Justin Cooke

May 18, 2012

If we’re being honest with ourselves, the value our sites were providing to their visitors when we were getting started wasn’t very good.  Worse than that…it was pretty horrible.  This was likely due to being new, wanting to keep costs down, and an understanding that if the content wasn’t great we’d probably get a better CTR on the sites.

This has changed quite a bit 18 months after we’ve started.  Over time, we’ve found better writers at a decent price point and have been forced to continually improve the content on our sites due to an always-changing search landscape.  While our content on the sites has significantly improved, there are a couple of areas where we’re still missing the mark when it comes to providing significant value to the searchers who come across our niche sites:

  1. Lacking well researched information and content
  2. Not using the best format for the particular niche
  3. Low-end design on the sites

There is one other problem with some of our niches that I’ll address: They’re hyper-focused and not in the best position to be scaled out.  I don’t mention this point above because I see it as being less important…if you’ve really put the research in, have a great layout, and your design is clean, it doesn’t hurt to have the BEST site about “tall ski boots”.  It’s a hyper-focused site, but that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing if you include the other components.

Still…It’s Not That Simple

Our problem with implementing the steps above is that it means each site requires a level of detail that keeps Joe and I from leveraging our best resources and skillsets.  If each new website we create has to be extremely customized…Joe and I would end up having to build out quite a few of the sites ourselves.  Not something we’re looking to do.  Our main issue has been coming up with a process that addresses the customization issue but leaves room for the standardization required to really scale out the process, leveraging our core advantages.  Good news: I think we’ve solved the problem.

Authority site scalability problemAnswering The Customization Problem

Most of the customization lies in three areas: keyword research, design, and content research.  Our plan involves having around five different “process templates” to use, depending on the keyword and type of site that we’re looking to create.  To put it very clearly: We will have completely separate and different processes for several different types of sites we’d like to build.

While doing keyword research, Joe and I will have to find the keyword to target, pick the “process template and then perform additional secondary keyword research ourselves, depending on the path we plan to take with the site.  Depending on the “process template” chosen, we will also include reference material for the content writers to use to pull valuable information for the site.  This will most likely include information from government sites, other authority sites, or even offline information in some cases.  Once that’s done, we should be able to standardize the rest of the process for our agents and push the specific content research off to higher-level outsourced content writers.

Let me give just one example and a description of a “process template” we intend to use, but I’ll include a brief description of some others at the end of this post:

Geo-Targeted Informational Sites

You’ve seen this before…consider Pat Flynn’s Security Guard Training site. The idea is that there’s some specific knowledge or requirement for the site that requires research, based on a geographic condition.  Want to get your guard card in California?  Would you like to be an armed security guard in Florida?  There are specific requirements you’ll have to meet based on what you’re looking to do and where you’re looking to do it.

Hardly limited to security guards, this type of site has practical applications in a wide range of industries.  Here are a few examples:

  • EMT Certification
  • Real Estate Licensing
  • Insurance Certification

Authority Site PlanThe initial setup and preparation for these sites will look something like this:

  • Target a keyword (no exact match domain needed) that gets 4K+ exact match searches per month and has “moderate” or better SEO competition.  (In our case, we may target a 3, 4, or 5 on our “Chance To Rank” scale…maybe a 2 if the niche was really valuable)
  • Target 2-3 well-related secondary keywords that get somewhere between 700 – 2,500 exact match phrases per month and have a “Chance To Rank” of 4 or better.  (Similar to our current niche site primary keyword research)  We would build pillar posts around these keywords.
  • Choose another 2-3 topical and helpful long tail phrases that would be of particular use to the visitor that are related to the subject and build out a few more pillar posts.  Keyword research is not critical here, whereas value to the visitor is.
  • Target the best 10-20 geographical secondary keywords and build out content specific and relevant to that location.  You can pick up a free plugin for a state-based map here, created by Pat Flynn for this type of content.  This can be state-based, region-based, city-based, etc., depending on the niche.

The plan includes paying for higher level content for the home page (introducing the site and directing visitors to the appropriate content) and for the pillar posts.  This would be well-researched and well-written content with an expected rate of $15-25 per article and a total cost of around $100-$150.  The geographical content would have a specific format used and would require researched information, but would probably be shorter and not as well written as the home page and pillar posts.  We’d be looking at around $10 per article or so at $100-$200 to start.

We’re looking to have 2-3 WP themes to choose from for this particular “process template” and a set number of plugins.  We would spend some time and effort on custom headers, buttons, and design changes.  We’d do this in-house and would estimate $40-$50 in site build-out costs.  The site would be setup from the beginning to be social friendly.  Our monetization from the beginning would be AdSense, but we could add additional monetization as we maintain the site over time.

Our linkbuilding will be non-spammy and include original content posted in article directories and Web 2.0’s.  We are planning to limit the amount of created links and instead rely on “pillar” links that we can later promote.  We’re estimating costs of around $50-$70 for initial linkbuilding.

This should put our total costs at around $300-450 per site for the initial build of the sites.

Ongoing site maintenanceOngoing Maintenance

Unlike our set-and-forget niche sites, we’re planning to provide continued maintenance to these sites to see how much further we can build them out.  We’ll invest in the site proportionally, depending on their success along the way and our best guess at a positive ROI.

