I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Craig Campbell from The Craig Campbell SEO Podcast show. We discuss various strategies that I implement when buying, monetizing, and selling websites.
Check it out!
Interview Video and Podcast
Video the video below:
Listen to the podcast below:
Interview Show Notes
On this episode of the Craig Campbell SEO podcast, Craig sits down with Mushfiq to discuss various strategies that Mushfiq implements when buying, monetizing and selling websites. Mushfiq discusses his use of Flippa to find sites built by hobby bloggers and explains when selling on Flippa is a good idea.
Additionally, also discusses various elements of websites and their digital presence including backlinks, expired and aged domains, social media integration, affiliate partnerships, and website content. Throughout the interview, he offers advice that is useful for all website flippers no matter their level of experience.
Mushfiq’s Background (1:27-3:18)
- Mushfiq built his first website in 2008 and sold it in 2010. Since then, he has bought and sold more than 175 websites.
- His main strategy is buying distressed websites, implementing SEO and CRO techniques during various stages of the growth process, holding the site for 6 to 12 months, and selling at a minimum of ten times his purchase price.
A Brief Look at SEO (3:19-6:07)
- Mushfiq’s background is in engineering, not SEO, so he has had to “learn SEO from the ground up” (3:35-37).
- When purchasing a site, Mushfiq implements the first SEO changes himself and then hires a site operator to take over the day-to-day operations of the site.
- Most of the initial high revenue-generating SEO changes can be done within the first month.
About Flippa (6:08-7:57)
- Mushfiq has been using Flippa since 2010, where he is a Super Seller and registered broker.
- Mushfiq uses Flippa to find sites built by hobby bloggers which are generating high rates of traffic with low monthly revenue. These sites tend to have high quality, authoritative content but are under-monetized, which leaves Mushfiq room to increase revenue quickly and easily.
- Other website marketplaces are more likely to have websites that have been built-for-sale by other website flippers but which lack the growth potential of websites built by hobby bloggers.
Finding Easy Wins (7:58-10:21)
- To figure out if websites are worth purchasing, Mushfiq first ensures that the niche is good and the domain brandable. Then he examines the top 10 pages using Google Analytics to assess for commercial intent and what CRO elements could be added to increase revenue on those pages.
- CRO elements that could be added include comparison tables, affiliate links, distinctly colored call-to-action buttons, display ads, and product boxes.
- Additionally, assessing the potential for unique affiliate partnerships is also important.
- If a website is missing these elements and has the potential for unique affiliate partnerships, Mushfiq knows that he has an easy win and is willing to pay multiples much higher than the industry average to close the auction.
About Backlinks and Expired Domains (10:22-14:42)
- When buying sites, Mushfiq seeks those which have authoritative backlinks and aged domains.
- Mushfiq does not build backlinks unless it’s needed.
- Purchasing aged domains with authoritative backlinks is generally preferred to purchasing expired domains or building backlinks from scratch.
Social Media and Affiliate Partnerships (14:43-21:38)
- Two tools that can be used to increase revenue on a website are 1) social media and 2) unique affiliate partnerships.
- When Mushfiq purchased a website in the outdoor niche, he also received a Facebook page with around 180,000 followers and a group with around 50,000. To realize the growth potential of these and other social media assets, Mushfiq hired a social media manager.
- As part of his general strategy, Mushfiq aims to diversify his affiliate partnerships by building direct relationships with brands to ensure higher commission rates.
TheWebsiteFlip.com vs EasyWins.io (21:39-24:56)
- In addition to TheWebsiteFlip.com, Mushfiq operates EasyWins.io.
- TheWebsiteFlip.com is a free resource with guides to help buyers immediately grow their site after acquisition.
- EasyWins.io is designed for someone who is going to buy a site or already has several sites and is looking for ways to “tweek out more revenue or more growth” (23:36-41) by offering subscribers access to a series of strategies Mushfiq uses to increase revenue on his sites.
Selling a Website (24:57-31:46)
- There are several reasons why Mushfiq will sell a website: 1) After growth plateaus, he becomes bored, 2) When a website enters the decay stage of its life-cycle, Mushfiq liquidates if he’s not interested in producing new content, and 3) If Mushfiq doesn’t see himself growing in a particular niche after around a year in that niche, he will sell all related sites.
- Mushfiq says that website buyers are currently looking for websites with a maximum cost of $100,000. The more expensive a website becomes, the lower the number of potential buyers.
- The longest time it has taken Mushfiq to sell a website was 2 months. This was mostly due to the time it took for international money transfers to complete. Often, the longest part of selling a website is waiting for the monetary transactions after a deal has been negotiated.
About Content Generation (33:25-36:36)
- Within the first month after acquiring a site, Mushfiq generates a large number of new articles. After the initial growth stage, Mushfiq decreases the total amount of content produced per month. For example, he generated 100 articles within the first month of acquiring a site in the outdoor niche. This number has now dropped to around 30 to 40 new articles per month.
- When producing content, Mushfiq ensures that only high-quality content is published on his sites. He does this by hiring expert niche writers and testing them before giving them consistent work.
- To determine what sort of content should be generated on the site, Mushfiq performs high-level keyword research and generates an article title which he supplies to the writers. Because the writers are experts in their niche, they can generate high-quality content from a keyword-specific title without an outline or other information.
- Mushfiq’s multi-step process for creating content includes 1) publishing a piece of content as a page on his site, 2) allowing traffic to organically grow over several months, 3) determining which pages are the best performing after that period, and 4) implementing a series of CRO techniques on the best-performing pages.
- Every quarter, Mushfiq performs a content audit. Articles that are non-relevant to the site and producing little traffic are culled.