Share This Episode

Dom Wells: Flipping Websites for Fun & Profit

We are talking to the Founder of OnFolio, Dom Wells. If you're getting to know Dom, he has been buying, building and investing in income-producing websites from 2002 and is helping other investors and entrepreneurs do the same thing.

In this episode, you are in for a nice little treat here because we are talking about flipping websites for a profit. I know you've heard us talk on other shows about flipping properties and flipping other things here. We are talking about flipping websites. We're also going to talk about SEO and why it's important if you want to improve the value of your asset, in this case, a website. We also talk about resources that you're going to want to hear so that you can go and act on the ideas presented in this episode and everything from how to value and how to sell websites for profits. If you're looking for something brand new, something a little alternative, then you are going to love this episode. With that said, let's get to it.

Dustin
Dom, it was 2012 and you've been hustling, working hard and it finally pays off for you. You turn on your computer and you discovered you made your first dollar online. How did you do it? What was going through your head when you made that first discovery that you made money online?
Dom
The first dollar I made was $0.10. It was even smaller, but also more awesome. In 2012, I had been building my first website online. I had been trying to promote a book on Amazon about stopping smoking because I had quit smoking successfully. I thought, “I don't know what to build my website about, let's do that.” I was promoting a book called The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, which was the book that I read. I threw up a terrible website and wrote some terrible articles. I didn't know they were terrible at the time. One day, I logged into my Amazon Affiliate dashboard and I had sold one copy of this book and I had received $0.10 or $1 or something, a small commission. What was going through my head was mixed emotions. The first one was, “Awesome, I made a sale. I made some money.” The second one was, “It was only $0.10 or whatever.” The third one was, “Okay, but I can do it. The system works. I got to do more now.”
Dustin
In the affiliate world, I want to explain it. Before we even explain it, I’m curious to understand. You built an entire website, from what I understand, about affiliate marketing. You get a link and you can share that in an email. You can share it on your Facebook page. You can put it anywhere. If someone clicks it, they make money. Why did you go the route of building an entire website to try to drive a sale here?
Dom
The short answer is it's the most scalable way to do it. You can share affiliate links everywhere. Depending on the affiliate program, you can't go around spamming. With a website, it's a much more scalable way to do it because the way it works is you will write articles or pay someone to write articles for you with the goal of ranking high in Google for those articles. Someone will search for something, for example, how can I stop smoking cold turkey? They'll come across your website and you'll have a solution or you'll have an affiliate link to a solution. Someone goes through and buys it and your commission. Apart from creating that initial article and getting it to rank on top of Google, once you've done that, people are searching and finding that article every single day. If you've got hundreds of articles, then it can happen on autopilot. Not completely autopilot, but the actual generating the traffic is passive. A website is a way Google works, it's not going to rank a random article that you've written unlike a social media platform or something. It's going to rank a website that it thinks is an authoritative source. That's how you do it. You create your own website, you have lots of articles to it. Over time, Google thinks, “This is a good website. I want to show their articles as the answers to these searched topics.”
Dustin
What I hear you saying is you're building an asset versus one-time sale, posting it, send an email once or posting on your social media. That's short-term revenue and building a website is a long-term asset. I want to ask you this because a lot of us can appreciate the grind and hustling. You're making $0.10 in the early days and now you make lots more. At the time though, I imagine you were working a job, maybe working for someone else. What were you doing at the time while you were trying to figure this affiliate thing out?
Dom
I was teaching English in Taiwan and I was working about twenty hours a week, which gave me a fair amount of free time to work on these assets and these websites, but it was not my main thing. My main thing was my full-time job teaching English and paying the bills that way.
Dustin
It's no secret we can tell in your accent, but people might not know exactly where you are from. It's definitely not a South Texas accent. Where's the country you're from? Where are you now?
Dom
I’m from England, just outside London, about an hour south of London. I’m in an Airbnb in Bordeaux, France.
Dustin
You're there because what we're about to discuss, affiliate marketing, flipping websites, things of that nature have provided you the capability to do so. Is that right?
Dom
