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However, the real goal I suppose is to get some of that money back now!
If you have been following along with my buying and selling websites case study this year, you will know that I've purchased 4 sites total. I'm now happy to report that I recently sold one of those sites!
Today I want to jump into my journey with this site, why I sold it, and how much money I made. In addition, I throw in a few lessons that I've learned along the way.
1 site down, 3 to go.
Let's do this.
A Quick Background on This Pinterest Site
I bought a website on Flippa back in January of this year for $2,100. The main reason I bought this site (and others) was to learn the ropes with a smaller site, so I could then move up the value chain and potentially purchase larger sites.
The site I purchased is in the crafting niche and gets most of its traffic from Pinterest. Out of respect for the new owner, I will not be revealing the domain.
The site was monetized with Media.net (and a other smaller networks) because the site was banned from Google Adsense before I bought it. (I knew it was banned before I bought it, and you can read my discussion with Google Adsense here).
The site also never performed well in Google. Most of the content is curated and not very unique. As a result, the site never got any traffic from Google.
We attempted writing original content for a brief period, but we saw no results…no love from Google. Instead, I decided to just double down on the Pinterest marketing and let it ride.
Basically, I hired a guy for very cheap to curate content and pictures, and then to pin those images on Pinterest.
The site regularly got 2k to 3k visitors a day. In fact, here's a Google Analytics screenshot:
The traffic has remained fairly constant for the most part, and so has the earnings.
In my last income report, I shared that the site had made a total of $2,050.87 through the end of September. I'll jump more into the numbers you want to see below.
Overall, I just didn't feel good about putting a ton more effort into such a low earning site. I wasn't seeing a huge increase in earnings and so I felt like I had learned my lesson and wanted to just sell it off. So, I did!
How I Sold the Site…and How Much
It should come as no surprise that I decided to sell the site through the Empire Flippers Marketplace. I've sold one other site previously through their marketplace and I got full asking price in under 24 hours.
The process was very smooth with my second site as well.
Basically, the Empire Flippers ask for income data and screenshots over the past 90 days, access to Google analytics, and ask a few other questions. Once they manually review the site, they get it up and listed for 20 times monthly earnings.
So, after calculating all income and expenses, my Pinterest site was listed for $4,221.
I had several people interested in buying the site right away, and answered a few questions from potential buyers. After only a couple of days, the site was sold!
After fees and everything, my take home amount was $3,587.35. I was very happy with that price!
The Empire Flippers also make the post sale very easy. They transfer the site for you and take care of everything! I just had to answer a couple of short emails and basically wait for my wire transfer to come in (a couple of days).
I've now had 2 successful site sales through the Empire Flippers and I plan on doing more in the future. The process is fairly easy and the service is great. And at the end of the day, both of my sites have sold quickly for full asking prices, so it works.
Did I Make Any Money?
Now I want to share the income and expenses from this site and determine what the actual net income from this site was.
First, let me share what the earnings and traffic has been like since my last income report.
As you can see the income for October was up a bit, and November was shaping up to be a great month as well. The site was sold during November, so these are only partial numbers for the month.
Now for the big reveal, let's look at the cumulative earnings and traffic stats for the entire time that I owned the site!
In total, the site earned $2,517.43 while I owned it. This is more than the $2,100 that it cost me to buy the site…so I was already doing pretty well before I sold it!
So, when you take into account my cumulative earnings AND the income I generated from the sale, my total revenue for this site was: $6,738.43. Not bad for a little side project.
However, as you know there's more to the equation than just revenue. Let's take a look at the expenses.
In fact, I broke down all the income and expenses in a nice little income statement.
Here's the income statement:
After the cost to purchase the site, virtual assistant cost (content curation and pinning images), and selling fees…my total net income is $3,698.98. It's always nice to come out on the right side of that equation.
I'm super happy that I was able to earn a little bit of money with this site, and it's moved me further along the process of becoming even better at buying and selling sites.
Now, I can already hear a few of you saying, “But that's not your true income…what about your time costs??”
Yes, I had to put in some of my own time. If I were to guess, I would say I put somewhere around 10 to 15 hours of my own time. Perrin probably put in 20 to 30 hours. So, at the high end Perrin and I put around 45 hours of work into this site. That's feels high to me, but let's go with 45 hours.
If we divide $3,698.98 by 45 hours, that will give us how much money we earned for each hour of work. That calculation shows that Perrin and I earned $82.20 per hour.
Last time I checked the real world, that's a pretty decent hourly wage.
Overall, I'm happy with the little bit of money made, but more importantly I learned a couple of valuable lessons.
First, I learned that the amount of time required on a small site vs. a medium sized site is not much different. Because this site was never a big earner, I never wanted to put a significant amount of time into it.
In addition, little tweaks like changing the theme and ad layouts took just as much time on small site like this as it would on a larger site. In other words, my time would have been better spent if I was working on a site that had more significant revenue.
Second, I learned that it's difficult to scale in areas that you are not familiar with. I've never owned a site that got most of its traffic from Pinterest before. I had never pinned an image in my life!
As a result, I found it difficult to learn Pinterest marketing quickly and effectively enough to make a big impact on this site. I hired a VA to do all the pinning for me, and that seemed to keep the traffic at least steady. However, any significant growth in traffic would have required a much greater effort on my part.
Now I know that I should stick with the types of sites that I'm more familiar with. In addition, I'll focus on sites with higher revenues.
I do have 3 other sites that I purchased this year. I may sell off another one before the end of the year; I'm not sure.
However, my experience so far with buying and selling niche websites is encouraging! Despite a couple of setbacks (like getting hit with the PBN update), I still feel like I'm going to turn a profit overall.
I'll keep you posted as I decide to sell any additional sites.
As always, I'd love to hear any thoughts or questions that you guys have in regards to this site or anything else.