Flippa Scam - Bad Websites Sellers and Buyers on Flippa.com

Scams on Flippa

I buy websites on Flippa, and it is always difficult to figure out is the site is worth the price, if it will lose rankings, is banned from AdSense, or has many bad links. Add to this that 50% or more sellers want to SCAM you, or are hiding important info, and investing in websites becomes a VERY risky adventure.

However most scams are easy to spot if you look closely and pay attention to important details.

Here is my video review of some obvious but very deceptive scammer who went as far as making a Fake Adsense Earnings Proof Video (some actually made a fake adsense dashboard. These are obvious things that you should always check:

Scams on Flippa video

The obvious scam signals

1) Verified AdSense income: When seller claims income from Adsense, Flippa offers mechanism to verify that income “belongs” to the specific website. In theory this cannot be faked, and you should see a green line on the Earnings graph inside the listing. I still go further, and ALWAYS ask sellers to provide additional screenshots of last 30, 90 and 365 days site reports, that highlight Revenue, Page Views and RPM tabs, and show 3 line on the graph.

If seller claims income from AdSense but it’s not verified, you should probably avoid this website, and move on. Sure there are exceptions. For example my $10000 website purchase – seller was using original site creator’s AdSense account AFTER he bought it … However he still managed to verify it with Flippa.

2) Always request Google Analytics access! – It is absolutely essential to have complete (read and analyze) Google Analytics access from the time you contact seller to the time you finish transaction (and preferably that seller makes you Admin after sale is completed, to retain old data).

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER Buy Websites Without Google Analytics Access (if available).

Flippa Scam - Bad Websites Sellers and Buyers on Flippa.com

I never buy sites unless I’m given Analytics access. If seller refuses to give access – they are hiding something. NEVER buy such sites.

If seller agrees to give access after some back and forth, they could be a newbie, but you should still consider that they are hiding stuff. I never had luck with such sellers, and never ended up buying from them.

If seller gives you access to google analytics only for 24 hours or revokes access without telling you – don’t buy from them.

Fake Amazon Affiliate Income

It is VERY easy to fake Amazon income because of POOR reporting system by Amazon. When I say “poor” i mean it’s not designed for site sales.

Amazon reporting is based on Tracking IDs, which can be used on multiple websites. For example – seller claims $500 monthly income from Amazon Affiliate program. In reality, site can be making only $100/months, because same link (Tracking ID) is used on other websites, thus inflating income.

PRO TIP: Do a reverse search on Amazon Associate ID, using http://analyzeid.com. You can search the domain name, Amazon ID, AdSense PUB ID, etc. Do as much cross-research as you can, to make sure Amazon Income is not fake.

For example – search Google for dpsgeneral-20. You will get the AnalyzeID in 1st position. It is a paid service, but you can use it free (I clear cookies to continue using for free 🙂 ) … However I find this is the best such service available (and most accurate), so if you do this a lot – consider upgrading.

dpsgeneral-20 belongs to problogger.net and is also used on 3 other websites. So if one of those was for sale, seller could claim income from 4 sites. You get the gist … bottom line – Amazon income is easy to fake and you should spend extra time analyzing it, and since new Amazon affiliate rates go into effect on March 1, 2017 (which will result in 10-40% drop in incomes), I would not pay more than 10-15 multiple for a website earning primarily from Amazon

1) Screenshots can be Photoshop’ed Never trust screenshots exclusively. It’s very easy to fake any image, and make it look very realistic. Always ask for additional proof of income (video walk-through preferred).

In most cases, scammers don’t even need Photoshop. It can easily be done with browser “inspect element” tool, by changing page’s HTML code, to look the way you want it!!!

As an example, here is a screenshot of a REAL amazon earnings report:

Amazon Affiliate Income Report - REAL

Here is changing report’s numbers to make it look like site is earning much more, than it does, using inspect element.
Note, “inspect element is built into nearly every browser. In some cases, scammers can even do it on mobile phone (although it’s a massive pain in the a$$).

Fake Amazon Affiliate Income using Browser Inspect Element

This took me just 5 minutes, to make it look like I earned $18987.66 instead of $87.66.

PRO TIP: Never trust screenshots – they are VERY easy to manipulate. Always request a Skype screen-share to verify earnings! If seller gives you lame excuses – don’t waste your time, just walk away, as it’s 99% a scam!

2) If you feel that seller is hiding something or there is something fishy – WALK AWAY – If it smells bad, it probably is bad, and you should not lose money to find out if it’s in fact bad!

There are too many sites out there to deal with bad sellers / websites, etc.

Conclusion – Scams are abundant on Flippa and most sites there, are junk! Be very careful making a buying decision

To recap – many sellers on Flippa are scammers.
Never trust any seller or buyer, even if they have 100% positive feedback.
Most site on Flippa are complete garbage (overpriced, crappy, etc).
Always look for reasons NOT TO BUY a website. This is the only way to get good deals.

I speak from experience of having skin in the game – as of now I’m in for almost $50000, and am always looking to buy more. However it’s become increasingly difficult to find good site. If we weed out all the bad sites, most decent ones are now overpriced because so many new investors are getting into the game and are paying outrageous multiples.

Best of luck and don’t lose the money!

