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Intro, AMA, and a Recent Sale for $6M of InvestorJunkie.com

lludwig

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How you got traffic to your site? Any tips on getting free organic traffic?

see my AMA on SEO. If you have a specific question. Ask it there!

 
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ZeroTo100

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Hey Larry,

Have you noticed the new owners of Investor Junkie have changed the theme of the site?

From an SEO perspective, why do you think they would switch to a Themeforest theme knowing that the business had been built on user experience, speed, conversion, etc? Why would they spend $6m on a site and take the risk on hurting the evolution of the site?

To be honest, I think it hurts the value a little bit and could also hurt serps.

I thought this question might benefit future website buyers. Thoughts?
 

lludwig

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Hey Larry,

Have you noticed the new owners of Investor Junkie have changed the theme of the site?

From an SEO perspective, why do you think they would switch to a Themeforest theme knowing that the business had been built on user experience, speed, conversion, etc? Why would they spend $6m on a site and take the risk on hurting the evolution of the site?

To be honest, I think it hurts the value a little bit and could also hurt serps.

I thought this question might benefit future website buyers. Thoughts?

Yes, I am aware, and no I have no public comment.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Yes, I am aware, and no I have no public comment.

After seeing what the company did to my business after I sold it, this sentiment sounds oddly familiar.
 

ZeroTo100

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Yes, I am aware, and no I have no public comment.

I can understand that.

If you care to elaborate, I wanted to ask some questions regarding SEO for 2020.

The landscape to rank is definitely changing and it’s becoming harder in my opinion to get on page one. Plus, google is doing a better job keeping users on their site as appose to sending them off. Also, I’m seeing more snipits, Q&A, videos, paid ads on page one and less review type pages ranking. What are your thoughts on all this and how would you approach SEO in starting a new site with a small team and a small budget in 2020.

It seems like a lot of factors and checkboxes are coming into play with no guarantee google will reward you. Why take the gamble and hope that google recognizes you.

In regards to keyword research, do you focus more on search volume or click through data?

Just wondering, as an SEO yourself, how do you see search ranking changing going into 2020?

Thoughts?
 

lludwig

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I can understand that.

If you care to elaborate, I wanted to ask some questions regarding SEO for 2020.

The landscape to rank is definitely changing and it’s becoming harder in my opinion to get on page one. Plus, google is doing a better job keeping users on their site as appose to sending them off. Also, I’m seeing more snipits, Q&A, videos, paid ads on page one and less review type pages ranking. What are your thoughts on all this and how would you approach SEO in starting a new site with a small team and a small budget in 2020.

Sure, in fact, I recently discussed some of my thoughts on a recent article on my site about the trends for the next 10 years.


Currently, 60-85% of all traffic comes from organic search. You rely on Google for most of your traffic. Even though it’s on the decline, if you aren’t optimizing for Google, you should be. You are missing out on a huge audience for your blog.

Though the trend is obvious. Less traffic is coming from organic search. From the data at Advanced Ranking, in May 2014 the CTR was 39% for the #1 position in organic search.

Today the #1 position gets an average CTR of 31% or a decrease of 8%.

You should mix SEM with SEO IMHO. That's not to say you should ignore SEO, just the fact you have to "pay to play" at least some level for some keywords.

YouTube is another area that's still ripe for plucking with SEO. So I would do a multi-channel approach.

Schema is becoming more important and should be using it. Though like you said can be a double edge sword. In some cases, it's shown that showing in featured snippets can decrease the CTR of SERP. So it should create an open loop in which it causes people to want to click and not completely solve their problem. Even though Google may want that at some level. So add value but don't give away everything. In many cases Google's snippets can't do it all and the person must click to the source website.

Though for something like a recipe or some question and answer (in the case of voice search) then that might be all that's needed.

In regards to keyword research, do you focus more on search volume or click-through data?

Just wondering, as an SEO yourself, how do you see search ranking changing going into 2020?

Thoughts?

Neither, it's intent.

It's always been important and now even more so. What matters is quality over quantity. I want the right people to visit my site. What matters is with the keyword where are they alone the sales funnel journey. I always use this example. "what is a mortgage" compared to "best mortgage rate" is a much different intent and much further along in the sales funnel journey.

So don't hit the visitor with mortgage rates for "what is a mortgage". They are much earlier in the sales funnel process so you can't be so transactional. In fact, Google will penalize you for this.
 
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Last edited:

kk.darko

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I've been a business owner in some form since 1997.

My first business was web hosting and web development.

I didn't know it at the time, but perhaps one of the worst businesses to be in.

Low margins, low barrier to entry, and you need to respond to tech support 24/7.

In December 2009 I got sick of developing and hosting websites for other customers. Two of them at the time was Comedy Central and Thought Catalog.

