Follow Along as I Flip this Website – Introduction
I am super excited to announce that I will be starting a brand new case study here on PiP! My last few case studies have been very popular with my Amazon FBA case study and my website investing case study so I thought I might as well start another one 🙂
In my two previous case studies I have kept certain details hidden from the public such as the website URL for the website investing case study and my product in the Amazon FBA case study. However, this time around I will be sharing every last detail with you! I will not be keeping anything private and I will be sharing every detail. I know that case studies are lot more interesting and you can learn better when you can see real examples of what I am talking about.
Enough of the chatting, let’s jump straight into this new case study and I will explain what this is all about.
I plan on using Youtube very frequently in this case study so make sure that you follow my Youtube channel here – www.youtube.com/c/joshshogren
Below is the first introductory video to this new case study:
There is going to be a video that will accompany every single case study post because I like having it being presented in two different mediums.
The Website I Just Bought
Around a week ago I made a new website purchase from Flippa and you can view the website’s Flippa listing here – https://flippa.com/6439965-hvactraining101-com
Screenshot of the Homepage
I paid $1,250 for the site and you will soon see that I got a really good deal.
As you might be able to tell from the URL, this site is focused around training and education for becoming a HVAC technician. This is a lucrative niche to be in and Adsense pays very well.
I do not have control of the site yet due to the transfer process not being completed. However, I am hoping within a few days everything will be finalized and I will take full control of the site. In the meantime, I figured it would be a good time to put together the introduction post for this new case study!
Why I Bought this Website
Now that you have a general idea of the website that I purchased, I now want to explain the reasoning behind the purchase. There are 3 major reasons for this purchase and I will explain each one of them below.
As I mentioned earlier, I bought this website for $1,250. However, that doesn’t mean a whole lot unless you know how much the site is making each month.
Below is a screenshot of the earnings for the last 12 months:
Earnings per Month
Average Monthly Profits
- 3 Month = $126
- 6 Month = $128
- 12 Month = $229.50
Let’s use the 6 month average of $128/month as our baseline average.
Since it is making on average $128/month and it was sold for $1,250 then that means I bought this site at a multiple of 9.76x! Most sites in today’s market go for 20x-30x multiples. As you can see, I got a great deal on this site.
Although the great price was the biggest reason for me buying this site there are other factors that persuaded me as well. You need to remember that just because you can get a website for a good price it doesn’t mean it is a good deal. There are other factors that you need to look at as well.
Extremely Under Optimized
This site is currently being monetized mainly by Adsense and a very small amount from Quinstreet. From my experience with testing and optimizing Adsense layouts for my site in my Website Investing case study I know the common ad layouts that work best for maximizing Adsense revenue.
With that being said, I can quickly determine if a website is being under optimized in terms of the ad layout. One of the first things I did when analyzing this site was examine the ad layout it was using.
Below is a screenshot of the website with the ad layout the previous owner was using:
There is only ONE ad per page being used, that’s it.
Google allows up to 6 total ads to be used per page and you can imagine how much money is being left on the table because of this. I am estimating that I can probably double the earnings for the site practically overnight once I add more ads to the site. Adding more ads in combination with my favorite Adsense plugin, AmpedSense, I will be able to easily boost the earnings for this site quickly.
It is also worth mentioning how lucrative this niche is and how much advertisers are willing to spend on a per click basis.
Below are the average CPC for the top keywords this site is currently ranking for in Google:
Current Top Keyword Rankings in Google
Look at those average CPC numbers, they are insanely high!
I could be making up to $25 per click for some of those keywords, which is so absurd to me. Combine these extremely high CPC with the fact that the site currently only has one ad per page and you can start to understand just how under optimized this site truly is.
I also plan on utilizing other ad networks such as Quinstreet and Campus Explorer more as well. These two networks are targeted at the education niche which works very well with my site. I will be testing to see if these convert better than normal Adsense ads.
