Cashing out the $15k in my roth ira to buy another website
I just wrote a post a few weeks ago talking about a website I acquired for about $13,000. This website was making about $500 per month at the time and after taking over ownership of the website I've been hiring writers and growing my content to increase the earnings. So far it seems to be working and I'm on pace to do about $600-$900 per month so my strategy is paying off!
Meanwhile, my experiment with trading options has a been a complete and utter failure. I gave an update a month ago showing the poor performance and since then it's been more of the same. Here's my results over the last year which is when I started tracking my progress.
Yah that's right. In the last year the S&P 500 is up 15% and I'm down 35%.
There's really no excuses to be made or anything more to dissect. I got in over my head trying to do something I just didn't have the skill set or focus to really learn.
So I'm going to stop blowing my money on options trading and use it for something that can produce 50% returns per year or more!
stick to what you know
I went over many of the reasons why I like websites in my 1st post where I talked about buying a website, but I'd sum it up by saying that websites are like digital real estate. You pay an up front price to buy the asset, then it generates cash flow.
Since websites are usually much riskier than real estate, you can get much higher returns.
The website I purchased this weekend cost $10k and makes about $500 per month. If I had used that same $10k as a 20% down payment on a house, I'd be able to buy a $50,000 house. In my area (the midwest) I could get an OK, but kind of crappy house for $50k and I'd probably be able to rent it for $500-$600. Out of that I could probably expect to net about $100 per month.
In addition to all of the headaches real estate brings like finding tenants, dealing with repairs and vacancies, and all of the accounting and financial head aches, a website is easy in comparison.
But the most important reason I choose to buy digital real estate over physical real estate is that I can easily increase my earnings.
The person I bought the site from has a very basic layout and monetizes through two methods:
- Amazon affiliate links - This website is about a popular software that has a bunch of related areas. There aren't a ton of physical products on Amazon that go along with it so this is a very poor way to monetize the traffic.
- Ebook sales - The site has an ebook for sale that costs $2.99.
How i plan to grow this site immediately
First off, this site gets a TON of traffic. About 18,000 users per month and about 27,000 pageviews. Over 90% of this traffic is through organic search aka people finding the site through Google.
With 27,000 page views I'd expect the site to be making over $2,000 per month if it was properly monetized so there's a lot of upside.
The first change I'll be making is to find a new affiliate that offers more relevant products with higher commissions.
Without giving away the exact niche, I'd say it's similar to a site that focuses on tips and tricks for how to use Excel. Then the site has a page like "best laptop for Excel" with some basic recommendations. Not super compelling right?
Instead, I need to find training courses/ebooks in the Excel niche and offer those to my readers. Finding something that actually helps them solve their problems instead of trying to jam irrelevant products in their face will make my readers happier and earn me more money.
The site I plan to use for this is ShareASale which is a super popular affiliate aggregator. You can find affiliates for almost anything so I'm confident I'll be able to find some good products that will get a higher conversion rate.
The second change will be to increase the price of the Ebook and get a new cover made for it.
The ebook for sale on this site has pretty strong sales, about 1-2 per day, but it is at a $2.99 price point. If someone is going to trust you and buy an ebook, they probably aren't very sensitive between a $2.99 price point and a $4.99 or $8.99 price point.
I'll also have someone on Fiverr design a couple different covers and do some split testing.
Once I find the best performing cover I'll test price points from $2.99 all the way up to $49.99 until I find the sweet spot.
I think this is a huge opportunity and some rough back of the napkin math on this would be:
Current: 2 sales per day @ $2.99 per sale = $6 per day, $180 per month
Conservative Estimate: 5 sales per day @ $9.99 per sale = $50 per day, $1,500 per month.
Optimistic Estimate: 10 sales per day @ $20 per sale = $200 per day, $6000 per month.
Try finding a rental property making $180 per month that has the possibility of growing to $6,000 per month. Go ahead, I'll wait...
Finally, the third change I'll be making is to apply for some display advertising.
The website gets just over 25,000 pageviews per month and the old owner tested Adsense and made about $50 per month.
There are other programs out there like Mediavine or Adthrive that usually make 5x-10x what Adsense makes on a site.
This could increase the advertising income from $50 per month to $250-$500 per month.
Putting it all together
Current state on this site is:
- Amazon Affiliate - $400 per month
- Ebooks - $100 ish per month
- No advertising - $0 per month
- Total = $500 per month
My goal in the next month would be:
- Amazon + Other affiliates - $600 per month
- Ebooks - $750 per month
- Advertising - $250 per month
- Total = $1,600 per month
But wait there's more! That's just with the current traffic the site gets. I'll use the same strategy I used on my other sites to hire writers and find low competition keywords to go after. Hopefully this will allow me to grow the traffic which is almost a direct correlation to increased earnings.
Another benefit of this site is that it's not in a super competitive space. The software is complex, confusing and not very well known in the internet marketing world so there's a LOT of low hanging fruit out there.
I'm talking about keywords with over 10,000 searches per month with an Ahrefs difficulty of 0 which means you can get on the first page of Google search results with no backlinks or extra effort. Pretty appealing!
I'll add this site to the monthly updates on my side hustle income reports which I'll start publishing at the end of the month. The full list of income sources will be:
- Amazon FBA business - $2k per month in profit
- This site -$0 per month in earnings
- My new authority site I'm building from scratch - $0 in earnings
- Previous site I purchased - $500 per month
- New site I purchased - $500 per month.
In the meantime I'll be talking about some of the strategies I'm using to grow these sites and how I'm finding awesome freelancers to create great content.
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