How Kevin Graham Built and Flipped Multiple 6 Figure Sites

Are you looking to grow and then flip a 6-figure affiliate site?

In this episode you will learn exactly how Kevin built up, and then flipped 3 6-figure affiliate sites.

Kevin breaks down everything from how to build up the site, to exactly how to handle the complicated sale process, and everything in-between.

Watch it here:

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How to contact Kevin:

Topics Covered:

06:55 – Understanding the payment process and receiving the cash

08:59 – Should you use PBNs?

09:51 – How to get a 30k multiple when flipping sites

23:37 – How to scale up and build a team

30:04 – Knowing when to hold and when to flip

34:15 – Where to find content for your sites

37:53 – The process to build up a 5-10 per month site

Transcription:

Daryl Rosser: Hey guys, Daryl Roser here. I’m here in Chiang Mai Thailand at Chaing Mai SEO Conference and I decided to kidnap some of the speakers, some of the attendees, direct them back to my apartment here, and interview them, just for you guys to get some exclusive content. So let’s get straight into it, enjoy.

Hey guys, Daryl Rosser here, welcome back to another episode of the Lion Zeal show.  I’m here with Kevin Graham, and we’re talking about Amazon Affiliate, and how you can build up a business doing that. And ultimately how to grow out there and flip your sites.

Kevin over the last three years have put three different sites for each six-figure deal. We’re breaking down how exactly he did that, the sales process on actually flipping the site, and really how you can go out there and do the exact same thing. So, let’s just start straight into it, hope you guys enjoy.

Hey man, thank you for joining me here today, it’s awesome to have you here.

Kevin Graham: No worries.

Daryl Rosser: Again, actually.

Kevin Graham: It’s great to be back here in the Lion Zeal show.

Daryl Rosser: I appreciate it man. So, for anyone that doesn’t know you, maybe missed the previous episode, can you introduce yourself, what it is that you do?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, certainly. So my name is Kevin Graham, I run a PBN hosting or two PBN hosting companies now, and I also run a huge affiliate site empire, which has almost 60 sites at the moment.

Daryl Rosser: I did not really had that many sites. I did not even know you had two hosting companies. Okay, let’s start with the hosting companies.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. So in October this year, I released a second PBN hosting company, the new one, launch CDN, basically uses CDNs in front of the actual website, so that your IP address for the site looks like it’s coming from whichever CDN provider you get that through, so that could be Amazon cloudfront, cloudflare, EdgeCast and a handful of others as well.

Daryl Rosser: Gotcha.

Kevin Graham: And removes that reverse IP footprint that you’ve previously had with a lot of PBN hostings.

Daryl Rosser: And then you can stick them all in one host, and make it significantly easier?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And we do the back end server hosting as well. So yeah, complete end to end CDNs plus the hosting so…

Daryl Rosser: Cool. Why did you create that when you had both way?

Kevin Graham: So, the issue that you face with bulk buy is we can only scale to as  many service that we can get from the retail providers. With the CDNs, we can then scale out to make infinite numbers of sites.

In, you know, people’s accounts, because you’re not worried about, the IP footprint, coz it’s also that CDN. So like, I started doing it with my own, portion of my own PBN, back in about a year ago…

Daryl Rosser: Tested it out. There’s no footprints or anything. That’s the next big question, yeah.

Kevin Graham: Tested it for year, I’ve had zero deindexes across that period, so I was finally comfortable to be like, “Okay, we can now release this to the public” and you know, start having some other people do that as well.

Daryl Rosser: Cool, man. So to your affiliate thing. 60 sites?

Kevin Graham: 60 sites.

Daryl Rosser: Are you like, working like a mad man? Like what do you do?

Kevin Graham: So, 60 sites. That’s basically three networks, of 20 sites per network.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: And it’s something I’ve been doing since 2014. So, roughly I’m building 2 sites a month. So this year, we’ve built 20 new sites now. We’ve got another 2 in the pipeline, that I’m gonna build this month, another to the next month, so on and so forth.

Uhm, but back in May and June, half of that 20 was done in May and June. So, there’s 5 new sites in May, 5 new sites in June. To try and like, catch up for some of the sites that hadn’t been doing over the year.

Daryl Rosser: What is the model here? Like, what are you trying to do, building so many sites?

Kevin Graham: So, basically, we run this sort of double business strategy. It’s half where we’ll do many sites, to test, build a portfolio of sites, generate their income and revenue off that, and then it’s kind of like an incubator for these sites. On months they’d hit at least, you know, 2 years, and generally making like 5-10k per month.

