EFP 117: Flipping an Online Subscription Business
I’m not a big fan of network marketing, but I AM a fan of subscription-based businesses.
Introducing Chris Yates on How to Buy a Business & Sell It on the Empire Flipper’s Marketplace
Today we’ve got a great interview with Chris Yates about a business he’s bought and is now selling on our platform.
Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:
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Topics Discussed This Week Include:
- How Chris acquired this site and the previous owner’s history
- Why he’s selling and his post-sale plan
- Which expansion plans are and aren’t working
- Chris’ thoughts on valuation
- Work required to run the site
- Chris Yates’ Site for Sale: Listing 40086 – $4,817.1/mo. – $96,342
- Featured Listing 40084 – CNA Niche – $3.9K/mo. – $77,190.40
- Long Tail Pro Discount ($50 Off starts Black Friday weekend)
- Empire Valuation Tool
- 70% Outreach, 30% Building
- EmpireFlippers Twitter
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“There are advertisers tripping over themselves to give money to sites that have traffic.” – Justin – Tweet This!
Do you have any questions for Chris? Ask them in the comments below and he’ll be there!
Justin: Welcome to Empire podcast episode 117. There’s definitely some money being made in the website flipping business. Today we sit down with entrepreneur Chris Yates to discuss his acquisition and sale of a nearly six figure subscription site in the network marketing niche. You can find the show notes and all links discussed in this episode at empireflippers.com/chrisyates. All right, let’s do this.
Announcer: Sick of listening to entrepreneurial advice from guys with day jobs? Want to hear about the real successes and failures that come with building an online empire? You are not alone. From San Diego to Tokyo, New York to Bangkok, join thousands of entrepreneurs and investors who are prioritizing wealth and personal freedom over the oppression of an office cubicle. Check out the empire podcast. And now your hosts, Justin and Joe.
Justin: All right, Joe, so I’m not a big fan of network marketing in general, but I am a fan of subscription based businesses. Today we’ve got an interview with Chris Yates about a business he’s bought and now selling on our platform. I though it’d be really interesting to talk to him and kind of highlight some of the changes, some of his acquisition strategies for purchasing the website, and then his process of going through the sales cycle with us.
Joe: Yeah. I’m a big Chris Yates fan, so I think that’s what it really comes down to too. I think, yeah. Me as well, network marketing kind of gives you a little bit of not so great feeling. But I like the way Chris approaches it, [inaudible 00:01:24] really builds for some community and it’s a very interesting business.
Justin: Yeah. One of the things I like about Chris Yates first off, is that he put on the Roadie and weekend event that we attended in Vegas, and I think both you and I got a ton of value out of that and it was great to meet some of the other people in our industry. So just the fact that he’s able to bring people together in our space is fantastic. The fact that he invited us to come out and do a presentation was even better. So big props to him for bringing us out. He actually, I was telling him before the interview that I was just so excited that he got us out to the US. It’s one of those things we’d put off for years, man. We’re kinda like ah, I don’t know. We don’t really have a reason to, we don’t need to go back. And then we’re like oh, let’s do an industry event. We should go back to the US for an industry event. So he kind of dragged us back to US. If we’re gonna go to the US, it might as well be in Vegas, right?
Joe: Yeah. I mean, definitely something we should have done years before. But we got it done, I’m glad we did it, we shouldn’t wait as long for next time.
Justin: So in this interview, man I think people are really gonna dig it because we’re gonna talk a little bit about how he found and purchased a website that he’s currently selling, talk to him about what’s working and not working in the niche, and then his attempt to expand the site and to build it out. We also talk a little bit about valuation and expanding the business, his plan to, if he were keeping it, what he would do to try to expand it and grow it over the coming years. So I think there’s gonna be a bunch of value for people that are looking to buy websites, but also looking to sell websites and looking at what they can do to improve the value. Before we do that, buddy, let’s take a quick break and look at your feature listing of the week. What you got for us this week, man?
Joe: Yeah. So this week we’re talking about listing number 40,084. It’s a jobs and education site. It’s actually around the CNA niche. It’s one of those kind of great geo-targeted previously modified with Quinn Street type of content sites. The seller actually changed the monetization strategy because Quinn Street started paying out a little bit less for leads. He’s found some really good second affiliate programs to use, and that’s doing very, very well. So the next profit is running almost $3,900 a month. It’s got page views, a little bit more than 10,000 in the last 30 days. And it does get some good traffic from all around the country. So it’s pretty diversified in all the ages that it’s coming to. So it’s fairly hands off, obviously always gotta add content, but I really do like the site. We have it priced for just a smidge over $77,000.
Justin: This site is pretty interesting, because we did have it listed before and it was with Quinn Street. But for whatever reason, Quinn Street started paying out less. It just wasn’t working as well, so it was declining. So we ended up taking it off the market so that the seller could fix it. He ended up finding, I think it’s campus explorer, which is the company he’s going with now. Looks like things have turned around and stabilized so it’s back up on the market. So now you’ve got Quinn Street or campus explorer that you can use in terms of monetization methods, so it’s got two different affiliate programs that are working. It’s interesting that this is the first time we’ve crossed that. Where the Quinn Street just wasn’t working out as well. It’s generally the better affiliate to use.
Joe: So yeah, I actually met with the seller when I was back in the US. We [inaudible 00:04:35] for about two hours about this site. What had happened was is Quinn Street was playing very well, but I guess they had some advertisers cancel on them, and that caused the amount that they could pay out for leads it would significantly go down. So if Quinn Street does add those advertisers back, they might be able to get more money and his back up sort of monetization strategy. But for right now, it just goes to show you. If you have the traffic, and you have good solid leads, there are plenty affiliate programs out there that buy those kind of things.
Justin: Yeah man. This one’s really interesting for purchase. We’re also researching it for potential investor program. I think it’s in terms of what it’s earning it’s definitely a good fit. In terms of build out, because of the geo-targeting aspect on the side, I think it’s probably a good fit for us as well. We do have to take a closer look though before we approve it for the [inaudible 00:05:25] program, but I think it might be a good fit. If it doesn’t get picked up by a buyer, I think that’s probably a good route for us to take. All right man, let’s get into the heart of this week’s episode.
Announcer: Now for the heart of this week’s episode.
Justin: Thanks for tuning into our seller interview series. Up today we’ve got a membership website for sale in the marketing and online niche, making just under $5,000 a month in net profit. The site contains expert interviews, a form with user generated content, and access of one stop shop for online and offline network marketers. The list number for the site is 40086. We do these interviews to get potential buyers more information about both the sellers and the sites they’re looking to purchase. We hope these insights are helpful for you in making a buying decision. We’ve got the seller Chris with us today to go through the site and cover everything from niche selection to traffic and monetization. What’s going on Chris? Thanks for coming on the show.