I was stressed out, burnt out and looking to do something else. I felt unappreciated by my customers for the long hours and what I thought was low revenue for the work.

*** UPDATE: For more of the back story with my web hosting business, read this article. ***

Something at that time just snapped for me. I had my FTE (f*ck This Event) even though I already owned a business for many years.

I couldn't deal with a high workload and the stress of customer support.

I got to thinking "why can't I develop a site for myself and generate revenue from the visitors?!??"

At the time, I was doing somewhat ok financially and had all my ducks in a row.

I was looking for a website that could help speak to me about investing, but more the advanced topics. Money magazine and Suze Orman weren't cutting it and I was way more advanced than that. I couldn't find a site that fit my needs.

So I figured I would create one myself and named it Investor Junkie. So while somewhat self-serving, I also had plenty of experience to talk about investing.

Plus I figured I could use it to showcase the technology used to develop and maintain it.

It could be used as a selling point for my web development and design. My thinking was I would monetize via affiliate marketing. I saw a few other websites doing it and doing quite well.

In 2008, the website Bankaholic sold for $15 million to Bankrate. They made their money only with affiliate links. My thoughts were "why couldn't that also be me?"

This little skunkworks operation turned into a business onto itself after 2 years into it.

It started generating more revenue and was much more profitable than my original business.

Fast forward to July 2018, I sold Investor Junkie for $6M.

XLMedia Buys Personal Finance Site InvestorJunkie For USD6 Million

About 3 years prior, I read MJ's first book and even with my years of business experience got a lot out it.

He confirmed many of my existing beliefs of owning a business and organized it in a way much better than I ever could.

MJ's books gave me more direction and helped keep me more focused on the ball. So thanks for this.

To celebrate the sale I bought one thing. Ever since I was around 8 years old I saw my first Porsche Turbo in the Hamptons and fell in love with the car. I always wanted one. So I bought a 2015 991.1 Turbo S as a little present for me. It was purely symbolic. I could have afforded it long ago, but I figured I needed some reward after all the long days and stressors of owning a business.

View attachment 20956

So what's next? I really don't know. While exciting also nervous as I typically have a clear direction of what I would do next. I have some ideas but joined this forum to look at other business ideas.

Thanks for the welcome and thanks to MJ DeMarco for your books.
Congratulations on your success. You're an inspiration.
 

21elnegocio

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@lludwig What do you think about multiple keywords under same niche that add up to 10k searches a month on one blog post ? I beleive Alex Becker said that was a technique he uses for low search keywords that have potential
 

lludwig

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@lludwig What do you think about multiple keywords under same niche that add up to 10k searches a month on one blog post ? I beleive Alex Becker said that was a technique he uses for low search keywords that have potential
Hi What about it? I'm not sure the question you are asking?
 
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100speed

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@lludwig Would be interested to hear - building on the trends you describe how you plan on focussing your entrepreneurial initiatives towards reaching your next 10 year goals.

I'm currently in VC and interested to hear how, once you have comfort capital (mid 7 figs/ ability to retire if wanted) and (perhaps) your interest in cash-flow businesses diminishes what you look to maximise for in your entrepreneurial ventures. Is it Revenue? Growth? Impact? Or Time/Value ratio? And follow-up to this, whether a high-growth venture-backed start-up interests you in order to maximise for those factors (exiting a prev co positions you well for raising capital) with minimal risk to your own capital. Through your affiliate focussed blog, may position you well to launch related products off the back of it to solve for your readers problems.
 

lludwig

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@lludwig Would be interested to hear - building on the trends you describe how you plan on focussing your entrepreneurial initiatives towards reaching your next 10 year goals.

I'm currently in VC and interested to hear how, once you have comfort capital (mid 7 figs/ ability to retire if wanted) and (perhaps) your interest in cash-flow businesses diminishes what you look to maximise for in your entrepreneurial ventures. Is it Revenue? Growth? Impact? Or Time/Value ratio?

Right now, my consulting business is reinvesting the money back into the business. At some point, I will take an income in that business, but right now, I am not, on purpose. So I would say growth and impact on others.


And follow-up to this, whether a high-growth venture-backed start-up interests you in order to maximise for those factors (exiting a prev co positions you well for raising capital) with minimal risk to your own capital. Through your affiliate focussed blog, may position you well to launch related products off the back of it to solve for your readers problems.
I'm not sure what's the question here? Am I building other solutions from helping consult others with affiliate marketing? Yes without question. One is my software I am selling called LinkClicky with better helps track affiliate conversions.

 
Last edited:

MJ DeMarco

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@lludwig -- did the company that acquired this property recently sell it?
 
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themohr

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I've been a business owner in some form since 1997.

