So the big question is this, what would you do if money didn’t matter? So you had millions in your bank account, what would you focus on? Would you spend more time with your family, with your wife, with your kids? Take family vacations.
Would you pursue your gifts and talents and dreams? Serve your local community, teach others, serve your church. You see if what you would do if money didn’t matter, it was pursuing your gifts and talents and dreams to serve others, and that is probably what you should be doing.
The problem is most people are in the rat race, living five inches in front of their face with no time to pursue what they were born to do. That is the problem, and the solution is to develop enough passive income to replace your working income so you can quit your job and be free to live your life the way you were created to.
That is a solution and this podcast will show you how…
Ryan Enk: Hey, what’s up everybody? This is Ryan Enk with Cash Flow Dad Life. And this episode is going to be amazing for you guys. I actually have a buddy of mine from college and uh, I didn’t realize that he was in this space, this Internet space where he’s making some great passive income. And what we’re going to talk about today is, you know, normally I talk about real estate and real estate investing and how you can buy houses, fix them up, flip it.
Well, he actually does the same thing, but he does it with websites, um, and uh, and, and he basically has a network of a bunch of different websites and the wellness space. You’ve probably heard of some of them. They’re very popular blogs, um, for, uh, an enemy. I don’t know if I’m saying that right. I’m not an anonymity. It’s just too hard to say for purposes.
I’m not going to, uh, go into the details of the exact sites, but we are going to get into some very specific strategies. He’s going to be very helpful in giving us some awesome ideas on what you can do to generate passive income online. So first of all, I just want to welcome seth. Seth, you there?
Seth Spears: Hey Man. How’s it going, Ryan? Awesome.
Ryan Enk: Awesome. Yeah, we actually a, we actually knew each other back in college and had had no idea. Most of the people from college or they kind of graduate behave. They make a ton of kids and they get a job with a ministry or something like that, fade off into the sunset and never be heard from again.
So it was real awesome to see him at the capitalism conference last year. So, uh, can you give us a little bit of your backstory, how you got into doing what you do and how you kind of discovered this whole realm of passive income?
Seth Spears: Man? Uh, well pretty much by accident really. Um, you know, when we were in college together, I kind of had this vision of I was going to graduate with a business degree. I was going to get married and have kids and start my own business and sail off into the sunset and you know, just live the life. Right. It didn’t totally happened. So did end up getting married, but not from a girl that I met. Not In college.
Um, did start having kids as well. But the whole start your own business thing did not start off immediately like that. It took several years and it was kind of by accident where I got burnt out and fed up with a job that I have working for, for a college in Nashville, Tennessee and kind of went on, went out on my own doing some consulting at the same time.
Seth Spears: I was helping build a few websites here or there for some family and friends and sort of building out a site that started getting really popular for my wife and it just kinda grew and I kept getting a lot of people that are interested in having websites built and they knew that I was a marketing major and like, oh, you’re into social media and all this tech stuff. Why don’t you help us out?
And stuff, so I did and one thing kind of led to another and I started up a business called spirits marketing, which became a digital marketing consultancy and many web agency and sort of building out websites for clients handling Seo and social media and all that fun stuff.
And then that just kinda grew from there. And, but during that time I was um, working with, with a bunch of different clients and testing out a bunch of different strategies on a website that my wife had a in the natural health and wellness space and just kept growing and growing and real. And that’s when I really started to see the potential as far as, you know, an online business, a websites and everything. So we’ll go ahead.
Ryan Enk: No. So the, the interesting thing is, and what you didn’t share is what you’re telling me personally, is that you actually…it’s interesting how your life Kinda took a different direction. And then what you planning on a is that you actually told your wife.
She was like, I think I want to start a blog. And you’re like, yeah, why don’t you do something illegal realm or politics, right? Yeah, yeah, exactly. And she pursued something completely different.