Chris Yates: Hey, Justin. Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.
Justin: By the way, this is Chris Yates. He actually ran the Roadie and weekend event in Las Vegas that he was wonderfully nice enough to invite us to. We had a blast. So just wanted to thank you again for bringing a bunch of buyers and sellers together so we can meet up in person, finally and talk business and strategy, and buying and selling websites. That was awesome, man.
Chris Yates: Yeah, yeah. It was a great event. The main thing for me was that we didn’t have anybody ask for their money back so I was happy about that.
Justin: That’s good, yeah.
Chris Yates: No, it was a great event. We appreciated having you guys out and great to meet you in person.
Justin: No refunds is a great sign. All right man, let’s do a quick introduction. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in building and running websites online?
Chris Yates: Sure. Yeah. Well, it started when I was 15 and I went and bought my first computer. No, I won’t go back that far. I’ll just give you a quick gist. But I started a marketing service business, provided graphic design, website development, online marketing services, things like that. This was probably back in 2004, 5, 6, something like that. I realized that I really didn’t enjoy working with clients, so I had this sort of dream that I’d be able to have a portfolio of online money making websites.
So my business partner at the time sold his company and I ended up selling my service company and we both sort of had money to work with, but we didn’t want to start totally from scratch and work with clients and have employees and all those kinds of things. So we started looking around for ideas, and we came across a training program on how to go out and buy websites. So this is probably about 2009, where we officially started doing it. So that’s what I do full time now. I have a portfolio of sites that I manage, and I occasionally buy, and I less often sell sites.
Justin: So you’re more of a build or buy and then hold. You do sell of a couple of sites here and there. This one in particular, you actually bought this site earlier this year. Tell me a little bit more about this site specifically. How did you find it, how did you buy it, what was the process there?
Chris Yates: Sure. Well do you mind if I go back a little bit farther than just that to really explain it? So when I first got into this business, we were buying sites on auction websites and things like that, and we started realizing, man, it’s not a really good place to be in terms of a negotiation position to be in the middle of a bidding war. So we started looking for other ways to get potential sites to buy and starting going to brokers and things like that. Really what we ended up with is man, it’d be great if we could start getting our name out there as people who are looking to buy sites in this space, looking to buy websites.
So we started doing that, and bought a couple sites in the niche, to kind of get our names out there. This was actually somebody who came to us looking to sell the site. The original founder of the site who founded it back in 2008 was looking to exit. He had some, I think he was looking to launch a whole new business, and just didn’t quite know what to do with the site. The person who was running it was wanting to wrap up with it and go on to his next thing. So he was looking to sell it and he just kind of came to us.
Justin: So basically getting your name out there, and letting people know hey, we’re open to buying sites kind of opened the opportunity for you. Someone brought you the site, said hey, I’m looking to sell this, and this particular instance, it worked out. I know we get some of those too, where people are like oh, I wanna sell my site with you. We’re like well tell us about it, well it doesn’t have any earnings yet but it’s gonna have so many, couple of years. That’s not really gonna work for our platform but I appreciate the effort.
Chris Yates: It’s true though. I will tell you, because like 90% of the sites that people felt have no [inaudible 00:10:11] probably 95% of them have no earnings, probably 90% of them have no traffic. So we just have to kind of nicely explain that we only buy sites with traffic and revenue, even though it’s totally plastered on the site and everything. I think people think dollar signs when they hear somebody wants to buy a website.
Justin: Tell me a little bit about this site. How it makes money. We were talking about this before we got on the show. Tell me about the primary monetization and kind of the strategy in terms of making money with the site.
Chris Yates: Okay. So the site makes money in a few different ways. The core of this, and one of the reason I originally wanted to buy this site, is it has a subscription model. I’m all about sites that are not just one off commissions and things like that that you never see. That you always have to go out, get new traffic and things like that. I like sites that have a stickiness to them, if you will and this site has that. Essentially what the subscription is is it’s a membership website, it’s a community based website for people in the online marketing, internet marketing, and network marketing industries. For them to connect, share with one another, share[inaudible 00:11:23] experts, and in doing so to generate leads for their business or opportunities that they have.
So the benefit of a subscription model for the members of the site is that they get basically three things. They get the community, they get access to premium content, they get traffic and leads, because of the fact that they’re positioning themselves as experts through the community, and I guess this is number four but they also get ability, we give them a badge that they can display saying they’re a member in good standing and that they fit our criteria for being a member in this industry. So there’s roughly about two or 300 paying members on the website, they pay either monthly or annually on a recurring basis.
Justin: Okay, so mostly subscription based, they get to position themselves as experts, and connect with others and be seen as an expert in the space. So that’s why it’s valuable to them. You got a couple hundred paid subscribers, and adding more. How long does the average paid subscriber last on platform?
Chris Yates: So depends on how you calculate it. If I run a number that calculates it at somewhere around, the average monthly person stays about five or six months. If you were to take across the entire spectrum. Now if you were to take it based on how long, we have people who have been in there for several years, since like 2008. So it’s kind of a hard number to calculate.
Justin: The average is not a great metric, because you’ve got some that have been there for years, where a larger percentage leave in two months or something. I get it. Okay.
Chris Yates: I can tell you in this industry, three months is what you would expect. But we get people that pay the annual up front, and they get a little benefit for doing that.
Justin: Aside from subscription revenue that you’re getting Chris, are there any other add ons? What additional monetizations do you have for the site?
Chris Yates: Yeah. So on the subscription side, I love it because it covers all of our costs and makes us money, just by itself. But in addition to that, the site also has a couple other ways that it makes money. So one of them is through selling advertising spots to people in the industry. When I’m saying that, a buyer might be thinking there oh God, that means I might have to go find people to buy add spots and stuff like that. But the nice thing is, that we actually have a guy who knows everybody in the industry who we pay on a commission to sell the ad spots for us, and we charge either $3,000 for three months ad spot, or $1,250 a month with a three month minimum if they wanna pay monthly.
Justin: Okay, so you are getting some money additionally from the ad spots on the side. And I think there’s opportunity for upsells in terms of the subscribers as well. You definitely have a free form there as well I think that you could probably draw in more paid subscribers from. Let’s talk a little bit about the niche. Why did you get into this? When someone, when they brought this site to you, why did you look at this and go yeah, I think one’s a winner, I like this niche?