4 Month Review:

High-End$50+/month and growing – We’ll add more geo-specific content to the sites, consider adding another 1-3 pillar posts, create social media profiles, add additional pillar backlinks, and add opt-in email capture.  Estimated cost: $200-$300 per site

Mid-Range$20-$50/month – If the sites are ranked well but not earning or have a low CTR we’ll consider changing the monetization.  If they are not ranked well, we’ll promote with additional backlinks.  We’ll add more geo-specific content to earn more long-tail traffic.  Estimated cost: $50-$150 per site.

Low-EndLess than $20/month – Leave these sites alone for another four months to see if they improve.

8 Month Review

High-End$100+/month and growing – We’ll add additional pillar content, finish out as much of the geo-specific content as we can to stay on budget, and continue to build out the social media profiles and promotion.  Estimated cost: $300 per site

Mid-Range $40-$100/month – Review each site with a checklist and have specific actions to take depending on the reasons for under performance.  Estimated cost $100-$150

Low-EndLess than $40/month – Sell the sites at auction, most likely.

12 Month Review

Every site will be reviewed at the 12 month mark and the vast majority will be sold.  We may end up hanging on to a few of the sites that we feel particularly attached to or have an interest in building out even further on a case by case basis.

This is our rough outline for a geo-targeted information site, but there are other “process templates” we’re considering as well:

  • Finder Sites – Months ago we were having an interesting conversation about these types of sites but we never got around to execution here.  The idea is that there are tons of niche searches done where people are trying to find things locally that aren’t well served by places like Yelp, Google Maps, etc.  (Dirt bike trails, tennis courts, skateboard parks, golf courses, etc.)  The idea is that by pulling information from several different sources, we can create a repository of information that’s not well served online.  In some instances, these niches would be well served through newsletters, subscription services, or list building and emailed product offerings.
  • Ecommerce Sites – In many instances, our niche sites target “buyer” keywords but don’t actually offer the visitor an opportunity to purchase…not a great user experience!  The idea here would be to take a keyword like “buy dress shoes” (for example) and create much more in-depth, researched sites that are initially monetized via AdSense.  We can later switch the mid-high range sites to Amazon sites.  At the eighth month mark, we can even consider setting up drop-shipping sites for those that are now in the high-end range.

New projectsI’m really excited to start testing this out and yet I’m worried as well because there’s quite a bit more risk with these sites.  They’re much more expensive to build, require significantly more customization per site, and take much longer to see a return.  Still, I think this serves us quite well in the following ways:

  • New level of buyers – We get quite a few requests for $100+ per month sites from buyers, but our current niche sites don’t often meet that critieria.  These sites will open us up to buyers at a different level than our current sites attract.
  • Expansion/Experience – While we know quite a bit about building niche sites, we’re pretty inexperienced at a ton of other things in internet marketing and we stand to learn quite a bit testing this out.  Also…to be honest…niche sites are getting a bit boring.  Our creation of sites is currently on auto-pilot…it will be fun to challenge ourselves here!
  • Authority – We give tips to our readers, listeners, and buyers on what we WOULD do if we were building out our niches sites…but it’s more theoretical than knowledge through experience.  We’d like to be able to point to a process that shows EXACTLY how we actually do build out sites into much larger “authority” type sites!

Does this mean we’re moving away from the niche site model?  Definitely not!  We’ve recently heavily expanded the team and plan to pull from that expanded crew to create these sites rather than taking away from our current niche site model.  We’d rather not pull from one and give to another…we’d simply like to add this as a sort-of new product line to our brand.

So…what do YOU think?  Do you like this addition?  Do you think we’ll be able to take customized sites and standardize the process?  Any other ideas for sites or “process templates” we can target?  Let us know in the comments below!



Make a living buying and selling websites
Sign up now to get our best tips, strategies, and case studies

Discussion

Leave a comment
  1. Spencer Haws says:

    Hey Justin, sounds like a good plan! This certainly will give you the upside potential of having a big winner. I’m doing something similar, still building smaller sites but I will be focusing on just 1 large site as well completely written and managed by myself.

    I’ll be interested to hear how the new sites go!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Thanks, Spencer!

      Right now, our “big winners” are $100+ per month…it would be nice to bump that to $1,000/month or more! :-) To be perfectly honest…I get a bit bored doing the same thing over and over again…so mixing it up like this is more exciting. Some risks here, of course, but it will help push us further along this process and continue to grow…we’ll keep you updated!

      • Pat says:

        Good luck to you both! I think it sounds like a solid plan and I’m really interested to see how Spencer’s and your authority sites evolve and are executed within the next year or so.

        • JustinWCooke says:

          Thanks, Pat!

          It’s difficult enough to build out a successful site like yours on your own. We’re really interested to see if we can do that through other people and find a way to replicate it. Either way, really excited to get it started…thanks for stopping by!

  2. Matt Hagens says:

    Sounds like a great plan! I have quite a few small niche sites that I plan on doing something similar. They are ranking fairly well and get a ton of long tail traffic and know that with some good content I can capture more of. Where do you plan on getting the higher quality content?

