Website Investing Weekly🎙️Flipping Podcasts
Acquiring audiences, Ahrefs going freemium & why subscription models make great investments...
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.
🎧 Audience Acquisitions
If you do a quick search online, you'll find a list of marketplaces to buy and sell websites, domains, blogs, and even social media accounts.
If you own a digital asset there's a market for it - especially if it's producing an income.
That's one of the reasons we've started to see marketplaces like Duuce appear for trading newsletters. Buyers are keen to purchase a ready-made audience and the revenue they generate from paid content.
But, what about your podcast? If you're looking to grow and flip a podcast for profit, then where do you sell?
In the past two years, we've seen a couple of impressive deals done in the podcasting space.
We know that your mind has automatically gone to Joe Rogan's recent agreement with Spotify.
A deal that is reportedly worth over $100 million.
But, it wasn't a sale. It was a licensing deal, and there's a huge difference.
Prior to that was Gimlet Media's $230 million dollar deal - once again with Spotify. Gimlet produced and built several podcasts. In fact, the first podcast documented the owner's real-life efforts to start a podcasting company.
We have real-life experience with growing and selling a podcast because Richard sold Flipping Websites last year. This was a private sale to someone in our network.
We decided to check our "gap" theory by carrying out a few searches on ways to buy and sell podcasts. What did we come up with? Basically zip.
Even Google trends disappointed:
It now makes sense that podcast owners are resorting to social media and their email lists to source suitable buyers for their shows.
This week, we received an email from Steve Olsher who describes himself as "America's Reinvention Expert." Among other things, he's a speaker, author and coach who publishes a monthly podcast magazine dedicated to podcasts and podcast culture.
He knows more than a little about podcasts since he has two podcasts of his own - Reinvention Radio and Beyond 8 Figures. Here's a snippet from Steve's email (edited):
We have reached the end of an era. After 10 years, more than 1,000 episodes and priceless moments, it is time to pass the torch on our Reinvention Radio and Beyond 8 Figures podcasts.
We are selling each asset separately and will include all brand rights, the existing feeds/ratings/reviews, websites, access to any/all past guest contact info, etc.
We have no idea how much these shows are worth, but we'll be watching for updates on a sale and change of ownership. We'll keep you posted.
If you've tried to sell, or have actually sold a podcast, please tell us about it in the comments.
🆓 Ahrefs Goes Freemium
Have you heard about the changes to Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (AWT)?
Those of you who use Ahrefs already know that they provide a bunch of great tools.
As of now, they're giving you free access to important SEO data for every single one of your websites.
There is one catch. You can only view data for websites you own or for your clients’ websites if they give you access to their Google Search Console data, DNS records or editing rights.
Here's what Ahrefs had to say:
We wanted to give all content creators the data they need to optimize their websites. So with AWT, we’re essentially opening up free access to Site Audit and Site Explorer for verified websites.
The Site Explorer tool allows you to:
Download your backlink profile
See which keywords you rank for
Look at search volumes and keyword ranking difficulties
In addition, the free Site Audit tool will scan your site for 100+ common SEO problems and generate a handy report to help you fix any issues..
Their aim is to "support website owners who can’t justify investing in a professional SEO tool."
Still, this move hasn't been without some criticism. People in Facebook groups have been posting that they feel like it is a way for Ahrefs to get data, or gives your competitors your data.
Perhaps, Ahrefs anticipated this, since they appear to have covered it off in their blog post:
We understand that you might not want us to use your data to train our algorithms. That’s perfectly fine! In this case, please use any of the other methods (DNS record, HTML file or HTML tag) to verify your website.
Still, they have plenty of positive feedback on their Twitter feed,
And we applaud their efforts to help those content creators who don't have the resources to cover a monthly subscription.
🏗️ 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.
🛒 Subscribe & Invest
Although our newsletter is available as both a free and paid subscription, we haven't written about subscriptions as an online business model to acquire.
In fact, if you scour the marketplaces, you'll find 1000s of sites monetized by affiliate programs, display advertising, ecommerce, and even donations, but very few sites that are based on a subscription model.
Why is this?
Empire Flippers say it's because:
we’ve not seen an adequate number of quality assets meeting our vetting standards
A subscription business gives you the option to offer various services, e.g. software as a service (SaaS) or to stick with physical products. We're all familiar with monthly subscriptions boxes like Try The World or standing restock boxes like those from Dollar Shave Club.
We believe that subscription businesses are perfect for anyone starting out in the world of digital property acquisitions. They generally have lower entry and overhead costs, and they offer potential for an attractive recurring income.
Branden Schmidt recently put together a comprehensive overview that dives into the pros and cons of subscription businesses.
Here's our take on the subscription model:
As with any business, a subscription site has its own peculiarities. Whether you decide to build a subscription business or buy an existing one, the aim is to become an established brand within your niche.
It takes some work to create a loyal base of subscribers who feel like they belong to an exclusive club. Your site needs to create a community where people choose to gather, to share information and to get updates and info they can't find anywhere else.
Of course, your products are important, but it's about how you make your subscribers feel rather than what you sell that makes the difference.
Sellers will benefit from understanding what a buyer looks for when purchasing a subscription business.
The best advice we took from Branden's article is:
...the more you can make your business stand out from other subscription services within your niche while making it an investment opportunity that’s easy to hand off, the more you’ll be able to demand a much higher listing price when you make your exit.
If you'd like a deeper dive into this topic, you'll find the complete post here.
🦄 SEOs with Skin in the Game
Smash Digital - a growth agency, filled to the brim with unicorn images and SEO memes. A team of SEOs with actual skin in the game, ranking their own portfolio of profitable businesses, and offering the exact same services to clients. An agency with so much link juice you’ll need a mop and bucket to clean it all up. Check. Them. Out.
📜 Quote of the Week
If you're one of our paid subscribers, then you already have access to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) we put together for purchasing and running a website.
Periodically, we offer snippets on this topic, but Jerry Low's article will give you a refresher.
We liked the interesting tips he added to the end of his post.
Here's one we endorse for all newbie investors:
Always start small and treat your first purchase as a highly valued experiment. Look at it from the perspective of a learning experience and don’t worry too much about how much you’ll potentially earn.
👀 Watch this Space
According to SEC documents, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is starting a $150 million investment fund.
Details are sketchy at this point so we have no idea if they'll add website investments to their portfolio.
The fund is called 776, which according to its website, is a reference to 776 B.C.E - the year of the first Olympics.
Of course, his wife, Serena Williams has 4 Olympic gold medals and his daughter is named Alexis Olympia. References to the Olympic games make sense.
We'll keep an eye on this one.
🤖 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.
😎 Publication Sponsorship
Interested in sponsoring this publication? Every update gets emailed to over 2,600 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, let us know how we’re doing below.
Juliet Lyall & Richard Patey
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