Dating Site Case Study – Final Update + Site Is For Sale!

mushfiq sarker

This will be the final update for this successful case study site. I’ve personally owned this site since April 2019, and an investment partner was brought for part-ownership in January 2020. Since then we’ve significantly grown the site to an average of $9,000/mo, diversified to multiple lucrative revenue streams, weathered through many Google updates, and have grown the site’s authority.

This is a one-of-a-kind business that you will NOT find in brokerages or another one like it out there. We are now actively looking to sell the website to a new owner that can take it to the next level!

In this update, I cover the following:

  • March update
  • Website’s highlights, revenues, costs
  • What’s included with the sale
  • Major upsides for a new owner
  • Why we are selling
  • Sale valuation + next steps

For the previous update in February, check out this post, or check out all the posts here.

📊 March 2021 Traffic and Income Stats

📉 Pageviews

  • September 2020: 27,032
  • October 2020: 29,306
  • November 2020: 30,016
  • December 2020: 44,182
  • January 2021: 44,439
  • February 2021: 39,796
  • March 2021: 38,148

March 2021 Traffic Breakdown

rs l30days

Traffic Breakdown (L12M)


AHREFs Metrics

Screen Shot 2021 04 07 at 1.14.38 PM

💰 Revenue

The website continues to cash flow. Here is the breakdown:

  • Revenue: $9,716
  • Cost: $250
  • Profit: $9,466

The costs were spread as follows: $191 for content updates, $15 for server hosting fees, and $44 for 3-year domain renewal fees.

Last 12-mo P&L


📊 Website Highlights, Revenues, Costs

This is a one-of-a-kind website to hit the market for sale. I am not just saying that because it’s my website.

Here are the highlights:

  • Aged branded domain (with branded searches) since October 2006
  • Ahrefs DR 44
  • 873 Referring domains backlinks from NY Times, CNN, Washington Post, Wikipedia, HuffPost, NBC News, CBC, AOL, AARP, US Military (.gov), US Embassy (.gov), Yahoo News, Trip Advisor, Business Insider, and hundreds of others
  • Ranking for 18,200 keywords with 38,000 page views
  • Diversified traffic to all pages; the highest page brings in 6.78% of total traffic!
  • 872,486 published words across 540 articles
  • Lucrative affiliate deals in place paying out high affiliate payments per sale
  • High-quality Google EAT signals
  • New website design on a fast tech stack (GeneratePress, WP Rocket, etc)
  • Passes Google Core Web Vitals
  • The website is optimized for high clickthrough rates with popups, call-to-action boxes, product boxes, etc.

Here are some setbacks with the site:

  • The majority of keywords in the primary niche have been targeted; need to brand out to shoulder niches
  • Without more traffic, affiliate partners will not increase payouts further

Website Revenues

In terms of revenue, here are the averages:

  • L1M: $9,760
  • L3M: $9,235
  • L6M: $8,359
  • L9M: $8,057
  • L12M: $8,626

Website Operating Costs (OpEx)

The ongoing costs to manage the website include 2 articles per month at $30 per article, and hosting fees. The hosting requirements are not anything special; can be hosted on your current server. The upkeep is minimal.

What’s included with the sale?

The following is included:

  1. Website files
  2. Social media accounts (Pinterest, Facebook)
  3. Transfer of site to your host
  4. Clickmagick link tracking account
  5. Affiliate relationships with negotiated rates
  6. Contact information for an expert writer in this niche at $30/article (no word limit)
  7. Contact information to two website operators that can take over management (if desired)
  8. Contact information for agencies that can provide more content
  9. Contact information to link building services
  10. 2-hours of consulting calls with me post-sale


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📈 What Are The Easy Wins For The New Buyer?

Both my business partner and I are focused on other businesses. We are not able to take the site to further heights. Here are the upsides that we see:

1. Update/Revamp/Rewrite Content

Many of the articles were posted back in 2018/2019 and were never touched. We’ve done content audits to remove content, but we have not done a major revamp of existing content. This should be done by the new owner.

