You asked for more buyer interviews, and we’ve got them! Today we catch up with Wayne Matson to discuss his recent acquisition of LoveGirlTalk.com! Wayne spills the details on LoveGirlTalk, his strategic Flippa acquisition strategies, and his advice for other Flippa entrepreneurs!
Tell us about your background as web entrepreneur, how did you get into the dating and relationship niche?
My wife Moyra and I started buying and selling websites about 18 months ago after selling my brick and mortar business in the electronics industry. I come from a marketing and management background with experience in software and development, while Moyra, on the other hand, comes from a sales background. Having been single for many years prior to our marriage she developed a passion for dating and relationship based businesses. She published her first book on the topic several years ago, and since then we have both developed an interest in acquiring web businesses related to this niche.
I have also always looked after our software and websites. In the early days of computing (Apple II) I wrote a program for personal use to manage the accounting and front shop sales of my brick and mortar business. This was successful enough to sell locally. After that, I went on to develop software for the roofing industry to estimate roof quotes. I have no particular skills or diplomas, my knowledge and skills come from hard work and research.
How did you discover Flippa, and how do you use the site?
I was first referred to Flippa by a friend who was using the platform to look for sites related to his niche. I liked the idea of using Flippa strategically to build authority in a specific industry, as opposed to making random acquisitions. Now I browse the site regularly looking for high-quality dating and relationship based sites with the ultimate plan of owning a string of sites in this niche that will all complement each other. Flippa is the leading marketplace to buy websites, and I have used it to make some great acquisitions thus far.
Tell us about LoveGirlTalk.com, what is the site about and what attracted you to the listing?
LoveGirlTalk Is a dating and relationships site for women. It includes a forum where women can go to discuss topics, such as breakups and relationship problems, and get feedback, opinions, and support from their peers. We liked the listing because it was started and run by a woman who came across as very genuine and who had a real passion for the niche. She was not a marketer of websites, and so we saw that there was huge potential to use our expertise to grow the site. We also trusted the seller and were comfortable that the offer was genuine. The value in the site was in monetization through affiliate sales, daily traffic, an email list, and an active forum. We had several email conversations with the seller during the process and kept a close eye on questions asked by other potential purchasers.
What are your future plans for LoveGirlTalk moving forward?
Moving forward we plan to update the look and feel of the site. We will also spend time putting in place a sustainable long-term SEO strategy, which will include adding quality content and improving the site architecture. We also plan to focus on improving the user experience of the site by adding videos, sending out regular newsletters and other self-help products, and continuing to employ a knowledgable moderation team in the forum.
Do you have any advice for other web entrepreneurs looking to acquire websites on Flippa?
My advice to others looking to purchase through Flippa is to ensure that any major investment has a written agreement and a check list of things you want achieved in the handover and escrow process. Act professionally and respectfully. Think about what you can invest in the purchase, look at the return ratio and use the information provided both on the Flippa site as well as through your own due diligence to see if you are getting value for your money. Most importantly, set a price you are willing to pay and stick to it!
Fresh off his $27,600 winning bid on WorldTVPC.com I had a chance to interview Dan Eriksson! You won’t want to miss this interview as Dan gives us the inside scoop on WorldTVPC, his auction strategies, and how he uses mind-mapping to evaluate business opportunities.
Tell us a little bit about your background as an entrepreneur.
After years of grinding it out at my day job I decided to found my own IT infrastructure consulting service. At the time, I had been working in IT infrastructure for over 10 years, so it wasn’t a huge career change, but it was a chance for me to be my own boss. Fast-forward a few years later and my consulting business is doing well and running smoothly.
How did you discover Flippa?
I found out about Flippa on Reddit, where I am mostly a lurker browsing through entrepreneur categories (and some cat pictures too.) I do a lot of investing in other assets, so I was naturally drawn to the idea of buying and selling web businesses. Additionally, I have done SEO and Internet marketing for others in the past, and I have been interested in utilizing the techniques that I learned on my own projects. Overall, my experience thus far on Flippa has been very positive.
Give us the rundown on WorldTVPC.
WorldTVPC.com is a well-established, well-respected site about new and emerging streaming technologies. We report on news relating to entertainment, new gadgets, streaming services, and technology companies. The site itself sports a huge directory of streaming providers, smartphones and HTPCs, movies and TV shows, and much more. We also have a good mix of reviews, tutorials, and general guides to help you “cut the cord” from traditional cable companies, as well as a forum where users can discuss ideas, solutions, and anything else related to streaming.
What caught your eye in the listing, and why was it a good acquisition target?
The first thing I noticed was all of that quality content, it (almost) made me drool. The reason being, it’s really hard to build up such as massive content library without jeopardizing quality, but that is exactly what the previous owner did. My decision to bid was made easier by the fact that the site already had a ton of established visitors. All that said, before I invest in a business I like to do mind-mapping, which is basically a method for diagraming and organizing information about a specific topic. When mind-mapping WorldTVPC, I first focused on listing out all of the existing parts of the site, and then I focused on expanding on them. Through this method, I was basically able to confirm that there are a number of huge opportunities to grow the site.