Chris Yates: Yeah. Well before, if you don’t mind, there’s one other method of monetization, which can be pretty substantial, which is the site has a mailing list. It has other areas where you can advertise different types of things but it’s all affiliate types of revenue. So we do affiliate promotions to the list and probably bring in another $1,000 or so a month from that as well. But as far as why I bought this site and specifically this niche, is because people in this niche are hungry. If they’re just getting started out wanting to make money online or they just got started out in a network marketing business and they’re trying to figure out how they can get traffic and leads, that is a huge pain for people in this industry. There are a ton of people in this industry. So that was what really got me excited. The other thing was that this site, everybody I talked to about this site was oh, yeah. I love that site. Everybody in the industry knew about the site and had this brand recognition, this authority established that I felt I could really build upon.
Justin: Okay. So you were thinking as a community, you knew that this niche was very hard to acquire leads, people looking to get started, it was one of their primary concerns, and this was solving a problem for people just getting started off in online business or network marketing specifically. Then you just saw an opportunity for yourself, because there was great brand recognition, because the site is well known by other people in the space. Let’s talk about why you’re selling it. Now you bought the site a little earlier this year, it was actually built back in 2008. So the site has been around for quite a while. But you bought it, and now you’re looking to sell it here towards the end of the year. What’s your reasoning for selling the site? Why don’t you just keep it and grow it?
Chris Yates: Yeah, good question. There are a few pieces to the puzzle, but the main one is I’m just not too excited about network marketing. I’m not in the business, I don’t do network marketing, and I think I sort of lost my passion with the site, honestly. We also have a few other pieces to that puzzle, we have an outside investor who wants to exit the site, and couple things like that with are sort of irrelevant. But for me personally, it’s just I don’t have the passion for the industry.
Justin: So you don’t take it personally, like I’m not in the space, I’m not doing the business, there’s an opportunity here, just not my opportunity.
Chris Yates: Yeah.
Justin: Okay. So what’s the plan for the cash when you sell? What are you gonna do with the cash when you get it from the sale?
Chris Yates: Good question. Yeah, actually I probably will go buy another website, or, well I have to pay off one of the investors in the site. Probably too much information, but yeah that is one thing I will do with the cash, and then aside from that I’ll probably look for my next deal.
Justin: Chris, honestly I don’t think it’s too much information. I think people are really interested in that. So you have an investor. Is this a passive investor? Is this someone that’s not at all actively involved in the site? Or is it someone that you guys work with and make decisions together on the site?
Chris Yates: So, technically he’s 100% passive. I’m the management company of the asset, he brings the money to the table, right?
Chris Yates: However, it’s really great to have an outside perspective on things from a purely fiduciary or just a financial perspective. He looks at the numbers in very black and white and gives me his perspective, whereas I’m in the weeds running the site and I see all these opportunities that we could do and things like that. So in terms of making decisions and things like that, we meet monthly and we talk about how things are going and those types of things. So it’s not totally him being 100% passive, it’s more like him giving his perspective, but I’m actually the one who makes the final call.
Justin: So he looks at some financial guidelines and plays more of an advisory role, where you’re in the trenches, and you’re the one actually picking through and digging and working on the sites. I love the model, to be honest with you. That’s a new one to get into with our investor model in the coming months and years. So I’d love to talk to you a bit more about that. Maybe we can have you on the show at a different point to discuss that. I think it’s really interesting. To continue on with this listing though. So you’re planning to, obviously you’re gonna pay off the investor, you’re gonna take some cash and put it into another site for yourself. The site was built back in 2008. Tell me a little bit about how successful it was when it started off. Do you have idea from the original owner? Did it start off really slow and build up gradually, or was it a quick success?
Chris Yates: Oh yeah. I think it was a quick success, because this guy, the guy that founded it, not to tell you his name. At this point I’d be happy to share the information with potential buyers, but he had a big following already, and when he launched the site, he brought his community with him when he launched the site. I can tell you that in its hay day when they were really rolling with the site, it was doing 20 to 30k a month. Just net on the site. So I think it started off well and really got rolling, and then they moved on to something else and sort of let it sit, back in 2012, 2013. Then I bought it this year and have been trying to revitalize the site and kind of thing. Does that make sense?
Justin: Okay. So it took, yeah. It took off initially with some big name recognition, someone bringing their name in the space and was doing really well. They kind of let it linger on, moved on to other opportunities, it was sitting around. And you saw an opportunity to pick this up and said hey, I think I can do something with this, I still think there’s opportunity here now that it’s settled down a bit. So that was your going after it. What have you tried with the site? What have you done to the site? First, give me an example of something you tried to do that just didn’t work for whatever reason.
Chris Yates: Something I did that didn’t work. Well, okay. So this kind of goes back to one of the reasons we bought the site, but one of the things we were most excited about with this site was the list. The ability for us to monetize that list was really one of the reasons we were really excited about this site. So early on we probably made the mistake of not adding new value right away and just going right to promoting and launching affiliate products and things like that in the beginning. Then we sort of went back and started, oh, we should probably provide some value to this list before we start selling them stuff. So early on, I would’ve just nurtured the list and built up some trust before pitching something. However, with our first promotion that we did, we still did pretty well with it. I think in one webinar we brought in like 1500 or I think it was between $1500 and $2000 just from one mailing webinar. It was like a 30 minute webinar.
Justin: Gotcha. Okay. So from your perspective, you probably went a little too hard after the list when you first purchased it. That’s probably good advice for the new buyer when they take it over. They might wanna do a little bit of nurturing first to test the waters a bit so they can start to build that relationship with subscribers. Let’s talk about the subscriber number, by the way. How many subscribers does the site currently have?
Chris Yates: I think it’s somewhere it the 60 to 70k range. We’re getting about, last I checked, somewhere around 200 to 300 new subscribers per week, so it’s just always growing so I don’t have the exact number off the top of my head. I could look it up for you. But it’s somewhere in that range. And what we do is about every couple months, we just delete anybody who hasn’t opened an email in a while. So we’re constantly cleaning that list out.
Chris Yates: Yeah, so yeah.
Justin: So on the listing I got 60,000 after clean out the inactive, and you’ve also got a database with 200,000 members who registered. Now the registrations are for the free forms part of the site, is that correct?
Chris Yates: Or they’re paid members, yeah. Basically anybody who’s ever wanted to become a member for this site.
Chris Yates: So we have people, the way the funnel, this is an opportunity for somebody. But the way the funnel is set up, people can just opt in for mailing list before actually becoming a member on the website. So people who have actually entered a username and password in the website, it’s over 200,000.
Justin: Okay, great. So you’ve got a pretty big list, big potential community to pull from.
Chris Yates: Yeah, and one of the things you can do with that list, and this is a tip for anybody who’s looking to buy a site, is you can use Facebook’s custom audiences to load all of those email addresses and market to them on Facebook.
Justin: That’s a great tip. That’s for someone who maybe had visited the site, put their information in, and kind of ah I’m not that interested in it or ended up leaving a few months later, now you can hit them up on Facebook. You know that they’re clearly interested in the industry or in the space, that’s a good opportunity to bring them back into the fold, so to speak.