Exactly. It didn't come overnight, but I am essentially able to work anywhere where there's an internet connection. It's a bit of a clichéd thing these days. It's a reality for me. I’m not on a holiday as such because I’m still working. I’m home. I have the ability to do that wherever I am. My wife and I try and avoid Taiwan in the summer because it's ridiculously hot. For some reason, we've come to Bordeaux where it's ridiculously hot as well.
Dustin
At least you travel. I appreciate you in Bordeaux spending the time to do this. Let's start here because I’m imagining folks reading this sometimes for the very first time. I think back to my very first time discovering this whole world of affiliate marketing and that you can get paid to make referrals to products and such. Will you give us your definition of affiliate marketing and how you make money through this?
Dom
You summed it up pretty well. You essentially get paid to refer sales to other merchants or vendors. The easiest one to understand is the Amazon Affiliate program because everybody knows Amazon. How the average Amazon Affiliate is generated would be, let's say you're in the market for something, maybe a water filter and you decide to google best water filter, something like that. You find an article where the person has reviewed ten different water filters and they've said, “This one's the best bang for buck. This one's the best overall. This one's not good, don’t buy that one.” They give you a summary and they recommend which one you should buy. They provide a link to Amazon where you can go and buy it if you want to. You may click on that link. You may go to Amazon and you may buy it. If you buy that or even if you buy anything from Amazon within a 24-hour window, the person who owns that website will receive a commission on that sale from Amazon.
Dustin
Amazon is a great example, but what are some of the other ones that people aren't aware that they can go to or they can research affiliate offers?
Dom
There's a wide range. You can have different networks, for example ShareASale.com. They are an affiliate network where a lot of companies have private affiliate programs within ShareASale, which could be anything from MasterClass.com, which people may be familiar with. They have an affiliate program so you can recommend MasterClass videos. There's razor manufacturer's, there's software as well. It doesn't have to be physical products. There are lots of different things. Outside of ShareASale, many companies have their own private network as well. The best way to do it is probably not to look for the program, but rather to pick the subject you want to have a website about and then go out and find relevant programs to that topic. For example, let's say you were going to do a website about stopping smoking, going back to that example. You may build that website and then you may think, “What affiliate programs exist?” You could look on Amazon, you could look on ShareASale or you could google eCigarette affiliate program or vape affiliate program or something like that. You'll start to see what offers are out there.
Dustin
In my research and understanding of this world and your background, I know that you work with a lot of folks and you help them get in and you help people further optimize the stuff that they're doing online as well. When someone's first getting started, do you recommend that it be personal like you? You wanted to stop smoking. You read the book and it made a big impact on your life. Do most people go that route? Do you recommend that it be a personal route or something that you're personally curious? Can you randomly pick a product? What is the best way to go about selecting a product or building a website to promote a product?
Dom
It's somewhere a lot of people get stuck. The best answer I can give apart from it depends is start with your interests when it comes to trying to pick a topic and trying to narrow down a niche. Start looking with your interests, but you don't have to go with your interests. If you're interested, let's say your hobby is tennis. You might start with tennis and think, “Let's see if tennis is a viable topic to build a website around,” but then you get digging deeper and you think, “There's already some good tennis websites out there. I can’t offer anything new. Maybe I won't go with tennis.” If there were a gap, you're more likely to spot that gap if it's a topic you're interested in because you realize, “There's a bunch of tennis websites out there, but no one's talking about this specific problem that I know a lot of tennis players have.”
I think to start with your interests, hobbies, passions or whatever is the best starting point. It's okay to build a website on something that you're not interested in. I had someone say to me once and it's stuck with me after a few years. They said, “Everyone always tells me I should go with my passion. If I build a website around my passion and it doesn't make me any money, I’m going to lose my passion.” Conversely, if I build a website about a different topic and it starts making me money, I’m suddenly going to find myself passionate about that topic. It's important to consider that situation as well.
Dustin
Let's say we do go the passionate route or something that's personal. I love your example of stop smoking. Someone makes a change in their life. They go find a product on ShareASale or even on Amazon. Amazon would probably be easier because most people have an understanding of how it works a little bit. You're advocating building this long-term asset, building a website. For people that are not technical, they can check email and such, do they need to be technical? Should they hire somebody? What is the route to go here to execute building a website?
