One Entrepreneur’s Journey to Selling a Website for $200,000

Sold WebsiteThere are many success stories out there about people who have built websites and have sold them later for a large sum of money. I love these stories because each story is a little different, but the underlying themes are generally the same. 

This is a guest post by Patrick Meninga who recently sold his flagship website for $200,000 dollars. He had worked on his website for 4 years before being approached by an advertiser who offered to purchase it. It’s a great story of what hard work combined with some smart thinking can do for your website and he offers some great advice for all of us. 

I asked Patrick if it was okay to disclose the website that was sold and he said it was totally cool! (Thanks Patrick!)

The website he sold was a site he created about addiction and recovery called Spiritual River. The site presents his unique ideas about how to overcome any addiction using a holistic approach to personal growth. 

Here are some of the things Patrick learned from his experience. 

I recently sold my flagship website for $200,000 dollars, and to be honest, the site was not even for sale at the time.

I am a long time reader of SPI and I used many of Pat’s ideas to help me build the website. Let me tell you exactly how I did it, and give you advice if you desire the same thing.

Choose a Topic for Your Website that has Decent Profit Potential

Most internet marketers would advise you to start a website about something that you have extensive knowledge, expertise and interest in. But, I would go one step further and make sure there is potential to make money with your topic too.

It’s not about what you know, it’s about what you know that’s also profitable. Starting a website about free poetry will probably never make you any money, even if you rank number one for most of the related keywords.

Consider a topic and look at the type of advertising that appears on similar websites. How much is a new customer worth in each case? How much are people willing to pay for advertising? If the answer is “very little” then move on and find something more profitable.

Be Original and Avoid “Me-Too” Content

Every time you publish an article on your website, ask yourself: “Would anyone share this article for any reason?” If the answer is “no” then you should not publish the article.

When someone lands on your website you have an opportunity to capture attention and possibly take the relationship one step further. If your website has low quality, uninspiring or spammy articles, then what kind of impression are you going to make on new visitors?

Here is the guiding principle when it comes to content on the web: nobody cares. Anyone can go to the search engines and read hundreds of different articles about payday loans. Why would they care if there is yet another unoriginal 400 word article about payday loans on your website?

If you want to succeed online then you have to rise above the sea of web spam and offer something unique, something original and have insight and ideas about your topic.

If you publish an article that could have been outsourced for under 10 dollars then you are probably wasting everyone’s time. Yes, you might play this game for a while and even get some search traffic, but your website is not going to stick around for the long haul if that is the type of content you normally publish.

Be original. Be insightful. Create something amazing.

Anything less is going to end up in the dust bin of the interwebs.

Focus on Quality AND Volume

My website sold for such a large amount was because I averaged 3 new articles per day for the 4 years that the website existed.

The long tail is where my website site made all of its money. The best keyword on the site made less than 50 dollars per month in income. Much of the site’s authority came from having over 1,500 articles.

I wish I would have published three articles every day, but in reality my journey was much more erratic. I went for months at a time without publishing a thing, but other times I was publishing over 20,000 words per day.

All told, I averaged 3 articles per day. If you are interested in building a serious online empire like I did, I suggest you aim for a similar level of output. Writing one article per day is not going to get you to your income goal in a reasonable amount of time. Three articles per day will make things really exciting if you stick with it for at least a year.

It is possible to create a healthy income stream while publishing less, but most people are not going to be that lucky. If you are interested in creating a long term, sustainable income then you should focus on both quality and volume.

Pat (Flynn) stepping in here for second. I had to comment on this section because I partly agree, but I partly disagree. It’s obvious that the more content you post on your site, the more (long tail) keywords you’ll eventually rank for and the more traffic will come your way. I’ve experienced this first-hand with my security guard training niche site. But, in some niches 3 articles per day is overload for its readers (imagine trying to take action when if I posted  3 articles per day on SPI) and for many people it’s just impossible to post 3 quality articles per day, let alone 3 quality articles per week. 

The point here is: push yourself as much as you can, both in terms of quality and volume. Just be careful about prioritizing volume over quality – it should be the other way around. It’s like working out – you get the most benefit to your body by just pushing yourself a little bit more when your mind tells you you’ve had enough, but go too crazy and you just might hurt yourself.

Don’t hurt yourself. 

Okay back to Patrick!

Build a Community Around Your Ideas

When you start to get regular traffic and people begin to leave comments on your site, you should answer those comments and start to have conversations with your visitors.

Some comments may be worthy of a new post in order to further discussion. In other cases you may talk about a new topic and ask for feedback, which will also encourage discussion.

Once you are receiving comments on a fairly regular basis and you see a small community forming, you might consider adding a discussion forum to your website.

I believe it’s important to do this for a number of reasons. In the eyes of the search engines, having a community of people who regularly visit your website and join in the discussion can help you because:

  • People create free content for you every day, expanding the size and footprint of your website.
  • Repeat visitors improve your “stickiness” metric, showing trust in your site.
  • Fans of your site can help spread your ideas via word of mouth or by creating real links.

If you are receiving search engine traffic every day but failing to build a community by “capturing” some of it, then you are missing an opportunity.

Engage your audience and start a discussion if you want to build a following. My website sold for a large amount because it was more than just a search engine trap. The buyer of the website saw value in the community and knew that this would help it to be a sustainable investment in the long run.

Experiment with Different Forms of Monetization

Many internet marketers get their start with Google AdSense, but the search for online income should not end there.

If you look at the businesses that are advertising via Google Adwords to purchase your traffic, you will learn how to move up the value chain. The Adwords advertisers are profitable. This should be a big clue as to how you should be monetizing your website.

