It has been a tad over 3 months since I bought a $6,000 website as an investment strategy. I figured it would be a good time to give you all an update on how things have been going so far!
Make sure you read the first post I wrote about this website purchase so that you are fully caught up on everything that is going on. You can read that post here: I Just Bought a Website for $6k; Here’s Why.
One Thing Before We Get Started
In that post above, I said I was going to give you all an update within a month and it has been over 3 months since then with no update. I apologize for that, but here is what happened. I was planning on starting a new website that was going to fully dedicated to website investing.
Matter in fact, I did start a new site and I wrote a couple of posts on it including an update on this website. I thought it would be a good idea to start a new website because this website (PiP) was mostly dedicated to Amazon FBA. I thought it would be bad to mix website investing posts and Amazon FBA posts into the same website because most people reading my site want to learn about Amazon FBA, not website investing.
That was my initial thinking and that’s why I started a new website, however, after about 3 months I have come to the conclusion that I will be writing all posts, both website investing and Amazon FBA, here on Passion into Paychecks.
I named this website Passion into Paychecks for a reason and it was to document and provide value for whatever passion I had, whether that be niche websites, Amazon FBA or website investing. I think it should all be included in one place because all of these things are my passion and it wouldn’t make sense to spread them across different websites.
I hope that people here for Amazon FBA don’t get annoyed with seeing articles about website investing but I really want to keep all of my articles and case studies on one website.
I hope this all makes sense. There isn’t going to be a ton of posts about website investing aside from the updates from my website investments and maybe the occasional article. Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s get into how the website has been doing the past 3 months.
It has been a while since the last update so I want to quickly recap some details about the site. We (My parents and I) bought the site for $6,000 and it was making around $500 per month on average. Based on the 20x monthly multiple, the site should have been sold at $10,000 but we got a very good deal at $6,000.
The site’s traffic was well diversified between organic traffic, Pinterest traffic and direct traffic. My initial plan was to grow the organic traffic by posting new articles 3 times a week and try to grow the other traffic sources as well.
The site mainly earned money from Google Adsense and my plan was to try and optimize the Adsense ads to maximize the earnings as well as branch out to different monetization methods. That pretty much recaps the most important details about the site and now we can see how the site has performed the last 3 months under my control.
What Happened in August
This was the first month that I had the site under my control. I did not make a lot of changes and the first month was mainly dedicated to establishing baseline numbers and getting to know the new site.
Established Baseline Numbers
The first thing that I wanted to do was establish a baseline for all of the most important metrics such as traffic stats and earning stats.
I did this by not changing anything on the site aside from adding new articles, everything else was left the same. I did this for the first two weeks or so and I was able to get a good idea of the type of earnings it was making per day and the amount of traffic it was receiving.
I like to establish these baseline numbers so that when I decide make changes I can see what effects it had. For example, if I know the site is making around $15 per day with Adsense before any changes and then I change the placement of one of the ads I can see if it helped or hurt the earnings based on the daily average. Same goes for the traffic stats.
The month of August was mostly spent establishing these baseline numbers as well as getting acquainted with the new site. Not much was changed during this month.
Found a Content Writer
One of the main things that I did was find a content writer that would write three new articles per week. This writer cost me $280 for 24 articles.
So at 3 new articles per week, that would come out to me needing 12 new articles per week. The $280 I paid for is actually enough to for two months worth of articles.
This is an awesome rate and the quality they they provide is excellent.
Establishing baseline numbers and finding a content writer was my main goals for the first month. Now let’s take a look at the traffic stats and how much the site earned!
Traffic Stats for August
The site gets quite a bit of traffic, around 1,500 visitors per day!
Let’s breakdown where this traffic came from, see below:
You can see that the majority of the traffic comes from Social media sites, mainly Pinterest. Direct traffic accounts for around 25% while organic traffic is only around 17%. My plan is to try and grow the organic traffic by adding new content 3x a week.
Almost all of the earnings are from Google Adsense and a very small amount is from the Etsy affiliate program.
I wanted to show you a screenshot of my Google Adsense account to prove how much I earned, however, you can have your account banned from Adsense if you take screenshots of your earnings. So unfortunately I am not able to prove the earnings to you with a screenshot.
With that being said, I earned $291.96 from Adsense in August!