At that point we’ve been, you know, take a site at that size, and then sell on Empire Flippers. So, for us now, we’ve done 3 site sales over the last three years, like 1 per year, and each one of those is like paying like a 6 figure exit.

Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome, man. Congrats. That’s really cool.

Kevin Graham: Yeah, thanks, it’s kind of fun when you see those like, transfers go through and you’re like, “Wow, that’s another additional in the bank balance.”

Daryl Rosser: So the concept behind this is to always build them up, get into certain income that flips them, it’s never to keep them in, and keep that ongoing income.

Kevin Graham: Correct. So we sort of worked on I guess like a minimum viable product for that site. So, alright, build it, and get it ranking, we generally won’t have to social media implement it, we won’t have a email list done, and we’ll be targeting sort of the shorter… long tail, to like, medium long tail keyword.

So stuff that sit somewhere between like, 5-6,000 monthly searches down to maybe, 600 monthly searches. But there is a ton more room again to further expand that site out. Whether that’s, as I said, like, email list, doing social media properly, all those things that, you know, things left on the table that the new buyer can take over that stuff.

Daryl Rosser: Okay so you never do any of that stuff?

Kevin Graham: No.

Daryl Rosser: You’re just in the base of the traffic game, you generate traffic for organic, and then the programming, and then they can take all the stuff later.

Kevin Graham: Great. And so, you know, there’s definitely money like left on the table, if somebody wants to buy one of those sites and then you know, spend the time adding them, or doing some more CRO work, which is something we don’t do a ton up on those sites.

Daryl Rosser: Okay wow.

Kevin Graham: We implement some best practices, but generally we won’t bother like split testing the sites. There’s a ton of quick wins that are left on the table for somebody else to do once they buy but that’s the counter of operating, you know a portfolio of 50-60 sites, and then you want time, it’s just that you don’t have the time to invest in really optimizing any one site.

Daryl Rosser: Can I ask why did you take the approach then of flipping them, versus building up that team and having inhouse, or going to big service provider and having them do the CRO, having them do the email list, stuff like that.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. I mean, I’ve really liked that 6-figure.

Daryl Rosser: Fair enough.

Kevin Graham: Like, so there first one was in 2015, and then you kinda get hooked to those, like, you know, “Wow, here’s another big sell, here’s another big sell.” First one in 2015, at the time was the largest deal the Empire Flippers have done. Which is back then and then I’ve got on do sites and deal that are like, 10x that now . So you know, it’s still you know, great numbers to exit on, though, when–

Understanding the payment process and receiving the cash

Daryl Rosser: It’s very cool. Was it like paid upfront, or is it, how does it work?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, so two of the deals we’ve done, they’re paying full cash upfront. The one we did this year had about 70% upfront, and the 30% trial, and like 30% earn out, but, yeah, like generally they’ve been mostly upfront. Which you know, I know once you start hitting those, six figure deals becomes tougher and tougher to get.

Daryl Rosser: Like all cash.

Kevin Graham: Bigger. So… Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Okay, I’m interested in breaking more down into like, the models, so, I know you build up the sites, and you get to a set of income level that will, uhm, and we kind of, in the previous interview, we covered enough of the strategy of how you’re picking the niche, how you’re going out there and setting up the sites. I’m curious how you know when it’s time to sell the site? How do you know it’s time to like, flip it?

Kevin Graham: Yep. I mean, for us we’re pretty much looking for, we needed to hit like that 5-10k per month. To be like a big enough site that somebody’s able to come in and really take it and transform it even further. Because if the site is something doing like a couple grand a month, it’s less interesting to a potential buyer.

Daryl Rosser: Obviously the CRO it’s not gonna do much for them.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And you can take a site from 2 grand to maybe 2 and a half or 3 grand. But, you know, compared to like, 5-10, or 10-20, it’s a lot less interesting.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, exactly. Okay.

Kevin Graham: And so, we’ve got that component of it, and the other half of it is the, for a site to hit those sort of numbers, it’s generally like needs to be at least 2 years, maybe 2 and a half years old.  Before it’s really ready for that new buyer.

Daryl Rosser: Sure.