AdSense CPM (RPM) Improvement Stats

Most websites are under-monetized, and can earn 50-100% more with Google Ads. I can help you achieve this goal by replacing Responsive Ads with Mobile Optimized ads that pay more per click (higher CPC) and place ads in right places to get hight Click-Through-Rate (CTR), leading to higher overall revenue per visitor (RPM). Here are some of my results in last 18 months:

Site 1: Increased RPM from $5.02 to $10.86 (up 116%, consistent over 8 months)

Site 1 RPM After Optimization

Site 1 After Optimization: AdSense RPM increase by 116%

Site 1 RPM Before Optimization

Site 2: Increased RPM from $12.33 to $28.05 (up 125%, consistent over 10 months)

Site 2 RPM After Optimization

Site 2 After Optimization: AdSense RPM increase by 125%

Site 4 RPM Before Optimization

Site 3: Increased RPM from $4.66 to $17.55 (up 227%, consistent over 11 months)

Site 1 RPM After Optimization

Site 3 After Optimization: AdSense RPM increase by 227%

Site 3 RPM Before Optimization

Site 4: Increased RPM from $6.62 to $13.10 (up 98%, consistent over 18 months)

Site 4 RPM After Optimization

Site 4 After Optimization: AdSense RPM increase by 98%

Site 4 RPM Before Optimization

This was my crown jewel – I sold this one on Empire Flippers for $30,982 in Nov 2017. The listing lasted less than 6 hours – one of the fastest sales on EmpireFlippers to my knowledge … I mean you can’t go much faster than that. At the time of this post, the funds were wired to me – should be arriving tomorrow.

EmpireFlippers Site Sale - Funds Transfer

Expect a full writeup on this soon.

All of the stats above are for my investment websites, most of which I bought on Flippa.

How I optimize / increase adsense income?

My approach is simple & effective – optimum ads placement + AB testing, for maximum RPM (revenue per visitor).

I optimize Mobile/Desktop ad placements & run A/B testing of different ad units to delivers maximum results, without compromising user experience & being Adsense TOS compliant.

If you have a high traffic website & want to substantially improve Ad Revenue – I’m your guy! I deliver results, easily measured in RPM increase.

What I do: 

✓ Adsense placement in WordPress and custom websites.
Mobile & Desktop ads optimization
✓ AB Testing of ad units, size/colors.
✓ AB testing of individual pages, or even entire site designs / WordPress themes.
✓ Extensive knowledge of WordPress / HTML / CSS / PHP needed for fast deployment of Adsense on most website platforms
✓ Custom ad placements based on user-agent, screen size, visitor’s country, etc.
✓ Optimizing mobile site UX/UI to make it load faster & display ads for max RPM/revenue.
✓ Full compliance with Adsense TOS

$100+ per day AdSense Income

$112/day – AdSense Passive Blogging Income

I make $112 per day, on Google AdSense. Not to brag, but this is a very nice passive income, considering that last time I updated my websites about 6 months ago (sometime in March or April 2017). In this post I will quickly lay out how that happens.

Now I don’t make $112 every day – that is an average of all my AdSense income so far this year ($32,334.99) divided by 289 days (today is Oct 16, 2017).

First – proof:

Here is the screenshot of my YTD income:

AdSense - $112 per day passive income

In screenshot I selected all AdSense for content earnings from Jan. 1, 2017 to Oct. 16 2017. Keep in mind it about 5pm, so there will me more earnings today.

While the graph shows a steep growth curve from January to June, and then slight decline, the revenue for last 3 months averaged about $3500/mo, which is more that $112/day. So my projections are that income will continue to be over $100/day through the end of 2017, and I will earn about $40K for the whole year, just with AdSense.

Passive AdSense income

As mentioned, i barely do any work with my sites, after initial acquisition and optimization. I sometimes have 1-5 new articles created, just to freshen up the content and then go on HARO to score some quality mentions, to keep up the rankings. Then I get too busy with other projects, and just don’t have any time to update my sites. I typically spend no more than 40 hours of total work on my investment sites.

I also don’t build sites (anymore) because it’s very time consuming for my to create content and get sites to rank. I prefer to invest, and recoup my initial investment in 12-18 months. Some projects take longer, while others pay for themselves in less than one year, and start making NET income!

I also earn some Amazon and other affiliate income from these sites, but AdSense is the biggest earner by far. Here are my monthly reports, so you can see the income breakdown:

Dec 2016

Nov 2016

I haven’t had time to publish later months reports, but things are going pretty well! For example, in Dec 2016 I made $2,994.08 from ALL my sites and all sources of income. In Sep 2017 I made $3,418.79 just from AdSense. , and this number does not include the sites that are in my wife’s name.

Update: In October 2017 my full month AdSense income was $3,539.67.

Make money from your blog

Not everyone can buy and monetize investment sites. But most people can run a pretty successful blog. Most tools that you need are either FREE or very inexpensive. WordPress is free, and has thousands of great and free themes and plugins. So basically all you have to do is create great content for your readers and do some social marketing and SEO.

But monetizing WordPress blogs is a different story. Most bloggers are not good at optimizing AdSense, let alone placing it in the right places across their blog. There are a million of plugins that do it, but none of them do it well. Problem is – these plugins were created by programmers – not Adsense publishers.

