Website Investing Weekly: Game of Chicken? 🐔

Will buyers or sellers be the first to flinch

Happy Monday and welcome to Website Investing Weekly, bringing you up-to-date with what’s been going on in the world of website investing.

📉 Industry Dip

Empire Flippers, as transparent as ever, published its 2020 Q1 report showcasing a 50% revenue drop in transactions from Q4 2019. Seller submissions were at an all time high, meaning it was buyer confidence, affected by the pandemic, which kept the deal size down.

We predict this lack of buyer confidence to continue at least into Q2. Many buyers are waiting to see what happens, and many of them are looking to pick up wounded businesses at a discounted price.

I wonder who will be the first to flinch - whether investors really will hold out until sellers acquiesce.

💰 What’s It Worth?

Investors Club launched its new valuation tool so that sellers can find out what multiple range they can get if you list with them. I played a small part in setting up the due diligence and valuation process at IC (after I sold Flipping Websites to Alpha Investors) and can confirm it’s very detailed. The tool has a great UI and you can find out where your website would rank within Investors Club (fun feature).

🏅P2P & Minimizing Trust

Similar to blockchains, Flippa has been on a pursuit to minimize the amount of trust required on their platform. They introduced the requirement of ID verification from both parties before finalizing a sale, and fully integrated with to complete the transaction safely and securely. Flippa is now boosting their best listings from trustworthy sellers so they appear closer to the top of results, to give them more visibility.

🔥 You Following?

Goran Duskic published his 5 website investors you should follow in 2020, showcasing the people helping to make website investing mainstream (a goal of this publication). One is Adam Smith who joined me on the first Website Investing Podcast I released on Friday.

💰 OG Website Flippers

I recently moved a software review site over to the Ezoic platform and have been enjoying the additional revenue and site speed boost (Google Pagespeed Insights on Mobile went from a 36 to 81!). I hadn’t realized that the technology behind the platform actually came from the founders investing over $5MM in hundreds of web properties as mentioned in their article how to buy a website and turn a profit.

John and Dwayne worked together to build a technology that would essentially allow them to buy sites and then increase their revenue to generate a profit using automated technology.

As you may know, with content sites I’ve been focusing heavily on RPM, but reading the article I now understand that total revenue per session is the most important metric to focus on.

⚡️ Amazon Alternatives Finder

AMZ Watcher previously listed all the Amazon products you promote on your site and showed which ones are out of stock or which links are broken. Now it also shows you alternative affiliate programs (such as Sears, Overstock etc) and partners where you can promote them (CJ, Skimlinks) along with the commission rates and signup links.

🖕The F*** Amazon Experiment

Matt Giovanisci is giving Amazon the middle finger from its recent commission cut, which lost his main site six figures in revenue, by testing ways to make up the revenue loss:

Will adding more affiliate links and programs, giving users a choice, and adding digital product upsells make up the difference from Amazon’s dick move?

Find out in his great article series here.

🇪🇺 Lost in Translation?

ODYS, the private marketplace for pre-owned niche relevant SEO domains, has introduced new EU markets for their DFY site builds on aged domains. They are now able to build sites out for Spain, France and Italy markets, which offer easier SERPs and higher regional Amazon commission rates. They also help DFY site investors to discover the best affiliate program for the niche (beyond Amazon). You need to request access or get an invite link - people who use my invite link now get $100 in credit in their account (if approved) towards their domain / site.

📈 Deflating Commissions, Inflating Prices

Although Amazon cut commission rates, revenue of sites monetized by Amazon Associates may be helped by the fact that some product categories are seeing rising prices. TechCrunch, reporting on Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, stated:

As online is absorbing the offline retail economy, some inflation is being observed for the first time in years, especially in categories that have consistently experienced online deflation, such as electronics.

The Oldest Websites Still Online

Fun article on Sedo about the oldest yet still active internet addresses under .com. It’s easy to forget how new the internet still is, with the first website in 1991. I actually remember playing around with bulletin boards prior to the web, to download sound files such as Arnie saying “I’ll be back”. It only took an hour for each 5 second clip.

Sponsored by Ezoic

This newsletter is sponsored by the Ezoic platform which my main software review site runs on (literally in terms of using their nameservers) to monetize through ads and maximise site speed.

And just like that, you're up to date.