    It is a risky investment, but something I want to try. You can’t win big unless you play big!

    Good luck and keep us posted on the progress!

  3. […] insight into their current business plans – they believe they’ve developed a way to scalably create authority sites – “Most of the customization lies in three areas: keyword research, design, and content […]

  4. Phil Whitley says:

    Justin,

    Great post! My biz partner and I were talking about this very thing, this past week. We do have experience with higher quality, authority sites, but we’ve not been as clear on the “process template” that works – and it seems that backlinking has also been our Achilles heel with these.

    We’re just starting to outsource and build niche sites, based on your model, but as you said, at some point in the near future that’s going to be on autopilot and we’re going to want to focus on other IM revenue streams. We’re really starting to look at non-search engine ways of monetizing, which for us is hard, in that we are both good at throwing up sites – so more lateral thinking ahead.

    Thanks again for the great information,

    Phil

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Awesome, Phil.

      Yeah…it was much easier to write the blog post above and lay it out than it actually will be “templating” the authority site process, I’d imagine. Definitely agree with you on the linkbuilding as well…it’s hard to know where to go with that right now, eh?

  5. Vin says:

    Hey dudes. I’ve actually been working on a few of these geo-targeted sites since January. I have one in particular that is making me $70-$80 a month after 4 months. It’s making that much and I’ve only built out about 50% of the content that I originally intended. It’s ranking #4 for a term that gets 8,100 local searches a month, but most of the traffic comes from long tails.

    Drop me a line if you want to take a look at it. I’m sure that the site could benefit from an objective point of view.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Vin!

      That’s great to hear…it sounds like you have 1 in the High-End range…that sounds promising! Definitely interested in taking a look to get some ideas…

  6. Luke Clark says:

    You guys are awesome! Another amazing blog post. You guys have definitely been a lot of motivation for my 19 sites I have right now (that I’ve written all the content for).

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Awesome, Luke…great to hear! That’s quite a bit of content to write, eh? I wrote a few of the articles early on but soon realized that would take up a TON of my time and outsourced it. Once I had the process of ordering/editing down, we handed that off to our agents. Writing the content yourself will definitely keep actual costs down…but the cost in TIME can be massive. Do you plan on outsourcing that piece in the future?

  7. Mike From Maine says:

    It will be interesting to see how this works out. I think the extra content will help protect the sites from getting slapped easily in a google algorithm update.

    With a lot of the niche sites I build I’m just trying to see if I can get the exact match domain to rank on the homepage and make money. If that works and it is profitable then it should be easier to rank secondary content with some links from the homepage.

    One word of warning: You should be careful that secondary content doesn’t just go after variations of the ranking keyword. It should look like a natural website. That’s why I like your idea of geotargetting since its a normal way to make a website.

    Anyway, this post has me thinking. I have some nice $100/month earners right now that I will probably sell to get some cash back from my investment, but I will definitely consider building some sites out in the future.

    And where’s the podcast, Adsense Slackers! :-)

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Mike!

      I’m not convinced that Google doesn’t like sites with less content. We still have quite a few sites that continue to chug away while some “authority” sites have taken a hit. I agree with Spencer’s post that it seems to be more about backlinking than the amount of content on the site.

      Starting off with smaller sites and building out the winners seems to be a good strategy. We’re starting off with larger sites only because we’re going to be more aggressive in the keywords we target…and our current process wouldn’t get our mini-sites ranked for those aggressive keywords…we’re hoping this will do the trick.

      Totally agree with you in that the secondary keywords should be somewhat separate from the main keyword.

      Sorry about the podcast…didn’t squeeze it in this week, but will definitely have one out next week. AdSense Slackers, lol…I like that! :-)

  8. Tyler Herman says:

    I have no idea how you are going to do link building for these types of sites for only $70. You just aren’t going to find stupid easy keywords in the numbers you need to build lots of these sites. You’ll get lucky with a few but most will require a lot more SEO than a niche site would.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey, Tyler, thanks for the comment.

      We’re going to limit our linkbuilding for these sites to unique content. We’ll be reviewing these sites every 4 months for improvements to be made and will adjust along the way as needed. We won’t be going after keywords like “car insurance” here, so I don’t think it will be as difficult as you think it is. The idea would be to have strong enough sites to attract a fair amount of natural links as well over time.

  9. I think you guys are definitely headed in the right direction with these authority sites! However, the one thing you definitely need to be the most careful with is the quality of content you are providing – even in your inner pages. It will be interesting to see how you guys make out with scaling authority sites – will definitely be a bigger challenge than scaling niche sites IMO – best of luck!

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey, Thomas!

      Quality of content is our main priority. Not just that it’s grammatically correct, but also that it’s truly helpful. I DON’T think we’ll be able to get it to where each looks similar to a “labor of love” site…especially not at the beginning. Still…the closer we can get to that the happier I’ll be.

      Ultimately, we’d like to have sites that range from starter niche websites all the way up to full-on businesses. Those larger “business” sites will probably start off with the tools we’re building, this blog, etc…

  10. Aaron @ LinkOrbit says:

    Hi guys, I like the fact that you testing the higher quality sites angle. I just wonder if your estimate of 50-70$ with web 2.0 and article dirs being enough. I have a feeling penguin has made successful link building more expensive.

