Case Study: Tripling Earnings From A Website Purchased Through Empire Flippers
“How do your websites perform after they’ve been purchased?”
This is a question we get from new buyers a lot.
To find out, we’ve been reaching out to previous buyers to see if they’ll talk to us:
Up today, we’ve got a case study and guest post from Mushfiq that details his journey in purchasing a smaller, $6K site and increasing the earnings to more than $1,000 per month. Enjoy!
If you can afford it, it is much simpler to purchase a websites and maintain it as opposed to building a site from scratch.
I have been doing internet marketing on and off since 2009, back when I was a college student. It provided a good source of income. I purchased my first website on Flippa in January 2014 and then saw the benefit of buying websites.
In December 2014 I purchased my second site, this time from the Empire Flippers Marketplace. Throughout this case study, we will refer to this site as “Niche Site.”
Since December, I’ve continued to purchase more sites as I am in the process of building my portfolio. With just this site, I was able to turn my $300 per month site into a $1000 per month site.
I did a writeup of the January and February 2015 earnings of this Niche Site on my website, which you can check here. In this Empire Flippers case study, I will go through those months again and describe how the site performed in March 2015.
How long did it take me to find the “right” website?
It took me over 2 months. I am very picky when it comes to websites. Since I have strict criteria, the success rate of my websites has been great.
In general, these are my criteria:
- At least 3 months of earnings from affiliate (e.g. Amazon Associates) or Google AdSense
- Top-level domain should be .com, .net, or .org
- Domain age should be at least 6 months
- No Private Blog Network (PBN) links
- Google Analytics-based proof of traffic
I tend to stay away from PBN-based sites when purchasing sites on Empire Flippers, due the higher multiple. It can be a risk from the onset, as I may need to wait 20 months to obtain any ROI on my site. Anything can happen with PBN links, so a clean backlink profile is important to me.
The Niche Site I purchased in December 2014 met the criteria.
Why did I buy this Niche Site?
There are a few reasons this site was a great fit.
Diversified revenue sources
Diversification is a key indicator of a great website. The Niche Site earned revenue from Google Adsense, Amazon Associates, and eBook sales.
Include an eBook
The sellers wrote a detailed eBook that was generating mediocre revenue. I knew I could increase sales of this eBook easily.
High traffic, low bounce rate, and high average time on site
The site had excellent stats. I have not come across many sites that had an average visit rate of 3 minutes or more. Some visitors are on this site for over 20 minutes. This is a strong indication of engaging content.
Private ad network
This niche has a private advertisement network that I was able to join. In this network, publishers are paid $4 to $6 Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions (CPM). This means for every 1000 U.S.-based pageviews, I would get $4 to $6. This increased my revenue significantly, as you will see below.
- Purchase price of approximately $6,000 USD
- Monthly revenue of approximately $300 when purchased
- Links were all naturally obtained
The website was great not only because of the history of earnings, but also because of my personal interest in the topic/niche. This made things much easier.
January and February 2015 Earnings Recap
The detailed write-up of these months can be found here, but let’s take a look at the details.
- Amazon: $200.43
- AdSense: $59.90
- Google Ads Network: $132.18
- eBook: $147.83
- Total Revenue: $540.23
- Hosting: $3.95
- Basic backlinking service: $5.61
- Articles (4): $24
- Software: $17
- Total Costs: $50.56
Total Profit for January 2015: $489.67
- Amazon: $276.43
- AdSense: $133.18
- Google Ads Network: $220.85
- eBook: $258.47
- Amazon Kindle Program: $88.26
- Total Revenue: $976.83
- Hosting: Lithium Hosting package at $3.95
- Basic backlinking service: $0
- Articles (4): $24
- Software: $17
- Total Costs: $44.95
Total Profit for February 2015: $931.88
The increase in revenue from January to February was due to many factors.
First, the Google Ads Network I joined was performing well for my site – I was earning $6 CPM.
Second, I enrolled my eBook into the Amazon Kindle Program and sales were occurring on a daily basis. This is a niche product so I did not expect sales to be high. However, it easily added an extra $90 per month for February with minimal effort!