Kevin Graham: Until then, so much of it is just keeping them in the portfolio to age them  out, and get them to that nice, stable steady plateau, uhm, I mean you know, that’s what you said last time, like, rankings are taking 6-9 months to like, really start coming for sites. So, you know, if with all those ones we build in May and June this year, it’s not gonna be ’til like, 2019. Until they’re ready to sell.

Should you use PBNs?

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, that’s very true. And how about with PBNs. I can’t remember what you said last time. Are you using PBNs on these new sites?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, so we’re purely all PBN at the moment.

Daryl Rosser: Kind of make sense. You’re a PBN hosting company. You would be like “we don’t use them”

Kevin Graham: Yeah so, we’ve added in, obviously, like, social signals from PBN butler, soon to be SEO butler. We’ve added in–

Daryl Rosser: Spoiler

Kevin Graham: Press releases, we’ve added in, citations. And like you know, all those like diversity links, that are nice to have. But for the actual main powerful links, they’re all PBNs.

Although we’re just starting to look at some guest posting stuff now, and try to work out with the, you know, we’re potentially doing like, some other people have done and take a PBN site, switch it all white hat and whether that will actually influence people’s buying behaviour on sites.

How to get a 30k multiple when flipping sites

Daryl Rosser: What sort of multiples do you get for your sites?

Kevin Graham: So it’s been an interesting progression through that time. So at the first site, we’ve sold was when empire flippers would’ve fixed 20% multiple, we accepted the offer that was a little bit lower than that at the time. So, if the current owner of that site was to turn around and sell that now, they’re probably get that to like, close to the 30x multiple

Daryl Rosser: Zero changes.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And the most recent one this year was about a thirty times multiple as well.

Daryl Rosser: And that’s monthly, right?

Kevin Graham: Yeah 30x monthly profit. So if the expenses on our sites, we include a PBN rental expense, coz we maintain our PBN, and just link do a link rental for those links, to the new owner, and obviously they have their hosting expenses that they need to factor in as an expense.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. That’s really interesting. I’m curious on like kind of the flipping process. We covered how to build up the sites. I’m interested in, like, okay you’ve got the sites making. Is there like a perfect time or you just kind of like, two years minimum coz you got some age on it, and then, ideally 5,000 dollars plus a month revenue, is that right?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. So really, we’re looking for to be, stable. Um, so, ideally it’s plateaued at around that, you know, either 5 or 10–

Daryl Rosser: Not growing, still.

Kevin Graham: We’re not seeing, you know, month on month flight, adding another one to two grand a month. We wanted to be pretty stable and steady. Obviously we’re just gonna have that, like, Christmas peak, or it’s a seasonal niche you’re gonna have that like, summer or winter peak, but otherwise we wanna see a very stable sort of level on earnings.

So that we know, perhaps we sort of gotten as much as we can out of it, and it’s then up to, you know, new buyer, new owner to actually take that further, and then yeah, really the rest of it is the age thing. So, with the way empire flippers values stuff, it sort of reflects what the buyers are going to do. You know, they’re not so interested in sites as early as you know, 9, 12, or even 18 months old. Coz you don’t really have a lot of true history to say,”Yes this sites be earning for…”

Daryl Rosser: It’s risky. Frankly, yeah.

Kevin Graham: Yeah, it hasn’t got that stability of like, “Yeah, it’s been around for two years” and you know, just show on some constant, really good numbers or have like a little bit of growth to cross that 12-month average that they’re using. And so then, yeah, you’re gonna end up with a lower multiple which is not good for anyone.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. 100% . Okay, so… It’s not like really like it’s plateaued, it’s making $6,000 a month, whatever is that. What’s the next steps?

Kevin Graham: Right. So from there we ovbiously, uhm, hit up our brokers, so we’ve always used Empire Flippers in the past, but there’s a ton of other brokerages out there as well.

Daryl Rosser: There are cool guys there.

Kevin Graham: Yeah, cool guys. Yeah, definitely. I know Justin’s been on the show before.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: And they’re pretty active in like, the Lion Zeal groups. But yeah, so basically we’re going to hit up on Empire Flippers, give them all the information, so that’s um, access to Amazon account to actually all the revenue data, that’s access to analytics, to be able to see all the traffic, data as well, and then from there, they come back in site. Okay, well based on the edge of the site, and all of that, we give them the domain, to look at as well. Based on–

Daryl Rosser: And they give you value?