I also earned $8.32 from Etsy, you can see the screenshot below:
Total Revenue and Expenses
Adsense Earnings: $291.96
Etsy Earnings: $8.32
Total Earnings: $300.28
Total Expenses: $280.00
Gross Profit: $20.28
The site earned over $300 in August but, with the expense for the content I was only able to make around $20 in profit in the first month. It’s important to know that the site didn’t start earning money until the 8th of August so this was not a full month. Also know that the $280 I paid for content is actually for 2 months worth of content.
Overall, it was a good first month even with the low profit.
What Happened in September
By September I had established my baseline numbers and now it was time to tweak and test until I was able to find what worked the best in terms of increasing traffic and earnings. The month of September was mainly focused on optimizing the earnings of Google Adsense.
Optimized Google Adsense
I earned a total of $291.96 from Google Adsense from 22 days in August. This gives me a baseline earning average of around $13 per day from adsense. This is useful because now I can determine if the changes I made in terms of ad placements were above or below the $13 per day mark.
So in the month of September I was able to fully optimize the ad placement to squeeze the most earnings possible per day. I tested a ton of different ad variations and I was able to find a winning combination. In September, this site earned $556.89 from adsense.
This means it earned over $18.50 per day, which is a huge improvements over the $13 per day the site was averaging in August. This was due to all of the different ad variations and placements that I had been testing.
Finding the winning combo of ads was my main goal when I first bought this site because I thought it was was the quickest way to improve earnings. Overall, I was very happy with the earnings in September from adsense.
Started Looking for Advertisers
When I say “looking for advertisers” I mean I wanted to go out and look for businesses that would be interested in advertising on my site for a monthly fee. This site lends itself well to doing having advertisers and there are a ton of small businesses that would be very interested in the traffic that visits my site.
I didn’t start pursuing these advertisers until October, however, I started to dabble with finding advertisers in September by doing the following.
The main thing I did to start attracting these advertisers was create an “Advertise with Us” page on the site. On this page I outline the monthly rates for advertising on the site and how to contact me if they are interested.
This page was created around the middle of the month and the day of this page going live on the site I received my first email from an interested party. The person that was interested wasn’t actually looking to place an ad on my site, instead they were interested in being featured in an article on the site for $50.
A light bulb went off in my head when this happened because I never thought of charging people to be featured within an article. I can now offer this service to other people interested as well and it could be another source of income.
The final details of this deal was that they would pay me $50 and provide the article if I would leave a link at the bottom of the article going back to their site. I got a free article for my site and got paid $50 in the process. The only thing I had to do was linkout to this person’s business. Not a bad deal for me!
Also, this person’s business was in the same niche of my website and the article that was used fit right into the type of content I want on the site. If the business and content didn’t fit my vision for the site I would have declined.
This was the only transaction I had in terms of advertisers in September, but in October you will see that I really started going after new advertisers.
Continued to Add 3 New Articles per Week
I continued to add 3 new articles to the site per week to try in an effort to grow the amount of organic traffic. I feel like there is a lot of room to grow here and I have found a ton of long tail keywords within this niche that are perfect to target in within these new articles.
The only downside to these article is that there are not immediate results. This means that I am paying for this content and hoping that I am right about being able to improve the organic traffic with these new articles.
I could be 3+ months before I start to see any sort of results and I know this, so I will be as patient as possible and wait to see what type of results I can get down the road.
While I am waiting for these results, it is quite pricey. It costs me $280 for 24 articles, which is enough to last 2 months. So I am paying $140 per month without knowing if there will be any return on this investment.
Traffic Stats for September
In the month of September, the site averaged over 1,300 visitors per day, which is around 200 less than in August. Even though the traffic saw a slight dip this month. the site itself was still able to turn a very nice profit which you will see in the section below.
Let’s check out the different traffic sources below:
One thing to note is the percentage of each traffic source.
Social media accounts for over 60% of the total traffic, this is around 5% higher than last month. I do not like to see this because this means that the sites overall traffic is relying more heavily on only one source.
If for some reason all of the social media traffic would disappear then the site would lose 60% of its traffic. I would like to see all of the different traffic sources be as close to the same percentage as possible. This way if I was to lose one of the traffic sources it wouldn’t hurt the site’s traffic as much.
The main traffic sources that I am concerned with are the “Social”, “Direct” and “Organic Search”. These are the big 3 in my opinion and I would ideally like to see each one accounting for 33% of the total traffic.
This 33% mark probably won’t be possible considering how things are currently setup with the site. However, I would like to get organic search to at least 25% and direct at 25% as well. That is the goal and that is why I am continuing to add 3 new article per week to try and increase the organic traffic.
