It has been a little over 1 year since I bought my 1st website on Flippa and I have some firm numbers as far as Income and ROI (return on investment). In a nutshell, I can tell you that I make much better returns that Dow Jones / S&P500 or any other stock market in the world. In fact, I make over 70% ROI with my website investments. Most of it through AdSense, but also a little something using Affiliate Programs.
Here I will show you how I improved 1 site’s earnings from $135 per month to $300 per month, and my second site (which did even better) from $146 per month to $356, while web traffic dropped by 50% (seasonal).
In a nutshell you will see how I make 70% Annual ROI with Site #1 and over 130% Annual ROI with site #2
In this post, I will review 2 websites – one purchased in Feb 2015, and another in Oct 2015. On both of these I use Amazon Affiliate program along with Google Ads. I also want to try Outbrain or Taboola, but just don’t have time to set it up.
In this post, I will show you the RESULTS of my obsessive Conversion Optimisation, that I do with my websites, and will teach in my Upcoming UDEMY AdSense course. This course will cover basic AdSense setup, Ad Placement, Ad Color and Size combinations, Website layout, Simple A/B testing to see what works better, and of course creating and optimizing mobile friendly version of the site.
In the course I will also teach my strategy for buying websites on Flippa. You should know that 99% of them are JUNK, so be very careful.
BTW – by obsessive, I mean I’ve run multiple tests on multiple sites, with multiple designs, and have come up with a sure way to set up all my sites. I no longer do obsessive testing, as I have figured out a method that works great for me. Sure it can be optimised further, but it does not make financial sense to waste time on squeezing out few percentage points.
Furthermore – I have developed a CLEAN WordPress theme that is Super Optimized for AdSense, and is completely MOBILE friendly, which means that ALL you have to do, is:
Paste 4-6 sets of Ad Code (2-3 for Desktop / iPad / Tablet visitors, and 2-3 for Smartphone (mobile) visitors.
Theme will do the rest for you. If you want to run A/B test, this theme is capable of doing that, or you can use a free A/B testing plugin, which I will post in the Course Student access area.
PS: If you take my future course on UDEMY, you will get this theme for free. Otherwise, it will be available for a nominal price, when I finish the Theme and the Course.
Now back to my Flippa investments [/sellout]
Site 1 – purchased for $5000 in Feb 2015.
This site has evergreen content, that is NOT seasonal. About 50% of traffic is social (mostly StumbleUpon), 40% Organic from Google, and some referral traffic. Every now and then I get a spike in traffic, when sites like LifeHacker or BuzzFeed link to it. But these are rare.
In the 12 months since I installed AdSense code on the site (Mar 3, 2015 – Mar 3, 2016), this site has earned $3048 or $254/month or 61% ROI. See AdSense earnings report below. Also notice the rising RPM curve. Not a huge rise, but still nice!
Here is a similar earnings report that shows ALL TIME income, which as of writing this (May 6, 2016), stands at $3700.46. This means that in Since Mar 3, 2016, site has made $652 or $326/month.
As you can see from the graph below, RPM started to improve significantly, since March 2016!
Site 1 – Traffic.
Overall, traffic has been going down, as I did not have much time to put into this site. See the traffic report below:
As you can see, traffic has shrunk by almost 50% in the past year (i’m working on bringing it back up). Therefore Earning / Visitor has grown significantly, because of smart optimization of Ad Placement that I do.
Site 1 – Amazon Affiliate Income:
Unfortunately, I don’t exact stats for Amazon income, because I do not use unique tracking ID (I share it with other sites, but I can confirm that at least $500-600 can be attributed to this site. I had commissions as high as $45 / item (piece of furniture, costing over $600) and regular commissions of $5-10 for Air Purifiers costing $80-200, as well as some small stuff.
At this point I don’t care much for going back and changing all affiliate links with new tracking ID.
Site 1 – Income and ROI Summary:
So with $3048 in AdSense income and $500 in Amazon affiliate income, in 12 months since buying this site, I’ve earned about $3500 or exactly 70% ROI. If my amazon income was, so was my ROI. But it was definitely ver $500.
By comparison, as of May 6, 2016, Dow Jones Index is DOWN 1.58% YTD.
Site 1 – Income and traffic BEFORE Purchase:
Before the sale/purchase of Site 1, its income has dropped to about $135/month – see screenshot from Flippa:
Now take a look at traffic before purchase:
From above data, I can conclude that I’ve effectively more than DOUBLED the income on this site from $135 to about $296 per month! I want you to think about this guys. I invested $5000. Add to that $40 for wire transfer, $10/year for domain name registration, and site is hosted on shared hosting along with other 15 sites, so maybe another $10/year for hosting. Total investment – $5060. Total Annual Return – $3500 or slightly more! Monthly income – $300
Site 2 – purchased in Oct 2015 for $3300
In Oct 2015, i found another worthy investment – this time it was a VERY SEASONAL website, that has a massive drop in traffic in the winter, and huge spike in the spring/summer/fall.
I’ve owned this site for just about 6 months so far. Most of this time, traffic was falling and only began to climb in the early March. Hopefully summer will be great. See traffic stats below:
SITE 2 – 6 months earnings:
In exactly 6 months, the site has made $1552 with AdSense, $493 with Amazon Affiliate program and $128 with another affiliate program that i’ve implemented in April 2016. Total earnings to date: $2173 or $356 per month!
This means that in 6 months I’ve recouped 65% of purchase price. This puts my ANNUAL Return On Investment at 130% YTD, and I have reasons to believe that at 12 months mark, the site will earn over $5000… probably more like $6000-7000. So this is a SUPER good investment for me, and I hope to further increase its traffic, and earnings.
Now you need to account for huge DROP in traffic in the winter, and huge upside potential in the coming summer.
Site 2 – Income and Traffic before purchase:
As you can see from screenshot above – Site 2 had its best month (as far as AdSense Earnings) in July 2015, making $164. That was also during PEAK traffic. I made an average of $259 / month with this site, with significant drop traffic falling, due to seasonal nature of this website. So with about 1/2 the traffic, i was earning 58% more per month, than previous site owner, on AdSense ONLY!
By doing simple math, we can conclude that I’ve increases site’s AdSense earnings by 3 fold, and added additional Affiliate income!
Why Buying Websites is Better that Investing in Stocks or Real Estate
Now I always want to compare this to my friend who buys Investment Real Estate – multi family homes. He invests OVER $100,000 per house, and deals with tons of crap from mortgage companies, and his MONTHLY return is same $300 after all taxes and mortgage/insurance payments and maintenance costs. Now if his tenants don’t pay – he either loses money or breaks even.
I will take investing in websites ANY DAY!
And stocks – they are way overpriced right now, so I’m waiting for another Great Recession to invest in evergreen Tech Stocks… but until then – I’m always on a lookout for new great deals on Flippa, of which there are VERY FEW.