Kevin Graham: They give some evaluation based on that. Which is you know, generally the 12-month average of earnings. With a multiple for that monthly profile based on age and how old they think the buyers will–

Daryl Rosser: And that is somewhere accurate I guess?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. So I mean… The most recent one sold at multiple, and so the previous one within like a couple grand of that, just you know, pretty much rounding…

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: Difference…

Daryl Rosser: And what happens, like, they give you the multiple, they tell you how much is gonna sell for, they just added some Marketplace, I presume.

Kevin Graham: Yep, so it goes out to My Marketplace, goes out to the email list. And then, the waiting process begins. And generally with those sort of 6-figure, like, lower 6-figure sites, it’s gonna take somewhere between three to five months, what we found in the past.

Daryl Rosser: Make sense, yeah.

Kevin Graham: I mean, obviously, as the size of the brokerage is growing, and the size their buyer list is growing, then those deals are getting done quicker and quicker. If you’re doing like a 50-80 grand deal, those things are getting done, you know, really quickly within like a couple weeks.

Daryl Rosser: That’s really cool.

Kevin Graham: Once you’re talking like, you know, a hundred and fifty, two hundred grand, a lot of people don’t have that just sitting. It’s like, cash ready and their bank account to buy something.

Daryl Rosser: Sure.

Kevin Graham: Maybe they have to sell some stocks, take out a loan, whatever it is they need to do to get that cash. And so that sort of slows down some of that buying speed as well.

Daryl Rosser: Actually there like interesting topic there. Uhm, yeah most people don’t have a hundred grand lying around their bank account. So what sort of person in your experience buys that type of site?

Kevin Graham: Like, the first one was they had, there was like an operations person, who then partnered with a few other people to have some cash. And so the person we dealt with was like the operation, that guy, or gal in fact, and she was going to be in charge with like, running and maintaining the site.

Daryl Rosser: …does a hundred grand sitting there, okay.

Kevin Graham: The second one was a guy who basically took some of his share portfolio, cashed that in, and then use that to buy the interest site.

Daryl Rosser: Better ROI actually. Probably.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. I’m not exactly sure where the third guy got his cash from. I know there was that earn out component so some of that cash, sort of came from us.

Daryl Rosser: Very true. So, what about the sites if any, that don’t get up to 5k? You just keep them as cash flow?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. So there’s smaller sites. For us, like, once you start like having a PBN rental charge on top of it as well

Daryl Rosser: Yep.

Kevin Graham: You’ve got like a 2 grand site, and then you’re gonna start charging, 2, 250 bucks a month for PBN rentals, then you know, you’re not gonna get a ton of money-added selling that site, so we might as well just keep that in the portfolio.

And keep it for the cash flow and you know, use that like a steady base of income. Because with flipping sites, you have that bit of lumpiness. So, you know, you’re doing some pretty good numbers, and then all of a sudden, your monthly revenue drops like 5-10k per month. Because you’ve sold that asset. Uhm, so yeah, those small sites just help provide nice, steady base income.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah that was a cool approach, coz I’ve been in that position before when my entire business is just… Whenever I sell something I get money.

Kevin Graham: Yup.

Daryl Rosser: And it’s cool, coz you get lots of money from whenever you sell something, but then when you’re done selling your thing, you decide to take a break or whatever, like you’ve… all… you’ve had your flip sites, you’d make, whatever 6 figures, but then you’re just like, alright, next month you make zero.

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Coz it gives you that base income… That makes sense.

Kevin Graham: Yep.

Daryl Rosser: What else is there involved in the flipping process that is important? I guess the communication would be a… the buyer?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, definitely. So, I mean, that’s one of the fun things of being in Southeast Asia, is having to do those buy and sell calls that sometimes, crazy times, at the morning, when I… Uhm… So I’ve done it like 6 in the morning, and like, 10PM at night.

Daryl Rosser: That’s so bad.

Kevin Graham: I know.

Daryl Rosser: It depends you, at 10PM sounds good to me. 6AM sounds horrible.

Kevin Graham: 10PM at night, okay, well. I’d rather be whining down for bed and not, you know, trying to get hyped up to jump on the call, and trying to sell this person, “Buy this webiste off from here” Uhm, but you know, it’s not like there’s client guys who, if they’re selling into America, and having to do 10PM-11PM.

Daryl Rosser: 2AM, man.

Kevin Graham: Every night of the week.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: Yep. So yeah.

Daryl Rosser: What happens on the call? What do you…

Kevin Graham: So in the call we basically would go through, like, we’d talk about sites, we’d answer any questions, they have about… You know, how the site was built, or ideas on what they can do to further grow the site, further grow the business.