For example, let’s say that your website is about food allergies and you are making a certain amount of money with AdSense on the site. You examine your advertisers and realize that most of them are buying your traffic in order to sell your audience an eBook about food allergies. In this hypothetical example, you would be better off selling that book directly to your audience rather than using AdSense.

This is an example of “moving up the value chain.” If people are buying your traffic via Adwords, there is always a way to move up the chain and monetize more efficiently.

I was able to negotiate direct advertising deals based on this technique, and eventually one of my advertisers made me an unsolicited offer to purchase my website. It was the experimentation with monetization that led to this opportunity.

Pat (Flynn) again here. When I started GreenExamAcademy.com I was running Adsense on the site and noticed one advertiser that was advertising their practice exams for this test. I built a relationship with them and eventually started selling their practice exams as an affiliate on my site. Commissions from one sale as an affiliate was the equivalent of  30 Adsense ad clicks. I’ve been an affiliate for 3 years and have made over 6 figures promoting their product. So yeah, this works.

Reinvest a Portion of Your Website Income

If you reinvest 100% of your earnings into site growth then you never get to enjoy any of your success.

On the other hand, if you never reinvest any income into growing your site, then the rate of growth will be very, very slow.

Therefore, I would recommend that you reinvest a certain percentage of your income. One strategy is to start by reinvesting 50% of your income into the website until you reach your monthly income goal. After that, reduce your investment into the business to 25% of revenue.

That way you can aggressively grow the business until your reach your desired income level. After that, you insure that the site stays fresh and continues to grow.

How do you reinvest your earnings into the website?

There are two options. One, you could pay for more on-site content, and essentially hire writers. Two, you could pay for promotion.

I think it’s wise to avoid the first strategy and pursue the second. Write your own content and use your income from the website to further promote it and increase its authority. This is a smart strategy for two reasons:

  1. When you outsource on-site content, quality typically drops. This is not good for your brand or long term outlook.
  2. If you outsource your promotional efforts, it frees your time and mental energy to focus on creating great content on your website.

Create amazing content on your site, then outsource the promotion of that content. This will free you up to create more amazing on-site content.

Pro tip: One way to implement this idea is to use paid Stumbleupon traffic. Create an amazing article on your website, then spend as little as five dollars sending traffic to the page. See how many people give it a “thumbs up” and then create another piece of amazing content to repeat the experiment. By examining your results and comparing the number of “likes,” you can continuously refine future articles that you write to better serve your site visitors. Thus, this can become an iterative approach to crafting the best possible content on your website.

Find the Big Advertisers in your Niche and Reach Out to Them

If you are using AdSense then you are aware that Google makes a certain percentage from each pay per click transaction. If you were to go direct with one of your advertisers and eliminate Google from the equation, both of you would come out better.

Pay attention to the advertisers that show up on your site when you run Google AdSense. Examine their business model, see how they are making money, and understand how they profit from purchasing your traffic.

Then approach them with a proposition. Ask them if they would be interested in eliminating Google and buying your traffic directly. Brainstorm and consider other compensation models. You may be able to negotiate a much more profitable deal if you go direct with the company.

This is exactly how I stumbled into such a lucrative sale for my website. I contacted all of my AdSense advertisers with a friendly email that sought to open discussion and negotiate a direct relationship. This led to a few trial runs that basically fizzled. Then one advertiser approached me and eventually offered to buy my website for a huge sum of money.

It is very likely that the biggest websites in your niche monetize traffic more efficiently than you do. Capitalize on this and reach out to the big players and offer to negotiate a direct deal. If they know the value of your traffic (and they obviously do!) then they should be eager to either advertise directly or purchase your site outright.

Ignore Internet Marketing Advice (including this) and Do your Own Testing

Internet marketers are always giving advice. Take all such advice with a grain of salt and test everything. What works for them will not necessarily work for you. Every niche is a bit different.

The key is to take action. Once you have some traffic and income trickling in, it is time to make a serious effort to really grow your website. Take massive action if you want big results.

For example, how many articles are you publishing per day on your website? One? Could you push it to two or three?

The long term effects of publishing multiple articles every day are enormous. When creating an authority website, volume matters – a lot. Push yourself to create lots of new (quality) content and this will also allow you to do more testing about what works well and what does not. Thus, you learn simply by taking action and refining your approach based on your results.

Be Patient and Let Success Unfold in its Own Time

Most people who dabble in internet marketing give up long before they see a payout like the one I received. The problem is that there is so much spam on the internet that the search engines have to “put everyone on probation” for such a long time in order to see who is really serious and who is not.

This creates a barrier to entry, but it also represents a huge opportunity. Most people do not have the patience to keep creating high quality content while the search engines turn up their noses at them.

Realize that this is an opportunity for you to persevere and be rewarded. The average time to success on the web has been stretched out considerably. Most people will give up within the first year or two due to lack of results.

If you create amazing content over and over again, eventually you will be rewarded with a steady stream of traffic and income.

But, you have to believe in the process and have the determination to keep pounding away.

Be patient enough to let success find you.

Create something amazing, and one day you might be telling someone like I did:

“Yes, I will sell you my website for $200,000 dollars!”

Thanks, once again, to Patrick for sharing his story and advice. You can read more from Patrick on his blog at Make Money with No Work. Any comments or questions? Please leave them in the comment section below. Cheers!

  • http://www.victorstuff.com Victor

    Thanks for sharing this. I personally have also sold a website, but actually onyl partially followed the advice presented above. It was sold for $75.000 about 6 months ago in the daily deals niche. I’ve written about my journey extensively on my blog.
    I think it really doesn’t matter what niche you’re in, I’m getting the feeling you can monetize any niche really.

