It’s been roughly one year since I bought CopyCatCrafts.com for $4,000 and now $7,788.71 in revenue later it’s time for another case study update.
After one year this site has averaged $649.06 per month in revenue or roughly $500+ per month in income. This site alone has been more than enough money to pay the car payment on my Subaru WRX (that has since been paid off in it’s entirety) and cover my share of the cell phone bill. I think that’s pretty damn sweet for a property that I spend more time talking about on this blog then I do actually working on. If you want to find out how I did it I strongly encourage you read these blog posts first before continuing on:
Introduction – How To Buy A Website
Part 1 – Two strategies to employ after you acquire a website
Part 2 – How I drastically increased the income
Part 3 – Long term income case study results
Part 4 – $4,000 Investment Paid Off
How Does This Site Make Money And What Are The Expenses?
CopyCatCrafts is a crafting website that makes money from contextual advertising sources such as Google Adsense. For the past year I’ve paid an awesome writer $25 per hour to write content for this site to the total tune of $100 per month. She makes great money and I get a near auto pilot income source of over $500 per month. Let me share the income breakdown for the past year so that you can see how to apply the strategies I used with this website on your own websites.
Year 1 Revenue Graph By Source
There are a variety of different ways you can make money with websites, but as I explained in case study part 1 Copy Cat Crafts simply wasn’t being monetized to it’s full potential when I bought it and so my first focus was to improve monetization.
Original Income Source
Rivit Media Total: $1,555.13
New Income Sources
Google Adsense Total: $2,779.32
(Google was only being used as a back fill within Rivit Media stats)
Vibrant Media Total: $3,234.49
(Set up in under 5 minutes – $3,000+ for 5 minutes of “work” is nice right?)
Value Click Media Total: $219.77
(Currently testing Value Click Media vs Rivit Media)
By adding several new income sources (many as simple as installing some ad code) I was able to generate thousands of dollars in additional revenue over the past year with this website. When you’re looking at websites to buy (particularly those with high traffic) and you see the website is using ads in poor places i.e. sidebar and above navbar you can be sure that putting ads within the content will result in an increase in earnings.
Year 1 Total Revenue Graph By Month
Here you can see the overall average revenue per month. There are several factors going on here which are fairly typical of most websites reliant on contextual advertising:
1. Spike in revenue for November and December as advertisers spend the rest of their budgets looking for an increase in sales.
2. Post holiday dip in revenue as advertisers have pulled back on spending following the holidays.
3. Revenue generally dips a bit leading into the summer as well.
There Is Still More Money To Be Made
I’ve completely ignored several avenues of additional income streams such as selling how to crafting products and services, email marketing, Kindle books (which I’ll be doing soon thanks to inspiration from this podcast guest earning $35,000+ per month selling Kindle books) and several other methods. The reason why I haven’t spent more time on this site is because I’m making too much money from other projects to be distracted by this one (which isn’t a bad problem to have of course).
Why I Bought This Website
I’ve explained this before but the website was very under monetized and with the traffic it was getting I knew I could increase the income. The site also has a very solid viral component built in which encourages crafters that are featured on the website to put our button onto their website stating that they were “featured on CopyCatCrafts.” It also does really well on Stumble Upon and other social media sources (more recently Pinterest for example) so the traffic isn’t completely reliant on Google which isn’t a must, but certainly is a bonus.
How To Scale And How To Find Websites To Buy
Scaling a business of buying websites is possible, but finding higher quality websites worth buying in the first place is the hardest component. For a long time I’ve ignored Flippa because I found it too difficult to cut through the crap listings which I why I spent 5 months and thousands of dollars working with a development team to help analyze Flippa listings in more detail to identify the winners. This is a huge time saver and I highly recommend you check it out:
Overall – I Love This Business Model
My goal is to grow my monthly income from just websites that I’ve purchased up to $10,000 – $20,000 per month. At that point I’ll probably have to hire my first full time employee local employee here in Seattle to help manage those properties (Seattle area recent college grads reach out to me here if you’re interested). I technically already have more than 10 part time contract employees as it is now when I add together the development team I use in India for some projects, local developers, a graphics designer from Mexico, foreign and domestic writers, VA’s etc. but if I really want to pursue the buying websites business model with more intensity I’ll eventually need to hire on someone full time.
Overall just looking at the example I shared above you can see how if done correctly this is yet another scalable internet business model. I’m already up to several thousand dollars per month from just websites that I’ve purchased and with several more smart acquisitions I should be able to crack the $10k per month barrier from just purchased websites.
As always if you have any questions about this process I’ll be hanging out in the comments below…
P.S. I love finding good websites to buy so if you have a website that you’ve taken as far as you care to go and want to take some money off the table feel free to contact me here:
Have a website you want to sell? Contact me here
P.S.S. No, your website with no traffic and no email list doesn’t have “a lot of potential” and it’s not worth $50,000. Please don’t contact me with websites that aren’t making money already.