    Also, I wonder if you cant do better than 50+/mo with your monetization efforts. Do you really have to wait 8 months to move tp something better than adsense?

    But kudos, I think this transformation is what has to happen for the long term success of the niche micro site industry.

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey Aaron!

      If we can provide a path from a mini-niche site to larger authority sites with a fair rate of success we can either:

      A) Build out all of our niche sites similarly
      B) Provide that plan to our niche site buyers

      This would be ALONG with all the benefit these authority sites would bring on their own.

      A bit of dreaming here…but how awesome would it be to have a path to scaling out actual, job-replacing authority sites or businesses? Our niche sites at $30/month aren’t going to get you there…neither will our $50-$300 authority sites, but it’s definitely a step in that direction.

      This gives us our mid-range sites. Right now, we have:

      A) Niche sites that we build/sell
      B) …
      C) Branded sites (AdSenseFlippers, TryBPO, and other sites we’re working on now)

      These would fill B or that mid-range role we’re looking for.

  11. Kent Chow says:

    Justin, this sounds like a solid plan. Authority sites are way to go and last long as a business model!

    Check out my recent interview post. With Facebook Fans traffic, Sean makes $10K monthly. (It could be very powerful!)

    I’m interested in your site template approach. This sounds a reproducible process. I know you guys are very good in scaling things up.

    I miss this important point that.. the way how to structure a site makes difference. Layout and how to lead the visitors stay long (reducing the bounce rate) makes difference in Google eyes.

    I have 2 “authority” sites. One is making $100+ adsense and one is making $200+ from Amazon these days. I’m focusing on adding more new content, driving traffic, and scaling them up.

    I’m trying to duplicate the success and create an authority site monthly. I will reinvest the earning into the content to scale them up.

    Look forward to your future update. Thanks!

  12. There is some valuable information in here for “real” websites as well. Geo targeting is becoming ever more important as businesses try to atract more targeted customers.

    I like the review process you outline above as well.

    Jason Ansley
    http://www.ansleyRDgroup.com
    http://www.NPOdev.org
    http://www.randyRCplanes.com

    @ansleyRDgroup @NPOdev @randyRCplanes

  13. what’s the average number of content pages of your authority websites? Thanks

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Hey there!

      We haven’t started building these yet, but the authority sites will start off with somewhere between 15-25 pages of content to start. (home page, 2-3 pillar posts targeting keywords, 2-3 pillar posts targeting helpful topics, 10-20 geographic content pages)

      We’ll build out the sites that seem to be having success and could end up with sites that have 40-70 pages of content, with most articles in the 500-1,200 word range most likely. Some would NOT get built out if they were not performing very well…

  14. Phil Jensen says:

    Justin

    I like the plan. I’m also trying to move in that direction (just have to get enough content build first). I think it’s probably the most long-term and effective strategy when it comes to Adsense.

    At the end of the day, if you can provide value to the visitor you’ll probably always win…just have to make sure your CPC and specific audience CTR is not too low.

    As I’ve mentioned before I’ve made this mistake and it totally sucks. I designed a fairly large movie website that started to attract a fair number of visitors that really enjoyed the content (even had an active forum). But I couldn’t make any real money with the site. The visitor’s didn’t click on any of the ads (low CTR) and when they did the CPC was really low (less than $.20).

    Good lesson to learn early though.

    Good luck guys!

  15. AustinTPL says:

    Great Post Justin! I have a geo-targeted information site in the works currently. I’m doing a bit more content upfront though to capture as many long tails as possible, so costs are a bit higher than your estimates.

    I’ll be documenting it on TPL in the future. Hope these work out well for you guys!

    Cheers,

    Austin

    • JustinWCooke says:

      Sweet, Austin…definitely let us know how it goes!

      I like your site. Let us know if you’d like to put together a guest post about that site…that would be interesting for our audience, I’m sure!

  16. Sorry posting with a spammy-looking disqus profile. This sounds like a great plan. Good luck guys!

    I just want to point out that you did not link to the plugin about state-specific map built by Pat Flynn, that’s all.

  17. Trent says:

    Terrific article guys. I really liked how you talked about having a process for authority sites.

  18. Christopher Verzonilla says:

    Would it be a bad idea to use a Philippines address for domain registration or could it actually help generate more organic traffic since there is less competition in PI.

    • My guess is bad, as the PI specific traffic would be lower and covert less for advertisers so they wouldn’t be willing to pay as much. Stick to .com, .net and .org.

  19. rahul247rocks says:

    Hey Guys, I started a Ipad related micro niche website and now it’s almost a month old. I wrote some posts and I am hardly getting traffic to the site. I am using blogger platform. Please help!

  20. DanielV says:

    You mentioned that you were looking at a couple different themes. Would you mind sharing us which themes you were considering and which theme you chose? I would great appreciate this.

  21. Ryan McLean says:

    Love this post. Really resonates with me because I am more a semi authority site guy. I totally want to go down this path and I think my goal will be investing $100-$1,000/month per site (depending on it’s earnings). Then let it grow into an authority site using its own profits.

