Welcome to Website Investing Weekly, bringing you up-to-date with what’s been going on in the world of website investing and alternative related asset classes. If you’re not already on the list to receive these updates, sign up below. You can also leave comments at the end of the post.
🇬🇧 Sophisticated Brits
As a Brit, I can simply self-certify that I’m a sophisticated investor (as defined by the FCA) and invest in startups on crowdfunding platforms such as Crowdcube (have used), or get fractional property ownership on platforms such as Leo Crowdfunding (not used).
I guess this is why I’m bullish on seeing a platform launch that does this for website investing, whether that’s fractional ownership in a single deal or (my preference) the ability to invest in funds that own a portfolio of sites.
Unfortunately, it’s just not as easy for my American friends, as Juliet reports in the story below. [RP]
🇺🇸 Accredited Americans
People are already complaining that this legislation doesn't go far enough and I understand why.
A few days ago, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) widened the definition of an accredited investor to include several additional categories.
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton stated:
For the first time, individuals will be permitted to participate in our private capital markets not only based on their income or net worth, but also based on established, clear measures of financial sophistication.
The SEC now include the following as accredited investors:
individuals who have certain professional certifications, designations or credentials
individuals who are “knowledgeable employees” of a private fund
“family offices” with at least $5 million in assets under management
It's interesting to note that the professional certifications specifically relate to qualifications in the financial field. For example, you need to be a licensed investment adviser or permitted to sell securities products. There is some hope that other professionals may qualify under the new rule, but this requires proposals to the Commission from members of the public.
But, not much has changed if you're an individual earning $199K a year. You need $200K per annum as a 'natural person' or $300K if you pool your income with your spouse.
I find it odd that private investments such as venture capital funds are viewed as riskier than trading shares on the stock market. I find it disturbing that intelligent, lower-income people who want to diversify their investments cannot choose how to build their portfolios.
Wealth is not always a good measure of common sense, intelligence or financial sophistication. It simply means that the individual is better able to withstand a loss.
Hopefully, the amendments made last week are a sign of more change to come. [JL]
💣 Minimizing Investment Risk
Every content site is an investment of time, money, and energy, but many new niche site builders haven't considered the potential risks.
It's tempting to concentrate only on the potential return on investment you'll see for a couple of years of work. But, like any business, a website has an element of risk.
Whether you're new to the game or you've started and run several content sites, it's worth remembering that you can go from hero to zero overnight.
Anne over at yeys.com has clearly summarized 10 of the major reasons your website could tank - or disappear altogether.
Some of these risks will be obvious to you. Like many other site owners, you might have been ravaged by a Google algorithm update or a drop in your affiliate commissions in the past. While you're not normally warned about these changes, it is possible to mitigate some of the downside.
What's essential is planning for the issues that are less common, but which also have the ability to severely impact your website and your business as a whole. When did you last think about what to do if hackers attack your site or a disgruntled employee deletes half of your content?
These things can - and do - occur. And not just to 'other people.'
Take 5 minutes to read the rest of the article and get helpful tips on minimizing your website risk profile. [JL]
💪 Top Performing SEO Domains & DFY Sites
ODYS is the place for best-performing aftermarket SEO domains to build money sites out on. They also offer DFY Affiliate Sites from $2,700 for 50K words, which include keyword research, redirecting any old URLs that they can’t rebuild, and one year’s hosting. And they are about to launch Ready Made Sites, immediately available to purchase. Request access today.
🖥️ New Flippa Dashboard
User Experience (UX) design and UI (User Interface) are trending topics when it comes to how your audience reacts and interacts with your website.
Usually, it's difficult to identify exactly what you're doing wrong without a ton of testing, research or comments from your website users.
It seems that Flippa is lucky enough to have a base of fans who aren't shy about sharing their thoughts.
Acting on feedback from their customers, Flippa have just redesigned their dashboard with a mobile-first focus. They've grouped all the admin pages under a 'My Account' tab and placed the most commonly selected options under 'My Dashboard.'
If you're already a Flippa user then log in to take a look. If not, then you'll find a bit more information here. [JL]
🏗️ Niche Website Builders
Looking for a fully hands-off approach to outsourcing your content? Niche Website Builders is a marketing agency designed for content sites. Their packages come with keyword research, formatting and uploading to Wordpress (using templates that have proven to convert) and are written by native English speakers. Check it out.
🚘 Convert Traffic Better by Paying
What do paid ads and website user experience (UX) have in common?
I would have struggled to make the connection, but thanks to Travis Jamison over at Smash VC I'm looking at paid ads from a different angle.
Since we've already touched on UX in this newsletter, Travis' latest post on Flippa is timely. Most marketers know that a simple tweak to a website landing page often results in greater conversions and revenues.
The key is to identify which aspects of a page perform the best.
Travis sums up how paid ads help to refine UX:
...you can create identical ads that drive traffic to different variations of a landing page, paid ads allow you to test elements on your landing page to improve the page over time.
While free traffic is great, it takes time to build and then analyze your visitors' behavior. Running paid ads speeds up your data collection process, and once you understand how users behave on your landing page, you're better able to market to them.
When aiming to improve user experience, the main idea is to test website elements one by one.
The trick to improving user experience is to change only one thing at a time and measure the impact of that change. If your design amendment encourages more conversions, you have a winner and you can move on and test something else.
As Travis notes:
Remove all elements that are performing poorly. Eliminate distractions, and make sure that your landing pages are focused on converting.
If you're already using paid ads on your site, Travis recommends testing these three elements to improve UX and conversions on your site. [JL]
🤖 Intelligent Platform for Publishers
Ezoic is an AI-driven platform built for publishers to optimize ad revenue and maximize site speed. As a Google Certified Publishing Partner, they have access to Google Ad Exchange, as well as top-performing ad networks. Their real machine learning optimizes ads and layouts for each individual visitor, resulting in much higher revenue, whilst improving UX. Start a free trial of the Ezoic platform today.
🎟️ Investing Online Events
Namescon online is the largest-ever domain-industry conference and it's on from Wednesday, September 9th to Friday, September 11th. Namescon offers the chance to network with fellow investors and key industry players from around the globe. Among the scheduled presentations are sessions on domain investing, valuing SEO domains, and the future of naming - and domaining. Richard will be there and I bet he'll be bidding on some of the great domains on offer in the online auction. You'll get more detail and registration info here.
Want to join a bunch of founders, experts and investors from the world of startups? You can do this at the Against All Odds Startup Summit on the 9th September. Unlike most virtual events, this summit aims to facilitate 1:1 networking sessions, VC Connects and roundtable discussions on a single platform. If you'd like to hear from startup founders and leaders of companies like Freshworks, Slack, Sequoia Capital and 500 Startups, then register on this page. 30+ speakers will share their perspective on how you can leverage the market, and they'll cover a range of topics from growth strategies to funding. [JL]
😎 Publication Sponsorship
Interested in sponsoring this publication? Every update gets emailed to over 2,500 people and averages ~ 1,500 views, with click-through rates as high as 8% on links. The web version of the posts get shared on social. Visit the sponsorship page for newsletter and podcast advertising opportunities.
That’s it for another week, hit us up in the comments at the bottom of the web version.
Richard Patey & Juliet Lyall