page title icon Outdoor Site Case Study (August 2021): New Advertiser, Plans to Sell Digital Products

Mushfiq

This outdoor authority site earned $3,896 in August 2021 compared to $3,208 in July 2021. In the previous few months, the site was placed into the “maintenance phase” of the website flip lifecycle. It still is operating in the same phase to maximize profits and build a “war chest” for future investments.

In August, I spent time figuring out what needs to be done to take this site to the next level. I cover the following in this month’s write-up:

  1. Website metrics from August 2021
  2. Profit and loss breakdown
  3. How I negotiated a direct display advertisement deal
  4. How I am setting up digital product sales funnel for 7 e-books
  5. 1-month site revamp plans in prep for Q4

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

Let’s get into it! You don’t want to miss this one.



๐Ÿ“ˆ Site Recap

  • Purchased in April 2020 for $23,000 from Flippa auctions. The site was earning $300/mo.
  • 60,000-90,000 pageviews per month on average depending on time of year
  • AHREFs DR of 51 with backlinks from NY Times, Wikihow, Wikipedia, NY Post, Marketwatch, and 2,000 other niche relevant referring domains
  • Website has been active since 2010
  • 863 articles published, 849,778 words total
  • 12 different revenue streams including Amazon Associates, private brand partnerships, affiliate networks, and display ads
  • Email campaign with 32 emails that get sent to new subscribers
  • Two dedicated writers who are niche experts

๐Ÿ“ˆ Highlights

  • 14 published articles
  • Direct advertiser reached out for a display ad spot

๐Ÿ“‰ Setbacks 

  • No keyword research or plans for future content
  • Minimal time spent on the site myself

๐Ÿ“Š August 2021 Website Metrics

Traffic Breakdown

From July to August, the traffic page views increased by 3.6%. See Google Analytics report below:

CleanShot 2021 09 14 at 15.51.56

Revenue Breakdown

Here is the breakdown of P&L for August 2021:

  • Revenue: $3,896
  • Costs: $647
  • Profit: $3,248.63

Cost Breakdown

Of the costs, $330 was spent on new content that was already in the pipeline from months ago. These articles will be published in future months. $330 equates to 10 articles so my average cost per article is $33.

About $305 was for VA costs which included formatting comparison tables for new content getting traction in the search engines, and content formatting costs.

Monthly P&L Chart

Check out the month-over-month breakdown of revenue vs costs:

image

Takeaways: I purchased the site in April 2020. I recouped my initial capital investment by roughly November 2020. Since then, the site has generated $20,750 of positive cash flow (after all costs). An excellent asset!


๐Ÿ‘‰ 2 Major Updates

๐Ÿ’ฐ How I Negotiated Monthly Fee for a Direct Display Advertiser

I received a cold message from an e-commerce brand in my niche that has an advertising budget they need to spend to promote one of their new products. They wanted to buy display advertising on my site.

They asked for a quote and placement information on the site. I actively have Ezoic running on the site so I needed to figure out which locations I was willing to place their ads, and what the fee would be for monthly advertisements.

Here is what I did to calculate the fixed monthly payment:

  1. Figure out the EPMVs on average on the site (using Ezoic dashboard)
  2. Find out the placement locations I wanted to place their ad
  3. Charge a 20% premium on top of my average EPMVs for a single ad slot

To figure out the average EPMVs, I was able to find that information from my Ezoic dashboard. Here is a visual snapshot:

CleanShot 2021 09 14 at

My average EPMV over a few months was $7.55.

The easiest location I could offer was the top-right sidebar location. This is where they could place a 300 by 300 pixel display ad.

I added a 20% premium on my existing EPMVs, thus $9.06 EPMV. I then analyzed my last 30 days of pageviews which equated to roughly 60,000.

To calculate the ad spot amount, it came out to:

Ad Spot Value ($) = EPMV * ( Pageviews / 1000)

My calculation landed me on a value of $543.60. I rounded it down to $500 and that was my final offer for a 30-day period. If they were willing to commit to a 3-month period, I would bring it down to $400/month.

They opted for a single month. I then added the display ad with a tracking link on my sidebar. Easy!

Takeaways: Use your EPMV/RPMs as a baseline then increase it by 20-30%. Use this as your offer to the advertiser.

๐Ÿ†• How I Am Setting Up Digital Product Sales Funnels

With this site, I acquire rights to 7 digital ebooks back in August 2020 that I have still not published for sale on the website (yes, I got lazy). Now, it’s time to get those added to the website with a proper sales funnel. The site also has 6 checklists that were being used as lead magnets to collect emails.

However, after managing the email list for a year now, I have come to the realization that the ROI is low and not leading to much revenue. Therefore, I am switching to selling digital products (instead of collecting emails for the time being) on the site as an experiment.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Checklists listed for $4.99 with a bump offer to buy the 7 digital e-books for $29.99
  2. E-books listed for $29.00 with a bump offer to buy the checklists for $4.99

Each main product will promote the other product as a shopping cart bump offer.

The shopping cart platform I plan to use is ThriveCart. I’ve been using them for all of my products such as consulting services, EasyWins, and EasyDiligence. It’s easy to setup, allows for Stripe and Paypal payments, and has options to do bump offers, downsells, and upsells.

Here is what the checkout looks like for EasyWins which will be mimicked for this outdoor site products:

CleanShot 2021 09 14 at

The goal is to have them buy the $29.99 e-book package. I will be promoting that strongly all over the site. The placements will be as follows:

  1. End of article call out box
  2. Mobile popup (exit intent and after 1 minute on page)
  3. Desktop popup (exit intent and after 1 minute on page)
  4. Desktop sidebar

Here is the progress we made in August on this strategy:

  1. Formatted the e-books into PDFs
  2. Started setting up the shopping carts with bump offers

We plan to go live with this in September 2021.

Takeaways: If you are planning on selling digital products, I highly recommend ThriveCart. The shopping cart converts extremely well. Stay tuned for the results from this experiment!



๐Ÿ‘‰ 1-Month Site Revamp Plans – Prepping for Q4

Here are the revamp plans that have been outsourced to a website operator:

  1. Perform CRO on top 30 pages (remove out of stock products, add better CTAs, etc)
  2. Perform on-page on 20 articles to move keywords in positions #4-#10 to top 3
  3. Interlinkg last 30 articles published
  4. Published pending articles (about 13 of them)
  5. Add comparison tables to 10 articles that are missing them

The changes outlined for the 1-month revamp will position the site for maximum revenue in Q4 2021. The site does very well in Q4 due to it being hunting season (which is a silo on the site) and also the holiday season.

Thatโ€™s it for this update. Stay tuned for next month’s update.



Mushfiq

Analyzed by Mushfiq S

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 200+ website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. Learn more about Mushfiq.


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