    I will max out spending at $1,000/month and then take any extra income on top of that for myself. Then scale it into new sites.

    1) Sart niche and test the viability of the market
    2) If it’s good then build into a semi authority site
    3) Reinvest income to build into authoity
    4) Keep it ticking over and growing or sell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a site to sell?

Sell Your Site

Click here to find out how much your website is worth

Seller Terms of Use Agreement

Effective Date: April 1st, 2016

Introduction

Welcome to Empire Flippers. We take the friction out of buying and selling websites.

This is our Seller’s Terms of Use Agreement (“Agreement”) and it contains important provisions regarding your use of this website, including provisions regarding your sale of a website, app, or other online business (“Asset”). You should review this Agreement carefully before deciding whether to list an Asset for sale through Empire Flippers. If you do not agree to the terms contained within this Agreement, you should not sell an Asset through Empire Flippers.

This Agreement is being entered by and between you, the user, and Empire Flippers, LLC (“Broker”). Broker is the owner of an online marketplace for buying and selling websites (“Services”), which are provided subject to the terms of this Agreement. You are referred to as “You”, “Your”, or “Seller”. The person or entity buying the Asset is referred to as Buyer. Buyer and Seller are collectively referred to as the Parties.

The person or entity buying your Asset is referred to as the Buyer. Buyers must agree to the Buyer’s Terms of Use Agreement available here, and incorporated into this Agreement.

BY AGREEING TO THIS AGREEMENT YOU ARE MAKING A FORMAL OFFER TO SELL AN ASSET “AS IS” AND WITHOUT ANY CONTINGENCIES EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED. ONLY AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS IF YOU ARE WILLING AND ABLE TO COMPLETE THE SALE.

THIS AGREEMENT IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT AND YOU HAVE A DUTY TO READ THIS AGREEMENT BEFORE USING THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. WHEN YOU LIST YOUR ASSET FOR SALE, YOU MANIFEST YOUR ASSENT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY CEASE YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. BROKER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, AMEND, REPLACE, SUSPEND, OR TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME AND WITHIN ITS SOLE DISCRETION. IN THE EVENT BROKER MODIFIES, AMENDS, OR REPLACES THIS AGREEMENT, THE EFFECTIVE DATE, LOCATED ABOVE, WILL CHANGE. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES AFTER A CHANGE IN THE EFFECTIVE DATE CONSTITUTES YOUR ACQUIESCENCE TO AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY MODIFICATION, AMENDMENT, OR REPLACEMENT.

A. Offer to Sell and Purchase Price. You have made an offer to sell an Asset through your decision to list the Asset for sale though Broker’s Services.

The first step to listing an Asset for sale is paying a non-refundable listing fee (“Listing Fee”) to Broker. Upon your payment of the Listing Fee and submission of your Asset details, Broker will perform its review of your Asset. Broker, in its sole discretion, will approve or reject your Asset for listing on the Broker’s website and participation in the Services. Broker reserves the right to reject any Asset submission for any reason or no reason at all.

You are also agreeing to provide any ancillary services, including training, as detailed on the listing page of your Asset on Broker’s marketplace.

B. Eligibility. By using the Empire Flippers’ website or Services, you warrant and agree that you are either above the age of majority in your nation, state, province, territory, or city, or the age of eighteen (18), whichever is greater. You warrant that you are of sound mind, have the capacity to contract, and agree to the terms and conditions contained within this Agreement. If you are using the Services on behalf of a business entity or third party, you warrant that you have actual authority to act as an agent of that business entity and third party and have the right and ability to agree to the terms of this Agreement on behalf of that third party or business entity.

C. Seller Warranties. Seller warrants that:

  • Seller has the full power and legal authority to execute this Agreement;
  • Seller has clear and unencumbered title to the Asset and all related assets to be sold through the Broker’ Marketplace, including all intellectual property rights;
  • Seller has not placed the Asset to be sold subject to a mortgage, pledge, lien, or encumbrance, except for those taxes which shall be prorated as of the date of the Completed Migration;
  • There are no bankruptcy or reorganization proceedings currently filed against Seller that would impede its ability to complete this Agreement;
  • To the best of Your knowledge, there is no lawsuit or pending charge against your Asset; and,
  • Seller makes no other express or implied warranties with respect to Seller.


D. Exclusive Listing. Once your Asset is listed on the Broker’ Marketplace, you agree this is an exclusive listing for a period of six months (“Listing Term”). Specifically, you agree that Broker is the exclusive permissible method to sell your Asset during the Listing Term. You may not, directly or indirectly, list, solicit offers, or attempt to sell your Asset using any other service, person, or agent for the duration of the Listing Term. If you violate this provision, you agree to pay Broker a commission of fifteen percent (15%) of the total sale price of your Asset to Broker, plus any costs and attorney fees Broker incurs in connection with enforcing this Agreement.

E. Maintenance of the Business During the Listing Period. During the Listing Period, you agree to maintain your Asset as it was prior to the Listing Period, to the best of your ability. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining third-party links on the Asset to be sold and other websites and any marketing, advertising, or other referral source, if applicable. During the Listing Period, you also agree to maintain accurate and up-to-date business records and to provide the same to Broker upon request.