Seth Spears: Yeah. Well, a little of the backstory on that was because she was, um, she was a journalism major in college and had a real interested in politics and this is also like a mid two thousands when all the political blogs were taking off Michelle mark in red state, blue state, Hapo daily costs, all of those that were just going crazy. Um, and so I saw a lot of potential there, but she’s like, oh, it’s, I don’t want to get into that.
We just had our first son. And so she’s like, I’ve got some health issues. I want to figure out my own health health stuff and try to help improve the health for our kids as well and our family. So I’m like, okay, that’s cool. Whatever. And so just a kind of learned by doing and start building out the site for her and just kind of grew and grew and Tessa, a bunch of different strategies for clients that I was taking on a using that site. And uh, yeah, it just grew and they worked.
Ryan Enk: Yeah. And so now you, you no longer take clients, right? You just do your own.
Seth Spears: That’s a loaded question. Every once in awhile I’ll take out of it
Ryan Enk: a few here and there, but, so you can be a little more choosy now because. Exactly.
Seth Spears: But yeah, you know, I got really burnt out around 2014, 2015 because I had a rash of quote unquote bad clients clients that I basically had to let go. I had to fire just because um, they just, they weren’t a good fit, you know, we were taking on anyone and everyone no matter what they needed, what service and we provide it for him, you know, anything in the digital marketing realm.
And so there’s just some that we just couldn’t provide all those services for them and they were either too high maintenance or what, what they wanted and what they paying for two very different things. And so I just got burnt out and realize that it was much better at the consulting and the strategy side as opposed to all the implementation.
I had like had a full time developer who left as well, so I was going to have to start building some stuff back up. Um, so I’m like, you know, what, let’s just go more full time as far as just consulting and strategy and all that.
So, but even like with our, with our other business as far as all the websites and things that we’ve acquired, that’s taken much more of a priority over the past couple of years. And so I still do a little bit of consulting here and there, but I’m definitely much choosier with that.
Ryan Enk: Yeah. So, so at what point were, you know, I’m sure your wife switched over to the, you know, she wanted to do wellness type stuff. Yeah, I started writing about it at one point. Were you like, holy crap, this is potentially amazing.
Seth Spears: Yeah, it was probably around 2012 when we realized that it was actually a full time income. Um, and that was, it was, uh, you know, definitely more that I was making at, at, uh, my prior full time job back in 2009 or whenever I left there. Um, and so just realizing the potential, but then also we have these other side gigs and stuff going on too. And so focusing on all that.
So yeah, I’d say around 2012 was when I really realized the potential of it…
Ryan Enk: So can you give people an idea what, where are the income sources online and you’re specifically with blogging, but what were some of the main sources?
Seth Spears: Um, as far as when we’re first starting out and everything. Um, yeah, affiliate income was the big one. I’m sure your listeners already know a little bit about that maybe, but basically if you’re creating content or video written audio or whatever and you’re recommending a product or service and the person who, who actually provides that product or service, they give you a cut every time somebody makes a purchase.
That was our kind of our initial. I’m a big revenue stream. Um, and that’s still big just because it’s, it’s an influencer model to an extent….
If you’ve got traffic and eyeballs and you can recommend something that you believe in that works for you and someone else purchases, then it’s a great all around. So the person who’s producing the product or the service and they’re making some money and you are too. So it’s a, it’s a great, a great revenue stream for sure.
Ryan Enk: Yeah. And what about ads or were you running ads on the side of this?
Seth Spears: No, we actually didn’t run a run many ads for actually any ads probably until 25th, 10, 2016 maybe. I’m just, because I hate ads personally. I mean, do you know anybody that likes ads? Nobody likes them, but apparently they weren’t because advertisers still keep spending money on them.
I’m just, you know, basically if you’ve got eyeballs, somebody’s going to pay to put their product or their service in front of those eyeballs. Um, whether or not those convert or not remains to be seen at times, especially when you’re talking about the big end networks. So yeah, we, so we started running a few ads, boasts himself curated ones and then some through some ad networks and things that does really well too.