    Maybe I’m just to optimistic.

    • http://newbcomputerbuild.com Corey

      I would like to read about this :)

      • http://getfreepremium.com/make-money-clickbank/ Ben Troy

        I have been following his blog a long time, his strategy is extremely white hat :) and cost very much effort but it worths the end .

    • Peter

      I would like to read about it too! :)

      • http://www.thuthuatwordpress.com/hostgator Ben Troy

        I think it is better to leave a value added comment :) If not caring enough about the topic, donot need to give feedback ;)

  • http://chufnagel.com Christopher Hufnagel

    “Ignore Internet Marketing Advice (including this) and Do your Own Testing” Great advice! Don’t ever forget to take a method and make it your own! It worked for someone else because of their skill sets, what could it become with your skill sets added in?

  • http://www.tostartblogging.com/ Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging

    There is no better than a real case study, which I really like to see. You are always rocking us Pat. Thanks for this great post

  • http://www.zzneo.pl Teresa

    Hi Pat,
    After reading this post there is only one question I think everyone would like to ask you : did anyone offered you money for your blog ? If so, could you reveal the secret and tell us what was that probably wonderful sum of money ? Do you consider selling your blog in future ???
    Sorry for so many, so personal questions, I’m only curious.
    Cheers,
    Teresa

  • http://smartlifehacks.com/ charles

    Hi Patrick,

    Great article.

    Do you mind sharing the average revenue that your website was generating before you sold it off?

  • http://smartlifehacks.com/ charles

    Hi Patrick

    Great article and congrats on your sale.

    Do you mind sharing the average revenue the website was generating?

  • http://www.makemoneywithnowork.com/ Patrick Meninga

    @ Charles – I was never super aggressive in monetizing so it peaked around a couple thousand per month based on an eCPM in the 20 to 35 dollar range. Many people thought that I could do better by developing a product, creating a course, etc. but I never went that route. When you move up the value chain it is much easier to monetize more efficiently.

    Let me explain what I mean by that. I was selling ad clicks to businesses and making a certain amount of money. But the advertising middleman is taking a chunk of this money exchange, and they can possibly be eliminated. When a business owner bought my site, they eliminated the middleman. Now all of their advertising dollars are working directly for them, and building their long term brand in a way that regular (PPC) advertising can not necessarily do.

    In other words, those who purchase a website such as mine can squeeze much more profitability out of it, because they are further up the value chain. They are monetizing more directly than I ever could.

  • http://www.onlineincomestartup.com Dr.Spencer Jones

    Thanks for sharing about the Patrick website story. Regarding the 3 posts per day, what comes to my mind are the days when I used to write articles on ezinearticles for links and traffic. That time I used to write 4 to 5 per day. But right now, due to my focus on putting utmost quality in my blog posts, I am only able to do about one blog post per month.

    I just finished posting my last blog post, which took me nearly a month to complete, it’s a video blog post with over 2000 words and a 28minute video. With the focus on quality than on quantity…

    Dr.Spencer Jones

    • http://www.teamaguilar.com/ca_real_estate/el-cajon.html Alex Aguilar

      Right on Spencer! Fewer articles of higher quality will always be preferable to bulk articles of lower quality.

  • http://www.mktdojo.com Tommy Tan

    Hi Both Patricks. Thank you for the article! It is very motivating but reading it makes me doubt the niche website I am trying to create following Pat’s Niche Marketing Duel footstep.

    What are some ways to check whether a niche is profitable?

  • http://victorstuff.com victor

    @ Tommy Tan, I would just look for the really big sites in that particular niche and see

    a) if the look like web 2.0 sites or just plain old?
    b) if they have their own products, books (maybe their own bookstore like entrepreneur.com), or just sell products for other people?

    Pretty simple. I am an advocate of heuristic stuff :)

  • http://www.graduates.co.uk Adam

    I just managed to sell one of my own websites for $200k a couple of weeks ago. It was based on around 18 months income however given the recent EMD/Penguin/Panda updates I felt like it was just something i had to do for my business. I can easily re-invest 10-20% of that money into other sites to get to the same income anyway so it was an easy decision.

  • http://automatedsuccessteam.com/moor JONATHAN PONDEXTER BEY

    I apologize for the cross promotion. P at I have been following you since 2011, and it was a you who inspired me to start making money online.

    i recently mad my first couple of hundred of dollars online referring others to a service that we all actually need, and I’m wondering how your would market this. just do it on face book and its working.

    The service provides full emergency medical coverage / vehicle coverage/ discounts on dental / prescription drugs/ vision / and even hotel stays and car rentals.

    They also provide legal service, credit card protection and a $ 5000 stolen vehicle reward.

    its been going viral on facebook and youtube so i got in and have made good money but i really want to expand.

    a lot of marketers have jumped on board and created marketing courses on how to promote it so here is my link tell me what you think guys.
    tell me what you think guys.
    http://automatedsuccessteam.com/moor

  • http://www.cubiclefree.com Quinn at Cubicle Free

    Hi Patrick,

    Great Post!

    I am a big believer in building sites that I call “useful”. This looks like it was one of those. As you and Pat have shown, being useful enables you to move up the value chain really easily.

    Like Charles, I too would very much like to know what you earned because for me the ongoing income has more value. I love the idea of a nice big payout but I can’t buy food for the table in the meantime.

    Congrats on your success and thanks for the awesome tips!