F. Sale Terms. If Broker, in its sole and absolute discretion, approves your Asset for listing in the Broker’s marketplace, Broker will suggest a listing price. Once you agree to that listing price, as evidenced by the listing of your Asset at that price on Broker’s marketplace, you are obligated to accept full listing price offers from Buyers. To be clear, by agreeing to this Agreement, you are deemed to have accepted any full listing price offers on your Asset. Any written confirmation of your acceptance of the listing price, while not required, is incorporated into this Agreement.

G. Migration Process & Inspection Period.
  • Subsequent to Buyer’s acceptance of Buyer’s Terms of Use Agreement, which is incorporated into this Agreement in whole, and payment of the Purchase Price to Broker, the process to transfer the Asset to the Buyer begins (“Migration Process”). The Parties understand and agree that the Migration Process typically takes 2 - 4 weeks to complete, but could take substantially longer. The Parties acknowledge and agree that Broker cannot guarantee a specific timeframe for the Migration Process.
  • The Migration Process is completed when the Buyer confirms sole control and ownership of the Asset or when Broker has confirmed, in its sole and absolute discretion, that Buyer is in control and has ownership of the Asset (“Completed Migration”).
  • Buyer shall have a period of fourteen (14) days from the Date of the Completed Migration to fully inspect the operation of the Asset (“Inspection Period”) upon the following terms and conditions:
    • During the Inspection Period, Buyer shall have the opportunity to confirm the Asset’s Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is consistent with the Asset’s Average Monthly Net Revenue.
    • Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is defined as the Assets’ monthly gross revenue after the Completed Migration less normal and customary expenses associated with the historical operation of the Asset as provided in the Average Monthly Net Revenue.
    • Average Monthly Net Revenue is defined as the most current information regarding the Asset’s average monthly net revenue made available on the Broker’s website.
    • Buyer shall have the right to request termination of this Agreement to cancel the sale and obtain a refund of the Purchase Price if the Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is less than seventy-five percent (75%) of the Average Monthly Net Revenue during the Inspection Period (“Substantive Deviation”). If the Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue is seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the Average Monthly Net Revenue, Buyer shall have no right to request to terminate or cancel this Agreement.
    • To enforce his ability to request termination of this Agreement based on a Substantial Deviation, Buyer must 1) notify Broker in writing of his request to terminate this Agreement within the Inspection Period at support@empireflippers.com or the Zendesk ticket already being used and 2) provide evidence of the Substantial Deviation and Post-Migration Monthly Net Revenue through screenshots or providing Broker access to the Asset.
    • If Buyer requests termination of this Agreement consistent with the provisions above, Broker will conduct an investigation into the matter. The Parties agree and understand this investigation could take 2-4 weeks to complete or longer depending on the circumstances (“Broker’s Investigation Period”). Broker may require additional information from the Parties to conduct its investigation and the Parties agree to reasonably comply with such requests.
    • If Broker confirms the presence of a Substantial Deviation, Broker will cancel the sale, the Asset will be returned to Seller and the Purchase Price will be returned to Buyer. The Parties agree to cooperate to complete these actions.
    • If Broker confirms no Substantive Deviation exists, the sale will close as contemplated consistent with paragraph 7, iv.
    • Broker retains full and sole authority to determine the presence or absence of a Substantial Deviation.
    • If Buyer fails to provide written notification of his request to terminate this Agreement within the Inspection Period, Buyer is deemed to have freely and voluntarily waived any and all contingences in connection with his purchase of the Asset, including any discrepancies, fluctuations, or changes in the performance of the Asset and specifically its gross revenue, net revenue, expenses, traffic, and other metrics of performance, including any discrepancies, fluctuations, or changes in the performance of the Asset during the Migration Process or during the Inspection Period.
    • The Parties are free to waive the Inspection Period and close the sale consistent with paragraph 7, iv at any time.
  • Upon expiration of the Inspection Period, or if applicable the Broker’s determination regarding a Substantial Deviation, Broker will release eighty-five percent (85%) of the Purchase Price to Seller, which constitutes the Purchase Price minus Broker’s Commission (“Net Purchase Price”). Broker will retain the Commission.
  • The Parties agree to provide Broker all necessary information upon request to facilitate the Migration Process.


H. Default and Termination. Broker reserves the right to terminate the Migration Process at any point for any reason or no reason at all. If Broker terminates the sale, it agrees to return the Purchase Price to Buyer and the Asset to Seller.

I. Remedies for Material Breach. The Parties, including the Broker, understand and agree that monetary damages would not be a sufficient remedy for any breach of this Agreement and that, in addition to monetary damages and all other rights and remedies available at law or according to the terms of this Agreement, the non-breaching Party, including the Broker, shall be entitled to equitable relief, including injunctive relief, specific performance and/or the granting of an immediate restraining order or preliminary injunction (without posting bond) enjoining any such breach or reasonably anticipated breach as a remedy. Such equitable remedies shall not be the exclusive remedies available to the Parties, including the Broker, for breach of this Agreement, but shall be in addition to all other remedies available at law, equity or according to the terms of this Agreement. At all times, Broker retains complete discretion to cancel any sale and/or Migration Process.