Daryl Rosser: I guess they ask you why you haven’t done that?

Kevin Graham: Sometimes. And you know, that’s what’s said here, like, you’re building a portfolio and you’ve got 40 or 60 sites now. I just can’t dedicate a ton of time to any one particular site.

And then so then I take that information, sometimes you get an offer on the call, so as second, site sell, on that call we had the offer, which was, you know, super exciting, and then, yeah, otherwise you’d then wait for like, 24, 48 hours to hear whether they’re interested or not in the site.

Daryl Rosser: And the rep is on that call as well?

Kevin Graham: So yeah, it’s like, the buyer, myself, and then, a rep from the Empire Flippers will be on the call.

Daryl Rosser: Okay so they’re helping you constantly for both sides, really.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And that kind of guiding and directing the call. They’ve got their sort of, work flow of like, the questions I wanna go through. And all that.

Daryl Rosser: Cool man, is there anything else involved in the flipping process? That we’ve skipped over?

Kevin Graham: There’s the last bit. Like there… The site transfer. And it’s of course, the page. So yeah, basically Empire Flippers has got a team that they’ll do the whole site transfer for you. I’d choose to do all that myself, coz I’m a pretty technical guy.

Daryl Rosser: Right. Okay.

Kevin Graham: And you know…

Daryl Rosser:  Do you develop bulk buy by the way?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, okay cool. Yeah, because I’m a much more technical guy, rather just be the guy who gets in there and gets it all done. And you know, coz I built the sites and all the rest. Like, I know the whole site. And so then I’ll do the migration, to the customers, or the buyers’ webhosting account.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: And then from there, obviously we’ll transfer the domain across to their registry account, and then it sits with them for like, 7 to 9 days, for them to like, verify if the traffic is still there, verify if they’re getting paid money… You know–

Daryl Rosser: Okay

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And then from there, you finally get paid. Like, they release the money and you know, 48 hours later, there’s this nice little addition to your bank account.

Daryl Rosser: That must be a pretty epic feeling. Especially their first site, the first site you ever flipped? Oh, I’d flip like a 3 grand site with them before.

Kevin Graham: Okay. So I knew the process, and what’s comfortable enough when we flip the first major site with those guys, but yeah, when that money comes in you’re like, okay cool let’s go party, this is gonna be like… Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Do you actually generally, like, what is your reaction, like, I’m more sort of person that I’ll get that as like, “This is good let’s make some more money let’s do this again” Are you like that, or are you like, “Oh I’m gonna go out now and chill with some friends and take it easy”

Kevin Graham: Yeah I mean I’m always building new sites. So there is not that aspect of like, “I’m just gonna go chill with friends” It’s definitely just like, “Yeah let’s keep building these sites.” Yeah there’s definitely like that. You know. Maybe the five minutes. When you’re like, click in, you release the cash that is wired to your account. Like, yeah this is cool.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. I know if you don’t like closing a client, that’s nowhere near that site, usually. Which is when I started out like, “oh that feels amazing”, that it’s happened. That must be like, I have a flip. I flip size and I start out with like a thousand dollar sale. And I was like, 16, 17, years old. Like, this is the greatest feeling ever.

Kevin Graham: Yeah yeah yeah.

Daryl Rosser: But that’s cool. So, you’re building sites a lot faster for I think so than when we first chat, maybe a year ago?

Kevin Graham: I think back then I was still working… two a month, that’s the goal.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: And then it sort of took a dive coz Bulk Buy I’d started taking off spending more and more time working that and then we’ve got  like 2 customer support guys on, which has like, reduced my workload and allowed me to like, flip back to work on the affiliate stuff a ton more.

Daryl Rosser: Actually I want to get into that but quickly before I do that, I’m curious. Oh, my question is, is there any communications that happens after the sale? Do you have to keep in touch with them, do you have to help them out with anything?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, I mean, so normally you’ll include like, 30-60 days’ worth of like, e-mail support, and sometimes if you Skype calls and stuff, so like, with the sale of our second site, that guy was really focused on adding additional content to build out the site more.

So we gave him like a keyword pack of like, here’s some more keywords you can work on, and then guide him through like, “Here’s the format that we use without writers, review the first couple pages to be added to” like, you know, really make him, you know, sure and comfortable that everything was like he could continue building and grop that site further.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. And what part of the– like that one, I presume they want more communication or…

Kevin Graham: Once there’s the monthly email that goes out from Empire Flippers where they say here’s the earnings, here’s your percent, and then, you know, everyone just confirms that and it gets paid out.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome.