    Regards,

    Quinn

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore Nwangene

    Hi the 2 Pats,
    I must confess that this is the post of the month, really inspiring and motivating indeed. I like reading case studies like this.

    Just as you said Pat, its not everyone that can push out 3 posts per day. To me, it will look like disturbance to your readers and it wount allow me as the writer to focus on other things.

    Morover, most bloggers maintians 2-10 blogs which will be near impossible to craft out such content. So its best to focus on what works for you and what is convenient for you rather than getting your self burnt.

    My quastion is thus: How many blogs do you have and do you also post 3 times daily on the others? How much was your monthly income and visits before selling the blog? Hope you wouldn’t mind sharing this with us.

    @ Pat Flynn, thanks for introducing us to Patrick.
    @ Patrick, thanks for sharing and congrats.

  • http://authoritywebsiteincome.com Jon at Authority Site Income

    Congrats on the sale Patrick.

    3 posts per day on average is incredible!

    I really enjoyed how you were always looking to move up the value chain and constantly reaching for the next rung.

    Congrats on the $200k in your bank account!

    Jon

  • edna smith

    Great post Patrick – thanks and congratulations. Your site has a tremendous amount of content in a good niche. While $200,000 is a really nice chunk, I think your site is probably worth more than that. Can you elaborate more on how you arrived at a value of $200,00?

    • http://www.cikuraku.lt Bogdan

      Yeah, that is really interesting. Tell us more about how you arrived there..

  • http://www.thedeliciousday.com Linda

    Great piece. I appreciate the level of detail. I might have to side with Pat on the risks of 3 articles per day. Perhaps something worth exploring but I would worry that the overall end quality of the articles would end up hurting more than they would help. Congrats on have such a successful site!

  • http://www.makemoneywithnowork.com/ Patrick

    @ Theodore – I am basically a one website guy. I tried to diversify and I never could do it. I go to town on one site at a time. These days I do not focus on quantity of posts any more, I generally put up one post of about 3,000 words or so.

    @ Edna – I did not think the offer would be accepted, for one thing. For two, it had to be enough to invest and come close to living on via investment income. That is close to being a reality because I am also a self proclaimed frugality ninja. Rigth now my monthly living expenses are just around $1,000 but after buying a cheap home they should be less than $800/month. This is wealth, not rich….but weatlh. And freedom.

    @ Linda – yeah I have not added quantity like that in a long time. All about quality now, and putting up meaty posts. So I guess you could say I have flip flopped a bit on this one! But you gotta change with the times, right? In the end it is still about volume…just now you have to really crank up the quality too.

  • gerprz

    Thank you for your candid and informative post. Looking at SR I get the sense that much of the site is you, many of the reader comments are addressed to you personally. The site niche is narrow and you seem to have hit the target perfectly with posted content. Your mission is altruistic and designed to make the world a better place by helping people master their substance abuse. My question is how much of the site’s content is you, are you a medical clinician? Will you still be a contributor to the site’s content after the sale. How will the site change now that it has a new owner? The situation created by the sale of your site mirrors what challenges other branded site sellers and buyers of sites (SPA included) could experience upon sale or acquisition…

  • http://www.makemoneywithnowork.com/ Patrick

    @ Gerprz – That’s a good question, they site buyer is paying me to continue to produce for the website. I am not a medical clinician but you might say I am “qualified” to some degree based on my past experience and history. The site has already changed as far as layout, look at the Wayback machine to see what I used to do with it. But yeah, I am still producing content for it to this very day, and continue to publish on the site daily.

  • Kevin

    8X yearly net is a really high number. I had a high end site on the market last year and everything was priced around 2.5 X yearly net… So I guess you found the exact right person to buy your site.

    • edna smith

      But the value of the site to the advertiser who purchased it is in the traffic. So 8X annual earnings may still be a bargain to the advertiser, since he is looking for the traffic’s not so much the earnings’ value.

  • http://2012suv.com Vijay S

    I agree with you about creating and promoting one website at a time.

    One question – The website you sold was related to drug and alcohol. Did you ever tried putting adsense on that (as it is against their terms)?

  • http://www.nichepursuits.com Spencer

    Hey Patrick – congrats on the sale! Must be a great feeling.
    I’m curious to hear about your link building strategy (if any). Did you do any “link building”, or did links just come naturally due to the large volume of content you were putting out?

    • http://wpthemesdaily.com Robert

      I am curious about this too :) Don’t know what drives visitors to the websites via search engines

    • http://autoprofitblogging.com/autoblog-samurai/ Ben Troy

      Both of those methods, natural back link from other authority sites in relevent niche and manual build strong incoming link from guest post, forums

  • http://www.mypersonalfinancejourney.com/ Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

    Congratulations, Patrick! I admit that your story inspired me to work harder on my blogs and follow the tips that I have been reading from other successful bloggers. Of course, who would say no to a $200,000-offer? Definitely, not me!

  • http://isitdownjustforme.com/ is it down

    Hi, this is a very interesting web page and I have enjoyed read­ing many of the arti­cles and posts con­tained on the web­site, keep up the good work and hope to read some more inter­est­ing con­tent in the future. Thank you so much.http://maayland.com/

  • http://isitdownjustforme.com/ Kevin Tran

    Hi, this is a very interesting web page and I have enjoyed read­ing many of the arti­cles and posts con­tained on the web­site, keep up the good work and hope to read some more inter­est­ing con­tent in the future. Thank you so much.

  • http://www.slimlinedishwasherhq.com Nick

    If is sold for so much money then really must have been a remarkable site. It would be great if something more said about link building strategy.

  • http://connectwithsonny.com Sonny

    Awesome guest post Patrick! It’s great to see you working hard on your next project. Can’t wait to see you do it again.