But again, you got to hit a certain level of traffic before there’s actually started making. But again, it’s the same with affiliate marketing also when you’re talking about just getting traffic to your site and links and things like that…
Ryan Enk: Yeah. So, so one of the things, I mean actually the really cool thing that we’re talking about now is, you know, I think of things in the realm of real estate. You can buy a rental property, you know, you basically buying an asset that’s already cashflowing shit.
So what you’ve morphed into looking at real estate website, I’m sorry it’s not real estate, but regular websites as an asset. Sure. They’ve already got these revenue streams coming in from them and similar to a house you can take these things and optimize them and flip them. So to speak to.
Seth Spears: Well I’ve read it’s basically online real estate, you know, I mean a website is a piece of online real estate. Um, and so just to give a little bit more of the backstory as far as how I got into that side of it.
So after it being pretty successful kind of in the natural health space, um, with, with all the content that we’re putting out, we saw an opportunity or realize a need in the industry.
There wasn’t a whole lot of training and help for people that were kind of just smaller bloggers getting started and so we decided to build out a network to a make up like a training network and stuff like that, uh, to help them. So it was, it was invite only and uh, we put out training materials and uh, did some live events and put out some courses and things like that.
Seth Spears: It was profitable but it wasn’t, um, it wasn’t as profitable as it should be considering the amount of work that was involved. So it wasn’t really worth the time as far as like what my effective hourly rate, what I wanted it to be. So we Kinda sunsetted that, that blogging network. But then probably a year or so later I read and this would’ve been 20, early 2016 I think…
…Um, yeah, I think early 2016 I saw that there was a lot of these say bloggers, even though we kind of sunset of the network, a lot of them were getting burned out and just letting their site’s kind of go, just stopped blogging, stop creating content that just, they were either getting a quote unquote real job, you know, or doing something else just because they were making some money with a site or had. But they were burnt out on it.
Seth Spears: They had not been able to monetize it or keep it up as consistently as they had hoped to. Just because it’s a, it’s a long game, you know, people hate like, I’m going to buy a website or I’m going to start a website, I’m going to make a million dollars. Well yeah you can.
But that’s not gonna happen overnight. It’s a lot of work involved. So what I realized was that a lot of these sites, and already being so deep in the industry and knowing all the big players and little players and everything, I realized that these sites could be picked up for pennies on the dollar because it was the, the owner, the creator, they didn’t really see it as an asset so much as it was a hobby that made some money.
And so they were, they weren’t invested in it any longer just because they were burnt out.
Um, but I also realized that I had a skillset as far as optimizing a site, um, improving the content that I could see a lot of potential there as far as growing them. So we started reaching out to different site owners that, hey, you ever thought about selling your site? You interested in having a conversation about that and you know, and that just kind of more from there.
Ryan Enk: What kind of, uh, what kind of income. Let’s talk numbers for a second. Like what kind of income on a site do you aim for and what is your offer based on that income?
Seth Spears: So it all, it’s all multiples really. Um, so it’s not necessarily there’s a minimum amount that I’m looking for. You’re looking for a return on your money. Yeah, exactly. I’m looking at is this what, what can I do with this site because I’m in the traffic game as far as seo, search engine optimization and I’m getting organic traffic to the site and things like that.
I look to see is there any low hanging fruit, not what does it making right now, but what could it be making some changes by me based upon or, or our team based upon, um, what, what has not been done or what has been done incorrectly? A. So do they have too much content? Do they have not enough?
Uh, did they not know how to monetize it or they’re running ads on the site? Are they using affiliate links or not? Um, you know, how is the quality of the content? So there’s a lot of factors that I look at.
And then typically when we’re looking to acquire one, I want to see you see the numbers, see what the traffic numbers are, see what their email list sizes or social media, all that stuff, but then also how much money is it making a, what is the revenue, what is their profit, what’s it been over the past few years?