Dom
You don't need to be technical. I can’t write any code myself. I can barely interact with HTML, CSS or some of the other website languages. You need to learn the software. Every website I’ve worked on has been a WordPress website. It's more complicated than using email or Facebook. You learn those things and then after a while you're like, “I get how it works. I need to click this. I need to do that.” WordPress uses what’s called a What You See Is What You Get editor. It's a bit using Microsoft Word like, “I want to bold this text or I want to make this bit italic.” There's no need to type any complicated code. You don't need to be technical as such. There's going to be stuff that you do need to learn, but it's a fairly short learning curve.
Dustin
You get WordPress or whatever your favorite builder is. I see commercials every now and again for Wix here in the United States, a simple interface. Are we building flashy beautiful-looking websites or are we doing something special to get Google to like us and get our site up in the search engine?
Dom
You need to do what's known as Search Engine Optimization in order to get your website to rank. That is probably something we could do an entire series of episodes on. I wouldn't go too deep into the weeds of that. You don't need it to be flashy. A lot of people think their website needs to be flashy. Some of the websites, the IO and whether they were ones I ran or I created or whether they were ones I bought, are pretty ugly. I wouldn't say ugly, but they’re certainly nothing special. Looking at them you might think, “This website doesn't make any money.” Some of them absolutely crush it. They make four or five figures a month. It's definitely not a design contest.
Dustin
From what I understand, one of your strategies is that you don't even have to. If someone was starting and they have limited resources, this is the path that we've laid out and described. However, there is another way and that's you can acquire websites. I want to ask you flat out dumb, is that correct? Did I do my research the right way?
Dom
That's something I was hoping we'd talk about because we had gone down the DIY build it path. I’ve only built one website in the last couple of years because now I prefer to buy them and that's what you referred to as flipping websites. For me, I’ll still grow them out and improve them, but if I can skip that initial get the website making money in the first place stage by buying a website, then I’ll do that every time.
Dustin
People's ears perked up for sure. Let's definitely talk about that because the idea of getting technical and building it, not as fun as going and finding an undervalued property, so to say. Naturally, the first question that comes to mind is, “How do I go and find an undervalued website?” What makes up a good buy essentially?
Dom
It was interesting that you said that because I would say that those two questions can contradict themselves a little bit. You were saying an undervalued website and then what makes a website a good buy? For me, naturally if I find an undervalued website that's attractive, but a website doesn't have to be undervalued to be a good buy. It's like do you want to buy a crappy house and fix it up or do you want to buy us a good house that’s solid and you know that it's going to appreciate over time? Even if it doesn't appreciate, it's still going to give you that recurring income every month. Some people may prefer to go straight for the better-quality house because they don't want to deal with a distressed horror, a fixer-upper. Both models exist in the online world as well.
Going back to the premise of the question, where do you find these websites? There are online brokers, for example there’s Empire Flippers, there’s FE International. In the higher end, there are M&A companies that deal with them as well. In the lower end, you have somewhere like Flippa.com. Flippa is a little bit of a needle in the haystack situation because it's more like eBay. It's not curated. A lot of the websites there are, I wouldn't say scams, but some of them probably are. There's a lot of junk that if you buy it, it's never going to make you any money so it's better to avoid. Whereas if you go with some of the brokers I mentioned, they've vetted that these websites are legit and that the earnings are legit. You can buy them at a higher multiple than if you were on Flippa, but you're paying a higher multiple because they’re higher quality websites.
Dustin
When it comes to Flippa, I envision we have a lot of different folks reading, some with access to funds and some that are going to go the do-it-yourself route and people in the middle too. On Flippa you had mentioned scams and this should be a good skill set for everyone, including myself. How can you determine if a site is not worth it or worse a scam?
Dom
To some extent experience which is not going to help people who don't have experience. I would say if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, but also how verified is everything. Flippa does let you verify if the site's traffic is legitimate and it lets you verify that the income is legitimate. Some income is hard to verify because Amazon, for example, it relies on the seller providing screenshots and screenshots can be faked. It's a case of you would have to say to them, “Can you add me as a user to your Amazon Affiliate account so I can log in and check that this income really exists?” That's something that the average person would need to figure out how to do. If a seller says, “No,” then that could be enough of a red flag to walk away, whereas if they say, “Yeah, sure,” then that's probably a green flag.
