Ever thought about buying a forum? Read this interview and get a firsthand account from Brian Austin, who purchased BusinessAdviceForum.com for $20,000 via Buy it Now on Flippa. Brian explains how he found the listing for Business Advice Forum and how knew from the get go that he wanted to acquire it.
How long have you been making money online?
I’ve been a web entrepreneur for about 4 years now. Starting out I thought I could just whip up an affiliate website, put in some SEO keywords, and viola, I would be earning a commission. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy! Because the internet is filled with so much bad information about internet marketing it was a major struggle to find a workable system. Luckily, after much trial and error and tons of research, I did figure out certain strategies and tactics that produced results, and I’m still learning new things all the time.
What led you to Flippa?
I first heard about Flippa through a friend of a friend about two years ago and I have been an active member ever since. I arrived as an investor looking for established revenue generating websites, and I stayed for the volume of auctions and the sheer number of opportunities. As a regular website buyer, this keeps things interesting. Flippa is also a great place to gain inspiration. The community is full of entrepreneurs from different backgrounds with unique businesses – there’s really nothing like it.
You recently acquired BusinessAdviceForum.com on Flippa, tell us about the site
Business Advice Forum is a very friendly, and active forum. Members are comprised of small business owners, webmasters, and entrepreneurs. Topics range from helping someone whose wife was running a bakery get more business to time saving techniques and reviews of the best web hosts. When people first join they are excited and passionate. Over time they gain a great deal of knowledge from interacting with the other members, and I would advise anyone reading this to go signup and start participating. I’ve been in this industry for quite a while and I sincerely believe BusinessAdviceForum is one of the best business forums on the internet. It’s a great community, and I’m thrilled with the acquisition.
What influenced your decision to bid?
As mentioned, I’m a regular Flippa user, and I’ve spent countless hours analyzing various websites. I’ve seen many quality opportunities on Flippa before, but when came across Business Advice Forum I knew I had to have it. With my background in internet marketing and software development, I was confident I could add a lot of value and have an immediate impact on the site. Despite my obvious interest in acquiring the site, I knew I first had to due diligence process. I was able to easily research the ads that generated revenue for the site, and I was also able to read the forum threads and see what kind of content was being produced by the community. This accompanied with well-documented analytics and verified AdSense revenue told the whole story about the health of the forum.
With due diligence complete, I decided to try my best to purchase the site. I made note of the maximum I’d be willing to pay, and the very next day the seller added a Buy it Now (BIN) for that exact price – so I purchased the site!
What do you plan to do with the website now that you’ve successfully acquired it?
My goal is to improve the user experience in every way possible. I have already completed a number of changes including adding a monthly newsletter and releasing Android and iOS apps. I have also created an incentive where qualifying members can use a virtual forum to get free domains and web hosting. In the future, I would like to have guest speakers/members contribute information on topics such as SEO, PPC and other small business marketing techniques. The more everyone can learn together the more they can help each other will only make the forum that much better.
Do you have any advice for other Flippa users?
You’ve probably heard others say it before, but my advice is to always do your own due diligence. Never accept the Seller’s claims without seeking out the answers and verifying the claims yourself. The Flippa staff tries very hard to minimize low quality websites and it’s nice to know that they are watching over listings with a close eye. However, in my experience buying websites, I’ve learned that you have to protect yourself and your investment the same as you would if you were buying a house or a brick and mortar business. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online to teach you everything you need to know about due diligence. Once you’ve learned the fundamentals, the fun really begins.
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