This includes:

  1. Updating existing content title tags from 2019/2020 to 2021
  2. Adding FAQs (with FAQ schema) to existing content
  3. Updating content with content optimization tools like SurferSEO and/or MarketMuse

2. Test Different CTR Opportunities

Due to lack of time, we never tested different CTR optimization opportunities. Examples include:

  1. Color of CTA buttons
  2. Text of CTA buttons
  3. Popup text, buttons, when popup happens, etc

Due to the existing domain authority, most articles rank quickly. However, more lucrative terms require more backlinks. We have not built any backlinks to the site since acquiring it. All new links have been naturally obtained due to the existing authority of the site.

We recommend strategically building links to inner “money” pages.

4. Develop a Consulting Service

The niche of this site lends itself to partner or build out a consulting business. The rates can be upwards of $250/hour.

We wrote a detailed industry trends report that covers the industry. The plan was to use this as a “skyscraper” page to build new links. The new owner can follow through with this plan.

6. Target Shoulder Niches

We’ve started to target shoulder niches and do receive some traffic. However, we have not fully started to produce content in these shoulder niches.

You can do the following:

  1. Write fresh content in these shoulder niches (easy to find writers for these topics)
  2. Buy an existing site with content, move content over, and do a redirect

7. Implement Display Ads

We did a trial with Ezoic in the past. However, we decided to remove it because (1) our website was on an old tech stack and it slowed down the site, and (2) we were still trying to figure out affiliate monetization.

At this stage, you can implement display ads with Ezoic. The RPMs should be higher than $20, thus generating an additional $600/mo.

8. Test Affiliate Offers For Specific Pages

The top traffic pages are not bringing in significant revenue. This is an upside for the new buyer to optimize these pages with the right offers that convert better the ones we’ve place. There are several pages like this.

To wrap up the upsides, there are other opportunities such as creating a digital product and/or introducing a newsletter (not ideal but possible) that can be done. However, those will take more effort than the above upsides and are not necessarily easy-win opportunities.

🤷‍♂️ Why Are We Selling?

These are the primary reasons why we are selling:

1. Lack of time to update content: a website needs upkeep in the form of updating content to keep things fresh. With over 850 articles, this is a large undertaking that requires time and also motivation. A new owner will be motivated to make content changes.

2. New projects take precedence: I enjoy the growth phase of a website. When things stabilize, I get less interested. I learned this over the last year about my personality. This site would be better take care of in someone else’s hands.

3. Cash infusion for new projects: My business partner and I both have a portfolio of businesses. Especially for me, I would use the proceeds to further build out to be the #1 resource for website flippers, and also a portion of the funds will go into my portfolio of sites.

4. Lack of interest to try different tactics: Due to the growth of our other sites, those are taking up our time. We do not have the bandwidth to manage the asset to try out-of-the-box tactics to grow revenues.

My partner and I are both website flippers by heart. This is what we do; we grow and sell sites.

💰 What’s The Sale Price? Next Steps…

We are placing a valuation on this site at approximately $350,000, which is roughly a 40X multiple on the last 6 months’ revenues.

This valuation is justified due to the authority of the domain, private affiliate deals in place, uniqueness of the niche with minimal competition, and high revenue per visitor metrics.

These are the next steps, if interested:

  1. Fill out the Google Form
  2. I will request proof of funds screenshot (redacted)
  3. I will give you access to domain URL, P&L, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, etc.

Proof of funds will be needed before we share any confidential information. This is to ensure you are a serious buyer. Then we can open it up to Q&A via email and/or phone calls.

🙏 Thank You!

Thank you all for following along on this journey!

I purchased this website for $36,000 in April 2019 when it was earning just $800/mo, which was valued at a 45x multiple. The site has grown significantly since then and has weathered various Google updates.

While operating this site, I’ve developed my skillsets further, such as:

  • Building a content writing team
  • Optimizing for conversion rates
  • Negotiating lucrative deals with affiliate partners
  • Recovering from Google algorithmic updates
  • And so much more…

To read all of the details, check out all of the case studies here. That’s it for this case study! Stay tuned for future ones!

mushfiq sarker

Analyzed by Mushfiq Sarker

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 218+ website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. He is the founder of The Website Flip. Check out all Mushfiq's articles, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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