And then, uh, try to acquire it for a, multiple of, of their annual revenue and our profit depending…
Ryan Enk: What are, what are some common things that you’re seeing as far as what multiple of revenue people are purchasing these?
Seth Spears: It’s, it’s across the board. I mean, I’ve purchased some as little as less than one x, their annual profit, which is amazing. I mean those are hard to find all the way up to probably five times the annual revenue. So, uh, yeah, so that’s a pretty big, pretty big change there.
But it all depends on what the potential is a, I mean, I always err on the side of caution and if it’s not a good deal, I’m not going to go into it because I want to make sure that I’m protected and I can get my money out sooner rather than later. Um, yeah. So it’s, it just takes a lot of due diligence to know if it’s a good deal or not.
Ryan Enk: Yeah, I mean, so one of the things that you like, if you’re do real estate, you go in and you go to a house, maybe that needs to be optimized. I’m saying optimize this internet lingo now. It used to be flip, but you say it needs new grant granite counters. Um, we could, we could put new floors in.
What are some aspects that you look for in a site in order to flip it, so to speak or optimize it? Revenue. Right now we’re not flipping the sites were hanging onto them and just building them up because it’s generating monthly income. So I’ll give you an example…
Seth Spears: one side of what it was at this check. She had some great content just being fantastic content and everything, but she had not monetize it well at all. She kind of created some of our own products and was selling some of those and you know, doing decent with that, but I wasn’t really interested in that side. I was just interested in the content side. Um, she had a few affiliate links here or there.
Um, she had done some sponsored blog posts and send out if you sponsor emails and things like that, but just had not done a very good job as far as consistently monetizing it. Um, she was in Colorado at the time. Amazon, their affiliate program was not available in Colorado because of some of their state laws and stuff. So, but that changed. I don’t think she realized that so, but she was burned out.
…She had been doing it for so long and it was just kind of sick and tired. So I’m, I was basically able to acquire that one for two x, the annual, her annual profit. Uh, and so it took that over and immediately added Amazon affiliate links and that helps quite a bit.
But the, the, the big thing was adding a, just an advertising network to it because she hadn’t put any ads up either and again, I hate ads, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil in order to get your money back and stuff like that. And so yeah, it made, it made us money back in the first year, which was great.
Ryan Enk: Yeah. And acquiring something for two x, if my math is correct, that’s pretty similar to getting a 50 percent return on your money. So if something’s generating $100,000 in income pretty in profit per year, you pay $200,000 for it, you’re going to make all your money back in two years. Yeah. But if you optimize it, you can be making me a lot more than that.
Seth Spears: Exactly. Yeah. And that’s the thing and the, because of what we’re able to do just with adding adds to the site and some of the affiliate links, I was able to recoup the investment within the first year. So I mean everything. There’s just gravy baby.
Ryan Enk: Yeah. And the real clever part of this that I think is a, and this might, I don’t know if this is correct or not, you could tell me, but the way that seo works with websites is that if there’s more back links to that page, then Google is going to rank it higher or sites you actually end up ranking all of your sights higher and driving more traffic to all of them.
Yeah, that’s, that’s true. You got to be careful with how you do it because Google doesn’t like networks and things like that. Um, and…
Seth Spears: yeah, we do interlink the different sites we have acquired and the ones who started from scratch, um, where it’s appropriate, but it’s not keyword stuffing or anything like that. It’s just providing amazing content, great value and relevance.
So we’re only linking to articles on the other sites when it’s relevant to do so. Um, because, you know, Google does it the more links they see their spider in the web and they’re saying where’s this link go? Whereas that link go when it’s, how everything is interconnected. So it’s just really helpful for the web in general for Google to see what’s working and where it’s going and stuff.
