After my list of 6 website investors you should follow in 2019, it is only natural to post a new list! Since my list last year I’ve met several individuals in this industry that are making waves. So this post is a perfect gateway to see who’s out there, and what’s being created to support you.
“You collect smurfs? Smurf it up!”
— Gary Vaynerchuck
When will website investing become mainstream?
People like Blake Hutchison (CEO of Flippa) certainly think that website investing will become mainstream. And buying a digital asset that’s making money such as AdSense website, Dropshiping business, or eCommerce website will be as ubiquitous as buying a car or a house.
Just imagine, you pick an industry, product, and business you actually love and care about? What a concept.
So, how do we get there? Luckily for us, there are people who are able to provide stepping stones.
1. Blake Hutchison
Flippa was my gateway to website investing. Once I was hooked there’s no turning back! That’s where I found out I could actually buy a website, and make my money back in less than 2 years. Blake Hutchison is the CEO of Flippa and he runs a tight ship! Flippa improved its screening process, security features and made many other improvements since he came on board.
They are keeping the entry point low for newcomers, so you don’t actually have to shell out six-figures just to get your feet wet. At the same time, their deal flow is significant so there’s something for everybody, including you. No waiting lists, just dive in.
You should know: At the moment there are over 3000 listings with 120,000 buyers and sellers. Blake has been with Flippa since September 2018.
2. Andrej Ilisin
If you browse closely on Flippa, you can find a special deal with Alpha Investors. They offer ready-made website that you can pick and choose from. Prices are higher compared to the no-name seller, but you get a high-quality, well-researched website!
Fellow Croatian behind Alpha Investors, and https://investors.club is Andrej Ilisin. Is investors.club different than Alpha Investors, you ask? Yes, it’s a separate project with a members-only marketplace for serious buyers and sellers. No purchase fees, no sales commissions and superior due diligence!
Furthermore, just as I was writing this, I received notification that they launched a website valuation tool, so definitely check that out.
You should know: Just by looking at Investors.club’s sample listing, you can learn a lot about proper due diligence.
3. Matt Raad and Liz Raad
Here’s a different route you can take. Instead of buying a website, how about learn the entire process and build it yourself? Matt Raad and Liz Raad are website investors and co-founders at e-Business Institute. Aside from their digital marketing and web development courses what really caught my attention was:
“How To Buy Established Websites Training Program – Build Your Online Income Portfolio The Fast, Smart Way”
You should know: Some of his students went on to buy a website for $20,000, and then made over $100,000 in 12 months. Matt is an angel investor, and has founded e-Business Institute in January 2017.
4. Jon Gillham
In my last year’s list, I mentioned Spencer Haws, and in this one, I will mention his new business partner Jon Gillham. Recently they started Motion Invest. Jon is famous for creating amazing content (like the one about recent Amazon update) and although Motion Invest was started last year, he’s been on my radar for a while.
I already mentioned his Amazon FBA success on webmaster.ninja blog.
You should know: Motion Invest recently gave away a website that was making $200 per month.
5. Adam Smith
Hand-picked powerfull expiring/auctioned domains direct to your inbox? Affiliate website that’s being fed with content and backlinks by some else? Those are the type of projects that Adam starts!
Domain Geeks and Niche Website Builders!
You should know: Adam is a up&coming website investor from Cardiff, and these projects were started recently.
That’s it for now! I have many other website investors to reveal, but I gotta leave some ammo for 2021! Besides, who has time for long list?! Happy website investing, and take care!
Reding this in 2020? Then you should check my “5 website investors you should follow in 2020“!
In case you are considering becoming a website investor, here’s a shortlist of internet entrepreneurs who are no strangers to website investing. The great thing about them is they give some great tips for free!
1. Spencer Haws
Spencer’s podcast has listeners around the world, and his blog NichePursuits will get you into deep waters of website investing. He not only shares how to build websites and online businesses from scratch, but also how to buy them, and sell them.
You should know: Spencer founded and sold Long Tail Pro, a tool that every website investor should check out.
2. Joe Magnotti and Justin Cooke
Founders of Empire Flippers, although not as active in buying and selling as they used to be, website investors are their clients. Joe and Justin with their team go above and beyond at leading the industry with amazing data, and deal flow. Their podcast is also well worth your time.
You should know: Empire Flippers valuation tool will give you a rough estimate of what the market is willing to pay for your website or online business, if you are willing to sell.
3. Jaryd Krause
Although Jaryd is not popular as Spencer or founders of Empire Flippers, he is certainly active on LinkedIn and has an insightful podcast. Hopefully mentions like this will keep him going! Also, he is a native Australian, so it’s great to see the website investing is growing in that part of the world as well!
You should know: Jaryd is giving away a due diligence framework, and website evaluator tool.
4. Michael Bereslavsky
Started as a domain investor, Michael realized that investing in websites that produce cash flow is the way to go. His blog Domain Magnate is filled with great advice, and he recently started a podcast with some high profile interviews.
You should know: Michael is always looking to buy and sell websites. Signup on his newsletter to get in touch.
5. Jim Harmer and Ricky Kesler
Jim and Ricky co-founded Income School, and decided to share all the metrics and their websites publicly. Harder for them, but great for first-time website investors who are eager for some knowledge. They have a massive Youtube channel where you can learn just about everything!
You should know: See exactly which sites are making how much money.
6. Jeff Hunt
This list just couldn’t exist without the author of “The Website Investor: The Guide to Buying an Online Website Business for Passive Income”. Jeff shares a lot of his knowledge via his YouTube channel, so be sure to check that out.