Goldmine of Untapped Keywords
One of the biggest opportunities I see for growing this site is to target local keywords related to HVAC training. As of right now, the site has only scratched the surface when it comes to trying to rank for state/city keywords. Currently there are only two pages on the entire website which go after local keywords, those two pages target Texas and Florida HVAC search terms.
These two pages are two of the more popular pages in terms of total amount of traffic, see the screenshot below of the Google Analytics:
Two out of the top five most popular pages for the entire website are focused on local search terms. However, these are the ONLY two pages that target local search terms on the whole site! There are 48 other states, although there may not be search volume for all states, and countless cities that are not being targeted.
Why do I think this is such a good opportunity?
For a few reasons:
- Local keywords are a lot easier to rank for in Google than more general keywords
- This site has been able to rank for two states successfully already and it proves it is possible
- Traffic going to these local pages is WAY more targeted and will convert at a much higher rate, which means more commissions for me
- There are so many more states and cities that get a good amount of searches that I can target
To give you an idea of the type of keywords these local pages rank for, you can see the top keywords that the Florida page is ranking for in Google:
As you can see these keywords don’t get a ton of searches each month, but ranking 1st for a keyword getting 90 searches a month is better than being ranked 10th for a keyword getting 1,000 searches a month.
I have started to do some keyword research for other states and I am liking what I am finding so far. Below you can see some of the keywords that I have found which I will be targeting with future articles:
I will go into more detail about my keyword research in future articles, but I wanted to give you an idea of what my strategy will be! I also wanted to share why I am super excited about the future potential to grow this site by targeting local keywords.
Yes, there are many good things about this website, but there are always risks involved no matter what the investment is. The same thing goes for this site.
Below are some of the risks that I currently see.
This website is a HTML site and I will need to transfer it to WordPress ASAP.
I have been doing some research on this process and it shouldn’t be too hard to get this over to WordPress. In doing so it will make adding content, managing the back end and just about everything else easier. Also, I am hoping that when I transfer it to WordPress that it will become more optimized for Google which will increase keyword rankings.
Looking at the last 12 months of earnings you will notice a drop off from last year till now, see below:
In May of 2015 it looks like the site earned right around $500, which is much higher than the $128 that it is earning now. However, the last 7 or so months have been consistent which is a good sign. Even though the earnings are much lower now then they were a year ago it is good to know that this site has the potential to earn $500/month because it has done it before.
Slightly Declining Traffic
In the last 12 months the site’s traffic has declined, however, it looks like it is picking back up. Look below to see the last 12 months of the site’s traffic:
The decline is nothing serious, but there is a drop on traffic. Let’s take a look at the complete history of this site’s traffic so we can get a better idea of what is going on here:
The above screenshot is from 2012 all the way up to right now. In the grand scheme of things you can see that the traffic is still doing well and it looks like it is on the upswing now.
Those three risks mentioned above are the three biggest risks with this site at this point. It is always good to note the risks and do everything you can to prevent them from causing a problem.
My Growth Strategy
Whenever I purchase a new site I always create an outline or plan on how I will grow the site. Right now, I have some basic ideas on how I will grow this site, but as I go on I will continue to change and optimize my strategies to be more effective.
Below I have outlined my current plans to grow:
1. Add more Adsense Ads
The very first thing I will do once I get control of the site is add more ads per page. I am predicting that by just adding a few more ads per page I will be able to more than likely double the earnings. I will touch on exactly how I will be optimizing the ad layouts in future posts.
2. Test other Ad Networks
I will be doing a lot of testing and experimenting when it comes to the ad networks. I plan on trying out Adsense, Media.net, Quinstreet, Campus Explorer and finding the combination of those 4 which produces the most revenue. The Adsense and Media.net ads will perform well on the more general pages while Quinstreet and Campus Explorer ads will be geared towards the local search terms.
