Welcome to Website Investing Weekly, bringing you up-to-date with what’s been going on in the world of website investing. 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.
🔴 Startup Investing <<--->> Website Investing
The startup Launch Ticker, by top angel investor Jason Calacanis, led with the news last week that Red Ventures (one of the media companies I listed in this post for paid subscribers) is in talks to buy the huge tech / news site CNET.
In a previous Monday newsletter, I led with the story of how the worlds of website investing and domain investing are coming together. Indeed, since then I interviewed top domain investor Josh Reason on the podcast (one of my favorites). Now the world of startups is becoming familiar with what a “website holding company” is.
I’ve been a massive fan of This Week In Startups since 2012 (insights from Tyler anyone?), I’ve dabbled in equity crowdfunding platforms since 2013 (when they launched in the UK) and bought Jason’s Angel book when it launched back in 2017.
So I was super excited to see this news and posted on social and in communities last week but surprisingly to me, it got little response. If you’re interested in investing in startups (as well as websites / domains) leave a comment on the web version of below or reach out. Maybe we’ll look to include more relevant stories. [RP]
🛑 2,424 Banned Members in 6 Weeks
I don't have any inside info on why these members were banned, but this demonstrates Flippa's commitment to maintaining a clean marketplace for buyers and sellers.
While every marketplace has its set of internal rules and standard operating procedures, they don't usually bring them to our attention. There are strict codes of behaviour required on the major marketplaces and it appears that user behavior and interaction is also monitored.
The CEO of Flippa, Blake Hutchison, disclosed a few interesting statistics in a recent email. He revealed that their current membership totals 957,000, and that from July 1 to August 15th, over 4,115 listings were removed from the platform.
Among the reasons for removal were that sellers were "unresponsive" or the assets were "wildly or terribly mispriced."
Listing a "wildly or terribly mispriced" asset would not occur on every marketplace, and I'd suggest that a small adjustment to their listing process would overcome this particular issue.
Still, Flippa is consistently adding improvements such as additional layers of buyer verification to ensure they know who is on the marketplace. In addition, they're investing further funds and resources into fraud detection and risk.
If you'd like to know more about how to get the most out of the Flippa platform, then their newly produced guide, Fippa 101, is the place to start. [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.
👻 Who You Gonna Call?
Unless you’re a top SEO, you're going to need help.
The excitement of purchasing your first website is fading. Now you're faced with the reality of improving and building your site in the months ahead. Whether you plan to hold onto your site for the long term or you're looking to flip it in 18 months, there is work to do.
What you specifically need to do will depend on the current state of your site, but it's likely that you won't have the time or all the skills required to pull this off. But, who do you hire to help you out, and where do you find these people? Dom Wells outlines your options for outsourcing and offers suggestions on which tasks to keep in-house.
In my opinion, his best piece of advice is the following:
You have skills that most people don’t have, so you shouldn’t be doing the $10/hour tasks yourself.
Firstly, figure out which tasks you've already mastered and decide which of those could be outsourced. Don't be tempted to hang onto a job just because you enjoy doing it. If it's not a high-value task then you shouldn't even think about keeping it on your list.
On the other hand, it's important to upskill yourself. Any specific knowledge will be useful when it's time to hire out certain tasks. Your expertise gives you clarity on what's required to do that job and allows you to better judge the quality of work you receive from whoever you hire. [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.
👎 Verifying Social Assets
Website due diligence (our SOP here) is not only about verifying traffic and revenue; it should also look at all the listed assets, such as social accounts.
A site's social media following has a value so ensure that you get what you pay for.
10,000 followers on Facebook may look great on the surface, but are they actually real people?
It's easy enough to check this by using a follower verification service. These platforms allow you to enter a social media profile and check how many active followers, bots, and in-active followers are attributed to an account.
An engaged community on social media will aid in your efforts to grow a site in the future. On the other hand, if a seller has ignored the leverage that social media offers, then you'll have the opportunity to capitalize on that gap as you move forward. [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.
😎 Publication Sponsorship
Interested in sponsoring this publication? Every update gets emailed to over 2,400 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