Chris Yates: Yeah, it’s different from remarketing. You can actually in Facebook, you can enter all of their email addresses in there and market to them. So that’s kind of a cool thing that not everybody knows about.
Justin: What I meant is that you’re actually, you’re getting another chance to market them, or you’re remarketing them.
Chris Yates: Oh yeah.
Justin: Not from[crosstalk 00:23:24]. Yeah, exactly. Not just a remarketing perfect audience type approach.
Chris Yates: Yup.
Justin: Yeah, which I think is really cool. It’s cool that Facebook has that. I know a lot of people were doing Facebook scrapes, they were scraping other audiences and then uploading them and targeting them. I know that Facebook has not been so keen on that recently, they’ve been shutting that down a lot. The scrapers and stuff. What did you learn from working on this site that just worked? That you found to be really successful, and something that you think the new buyer should take on as well?
Chris Yates: The one thing I would say that I was just constantly pleasantly surprised with is the ability to sell advertising in this niche. People are dropping a grand a month to advertise on this website, and we actually got to a point where we were able to support advertisers at a time, so we were generating a couple thousand dollars a month, displaying banner ads. There’s no cost or anything to that other than the commission I’m paying to the guy. But that’s the thing I was like man, all I gotta do is drive traffic, and if I can drive traffic for less than the cost of what these banner advertisers people are paying, then man. I could just keep piling on these advertisers.
Justin: That’s funny sometimes when you’re like, who are these guys that are advertising with me? How are they getting a return? How does this make sense? I’m cool with it, I’ll take it, but how does this make any sense to them? You know on the back end that they’re making money on it or they wouldn’t be doing it, right?
Chris Yates: Yeah, I hope so.
Justin: Is this something you think you can apply to other websites or businesses you own? I mean there’s an opportunity for advertising, especially in a niche like this. It seems like there are advertisers tripping over themselves to give money to sites that have traffic in this space. Is this something that you’re applying to any of your other sites? Do you have other sites that are in the similar position to where they’re in a great niche for the advertiser model?
Chris Yates: Yeah, you know I’ve done a little bit with, I used to sell links and things like that on some of my sites and I’ve actually since stopped doing that. That was pretty lucrative, because a single text link in the right industry, you can make a ton of money with. But it’s so against Google’s guidelines and stuff. So I’ve kind of stopped doing that. [crosstalk 00:25:32]. I know, yeah. I hate to admit it. Yeah, this was back before, early on when I was buying sites, and I didn’t really know at the time what was a sustainable business model and what wasn’t, and was really black hat and what was not.
Justin: Yeah, for sure man. There are plenty of people that have been selling links, it’s just funny you’re admitting to it. Like oh God, I hope no one at Google’s listening because they’re gonna come after you, man. They gonna take down your sites, you’re gonna get penalized, and de-indexed, no just teasing you.
Chris Yates: Well I stopped doing it, that’s the thing.
Chris Yates: My name is Chris, and yes I sold links, but it’s been however many years since my last link.
Justin: Yeah, right. It’s almost as if you’re breaking a law. There’s no law that you’re breaking with selling links, but that’s how it feels, that’s how people make you feel about doing anything that’s against their guidelines. Let’s talk a little bit about traffic and earnings. How does the site get its traffic now? Give me kind of a break down on the organic versus referral versus direct, versus social. Like how people find the site today.
Chris Yates: Yeah, I mean direct is actually in this particular case is somewhat abnormal, is one of the top traffic sources. I actually don’t have the splits right in front of me here, but I know it’s the number one. And then Google organic is next. The site has, if it’s not a million it’s close to a million pages of content, so the site is pretty huge. So it gets a ton of long tail random things that people are looking for, and then there’s other referrals that we get that’s sort of less consistent. But those are probably the two big ones.
Just on the direct traffic, when I bought the site it was one thing I was a little bit concerned with, but the reason I was okay with it, was because, and this is me speaking for myself, but the reason I was okay with it at the time was because of the brand recognition that this had, and the fact that in network marketing everybody is talking to everybody else, because of the way that the system is. If you are in the business and you have five people below you and they have five people below them, they’re all talking to each other about oh, check out this site, better networker. So that was my thinking, was man this site has the brand recognition. So that’s probably why the direct traffic is there.
Justin: Plus a community and people going back and discussing. I’m sure they have it saved in their browsers or in their bookmarks and that kind of thing. So that makes sense. Plus it’s been around for quite a while, so people coming back to the site. Tell me a little bit about the earnings. What percentage of the earnings comes from the subscription? Is that half? Is it 75%?
Chris Yates: Yeah, I think it’s about, kind of depends on the month. When I was doing affiliate promotions and things like that, but it’s roughly in the three to four k range on average. Some months it’s been five and six k if we’re getting a bunch of the yearly renewals instead of the monthly renewals happening. So yeah, it’s a good chunk of it. I would say just roughly doing the math, probably about three to four k a month in subscription revenue, about a thousand a month in advertising banner ad spots, and then another 1,000 plus in affiliate commissions. Some of the affiliate stuff is recurring, so it’s not like we always have to be promoting something, but yeah that’s typically what we’re seeing.
Chris Yates: That’s the big months, though.
Justin: Yeah. In terms of earnings and the stability, it looks like you did have a couple really big months in May and June, those were up, and then the earnings dropped down again in July, and then were back up again a little bit in August September. What were the reasons for the big junk up in May and June?
Chris Yates: The reason for May and June was mainly because we were doing those affiliate webinars and monetizing that list real heavily, as I had mentioned. Those were when we were getting paid out on some of those. Then in one of the months, we happened to have a lot of, it was the perfect storm. We had a bunch of affiliate commissions happening and we also had advertisers prepaying for three months in advance and things like that. So probably if you look at the advertising income, you have to figure that some of them were prepaying for three months. So you take 3,000 of that and split it over three months, and it sort of evens out the earnings. That make sense?
Justin: Gotcha. Okay. So it looks a bit streaky based on people paying their annual or their three months, or advertiser coming in and paying for a few months in advance. Okay, that makes a bit more sense. Now you said that there’s a ton of content on this site. You said maybe a million pages or more. Talk to me a little bit about how that content is generated. I can hear a buyer thinking to themselves, oh my God, I’m not writing 100 pieces of content a day. What are you doing for content on the site?
Chris Yates: Yeah, I mean it’s a community based site and why people are there is to contribute content and get their name out there. So that was the founding principle of this site, was that people would join the site and they would write content to contribute on the website. They would be on the forum posting on there and creating threads and things like that. So it’s a combination of community driven content, so paying members contributing content in the form of articles, in the form of videos, there’s even the ability for people to post audio files in there and things like that. Then the other side is the forum, and each thread could be potentially one or more pages of content.