There will probably be other ad networks I will try out but these are the four which I will be using right away. If you are aware of any other ad networks out there which are geared towards the education niche please let me know in the comments below!
3. Target Local Keywords with new Content
I have already touched on this, but I will starting to produce content targeting these local keywords ASAP. The sooner I add the content to the site the sooner it will start to rank and bring in traffic. I will not be writing my own content and instead I will be outsourcing all of it via Upwork. I will show you all how I go about outsourcing content production and you can see my process for doing that.
Goals for this Website
My goal for the website is to have it valued at $10,000+ within 12 months.
Let’s break down this larger goal into smaller chunks which will make achieving it easier and more attainable.
Earnings – $500/month
To get the site valued at $10,000 the site will need to be making $500/month using a 20x monthly multiple. Right now, the site is making around $130/month so it has a ways to before it reaches the $500 a month mark.
However, after doing some Adsense optimization I think we could push the earnings to around $300/month without much work. From there, it will come down to trying to bring in more traffic!
Traffic – 5,000 Visitors per Month
Why 5,000 visitors?
Because that is how much traffic it is going to take to get to the $500/month goal.
Let me explain how I came to this conclusion:
The average RPM for this site is currently $50, which means for every 1,000 page views the site earns $50. After I optimize the Adsense layout for the site and add more ads per page I think I will be able to double the RPM to $100.
Using the RPM of $100 the site will need to have 5,000 monthly visitors to earn $500. So 5,000 monthly visitors is the traffic goal I have set and aiming for! The site is currently getting around 3,000 visitors per month so I will need to add an extra 2,000 visitors to get to this goal.
Want to Follow this Case Study?
I will be using Youtube a lot in this case study so make sure to follow my Youtube channel here – www.youtube.com/c/joshshogren
As always, make sure to sign up the email newsletter below because I will send out all of the new updates there as soon as they are published.
Other than that, I think that is going to bring us to the end of the introductory post for this new case study. I hope that you enjoyed reading and that you are excited to follow along!
If you have any suggestions to make this case study better PLEASE let me know in the comment below. I want to make this case study the best one I have done yet. Talk to you all in the comment section.
Great beginnings to what I’m sure is going to be a successful case study. Super excited to follow along as I’m really interested in website investing at the moment.
I would never have considered this site due to the earnings and traffic being on the decline, having no interest in the niche, and the poor design. However, your analysis makes me realise that I’m not looking at the whole picture. And picking it up for less than 10x monthly earnings, what a steal! I’m now going to be scouring Flippa for similar opportunities.
Love the video as well. Watching it made me late for work 😉
Glad to hear you are interested in website investing because there is going to be ton of content coming out on that topic here on PiP 🙂
These type of “beat up” sites are the ones that you can pick up for cheap and turn them into winners. Good luck looking for sites, looks like I have some competition now haha
Also, if your boss is wondering why you were late just tell them you were learning how to make money by yourself so you don’t need to go to work anymore. Im sure he/she will understand 😉
Just starting reading about this and haven’t read the other 2 posts yet, but living in Texas where it gets really hot in the summer, I would bet the traffic downturn is seasonal. You could make a fortune in the summer/pre-summer months in Texas if you were a HVAC technician.
Can’t wait to to read the next 2 posts. Thanks Josh for sharing your information! Some really good stuff here!
Thanks Gil! Glad you’re enjoying the posts and you made some good points
Your plan seems to be promising. I with you the best reaching your goals with this website.
Thank you Hector
Sounds like another great cases study, Josh. I’m looking forward to seeing more updates as time goes on.
I am hoping so! Thanks for the comment Ted
i like idea of buying vs. time spend having to build new site and hope it ranks.
flippa seems to have a ton of junk. do you have certain filters or method for locating sites…..or just spend many hours looking through listings ?