I was one of those bloggers struggling to find optimum way to display ads on my blogs/websites. Since I could not find a good solution, I first resorted to modifying Themes/templates to automate ad placement. I even had to learn PHP and CSS (took a web programming course in a community college). While this worked great in terms of income, it was very time consuming, and couple of times I crashed my blog (by messing up PHP code) and even got my website hacked!

So i decided to make the ultimate AdSense Plugin for myself. I included ALL the important features in it, and none of the BS / useless stuff that you can find in every free plugin.

My plugin has everything I need to quickly display ads across any WP blog, and do so in a way to maximize income!

  1. Mobile & Desktop ads
  2. Ads Above & Below Content
  3. Powerful A/B Testing
  4. Place ads with Short-codes
  5. Ads Inside Comments

Now you can use my methods for free (only you will have to tinker with your Theme PHP code) or use my plugin.

Here is how to place ads in any WP theme like a PRO and do it for Free:

This is exactly what I’ve been doing for last 3-4 years to put Adsense on all my WordPress sites. It is a cumbersome and time consuming way to do things, but it REALLY, REALLY works way better than using free and even paid Adsense plugins! I’m talking about increasing blog revenue by 30%, 50, even 90% in some cases.

Trust me – spending 2-4 hours once, is well worth making extra $300-1000 every month!

Displaying mobile and desktop ads in WordPress.
– AB testing – limited to templates, since you cannot put PHP code directly in WP post / pages.
– Ads in comments (will require serious PHP knowledge, as you can easily break your WordPress)

CAUTION: The free methods can and often will break your website during testing! It will require modifying functions.php file and Theme template files ( header.php, footer.php, single.php, index.php, page.php, etc) and pasting some PHP code. If you make mistake, your website and even WP Admin will not work. You will also have to create some new files inside your theme.

If you do it, make sure you have:

      FTP or cPanel access to your blog.
      Backup of ALL files that you will be modifying.

Protected: AdSense Plugin DEMO

AdSense NINJA WP Plugin

Demo TOP AD - DESKTOP (Variant A)

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

AdSense NINJA WP Plugin


AdSense Investment Site – $2579 Net Profit in 12 Months!

One year ago I bought a website for $6700. In one year it has earned $9363 – paid for itself, and made $2579 NET PROFIT or 138% Annual ROI. Here is my post about doubling that website income in first month. In this article I will show how I beat the stock market:

Income and expenses in the 1st year:

1 Year Earnings of an Investment Website:

Original Price: $6784 (with $84 Escrow.com fee)
1 Year Earnings: $9363 (hosting costs: $29/year)
Monthly Income before purchase: $327 (31 days)
1st month income after purchase: $617 (29 days)
Daily Income increase: 104%

I bought this website on June 2nd 2016. Site paid for itself in first 8 months – after January 2017, it’s making net profit, and has virtually no expenses except for Hosting and Domain Registration.

How I beat Stock Market with Investing in Websites:

In 2016 market did really well. Here are the stats for major indexes:

S&P 500: +9.5%
Dow Jones +13.4%
Nasdaq +7.5%

Dow Jones – last 12 months (Jul 5, 2016 – Jul 5 2017) +20.37%

I can list many other metrics, but you get the picture. On average, stocks are up 7-15% YoY. So if you invested $10000, your portfolio went up to $10700-$11500 in value, and you may have earned some dividends – say another $500.

Let’s bring everything to the same level and pretend that my site’s price was $10K and therefore 1 year income was $13800 (138% Annual ROI). Now I have wholly recouped my investment, and made 38% net profit. So on average I beat the stock market by 10 fold! Now because in this example you are not selling your stocks and I’m not selling my site, all thing are equal.

However – If you were to sell your portfolio today, you would get about 20.37% premium on your purchase price or $12037 (plus accrued dividends) – about $3000 net profit or 30% ROI

If I were to sell my site at 20-25 months of income valuation at $750/month I would get $15000-18000 + all the income the site has earned (about $10400 as of Jul 5th, 2017). So I would be at $25000-$28000, with about $20K net profit or 350-400% ROI.

We can spin and slice this every-which-way – but the picture is clear – my investment has outperformed dow by about 10 times!

How I did it:

As mentioned in my post from 1 year ago, I figured early on that most of site’s traffic is mobile, and was severely underperforming, because it was setup with Google’s Responsive Ads.

When I added my mobile user detection, and showed AdSense ad units that perform the best on mobile devices, by income increased by 104% in the first month ($327 in 31 days VS $617 in 29 days).

After that, I fine tuned ad placements, to get marginal improvements, and site traffic has grown. So after 3 months, my income went from $317 to over $1000 per month in Sep 2016.

After that, it has been a roller-coaster, as my site lost rankings due to some unexplained Google update in Feb 2017. However it has stabilized, and site now sits at about $750-800 per months. Sure it’s a decrease, but I’m not worried. Every dollar it makes as a NET Profit, and I don’t do anything. I literally have not updated the site in 7 months! All I do is login once every 2-4 weeks to check the stats and approve/respond to comments. This is a truly hands-off business.

Should you invest in websites?

Answer is NO and YES. I put NO first on purpose. Most people are not prepared to buy sites. If you have never owned a site – you should either start your own SELF HOSTED blog/site and build up some experience running and managing it. Then apply to AdSense program, and see how you do monetizing it. There are many great tips on my blog.

