It was an honor to be featured on the Niche Pursuits podcast with Spencer Haws. In the podcast, I discussed many aspects of website flipping, including my strategies, and live case studies. I also did a live deep-dive into the easy wins on Spencer’s public site, OwnTheYard.com.
Check it out!
Interview Show Notes
Spencer Haws hosts Mushfiq on the Niche Pursuits Podcasts where Mushfiq performs a live audit of Spencer’s site Own The Yard. Additionally, Mushfiq offers a case study of an easy win he had in 2020 in which he grew a site from $300 to $3,000 in monthly revenue within one month.
He also takes a look at his site EasyWins.io where he offers subscribers a database of his most successful strategies. Lastly, he discusses his two-pronged strategy for website flipping, his processes of delegation, and how he can generate 50 to 100 articles per month on a single site while keeping labor costs low.
Mushfiq’s Two-Pronged Strategy for Website Flipping (7:16-12:08)
Mushfiq has a two-pronged strategy for buying, holding, and selling websites:
- Long-Term Strategy: He keeps websites within a particular vertical for a long period (between two to three years) and builds them into “essentially an influencer media company around the specific vertical” (8:46-8:51). These sites are then sold to strategic buyers who will purchase the sites at a higher multiple than the industry average.
- Short- to Mid-Term Strategy: He buys websites that have been built by hobbyists, have high-quality content, are receiving high rates of traffic, are considered authoritative in their niche, and are priced at $50,000 or less but which have not been properly monetized. Subsequently, he implements CRO and SEO strategies to rapidly increase monthly revenue. These websites are often sold with a minimum of 10x ROI within 3 to 18 months after acquisition.
A Case Study of an Easy Win (12:09-15:53)
For Mushfiq, an easy win is defined as a website whose monthly revenue can be increased by 10x within one to three months after the acquisition, slowly but steadily increased for several months thereafter, and then either sold or maintained as part of a longer-term strategy. Below is a short case study of an easy win:
- In April 2020, Mushfiq bought a site generating $300 in monthly revenue for $23,000 (75x the monthly revenue) in the outdoor niche.
- The monthly revenue was disproportionate to the rate of monthly traffic (approximately 100,000 organic visitors). Additionally, the site was well-aged (first built in 2010), was built by a hobbyist, and had high-quality content.
- Because the site met Mushfiq’s criteria for an easy win, he closed the deal within 24 hours. One month after close, Mushfiq had increased monthly revenue to $3,000.
- This site now operates as a long-term holding. It serves as a pillar site in Mushfiq’s portfolio around which other sites are built as part of an influencer media company within the outdoor vertical.
Content Production (15:54-17:38)
- Mushfiq’s primary focus is on producing consistent, high-quality content on all of his sites.
- As soon as a site is purchased, Mushfiq hires niche writers to generate large amounts of new content as part of the growth stage. For his outdoor niche website, he generated 100 articles within the first month.
- When the site moves from the growth to the stabilization stage, the total amount of content produced decreases. For example, total monthly content produced on the outdoor niche pillar site dropped from 100 articles in the first month to 55 articles eight months later
Check out the different lifecycles of a website flip.
About EasyWins.io (17:39-21:19)
- EasyWins.io is a database of successful strategies that Mushfiq has tested. These strategies are designed to help website owners better monetize their site and position it for sale.
- The strategies in the database are organized into various categories: revenue generation, traffic generation, on-page, off-page, website basics, and website structure.
- Additionally, the strategies are ranked according to their overall impact and the effort required to accomplish them.
- Explanations as to why each strategy should be performed are provided as well as examples of the strategies in action.
- Mushfiq also includes a list of tools that can be used to accomplish the strategies.
A Live Example (21:20-39:39)
Mushfiq spends an extended amount of the interview doing a live audit of Spencer’s website Own The Yard. Here, Mushfiq examines several pages on the site including a buying guide and an informational page to assess what is being done well, what could be improved upon, and what strategies can be easily implemented to increase revenue, traffic, per-click rate, bounce rate, and other important statistics.
Below is a list of his most important advice:
- Extra white space near the top of pages should be removed to increase user focus on the content.
- Publication dates should only be preserved on articles if they are recent; otherwise, the content appears aged.
- A table of contents plug-in should be added to buying guide pages. This will appear with clickable titles beneath the meta-description on Google searches increasing organic traffic rate.
- Call-to-actions buttons should not say “Buy Here” as it might make readers think that by clicking the button they are checking out. Instead, buttons should say things like “Learn More” or “More Product Information Here” to increase curiosity and lure them into clicking into the affiliate purchase page.
- Additionally, while using a universal theme can be helpful across the site, call-to-action buttons on individual pages should be designed using distinct colors that deviate from the site’s primary theme to better entice the reader.
- For featured images, Mushfiq recommends using a medium size image (300X300) and right-aligning it in the second paragraph to 1) increase their visibility, and 2) allow mobile users to immediately see content, not just an image.
- Mushfiq recommends removing product prices from anywhere in the article because seeing the price might prevent readers from clicking an affiliate link.
- Comparison tables with three products receive the best per-click conversion rate compared to other modes of product comparison.
- Focusing on the top five most impactful strategies that can be used across multiple pages is one of the best ways to increase revenue, traffic, per-click rate, and bounce rate.
- Sticky ads should be included on the sidebar as it is the greatest source of RPM (Revenue per 1000 page views).
- Integrating infinite scrolling into a website can help to increase ad revenue and keep readers bouncing to different pages on the site.
- ShortPixel is a plug-in that can be used to optimize images for compression by generating them as WebP images. This will significantly decrease loading time on the site.
- Placing a focus on the footer is important. It can be used to add social icons, about page, privacy page, terms of service, writer information, features, and other information that can be used to boost many statistics.
Opportunities for Future Success (39:40-42:28)
- Websites that meet the criteria to yield 10x monthly revenue within three months are found about once or twice a year.
- In the future, Flippa is more likely to be the marketplace for hobbyists selling their sites while brokerages like Empire Flippers will likely be the marketplace for niche website builders selling well-monetized sites.
Finding Writers (42:29-47:35)
- Mushfiq finds writers on UpWork who enjoy writing in a given niche and aren’t writing simply for the sake of writing. He’s trying to reduce costs by finding writers who want to write on the topic and aren’t simply trying to make money.
- He pays writers $30-40 per article with no limit on word count. Limiting word count can limit creativity and produce fluff articles.
- Mushfiq does not pay per word because he believes that paying per word will only incentivize writers to write more words and increase their overall costs.
- He does offer consistent writers bonuses for good work.
- All writers are US-based.
- Mushfiq’s process for finding writers is to trial writers, of which he hires five to six. Of these, about one or two will continue writing after the first couple of months. They will become a solid part of Mushfiq’s team for some time but will eventually churn out requiring Mushfiq to continue trialing and hiring writers.
Read the detailed guide on how to hire writers.