I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Ryan Condie’s Let’s Buy A Business podcast. I share the concept of buying/selling content websites, how I set up partnerships, and investment criteria.
Check it out!
Interview Show Notes
Since 2010, Mushfiq has flipped over 175 websites. In this interview with Ryan Condie, he offers listeners a peek into his basic strategy for success. He discusses where he finds websites to purchase and the criteria he considers before purchasing. Additionally, he explains why he focuses on building content sites and the strategies he has developed for building successful teams and hiring quality writers. Much of his success is due to his ability to follow due diligence prior to making purchase, a practice all website flippers must learn to hone.
About Mushfiq (1:38-4:33)
- Mushfiq states, “My businesses are: I buy distressed websites that are under-performing…I fix up my websites, which means increasing revenue, and then decide to either flip it or hold it” (1:38-1:59).
- He built his first website in 2008 and made his first sale in 2010 to Slashdot for $25,000.
- Mushfiq recommends that newcomers build their own website to understand the process before buying an existing site to flip.
Finding Websites (4:34-6:23)
Mushfiq cites three ways in which he currently finds websites:
- Public marketplaces, such as Flippa
- Private brokerages, such as Empire Flippers, Motion Invest, and Investor’s Club
- Mushfiq’s private network of niche websites buyers and sellers
For other options, check out this guide on various brokers.
Types of Websites Mushfiq Looks for (6:24-8:04)
Several criteria that Mushfiq looks for when purchasing a site includes:
- Well-aged: having been around for possibly decades
- Built by “hobby bloggers” (6:28-6:29) not specialists who have built the site as a business asset
- Established authority
- Content sites
Why Focus on Content Sites? (8:05-9:44)
- Content sites rank well with Google search engines
- Replicating effective SEO strategies, integrating authoritative backlinks, and other methods of increasing traffic and revenue can be done simply across all content sites.
- Content sites are simpler to start up compared to other types of websites.
- When purchasing a content site from a hobbyist, Mushfiq can easily redesign the site to increase revenue by up to 10x within a month or two using SEO techniques and monetization strategies that have proven consistently effective.
Building a Team for Website Flipping (9:45-12:43)
- In the past, Mushfiq acted as the sole website operator of sites he owned, delegating tasks to virtual assistants.
- Now instead of acting as the sole delegator, Mushfiq hires “quasi-website operators” (10:04-10:06)
- There are two main types of website operators: 1) Hands off operators who hire a website operation team to manage the site for a monthly fee, and 2) Quasi-website operators, which are tasked with about 80-90% of the daily, repetitive tasks while the website owner focuses on growth strategies, brand partnerships, and other similar tasks.
- Two types of website operators hired by Mushfiq: 1) Operators as virtual assistants who do sub-tasks as a process of learning how to buy, grow, and sell websites on their own, and 2) Former owners of sites Mushfiq has purchased, whom Mushfiq hires to manage the site as part of the same learning process.
Partnerships from a Content Site (12:44-18:25)
- Brands are willing to engage in developing partnerships when proof of traffic, proof of conversions, and other important metrics are proven.
- Partnerships are either revenue based or SEO based.
- Revenue based partnerships are established when brands are promoted on the site for a commission rate or fixed monthly fee.
- SEO based partnerships are established through strategic guest posting on e-commerce websites.
- Mushfiq avoids cold outreach.
- Some of Mushfiq’s revenue is generated through Amazon-based partnerships.
Finding Expert Writers (18:26-20:38)
- Mushfiq’s primary source for findings writers is through Upwork.
- He starts by hiring about 10-15 writers to write a paid trial article, of which he picks 2-3 to continue testing.
- “Most…give up after a while, but 1 or 2 stay on long term, and they become the asset of that business” (18:57-19:04).
- Mushfiq pays writers by the article, word, or project.
- Writers are treated as employers and give them regular bonuses and credit them for the articles they write so that they can build their portfolio over time.
- Mushfiq is able to offer writers 100-200 articles per month, which is significant compared to that standard client.
For more details, check out this guide on hiring writers.
Due Diligence on Website’s Without Expertise (20:39-22:12)
- Mushfiq states, “My expertise is in due diligence.” (20:48-20:50)
- He does not outsource due diligence.
- “I think that if you’re entering any online business, you have to master due diligence before anything else” (21:21-31).
- Due diligence must be performed prior to purchasing a website in order to assess whether it possesses reasonable growth potential for the cost.
Criteria for Holding Onto Website Instead of Selling (22:13-23:35)
Mushfiq cites the following criteria for holding rather than selling a site:
- Good SEO backlink profile with authoritative backlinks that cannot be easily replicated
- Growth potential and opportunities for high commission product promotions within the website’s niche market