Kevin Graham: But in terms to like, the other, you know, ongoing communications, it’s not really so much from that site, it’s just purely, you know, transaction stuff to do with the earn out.

Daryl Rosser: That’s cool, man. So, here’s where I’m curious, coz this applies to me also. You have Bulk Buy hosting, you have the other thing now. What’s the name again?

Kevin Graham: Launch CDN.

How to scale up and build a team

Daryl Rosser: Launch CDN okay. And you have like your 60 affiliates sites. How the heck you’re doing all that like… I think you have a lot going on now.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. So with the affiliate stuff, my partner Richard does a lot of that business. So Richard takes care of keyword research, content orders, managing the VAs that do a lot of the back-end stuff for that. And I’m just responsible for actually building the site. Although I’ve got a VA that does a lot of that for me. And then, just reviewing the work from the VA.

So my involvement in the affiliate business is not too much. Like, I also oversee all the technical SEO stuff, so building the PBNs and that. But now I’ve got Richard also to take care of like, target keyword analysis. Like, okay for this group we need to build this number of this type of link, this number of that, you know to make sure how many brand, how many generics and all that. So as times go on more and more, like, he’s been taking over a lot more of that. Which is great.

Daryl Rosser: It’s awesome.

Kevin Graham: A super good skill for Richard to be building up as well, to be able to go pretty much like, he does so much of the SEO even for the affiliate stuff now.

Daryl Rosser: That’s really cool.

Kevin Graham: So yeah that’s the affiliate biz, so I think there’s three writers, a site builder VA, a general VA in that business, plus, my partner Richard, and then for Bulk Buy, we’ve got support apprentice, who’s now like, full time support, and he came in January with us.

Daryl Rosser: Is that Christian?

Kevin Graham: That’s Christian, yup. So if anyone’s written to our support, they’re probably, been speaking with Christian for most of the year. And now we’ve just added Edward, who’s weekend support guy, so that Christian will finally get weekends off.

Daryl Rosser: He had to work 7 days a week before?

Kevin Graham: He was doing 7 days a week, yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome, nice. Cool, so you’re basically just hiring people and partner. I guess partnerships are also very powerful to be able to step back more and more.

Kevin Graham: Exactly. And so then also I guess the other part of Bulk Buyerss we’ve got an apple developer that I work with as well, who does some of the systems, and and then, yeah, like I do, or did half of the system build for launch CDN, you know, he’s done a bit of the additional stuff for that.

Daryl Rosser: You develop stuff, right? You coded some of these, you coded different plug-ins and stuff yourself, right?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, so all those stuff that I code, I write in PHP, and the develop that we’ve got on for Bulk Buy and launch, he works in Ruby, and so there’s a little bit of like–

Daryl Rosser: Probably better.

Kevin Graham: There’s you know, a little bit difference there. Between the languages that both of us know. Yeah it’s pretty cool.

Daryl Rosser: I’m curious then coz I don’t… I don’t actually do PHP. I don’t like it.

Kevin Graham: Yep.

Daryl Rosser: Coding is not really my thing. I did design, I kinda like design, but I try to avoid it, coz I really think it’s the best use of my time like I can pay someone, but every so often, I just go on like a spree, and like recently, I just spent like the entire weekend, I didn’t leave at all my apartment for like 2 straight days. I just ordered food in, and just design like crazy. You always come out with these new plug-ins and tools, you kinda like me, or you just go on it like crazy like coding spree or—

Kevin Graham: Yeah. That’s it.

Daryl Rosser: Okay. Okay.

Kevin Graham: I go on to spree. So like, when I release site plug in picker or few those other tools, like all I did was like, you know, I’d spend a couple evenings at home. Like yeah here’s a couple of Jack Daniels or whatever, just like, code it out. But like, to get Launch ready.

That was like, a month of me, sitting in the cafes around here, like picking the brains of a few PHP guys I know, and like, you know, really learning a ton more about programming and that language to like get that down, so I could build all the API negations we needed for that.

Daryl Rosser: That’s really cool. Do you think it’s beneficial to you to be able to develop the stuff. You know, to code PHP?