Justin: Awesome. So most of the content on the site is currently user generated. You’re not creating a bunch of content or having a bunch of people or a text broker write up all the content.
Chris Yates: No, no. We’re not doing, what we do for content is I do a lot of interviews. Because again, community based site, you wanna make the star the people in the community. So we do a lot of interviews when we can. I shouldn’t say a lot. I wish we did more, but we do at least one a month, usually about two a month. We’ll split them into two parts. So we’ll do say a 45 minute interview with a industry expert who’s a member on the website, and we’ll just email people and say hey are you interested in doing an interview for the site? And most people are willing to do it again, because they want their name or that brand recognition out there. So then yeah, we’ll split it in two parts.
Justin: Cool. So you can take your paid subscribers and give them opportunity to be highlighted, get seen, and then promote content on the site, get more people out there, and share their information with some of the other forum members and then some of the others paid subscribers as well. That’s a cool idea, I like that.
Chris Yates: Yeah. Why people love this site is ultimately it’s because they get leads for their business, and the more that you can do as the facilitator of highlighting really good content and getting and rewarding people for being really good members of the community, the more the site’s just gonna keep growing.
Justin: All right, Chris. Talk to me a little bit about opportunities here. Let’s say I were buying this site. By the way, in terms of buyer profiles. I was thinking about this a little bit. I think this is a real, there are others, but I think in a lifestyle, Larry could take on this business. Someone that wants a lifestyle. Maybe they are sitting in a cubicle or they’ve got a nice executive job, they’re just done. They’ve got some cash, they want to buy this and they want to move to Bali or Bangkok or something. This is a site that can be run from anywhere in the world, for sure. I really like this in terms of someone looking to break free from the nine to five. This is a job killer site. I think that’s pretty cool. If I wanted to, let’s say take a really non risky path to growth here, what would you focus on, or what would you recommend doing? I don’t want to take any risks, I just wanna grow it slow and steady. How would I go about doing that?
Chris Yates: Okay. So number one, you’ll notice in the financials that there’s about $1,000 a month between $1,000 and $1,200 a month in hosting expenses on this site, and we actually have a dedicated web server and a dedicated database server for this site to run it. If you can find a really smart server administrator to move this over to say something like Amazon’s EC2 or there’s another site and the name is escaping me right now, I apologize. But there’s another one that’s actually less expensive for hosting services. You probably get the hosting costs within the first 30 days down to 300 a month or less. Just by finding a smart server admin to work with. So that’s something we originally were gonna do, but we ended up focusing on top line instead of cutting expenses.
Justin: Okay. So you were looking at adding revenue rather than cutting expenses. But you think that’d be a relatively safe way to do this, is to go ahead and switch the hosting to cheaper hosting and see if you can go that route. I also think, you said you weren’t doing a ton of interviews, you’re only doing about one a month. I think there’s opportunity there to just improve, highlight more of the subscribers, get them a bit more attention, add more content that way. What would you do, Chris, if you were incredibly risky? If I wanted to take this site and I wanted to double, triple it inside of 12 months by taking some crazy risks or opportunities. How would you go about doing that? If you went balls to the wall with this site.
Chris Yates: I certainly have other ideas in terms of safe things you can do. I’ve never actually tested ad sense, so I think you could probably make another chunk of money just by throwing ad sense on the site. But anyway, in terms of things that are more ballsy, what I would probably do, and actually what I would think would be pretty fun to do, would be create some kind of a SAS offering to this market. Whether it’s a contact management system, or something like that, and just totally revamp this site and make it like the Facebook for network marketing. I think that would be pretty sweet and could take this thing pretty big.
But the other thing that I think, in sort of a more realistic view would be to do an online summit. So you’ve already got the experts on this website, just get them together. Record content of them and launch it over a weekend. Charge 100 bucks or 200 bucks per ticket, and then make it free for paying members of the site or charge them a lower fee. And then take the content that’s created from that and put it into the premium membership on the website, and then use that to promote more exclusive content for people to subscribe to.[inaudible 00:35:46] That’s actually what I was planning to do with this site prior to deciding to sell.
Justin: I love that idea. I think that would be a bit more time intensive, right? That would take quite a bit of your time in trying to coordinate it. But it wouldn’t be terribly expensive. So you wouldn’t risk a ton in terms of spend, it would just be heavy on time. So I get why it’s something that you’ve got a lot of other websites that you work on or run or own, so spending that much time on this one might be a bit rougher.
Chris Yates: One other big recommendation I would have before we go to risks is, I would recommend finding one industry name to partner with on this website and find somebody who has a big audience who already is known in this industry, and say hey, let’s work together on this thing. Let’s make you the face of the site. That right there is the biggest thing you could do to grow this thing.
Justin: That’s something that you weren’t able to do because you’re not in the niche. You don’t know the business, you don’t know the industry, you have no name recognition there. So that’s nothing something you were able to apply. If you were keeping the site, you think that’s an approach you would take in terms of bringing on another network marketer than can bring the community and audience to it?
Chris Yates: Yup. And I actually have a few people that are open to doing it, that I just didn’t realize that until nine months after owning it, that that’s really the path to grow this. So whoever ends up buying this site, I think can learn from that lesson that I learned. Took me a while to learn it, but now I know it.
Justin: It’s one of those things where you don’t necessarily realize it right away, it takes a little bit of time to, oh yeah, I should probably do this. This might make sense for me to make more money. We do that a lot. Let’s talk a bit about the risk though. What do you think are some of the biggest risks for potential buyers of the site? What should they be aware of?
Chris Yates: Biggest risks would be number one, that you don’t keep up with the community, you gotta service the community because they’re who are paying this thing on a monthly basis. So give them good stuff to consume, highlight them like I’m saying, that’s probably the biggest key. Aside from that, be careful with hosting costs and the tech side of things. I would definitely recommend that somebody work with somebody who’s smart on the tech side of things. The reason we’re paying 1,000 or 1,200 a month is because we have a really good managed hosting company who’s running it for us. But if you have somebody in your contacts who are really smart, just make sure that they really know what they’re doing and keep the [inaudible 00:38:09] of the site solid and things like that. Those are probably the two that come to mind.
Justin: What do you think about this, Chris? In looking at the site, it’s very old school. It’s built on Drupal, which for the non technical, the people that prefer WordPress, I could see that being a bit of a challenge in terms of a purchase. But it’s built on Drupal. It looks like an older website, do you know what I mean? More than 2008, like pre 2008. I think it’s one of those risks, I think. But I think there’s opportunity there to really revamp it and make it look much more modern. But that’s always a risk too, especially with sites like ecommerce websites, for example. Where sometimes that kind of older website look and feel builds trust with customers. So do you think that the older look and feel here is trust? Or do you think it’s just that it hasn’t been revamped?
