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July 2016 Business Update: Amazon FBA, Buying Websites, and Internships

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July 2016 Business Update: Amazon FBA, Buying Websites, and Internships

Today, I want to provide a quick update on what’s been happening in my business lately.  Along the way, I hope to share a few things that can help you in your business as well.

Outside of business, I’ve had a lot going on including starting summer break with my kids and moving to a new house!  However, I’ll do my best to keep the personal updates to a minimum.

In a nutshell, I would like to cover 3 main areas of my business right now: Amazon FBA, buying and growing existing websites, and partnering with other people.

So, let’s jump right into it!

Amazon FBA Update

I started selling physical products on Amazon just a little over a year ago.  Since about March of last year, I have gone from selling just 1 product on Amazon to now 12 products.  And I will have a few more products up in the next couple of months.

After seeing some early success with my products on Amazon through the end of last year, I decided to get aggressive with launching products this year.   I wanted to identify and launch or be in the process of launching 15 new products by June 30th.  I have come very close to hitting that goal.  If you technically count the products that are in-production, I will hit that goal.

So, to say the least, I’ve pushed my chips in and gotten quite aggressive with selling on Amazon.

The results?

Well, since most of my products are pretty new, I haven’t seen a huge spike in sales in the early part of this year.  However, the products ARE making sales and are profitable.

Here’s a screenshot of my sales from my Amazon FBA business:

fbajune

(This is not net income.  Net income is around 25% or so of that number.)

What have I done to achieve these results?  Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different than what I’ve already said or what Greg Mercer, Scott Voelker, Chris Guthrie, or many others teach.

I just find a product idea that I can improve upon and/or has weak competition.  I verify that there is enough margin for me to make money.  I launch the product and do some giveaways to get the reviews and salesrank to improve.  Then I turn on some sponsored ads as needed.

That’s really about it.

Sure, there are lots of little strategies or details that you might need to learn as you go; however, you really can learn these through launching your first product.

So, I don’t have any new FBA tips to share today other than I definitely still believe in Amazon FBA and I’m still very actively launching and growing product listings.

I don’t provide any consulting or coaching for Amazon FBA; however, Scott Voelker does teach a training course…if you are interested in something like that.

Buying and Growing My Websites

I purchased a business off of Empire Flippers a few months ago that I believe has a lot of potential.  The business is in the “music” niche and sells a physical product.

We’ve spent most of the last few months going through a rebranding effort and stocking up on inventory.  And then of course we launched the physical product on Amazon, because it wasn’t being sold on Amazon yet.

The business is still about flat from where we purchased it (about $1,000 a month); however, we are developing some good relationships and I believe we will see some excellent growth in this business during the second half of the year.

I also still have several other affiliate sites that I tweak from time to time, but mostly I just enjoy a small passive income from these sites.

I’m bullish on buying websites or even starting websites from scratch. However, instead of building all my sites as my own little projects, I’ve started to “up my game” and partner with other people on most of my websites now.

I’ll explain that below.

Business Partners and Internships

In February of this year, I brought partners into my Long Tail Pro business.  Since that time, I’ve decided to either invest in other online businesses or partner up on a few other businesses that I’m excited about.

In one of those business, we are working with interns to help us grow our websites by teaching them our strategies and having them work with us for a 4 week period.

Partnerships I’m Involved with Right Now

PicReel.com.  I mentioned this in a podcast a couple of months ago.  I’m primarily just a passive investor here.  But I’m close enough to the management team that I do provide some advice and get to see up close the strategies for the business.  The first full quarter results of my investment are not quite in yet, so I don’t have any numbers to share…but I’m quite optimistic.

Physical product partnership with Jake.  As you may know, Jake Cain (Niche Site Project 3 coach) is my full-time employee.  A few months ago he pitched me on a physical product idea and he asked me to partner with him.  We are 50/50 partners on a couple of products…and they are selling REALLY well!

Here is a screenshot we took yesterday (July 12th, 2016)!

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The “today” earnings was Amazon Prime Day so its higher than normal, but you can see the 30 day earnings is pretty good.

So, I get 50% of the profit from this business, and Jake gets the other half.  And to clarify, this screenshot is in addition to the earnings in the FBA screenshot I shared above.

Authority Machine Partnership and Internships

Hayden Miyamoto, Scott Davis, and I currently make up the partners in this business.  In a nutshell, we are buying sites, adding tons of content and links, and overall focusing on growing the sites as quickly as possible.  We will likely sell the sites down the road.

We shared the results of our first site purchase in a blog post right here.  In a matter of about 4 months, we have almost doubled the traffic to the site!