Kevin Graham: I think so. It allows me to build like all these tiny little automations and bits and pieces as well, so like, for the affiliate business, I built like an automation that will pull data in from Clicky, pull data in from Amazon account, and use that for reporting.

Daryl Rosser: Nice.

Kevin Graham: And so you can code all these like, little bits and pieces, these little basic robot workers that do some of your work for you. And being able to just, you know. Being able to–

Daryl Rosser: I want that.

Kevin Graham: Do that in house and you know,

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: There’s something about that instant response you get from when you’re doing coding work, compared to you know, trying to rank a website and it takes you know, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months. With this, like, you code a new feature, you try out, in other words, if it doesn’t work. And then, you know, you hit an error and just like, swearing at the computer, right?

It works and like, you know, so when I was like building all the API and stuff, for Launch, because with my test stuff I’d done it manually, and obviously that’s not gonna work. I need to scale it to automate it. And so when I was coding those API integrations, when it worked I was just like, “Yeah!” Like, this is the best!

Daryl Rosser: I know the feeling.

Kevin Graham: And I bet it’s just the same when you’re doing that design work, like, when you throw something together, and then you’re just like, “wow, this new banner or like, brochure or like, whatever–

Daryl Rosser: It looks like shit, it looks like shit, and then wow, how did that come together?

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: That’s cool. How do you then… with SEO, like you said, like you said, it was 6-9 months or longer and if you’re trying to build up a site to flip it like it’s a two-year game plan, right? How do you… I don’t know. Suck it up for two years? Waiting for it to get that positive results? Versus like, coding issues, like, instantaneous as soon as you get working?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. I mean for me, I try not to look at the stats.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: So I’ll go in and check rankings maybe, once a week, once in fortnight, and as long as there’s some positive movement in there, then I’m happy. I look at the Amazon numbers like once a month, and again as long as it’s positive movements on those numbers, I’m happy.

And because you’re working with like, 40, 60 sites, it’s a lot easier to just go and “yeah, okay this one is starting to take off, and this one might be our next one to sell” And you know, looking at like, from the overall portfolio, rather than just worrying about like, once site you’re trying to build.

Knowing when to hold and when to flip

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. And another question that a lot will ask is, if you’re flipping the site, to say, 30x multiple, why not just keep it for years, and just make the money?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, I mean, for the first one,it was a great injection in capital for us to continue to build new stuff, and then from there, obviously, more recent ones are being, just to further increase like, our investments. So we’re working on, so we’ve got like some more fun real estate, uhm, so, yeah basically taking those digital dollars, converting them to like an actual piece of land with a house on it. And then also some other random investments as well.

Daryl Rosser: Okay so that’s like the super long term thinking money. And then this is… It’s not short term, but it’s not as long term as like that.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And the other thing is that then it allows you to do crazy stuff, for like, scaling businesses and you know, if I want to release something new. I can just go, “yep, here’s some money to a developer, code this up, release it, see what happens”

Daryl Rosser: Yeah

Kevin Graham: Rather than being like, boot trap to month to month and try to, you know, generate those like $200 of revenue, from like a new SAS product, before you can like, do anything with it.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. Understandable. Here’s interesting question then. What don’t you like about the affiliate business and what are you doing with that?

Kevin Graham: Yep. Uhm, the time to rank is like, what I hate the most about affiliate. It’s kind of where client in some ways would be a lot more exciting. Because if you did a client, and you’re like, “okay, just sign this new client, here’s another 2k a month, here’s another 5k a month or whatever–

Daryl Rosser: The amount of like affiliate guys came up to me after the conference, like, “You know that’s quite tempting.”

Kevin Graham: Yeah. But then, you know, I understand that like, you’re trying to build a client SEO business, you might then be able to like, my struggle to go “Okay, well, here’s 20 clients, what do I do next?”

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: Obviously you bring in the team, and like try to automate yourself out of that. But, is 20 clients enough to be able to sell? Or do you need like, 50 clients, a hundred clients?

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: Coz it’s some more traditional services business. And you can’t just segment out a small part of it, like you can with an affiliate site.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. And most agencies frankly sell, on like, big earnout deals like not really upfront. And just, from what I know anyway.

Kevin Graham: Yeah, and a lot of times it’s like 12 months of revenue, just kind of the numbers that I see throwing around, and so… give me like a 30x… 3 and a half years, profit on like an affiliate site anyday.

Daryl Rosser: How come it’s so much higher these days. I guess it’s not really your place to say, I’m just curious on your opinion, you said the first one was like, the 20x back then. Now its 30. You know, it’s 10x more.

