E8 Part 1: Steve Brown on Managing a 15 Site Portfolio


In this episode of the Website Investing podcast I speak with top website investor Steve Brown on how he is able to generate consistent success by building out on aged domains.

In this part 1, free subscribers get the first 40 minutes of the conversation; paying subscribers also get part 2 in their RSS feed which runs at an additional hour. As is typical, part 2 elicits more insights as we get further into the conversation.

In this week’s Monday newsletter I asked for help with the publication, in particular, a Podcast Producer. I’d like to thank Brady Cargle for reaching out offering to help edit and produce this week’s episode until I find someone (which I now have). Brady is the voice you hear introducing and summarizing in this week’s episode. Steve’s audio is a little buzzy at the beginning but Brady got it to settle down. He also did the excellent show notes below.


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Part 1 Show Notes

Steve’s Assets

Steve’s own sites have weathered the update storms (one was listed in a Deals email back in May). His May income was just down 3% from April, but his April income was 2x of his March income.

Most of Steve’s traffic comes from Google and most of his income comes from Amazon Associates, but he does have some affiliate diversification and is interested in diversifying more.

One problem with affiliate program diversification is the increased time management required. One potential tool to manage your affiliate programs could be Affluent.io shown below:

Traffic Diversification In Acquisitions

It’s easy to know how much traffic a website is getting. But why is the website getting it? How can we track the movements of individual keywords in mass to know how the website is moving in the SERPs?

There’s no good way to do this. Tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush allow us to see historic traffic, but these tools can be inaccurate. Future sellers should look at tracking all of their rankings in something like Ahrefs’s Rank Tracker (or Steve’s favorite: Keyword.com, previously called SerpBook).

Rankings history will be helpful to verify that a website’s traffic is diversified and isn’t wrapped up in just a handful of pages.

Premium Subscription Models As Income Generators

The premium subscription model is exciting right now. Content seems to be getting to a place where people are willing to pay for it...

As long as it provides them value or saves them time.

There are a couple of ways to go about a content business: You can be an expert in your niche and deliver high-value, time-saving content or you can curate news within a certain niche. Both models work and seem to be on the uptrend.

It’s an attractive model for any business, including an authority site because you have control. No one can take your subscriptions away. Amazon can’t change your rate, Google can’t remove you from the featured snippet.

The downside to the model is that it does require a bit of legwork. A premium publication (such as Growthlist by Chris Osborne) will take time to build.

Episode 8 Part 2

In part 2 of this conversation we discuss:

  • The strengths and weaknesses of having a larger portfolio

  • Steve’s approach and thoughts on 301 redirects / combining sites

  • How content needs to be relevant to the link profile it’s published on

  • Steve’s most important factor for conversions

  • Whether Steve would roll up and sell his entire portfolio

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.