From my experince, buying sites provides a much better ROI on my time and money. Flippa has a TON of junk that you have to sift through each day, but that is how you find the gems such as this site
Very interesting. I got turned on to your stuff from your Amazon articles (how’s your Amazon business going anyway? I reached out to you recently about joining our Master Mind group but never heard back, we had discussed you joining it in the past). But I’ve been trying to uncover new ways to create revenue streams. This just might be it. I’m also considering getting into Dropshipping… man I wish I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with you. We’d have so much to talk about lol! Anyways, check for that FB message from me about joining the group! I’ll be watching your site! – Dave 🙂
Hi Dave, good to hear from you!
My Amazon business is currently pretty slow, however, I am possibly looking to expand my product line here soon so things may pick back up. Most of my time has also been spent doing website investing, but I will check out your FB message(must’ve missed it) and I would love to join the mastermind group.
Thanks for the comment and I would love to chat with you over coffee sometime, where do you live?
Very interesting read. Thank you for sharing!
Glad you liked it Brian!
Thanks for sharing.
I am in the market for a similar priced site (sub $5k to do my first deal purchasing, I have built from scratch several times). Would love to hear about your search process on Flippa to find outstanding deals. I have saved searches and categories setup and receive emails daily, but this one I missed, haha. I am very close on an adsense site in this range (listing expired but discussing with seller) as well as a dropship ecommerce site as a possibility.
On your new site, the CPC’s are outstanding, and only 27 pages in Google but ranking already so nice opportunities there to add content. Do a page for each state in the US and an in depth salary guide and you have an additional 51 pages to add. I do like your approach to really strategize on the UX of the site for ad placement and testing ad placement like you did on your last flip. I would even approach some local HVAC companies and buy their workers coffee or lunch and get some ideas from them, that could be golden info for new content and also ask them to walk through the site in front of you once you redesign and get some user experience feedback from them.
Good luck and look forward to following along in the process. I think you’ll be at $10k in no time for this investment. I wish I got into this at your age, but it’s never too late to start!
thanks for this – will definitely be following along the case study! Also, could you tell me what tool do you use to determine the keyword competition?
Good to hear Jonas! I used KWfinder to find the keyword competitiveness
Came here from your post on reddit and this looks awesome!
I’ve always been interested in investing into websites from Flippa, but it seems that you have to wade through so much trash before finding a gold nugget that it’s not even worth it.
How long did it take you to find this website? Do you just check Flippa daily or do you have some secret algorithm doing the work for you? 😉
Will be following your case-study through Feedly. Cheers!
Glad to have you here reading and hanging out!
I look at Flippa (and various other marketplaces) every single day so it didn’t take that long for me to spot this site. It take some work and learning to find these types of sites on Flippa, but after a while you start to pick it up
Hey Josh ! great post !! i’m looking forward to following up with it.
You could also look into Amazon Affiliate Account, there might be some revenue possibilities there as well.
I’m very interested in the migration process into WP (i’m in kind of a similar situation and not really sure what to use) … but then I see this site (probably WP) and everything looks great so i think you know what you are doing.
I second Jonas, mention the tools ;).
Bests of Luck !
Sweet, awesome to hear that Charley!
I am slowly trying to figure out the migration process and let me tell you, it’s confusing lol. I think I am figuring it out though. Thanks for your suggestion about amazon and that is something I will look into.
Also, I will probably do a full post sometime in the future where I will share all of the tools that I use and explain how I use them
Thanks for the comment
I discovered your blog thanks to reddit.
Looking forward to see if you will reach you objectives.
I just saw that you switched from a static HTML website to a wordpress blog today, any reason behind that choice ?
Thank your for posting, looking forward for the update
I switched to WordPress mainly for the ease of use and that it makes everything easier for me. WordPress also allows you optimize your site much better for Google compared to HTML sites.
Thanks for the comment,
This looks like an awesome approach. I initially saw your post on Reddit where it caught my attention. You have also introduced me to a few new tools for tracking analytics which is extremely helpful. Keep it up, I am really looking forward to seeing the end result!