2016-07-13_0921

How do interns fit into this business?

So, here’s what’s going on behind the scenes.  We are training interns how to do proper keyword research, how to create great content, and how to get high quality links.  So, we recruit a team of interns to learn all our “insider tips” and let them get real world experience by working on one of our sites for a few weeks.

So, its really a win-win.  Interns get a fast track learning experience and get hands on experience working with a successful team of entrepreneurs; in exchange, we get some content and links to our site.

In fact, we are starting another internship on July 20th.  We are looking for several more interns to help us out with a new site.

You can work from anywhere and we give you an in-depth 4 week learning experience that you can take and apply directly to your own websites.  We teach you the stuff that works, because we want to see our sites grow.

Apply Here to Become an Authority Machine Intern!

If accepted, you will be working on a website that we JUST purchased in the financial sector.  The site has averaged over $15,000 a month for the past 12 months.  Last month the site made $22k.  So, if you want to see what a successful site looks like and what our strategies are to grow it…I hope you will consider joining the internship.

In Summary

Overall, I just wanted to provide an update and let you know that I’m still very actively involved in growing online businesses!

I’m enjoying some great results selling physical products on Amazon and I plan to continue growing that.  In fact, I just shipped my first batch of product overseas to the UK.  I’ve taken a successful seller in the US and sent it over to Europe to see how it will do there.  That should go live in the next couple of weeks.

I’m also enjoying a few partnerships: software, Amazon FBA, and Authority Machine.

If you are at all interested in getting an inside look into how we operate at Authority Machine, go ahead and apply to become an intern right here.

And finally, I should mention that the students from Niche Site Project 3 are still busy building their sites.  I hope to provide a June re-cap for NSP 3 in the next week or so.  So, stay tuned.

If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them below.  Thanks!

Yes! I Love to Learn

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

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38 Comments for this Post

  1. Andrew

    Andrew

    Got to love Jake’s hustle – going to his boss and asking for seed money! Looks like another win-win there.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yep, Jake’s got some serious hustle!

  2. Tushar Hossain

    Tushar Hossain

    wow.. really impressive and encouraging … 🙂

  3. Matt

    Matt

    Just to clarify…those FBA sales numbers you posted is monthly (June) numbers and not for YTD?

  4. Colin

    Colin

    Hey Spencer,

    For interns are there any opportunities after the internship to work with you, Hayden, Scott or the team? I’ve seen before that Hayden sometimes work with his old interns on web properties that they manage and run together.

    Thanks,
    Colin

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Colin:
      Yes, there could be opportunities to work with us after you complete the internship. We just added 2 previous interns to our staff, they literally just started working with us about a week ago. We are excited about this business and have plans to grow rapidly. Only the best of the best interns might get that chance though 🙂

  5. Josh Shogren

    Josh Shogren

    Good update! Really interested in following the site where you added 500 pieces of content and seeing how that unfolds. Also, it’s funny how simple you made the process of having success on Amazon is, but what’s even funnier is that you are 100% correct.

    Josh

  6. Kwadwo Lartey

    Kwadwo Lartey

    Way to go Jake. I remember you mentioned one of your FBA buddies had a $1 million sales target. How’s that coming along?

  7. Ricky

    Ricky

    Congrats on the continued success, Spencer! Just to clarify what you noted, is the site you purchased from EF an ecommerce site, an affiliate site or Amazon FBA? Thanks!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      The site purchased on EF was an ecommerce site. We sell our product directly on our site, but we just started selling the same product on amazon as well (it wasn’t on amazon before).

  8. Scott

    Scott

    Thanks for taking the time to publish and update Spencer. Sounds like great growth potential ahead for you. Interesting you guys are focused on link building, it sure is a neccessary tactic to help rank if done correctly.

  9. Viral

    Viral

    Awesome update Spencer, it’s great to see your internet empire continuing to grow! So just to clarify, for FBA you are seeing profit margins of around 25% right?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Correct. It does vary from product to product, but 25% overall is about right.

  10. Greg

    Greg

    Great post, Spencer! I love reading the updates.

    In your experience with selling niche sites, do you get a higher multiple at all for building out social properties for the niche site? In other words, selling a Facebook, Twitter, and instagram profile with a few thousand followers each with the site?

    Or do you find that none of it matters. It just matters the monthly income of the site.

    Thanks again.

    -Greg

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Monthly income is the most important by far. Building a social profile can help, but is not likely to increase the value significantly. (Unless you can prove that these social profiles are increasing the earnings).

