Just Sold My Portfolio for 7 Figures USD, AMA.

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So, as promised, here is my AMA thread.

In the last 10 months I have sold my portfolio of websites for a cumulative figure north of 7 figures USD$. I have found this forum useful over the time I have been a member so I would like to provide advice / my experience to anyone who may be interested as a way of "paying it back".

In the interests of clarity - I will not be revealing the niche or category of any of the sites I have sold out of respect for the new owners. Other than that feel free to ask away.

Also - I am pretty blunt as some of you may also know. If it seems rude it is not intended as such, I just believe in getting to the point.

1....2.....3........Go!
 

secretagentdad

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Hell yeah. This threads gonna be epic.

How many sites? What was the biggest / smallest?

What kinda sites? How much content. What traffic source focus worked best for you?
 
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Hell yeah. This threads gonna be epic.

How many sites? What was the biggest / smallest?

What kinda sites? How much content. What traffic source focus worked best for you?
3 sites in total, split roughly 70/20/10% between each in terms of total revenue from the sale.

All content based sites, each with a mountain of content on each (1,000 posts on each)

Organic Search and some organic social.

What now?

Several pints of Guinness and then I am looking for new projects.

Already got one new content site starting from scratch with @CCarter avalanche approach in place. Will be ready to sell in 24 months.

Always on the lookout for other sites to buy so if anyone has any for sale - PM me.
 
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Already got one new content site starting from scratch with @CCarter avalanche approach in place. Will be ready to sell in 24 months.
I'm sure I'll have some more questions for you when I'm done my day of writing, but to tide me over, I was wondering if you could elaborate on this a bit more. Meaning, you stated that this new project will be ready to sell in 24 months. Are you able to predict how long this website will take to grow, etc. based off of your experience? Or, is the 24-month sale the ultimate goal, regardless of the traffic, earnings, etc.
 
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I'm sure I'll have some more questions for you when I'm done my day of writing, but to tide me over, I was wondering if you could elaborate on this a bit more. Meaning, you stated that this new project will be ready to sell in 24 months. Are you able to predict how long this website will take to grow, etc. based off of your experience? Or, is the 24-month sale the ultimate goal, regardless of the traffic, earnings, etc.

Based on my experience and revenue expectations -

Ultimately I do not want one site within my portfolio to account for too much of the total revenue so once this new site gets to a target revenue that I can sell for $300k-$400k I will sell.

Assuming a x36 multiple that means it should be earning 10k per month or $330 per day.

To get to that point I know I need to generate ballpark 20k sessions per day.

To get to that I estimate it will take me 24 months.

I will be launching more sites in the coming months so they are all ready to sell within 6 months of each other. Basically I am aiming for another 7 figures in the next two years if not sooner.
 
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How are you going to use the million dollars? I am going to assume that you won't let the money get devoured by inflation by sitting in your account.

What kind of investments are you looking at? Considering you won't possibly need a lot of money for launching the new sites.
 
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How are you going to use the million dollars? I am going to assume that you won't let the money get devoured by inflation by sitting in your account.

What kind of investments are you looking at? Considering you won't possibly need a lot of money for launching the new sites.
Still working through that thought process, most likely stocks and shares and property.

It takes me an average of 30k to build out very large content sites so I will keep 200k to one side and build 6-7 sites. If 3/6 sites make it I will be happy.
 
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Congrats. What were the main sources of revenue for the sites?
 
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Is there any specific strategy you use for getting a good RPM? Just a good network, your type of niche, or how display ads fit in with your content?
I start with Adsense and then as traffic ramps up I will add - Monumetric, PlayBuzz, Media.net, Revcontent.

Then once traffic is really moving I will ditch all of the above and move to a more premium single source ad network.
 

secretagentdad

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3 sites in total, split roughly 70/20/10% between each in terms of total revenue from the sale.

All content based sites, each with a mountain of content on each (1,000 posts on each)

Organic Search and some organic social.
You drip that content out or post all of it at once?

Whats your content creation process like. That's more content on each of your sites than all of my sites put together. How are you handling the scaling? @Philip J. Fry has some big content sites to. He might like this topic.
 
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Based on my experience and revenue expectations -

Ultimately I do not want one site within my portfolio to account for too much of the total revenue so once this new site gets to a target revenue that I can sell for $300k-$400k I will sell.

Assuming a x36 multiple that means it should be earning 10k per month or $330 per day.

To get to that point I know I need to generate ballpark 20k sessions per day.

To get to that I estimate it will take me 24 months.

I will be launching more sites in the coming months so they are all ready to sell within 6 months of each other. Basically I am aiming for another 7 figures in the next two years if not sooner.
Thanks for your response! How hands-on were you in the creation of content when you first began building websites? Did you write all the content yourself for your first website or did you purchase articles right from the start of your journey?
 
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This is huge, congrats and thanks for hosting this AMA.

What was your favourite/most effective way of link building?
I built about 20 links in total across the three sites lol. I have never focused on links at all yet as my sites became authorities major sites started linking to them organically which was great.

I did get friendly (via my persona on the site) with a journalist who wrote for some major sites and she would often reference and link to the sites just because. That was amazing and she would regularly hit me up for quotes and my input into her articles. Sites she wrote for were DA 70+ MAJOR sites.

Pro tip - always have a friendly persona as the face of your website. The journalist would never have hit me up if she thought I was a marketer. She hit up the face of the BRAND.

You drip that content out or post all of it at once?

Whats your content creation process like. That's more content on each of your sites than all of my sites put together. How are you handling the scaling? @Philip J. Fry has some big content sites to. He might like this topic.

Post as much as possible as soon as possible. Once you get the sites loaded with amazing content and the traffic starts to ramp up, drip content.