My first business was web hosting and web development.

I didn't know it at the time, but perhaps one of the worst businesses to be in.

Low margins, low barrier to entry, and you need to respond to tech support 24/7.

In December 2009 I got sick of developing and hosting websites for other customers. Two of them at the time was Comedy Central and Thought Catalog.

I was stressed out, burnt out and looking to do something else. I felt unappreciated by my customers for the long hours and what I thought was low revenue for the work.

*** UPDATE: For more of the back story with my web hosting business, read this article. ***

Something at that time just snapped for me. I had my FTE (F*ck This Event) even though I already owned a business for many years.

I couldn't deal with a high workload and the stress of customer support.

I got to thinking "why can't I develop a site for myself and generate revenue from the visitors?!??"

At the time, I was doing somewhat ok financially and had all my ducks in a row.

I was looking for a website that could help speak to me about investing, but more the advanced topics. Money magazine and Suze Orman weren't cutting it and I was way more advanced than that. I couldn't find a site that fit my needs.

So I figured I would create one myself and named it Investor Junkie. So while somewhat self-serving, I also had plenty of experience to talk about investing.

Plus I figured I could use it to showcase the technology used to develop and maintain it.

It could be used as a selling point for my web development and design. My thinking was I would monetize via affiliate marketing. I saw a few other websites doing it and doing quite well.

In 2008, the website Bankaholic sold for $15 million to Bankrate. They made their money only with affiliate links. My thoughts were "why couldn't that also be me?"

This little skunkworks operation turned into a business onto itself after 2 years into it.

It started generating more revenue and was much more profitable than my original business.

Fast forward to July 2018, I sold Investor Junkie for $6M.

XLMedia Buys Personal Finance Site InvestorJunkie For USD6 Million

About 3 years prior, I read MJ's first book and even with my years of business experience got a lot out it.

He confirmed many of my existing beliefs of owning a business and organized it in a way much better than I ever could.

MJ's books gave me more direction and helped keep me more focused on the ball. So thanks for this.

To celebrate the sale I bought one thing. Ever since I was around 8 years old I saw my first Porsche Turbo in the Hamptons and fell in love with the car. I always wanted one. So I bought a 2015 991.1 Turbo S as a little present for me. It was purely symbolic. I could have afforded it long ago, but I figured I needed some reward after all the long days and stressors of owning a business.

View attachment 20956

So what's next? I really don't know. While exciting also nervous as I typically have a clear direction of what I would do next. I have some ideas but joined this forum to look at other business ideas.

Thanks for the welcome and thanks to MJ DeMarco for your books.
Thanks for providing this story! Oddly, I'm new to the forum and this post is virtually where I'm heading. I'm not sure I'm in a great niche and I'm pivoting and building content. But I like the ability of an affiliate/advertising site as a way to get started and move quickly.

If you have advice for someone just getting started in affiliate marketing, I'd be grateful to hear it! My technical skill is very high, but I have a low sales and marketing quotient!
 

lludwig

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@lludwig -- did the company that acquired this property recently sell it?
Sorry just seeing this now @MJ DeMarco

Yes, they did. I tried to pull a MJ DeMarco and buy it back but they found someone who wanted to buy my previous site and 2 others they were unloading. Total sale $1.3M.

Oddly enough my two other friends were able to buy their sites back from XL Media/Webpals.


My site was sold approx. 1/10 of what I sold it for almost 5 years later. They ran it into the ground.

I thought my sale amount was a fair price considering the issues with the issue and lack of revenue sources. IMO I can't blame them for wanting a higher price than what I was offering.
 
Last edited:

lludwig

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Thanks for providing this story! Oddly, I'm new to the forum and this post is virtually where I'm heading. I'm not sure I'm in a great niche and I'm pivoting and building content. But I like the ability of an affiliate/advertising site as a way to get started and move quickly.

If you have advice for someone just getting started in affiliate marketing, I'd be grateful to hear it! My technical skill is very high, but I have a low sales and marketing quotient!
Build an audience and serve that audience.
 
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Last edited:

lludwig

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Sorry just seeing this now @MJ DeMarco

Yes, they did. I tried to pull an MJ DeMarco and buy it back but they found someone who wanted to buy my previous site and 2 others they were unloading. Total sale $1.3M.

Oddly enough my two other friends were able to buy their sites back from Webpals.


My site was sold approx. 1/10 of what I sold it for almost 5 years later. They ran it into the ground.

I thought my sale amount was a fair price considering the issues with the issue and lack of revenue sources. IMO I can't blame them for wanting a higher price than what I was offering.
More context can be found on this twitter thread about the other websites sold.

View: https://twitter.com/ViperChill/status/1673314654897176577
 

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