Earnings in September
Once again, the earnings in September were primarily from Google Adsense with a small amount from Etsy affiliate program. However, there was also a new additon of income from advertising fees.
Like I mentioned earlier, I am not allowed to post Google Adsense screenshots so you are just going to have to trust me with the numbers.
Total Revenue and Expenses
Adsense Earnings: $556.89
Etsy Earnings: $9.22
Paid Post: $50.00
Total Earnings: $616.11
Total Expenses: $280.00
Gross Profit: $336.11
The site was able to turn a $336.11 profit in the month of September which is awesome. It is even more impressive considering that I paid another $280 for content.
You’re probably wondering why I paid for content in back to back months when the $280 pays for 2 months worth of content. Good question!
I was actually wondering the same thing when I was looking back on my numbers to write this report and it turns out that I paid for this second round of content at the very end of September. When I made the second payment for new articles it had been around 2 months since my first payment, however, I just happened to pay at the end of September instead of October. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter when I make the payment but it probably was confusing to you as the reader since I said the $280 pays for 2 months worth of content.
Now that I have already paid for another 2 months of content, I shouldn’t have to pay again until December!
If you recall from the first article, I mentioned that this site was making $500/month in profit before I bought the site. In the first two months since I have owned the site the profit has been a lot lower than $500/month but, I am getting things in place and spending money to hopefully earn more down the road.
The biggest reason as to why the profit is smaller than $500 is because I am paying for content. The previous owner did not pay for content which meant all of the revenue was also the profit. So on average the site was earning $500 in earnings before I bought the site and in September the site earned $616 in revenue. We can see that I have been able to increase the overall revenue but the profit is lower due to the content.
With that being said, I was still able to turn a healthy profit of $336 in September and I was happy with the progress made this month.
What Happened in October
By the time October rolled around I was happy with how my Google Adsense ads were performing since I had done a good job optimizing them in the previous months. I’m sure there are things I can do to fully optimize the ad placements and reach the full earning potential but for now I am content with the earnings and I can now look to create other income streams for the site.
That brings us to my main goal of October – find advertisers for the site!
I felt like the next natural step for the sites income was to find advertisers willing to pay a monthly fee to be included in my sites sidebar. I know the site is in a unique niche and that the high traffic numbers are appealing to outside businesses. The goal was to try and leverage this to attract advertisers for the site.
Landed 3 New Paying Advertisers
During this month I was able to land 3 advertisers for the site!
I was able to do this by reaching out to businesses/websites that I knew would be interested in my sites traffic/readers. I did this was by searching my site in Semrush and used their “Competitors” feature and found a bunch of related sites to my own.
I then sifted through each one of these related sites and found the ones that had advertisers on them. I then took note of the site that was advertising and then I sent an email to each one of these sites. I had a list of around 15 sites that I emailed and around 6 or so interested businesses that replied back to me. Out of those 6, only 3 actually committed to buying advertising space on my site.
Nonetheless, I was happy with the results and I know that I can still find more advertisers to reach out to by using the same method.
I pitched two different advertising packages to them and they were able to pick which one they wanted. The advertising packages that I offered them are listed below:
- Package 1: 250 x 250 sidebar ad – $150/3 months or $60/month
- Package 2: 125 x 250 sidebar ad – $80/3 months or $30/month
I had two advertisers opt for Package 1 and the other one opted for Package 2.
Advertiser 1: Package 1 – $150/3 months
Advertiser 2: Package 1 – $60/month
Advertiser 3: Package 2 – $80/3 months
All in all, I have increased my monthly income by $136 from finding these 3 new advertisers! That is awesome and I know that I can find more too. This is a great start.
Focused on Finding Long Tail Keywords to Target
I started to really focus on finding easy to rank long tail keywords to target with my new content. I am talking about keywords that get 30 – 70 monthly searches, but they should be fairly easy to rank for and I am hoping to see results quickly.
When I say “quickly” I mean 1-2 months. So the results from me doing this won’t be seen for awhile but I am hoping that I will start to see increases in organic traffic within a couple of months. This is a long term strategy.
Consistently Posted Content on Pinterest
Pinterest is the site’s main source of traffic and I want to try and take advantage this traffic as much as possible. Previously, I had always repinned other people’s pins and then when I posted a new article on the site I would pin the new article. This worked well for growing my Pinterest followers but it seemed like the traffic never really increased.
I thought by pinning an article from my site everyday it help increase the traffic from Pinterest to my site. I ended up hiring someone from Upwork for $100 to pin ALL of the article on my site and schedule one to be posted each day. This way I will have a new article posted in Pinterest each day which will hopefully funnel more people back to my site.