A lot of it is down to communication as well and find out how open they are, how shady their communication feels and things like that. I would also say I learned a lot about Flippa from watching a lot of different auctions before I attempted my first purchase. You can see the comments that other people are making on the listing and you can follow a listing to see when people comment about new stuff. You can message the sellers and if you're not 100% sure that the site's legit, then don't pull the trigger. At least you probably learned a bit more from that process.
Dustin
I want to take a step back here. When you first started with the stop smoking product, you set out to build the website. When did you determine that you could buy websites and do it without having to build it? How did you arrive there?
Dom
I always knew you could buy them quite early on because I knew about Flippa and Empire Flippers. It took me a little bit longer to understand the value out of buying one because I don't think I was sophisticated in my investor mindset back then. Back then you could buy a website making $1,000 a month and it would cost you about $25,000. At the time, I was thinking, “An extra $1,000 a month isn't going to make much difference to my life, but losing $25,000 from my bank account would be quite significant.” That's how I looked at it. What I didn't realize was, “You still have that $25,000 because it's now on the website. You haven't lost it.” I also realized when I started looking at other investments, if you buy a website making $1,000 a month even for $30,000 and it maintains its income level, you don't even grow it, that's a 40% ROI.
When I started to think about it that way, I was like, “Why am I not buying more websites?” I had more cash to play with because I’d been doing business for a few years by this point. The reason most people shy away from investing in websites as well is that, theoretically, a website could go to zero. It's intangible compared to physical real estate. For me, that risk was on there because I had years of experience running these websites. That's when I was like, “Why should I mess around with building sites and waiting six to twelve months to get a successful website when I can buy one?” For the last couple of years, I’ve been buying them quite aggressively.
Dustin
I would definitely want to go in there. That piqued my interest. Buying a website, you used it as an example so I’m going to run with it. $25,000 make $1,000 a month. The thought I have instantly, risk management. From what I understand, Google every couple of years, maybe it's more often than that, will change an algorithm. Maybe a site is ranked and it's bringing $1,000 a month. What prevents a Google update from happening and now that website’s only bringing you in $500 a month. How do you vet that, weigh that risk and think about that when you invest in a property or a website I should say?
Dom
If you can eliminate or sufficiently mitigate that risk of them, you can buy websites all day long because that's the only real reason not to do it. The answer is to some extent you can never know for absolute certainty that Google is not going to mix things up. Even with a site that's built the right way and it's followed the best practices and it hasn't done anything that Google deems spammy or manipulative. You can look at some sites and be like, “This one is spammy. This one has done some artificial search engine stuff to gain Google's rankings,” and sooner or later they're going to get penalized. You can spot those risks and make sure you buy websites that haven't done that. The other real thing is to diversify. The way I look at it, if I had $100,000 to invest, I would probably not put it on one website. I would probably put it in three $30,000 websites. I would say if I had twenty websites, maybe one of them might get hit one day. If I’ve got twenty and one of them gets hit, it's not the end of the world. Whereas if twenty people have one, then one of those people's going to get burned sooner or later. It's a diversification thing for me as well. It's a case of running multiple websites rather than just all my eggs in one basket.
Dustin
I find this fascinating. I have yet to do this. I built websites and I have monetized them, but I’ve never bought on with intent. I’m curious about the two strategies we talked about. I didn't even realize I had given a question that yields two different answers and that was finding an undervalued property, like a fix and flip, versus just buying the house or buying the website that's cranking along and will appreciate. Let's talk about the first one, the undervalued site that's out there. When you find that, what is your strategy to fix it up and make it more valuable to you?
Dom
