E5 Part 1: Ron Stefanski on Staying Sane Running 9 Sites

  
0:00
-53:35

On this episode, I speak with Ron Stefanski from onehourprofessor.com. Ron has kept income reports since 2014 where he documents the revenue from his portfolio of now 9 sites.

In this part 1, free subscribers get the first 50 minutes; paying subscribers also get part 2 in their RSS feed. To access just hit the button below.


SPONSORED BY

This podcast is sponsored by Ezoic, an AI driven platform built for publishers to optimize ad revenue and maximise site speed. You also get access to big data analytics where you can break down revenue at a page level, to see how blog categories, content age, word count and even authors bring in the highest RPM.


Part 1 Show Notes

Tax

We start off talking about minimizing tax for website investors, such as moving to Puerto Rica, and whether websites built from scratch fall under capital gains. I’m in the process of trying to get a knowledgable accountant on the podcast about all of this - if you know anyone great please leave a comment on the web version of this post.

Team

Ron runs a lean ship with his 9 sites, with 1 full time VA, 2 editors, and a bunch of freelance writers.

3 Months Of Joy

The global pandemic hit Ron’s traffic and display ad revenue in March, then in April Amazon made their commission cut, which didn’t hurt him too bad as his main monetization is display ads rather than affiliate. Then in May, the Google update happened and the two smaller affiliate sites got hit, on top of the Amazon commission change.

Considering Exits

Ron is now considering exiting some of his portfolio, so that he can focus on his one big site and his personal blog. But due to the last 3 months of joy, is in a strange position with revenue down on the sites that he would consider selling.

Grouping / Consolidating Sites

After Ron’s success with his main website in the employment niche, he created another one in the same niche but targeting a different topic. He repeated this in the pet niche. When he finds success he leans into that, but he doesn’t go after the same keywords in the same niches, rather than trying to monopolize the SERPs.

I mention the option for 301 redirecting Ron’s sites together (e.g. combining the pet sites) and talk about my experience of doing this with abandoned blogs and aged domains. Ron stated he tried to launch a new silo on one of his existing, higher authority sites but it didn’t perform well, so was forced to move that content to a new site focussed on just that sub-niche.

Ongoing Investment

Ron invests around $2K-$4K/m into his portfolio in freelance research, writing and editing. He doesn’t reinvest more as doesn’t use content agencies - he gets the best content quality from his freelance writers.

Directory / Content Hybrid

Ron also has some sites that focus on the best X in a local area, but he doesn’t install a plugin that auto generates content, or ask for people to submit their own information. Instead, he builds out proper pages and then reaches out to those featured to ask if they are interested in promoting him (with a link) to get moved higher up - this can be a great link building strategy but you need to be careful. I had this idea for my local site here in Norwich, but put it on hold due to the pandemic. The only page I have created is to poke fun at local SEO agencies (I got this almost to the top of p1 last year).

Updating Content

Ron previously didn’t believe in the concept of updating content (SOP here for paying subscribers here) but after getting a site to a high number of pages he noticed that rankings dropped over time, and that continuing to publish new content was not the answer. Now every quarter, he runs a report looking at pages that are losing positions (content audit SOP for paying subscribers here), and re-assigning those to the original writer to revise.

Episode 5 Part 2

In part 2 of this conversation, we talk about:

  • Whether Ron would consider selling his biggest site

  • If he does sell, where would he reinvest that capital

  • What Ron’s return on capital invested is (I created a spreadsheet on the fly which I include)

  • How Ron views content sites as communities where people need help with something

  • How to rank Youtube videos to drive traffic to your sites

Part 2 is for paying subscribers, you can access by hitting the button below.

Enjoyed this episode or have any questions? You can leave a comment at the bottom of the web version of this post.