Don’t jump into buying sites. There are MANY scammers and 95% of all sites for sale are garbage. Finding the good 5% is a true art, and you cannot be learned overnight, or without experience in verifying traffic, income, vetting the seller, and know how to transfer site content + domain, without losing traffic in the process.

If you are an experienced website owner / webmaster / blogger, but have never bought a site before – start small. I’d recommend spending no more than you can afford to lose AND no more than $1000 on your first 2-3 sites! Also don’t buy too many sites, too quickly. You can run into a million different issues and problems.

MOST IMPORTANT – Cherish and respect Google and it’s AdSense program. For me – even a very promising site that can potentially get my AdSense account banned is an NO GO! If you lose you AdSense account, you will probably never get it back.

Just imagine spending $10000 on a site and getting suspended by google – you will immediately and (most likely) lose ALL earnings from AdSense, and alternatives make less than 25% of what google pays!

Amazon Affiliate – New Commission Rates

Amazon Affiliate New 2017 Rates - Explaining How Your Earning Will Be AffectedLearn how New Amazon Affiliate Rates will affect your earnings starting on March 1, 2017. We explain the new rate structure and how much more or less affiliates will be earning with Amazon Associates program

Few days ago (on Feb 23, 2017) Amazon Associates Program sent out emails to its partners about Rate Changes to take effect on 3/1/2017. The email and the corresponding page on Amazon site are VERY confusing, so here I will simplify it for you, and break everything down.

No More Volume Tiers: In a nutshell, Amazon is getting rid of Tier / Volume commission rates structure, and will have a fixed commission of each major category. For some this will mean earning much less, while others can ear much more, depending on the type of Amazon products that you refer. The full over view of new commissions and official explanation is here.

UPDATE – Mar 3, 2017: It’s been only two days of new Affiliate Rates in effect, and I already see POSITIVE results. My overall commissions are higher that they used to be, because it just so happens that many of my referrals fall into 8% fee rate! See screenshot below:

New Amazon Commission Rates of 2017 - Earnings Report

Bottom line – your earnings will be affected depending on what type of products you refer

Will you be making more or less now, that there is no increase in commissions rate, based on volume?

The answer for MOST but not all associates is – you will be making significantly less now 🙁 … Unfortunately Amazon has decided to make more profits and share less with its affiliates (people and businesses that drive a significant about of sales to Amazon). With this policy change, large volume affiliates will lose the most! I am talking about those in 8 to 8.5% rate tiers… the big boys.

However, for some categories, you will actually be able to make MORE than before!

I base this on my data collected from reviewing over 100 Amazon Affiliate websites up for sale on Flippa and Empire Flippers, as well as those offered to me by several brokers. In most cases, volume commissions were up to 7%. However – many smaller websites that never go up for sale, were earning 4-6% commissions. So these middle of the road and smaller sites may actually start making more, depending on product types.

For example – furniture is never big on volume, because it is expensive. So many small(er) websites were mostly in 6% rate tier.

New Furniture category will have an 8% fixed rate, so the commissions will go up by 33% for most of these affiliates! More details below.

Old Tier / Volume Commissions Structure

Old Amazon Affiliate Commission Volume TiersIf you read my comparison of Amazon Affiliate vs AdSense, I explained there that by referring more products your rates would go up (for most product categories, with some exceptions).

In the old days, if you referred 6 items or less (sold and shipped), your commission would be 4 percent. If you referred say between 7-30 items, you would be at 6% tier. And if you referred 631+ items, your rate would be 8% or more (maximum 8.5% rate when you refer 3131+ items).

So if for example you had a site about refrigerators, and you referred 5 items per month at average of $1000 per item, your commission would be 4% or $40 per item. So it would make sense to add a bunch of small items to bump your volume to say 7% and get extra $30 per fridge, or 75% more earnings.

It was easy to accomplish this by adding or buying an amazon affiliate site about say iPhone cases or toys – items that are inexpensive, but high volume – it was easy to rack up numbers, and bump your overall commissions.

New Commissions Structure – No More Volume Tiers

With new system – there are no volume tiers. Instead each category now has a fixed rate. Here is the full table of new fee rates:

New Amazon associates rates table 2017-03-01

New Amazon associates rates table 2017-03-01

If your major category is not listed in the table above, your rate will be 4% (all other categories). This will be a huge hit for many affiliates reliant on volume of Amazon products which they referred.

Basically these new rates are not that much different from Old FIXED rate categories – products that did not change fee based on volume. See the old rates table below:



As you can see most categories in OLD and NEW rate table match, which means old excluded categories (those that did not fall into tier structure) stayed the same. The only significant new additions (beneficial to associates) are Apparel, Beauty, etc group at 7% and Furniture, Home, etc group at 8%.

Who will benefit the most from new Amazon Affiliate rates and who will lose the most

As mentioned above – most affiliates that make any money from Amazon were in 7% or 7.5% tiers (fewer big boys in 8-8.5% rate tiers). These affiliates brought the bulk of referrals to Amazon, and made the most money. Affiliates in 6-6.5% tiers were barely making anything UNLESS they referred big-ticket items at low volume.

So these higher rate affiliates will take the biggest hit to earnings.

Let me put it this way – MOST amazon affiliates are set to either not see much effect at all, or lose a lot of money from these changes! If you refer electronics or similar products (or those categories listed on OLD FIXED RATES table) – nothing will change for you in your primary category. However – since there is a lot of residual products that every associate refers, you will still see less money from these.