For me, it’s less about fixing up and more about finding websites that are still solid and if you couldn't improve them, that would be okay, but they have unrealized potential. That might be a website that makes money from the Amazon Affiliate program, but it gets a lot of traffic. If you added display ads, which is banner ads or sidebar ads or in-content ads. If you added them to your website as well, maybe you could double the income. I bought a website from someone who would monetize that website with ads and he was using the Google AdSense program and I think he was making $2 per 1,000 website visitors from the people viewing the ads. I knew that there was another network out there that would pay at least $8 per 1,000 for all the same traffic.
I bought the website. I think he was making $4 because I didn’t 4x the website. I bought the website. I paid $80,000 for it so it wasn't cheap. All I did was take his ads off and connected it to another ad network and now the site is probably worth about $130,000 to $140,000 and I’ve only had it for a couple of months. That wasn't an undervalued website in the sense that it needed fixing. If I hadn't been able to change the ads, I still would've been happy to earn it. That was a massive game I was able to do. I’ve done that in several other ways with different websites as well. For me, that's the fixer-upper deal, whereas you do have other people that go out there and they look for websites that maybe they’re underpriced or the websites are a bit crappy. They're like, “I can buy this. I can improve it because I’ve got skills and then I can increase its value that way.”
I find that less reliable a strategy because sometimes your efforts to improve it don't yield a better result. Maybe it doesn't have an email list and you think, “If I can add an email list, I can send emails to the subscribers and make money that way,” but for whatever reason that doesn't work out later. Maybe you already bought the website because of that potential. When you don't realize that, potentially you're stuck with a website that otherwise is a bit crappy and you're like, “I shouldn't have bought this website.” I try to steer away from buying bad websites and improving the mentality.
Dustin
I am curious as to your investing mindset. How often or I don't know if that's even the right way to ask this question, but your ratio of selling sites versus keeping them long-term. Are you trying to stack your portfolio with properties and keep them for a long time? Are you trying to find this 4x, turn them into 8x and then sell them for a big chunk of money? What's your mindset around that?
Dom
I ask myself that because maybe I’m evolving based on experience or I changed my mind because I’m not sure what the best thing to do is. Now I’m balanced. I sold a website that I had held for a couple of years. The reason I sold it was because I felt I couldn't grow that particular site anymore without a ton of effort. It’s still a solid site, that’s why someone bought it off me. I wasn't selling a bad site, but the site was making $1,000 a month and I bought it a couple of years before when it was making $500 a month. I doubled its value in a couple of years, which was not the most fantastic case study, but it was solid. I was like, “What do I need to do to get it from $1,000 to $2,000 versus selling the site, buying a different site with the money that I can get to $2,000 more easily?” For that site, I thought, “It's not worth it. I’m going to sell it and buy another one that has an easier upside.”
With other sites in my portfolio, some of them are still trending up nicely and they're responding to me adding more content to them and doing more SEO stuff. Why sell them while they're still trending up? Although you can probably get a higher valuation if they're trending up as well, so there is a sweet spot to selling at the right time. Another thing is when I buy a site and I triple it quite quickly, I could sell it and then go out and look for another one, but then what happens if I can't find another one? I might think, “I should've kept that one.” It's about balance as well because if you hold them too long, the longer you hold a site, the higher the chances are of it eventually being hit by a Google algorithm change as well. There are quite a few factors to consider and that's why I’m still changing my mindset based on the circumstances.
Dustin
I think that all investors are thinking of finding that groove and taking experience and questioning. I can appreciate that you have that as well. The valuation, I was curious about that and because you gave an example of back in the day it was $1,000 a month. The website was yielding and the price was roughly $25,000. Are you saying 2x of revenue? How does one determine the value of a site? How do you determine what you're going to sell your websites for?
Dom
I would say the mark average is about 30x of monthly profit or 2.5x yearly. That's profit and not revenue. If a website is making $1,000 a month on average for the last six months, it would probably go for between $27,000 and $36,000. What things determine whether it's $27,000 versus $36,000 depends on how long it's been earning $1,000 for? Is it a six-month average or a twelve-month average? Is it growing or has it stagnated? Did the seller do some spammy stuff or is it a lot more stable? Is it more diversified? Maybe it's got 100 articles and all of those articles are contributing towards that $1,000 or is most of that $1,000 being generated from two or three articles? It means if they lose their Google ranking, 80% of the income could be gone.