Chris Yates: You know, honestly I’m almost embarrassed to have my name on this site because of the way it looks. The way that I can explain that, is hey I didn’t build it. But that’s no cop out. So you’re not hurting my feelings. But anyway, yeah I totally think the site needs to be redone. It needs to get up to either the current version of Drupal or switched over to some other platform other than Drupal. If I were to go to WordPress, I’d probably look at WordPress combined with something called BuddyPress, which is a social networking add on to WordPress, and convert the two. There’s lots of people out there on the web who do that conversion and things like that. But for a minimum I would say yeah, just rebuild the site in the latest version of Drupal and import everything. Sort of get a nice clean slate, all up to date, a clean look to the site, without changing the core branding of the website and message. I think that would be a pretty safe path.
Justin: Chris, let’s talk a little bit about the work required for the site. We’re looking at probably somewhere between 10 to 12 hours a week. Can you run through that a bit for me and kind of explain the work that’s required on this?
Chris Yates: Yeah, so we do a email newsletter once a week, so we pull good content from the forum and from the website, or from interviews that we’ve done, and we aggregate that into a single email newsletter that goes out on, we’re doing it currently on Mondays. Sometimes it goes out on Tuesdays depending on workload. So that’s one thing you gotta do. It’s basically just picking stuff from the website and then condensing it into an HTML template, and then sending out through our email system. So three main steps there. So that’s one thing.
The other is that we have a trouble ticket system, so when somebody wants to cancel their account, or somebody wants to, not actually upgrade, they can do themselves. If somebody wants to, let’s say they’re having a problem with posting on the website or something like that. We have a trouble ticket system, and there’s tickets that come in every day on that. So that’s one other thing, you have to manage those tickets. We’ve written out systems for all the major categories of tickets on those. There is the forum, we’re pretty tight with moderating the forum. This industry you tend to get people coming in, trying to promote their coolest, latest thing, even though they’re not adding value to the forum.
Chris Yates: And then you tend to get spammed and stuff. So what we do is we moderate the first couple posts that people have before they can post without moderation. So we do moderate that, and that’s a task that needs to be done. Both of those, the tickets and the moderation are done by my virtual assistant, costs me about 300 bucks a month for half time person. That only takes her I think maybe an hour a day, if that. So it’s really only costing me about five bucks a day.
Justin: Is the virtual assistant coming with the sale?
Chris Yates: No.
Justin: Okay. So your VA doesn’t come with the site, but you do have systems and process in place that you’ll be able to hand over to the new buyer who can give to their VA.
Chris Yates: Yeah. Or, the VA does have time available. But it’s really, I don’t think it would be difficult to take the systems and train a new VA on it.
Justin: Okay, great. Let’s talk a little bit about some additional information, Chris. One of the concerns with buyers is they wanna make sure that they’re buying a site and you don’t immediately turn around and steal the customer base and start working in the same industry. Would you be willing to commit to a non compete in terms of not poaching the email subscribers and the customers and subscribers, that kind of thing?
Chris Yates: Absolutely.
Chris Yates: Same thing I asked for when I bought the site. So I definitely feel that’s something I’m very happy to do, wouldn’t do it otherwise.
Justin: Great, okay. How much support are you willing to offer buyers? Even though, I love the fact that you do have systems and processes in place for the VA, work gets done, and then you can turn some of that over. That’ll make the transition a bit easier. But there are a couple more moving pieces with this than a traditional, let’s say Amazon or dropshipping site. How much support are you willing to offer buyers of this website?
Chris Yates: Yeah. Well number one, I would make sure that anything they need to run the website, whether it’s the ticket system, whether it’s the merchant account, any of that stuff I will make sure that that all gets transferred seamlessly. That they’re able to handle all of that, for sure before we talk about any other support that gets done. So I’ll make sure that I’ll do the hand holding that needs to be done in order to make sure that they get everything they need to run the site and support to continue running seamlessly. Beyond that, I’m kind of guy who if you hit me up on Skype and I’m in the office, I will answer by text any time. Same thing with email, I’m a little bit slower with email. But I think, I can’t remember what I actually said in there, but for sure during the first month or so, whatever you need in a given week, as long as it’s not crazy like 10 hours a week or something. I can totally do that.
Chris Yates: Beyond that, I’m happy for sort of emergency text based or email based support. That’s no problem for me at all.
Justin: Cool. Okay, and the listing we’ve got three months of email support, up to five hours per week of support via Skype for the first four weeks as the site gets transitioned, and then after month two and three, one hour a month on Skype for like emergencies or something that happens. So I think that’s actually fantastic. That’d be great for transitioning a site. We currently have it listed at just over $90,000. Are you open to a split or an earn out on this? Let’s say for example, 70% up front, 30% on closing or after the training’s been accomplished. Maybe 60% up front, 40% over the next four months based on hitting certain goals, something like that?
Chris Yates: Are you okay if I answer it this way? Make me an offer.
Justin: Sure. Absolutely. I know you Chris, so I think I can say this pretty clearly, that you’re willing to make a deal. So you want this deal to go through, and you’re willing to adjust your expectations and how the deal will go to match the buyer’s needs in terms of getting the deal done. So I’m excited to get this one done for you, man. I think it’s a really good potential lifestyle purchase. I think there’s a lot of content, there’s a lot of moving pieces to this. But for someone to get in, get their hands dirty, I think there’s a lot of opportunity as well.
Chris Yates: I think so too.
Justin: All right man. Let’s do a quick wrap up. This is effectively a membership site in the online marketing or online networking niche. The website was created in 2008, you purchased it in early 2014. It gets about 30 to 40,000 visits in the last 30 days. The average monthly profit is just under $5,000. This is 4,800 bucks a month, and that’s averaged over the last eight months. The work required is about eight to 12 hours per week, mostly that is dealing with moderation in the community, answering some in the ticketing system, and then sending out a weekly email on Mondays or sometimes Tuesdays depending on the workload. Chris, can you give me your best pitch? In let’s say 30 seconds or so, on why someone should purchase this site.
Chris Yates: Sure. I would say that the site has a solid base of subscribers, and it’s something that is on a recurring basis. That’s not something you typically see from say, an ad sense website. With an ad sense type website, you make money once when somebody clicks on an ad, unless they’re coming back to your site all the time. Whereas with this site, somebody signs up once and then you continue making money from them in the future. Number two is the site has very strong brand recognition and attraction in this industry. So you’re not getting a site that somebody can just knock off tomorrow. This site is not one that a competitor can just come in and copy and steal your key words and things like that. This is not a site like that.