You should know: Although his book is a bit dated for the advanced website investor, if you are behind your first deal(s) you should definitely read it.
Who did I forget to mention? Share in the comment section!
First time I decided to buy a website, it didn’t go well. I was scammed and I lost $2,000. Thinking about it, this may have been the only bad thing that ever happened regarding website investing. It took me a few years to bounce back, and try again, but once I did, there was no turning back.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, you can actually build or buy websites that are generating cash flow. These websites are revenue-making cash cows. Golden egg-laying geese. And guess what, they are for sale!
If you are outside of the chosen few, when you think about a website, you are probably thinking about Facebook, Gmail, Google, Amazon. You could also think about a small website that is owned by that small brick and mortar business where you occasionally buy food for your pet. But it’s a brave new world out there. Not so new anymore, but still a lot of land-grabbing opportunities. How do I know? Well, just a few years ago, people were asking for 12X multiples when they were selling their websites, now it goes up to 40X. This is 40X monthly profits.
Why invest in a website?
Obviously, when I say “website investing” I don’t mean “invest in your company’s website”. I mean “buy a website”. A small website that’s making just $500 per month, is like a small business. And you can invest by purchasing it. It is an asset. This, on the other hand, is a pretty broad topic (how can a website make money), but I wanted to mention it. This is different from domain investing because most domains don’t generate cash flow.
Profits are better than wages.
— Jim Rohn
If you are still working for someone else, it probably means you have to show up at a certain location, at a certain time. If you own a few websites that are generating some income, that’s not the case. Essentially, you are your own boss, you get to chose your hours, and it’s like owning a small website portfolio, a small company. Better yet, you can keep your old job, and make something on the side. (As long as you keep things legal).
How are these websites generating revenue?
There are plenty of options so, let’s name a few:
- Content websites (with various ads)
- Content websites (with affiliate links)
- Google AdSense and similar ad platforms
- Amazon associate and similar affiliate platforms
- Direct affiliate commissions
- Selling various digital products
- Selling various physical products
- Sponsored articles, banners, backlinks
Main traffic source (free and paid):
- Search engine
- Social media
- Email list
As I mentioned earlier, I can write a lot about this topic, but it was important to at least just mention this so that you get a better understanding.
Have in mind, this is barely scratching the surface because a combination of each item on the list is possible. You could have a website that is selling man beard products, with the main source of traffic from a search engine, and another website that is selling the same type of products, with a different source of traffic like social media and email marketing. And yes, you can have a combination of those on a single website.
On the other hand, you could sell software, or a plugin, or a widget or an app you developed, or you could just drive traffic to your website, and resell software someone else spent millions of dollars to build. Moto here is, if you can’t beat them, join them.
Build or buy? Fastlane to website investing.
Sooner or later, everyone faces this dilemma. Why spend $10,000 on buying a website, and risking that money, when I can build a website from scratch. I’ve tried both, and I can say I am now in the second tent. I will take buying a website any time over building a new one. So you could say I am biased, but you can (and should) treat this post as one man’s opinion.
- Some people are good at building, and some are good at investing. Others just like the process of building, while others are more excited about investing. Some people read books about building, coding and designing, some people read books about financing and investing.
- Building a website takes a lot of time and effort before you start getting any ROI. If you buy a website, you start getting returns the very next day.
- If your hourly rate is $100, it doesn’t make sense to invest 100 hours into setting up a brand new website and writing initial content. And if your idea is to “just outsource everything”, you better keep track of all the expenses, so that “building from scratch” doesn’t become more expensive than “buying a website”.
- I will say this, there is a time, where I would pick building a new website from scratch. Sometimes, you want to get into a certain niche, and you have a limited budget, but you can’t find a website that’s for sale. Months go by, and no one is selling. Then it could be a good idea to just build a website, and get into that hot niche you are craving.
- Naturally, if you don’t have any money to invest, then you have to build a website from scratch. That’s where you should start. Besides, it will be a great learning experience later when you are managing your websites.
Is it too hard to own and manage several websites?
Depending on the size of your venture, and a number of websites, it could become difficult at some point to manage all your websites. For me, it’s a bit easier, because I use a special tool that helps me keep track of everything. That way, I can just log in twice per day (once in the morning and once in the evening) and check how the websites are doing. I absolutely love the process.
Website investors keep track of a ton of things:
- Is the website up and running?
- When are my domain names going to expire?
- When are my SSL certificates going to expire?
- Has my email been blacklisted for spamming?
- Is the traffic coming to the website at the rate I am expecting?
- Does the website load under 3 seconds?
- Is my AdSense income as I am expecting?
- Does the website look like it’s supposed to?
- Is there a WP error like Error Establishing a Database Connection?
- Was there a surge in backlinks?
For me personally, this is second nature because I ran a small web hosting business. But I can see how this could become stressful for someone managing even a small website portfolio. That’s why we built Webmaster.Ninja. To help website investors manage and track their portfolio.
Where can I buy websites?
I wrote an extensive article on where you can find online businesses and websites that are for sale and begin website investing. If you are serious about looking into websites that generate revenue and that you can buy, I definitely recommend reading that. I guarantee you will find at least one good opportunity on any given day. It is a growing industry, and each day more and more websites are for sale. Not only that but old marketplaces are being upgraded, and new ones are showing up.
I don’t have a course where I walk you through the process, find great deals and help you to protect yourself from scammers. Right now I am trying to post as many articles as possible, and I am working with my team to improve Webmaster.ninja tool that helps you manage your website portfolio. If you have any specific questions regarding website investing, I am more than happy to answer them.