we wrote all content to be the best amongst any competitors, all of which has DA65+ sites and were big players in the industry.

It was a good mix of info content and BoFU type articles - about 2:1 (info/bofu) content and we much of the info content was long, extensive and researched and written by professionals in the field who had very deep knowledge of the subjects they wrote about.

Secondly, how rich would you say the content was? Did you conduct any original research, take any original photos/screenshots, or create any original diagrams, inforgraphcs or tables?

Much of the content was put together by us, we did very little "rewriting" per say and if we did, it was expanded upon much more than the original pieces and expanded in depth, by adding other topics very closely related to the main KW topic.

We had custom screenshots that were edited very well and water-marked, as people started to use our images and scrape from our site, all diagrams were original and tables were original. We did very few (maybe 1-2) infographics.

Thanks!
 
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Yes, we went into the sites with the thought of eventually flipping them (although we didn't think this would get such a big cash out), we wrote all content to be the best amongst any competitors, all of which has DA65+ sites and were big players in the industry.

It was a good mix of info content and BoFU type articles - about 2:1 (info/bofu) content and we much of the info content was long, extensive and researched and written by professionals in the field who had very deep knowledge of the subjects they wrote about.



Much of the content was put together by us, we did very little "rewriting" per say and if we did, it was expanded upon much more than the original pieces and expanded in depth, by adding other topics very closely related to the main KW topic.

We had custom screenshots that were edited very well and water-marked, as people started to use our images and scrape from our site, all diagrams were original and tables were original. We did very few (maybe 1-2) infographics.

Thanks!
Congrats. It's brilliant that your quality and dedication paid off. Did you use SurferSEO/POP or any tools to help when planning/crafting the content?
 
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Congrats. It's brilliant that your quality and dedication paid off. Did you use SurferSEO/POP or any tools to help when planning/crafting the content?
Hi Thank you!

We didn't use any on-site optimization tools then, but we have started to use an array of them now - in terms of which one is best, I cant answer that one for you, as we just started to use them in the last 4-5 months and some are better than others, but they all have issues imo.

Thanks!
 

secretagentdad

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Hi Thank you!

We didn't use any on-site optimization tools then, but we have started to use an array of them now - in terms of which one is best, I cant answer that one for you, as we just started to use them in the last 4-5 months and some are better than others, but they all have issues imo.

Thanks!
So what exactly did you use for other stuff?

I'm trying to figure out how to make the most helpful possible small item tools for people who build sites exactly like yours. What can you get value out of as far as editorial process tools?
 
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Many thanks for the answers and hats off to your success!

I understand the sites are in the finance sector?

Thank you
 
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I'm trying to figure out how to make the most helpful possible small item tools for people who build sites exactly like yours. What can you get value out of as far as editorial process tools?

Hey! Currently we're using a mix of on-page tools, including MarketMuse and PageOptimizer Pro. We're looking into clearscope now as well - Apparently they have a Plugin for WordPress that you can optimize all content within WordPress rather than going back and forth from their interface to your site (copy/paste/etc).

Many thanks for the answers and hats off to your success!

I understand the sites are in the finance sector?

Thank you

I actually didn't mention which niche/category these sites where in, as I'm under NDA/Non-compete. Thanks
 

MinstrelJunkie

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Thanks so much for this thread - huge congratulations on the sale. Kudos for doubling down with the multiple sites in one niche!

Would appreciate understanding your video strategy - How did you make these? Are we talking you (or someone) on camera with the product/activity of the article? Or a slideshow with an outsourced voiceover? Were these entirely outsourced, or done by you/in-house?

We're primarily monetized through ads and apparently video can give you a huge RPM bump. We really need to get into it, but not sure how without it just being fluff.
 
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Hey, you said you had like 250k or 300k traffic per month? Was that all sites combined or for each site? You were able to pull in approx 80k or something revenue from that?!?! Without any email list or your own product...

Also, you mentioned you only had around 250 articles?!?!? Is this like total for all sites or like each site had that many so the total would be like 1250 articles? Most people I know who make your kind of money seem to have way more than 250 articles.

You mentioned in the thread somewhere affiliate/leadgen <- Do you do leadgen? Is leadgen better than affiliate??
 
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Hi, thanks for the questions!

ya, so combined traffic was about 500k or so, the biggest site had about 250k+ a month.

250 for the biggest site, this was a portfolio of sites and others had around 80-120 or so.

Pure affiliate!

Thanks
 
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We were approached by several buyers via Cold email
I realize this is an old thread but thought I would ask, would you be able to make an introduction to these buyers if they are still making acquisitions? We're looking to sell a lead generation site making $20k/mo (all free SEO traffic)
 
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I'm under NDA/Non-compete, I cant share any specifics of the buyers with anyone. I would suggest finding competitors and reaching out to them and ask if they would like to buy it - you'd be shocked at some responses. I've sold ecom sites (smaller deals in the XX,XXX range) to competitors and they just let the sites die so they wouldn't have to compete with them.