Traffic Stats for October
During the month of October the site averaged around 1,145 visitors per day. This is around 150 less per day than September and over 350 less per day than August. We can see that the traffic is slowly starting to decline each month but I am hoping that the combo of new content and increased activity on Pinterest will turn things around.
However, let’s take a look at what the traffic sources looked like this month:
Not much changed compared to the month before. I will dissect and analyze the traffic more in depth in the next section of the article.
Earnings in October
With the combination of Google Adsense and the new advertisers, this turned October into my best month in terms of revenue AND profit. You can see the breakdown below:
Adsense Earnings: $484.79
Etsy Earnings: $5.76
Advertising Ads: $136.67
Total Earnings: $627.22
Total Expenses: $100.00
Gross Profit: $527.22
A very solid month and the site made over $500 in profit this month. It would have been even higher if it wasn’t for the $100 I spent on outsourcing work on Upwork.
This was another month where the revenue and profit increased, which is encouraging to see! Consistent growth and improvement is the name of the game and I happy with the results so far.
Analysis of the First 3 Months
In this next section, I want to take a dive into all of the numbers from the first 3 months and analyze what has happened. Doing this will help me understand where I should focus my time and energy at to improve this site the most.
Above you can see the total traffic to the site since I have had ownership of it. The graph above is displayed week by week.
There has been a slow decline of traffic since the first month but, it looks like it is leveling out now. A major reason for the traffic ending the downtrend and starting to level out is because of the increase in organic search traffic. See below:
This is a week by week look at the organic traffic to the site. You can see there was a dip but the traffic has started to pick back up.
Is this because all of the new content that I have been publishing or is from something else?
It is hard to tell for sure, but if I had to guess it would be because of the new content. This is a good sign and it looks like the new content is paying off. I still think I need another month or two until I can make a final decision on whether the new content is helping or not, but it is a good sign so far.
If the new content is not increasing the organic traffic to the site then there is no reason for me to be paying $280 every two months. This is a decision that I will be putting some thought into over the next couple of months.
Profit by Month
I am very happy with the earnings so far in the first 3 months. Between Google Adsense earnings and the new advertisers I have on the site, it is a great start in the first 3 months.
Below is the profit for the first 3 months:
It is good to see growth month after month and I hope the trend can continue!
Current Site Valuation after 3 Months
Now that I have had the site under my ownership for 3 months and have 3 months worth of earnings under my belt, we can calculate a proper valuation for the site if I was to sell it right now.
Obviously, I am not looking to sell it after the first 3 months but it is good to know what your site is worth at all times. Most website brokers use 3 months as the minimum to calculate the value of a site and the 20x monthly PROFIT multiple as well. I will be using both of these to calculate how much my site is worth after 3 months.
Total Profit Earned: $883.61
Monthly Profit Average: $883.61 / 3 = $294.54 per month
Site Valuation: $294.54 * 20 = $5,890.8
Right now, after the first 3 months, I could sell my site for $5,890!
If you take into account that the first month earned $20 in profit, that I have paid $480 worth in content already AND that I bought the site for $6,000 then this is a very good start! I am at the break even point in terms of what I could sell the site for vs. what I bought the site for.
I think there is a very good chance that my monthly profit will be around the $400 – $500 mark consistently and possibly even higher. In that case, my site would be valued anywhere between $8,000 – $10,000.
ROI on the $6,000 Investment
I am not looking at this website as a normal website, I am instead looking at this website as an investment vehicle to get a solid ROI on the initial investment of $6k. If you missed the first post where I explain how/why I bought the site, you can catch up here.
In short, my parents bought the website for $6k and I would run and grow the website for them. We will then split all of the monthly profits 50/50. Then when sell the site my parents will get their initial investment of $6k back and then we will split the rest of the profit 50/50.
Just a quick example, say we sell the site for $8k then they would get their initial investment of $6k back and then we would split the remaining $2,000 50/50. This would mean I would get $1k and my parents would get $7k out of the $8k total.
Now that you have the idea behind this investment, let’s take a look at what type of ROI both myself and parents are getting so far. The breakdown of all of the numbers are below:
Paid Posts: $50.00
Etsy Affiliate: $23.30
I have already calculated the profit in the section above but, I wanted to show you all of the total earnings and expenses so far.
I calculated the total profit to be $883.61 which comes out to around $294 profit per month. Remember, my parents and I split the profits 50/50. This means that we have both earned a total of $441.80 in profit so far in 3 months which comes out to be around $147/month in profit.