Hi Danny, thanks for the comment!
Glad I could intro you to some new tools and I appreciate you reading along
Looking forward to seeing the next update Josh 😉
It’ll be live tomorrow my friend 🙂
Why aren’t you interested in making the site look more modern? Won’t that help it a lot as well?
I might do that in the future, but I dont want to change something that is working. It’s common for the more basic sites to do better with Adsense
Great stuff Josh, you rock!
I am curious about the technicalities when you bought the site on flippa, such as how was the domain transferred to you, the website itself, the adsense account, etc. I took a peak on flippa and I did not see any type of overview of that process.
Good questions about the transfer of the site. Most of that stuff is pretty boring, but most of the transfer is just the previous owner transferring ownership to you. I might cover it in a future post though, thanks for the suggestion
Targeting local search for this niche is a great idea. It could be almost a directory style site like Security Guard HQ from Pat Flynn’s the SPI niche project a while back. Also your CPC insights were helpful. I should pay closer attention to that data for my own sites. Keep up the good work and thanks again for sharing such helpful insights!
Yup, great idea about the directory style. I am probably going to just that, thanks for commenting
Great snag on that site, the HVAC industry is huge and growing. The fact that it’s already making over a hundred dollars is sweet too. My wife is an incredible writer if you need content or a content outline, juliemarshwritingservices.com She built her own website too and it’s very professional.
I build websites on the side and we might be able to trade some work or info. We are going to be moving to Portland or Vancouver in a few months, maybe we could meet for coffee and a cheese danish (I’ll buy!).
Take care and I wish you lots of success with your sites and life!
I am just a few years younger than you, and have started diving into the exact same things you cover on this site. Obviously you have achieved some significant success, which I congratulate you on! The internet is an amazing space for business. I currently have an FBA product being manufactured and have also been researching niche sites. I have one question for you. Would you recommend building a niche site from scratch and ranking it before getting into buying pre-existing sites? All my commons sense says buy pre-existing and save effort, but I have to think that building your own would provide some fantastic experience that would then transfer into buying sites. Thanks man. All the best and keep up the great work.
Hey Wes – thanks for commenting!
As for your question, I would suggest starting a site from scratch and learning the ropes that way if you haven’t done it before. You will learn the necessary skills needed to successfully buy/sell websites down the road
I see interesting posts here. Your website can go viral easily, you need some initial traffic only, you should search
for: Bushano’s traffic sources
I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I have to admit that the value you’re adding is priceless. However, Website flipping is something that caught my eye and I started digging deep into this but to my surprise I found a lot of negative reviews about Flippa.com from both buyers and sellers. Most of the people have been claiming that they were scammed by the sellers and that the analytics and revenues shown on the auction were all fake. If you see their profile on Trustpiolot, you’ll notice about 49.1% of total reviews are negative or 1 star. This has really got me worried since I was ready to buy my first domain through Flippa and unfortunately, I couldn’t found a similar website that offers such detailed reports, most of them just auction domain names.
I think this is a growing concern so I would like your word on this and please suggest any other credible website similar to Flippa because I wasn’t able to find one.
Flippa itself is not a scam, however, many of the sites that get listed are not as advertised and the buyers feel like they are getting ripped off. This is not Flippa’s fault, but the buyers fault for not doing their due diligence. If you know what you’re doing then Flippa is a great place to find websites/domains for a good price. As for other sites similar to Flippa, check out FE International and Empire Flippers.
Hope this clears some things up!
Mate, your blog is very addictive. I definitely think website investing is the way of the future and that we are in for some interesting times. You’ve definitely inspired me to get back behind the reigns and getting into the game. Legendary!
Awesome to hear Aaron 🙂 Now go take action and make something happen my man
Just curious how fba is going for You? Still pursuing It? Would be interesting to know how it has panned out for you ????
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