If your referred a lot of mixed categories, you will most likely lose a lot. I’m referring to the majority of Amazon Associates here, who were making 7-8.5% before.

Biggest Winners: If your main product categories were Furniture, Home & Garden, Pets and Pantry, are set to be making even more money than before from your primary categories! Residual products will still get reduced commissions.

This is actually good news for a lot of websites that have been up for sale lately on Empire Flippers …

And finally, if your primary products were in Apparel, Beauty, Jewelry, Shoes, Handbags, etc., you will most likely not see much of an impact, because chances are – most of these associates were in 7% rate all along.

Other “losers”: Not all amazon affiliates ate just affiliates 🙂 Some Amazon FBA sellers used Affiliate program to reduce commissions paid to Amazon (15% flat rate + FBA fees), by referring customers to their own products, from their websites.

For example if you were in 7% tier before – you effectively paid 8% commission to amazon for every product you sold. Well – now most of these folks will be locked in 4% tier, so their Amazon Seller fee will be 11% + FBA fees. Again – this is a big chunk of money, if you operate on thin margins, and have to deal with massive competition. But it was always a nice freebie, and not the main source on income supplementing for most FBA Sellers.

Conclusion – Amazon is set to gain the most

While I don’t have the data on who refers what to amazon, and at which volumes, I base my analysis of my own account (i was always in 7% tier), and based on sites that I considered to buy on Flippa, and Empire Flippers.

Most of us will be making 15-25% less, once the new rates go into effect tomorrow (March 1, 2017). It really sucks, but – consider the volume of revenue that Amazon brings in, VS their net profit (which is minuscule or often in the red), and you will understand that as a corporation their main concern is their profit. Basically this rate reduction was bound to happen at some point. I’m just surprised it lasted as long as it did, and unfortunately I did not jump on the train soon enough 🙂

Best of luck, and remember – there are MANY other affiliate programs out there. Amazon was just the simplest for physical products, with widest selection.

Dec 2016 Income Report AdSense + Amazon Earnings are up 30%

Dec. 2016 Income Report

Here I show how much I made on AdSense, Amazon & Affiliate, on my Investment Sites in December 2016. Note that I’ve bought 3 new websites in December, totaling $15051. So my income from investment website went up significantly from $2292.77 earned in November.

AdSense is still the king!

In December, I made $2,222.11 on Adsense alone, which is $567 more than in previous month. This is directly related to adding income from 2 new sites, purchased in the beginning of Dec. However, these new sites together earned $758.03. So technically, my Adsense income is down about $200 for the month. This is primarily due to holidays season’s slow traffic, which normally dips this time of year.

Here are AdSense app screenshots:

Monthly income report (dec 2106) Adsenseninja.com - Part 1

Monthly income report (dec 2106) Adsenseninja.com

As you can see I’ve marked the sites I bought in early December with orange “New Site” titles. One of them is the $10000 investment site that I talked about here. Notice that it earned $677.85 in 25 days. During the previous month (before I bought it) it has made around $325, so I more than doubled it’s income right away. Read my post where discuss the numbers and how I did it.

PS, this new $10K site also earns money with an Affiliate program, which I will discuss below.

Other Income – Amazon and various Affiliate Programs

Combined Amazon affiliate income in December was $236.28 (vs $300.67 in November). However, I did finally come close to hitting 7.5% commission rate (only 20-30 orders shy of 351 needed for 7.5% tier). Again, I think this is because people pretty much stop Christmas shopping in the last 10 days of Dec. My Dec 25 and Dec 31 income on Amazon was $0 🙂

Other Affiliate Networks Income:

Lead Generation: $211.69
Mobile App Affiliate (from $10K site): $203
SwagBucks Affiliate: $121.00

December Combined Totals by Income Type

Here is a table of all revenue streams and total. Individual website breakdowns will be below.

Amazon Affiliate$300.67 (7% commission rate)

AdSense $2,222.11
Amazon Affiliate $236.28 (7% commission rate)
Lead Gen Affiliate $211.69
Mobile App Affiliate $203
SwagBucks Affiliate $121.00
Total $2,994.08

As you can see, total investment websites income this month is $2,994.08 (compared to $2292.77 in Nov)… I’m $6 shy of making $3 grand per month in investment income, and up $701.31 from November. Bear in mind that this increase is result of investing $12551 in new sites. My total NEW income in December is $961.03 … this roughly equates to 7.66% monthly return (or 91.88% annual return). However calculating return rates this early (especially considering that $10K site only made income for 25 days in December) is not practical. Also, my $2551 website is still not fully optimized, because there are 100s of pages that I need to go through and place ads .. 🙁

December income breakdown my website

Here is breakdown by site, including dates when I bought these sites, and how much I made since purchase, on each website. I’m Including 2 new sites in this table.