What are your plans for WorldTVPC moving forward?
The first big thing for us on the site is to add even more quality content. Though the content on the site is already top-notch, we are going to try to raise the bar even higher, and make the content even more relevant and interesting for our visitors. We want to give our registered users more value too, so there will be some new things coming up on the site for them as well. We are still in the process of working out our marketing strategy, and once in place that should help to expand our user base. From an architecture standpoint we are going to focus on making it easier for users to find the information they are looking for. Additionally, the forum is a bit underutilized at the moment, so we will definitely look at ways we can make that better.
Any advice for other web entrepreneurs looking buy websites on Flippa?
Finding a listing that fits your individual needs can take some time, but if you are patient, eventually you will find the right opportunity. On that note, you should only invest in a web business if you are willing to give it the time, energy, and love it will subsequently need to flourish. Even a site that is already earning a stable profit will, at one point or another, still require your involvement. When it comes to strategy, the moment you place your first bid on an auction you should already know your maximum bid, and you should never go over that amount as the auction progresses. Instead of looking at the acquisition price as an expense, look at it as an investment that will pay interest over a long period of time.
Check out the top 3 takeaways from Dan’s interview below, and let us know what you think in the comments.
- Look for an opportunity to expand. In this case the forums were underutilized.
- Know your limits. Set a maximum bid when you first enter the auction and resist going over that amount.
- Time and energy. Business isn’t easy. Don’t expect to reap the rewards without putting in some hard work.
I recently had a chance to interview Roshan Bhattarai, a successful web entrepreneur, after he placed a $32,000 winning bid for StyledThemes.com! During the interview Roshan gives us the run-down on StyledThemes, his business background, his experience buying websites on Flippa, and more!
Tell us about your online business background.
In 2009, my business partner Haico Duisters and I launched a successful software development company called Proshore. Our primary focus has been serving companies for whom Internet operations are a crucial factor. Sales and marketing are managed from our office in the Netherlands, while technical architecture and development are handled by our Nepali office.
When did you start buying websites on Flippa?
I discovered Flippa through Twitter and almost immediately I became seriously interested in the platform. I applied and was later accepted into Flippa’s private website brokerage, Deal Flow, and that is where I made my first purchase. Deal Flow is great because a lot of the screening and due diligence has been done up front, but I also keep my eyes out for great opportunities in the general marketplace – where I found StyledThemes.
Give us the scoop on StyledThemes, what does the site offer?
StyledThemes is a digital eCommerce site specializing in the sale of WordPress themes. Besides selling premium WordPress themes the site is also responsible for a set of popular themes available in the WordPress.org commercial directory. One of these themes has more than 138,000 downloads. The site also has a blog, tutorials, and a comprehensive support forum.
What ultimately led you to place a bid, and how did the auction play out?
As I mentioned, the site has some very impressive and highly regarded WordPress themes, and to me this was an indication that the previous owner, Andre, was a true artist. Additionally, Andre was extremely professional, detailed, and transparent in all of our correspondence, and he really stood behind his product. The more I investigated the site the more it became clear that StyledThemes has an excellent reputation which was further underlined by the positive reviews on WordPress.org and a highly coveted listing among the lucky few in the WordPress commercial directory.
As the auction unfolded I ended up head-to-head against another bidder. Given Flippa’s efforts to prevent auction-sniping by extending auctions an additional hour each time a bid is placed during the final hour, the auction for StyledThemes was extended several hours beyond its scheduled end-time. However, when the auction eventually closed out, I was the winner. At $32,000, I think this was a great acquisition. The time Andre invested into a smooth transaction only confirmed my suspicions that he is a true professional.
What are your future plans for StyledThemes?
When it comes to eCommerce, good customer support is crucial to ensuring a positive customer experience. In short, if our customers are happy, we are happy. Because of that, the first thing we did was get a grip on customer support. Now that we have that squared away, we have started developing new themes. We are also working on extending our current offerings. The first new themes should be out by December and once they are in place we’ll start boosting our marketing efforts. Beyond that, the sky is the limit.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs looking to buy websites on Flippa?
I recommend using the search filters when looking for opportunities on Flippa. Even applying a few filters can greatly improve the relevancy and quality of listings. The new Editors’ Choice section also seems to have a good selection of quality listings. Aside from using tools and features to better identify quality offerings, I recommend first determining what a site is worth to you before looking at the current price, so that you are not influenced by other bidders. Of course, you should only bid after conducting proper due diligence. Finally, do not hesitate to contact Flippa’s team if you ever encounter any issues. I really appreciate the brokers from Deal Flow and the support team for their fast and helpful answers.
This is Roshan’s Flippa success story, tell us your story by emailing me here.