Ryan Enk: Yeah. So for my listeners, they’re looking to get started. I know with real estate, like you might want to get started in real estate, but you don’t know how to fix plumbing or to put in granite counters, so you have to develop a team around yourself in order to do that with, um, with websites it was really easy for you to get into because you already know it a lot.
You already knew a lot about websites, but what team would you recommend that people put together if they were interested in doing this, but they literally know nothing. Okay…
Seth Spears: About. Wow, that’s a, that’s a great question. For something like that, I would probably recommend that you find someone that has really tech oriented that knows the in and outs of either building a site of how to manage one that can run it as good as software, social media, things like that.
Maybe you just be the money partner, just put up the money and handle that. Um, if you’re not going to be involved in the day to day, um, maybe I would, if someone is interested in doing this, I would recommend that they only get into it in an industry that they already know.
So I’m content surrounding it, so if they’re interested in a, like outdoor equipment, so maybe camping. So look for sites that are in that industry that you already know a whole lot about equipment and maybe maybe the sites reviewing different camping equipment, maybe it’s knives, maybe it’s sleeping bags, tents, canteens, you know, whatever.
Seth Spears: So something that you’re already familiar with because that’s going to make the learning curve a lot less and you’re going to enjoy it more.
You don’t if you’re into camping but you don’t know anything about medical equipment and you want to get into a site that’s all about like medical equipment or something like that, you know, you’re not gonna know if it’s good content or not or, and how valuable it is and what you can do to really improve it. Um, so I’d say the best thing you can do there is just focus on what you know and what you enjoy.
Ryan Enk: Yeah, stay in the niches that you’re in.
Seth Spears: Interesting. Yeah, totally. Because otherwise you can get yourself in a lot of trouble and lose a whole lot of money really quickly.
Ryan Enk: Right? So, so if someone wants to get started, they want to look at this the same way they would real estate where they say, all right, this is what this thing is producing an income every single year and this is what it is for sale for. What are some sources that you can give us that people can go and look at size for sale.
Seth Spears: Um, there’s a few, I’ve got empire flippers is a website that handles some of that. Um, for international is one. FLIPPA.com is another one. Um, there’s a few others you can usually google a websites for sale or how to buy a website and you know, things like that and find some good info. And there’s, you know, there’s always new stuff that’s coming up all the time.
I’ve never personally gone through a broker or one of those services to purchase one…
I’ve always found them on my own, although I have sold one on, I think on Flippa, like actually the first site that I ever started. Um, yeah, that was the fun little deal made it, made a little money. Not much, but you know, how much Dallas probably netted 800 bucks maybe. Maybe so, not much. I’d have to go back and look, I don’t remember this a few years ago when I sold it, but.
Ryan Enk: Well listen, that’s the cool thing about this too, when you, when you’re looking at getting in real estate, you know, you typically looking at an entry point of $150,000, you know, mostly, but websites, they’re all across the board. I mean, you can get into these for $500 to $5, million dollars.
Seth Spears: Right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I mean you can see like I’ve looked at sites, I mean I think the least that I’ve ever paid for a website was 2000 bucks. Um, the most I’ve ever paid over 100. So. Yeah. So I mean, it’s across the board 100 K. Yep. Yeah, I mean, but still, I mean that’s.
Ryan Enk: And you’re looking at getting 50 percent return on your money and probably optimizing it. That makes it a smart thing…
Seth Spears: Smart yes. But I mean, here’s the thing, it’s not always just peaches and cream. I mean there was a site I bought last year and I thought I was getting a smoking deal on it and you know, couple months after that, uh, traffic started going down and somehow it got a google adsense penalty.
And so the ad revenue that was coming in, I’m just went away, not, not entirely, it was using a network, so it wasn’t just straight up adsense, but it was a bit lost about three fourths of its monthly ad revenue. So yeah. So we’re still working on that and trying to get traffic, boost it up and stuff like that. That’s Kinda been a thorn in the side.