Site 1 $248.99 $5000.00 $6,815.57 March 2015
Site 2 $295.43 $3300.00 $7,588.1 Oct 2015
Site 3 $173.42 $1500.00 $1,603.13 Apr 2016
Site 4 $988.12 $6700.00 $6592.11 Jun 2016
Site 5 $126.44 $650.00 $657.18 Jul 2016
Site 6 $193.78 $4500.00 $701.75 Sep 2016
Site 7 $80.18 $2551.00 $80.18 Nov 30, 2016
Site 8 $880.85 $10000.00 $880.85 Dec 6, 2016
TOTALS $2,987.21 $34201 $24,885.19

So again there is a small discrepancy (a $6 mistake I made somewhere in calculation totals for this month), but I’m pretty much at $3 grand / months income from investments. However now I’m about $9K  down on my Purchase vs Repayment … however I don’t think it will take me long to come back to being even. I was even and even up a few hundred last month, but since I invested $15051 in December alone, it will be few months till I’m in the green again.

Investment income outlook for January and 2017 as a whole.

So if you look at the sites income breakdown – my best performers are sites number 2 and 4. I exclude Site #3, as it does not earn much (although it paid for itself in 7 months). I have great hopes for 2017.

Actually my goal for this year is $10K / month from investment websites, but it will be expensive to achieve 🙂 As I mentioned before, I did just spend $15 grand buying new sites in Dec. Mostly for tax purposes, but also I’m testing new strategy of buying sites on credit!

I’m looking at a $28K site right now, but most likely will pass, because I’m pretty tapped out, and want to have some cash reserves on hand.

However I do plan to RE-INVEST all my investment income in 2017. So In January I plan to spend at least $3000 on buying new sites! 🙂

Testing / Optimization:

I just finished my first more or less scientific AB Test, and found a clear winning ad size for a specific ad placement. Read how I achieved 138% improvement with split testing. I am now running similar Split Tests on other sites (including site #1). If it results are good, I will replace top 728×90 leaderboard units with 336×280 rectangles on all my sites!

Site Winners:

Site #2 earned 229% in 14 months. However as I mentioned before – this is a highly seasonal site, so it will be a low-income ($300 or 10% monthly) until April, when income will begin to climb, at should peak at around $1000/month in the July/Aug.

Site #4 has earned 98% of its purchase price in 7 months. As of today (Jan 9, 2017) stands at $6592.11 compared to its purchase price of $6700. However, since August, it’s been earning around $1000/month, and continues to grow, so I expect this site to make at least $12K by at 1 year “anniversary”.

Site #8 had a great start in first 25 days ($880.85 / $10000). However, first week of 2017 the RPM has decreased significantly, so I’m still concerned with how long it will take to recoup its $10K sale price. However, the traffic is up on the site, and I think drop in RPM in January is temporary effect of advertisers cutting back on spending, after holiday season – typical AdSense behavior this time of year.

Site Losers:

Site #6 is clearly not doing very well. In 4 months it made only $700 so it was a poor (rush) decision for me to buy this site. However, income and traffic are stable, so I am hoping to recoup investment in 18-24 months, which is Industry standard. Not that this site makes money primarily on Amazon affiliate, so I will need to experiment with product links.

Site # 7 is not performing to its best potential either. I think after I spend time optimizing ads on this site, it will perform better than it did in Dec. However, there are 100s of pages to go through, and they are “long lists” type posts, often more than 50 items listed in each article, so cleanup will be slow 🙁

Well – I still hope for the best, and wish all a happy new 2017! Keep optimizing and testing.

AdSense AB Testing

AdSense AB Testing

Every website that I buy on Flippa – I optimize for AdSense. I have methods that work well, but I ALWAYS do Split Testing, to find Best Ad placement & Ad Size. A month ago I bought my first 5 figure investment website for exactly $10000. Obviously I immediately optimized the site, and in the first month it earned more than double of its previous months earning. $677.85 for 25 days in December versus $325 in November!

I will include details in my upcoming December 2016 income report. BTW, I recommend you look at my November Income report for my investment websites … if anything, just for inspiration.

As part of my optimization I usually run some AB Tests. Sometimes, I don’t see a clear mathematical advantage either way. But here I was running an AB Test in the top placement on Desktop and Tablets. The ad size that I was testing were 728×90 Leaderboard and 336×280 Large Rectangle. Guess which one did better, before you read down.

For this Split Test, I excluded Mobile devices using my Mobile AD Switcher PHP Plugin (which you can use for free!), because these two ad sizes are TOO big for mobile.

If you don’t feel like reading the whole report, you can watch this 3 minute video, to find out the results:

Here are the AB Test Results:

  • 336×280 made $41.05 during the test
  • 728×90 ad made $17.27 during the test
  • The 336×280 ad outperformed the 728×90 ad by a whooping 138%
  • Each ad was shown roughly 25500 times (page views reported by AdSense)

As you can see, there is a clear mathematical difference between the two ads’ earnings, so it cannot be a statistical error! Large Rectangle made 2.38 times more money that Leaderboard ad.

Here is screenshot – Red bar indicates pageviews, and Blue bar indicates revenue in USD.

AB Testing Results - AdSenseNinja.com

What you should learn from this AB Test

First – always, always test and try out new things. Once you have enough data (page views are the best method to determine enough data), make the switch to the better performing ad, but continue to test!

728 Leaderboard ad is NOT always worse – don’t just blindly go and swap 728 ads with 336 ads. Run a test for 3-6 weeks, until you have enough page impressions to see that you have a clear winner! You may get different results from mine.

What I’m going to do as a result of this test:

First I will remove the 728 ad, and test 336 ad alignment! I will leave ALIGN = CENTER as it is now, and will add ALIGN = LEFT to the test, and run again. I will have to make a new ad unit and new custom channel for this.

