Project Artemis: Month 1 – November 2020

Whether you’re building a brand new site from scratch or acquiring one with the intention to grow and flip it for a profit in the future, the first few months are probably going to be the busiest.

After doing your due diligence and purchasing a site you believe you can improve and grow, the first thing you need to do is a Technical Audit.

The Acquisition

We purchased this site on November 8th for the price of $4,919.73 (including the payment processing and Escrow fees). You can find the Escrow closing statement below:

Before we purchased the site, it had around ~80 posts, about 500 visitors/day, and was making a little over $180 per month over the last 6 months. This means we paid about 28x the last 6 months’ earnings.

As you can see in the images above, the site was actually doing quite well before it lost half of it’s traffic during Google’s May 2020 Core Algorithm Update.

The reason we thought this was a good opportunity was because of 2 reasons: (1) The site was clearly under-monetized and under-optimized and (2) we could expand to a pretty easy and profitable shoulder-niche.

After acquiring the site, the first thing we needed to do was a technical audit.

Technical Audit

After the site was transferred to us, we immediately started working on the site setup. We changed hosting, theme, plugins, page builder, etc. because we prefer to use the same setup on all of our sites. You can find the list of what we use below:

  • Hosting: Kinsta
  • Theme: Astra PRO
  • Page Builder: Elementor PRO
  • Plugins: Advanced Custom Fields, Asset CleanUp PRO, Code Snippets, Flying Analytics, Flying Scripts, Rank Math SEO, ShortPixel Image Optimizer, WP Last Modified Info, WP Rocket

After setting these up, we then did a complete website re-design. We re-designed the homepage, post layouts, category & author pages, etc. not only to improve site structure but to improve overall user experience as well.

We also edited or built these pages: About Us, Contact, Privacy Policy, Accessibility, Terms of Use, Legal Disclaimer, Amazon Disclaimer.

Lastly, we set up Google Analytics & Search Console.

After completing our technical audit, we will then proceed by doing a content audit, which we have scheduled next month.

Traffic

We just acquired the site, so we didn’t have Google Analytics or Search Console set up until after the technical audit. This means we don’t have any traffic data to share this month.

Earnings

Because the previous owner shortened his Amazon links, we couldn’t easily switch out the affiliate tags. We are going to have to switch out the affiliate tags during the content audit. This means we currently don’t have any earnings to report for this month.

Expenses

This month, we spent a total of $5,374.72. We spent $4,919.73 to acquire the site and $454.99 on the initial site setup.

Despite having the agency plans on the hosting, theme, page builder, and plugins, we wanted to include these in the expenses to show the true cost of actually flipping a website. To do this, we added the cost of the basic plans of each of these tools (shown below).

  • Kinsta – $300 per year
  • Astra PRO – $47 per year
  • Elementor PRO – $49 per year
  • ShortPixel Image Optimizer (One-Time 10K) – $9.99
  • WP Rocket – $49 per year

Quick Recap:

  • Acquired a site for ~$5,000 in the Hunting and Outdoors niche
  • Completed technical audit, initial site setup, and site re-design
  • We will report both traffic and earnings next month
  • Total expenses this month: $5,374.72

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