J. Non-Compete Agreement. Seller agrees not to create or operate an Asset that would directly compete with the Asset for at least three years.

K. Indemnification of Buyer.
  • Seller agrees to indemnify Buyer from all liabilities arising out of Seller’s operation of the Asset prior to the Completed Migration;
  • Buyer has agreed to indemnify Seller from all liabilities arising out of Buyer’s operation of the Asset after the Completed Migration; and
  • The Parties agree to indemnify Broker from and against any and all claims, demands, judgments, liabilities, costs, and fees, including attorneys' fees, arising out of or related to this Agreement. The Parties’ obligation to defend Broker will not provide the Parties with the ability or right to control Broker’s defense, and Broker reserves the right to control its defense, including, but not limited to, the choice to litigate or settle and the choice of counsel.


L. Limitation of Liability

YOU AGREE THAT THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN AS-IS BASIS AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF QUALITY, ACCURACY, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, SECURITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, AND TITLE. YOU AGREE THAT BROKER WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIMS, DAMAGES, JUDGMENTS, CHARGES, OR FEES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COMPENSATORY DAMAGES, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SPECIAL DAMAGES, INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, PUNITIVE DAMAGES, EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, COSTS AND ATTORNEYS’ FEES, DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF ERRORS OR OMISSIONS, AND DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE UNAVAILABILITY OF THE EMPIRE FLIPPERS’ WEBSITE OR SERVICES OR OTHER DOWNTIME. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND THAT BROKER’S LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT THAT YOU PAID TO USE THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES OR $1,000, WHICHEVER IS LESS.

M. Indemnification of Broker.

You agree to hold harmless, defend, and indemnify Broker from and against any and all claims, demands, judgments, liabilities, costs, and fees, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of or related to: (1) the use of the Empire Flippers’ Website; (2) the use of any Service; (3) the review and listing of your website for sale; (4) the violation of any term or condition of this Agreement; (5) the violation of the rights of third parties, including rights of privacy or publicity or intellectual property rights; and (6) the violation of any law, statute, regulation, ordinance, or treaty, whether local, state, provincial, national, or international. Your obligation to defend and indemnify Broker will not provide you with the ability or right to control Broker’s defense, and Broker reserves the right to control its defense, including, but not limited to, the choice to litigate or settle and the choice of counsel.

N. General Provisions.
  • Fair Market Value. The Parties each acknowledge the Purchase Price represents fair market value.
  • Costs. The Parties agree to pay their own costs and expenses incurred with respect to this Agreement.
  • Valid and Binding Agreement. This Agreement represents a binding legal obligation and is enforceable in accordance with its terms and is binding and shall inure to the benefit of each Parties’ respective heirs, legal representatives, successors, and assigns.
  • Confidentiality. The Parties agree to maintain complete confidentiality regarding this Agreement.
  • Waivers. A waiver by either Party to any provision of this Agreement does not constitute a waiver of any other provision of this Agreement.
  • Notices. Any notice to Broker required under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed properly given when emailed to XXX.
  • No Third-Party Beneficiaries. Except as otherwise provided, nothing in this Agreement will provide any benefit to any third party or entitle any third party to any claim, cause of action, remedy, or right of any kind. This Agreement is not a third-party beneficiary contract.
  • Sections and Headings. The sections and headings in this Agreement are for organization and clarification purposes only and should not be interpreted as part of this Agreement.
  • Choice of Laws and Venue. Parties and Broker agree that any and all claims arising out of or related to this Agreement brought by or against Broker, including its validity, interpretation, breach, violation, or termination, shall be brought in the exclusive forum of the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court and pursuant to Michigan law. The Parties expressly consent to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this forum. The prevailing party is entitled to payment of its costs, expenses, and attorney fees by the non-prevailing party for actions, disputes, or litigation arising out of or related to this Agreement.
  • Entire Agreement. Except as otherwise provided, this Agreement is the entire agreement between the Parties. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreement between the Parties.
  • Severability. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions will continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision will be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.
  • Amendments. This Agreement may be amended in writing if both Parties sign and date in writing.
  • Effective Date. The Effective Date of this Agreement is the date it is agreed to by Buyer.

Depositor Terms Of Use Agreement

Effective Date: April 1st, 2016

Introduction

Welcome to Empire Flippers. We take the friction out of buying and selling websites.

This is our Depositor’s Terms of Use Agreement (“Agreement”) and it contains important provisions regarding your use of this website, including provisions regarding your deposit of money in connection with a potential purchase of a website, app, or other online business (“Asset”). You should review this Agreement carefully before deciding whether to deposit money with Empire Flippers. If you do not agree to the terms contained within this Agreement, you should not deposit money or purchase an Asset through Empire Flippers.

This Agreement is being entered by and between you, the user, and Empire Flippers, LLC (“Broker”). Broker is the owner of an online marketplace for buying and selling websites (“Services”), which are provided subject to the terms of this Agreement. You are referred to as “You”, “Your”, or “Depositor”. Collectively, Depositor and Broker are referred to as the Parties.