There are all these determining factors. It is quite interesting because a lot of people in the website flipping or investing space have a mindset of, “I want to buy a website for 25x because that's a better website.” It's a better deal than a website for 35x, but honestly, the price is relative. If you pay 36x, you're probably getting a better website with better opportunity. If you pay 25x, maybe you're getting a bad website that's not going to be around in a year. It's like Warren Buffett says, “Price is what you pay and value is what you get.” The multiples are relative.
Dustin
In real estate or in property, you could buy a house and they have property managers. You don't have to deal with tenants or upkeep. Does it work the same way here? Maybe I’m a numbers guy or gal reading this. I’ve got some money. This sounds interesting and exciting. I don't know what Dom knows and I’m not technical or know SEO. Does that exist in your world? Is there a property management company that does this for people?
Dom
That's what I do. I had this idea back in 2014 when I first discovered that you could buy websites. I was like, “I don't have a ton of money, but I know how to run these websites. Other people have money, but they don't know how to run the websites. Maybe I could partner up with people and they could buy the website and I could run it for them.” I didn't go ahead with that because I didn't have a track record back then. I didn't have a team to help me run websites. I was just some dude in Taiwan. Whereas now I have a name in the space, without bragging too much, I’ve been featured in a lot of industry things and I’ve spoken at conferences and so on. I have years of experience, now I have a track record. I completely forgot about this idea. About 2018, one of my customers in my previous business was saying, “I wish that service existed.” I was like, “Why don't I do it now? The situation has changed.” All the reasons not to do it in 2014 exist now.
On top of that, the website flipping space has matured a lot in the last few years. There are better websites available. There's more deal flow. It's less risky. There are more reasons to do it. At the end of 2018, I started my company OnFolio and we do the things that you described. An investor might come to us who has $50,000 and wants to buy a website but is petrified at the thought of having to run the thing. We'll help them find a good one. We'll do the due diligence. We'll speak with the seller and negotiate, if necessary. The investor will buy the website and we'll run it for them in exchange for a management fee and then a share of what we can grow as well.
Dustin
To come to a company like yours, what is the minimum investment that you would like? That way, people with $3 aren't knocking on your door. What type of person are you looking for?
Dom
Our quoted minimum is $30,000. That would probably get someone a website that's making $1,000 a month and then that leaves room for us to take a management fee and then to still generate an ROI and so on. You can definitely buy websites below that. You could buy one for a few thousand, but it wouldn't work financially for our model. That's our minimum. We are trying to increase it over time. We prefer $50,000, $70,000 or $100,000. For now, we haven't quite raised the bar higher than that yet.
Dustin
On a high level, like in property and real estate, when you have a property management company and they're renting a house for you, the standard is you pay them a month’s worth of rent. I know every situation is different based on everything you've shared with us thus far. Is there a ballpark or a range that people should anticipate in terms of a fee that they would pay you or a company like yours?
Dom
For a website below $100,000, we charge only $500 a month as our management fee. If you're getting a website that's making $2,000 a month, our management fee is $500 so you've got $1,500 left. If the website has been earning $2,000 a month for the last six months or whatever, then we'll determine $2,000 is the baseline profit. If we can grow it over $2,000 in addition to our management fee, we'll also take a share of that $2,000. If we don't grow it, then we're just going to get that management fee.
Dustin
Let me ask you this because this could be a tricky situation. It's nice of you to get $500 a month, even nicer when you have the upside because that motivates you. At some point, there comes a time to sell a website. If they're under your management, are you making that recommendation, “We feel now's the time to sell?” How can someone know when it's time to exit if you're managing it and they're not trying to figure it out themselves?
Dom
We have integrity so we’re not going to say don't sell it because we want our $500 in perpetuity. The ideal situation for us is we grow it because if we have grown a website and we sell it, then we also expect a percent of the amount that it's grown. If it's bought for $100,000 and we grow it to $150,000, we want a percent of that $50,000. In an ideal world, that will happen and we'll be like, “Let's sell it,” because then everybody wins. If it was a situation where the site's been going for six months or a year and it hasn't grown, we would give our advice like, “We think it has potential to grow or we think it doesn't. Maybe you want to sell it and buy a different one? If you want to move on, stop working with us, that’s okay.” We go with what we think is best. I know that's going to require some trust on our behalf. At the end of the day, the whole thing works on trust anyway. If we don't have that trust, we don't have anything.
Dustin