Third is that you’re getting, I’ll probably go over 30 seconds here, so feel free to cut this out. But third is that you’re getting multiple methods of generating income from this website. You’re not just relying on one that could be wiped out, you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket. You have affiliate revenue, you have advertising revenue, you have subscription revenue. And lastly is that you’ve got a big list to monetize. The business these days is all about attention, and this website has hundreds, a couple hundred thousand people that you can potentially get attention from and monetize. So there you go.
Justin: Cool, Chris. Appreciate it. I actually really like the subscription base model and the recurring nature of the website. I think there’s opportunity there. I think that provides stability. It has had a lot of attention in the past. I think it needs revamping, I think it needs someone who either knows the industry really well, or as you said, can partner with someone that has some name recognition in the space. They could put their name on an already well established website that’s got some traction. I think there’s some opportunity there. Anyway Chris, I really appreciate having you on, man. Thank you for sharing the details behind your site for sale, and we’ll hopefully be talking to some depositers and potentially a buyer here in the next couple of weeks that we can get this deal done.
Chris Yates: That’d be great. I look forward to working with whoever pulls the trigger. I’m excited.
Justin: Awesome man. Appreciate having you on. Thank you.
Chris Yates: Thanks Justin.
Announcer: You’ve been listening to the empire podcast. Now some news and updates.
Justin: All right, Joe. Glad to have you back with me, buddy. Let’s talk a little bit about some news and updates we’ve got going on. First thing, we are settling down in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, buddy. We are heading out. I’m actually in Bangkok right now. It’s Wednesday afternoon, I’m heading to Ho Chi Minh on Thursday. And you’re gonna be following me the following week. So we’re gonna be hanging our hat in Ho Chi Minh, at least for a few months. Kind of get through the holidays and hang out with some of our buddies there.
Joe: Yeah, I got my three month visa, so I’m definitely there through the end of February. Who knows after that, but we’ll see how we like it. You know me, I would like to find just a home and a base to come from. So I think that might be Ho Chi Minh, and I’m excited. I’m leaving next week, so we’ll both be there in time for Thanksgiving. We can do some communist turkey, I don’t know.
Justin: Communist turkey. Are you excited about leaving? I took off, sold my stuff and took off in the middle of September, and you still hung around in Davao City. You still had your lease and everything, but you were finally breaking free of the home base, so to speak, and traveling around. I know you’re shopping for a second home base. You’re not going fully nomad. But what do you think, are you a little nervous, are you kind of excited? What are your thoughts right now?
Joe: Yeah, I mean the biggest thing for me is, you know that I’m a rabbit when it comes to that. I like having a comfortable home. I’m just worried with replacing that in going to Vietnam. People say it’s easy to do, that they’re pretty well set up for having that kind of luxury feel, that comfy home feel. Especially with the service departments out there. But until I actually do it, I’m a little bit nervous about it.
Justin: Yeah, I’m starting off in a service department called the summerset. Summerset chancellor court, which is right there in Dewan, right near the Japanese area. But it’s pricey, is the only thing. It’s pretty expensive on a longer term basis. I just did a week, I think it’s about 100 bucks a night, and I figured I’ll get there, I’ll get on the ground and see if they can give me a discount on a longer term stay. If not, I’ll just be looking around in the area. But yeah, there are some, as long as you’re willing to spend the money, there’s some amazing service departments where they give you maid service every day, everything’s taken care of for you. Laundry, they’ve got a restaurant downstairs, that kind of thing. So it makes it really easy, I think to get up and running in Ho Chi Minh City.
Let’s talk a little bit about our weekly strategy call this week. It was pretty rough. So we do a weekly strategy call with our team, with Vincent and Mike and Joe and I every Monday. I try to do mine on the road. I was sitting on Cowsand Road, or right off of Cowsand Road on some bar Wi-Fi or something and try to get on the call. It didn’t work out as planned, did it Joe?
Joe: Yeah, I don’t know what you were thinking there, buddy. I was a little pissed, for sure. It definitely didn’t make for a targeted kind of call. It just felt very distracted and like you were talking about, this is at a bar, kind of thing.
Justin: Joe was scolding me after the call, saying dude you’re at a bar? We’re trying to do business. What’s going on here? Yeah, I don’t know, man. Not really the best idea. I got Isaac’s family and my girlfriend’s family visiting Bangkok right now, so we’re doing the touristy stuff. I thought hey man, this is location independent. I can do a weekly strategy call from a bar. But I think, nine o’clock, 9:30 at night and on Cowsand Road in Bangkok probably just ain’t gonna cut it for a phone call. Make sure I’m in a quieter area for next week’s call. We actually have another bit of info coming out, we’ve got a [inaudible 00:51:35] is offering a black Friday deal on long tail pro. So we’ve actually taken $50 off the price. So if you’re at all interested in buying long tail pro, it is the best key word research tool for finding those long tail key words, really building out your site, looking for the right key words to target. He’s giving you $50 off Friday through Sunday. So we’ll have an email that goes about that with the link to the discount. So if you’re thinking about buying that, make sure to pick up a nice fatty discount. The other thing Joe, is
Joe: If you haven’t bought a key word research tool yet, and you’re just looking to get started or you have an old key word research tool and it’s not working as well, this is definitely time to jump ship and go with probably the industry leader, in my opinion.
Justin: Joe, you just sold off some of our EF hosting accounts, so one of the sales this month in November was actually ours. Our own. And we had some hosting clients from back in the day that you finally put together and sold. It was like 1800 bucks, 1500 bucks, something like that?
Joe: Yeah, it was only 1800 bucks. But you know what, these guys were hanging around, they weren’t getting the good customer service that they should be getting, and obviously our target is not hosting customers anymore. So I definitely think having them go to a better home, and we found a good person for them to go, it’s a better way to go.
Justin: Cool, man. So you’ve been playing around with contextually a little bit before the show. What’s the deal with that?
Joe: So I guess the best way to describe it, I first thought that it was just gonna be some big follow up folder. Basically a calendar with reminders. Why do I need that? Once I started digging in, I see it almost like an OAP light for individuals. So you can not only, it goes into your email, into your Facebook, into your Twitter, into your LinkedIn, it pulls out all your contacts and the last time that you contact them, and will set up reminders. But you can also do sequences. They call them programs, that automatically follow up with people and do automated replies and get them interested in continuing the conversation with you. So I think some of the buyers and sellers who paid me directly in the past, and I never followed up with because of whatever, this tool will absolutely help you do that.