THIS AGREEMENT IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT AND YOU HAVE A DUTY TO READ THIS AGREEMENT BEFORE USING THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. WHEN YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS, YOU MANIFEST YOUR ASSENT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY CEASE YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES. EMPIRE FLIPPERS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, AMEND, REPLACE, SUSPEND, OR TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME AND WITHIN IT SOLE DISCRETION. IN THE EVENT EMPIRE FLIPPERS MODIFIES, AMENDS, OR REPLACES THIS AGREEMENT, THE EFFECTIVE DATE, LOCATED ABOVE, WILL CHANGE. YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES AFTER A CHANGE IN THE EFFECTIVE DATE CONSTITUTES YOUR ACQUIESCENCE TO AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY MODIFICATION, AMENDMENT, OR REPLACEMENT.

  1. Deposit Amount. You are agreeing to place on deposit with Broker the amount stated for the applicable listing (“Deposit”).
  2. Information. By making the Deposit with Broker, You will be given confidential information regarding the Asset, including but not limited to access to the URL (if applicable), detailed proof of earnings, and access to seller for questions.
  3. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure.
    1. Depositor will be provided Confidential Information after making the Deposit. “Confidential Information” shall mean nonpublic proprietary information revealed by the providing party (whether in writing, orally or by any other means) to the Depositor including (a) information expressly marked or disclosed as confidential, (b) all forms and types of financial and/or business information, (c) any and all details relating to the Asset, including its URL, detailed sales and revenue details, and any other information related to the Asset.
    2. Confidential Information shall remain the property of the providing party and all applicable rights in patents, copyrights, trade secrets and similar intellectual property rights embodied in the Confidential Information shall remain in the providing party. The Depositor party agrees to treat all such Confidential Information as confidential and shall not disclose such Confidential Information to any third party; provided that the Depositor may disclose the Confidential Information to its Representatives (as defined below) who have a need to know such information in connection with the evaluation of the purchase of the Asset. The Depositor shall use at least the same degree of care to avoid disclosure of such Confidential Information as the Depositor uses with respect to its own confidential information of like importance.
    3. The Depositor shall not use Confidential Information for any purpose other than evaluation of the Asset for purchase and shall prohibit its agents, financial advisors, employees, officers and directors (collectively, “Representatives”) from using the Confidential Information for any purpose other than as specifically agreed upon by the parties hereto.
    4. This Agreement shall not apply to information that on the effective date of this Agreement has been or thereafter is: (a) developed by the receiving party independently of the providing party and not based upon or derived from information provided or delivered by the providing party to the receiving party; (b) rightfully obtained by the receiving party from a third party without restriction; or (c) publicly available other than through the receiving party in violation of the terms of this Agreement.
    5. In the event that the Depositor is required to disclose any Confidential Information, the Depositor will cooperate with the providing party and, when possible pursuant to statutory or regulatory authority, provide the providing party with prompt written notice so that the providing party may seek a protective order or waive compliance by the Depositor with the provisions of this Agreement.
    6. The Depositor acknowledges that the unauthorized disclosure of Confidential Information may cause irreparable injury to the providing party and that, in the event of a violation of any of the Depositor’s obligations hereunder, the providing party shall have no adequate remedy at law and shall therefore be entitled to seek enforcement of each such obligation by temporary or permanent injunctive relief without proving damages, and without prejudice to any other rights and remedies which may be available to the providing party at law or in equity.
  4. Right of First Refusal. If, at any time while Depositor’s Deposit is on account with Broker, the Seller associated with the listing connected to your Deposit receives a bona fide offer below list price from any party to purchase the Asset, Broker shall notify Depositor of the offer. If Depositor does not elect to match the offer in writing within twenty-four (24) hours, Seller may then sell the Asset to the first offeror, provided the sale is on the conditions specified in the offer sent to Depositor.
  5. Refund of Deposit. Depositor may request a refund of the Deposit at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. Broker will refund the Deposit as soon as commercially possible.
  6. Deposit Not Used for Purchase. Should you choose to make a purchase of an Asset, your Deposit will be returned to you and will not be used as a potion of the Payment Price of the Asset.
  7. Wire Fees and Other Expenses. Broker does not charge Depositor any wire or transfer fees, however, certain fees and expenses may be charged by your financial institution and are solely your responsibility.
  8. Notices. All notices required under this Agreement shall be made to Broker at support@empireflippers.com.
  9. Choice of Laws and Venue. Parties and Depositor agree that any and all claims arising out of or related to this Agreement brought by or against Broker, including its validity, interpretation, breach, violation, or termination, shall be brought in the exclusive forum of the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court and pursuant to Michigan law. The Parties expressly consent to personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this forum. The prevailing party is entitled to payment of its costs, expenses, and attorney fees by the non-prevailing party for actions, disputes, or litigation arising out of or related to this Agreement.
  10. Entire Agreement. Except as otherwise provided, this Agreement is the entire agreement between the Parties. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreement between the Parties.
  11. Effective Date. The Effective Date of this Agreement is the date Depositor consents to the same.