Website Investing Weekly🚪Exit Time

Exit strategies, finding the ideal domain auction platform, big tech monopoly changes, and so much more.

Welcome to Website Investing Weekly, bringing you up-to-date with what’s been going on in the world of website investing and alternative related asset classes.

💰Turning $49 Into an $8.75M Exit

Photo by Qimono on Pixabay

It's hard to admit that we hadn't heard about Ramon Van Meer.

This guy built a $49.00 WordPress blog about soap operas into an asset resulting in an $8.75 million payday.

We must have been hiding under a rock.

Ramon van Meer is an entrepreneur who loves growing and selling businesses. His current venture is Alpha Paw - a company focused on pets.

Ramon is also the CEO of Growth Hacker TV, the Founder of Van Meer Capital, and the Co-founder of Toodledo. He's a busy man shooting for his first billion dollar valuation.

This week, we discovered two great interviews featuring Ramon. 

The first podcast is from Quiet Light Brokerage. Joe Valley talks to Ramon about his strategies for growth through acquisition, having an exit strategy, the importance of networking, and why he doesn’t use Amazon for his business.

Among the gems we found is this one: (edited)

I like to have an exit strategy when I start something, because then it’s for me easier to reverse engineer.

I’m already talking even though I don’t have an exit date in mind. I start talking with bankers and private equity. I reach out to people that work at my kill list companies and just try to pick their brains. So you can basically steer the universe to that outcome.

The second interview with Ramon is with Shaan Puri for The Hustle. This episode covers his unique story of starting his soap opera blog, how he'd never watched a soap opera before, and the tactics he used to grow his business into a $9M exit.

Ramon openly shares his business experiences in an entertaining and educational way.


❌ This Domain Is “Not for Sale”

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Make me an offer I can't refuse.

This won't always work, but when you think you've found the perfect dot.com domain for your business and it's taken, what options do you have?

Most people start looking at dot.co or other available choices.

But, often these dot.com domains aren't being used or they divert to a branded site that isn't active.

Elliot Silver makes a great case for reaching out to domain owners in his latest article. He says:

My advice for people seeking out domain names that are “not for sale” is to make an offer that cannot be refused. If that is rejected, then you know the domain name is really not for sale or you simply didn’t make a strong-enough offer. The person on the other end of the email does not want to be pestered by low offers, which is why the “not for sale” reply was given in the first place.

You won't always be in a position to secure your dream domain name, but it certainly can't hurt to ask. Go ahead and pitch your best offer to convince a company to sell.


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🔱 Internet Search Gods

Photo by Mensatic at Morguefile

Richard labelled them a "monopolistic search deity."

It seems he's correct.

We're talking about Google; but they're not the only ones guilty of exploiting their monopoly position.

Along with Apple, Amazon and Facebook, Alphabet (the parent company of Google) has been under investigation by the antitrust committee on competition in digital markets.

You'll find the results in this 450 page report - which we don't blame you for not reading.

Here are several recommendations from an investigation that lasted 16 months and looked at 1.3 million documents:

  • Shifting the burden onto merging parties to prove their deal would not harm competition

  • Requiring dominant firms to make their services compatible with competitors

  • Allow users to transfer their data to a competitor

The news article stated that:

Each of the four technologies has been cited for enjoying monopoly power in a specific area. 

  • Apple -- distribution of software apps on iOS devices

  • Amazon -- most third-party sellers and many suppliers

  • Facebook -- online advertising and social networking

  • Google -- online search

In time, the committee findings could result in parts of the big 4 tech companies being separated.

We'll wait and watch.


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🦄 SEOs with Skin in the Game

Smash Digital - a growth agency, filled to the brim with unicorn images and SEO memes. A team of SEOs with actual skin in the game, ranking their own portfolio of profitable businesses, and offering the exact same services to clients. An agency with so much link juice you’ll need a mop and bucket to clean it all up. Check. Them. Out.


🎯 Directing Your Budget

Photo by Tumisu on Pixabay

Where do you aim first?

Your goal is to grow traffic and revenue to your website, but it's not easy figuring out how to best distribute your marketing budget.

When you're presented with so many options, making these decisions is often overwhelming for new - and even more experienced - website owners.

To help you out, we came across a bunch of useful statistics in this article from Ray Schultz at Media Post. He summarized a survey from Sagefrog Marketing Group which analyzed the B2B marketing mix of tech and business service companies.

It may not come as a surprise that email marketing is still the most used marketing channel. A massive 84% of businesses site email as their top marketing method. SEO comes in at number 4 on the list with 60%, and 43% of those polled cite using webinars in their marketing.

Email is also rated as a top source of sales and marketing leads by 38% of businesses.

Even though some forms of promotion have suffered due to the lockdown, e.g., live events, businesses have increased their overall marketing collateral by 15%.

Here are the top 5 in terms of outlay:

Website development — 51% 

Digital marketing — 44% 

Content marketing — 33% 

Branding — 27% 

Social media — 22%

There are many more interesting stats in the report, but the message is clear; keep building your email list to grow your business.


📋 Choosing the Ideal Domain Platform

Photo by Quince Creative on Pixabay

Checklists are an efficient way to evaluate the pros and cons of using a particular process or service.

That's why we're sharing another great idea from the Domain Investing blog this week.

Elliot put together a short list of qualities he looks for when choosing a domain auction platform.

Although the perfect auction platform probably doesn't exist, there are several features that make an auction experience fairer and more user-friendly.

Here are 3 that deserve particular mention:

  1. Immediate payment and possession.

If you secure a domain immediately, then you don't have to wait around before beginning to monetize it - or even flipping it.

  1. Uniform closing times within a 2 hour window.

This probably isn't your full-time job. Sitting and watching what's happening with the bidding process can be time-consuming. A limited window for the auction to complete allows you to conclude a deal efficiently.

  1. Under bidders can buy domain names if there is a non paying bidder.

It's not unusual for bidders to disappear or change their minds about a purchase. That shouldn't mean that the next person in line misses out. If a domain isn't paid for, it seems sensible to offer it to the next-highest bidder - and the next - until the domain name is bought or deleted.

Elliot discusses 6 additional aspects of an ideal domain auction platform, with a reminder that:

...an auction platform is only as good as the quality of inventory that comes up for sale.

What features would you add to the list?


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😎 Publication Sponsorship

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That’s it for another week. Hit us up in the comments at the bottom of the web version.

Cheers!

Juliet Lyall