Going back to the property because I think a lot of people understand property and real estate. A property management company is running the property, but if a repair needs to be made and in your case on a website, content would need to be made. Who's paying for that? Is that part of your retainer fee? Is that something the investor would need to put additional funds in, in order to make the website more valuable?
Dom
It depends on what the thing is. Generally, when you're buying a website, the cost of the content, for example, a lot of the time it's already in the P&L. You're buying it based on that ongoing cost anyway. You can expect that it’s fine. If you wanted to add extra content or if the content wasn't in the profit or loss for this particular website, what we did in the past was the site should pay for its own content out of its profit. That reduces profit. It means we have to grow it even more before we get our share. What we started doing is added the cost of future content onto the purchase price of the business because we've realized that’s the best way to grow a website.
In real terms, the difference between a website making $1,000 a month and $10,000 a month is the amount of content that it publishes. There are other things as well, but that's a high-level difference. If someone wants to buy a website for $50,000, we may say, “Put $60,000 in, treat it as if you bought the business for $60,000, and then you've got $10,000 to spend on content and SEO work to grow the site.” Everything else is covered in our retainer, like having one of my team upload the content and publish it, website maintenance, sharing all of that stuff on social media. All of that stuff is covered and they're saying content is like a cost. It needs to be outside of our retainer otherwise it's not financially viable.
Dustin
If you needed a big repair on a property or in real estate, the property management company is not going to pay for that. It's going to come back to the owner. That makes total sense. I could keep going on and on asking you questions. I hope people are as fascinated as I am by this. What does the future look like for website flipping, SEO? What do you see in that crystal ball of yours?
Dom
At a higher level, I see a lot more family offices and private equity. They're starting to get more interested in websites because they've realized, “These are a bit more tangible than we thought and the ROI is there. We can buy $500,000 websites or $1 million websites that are lucrative.” I’m focused that way because I’m always trying to look higher in my particular vertical. At the lower end, you'll find more and more buyers trying to get into the space as well. That's going to be harder because there are more people trying to buy a $50,000 than there are sellers trying to sell a $50,000 site.
Overall, the space is maturing. It's becoming more professional. There are more companies that are going to do the thing that I’m doing. Overall, it's good. It will be interesting to see what happens when the recession comes because websites will become a bit more affordable. Unfortunately, people will come into financial issues and they might need to liquidate some of their websites. There's also going to be investors who have got eleven years’ worth of gains from the stock market who need somewhere to put their money. That could drive even more demand in the space. You also asked about SEO. I’m not even going with a crystal ball. That's the past. This way it would be wrong, but I don't think it's going away. I think it's going to change, but the overall concept is going to be there.
Dustin
Thank you big time, Dom. I appreciate it. I want to ask two questions. For folks that want to get started, do you have a resource of for them? The second question would be if folks are interested in OnFolio and working with you in particular, where is the best place for them to go check that out?
Dom
For OnFolio, our website address is OnFolio.co. There's a contact form there if you want to get in touch or you want to read our blog or learn more information about us. Subscribe for updates. Go there. If someone wants to get started by themselves, it depends whether they want to get started trying to flip websites on the lower scale or whether they want to learn how to build from scratch. There's a ton of good blogs and podcasts out there for learning how to get started with affiliate marketing. If you want to learn how to build your own sites, the Authority Hacker guys are good. They have a podcast, The Authority Hacker Podcast. If you want to learn a bit more about flipping websites, there's a podcast called Flipping Websites by Richard Patey, which is a solid place to learn as well. My blog, we've decided to be sharing a lot more educational stuff. We're going to be trying to educate the space as much as we can as well.
Dustin
Is your blog at OnFolio.co?
Dom
It's on that bar that says Articles. There are only about four articles out there, but that's going to be changing.
Dustin
Dom, I appreciate you sharing your insights and your discoveries along the way. I find it fascinating. I feel it's maturing, but still in the grand scheme of similar investments. It's young and there will be great opportunities. I hope people's eyes were opened up to what you shared and they go and follow you and check out what you're doing. I want to appreciate you for coming on and sharing what you shared here on the show.
Dom
Thanks a lot. I appreciate it being here. It's been good.

