Website Investing Weekly - M&A 🤑

Welcome to Website Investing Weekly, bringing you up-to-date with what’s been going on in the world of website investing. Get these updates for free, direct to your inbox every Monday, by hitting the subscribe button below.


💰 M&A Advisory

Back in 2016, the New York Times acquired the product review / affiliate site The Wirecutter for $30MM - it was one of the biggest ever acquisitions in our space. As you can see in the Ahrefs screenshot below, over the last 3+ years it went well for them, growing from 1.5MM organic visits to over 5MM in April 2020.

However, it looks like it may have been hit by the May Google core update which could be a reason why they have now amalgamated it into the New York Times - although Ahrefs has admitted it’s been having a traffic estimation bug so take that with a grain of salt. The official statement says it’s because:

By moving to nytimes.com, we’ll be able to reach and help even more readers

In other M&A news, many Amazon associate site owners that got badly hit by the April commission reductions, have been testing out new affiliate networks. One of those has been the UK-based “commerce content monetization platform” for publishers Skimlinks which just got acquired by Connexity. As the CEO, Bill Glass states:

Our solutions help retailers acquire new customers and sales while enabling ecommerce-oriented publishers to monetize engaged shopping audiences. Combining the companies creates more scale on both sides of the marketplace.

I advise looking to see if there could be a monetization opportunity here.


😞 Exit ROI

Interesting tweet from David Holmes on fees and taxes when selling a website. It reminded me of an article on the Fat Stacks blog where Jon Dykstra stated that you may realize that a $1MM sale price will not be enough for you to retire.

My previous UK accountant (now on number three) made me take an exit as regular income (rather than capital gains which is taxed lower) as said that this is what my company does. She didn’t realize that individual websites are acquired and sold as assets (good recent post by Laurent Truc from MadX Capital).


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🌴 Lifestyle Business > Website Investor

I first heard Jase Rodley on the Tropical MBA podcast back in 2018 talking about the 40% rule - swapping 4% retirement drawdowns for 40% semi-retirement yields from actively investing and operating content sites. It inspired me to write my How to Snowball $100k into $1MM within 3 Years post. As he states in his Freedom Fund post:

[I]nvesting in websites is a way to get that same $250k per year with $625k instead of $6.25 million.

He’s just updated his Lifestyle Business post where he has added becoming an investor as one of the options. Just make sure you live in an expensive enough place to not get caught in the coconut cash conundrum.


🏦 How Much?

Motion Invest launched their own website valuation tool which is the first one that estimates how much your site is worth on different platforms, in relation to platform / broker fees.


🖌️ Refreshing

Alpha Investors, who owns Investors Club, just integrated the popular SEO blog RankXL they acquired last year into the main site and took the opportunity to refresh the branding.


🏗️ Build Faster

Doug Cunnington has launched a 5 Day Site Build Challenge as part of the IMG community created by Kyle Roof (Page Optimizer Pro) & Ted Kubaitis (Cora). It’s aimed more at entrepreneurs wanting to leave the 9-5 than investors but teaches how to identify good niches and build multiple revenue streams.


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Ezoic is an AI driven platform built for publishers which my software review site runs on (literally in terms of using their nameservers) to best monetize through ads and maximise site speed - I’ve got a 99/100 Google Pagespeed Insights score on desktop.


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