This means your profit levels are maxed out for the 12 months prior to selling your site and you will get a bigger valuation because all the investment in content was in the early days of the site.

In the very early days I wrote the content and bust my balls doing so whilst working a job and dealing with challenging life circumstances.

As soon as I could afford it I got writers on board and ramped up to 30-60k workds per week every week for MONTHS.

This is a major problem I see with many case studies here. Even relatively successful ones. Adding two 1.5k word articles a week is bullshit. You will be 98 years old before you move the needle.

Stop messing around the edges and commit. If you dont have the budget write it yourself.

When I started I was broke so I rolled my sleeves up and worked night and day.

If you want it.... You'll do it.
 
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What venues did you sell the sites?
Your "final" ad networks were like Adthrive?
Was there ever any affiliate angle/potential on your niches? Assume not, hence display?
 
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What venues did you sell the sites?
Your "final" ad networks were like Adthrive?
Was there ever any affiliate angle/potential on your niches? Assume not, hence display?

I used Empire Flippers to sell all three. The service and attention to detail there has been excellent.

Yes - Adthrive and Mediavine.

There was affiliate angles with all the sites but tbh once I got the display revenues dialled in I was reluctant to start adding affiliate offers. TBH I should have and in each case it is a huge easy win for the new owners to instantly add an additional 4-5 figures per month in revenue.

As I type this I am now thinking why the hell did I not pursue this.

C'est la vie.
 

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Congratulations, and especially getting this done without link building.

You mentioned each of the three sites had about 1000 posts. What was the age of these sites when you sold them? How long did it take for them to "pop" and begin earning something respectable? How front-loaded were they with content, like did you publish 500 in a quick hurry and drip the last 500 or what?

3 sites in total, split roughly 70/20/10% between each in terms of total revenue from the sale.
I did a package deal once like this with almost the exact same numbers. 3 sites at that spread. It's a great way to make the buyer feel like they're getting a better deal, especially if they're all related, vertical or niche-wise.

As soon as I could afford it I got writers on board and ramped up to 30-60k workds per week every week for MONTHS.
Did you hire and train anyone to help with the posting or was it fairly standard and simple to format and post? Did you feel the need to do much editing? Did they posters handle on-page optimization or did you go in and do that? Who sourced images? Basically, how did this keyword to writing to publishing process play out?
 

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Congrats and thanks for sharing

You mentioned that a major problem you see in case studies here is that people are not publishing nearly enough content. Are there any other common missteps/problems that you've observed?
 
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Congratulations, and especially getting this done without link building.

You mentioned each of the three sites had about 1000 posts. What was the age of these sites when you sold them? How long did it take for them to "pop" and begin earning something respectable? How front-loaded were they with content, like did you publish 500 in a quick hurry and drip the last 500 or what?



I did a package deal once like this with almost the exact same numbers. 3 sites at that spread. It's a great way to make the buyer feel like they're getting a better deal, especially if they're all related, vertical or niche-wise.



Did you hire and train anyone to help with the posting or was it fairly standard and simple to format and post? Did you feel the need to do much editing? Did they posters handle on-page optimization or did you go in and do that? Who sourced images? Basically, how did this keyword to writing to publishing process play out?

Thank you.

The smallest site was about 16 months old.

I bought one that was about 10 years old when I sold.

I built one from scratch and it was about 7 years in the making.

It took about 2 years for each to "pop" as in start to generate revenue that was significant. After that each year saw exponential growth - in some cases traffic and revenues doubled each year. Crazy good.

1000 posts was the smallest site. The largest was nearly 2000 posts and in every instance I published as much as I could as quickly as possible and then dripped a few a month to keep freshness.

JUST FYI - These were not sold as a package. They were sold individually at different times and in different niches.

At the peak of my publishing push across the three sites I was doing 100k words per week across the three.

I was able to do this with four writers, one uploader and one image guy from fiverr. Lol.

They all worked to templates that I created and I was responsible for kw research and themes.

The uploader was responsible for editing.

I was a project manager and worked very little on the sites in the later stages.

Congrats and thanks for sharing

You mentioned that a major problem you see in case studies here is that people are not publishing nearly enough content. Are there any other common missteps/problems that you've observed?

Good question.

I think an obsession with perfection is a big problem. Tweaking things to be perfect or spending two weeks on a logo is bullshit. When you have zero money in the bank is working on a logo going to pay the bills?

Let go of formatting and editing like you work for Vogue. Its a website - publish, get attention, monetize and refine.

Small thinking is also an issue.

I tackled major niches with zero expertise and found a side door into each. The biggest site became world famous and from side door entry it dominates to this day.

Think big.
 

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Wow. Congrats.

No focus on building backlinks, all pure content.

I wonderd about this churning out content thing.

Do you think pages with longer content are better?

ie:
400 words vs 1k words vs 10k words

Same level of quality.

Does search value more words?

Do you get a lower bounce rate on a particular one?

Does user retention go higher with one?


Also do you think this can work for building a brand? I did this for a store once to help them generate traffic.
 
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This question isn't about niche or topic.

But what were these sites?

Are they sites like news sites, how to sites, Amazon sites ( Im thinking now since you didn't monetize that way )? Im not wanting to know the niche, just what "style" or "kind" of site it was just for reference.

That is, if you can allude to it.
 
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If your strategy is built around uploading a lot of content, why do you spread the content across multiple sites instead of one?

In other words why do you start multiple sites? Is it because you find that all of your sites have a saturation point in terms of content or is it because you don’t know which site is a winner until much later and you want to diversify to improve your chances?

If you have a winning site that is growing, would you still start another site?