Anybody out there who is in sort of a space business or some sort of contractual business, as a contractor of some sort. You have those clients that you need to follow up with, you need to be reminded of that. Not only do you need to follow up with them, you need to follow up with them in a kind of organized way and [inaudible 00:54:09]
Justin: I could see it working for someone, let’s say that you’re a blogger and you do a whole lot of outreach to get guest posts. If you are a podcaster and you’re trying to reach out to guests, and you’re trying to make sure that you’re keeping connected with your previous guests, I could see some value there. Like a Mike from Maine or a entrepreneur on fire type tool so they can keep in contact with people they’ve previously talked to.
Joe: Absolutely. It has some team functionality as well. I might bring Mike on board once I get my account set up correctly. But I have to say that’s the one big thing, I went through an invitation call. The onboarding process is actually awesome, but man, the amount of time that it takes to set up is no joke. You basically have to go through all your contacts and bucket them, or categorize them. You have to set all the programming up. Everything has to be set up manually. It can be a bit of a chore. It reminded me of getting OAP set up and the heartache and headache we went through with that.
Justin: It’s interesting that, it seems like a lot of the SAS companies do that. They require some buy in, and I’m not talking just payment, they require some work buy in on your part. So if you go through the process, and maybe it’s not intentional, but it seems to work out that way. If you go through the entire process of setting something up and rolling with them, you’re less likely, the stickability’s higher, which probably improves their LTV. You’re less likely to switch out and go to [inaudible 00:55:33] competitor, because you’ve gone through all that hassle and work of coordinating and segmenting all of your contacts. So it’s interesting how the SAS companies are heading that route. They get you to do some buy in in terms of your time, and they’re probably gonna keep you around a little longer.
Joe: Yeah, agreed.
Justin: All right, man. Listener shout segment, also known as the indulgent ego boosting social proof segment. First up we’ve got a five start iTunes review from JC in the UK. JC says if there was one business podcast, I remember Dan Andrews, the tropical NBA being asked what a single go-to resource would be if you had to pick one. He thought for a moment, saying there wasn’t really a perfect single resource, but if he had to pick one it’d be at the time, ad sense flippers. He basically condoned downloading everything you can get your hands on, unplugging your internet right then and there, and having all the information you need to be successful online.
I’ve been listening to empire flippers on my commutes over the past two weeks. Have to say it blows my own podcast and many others like it out of the water. So much actionable advice I’ve been able to put into play. Some of the guys manage to deliver it in such a way, you never feel overwhelmed or bored by the same message. I’ve been working my way through the back catalog and just paid the deposit on a $10,000 site. Looking forward to hearing more from Justin and Joe, learning more for myself by acting on what they suggest and hopefully becoming a customer very soon. Well thanks so much JC, for the review. I really appreciate it. It’s good to hear you got a recommendation for us from Dan, on the evening going through our back catalog. I’m really glad you’re getting some value out of the podcast. It’s good to see. Joe, that’s what I’m talking about right there. Our long-term content turns a non customer into a potential customer with a deposit. So he’s been digging through our stuff, said wow. This stuff’s pretty interesting, let me see if we can do some business.
Joe: Yeah, that’s a heck of a five star review. Really appreciated that.
Justin: We have some Twitter updates too. Jeff on Twitter said Just discovered the podcast. Awesome insight to building successful business on the web. Thanks Jeff. We’ve got Will who said just tried out your new website valuation tool. Very clean and easy to use. That’s awesome Will. If you guys haven’t seen that, we do have a new valuation tool out, it takes a lot of different things into account in terms of earnings and stuff. And we’ll link to that in the show notes if you wanna check it out. We’ve got John who said outstanding podcast empire flippers. Deposit sent for my first site with you guys this week. Very pleased with the results and service. He then followed up and said most excited about building the site Seth described in the $200,000 anatomy episode empire flippers. Some amazing software affiliate programs.
I agree man. There’s a ton of opportunity in the affiliate space in terms of software. Particularly marketing software, but there’s all kinds of software. Specifically a CRM and that kind of thing. I think there’s opportunity to do this or that comparison website that really highlights the real advantages and disadvantage to both. So I’m glad you got a lot of value out of that, John. Thanks for being a depositer, hopefully we can find a site for you.
Joe: Yeah, thanks a lot, John.
Justin: We’ve got some Zendesk love. We’ve got Tom who said I’m very happy, I’ve been satisfied. Professional, to the point support. He was a recent buyer of ours, so I appreciate it Tom. We’ve also got another one that’s not so happy. Bad, unsatisfied. This is from Adam who said so far it’s been good, except for one glaring problem. I sent a payment for a whole website and there was zero communication from your side for two full days. Hopefully the rest of the process goes smoother, as this is my first of many websites I’m planning on purchasing and selling. Thanks, Adam.
I know what happened with Adam, Joe. He paid a deposit, but it was put on hold by PayPal. So it was an e-check or whatever, then it did clear, and no one got back to him when it cleared. So it was 48 hours after it cleared, he still hadn’t heard. So I think it’s probably a hole in our process where it takes a little too long after the e-check clears. We’re good at getting back to people right away, but then we say hey, we’ll get back to you. It’s not gonna clear for four days or whatever. And then we’re a little slow on that response time. Probably something we should clean up.
Joe: Yeah. Considering we’ve never had one e-check ever clear, maybe we should definitely have a process for that.
Justin: We got an interesting mention from David over at dotcast.com. Was talking about one of our older podcasts. We were telling new bloggers, new website owners, that they should probably be doing 70% outreach and 30% publishing on their own. So he thought that was pretty interesting. That’s over at dotcast.com. I’ll put the link in the show notes, but I still think that rings true. Especially when you’re just starting out. You don’t want to be doing 80% content on your own site if there’s nobody there to read it. You wanna be putting some content on your site, and you wanna be really high quality, but you wanna be spending more of your time outreach. So that’s doing guest posts, that’s connecting with others in your space, so that you can start building that sharing of audience, and see if some of their audience is interested in what you have to say as well.
That’s it for episode 117 of the empire podcast. Thanks for sticking with us. We’ll be back next week with another show. You can find the show notes for this episode and more at empireflippers.com/chrisyates, and make sure to follow us on Twitter @empireflippers. See you next week.
Joe: Bye bye, everybody.
Announcer: Hope you enjoyed this episode of the empire podcast with Justin and Joe. Hit up empireflippers.com for more. That’s empire flippers.com. Thanks for listening.
I’ve been waiting to grab longtail pro when it went on sale, thanks for the link guys!
Hey guys – thanks so much for the mention! Still digging through the older shows, but I certainly hope to be caught up soon.
You guys have given me a lot of inspiration as to how to structure my business and what to do with multiple web properties, so I owe that to you guys.
I definitely think the 70/30 concept still rings true – especially with the influx of blogs and niche sites out there. Getting in front of a bigger, more engaged audience is a great way to make your presence known.