  11. Joseph Magnotti

    Joseph Magnotti

    Thanks for the mention Spencer and glad to hear the site is still performing as expected. While all buyers love to see growth, at Empire Flippers we strive to ensure sites will make at or above their previous averages so I think we achieved that here. Sounds like you have a plan to improve that, looking forward to hearing more.

    I also sent you a private email with your new VIP code. 🙂

  12. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios

    Hello, i found your website few days ago and i have already read most of your articles and projects and im very excited..
    I have read the projects and im thinking to follow the strategies of NSP 2 or 3 and i would love to be a part of NSP 4 but for the next couple of months my schedule doesnt allow it :((
    I would like to ask, if someone knows, if my location (Crete, Greece) will effect anyhow my Amazon FBA business? Is it possible to run an Amazon FBA business from Greece and not target any customers from here?

    Thank you.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sure. You can sell in AMazon US while you live in greece.

  13. Jordan

    Jordan

    Hi Spencer, I’m considering applying for your internship and have a question. Will your interns get free access to the tools they need, like Long Tail Pro or SEM Rush? Or do you cover all the types of research methods (including free) and let them decide how to proceed for themselves?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes, we give access to the tools needed in the internship.

  14. Bhuboy Villanueva

    Bhuboy Villanueva

    Love your business update. Its really motivating to see people earning in this line of business, it gives hope to those, like me that are not yet. I like the idea of having my own product too, but maybe in the future, when I am already earning from ads and affiliate commissions that I can convert profits into creating my own products. thanks for this

  15. AArti

    AArti

    It help newbie like me for getting new things about blogging and inspiration..
    Thanks

  16. Donovan G.

    Donovan G.

    If anyone’s on the fence about the internship, just do it! It’s invaluable experience and you get the opportunity to Skype chat with successful coaches every day as well as build contacts with other budding entrepreneurs. Plus, the way they structure the internships is very step-by-step, exactly like you’ll need to do it for your own sites, so you’ll finish with real, actionable knowledge and skills.

  17. Pete

    Pete

    I just got accepted to be an intern! Can’t wait to get started!

    • Voon

      Voon

      Congrats,
      I got accepted as well =)

  18. Norm

    Norm

    Hi Spencer,

    Thanks for the update.

    Super curious how do you exactly managed your time? It sounds like you run multiple projects / businesses in one go?

    I personally struggle big time with my consulting, blogging and niche websites in trying to “hustle” my way.

    Love to hear your thoughts

    Norm

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I hire help. I have great people helping me out in various businesses, which relieves my time significantly in certain areas.

  19. Alex

    Alex

    Unfortunately due to time zone differences I am unable to attend the webinar live. Will there be a recording posted later?

    • Dana

      Dana

      Yep! I hope you can provide a recording. I am really interested. Thanks!

  20. Vincent

    Vincent

    I am just a beginner in this business. Your article really encourages me to go further in investing my time and energy on my website. Although I have not achieved much, but I have hope after reading this. Thank you very much for sharing. It is really inspiring.

  21. Rene

    Rene

    I went through the July internship and it was an amazing experience!

    I have now a way better understanding of what’s required and how much work is involved to build sites and run an online business. I feel the internship accelerated my learning extremely for what could possibly take years to figure out on my own.

    The documents and procedures shared in the internship especially the sheets are invaluable! I outsourced for the first time which was always an area where I did hold back in the past and did everything myself. I knew that I couldn’t scale without outsourcing but I was hesitant anyway. Now I’m able to delegate work to others.

    I met a bunch of like minded people which have the same goals and we helped each other out whenever possible 🙂 The internship staff was awesome as well always helping out in the group chat!

    Currently I’m working on Brainstorming/Niche Selection/Keyword research while listening to the coaching calls of NSP 3 which are also an amazing resource when starting out!

    Thank you to all people involved with Niche Pursuits & Authority Machine!

    If you think about joining the internship I advice you to listen to Shia Labeouf:
    “DO IT! JUST DO IT! Don’t let …”

    Cheers,
    Rene

  22. Ken

    Ken

    How many Amazon seller accounts do you have? Is it just the single account for your private label stuff and that’s it? I currently have a seller account for RA, but I’d like to get into PL and I’d like a new account for that. Is it possible?

  23. Sampson Hill

    Sampson Hill

    Spencer your updates are always inspiring! After gathering up all the info from Scott Voelker, Chris Guthrie and Greg Mercer – I’ve decided to pick up both Junglescout and Amasuite to do product research. I figured it was a small investment to make on the potential to build a very big business. Thank you again!

  24. Frank

    Frank

    Hi Spencer. ARe these sites that you’re adding linkbuilding and content, are they physical products sites, or adsense sites.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Physical products and Amazon associates and Adsense. (All in one site).

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