After he successfully completed a $24,500 Buy it Now, we had a chance to sit down with Travis, the new owner of LimaEasy.com to talk about his latest acquisition. Check out the following interview to get the inside scoop on his purchase, his plans for LimaEasy, his experience on Flippa, his advice for other web entrepreneurs, and more!
Tell us about your background as a web entrepreneur.
I built my first site in 2004 to host web comics that my brother and I had been drawing since the late 90s. Over the next 8 years the site made about $80 – not exactly a financial success. It wasn’t until 2010, when I landed a post-graduation internship at JustJobs.com doing SEO, that I truly got my first taste of real internet business. I worked there for 3 months, and by the end of the internship I had a strong foundation in internet marketing.
After my internship and a short stint managing websites for a university, I decided to pursue my own entrepreneurial endeavors. My only requirement was that I got to sleep in as late as I wanted and not have to use an alarm clock. Earnings didn’t really matter to me as long as I had enough to pay my living expenses. I started with niche-specific microsites, and my Amazon and AdSense accounts slowly started filling up. In 2012, I finally hit on an idea that went big. It was a blog-style site in a do it yourself (DIY) sub-niche that no one had ever touched. When my new site was featured on Lifehacker in its first month, I knew it had legs. I built the site up in the most white-hat way possible, slowly but surely increasing traffic and revenue to the point where I could live off the income the site generated, which I achieved in September 2013.
What brought you to Flippa?
I first learned about Flippa from Ed Dale’s 30-day challenge where he teaches you to build a site and earn your first $1 within 30 days. At the end of the 30 days you choose whether to keep the site, or sell it on Flippa and begin the process again. I also attend a biweekly “mastermind” group with other internet-minded businesspeople and many of them are regular Flippa users, both on the buying and selling ends.
I’m always looking to diversify my assets, so I liked the idea of owning websites in various niches. I also considered other investments such as dividend stocks and real estate, but nothing in 2014 beats the P/E ratio of a website. To illustrate my point, real estate where I live trades at a P/E ratio between 25 and 35, stocks on the S&P trade between 12 and 25, and websites trade at an incredibly low P/E ratio of around 2. As long as you know how to identify and handle the risks, websites are king for passive income, and Flippa is “top of mind” for buying and selling websites.
Tell us about LimaEasy.com, what influenced your decision to bid, and what ultimately compelled you to place a $24.5k Buy it Now?
LimaEasy is a blog monetized with AdSense (and some indie affiliates) about the city of Lima and the country of Peru. Its reputation among travelers and expatriates living in Peru is solid gold. I was referred to LimaEasy by a member of my mastermind group who scours through the listings on Flippa and other websites on a daily basis. Because of my experience with the site I built in 2012, I could tell LimaEasy was special right away. My traffic and growth strategy was the whitest of white hat, meaning that all Google algorithm changes have been to my benefit, rather than to my detriment. LimaEasy displayed all the markers of being grown with the same loving attention and was almost the exact same size of my current site, a PR4 with 100k+ pageviews a month. The AdSense content revenue model was identical to the model I’m already using, as was the evergreen nature of the content.
I interacted with the Seller quite regularly during the auction process. We got to know each other and I told him why I was interested in the site. I assured him I planned to run the site the same way I run my other site, investing in it long-term rather than trying to “slash and burn” it for the maximum payout in the short term. I’m lucky to have found a Seller who genuinely cared about the site he was selling. On every listing, I ask myself “would I be proud to own this site?” With LimaEasy the answer to that question was unequivocally yes! Given that LimaEasy was a great fit for me personally, I pulled the trigger on the purchase.
What are your future plans for LimaEasy
The site is in great condition but, to use a real estate parallel, it still needs a bit of cleaning up and a paint job. Specifically, it needs to work on smartphones and some of the titles could be better optimized for what people are searching for in search engines. It also needs to be optimized for speed, which is one of the lowest-hanging fruits with regards to search engine ranking factors. Whenever possible, I try to apply Warren Buffet’s investment advice to “buy a business as if you want to own it for 100 years.” I may sell LimaEasy sometime down the line, but my philosophy is that I shouldn’t be buying a site if all I want to do is get rid of it. The small and regular paychecks from this site have the potential to raise my child all the way to age 18, it’s like buying a trust fund.
What advice do you have for other web entrepreneurs looking buy a website on Flippa?
Set a maximum bid that you absolutely won’t go over. Make it $100 more than a round number, because many people think only in terms of round numbers, and sometimes $100 is the difference between winning and losing an auction. Also, consider that many sellers will issue a Buy it Now (BIN) price very close to the end of the auction – as was the case with LimaEasy. If the site is good and the BIN price is fair, it will sell QUICKLY. Luckily, I had studied the TheGoodHuman.com auction which was another high quality listing that ended days before the auction for LimaEasy. Watching the progression of that listing helped me get a feeling for how much a site could jump in value in the last 24 hours (hint: it’s a lot.)
This is Travis’ story, tell us yours by emailing Joseph here.