RELATED TRAINING

 in 

INVESTING

podcast
Cash Flow Properties, Screwing Up & Creating Culture

Find out how you can profit from rental properties without having to personally deal with the tenants and issues that arise.

Cash Flow Properties, Screwing Up & Creating Culture

Listen Now
podcast
Celebrity Deals, Pitch Tips & Angel Investing

Greg Writer is a serial entrepreneur who started trading stocks at 19 and making tens of thousands of dollars a month. Learn from his mistakes and successes as he talks about his experience as an Angel Investor.

Celebrity Deals, Pitch Tips & Angel Investing

podcast
4 Interesting Takeaways from the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

Each year, the country’s top investing and money-minded individuals gather at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. Get insight into this exclusive event with Dustin's major takeaways.

4 Interesting Takeaways from the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

podcast
Penny Stock Investing, Patterns & Philanthropy

Discover how Timothy Sykes was able to turn a few thousand dollars into over one million dollars through penny stock trading and how you can get into the penny stock game.

Penny Stock Investing, Patterns & Philanthropy

article
The Simple Guide To REITs: How To Invest In Real Estate With Less Risk & Regular Returns

Thinking about investing in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)? Learn what they are, how they work, and how to pick the best one for you.

The Simple Guide To REITs: How To Invest In Real Estate With Less Risk & Regular Returns

Abhi Golhar

Read Now
article
How To Take Investing Seriously & Stop Playing With Your Money

Don McDonald dispels the most common myths about investing and lays out a strategy for a balanced portfolio and consistent returns.

How To Take Investing Seriously & Stop Playing With Your Money

Don McDonald

Read Now
podcast
How To Invest In Apartment Buildings

Michael Becker of SPI Advisory, on apartment building investing: how to find properties, make deals, and create passive income from rent.

How To Invest In Apartment Buildings

podcast
Rules-Based Investing

Are you investing with your brain or your gut? Tim Fortier explains how a \"rules-based\" strategy takes the emotion out of investing.

Rules-Based Investing

podcast
House Hacking & Living Rent-Free

How to hack the housing market with John Hagen. Learn how to buy houses and have tenants pay your mortgage.

House Hacking & Living Rent-Free

podcast
Secrets of a "Financial Concierge"

Anything can happen in the world of finance. Travis Jennings teaches you to use the tools at your disposal to make (and keep) your fortune.

Secrets of a "Financial Concierge"

article
Know Your Options: What's the Difference Between Naked Options & Covered Options?

What are the differences between naked and covered options? If you're an investor, you need to know how to use either (or both) correctly.

Know Your Options: What's the Difference Between Naked Options & Covered Options?

Justin McCormick

Read Now
article
The Short & Simple Guide to Employee Stock Options

What are employee stock options and how do you use them? It's simpler than you might think.

The Short & Simple Guide to Employee Stock Options

Lance Cothern

Read Now
article
From Zero to Hero: Get a Financial Education & Start Investing Right

You don’t have money—yet. Learn how to begin businesses, invest in real estate, and make your start in the stock market from scratch.

From Zero to Hero: Get a Financial Education & Start Investing Right

Andy Tanner

Read Now
article
The Difference Between Options & Stocks

Learn the difference between options and stocks. One is a full-time job, the other is a long-term investment.

The Difference Between Options & Stocks

Justin McCormick

Read Now
article
Don’t Just Have Investments–Be an Investor

Tons of people have investments, but only a few are great investors. What makes the difference? Here’s a hint: it’s not luck.

Don’t Just Have Investments–Be an Investor

Andy Tanner

Read Now
article
7 Real Estate Investing Shortcuts: How to Get Started with Less Upfront Cash

Any cash you put in a real estate investment is cash you can’t use elsewhere. Here are 7 ideas to get that upfront cash as low as possible.

7 Real Estate Investing Shortcuts: How to Get Started with Less Upfront Cash

Justin McCormick

Read Now
Foreclosure Investing

Foreclosure Investing

4 Unique Ways To Profit From This Proven Investment Niche

Ammon Brimhall

Watch Now
Mobile Home Investing

Mobile Home Investing

How to Get Started in This Overlooked, Highly Profitable Niche

Christy Duckett-Harris

Watch Now
Real Estate Brand Marketing

Real Estate Brand Marketing

How to Dominate Your Local Market by Creating an Unforgettable, Powerhouse Brand

Del Denney

Watch Now
Real Estate Analytics

Real Estate Analytics

How to Hack Your Growth by Making Smart, Metrics-Driven Investments

JD Esajian

Watch Now
Neuro-Linguistic Negotiation

Neuro-Linguistic Negotiation

How to Use Persuasion Psychology to Get More "Yeses" From Buyers, Sellers, & Lenders

Than Merrill

Watch Now
Probate Real Estate Investing

Probate Real Estate Investing

How to Buy & Sell Inherited Properties with Tact & Grace

Jeff Rutkowski

Watch Now
Unlocking the MLS

Unlocking the MLS

How to Pinpoint Your Next Great Investment Property on The Multiple Listing Service

Deslyn O’Dell

Watch Now
Seller Financing

Seller Financing

How to Buy Cashflow Real Estate Without Needing a Bank Loan

Shawn Tiberio

Watch Now