Ryan Enk: So they’re just like real estate. There’s some risks.
Seth Spears: Yeah. Like it, like any business, there’s always risks. And even though even if you do your due diligence and you think you have a firm grasp on it, there can always be some things that you never planned for, you know, and that’s, I mean, getting an adsense penalty, that’s like what, how does this happen?
And I mean even we submitted it for, um, for review and everything and they’ve been nothing and they wouldn’t give us any feedback on. And it was getting penalized. Google, Google can keep a lot of that stuff really close to the vest and they don’t share a whole lot about it, which is extremely frustrating. Yeah. Yeah.
Ryan Enk:I mean, any business that depends on one source, google, Amazon, these guys can change the game at any point in time. So you always have a backup plan.
Seth Spears: Yeah. Diversifying it is always a good option.
Ryan Enk: That’s a good thing about websites is there are diverse options. There’s affiliate income where you can sell products and services from other people that will never go away. You know, people always have products to sell or information. Yeah.
Seth Spears: Unless it, the FTC changes some, some law or something about that in which in which case we’re all. Yeah, I’ll have to find another, another model, but. Alright. Well, what to do…
Ryan Enk: For anybody who’s looking to get into this, what would be your secret sauce will be the number one thing that you would recommend to them?
Seth Spears: That’s a really tough question. Um, I think I kinda touched on it before as far as look at what you’re interested in. There’s already going to know the industry. Start looking at sites personally.
The way I’ve done things as I’ll run across a site and then I’ll realize that it hasn’t been updated in six months, a year and then that’s kind of a key that hey, maybe you know, they’re burnt out, they’re not interested in this anymore.
I should reach out and see. Um, but you know, that’s just a start the conversation. But then you got to do the deep dive into the analytics and just see if it’s even feasible. See how good the content is. And is there any, is there any low hanging fruit, any potential there that it can grow from? When I was currently making and that that takes a lot of work too.
Ryan Enk: So it actually sounds like there might be an opportunity there too, to just go into different blogs and niches that you’re interested in suing. They wrote last and if they haven’t written a long time or updated the site, it may not be listed on a brokerage site. Correct.
And in which case they probably are not entirely educated on how selling that website works. Exactly. That might be a good opportunity to contact those people. Just like in real estate, we call driving for dollars. You drive someone who’s got overgrown grass. Hey, what are you doing with this property? Are you interested in an offer?
Seth Spears: Yeah, for sure. It’s exactly the same thing. Really.
Ryan Enk: Yeah. That’s awesome. Well thank you so much seth. It’s, it’s really interesting how, uh, how life takes different turns. You started off wanting to do, you know, marketing and soul thing and then your wife started a login share. It, started crushing it. Now you’re buying sites.
Seth Spears: Yeah. It’s funny how, uh, how it just evolves and you just never know where it’s going to take you. One thing lead to another.
Ryan Enk: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And uh, and a lot of times our failures push us into the directions where we have the, the most…
Seth Spears: Yeah, that’s, that is the truth for sure because you realize what a weight you’re not that great at or what you could improve on, and so it kinda makes you terman where you should spend your time and focus.
Ryan Enk:Awesome. Well thanks so much, Seth. I really appreciate you spending time with us. I know my listeners are going to get a ton of value out of this for sure. It’s definitely worth looking into.
There’s a crapload of passive income to be made by looking at currently cash flowing websites and blogs.
Seth Spears: Yeah, for sure. Man.
Thanks for listening. Please remember to rate and subscribe. You’re going to want to listen to every episode as soon as it comes out. It hasn’t been an idea or strategy that can literally change your life.
Listen, don’t miss out on the free investor pools that I have on my website https://cashflowdadlife.com/. So go to https://cashflowdadlife.com/ gets a free swag and lists and hit me up. If you want to talk about how we can get you out of the rat race as soon as possible. Until next time. My name is Ryan Enk and this was Cash Flow Dad Life!