I will also run similar test on my other sites that get significant desktop traffic.

PS – Desktop traffic is still the king, and is making about 50% per visitor than mobile traffic, on this new website. You can test the potential income different for Desktop vs Mobile traffic with my new AdSense Calculator tool.

Increase AdSense income by 157%

AdSense Income Report

Hey webmasters – I want to make this quick update, to encourage you to optimize and test AdSense ads and placements on your sites. 2 weeks ago I purchased my first 5-figure investment website for a cool $10000, and in in last 14 full days, my AdSense earnings are up 157%, with just 10 hours of optimizing placement and site layout! Let’s look at details.

AdSense Earnings Before and After buying the site:

I bought the site on Dec. 2ish, and the transfer was completed in the evening of Dec. 6, 2016. So my first full day of earnings was Dec 7.

For last 14 days (Dec 7 – Dec 20) the site has made around $390 (its 1:22PM EST, 12/20/16, at the time of writing this, so today’s earnings are not finalized).

So that gives as an average of $27.86 per day.

UPDATE Jan 4, 2017

I was running an AB Test for a Top Placement Ad on desktop, and was able to find which ad performs 138% better. I was testing 728*90 Leaderboard VS 336*280 Large Rectangle ad sizes.
See the results in this video:

AdSense before I bought the site:

$10000 investment site - last 30 days adsense income

$10000 investment site – last 30 days adsense income

In the “last 30 days” before sale – Nov 2 – Dec 1, 2016, the site has earned $325.44 or $10.85 / day.

At this rate, the estimated monthly income from the site will be around $836 (compare to $325 before I took over the site). This is about 2.6x improvement in income, for 10 hours of optimization work!

I will stress the point here: In first 2 weeks, site has made more that it did in the last 30 days!!!

AdSense after I bought the site:

$10000 investment site - first 2 weeks adsense income

$10000 investment site – first 2 weeks adsense income

Note $373.44 total – it’s 1:45PM at the time of taking this screenshot, so there is 10 more hours of reporting not counted in.

So, not bad at all. But most important for me – this means my methods work, and sometimes better than expected!

For skeptics – the all-mighty RPM

Yes, i’m skeptical too, but just in case you were wandering – the traffic did not go up (enough), to justify increase in earnings and RPM!

RPM before purchase: If we look at screenshots, RPM for Nov was $1.407 ($325.44 / 231K page views).

RPM after purchase: In last two weeks RPM was $3.12 ($373.44 / 119.6K page views).

Therefore, I increased the revenue pre site visitor by 222%.

So what did I do

This is the interesting part, and I won’t tell you all the secrets, but I will give you most important ones.

  1. I got rid of AdSense placement WP plugin (not exact name), and placed all ads manually!
  2. I placed ads between page/post title and content – this gave me the biggest boost. Before I got the site, 1st ad was after 1st paragraph.
  3. Created 2 versions for each ad placement. One for desktop, and one for mobile. Example. If you come to site on a computer, you will see a 728×90 or 336×280 ad unit. On mobile, you will see a 250×250 or 300×60 in the same spot – be it below title, or after content. I’m running an A/B test to see which one of those ad sizes makes more, with equal number of impressions.
  4. I changed mobile site logo from 150x150px square to 50px tall logo. This makes ad viewable without scrolling, and shows content on mobile.
  5. I decreased content margins, in CSS stylesheet, to show more content on same screen size.

There are many more subtle changes, that may or may not have massive effect on earnings.

Active AB and split testing

I am still running multiple AB tests on various placements, so the earnings are actually higher that what they are on paper. This means that I have version A and B of ad in same spot, and one performs better than other. So if I switch on better performing versions right now, my RPM will go up even further.

My testing results show as much as 100% differences between A and B in some placements. In others, its “too early to call” … just like 2016 presidential election 😀

What you should learn from this

Again i will say this – i’m not making this post to show you “look how much money I make”. The point is – never stop optimizing and testing your Google Ads – you will be amazed at the results you can achieve!

Definitely optimize ads for mobile and get rid of Responsive ads. By I was able to double my site earnings by improving mobile ads AND without increase in traffic! Here is proof:

If you know a little code (can copy/paste without breaking the website), check out my free PHP mobile ad switcher script, which I use for displaying Desktop / Mobile ads in same location.

Don’t use AdSense plugins for WP or any other CMS – place all ads manually – your results can easily double just by doing this!

Learn basic HTML/CSS so you can make small modifications to your site layout (to achieve big results).

Lastly – try my AdSense WP theme, which has all my  tune-ups, mobile ad switcher, manual ad placement and AB testing features built into it, along with fast load times and clean layout!

November Income Report - AdSenseNinja.com

Income Report – Nov. 2016

Hey AdSense Fanatics – today I’m starting my Monthly Income Reports series to share with you how much I’ve made with my Investment sites (websites bought on Flippa or through private deals), and to give you motivation!

This report is intended to show that ANYONE can earn decent money, and even living, by either building out their own sites OR buying an already earning website. So I don’t have time to build new sites, because I’m very busy with my main 2 projects, but I want to stay in the game – and build a portfolio of AdSense earning site – so I just buy them.