  • http://www.thequesttofindlove.com Irena

    Hi Pat,
    Great article as usual, motivating everyone to get going and step up their game, because success is possible.
    My problem is with how to create original, meaningful content for my site. It seems that in all niches, on every topic known to humanity, everything that can be said is already been said. You need to be extremely creative person to find a way to present it in differently from everyone else and I think this is what makes the real distinction between the highly successful sites and the ones that going to fall by the wayside. And I am not sure any advice from the experts will help with this problem. Is it simply a matter of having it in you or not having it – the genius mind, the creative flare?
    Any thoughts?

  • http://www.nicheoptimizer.com/justin-lewis/ Justin Lewis

    Great share! I’m taking the StumbleUpon tip and taking action on it right now with a few pages. Would love to see the outcome of this, especially if we can acquire active readers.

  • Joe Guggia

    Incredible sharing with such simple explanations. Lightbulb goes off “oh, yeah, of course…give some thought about stick-to-it effort and results will be achieved”. This is what we need to hear, especially to monetize. I do believe I’ve found a forum that really resonates with my goals, with friendly, sound info. Thanks so much….

  • http://www.fotocomefare.com Alberto

    Thanks for sharing. I’m curious to know how you identify advertisers coming trhough Google Adsense. Since Google uses a lot of data to choose which ads to show you, they are not always related to the site but based on past navigations.

  • http://www.extramoneyblog.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    congratulations Patrick, well done.

    I have sold a few sites in the past, the biggest of which was a $250,000 sale of an ecommerce business. the sale was also solicited by the buyer because they were in need of a web presence in the same industry/niche as well as wanted to acquire our database of customers.

    the other sale was completely different in nature. in both experiences, as you concluded and as the reality is, if you have an asset that can potentially produce income for another or improve their current state of ‘business’, there will be some valuation placed on it, as well as interest to acquire.

    curious about a few things if you don’t mind addressing:

    1) how long did the entire process take from start to finish? from solicitation to cash in bank?

    2) did you involve any third parties? escrows, attorneys, accountants? the tax bite stings so minimizing this is critical.

    3) I too am curious about your marketing approach, if any.

    one of my websites (started as a very focused niche and has since expanded much broader in nature) is nearing 700 articles and I’ve done no link building for it. it is purely a result of adding more content consistently over a long period of time (nearing 4 years now).

    this site was a sleeper until the past couple years when traffic picked up exponentially, purely from kw I did not intend to rank for (organic traffic).

    so perhaps one conclusion is search engines are looking for consistency over a long period of time (and of course large, in depth sites)?

    congratulations once again, and looking forward to hearing more about your feedback. thanks for featuring this success story Pat -

  • http://www.makemoneywithnowork.com/ Patrick

    @ Vijay S – Yes, the site had AdSense on it for most of its life. This worked very well actually. The eCPM was usually around 20 to 30 bucks or so. It’s a great niche for AdSense IMO.

    @ Spencer – I did about 6 or so real world guest posts that were solid. Quite a long time ago I was doing more manual link building but I stopped as the guest posts were becoming more important. I also experimented with link baiting, though it is a tough niche for that to work in.

    @ Irena – How to create original content. My thought is that you have to push people to take things a step further, question the traditional teachings. If you go read Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Work Week, then apply his style to your niche. Turn the industry upside down and present some unique new ideas. Find something that works for you and then put your own personal spin on it. That is the basis of how I carved out a unique message on my flagship website.

    @ Alberto – you can simply look at your ads (don’t click them of course!) and then follow them to see who is advertising. Contact them. Talk to them. Strike deals with them. Do this in high volume. Find your top 20 advertisers (via Adwords) and then start contacting people. Persist until you get the deal you want on your terms.

    @ Sunil – The process took a few months actually. Maybe about a month and a half total. It was not super quick, but this was OK. I don’t want to go into too much detail here but yes, there was a third party involved and I trusted them completely (and I trusted the buyer for that matter). The deal went smoothly enough. As for my marketing efforts, that was a total learning curve starting from ZERO. I used to rely entirely on eZineArticles for all of my link building, that was at square one. At the end though I was doing high quality guest posts and also creating my own infographics and sharing them with other webmasters in my niche. So my marketing efforts definitely evolved quite a bit over the years. Congrats to you on your own successes, btw!

  • http://www.eventchecklist.net Arwin Adriano

    I found a lot of interesting ideas here like investing part of the income on promotions and outsourcing your works. It is also interesting to take note about considering the bulk of information to share within the blog but I think overall from that quality matters.

  • http://ViaMaverick.com Chris Altamirano

    Patrick!

    Nice guest post my man, thanks for the little tips. Especially liked how you said that one internet marketers advice might not work for the next. Definitely just have to roll your sleeves up and do you!

    My buddy has gotten into domain flipping lately, he has this website where already valuable domains are expiring every day and he’s cleaning up. Forgot what it’s called but I’m sure I could share it with the SPI community if everyone would be interested.

    And for Pat! (Flynn)

    As far as the 3 articles per day, you’re absolutely right. The SPI community would probably get information overload and would never EVER take action. That’s why I like to follow a 1 to 2 ratio. For every 1 post I throw up on the ViaMaverick blog, I write or produce video content on other platforms.

    This is awesome because:

    1. You don’t overwhelm your audience but can still deliver quality
    2. You expand onto other platforms, giving you more exposure, enabling more people to reach your site.

    My two cents! Thanks for the post as always my brotha!

