In this post, I want to explain why I bought it, what I did when I had it, and why I ended up selling it so soon after purchase.
Why I Bought This Fitness Site
After selling my pest site in September of 2019, I had some capital to deploy into new projects. I knew I didn’t want to just sit on the cash, so I started looking into potential acquisitions of smaller established blogs.
At the time, I had been in a mastermind with another blog builder who owned a fitness site for about 2 years. I watched as he grew the site from $0 to making $7,000 per month leveraging similar SEO and blog building strategies as I use for my sites.
Unfortunately for him, his site got hit with the November 2019 Google Update, and it took a bit of a dive so he was starting to talk to brokers and get valuations prepping to sell.
Below you can see the analytics and the slight dropoff.
Given my understanding of the history of the site, I was interested in doing a private deal.
Now when buying an SEO driven blog you need to heavily scrutinize the backlink profile and stability of the rankings of the asset prior to purchase.
There is a lot of risk in buying a blog that is built with low quality backlinks and content that isn’t very good.
But in this case, I knew the owner personally.
I knew exactly how he built his site, how he built his links, who his writers were, and how the site was architected.
This massively de-risked the transaction for me.
Under normal circumstances, you would need to do 1-2 weeks of due diligence verifying revenue, researching the backlink profile, auditing the content, and trying to figure out where the skeletons were buried.
An important part here is that I felt I knew why he got hit by the Google update.
Specifically, there were many pages where his site was under-optimized for the intent of specific keywords he was trying to rank for. That and his linkprofile could use more high authority links.
So if I bought it, I could fix the content, build better links, and flip it.
And flipping aside, I really liked fitness as a niche because:
- Most fitness equipment (like rowing machines) are high ticket
- There are MANY affiliate programs outside of Amazon Associates
- Supplements can be a HUGE market for affiliates
- There are lots of informational keywords to target and generate revenue from display advertisements
- I could create an digital information product weight loss niche
- Finding writers that are experts in fitness should be easy
- Meal plan services have lucrative residual affiliate deals
- I am an active CrossFt athlete so know he niche well
At the same there were some drawbacks to the niche:
- Fitness is what I consider a “sexy” niche, which means there a TON of competition for keywords and backlinks
- Fitness is really close to health as a niche, and Google appears to be favoring large authority sites (i.e., healthline.com, webmd.com, etc) for health keywords
Overall, the pros outweighed the cons so when he put it on the market, I decided to offer to buy it privately from him for $160,000, which was about 26x monthly net profit.
What I Did When I Bought It
We closed on the deal at the end of November 2019, and I immediately started to improve all the content to try and catch the end of the holiday season.
There was a lot of content on this site that needed updating. About 300 pieces of content spanning roundup articles, product reviews, and “how to” guides.
To help expedite the updates, I hired a 2 virtual assistants and 1 new freelance writer.
I added my trusty “click tables’, optimized for featured snippets, updated stale content, purged content with no traffic or links, and implemented a multitude of other changes.
The VAs would add the new conversion elements and I would assign content to the writer to refresh.
I ended up having a decent December and January pulling in about $5 – $6,000 each month.
Why I sold It
During the middle of December 2019, an investor group had approached me to help them start a blog portfolio in exchange for a significant amount of equity ownership in the portfolio.
They would front all the expenses for linkbuilding and writers, and I would just provide strategy and consulting. The intention was the launch 10 new blogs within 12 months.
Needless to say, 10 new blogs in 12 months is a lot of work.
Even though I liked the direction this fitness blog was going, it would require a lot of my time and energy to keep growing.
I had to make a decision.
Either turn the fitness site into a “buy and hold” property, or sell it off and put the money in a more passive asset such as stocks or real estate.
Because the site was more in the “fixer upper” category I didn’t want to risk it losing rankings and going down further because I didn’t have time to work on it.
So I decided to sell it and collect the cashflow from the 2 months I had owned it and pocket the difference in sale price.
Thankfully, before I had bought it, the prior owner had gone through the due diligence process with Quiet Light, a digital asset brokerage.
All I had to do was re-initiate the conversation to keep things moving.
In this case, I worked with Chris Guthrie on the Quiet Light team.
Because I didn’t sell the blog privately, I had to fork over the broker fee which was 10% of the sale price and ate into my windfall quite a bit, but Chris did a great job as a broker, so it was money well spent.
At the end of the day, I bought the site at the end of November, went to resell it mid-December, and closed early February, which netted out to me earning $14k from this transaction in roughly 60 days.
$2,000 from the asset sale, and $10-12k from the cash flow during the time I owned it.
I didn’t produce any new content and paid the VA’s maybe $300 bucks for various admin tasks.
Definitely a crazy whirlwind of events, but great experience in the world of buying and selling blogs.