🔥 Exciting News to End the Year
See what we're excited about, and a reading list to get you through to 2021.
Welcome to Website Investing Weekly, bringing you up-to-date with what’s going on in the world of website investing and alternative related asset classes.
📝 A Note:
This is the last Website Investing newsletter for 2020.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, comments, and feedback this year.
We appreciate you being here.
If you celebrate the season, we wish you Happy Holidays, and a New Year that brings you much success in your endeavors - whatever they may be.
We’ll be back in your inbox on the 11th January.
🤩 Exciting News!
When Richard published his first newsletter back in May of this year, his goal was to reach the Top 25 on Substack.
Guess what happened?
This newsletter has been a real team effort, but it wouldn't have been such a success without all of you.
Thanks for showing up every week.
Thanks for opening our emails.
Thanks for checking in to see what we're doing.
You're the reason we keep researching and writing. Every. Single. Week.
You continue to be our inspiration as we debate what you'd like to read about, listen to, and discover in each issue.
With your continued support, we aim to curate and produce the best articles on website investing and industry news in 2021!
A huge “Thank You” from all of us to all of you.
💸 Sell Your Blog for Six Figures
It's a familiar story.
Start a blog, write consistently, monetize the site, and make enough money to quit your day job.
It's still possible to make a great income from a content site, but what happens when you reach a plateau or lose interest in your business?
In his latest article, Branden Schmidt discusses the reasons people sell their revenue- generating blogs. He covers the expected time frames to receive a six-figure offer and what to consider when selling your content business.
Content is an asset so having high-quality content, along with some room to scale, is attractive to a potential buyer.
Schmidt says that the best way to sell your site is to act like a media company:
When you shift from the personal blogger mindset to the content business owner mindset, you start treating your hobby turned business as a valuable asset that buyers are willing to pay serious money for. Your blog might have started as something fun that you did in your spare time, but now it presents serious potential to content-site buyers as a real digital asset.
Of course, there is a little preparation involved to have your site ready for sale. One of the most common issues is that owners don't have their documents in order. Buyers want to see detailed Profit and Loss statements and a set of Standard Operating Procedures.
If you haven’t yet created standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your blog, you’re holding yourself back from that six-figure exit down the road.
Negotiating the sale is also an important factor.
While most buyers opt for a full cash offer, there may be advantages in negotiating an earnout agreement. Often a buyer is willing to pay a premium for your business because an earnout agreement limits their risk after acquiring your site.
There is plenty of solid advice in this article on how long you can expect it to take to reach a six figure sum at exit time.
You'll get the rest of the story over on the Empire Flippers blog.
🛒 Selling Domains: Buy Now or Make an Offer?
Many people are critical of a “Make Offer” field on domain name landing pages because they feel like they're leaving money on the table.
Elliot Silver says that he's played around with the sales options, and settled on one – the older BIN price (with a 12 month payment plan option) + Make Offer option.
Remember that Silver makes the majority of his income buying and selling domains so it's worth paying attention to his reasoning on this subject.
He states (edited):
...if I price a domain name too high for whatever reason, a prospective buyer who balks at the price may look for an alternative if there is no contact form or make-offer field.
I would rather take $2,500 or $3,000 and move the inventory than hold out for someone who may never come.
Silver sells most of his domain names after negotiating with someone who has submitted an offer. He prices his names on the high side because he knows that buyers are likely to suggest an offer.
On the flip side, he notes:
I can not say whether the buyer would or would not have simply used the Buy It Now option if the Make Offer option was not there. My portfolio is not large enough to test at scale to understand how much money I am leaving on the table with buyers who would use the BIN option if no other option was available.
Silver is about to test whether removing the Make Offer option sees more buyers pay the full price if the make-offer field is not available.
You'll get more insights into the Buy Now vs Make Offer strategy by reading the complete story here.
👠 “Women’s” Work
We're usually fans of the posts written by Spencer Haws at Niche Pursuits, but not this one on side hustles for women.
It appears that this search term is used because we found 12,600,000 results for "side hustles for women."
The interesting thing is that most of the top results were written by - you guessed it - men.
A little further investigation showed that all of these income opportunities apply equally to men and women. Sure, your hair may not be long enough to chop off and sell, but there are plenty of fashion bloggers and affiliate marketers who are male.
We know that many of our readers are women. We'd like you to give us your feedback on how you would search for ways to increase your income.
Do you use the word 'women' in your online searches?
Drop a comment on the web version of this newsletter with your feedback.
🦄 SEOs with Skin in the Game
Smash Digital - a growth agency, filled to the brim with unicorn images and SEO memes.