    - Chris

  • http://www.dylanvarian.com/blog Dylan

    Awesome post. Very insightful. I have been a web-designer for a few years now and I have seen clients sell off websites for thousands. Really good way to make money – but really difficult too (I think, personally).

  • http://www.zzzprofits.com Moe

    Am i the only who doesn’t think that is an exciting plan? Writing at least 4,000 words everyday for the next 4 years to sell a website is definitely not a passive income model. Sounds miserable to me.

    4 years ago the net was not as saturated and competitive as it is today, nor is today as saturated as it will be in 4 more years. With the current CONTENT WARS you better plan on triple or quadruple the out-put to keep up with internet content inflation, if you want to follow this method.

    I don’t believe you need to be a content mill to find success online.

    Something that always stuck with me, is what Darren Rowse from problogger said in a podast. “There is no real blue-print for this. Every full-time blogger who has found success has done it in their own way. There is no one way to do it.”

    Thats what excites me.

  • http://aal-productz.com/ Harish Dundurthi

    Great Post Patrick. Congrats on your sale! But why did you sold your site? Advertiser offered you an amount because he saw something great in your site. As site was getting visitors, you are more nearer to big success. Visitors loved your created content, so if you expanded your site further, you may get more visitors. Maybe you would succeed further if you had that site. Sorry if anything is wrong. Yes, you will be benefited even if you don’t have that site as you know where your visitors are coming from and you can create other site but the authority of sold site will get reduced without you. But whatever it maybe “Be patient enough to let success find you”

  • http://www.thedesignrange.com/ Alex

    Great post- how do you decide what your website it worth though? As in what calculation do you do against the average monthly income generated?

    • http://autoprofitblogging.com/autoblog-samurai/ Ben Troy

      I think it is often based on the monthly avarage of income from varieties of monetizing methods. Example: The monthly traffic around 100 000 visits, 1 percent of that source converts into 1000 affiliate sale or 1000 adsence clicks, if sale brings in 30 dollars, so the income about 3000 dollars . And 1 year they should earn over 30 000 dollar . There are many ways to maximize the traffic potential by combining own product, service launch,…

    • edna smith

      I don’t think there is a magic formula, although most values are arrived using monthly income. I happen to disagree with the value of Patrick’s site at $200,000, I think it is worth more than that. I’m taking into account not just the earnings per month or per year, which is what matter to bloggers.

      I’m analyzing the fact that he got over 1,000 articles on the site with very good keywords for the niche topic. He is ranking pretty good for many of these keywords and for the advertiser who purchased his site it will be very expensive, if at all possible, to start from scratch and rank for these keywords on Google. True that a site can be de-ranked by Google at any time, but the better the site the less the likelihood of that.

      I think the advertiser (buyer) doesn’t care for the Adsense income, as a blogger does, he wants to take the traffic and convert it into sales (i.e patients). This is very valuable to him.

  • http://www.makemoneywithnowork.com/ Patrick

    @ Moe – That’s a good criticism, really, and I agree with you for the most part. Everyone’s path to success may NOT be cranking out massive content. The method works well for me though because I write relatively quickly compared to others. 3K words is an hour or less for me, and on certain topics I can still maintain very good quality at that pace. You’re right though–we all gotta find our own path!

    @ Harish – You raise a good point, it may have been a mistake to sell. No regrets here though. I continue to enjoy writing each day. I am happy with the outcome.

    @ Alex – lots of different ways to value a site. I had my price set based on what amount would be life changing, as in create substantial passive income by itself for me. For example, 50K would not have done it for me. Not enough income from 50K being invested. That is how I valued my site, because it was my source of income. Most people do not do it this way….most people instead look at a formula such as “12 to 24 times the monthly earnings” as the value of the site. Whatever works for you, I guess. Ultimately a site is worth what someone will pay for it, and not a cent more….

  • http://www.thinker.cz Jenda Simecik

    Hi Pat(s)!

    This is really great case study, enjoyed reading it!

    However I have a question – If you have more than one niche site how could you write this big amount of articles by yourself? Isn’t better just outsource some of them and focus on one which you know the most? I think you’re doing it the same way, you write for SPI and outsource Securityguardtraininghq and probably other niches site of yours.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.blogging-the-beginners-complete-guide.com Karo Itoje

    Congratulation Patrick!

    I noted some points down from your article as a reminder for later as I am currently preparing for my 2nd authority site.

    I especially like the point “It’s not about what you know, it’s about what you know that’s also profitable.” I try to drive this home to my audience too and bloggers in general when I made the guest post http://hotblogtips.com/when-should-i-monetize-my-blog

    There’s just too many articles only telling people to blog about what they love. I even read an article not too long ago encouraging people to blog about what they love adding that “Always remember that what is not in demand today may be in demand tomorrow”.

    Can you imagine that? So someone should start a blog with the hope that it will be in demand tomorrow. And later such people will complain that they can’t make money with their blogs.

    So it felt great to read that from someone as successful as you Patrick.

    Off to your blog to continue reading.

  • http://www.makemoneywithnowork.com/ Patrick

    @ Jenda – Good question about working on multiple sites. My tendency is to write most of my own content (on a single site) but possible outsource other stuff (used to be link building, but that is sort of DOA unless you have a very sophisticated method of outsourcing guest posting, link bait, or other “white hat” link building techniques). This is just my take on it, I would bet that Pat F. could weigh in with another perspective as well as far as outsourcing and building up multiple websites. Me, I tend to keep it simple….one site at a time, all of my energy into one project.

  • http://www.beginningiosdev.com Shane @ Beginning iOS Dev

    $200,000 for a website…my goodness, that’s awesome!