Now, let’s do a detailed review of the March 2015 earnings.
March 2015 Traffic and Earnings
Below is a screenshot of the March 2015 traffic statistics.
- Amazon: $330.19
- Google AdSense: $115.34
- Ad Network: $327.05
- Direct eBook Sales: $193.85
- Amazon Kindle Program: $162.07
- Total Revenue: $1,128.50
- Hosting: $3.95
- Articles: $20
- Software: $17
- Total Costs: $40.95
Total Profit for March 2015: $1,087.55
Great news! My Profit is increasing. But why?
Advertisement network is doing very well!
I shied away from Google AdSense due to the relatively low Cost-per-click (CPC) that it obtains. After I joined a private network that has relevant companies wanting to advertise on sites like mine, my revenue increased significantly.
This network pays a CPM instead of CPC structure. I like CPM for many reasons:
- Guaranteed revenue. Since CPM is based on pageviews, I can calculate exactly my revenue that I will obtain.
- Multiple advertisement spots. I have the opportunity to add multiple advertisements on the website to further increase the revenue. However, I am not doing this since I want to advertise my eBook.
- Relationships. I am working with the premium network in my niche, thus opening up opportunities in the future.
I found this network by just searching online. I had no idea about this network before I purchased the site! I strongly recommended everyone to search around for such networks.
Amazon KDP sales are increasing!
In just one month, my eBook is the #1 Best Seller in its category! This is really exciting for me because it is my first time selling an eBook.
However, even with the status of #1 Best Seller, the book does not generate major sales from Amazon Kindle Market. The niche is too specific. That is completely fine with me, since my website is generating strong leads that visit the site after purchasing the eBook.
Long tail keywords are paying off!
Since purchasing the site, I have identified a handful of “easy-to-rank” keywords. These include amazon-related keywords. These keywords are currently ranking on the first page of Google.
My recommendation to anyone who buys a site is to open up your favorite keyword research tool (mine is Long Tail Pro) and make a list of keywords to target. Hire a writer immediately and get the articles written. Schedule them to be posted so you do not need to worry about updating the site to keep the website fresh in Google’s eyes.
Does my website convert well?
If you have a direct sales product (e.g. eBook or even a physical item), you must track conversion of your website/landing page.
First, you should track the number of visitors visiting the landing page via Goal Tracking in Google Analytics. Here are stats for March 2015:
I also set up Event Tracking in Google Analytics for the Buy It Now buttons on my eBook landing page. This will indicate how many visitors actually click on the link to go to the checkout page. Very important information!
As you can see, 1366 visitors visited, of which 243 visitors clicked the Buy Now button. This results in 17.78% click through rate.
In comparison, February’s click through rate was 17.3%. Hence, a small increase.
During March, the website sold 36 copies of the eBook. Therefore, of the 1366 visitors that do visit the page, the final conversion was 2.60% for March.
The conversation rate was 3.64% in February as compared to 2.6% in March! There were less sales of my eBook, but approximately the same click-through rate.
My niche is a bit seasonal and this could explain the drop in sales. I am not worried, because I still get the same amount of visitors. If the number of visitors starts to drop, then I would need to rethink my strategy.
- Visits to landing page: 1366
- Click on Buy button: 243
- eBooks Sold: 36
- Direct Sales Conversion: 2.60%
The Niche Site is doing extremely well! With this pace, I will obtain my Return on Investment within a couple more months, and keep this site as one of my assets of recurring revenue.
One last figure to show the month-to-month growth of the site:
All in all, I am very happy with this site purchase from Empire Flippers and excited they gave me a chance to write this case study.
Here are a few final takeaways if you are building and/or buying a site:
- Find diversified revenue streams for the site
- Perform conversion rate optimization to maximize revenue from different streams
- Target long tail keywords immediately
- Put effort into the site initially and reap the benefits later
We really appreciate the time/effort Mushfiq put into writing this case study.
You can find all of our current websites for sale here.