A team of SEOs with actual skin in the game, ranking their own portfolio of profitable businesses, and offering the exact same services to clients.
An agency with so much link juice you’ll need a mop and bucket to clean it all up.
🖍️ Optimize Your Site for UX
Most website owners don’t realize that their site isn’t user-friendly.
Since Google announced that User Experience will be taken into consideration for ranking in the search results as of May 2021, now is the time to start getting your site into shape.
Google has a set of signals it uses for evaluation.
We reported on the new page experience signals in a previous letter, and, this week, we've also uncovered a useful FAQ thread from Google support.
Wading through the technical side of Google is often frustrating so we found a recent article from QuickSprout that explains website usability in simple terms.
The eight best practices are as follows:
Optimize for mobile devices
Follow WCAG standards
Stick to common design elements
Create a visual hierarchy
Simplify the navigation
Make sure your content is legible
Check it out for the best tips and advice on how to make sure your website is user friendly.
🐂 Dumb or Smart Passive Income?
This 20 minute video from John Lerner is one of the best summaries of "Smart Passive Income" we've seen.
Lerner talks about what the word 'smart' really means when referring to passive income, and how to recognize which opportunities pass the ‘passive income test’.
He covers the 3 types of online businesses that he considers have the potential to turn into profitable digital assets and he outlines his reasoning for this.
Starting at 9:47 he goes over his "Phases of Legacy" which are designed to ensure your financial security.
These are: the Cash Flow phase, the Growth phase, and the Wealth phase.
There's a load of info packed into these 20 minutes. Watch and listen here.
📚 Focus on Information
As the founder of Fat Stacks, Jon Dykstra is a busy man.
He now makes $65k per month from his business teaching others how to make a living blogging or building niche sites. (Check the article for screenshots of ad network earnings and traffic numbers).
You might recall that Avi had an in-depth discussion with Jon on our last podcast episode.
Now, Spencer Haws has published the details of his recent interview with Jon.
They cover the usual territory, like what Jon is working on right now and how much he's making.
The most perceptive advice is about Jon's focus on informational content, and his go-to strategy of monetizing with ads.
Of this, he says:
Switching to focusing on display ads was a game-changer for my content publishing business.
Among other things, Haws and Dykstra discuss selecting blog topics and managing multiple websites.
The balance of the article (top and bottom) is a plug for Jon's courses, but noobs will find several helpful tips in the body of the story.
🍿 Investing Snacks 🍿
↣↣ Bitcoin & Crypto Domains
Now that Bitcoin has blown through the $20k mark, we're wondering whether Bitcoin, Crypto, and Coin names will see increased interest.
TLDInvestors have collated a handy list of domain sales with Bitcoin in the name.
So far in 2020, there have been 119 four-figure sales of Bitcoin names and 274 sales of names including Crypto.
Bitcoinpoker.com leads the way in value with a sale price of USD 65,000 at Sedo.
You'll find plenty of other names and sales details (courtesy of NameBio) on this list.
↣↣ Podcast: Internet Strategy
When we mention Farnam Street (FS) to our friends, most of them look at us blankly.
It appears that FS is one of the best blog and podcast resources no one's heard about.
Thompson started Stratechery as a side project, but it quickly ballooned into one of the most influential tech blogs on the web.
In the interview, Ben and Shane Parrish talk about:
The one metric Ben looks at each day to gauge the health of his business
How the internet has changed the traditional view of supply and demand, and what companies should do about it
What Ben would teach an MBA class about internet strategy (if you do any business online, you need to hear this)
And much more besides.
It's a jam-packed discussion and we think you'll take away at least one valuable piece of wisdom to apply in 2021.
↣↣ Privacy Is a Big Issue
Today, businesses must navigate a complex and changing privacy landscape.
If you question whether your website compliance is up to scratch, then take a look at Privacy Grader.
Privacy Grader is a new tool created by the founders of the data compliance and security start-up, Ketch.
They promise you a free assessment of your site in less than 24 hours.
You get scored on over 50 different factors, including trackers, storage of personal data and overall compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and other regulations.
When 70% of consumers won't purchase from a website they don't trust, and new regulations cause legal and financial risk, can your company afford gaps in your data privacy?
You'll see how Privacy Grader works on their website.
That’s all for 2020…
🙋How did we do this week?
With your feedback, we can improve this newsletter. Please click on a link to vote:
We look forward to seeing you back here in 2021!
In the meantime, hit us up in the comments at the bottom of the web version.
✨🎉 Happy Holidays and a Very Happy New Year to you all 🎉✨