    I’m pretty much working on finding the Big Advertisers in my niche now, reaching out and trying to work out some arrangements as well. One thing I’ve noticed that’s been helping me a little is actually just getting on the phone and calling up potential advertisers.

    It’s a little more nerve wrecking than sending out cold-emails but the hit rate is so much higher.

  • http://minimalblog.net Sam

    Great article! In terms of content posting frequency, I believe it’s best to leave it natural. If you find yourself forcing out articles/posts then obviously the quality is going to suffer, if you aren’t enjoying writing an article then you’ll probably get a similar result.

    In saying that, it’s still important to keep a regular post schedule, I think, especially if you have an audience. People want regular information, and they’ll slowly slip away from websites that don’t post as much, I know I have in the past.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qZ7546chMk Lemuel

    Nice Patrick!

    That $200K is awesome. By the way hows your backlinking strategy?

    Thanks!

    • http://autoprofitblogging.com/autoblog-samurai Ben Troy

      Visit pat’s blog to learn more about backlink strategies that works and brings in high authority incoming links. Example: guest post like this is also one of best backlink strategy

  • http://www.xn--snslungan-17a.com/ Mike

    That´s great Patrick!

    Like Lemuel I’m very interested in how you´ve set up the backlinking strategy?
    Also, Pat if you want to get in on this that´s alright, is the backlinking strategy you (Pat) show in the videos on your site still valid with these latest updates?

    Love this blog! Keep em’ coming!
    Best,
    Mike

  • http://eddiegear.com/ Eddie Gear

    Its impressive that a blog could sell for such a huge money. It would be great for Patrick to share some insights into what he did to build the blog to the level and make the sale.

  • http://exs24samples.com/ Dave G

    Really interesting story, and it also has the best explanation I’ve read of the search engines recent changes too – very inspiring to think of it as a positive opportunity rather than just all negative stuff. Always worth being reminded that it’s the long game that counts…not to get hung up on instant results all the time.

  • http://www.cleanseandblend.com Andy

    As many others have mentioned, it seems like the 3 articles/day idea is very high – however I think more to the point is that you’ll have to work for your success. These days it’s more about a larger, detailed article than many small ones. Or about putting out a video with your article, or starting a podcast series, or working your backlinks, or whatever.

    It might not be “3 articles/day” but the idea is that it takes some effort to get somewhere.

    I LOVE the mention of the forum though. The only place I’ve ever – EVER – seen real community online is with forums on highly specific niches. Good forums have their own personal memes that get around, they have Meet-Ups for local chapters, and dedicated moderators that keep things running smoothly. I think they’re a wonderful idea if you really want a community.

    My ultimate goal for my website is an active forum, so I have some questions for Patrick:
    - What kind of forum software did you use?
    - Did you implement it yourself or get an developer? If so, where did you find them?
    - How much of your time was spent managing it?
    - Were you able to monetize the forum?

    Any info would be much apprecated!

    Andy

  • http://TimsMinions.com Andi the Minion

    Excellent post thank you. I read about Patrick on Yaro Starak’s site and knew a bit about his story, I use him and his story as one of the examples when trying to explain to my big boss why I need to focus my time on the blog and its content. Perseverance pays off in the long run, always did and always will.

    Simply find something that works and stick with it.

    Sorted. :-)

  • http://www.mobileapptycoon.com Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Patrick,

    Interesting case study. I personally that that publishing 3 articles per day is too much if you are trying to do a blog with a very active community. However if your site is essentially an informational niche article directory (which it sounds like that is kind of what yours is) then it would work very well.

    When you sold the site, was advertising your only monetization model, or did you end up selling an eBook/guide or something else in addition to that? Also, if you don’t mind me asking, why did you choose to sell the site instead of trying to increase the income and make it as passive as possible?

    Thomas

  • Profitclickign

    Nice post, well done. :)
    btw if you want to make some online passive income check my blog here :
    http://profitclickingonlineincome.blogspot.com/

  • http://top-onlineschools.info Online school

    Very good information I really like read things like this, thanks for sharing with us.

  • http://EminiMind.com Tim Racette

    Hi Pat,

    I was wondering if you could share some strategies for your 3 articles/day posting and if you had an effective way to organize the articles on the site such that older posts were not simply buried.

    Some thoughts I had are essentially writing one article and breaking it up into 3 pieces, building upon the same topic of the course of a day, or structuring 3 different topics in a ‘breakfast, lunch, dinner’ publishing sequence. I admire your commitment and discipline.

    -Tim

  • http://www.howtowriteanessay4cash.com Ademu Anthony

    Thanks for sharing this great idea. I think this is going to help me in my blog too

  • http://shipwreckedwithyou.com Chloe

    I think we broke this contributor’s site.

  • http://www.howtomakemoneybloggingtoday.com Emmanuel Uduezue

    Thanks Pat for publishing that great article. This is more or less like an update on your niche site duel series.
    This post have really inspired me to take my blog serious and focus on creating quality content on my blog. Thanks really for sharing this highly insightful post. Keep up the good work. I appreciate your contribution to the blogging community. You are a rare gem.

    Emmanuel.

  • http://www.makemoneywithnowork.com/ Patrick

    @ Shane – This is what I did as well. I cold called about two dozen places, some on phone, some via email. Struck a few deals and suddenly was approached with an offer. You are putting in the footwork….

    @ Sam – I should have probably clarified from the start that when I was cranking 25 articles per day, I was putting them up as WordPress PAGES rather than posts….so as not to flood my subscribers. To be honest my subscriber base on that site never really took much action, even when I tried to encourage them to respond, leave comments, etc.