The site was bought for $6,000 and my parents are making $147 per month in profit. Their ROI (return on investment) for these first 3 months is 2.45%. This number means that my parents are earning 2.45% per month on their initial $6,000 investment.
If we average that number over a year long period that would be a 29.4% gain on their $6,000 investment. This puts the stock market to shame!
The best part is that the 2.45% is really low and I am expecting around a 5% – 8% ROI per month within the next couple of months. This goes to show that investing in websites can be very lucrative and beats out normal investments such as the stock market.
The first 3 months went very good in my opinion and it was all a learning experience for me. I have bought and sold websites before but I have never treated it as an “investment strategy” before. So this whole thing is new to me and I am learning as I go.
I am so thankful that my parents were willing to invest into this website and trust me with $6k of their own money. It looks like a solid investment for them so far but I am expecting a lot better returns in the next couple of months.
Below I will outline the future plans and goals I have for this site in the upcoming months.
Determine if Buying New Content is a Good Investment
Spending $280 every 2 months for 3 new pieces of content each week is a big investment and it doesn’t make sense to keep paying this price if I see no ROI.
I have mentioned that it will take at least 3+ months before I will start to see any results from the new content so it is still a little early to make a final decision on whether or not new content is worth the money.
I will gauge the ROI by looking at the increase of organic traffic to the site. If there is no increase in organic traffic or a very small increase, there would be no point in spending money on content that doesn’t benefit the site.
Within the next couple of months I will make a decision on whether or not I should continue buying new content or not. Another option I will look at is cutting back the rate at which new content is posted. Currently, I am publishing 3 new articles per week which means I need around 12 new articles each month.
Maybe only one new article per week is enough?
If that is the case then I would only need 4 new articles per month! This would dramatically decrease my monthly costs as well. Right now, I am paying $280 for 24 articles and at the rate of 4 articles per month that would last me 6 months.
I have a lot of options and I will wait a few more months to see exactly how things are going before I make any changes.
Find 10 Total Advertisers for the Site
At this moment I have 3 advertisers currently paying for ad space on the site as well as one more currently in negotiations with me. However, I think that I could get a total of 10 advertisers and this will easily add a couple hundred dollars to my bottom line each month.
I will have to do some more outreach campaigns but I am confident that I will be able to find 7 more.
Add Another Source of Income
Right now I have mainly two sources of income, Google Adsense and selling advertising space. I want to diversify my income more by adding another source of income to the site.
I have a couple of different ideas that I have been toying around with but I have yet to actually implement them.
The first idea I have is to open up a “Store” on my site and sell all types of different products that fit within my websites niche. I would do this by dropshipping products from other websites.
I have done some research into this idea and I was able to find a handful of drop shipping sites that I would be able to use for my site. I have never tried drop shipping before so I am brand new to this monetization method.
I am not sure about the profit margins, exactly how the order process works and I don’t know if people would even buy products from my store on my site. This idea would definitely be an experiment but it may prove to be profitable.
Private Label a Product?
The other idea I have been thinking about is starting a private label product around this niche. I already have some experience with private labeling a product and this may be a good route to go at some point.
I would need to do a LOT of research into this idea and determine if this is even a viable option before I do this. However, if I was able to find a good product to sell I would have the PERFECT way to launch and sell this product. I have a website that gets 1,000+ visitors per day that would all be interested in buying this product.
This could be an awesome way to monetize the site and create a real business with this website. Not to mention that by doing this it would increase the value of the site tenfold when I go to sell the site. This idea is still in the very early stages but it is something that I have been putting some thought into.
Maybe the best way to go about this is to start by dropshipping products and see if doing that proves to be successful. If it is successful and makes a profit, then it proves that selling my own product would be a logical next step.
Also, by drop shipping first I can see what products are popular and I can use this info when creating my own product.
I see dropshipping as short term play and the private label option as the long term play. I will be experimenting with these options over the next couple of months and see what happens.
Thank you all for reading!
I will have another update for you all after 6 months has passed. I am confident by that time that my monthly profit will be much higher than it is now. I also think that my organic traffic will have seen a nice increase.
At the time of writing this, it has almost been 4 months and this month (November) has been the best month BY FAR in terms of traffic and earnings. I am excited to see what the next couple months have in store and I will report the results back to you all in the next update.
Thanks again for reading and feel free to leave a comment or ask a question in the comments section below. Also, if you found this article interesting then please share it on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you would like. Thanks 🙂