Welcome to the Website Purchase Review of Just-Pooh.com with Keith Mander.
The goal for this exclusive interview is to give you a deeper look into buying websites, we are using actual case studies as the basis of our interviews, and this will give you a real life insight into buying websites. The site in question is Just-Pooh.com. Keith’s personal blog is at KeithMander.com
Keith, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. How long have you owned this site now?, and if you don’t mind sharing the juicy details? How much did you pay for it?
I stumbled across the site several years ago, but only made first contact with the owner in September of last year. After some lengthy negotiations and analysis, the site was finally in my hands by mid-December. I’d prefer not to share further details of the transaction.
You mentioned due diligence there… what did this entail for you? Do you have a set checklist or procedure for this?
I was new to the process, but had a good intuition as to what I needed to check. I asked the owner for details of current traffic volume and verified this by analysing the site’s ranking for the most relevant keywords. Simple searches also helped me gauge the volume of advertising inventory on the topic, indicating how well the traffic could be monetised.
Very interesting. I am sure there is a lot of info there for readers who may be looking to purchase a website….. Also, I noticed that you used rankings and traffic tools to not only confirm the site’s existing traffic, but also to view future growth potential. That is a great idea!
Yes, Google Trends is also an excellent way to get a snapshot of the industry growth for the site. I could see that Pooh’s popularity was starting to plateau, but picked up whenever a new movie was released. It’s important to use common sense in additional to the data tools might provide.
Excellent advice. So to confirm, this was a private deal, and not done via any marketplace? Have you had any experience of a market place like Sitepoint.com?
Yes, the deal was conducted privately. I tend to avoid marketplaces such as SitePoint and eBay. Sellers using one of these platforms tend to have a better understanding of their site’s value, and therefore have higher expectations. My approach would be to directly contact site owners who are unaware of their site’s value and who’ve never experimented with online advertising. They’re usually surprised when you contact them with an offer and this eases the negotiation process. The potential with this approach is far greater.
Yes, that would be an ideal scenario…. how do you go about finding such sites though?
Using information on popular search keywords is a good starting point. I think it’s wise to concentrate on topics that are not immediately commercial in nature as you’re more likely to discover a site created out of passion, rather than for profit.
Superb advice, and I am sure an eye-opener for many readers. I suppose fan sites and hobby based sites spring to mind.
Absolutely. I’d suggest these sites represent the best opportunity. Don’t forget that you’ll need to find a site where you’re comfortable in adding further content to.
I agree. My girlfriend actually purchased a fan forum earlier this year, and I will throw out a quick warning to the readers: monetizing these sites can be very tricky. Even with high traffic, so some creativity and knowledge in this area is going to be required. It is certainly worth the effort though, and the rewards can be huge
Yes, forums are notorious for being difficult to monetise. But if you can nail it, there are high rewards to be made without much effort.
Yes, personally I feel the key is to use the forum as a feeder site, both to feed traffic into a site that will make sales, or to use that base to launch new, related sites and create a network.
Anyway, back to your site – Have you made many changes to the site since you purchased it? And have there been any unexpected obstacles?
Yes, just this month I outsourced the complete redesign and restructuring of the site. The aim was to create a more structured and more appealing site. The results are impressive; average page views are up 25%, the average time users spend on the site increased 35% and bounce rate dropped 20%. I’m now using analytic tools to make further improvements to the site’s navigation and content. The largest obstacle I’ve faced is finding a balance between user needs (pictures and games) and what will generate traffic (quality content).
Excellent. What does the future hold for you in terms of purchasing or selling more sites? Is this something you would like to do again?
Absolutely, I’d love to build a small portfolio of sites that bring in a stable secondary income. For the moment, I’ve decided to concentrate on maximising the potential of Just pooh before moving on. Cash flow and time management are significant hurdles to expanding.
Very true. Ok, one final question…. any regrets Keith?
Not starting sooner!
Better late than never I suppose. Keith, thank you so much for your time….. this has far exceeded my expectations, and there are some real gems of information here. Best of luck with Just-pooh in 2008, and we wish you continued success.