I will make a separate report on how I invest in sites, and I did so already here and here, as well as my new investment – first website that I bought for more than $10. So now let’s look at how much I made in November with ALL my investment sites.

But enough with theory – let’s see the beef!

My November Total Income from Investment websites was $2292.77

My combined investment sites income between AdSense, Amazon and Lead Generation affiliate program from ALL my investment sites (bought on Flippa or through brokers) was $2292.77.

Just to put that in perspective, my mortgage is $1552. So my investment sites pay the mortgage and taxes on my house!

To put it even more in perspective – my total purchase price of the sites that contributed to this monthly income, was $21650, which means these sites will pay for themselves in 9.44 months! At this rate, it is an annual income rate of 127.08%!

So investing around $22K in websites, pays the mortgage and taxes on my house – just think about the possibilities!!!

Proof of Income (AdSense only):

Now – the PROOF screenshots, in case some of you are skeptical. I will only include AdSense income, because Amazon is easy to fake, and my Lead Gen is a private deal, where I get paid by check, and my statistics include many other sites that I did not buy, but rather built myself, and I don’t want to disclose how much I make, outside of Investment Sites.

So I have total of 6 investment sites that I bought before Nov. Here are November income screenshots. I will also include total income for top 3 sites in the end of this post. Sites are listed in chronological order (oldest to newest).

November AdSense Income – Site 4-6

My November AdSense Income - Sites 1-3

My November AdSense Income – Sites 1-3

November AdSense Income – Site 4-6

My November AdSense Income - Sites 4-6

My November AdSense Income – Sites 4-6

Ok, now lets look at numbers by Platform and by Website:

Monthly Income by Platforms

AdSense $1655.11
Amazon Affiliate $300.67 (7% commission rate)
Lead Gen Affiliate $213.99
SwagBucks Affiliate $123.00
Total $2292.77

Ok, so AdSense is the king here, but as I’ve talked about in my Amazon vs AdSense post, Amazon really shines when you “sell” high ticket items, while my Amazon income is based on average item cost of $21.13. So if you refer more expensive products ($50+), them Amazon is definitely the way to go and it WILL earn more than AdSense.

Now lets look at income by sites

I will make this really interesting and include Purchase Price of each site, as well as total income to date, so you can just see the potential. I will do this because total purchase price of $21650, does not show when site was bought and how much it has earned. Also it is important to show this, because some sites are seasonal. One of my best performing sites earns $200/mo in the winter and near $1000/mo in the summer.

In the matrix below, I list sites in the order I bought them.

Site 1 $340.07 $5000.00 $6566.58 March 2015
Site 2 $482.63 $3300.00 $7292.67 Oct 2015
Site 3 $158.95 $1500.00 $1429.71 Apr 2016
Site 4 $1018.84 $6700.00 $5570.31 Jun 2016
Site 5 $140.90 $650.00 $530.74 Jul 2016
Site 6 $159.00 $4500.00 $507.97 Sep 2016
TOTALS $2300.39 $21650.00 $21897.98

OK – this is eye opening even for me, since I’ve never done this math before. Basically, in aggregate, these sites have already paid for themselves! It’s hard to calculate combined Annual Income Rate for them because they were bought at different times, but on average (days per dollar paid), I’ve owned these sites for less then 1 year, so my ANNUAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT is over 100%! Try beating that with stock market or putting your money to the bank at 1% APY … lol.

Here is the promised screenshot on My Best Earning AdSense Investment Websites (lifetime adsense revenue for each site):

My Best Earning AdSense Investment Website - AdSenseNinja.com

My Best Earning AdSense Investment Websites

Also, somewhere in the math I made an $8 mistake … oh well.

Please note that I did not include in this table my two newest purchase, 2 sites that I acquired in late November and early December of 2016 for $2551 and cool $10000 respectively. I am still working on cleaning them up, but WILL include them in December Monthly income report!

Motivational Conclusion

So as I mentioned in the beginning – this is not to brag about how much I make. This post is to MOTIVATE all of you to either start a website, or if you have one already – optimize it, and increase your AdSense revenue. Or invest in them like I do. i don’t have time to build new sites, so I just buy them with traffic, that earns me money.

But whatever you do – stop procrastinating!

CAUTION – Investing is websites involves risk of losing your money!

If you don’t know what you are doing – don’t go running to Flippa and buying a website.

Most sites on Flippa (over 95%) are junk or a scam, and you should VERY carefully select and verify the site you want to buy!!!

It is a complex process that I will be explaining later on this blog and in my AdSense Success course on Udemy. But keep in mind you can loose all the money you invested in the site, and even risk getting your AdSense account closed / disabled for life! So you absolutely need to understand what you are doing!

As an example, I managed to by a website with FAKE Google Organic traffic. Good thing I only spent $700 on it. Another site in my list above (Site 6) – I grossly overpaid for it based on fake earnings screenshots from seller … that’s why it’s not earning on the same level as my other sites (about 50% APR vs over 100%).

If you buy a site with fake traffic and fake clicks, it is VERY likely that google will disable your AdSense account – probably permanently. Google is very proactive in keeping their horde clean, and weeding out bad publishers.

So be be very careful investing in websites, until you 100% understand the process. I will make a bunch of blog posts on this topic as well as videos on my AdSenseNinja YouTube Channel.

Good luck to all, and happy AdSensing!