    Regarding guest posting – this used to be considered one of the premier white hat linking strategies, but it is coming under suspicion by some of the more conservative Internet marketers lately. Not that it is off limits just yet…but some are speculating that it might head in that direction eventually.

    @ Andy – I added the forum myself using expensive Vbulletin software. No developer needed. Kept it simple. I assigned moderators and spent almost no extra time on the forum. I never attempted to monetize it and I doubt it would be successful. The forum had (still does) a small core of dedicated users that add mountains of new contnet daily (well over 1,000 words per day usually).

    @ Thomas – I tested the waters a bit and never could see an eBook or eCourse working well for monetizing. I also watched some competitors fail in trying to follow those paths. Bad niche for it. Reason I sold? Paper assets = more passive than online income.

    @ Tim – best tip is to set up your headlines and possibly even drafts the night before. Then wake up, grab coffee, and crank those articles out. Do it fast, make it good. Don’t get out of your chair until you hit your quota. This is how I am currenly publishing between 3K and 6K words per day online (over a million words per year). Focus on quality first and let speed develop later….

  • http://www.medicalrecruitmentagency.com Praveen

    This for sharing good & useful information, i like yours post.

  • http://money.bashbosh.com Sheela @ Bash Bosh Money

    This is one of the best articles about website sales for sure.
    Thank you Partick for this awesome article.

  • http://www.betterbargainz.com Chris

    Great article on how to make sure that the search engines value your website.

  • http://CashFlowsToo.com Monty Campbell

    That is inspirational. I’m glad to see it worked. I also show how the focus of the business should be.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.techtalkies.com Sam

    Patt,
    This was a very inspirational post.
    Please try to get more such case studies.
    It motivates a lot to work hard and better.

    Cheers!
    Sam

  • http://www.mmenterprises.co.in Ashok

    Nice post for me, i am expend more time searching this subject, my search complete when your post read.

  • http://howigotrich.net/ Joe @ How I Got Rich

    That is a great lump sum. You can argue about potential earnings and time spend and then deciding $200,000 isn’t a good deal but you’d be mad to turn down a pile of cash for a site that could get struck down by Google at any moment.

    I agree with the posting rate. If you want to make money you need to go all out.

    Once you’re making your target monthly figure you can slow down the posting rate but until then why go slow?

    Good work!

  • http://www.preppersuniverse.com Rodney Butler

    Hi Patrick & Pat,

    This is a great article with great techniques. My site is fairly new and the niche is starting to take off. I will attempt to follow your strategies and see where that will take me. Thanks again for the great content.

    Excellent as always…

  • http://www.bigdealsonweb.com Rod

    Great article. Very interesting. I have modelled out authority sites and tend to agree re volume. What was your RPM, and average monthly traffic per page?

    Cheers
    Rod

  • http://adsgig.com Business Matter

    200K for a website, that’s truly inspiring. Honestly the niche for Pat’s site is quite difficult as most people look for money matters stuff. You have proven yourself to be a master of what you do. Kudos to you !!!

  • http://pinoybizness.com June@pinoybizness

    Quality and Volume – It’s quite hard to have these two elements in a blog but if you manage to do it, I will try replicate your methods.

    Experiment with Different Forms of Monetization – Adsense adsense, that is what most people suggest but your’re approach is quite genius – “negotiate direct advertising” 2 thumbs up for you Pat.

  • Mike

    like that website sold for $200k…..are you kidding us?

    • http://howigotrich.net/ Joe @ How I Got Rich

      How you seen the site? What is the URL?

      PS I find your spam warning offensive, I’m not ‘trying something funny’. My browser timed out.

  • http://www.richjack.com Jack @ RichJack.com

    Hello Pat Flyn & Congrats Pat Meninga!

    Very inspirational, insightful and refreshing. Few people would really talk about focusing on QUALITY and VOLUME (i.e. hard work) because it’s uncool.

    I did some calculations – earning $200,000 / 4 years is approximately $4166.67 / month*, that’s a decent monthly income for a lot of people (*not taking into account the time value of money).

    Or look at it another way, $200,000 / 1500 articles is approximately $133.33 / article. How much more motivated do you feel to write and publish quality articles now?

    For those who’re interested, I did an email interview with Pat Meninga to ask him more questions that I had after reading the quest post. Feel free to check it out here: http://www.richjack.com/threads/interview-with-patrick-meninga-%E2%80%93-the-art-of-building-and-selling-6-figure-websites.91/

    Cheers!

  • http://sagenext.net ajay

    That’s a really good effort to earn money for working on website and sell it nice.

  • http://www.khabrichacha.com KhabriChacha

    This is an awesome and a very interesting article it taught me many new things and it is surely going to help me out. Indeed a good effort made for us to understand the basics and important things for doing a successful online business.

    Thanks..:)

  • http://www.kabenlah.com kabenlah dot com

    This is simply motivational. This is the least I can say.

  • http://onlineworkandplay.com Leonard “Leo” Jackson

    Wow, pretty cool. What got me was what the website was about……

    I “know someone” with a blog in the same niche. Should tell “my friend” to get to work on it and to what he intended to do and share his story.

    Thanks for sharing this

  • http://www.buildbusinesstips.com Napoleon

    Thanks for sharing this post. It really inspires me to finally focus on creating and monetizing my website. Awesome article.

  • http://www.maxvisits.com traffic purchase

    Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t understand after that its up to other users that they will assist, so here it occurs.

  • http://www.texfly.com/ Steve Rendell

    Interesting that someone paid $200k for that site, and now it’s a default server install page – talk about throwing your money away!

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