Kevin Graham: Yeah I guess it’s uhm… As more and more people sort of see that “Hey the ROI on those sites is really high as an investment class”, then you know, you’re getting more and more people saying “Okay, yeah, well, I think at 20x it was like a 60% ROI, 60% annual ROI.” I think that the high multiples are just down to more like 40-45% ROI, But like, there is no other investment class that you’re gonna get that sort of–

Daryl Rosser: Not at all, no.

Kevin Graham: Not a return in your investment. And you’ve still got the asset there that you could turn around and sell. So like, the person who bought our first site, they passed the multiple time now, and they’ve got that asset, which is still earning 10-11, 12k per month. Uhm, which I could then turn around and sell now at 30x multiple. And so I’ve earned the money,

Daryl Rosser: Wow.

Kevin Graham: Take it back, and then have growth in the value of that asset, for them to the then turn around and sell. So…

Daryl Rosser: It’s a win-win. You get paid which allows you to scale out your business, to get it together today, and make that, that.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. I think the only thing that would have me, like, keep sides, is if we began this huge publishing empire and start up hiring a ton of writers to actually come in and build and manage all these brands rather than you know, offloading them. But that’s a completely different game and uh…

Daryl Rosser: Not what we want to do right now.

Kevin Graham: No.

Where to find content for your sites

Daryl Rosser: On that topic. Content. Where do you get it from?

Kevin Graham: Uhm, so, from money content, I’ve got a writer who’s been with me since 2013. He wrote like, some of my first AdSense sites, back in the day. And then um, just grown on to build these massive like, Amazon affiliate sites for us, and…

Daryl Rosser: Like, all the content? Two a month, and how many pages are these sites?

Kevin Graham: So, anywhere between like, 30-60k words, I think with done once that was like 100k words,

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: Yeah and so he basically has a handful of clients he works with for us who average it out like 3k words per day. Obviously that gets splitting. His time gets split between all these different clients, and then yeah, like, we’ll send them a content order.

He tends to have like, some experience in like, all the niche that we throw at him. He’s a dad, that’s got like, 3 kids, and so if you’re sending him like, family stuff, he knows family stuff.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: Coz he’s a stay-at-home dad. If you’re sending him some other stuff like maybe a home improvement niche, he’s like, “Yeah, like he used to work as a general contractor” so like, sure, writing about these is like… He’s done it all.

Daryl Rosser: That’s so cool.

Kevin Graham: Yeah, so it’s pretty cool for him to like, just be like, “Yeah, go write about this.” He’s like, “Yep, I know it, I know enough about it.” who got and research our products for us on Amazon, and just throw the whole site together. Uhm, and then you just get this as nice as it zip file full of word files ready to be published.

Daryl Rosser: That’s an awesome set-up. And by the way, for anyone that can hear the bike noises, like going and passes by, you live in Chiang Mai, right?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And I know that this is the road to run, not like a major road, but it’s like, you know, more like a minor road, important for the area that we’re in, so, you get guys riding pass in their big bikes occasionally. I mean hopefully, these mics are doing a good job of like, only hearing it but–

Daryl Rosser: Which I’ll see. Uhm, how come you’re living in Chiang Mai, then?

Kevin Graham: So, I initially moved out here to live here for a year.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: And–

Daryl Rosser: That’s a long time.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. I was like, we’re coming at here, bootstrap, you know, like, you can live out here for a thousand bucks a month, it was like, one person, 2,000 bucks a month, like, two people, and so like, come out here, off some savings, build out these affiliate stuff, and then at the end of that year, I went back to Australia. And then tried to go and hang out with all my friends from the back of Australia, who are still working 9-5s.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: And so then you’re like, “Hey, like let’s hang out, let’s go grab a beer, let’s go grab a meal.” And everyone’s like, “Yeah I can schedule it in like, 3 weeks from now on Thursday.” Like, no, I want to actually you know, just go and hang out, have a beer, today.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: Which kinda sucks. Plus it’s like, I know one guy in Adelaide who’s working on similar sort of stuff. Who’s back in Adelaide. It’s also, you don’t have that networking ability that you have out here in Chiang Mai either.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, 100%.

Kevin Graham: With like, Matt Diggity is doing a ton of like, he’s your weekly co-working.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah

Kevin Graham: Uhm, you can go and hang out with those people, or there’s, you know, you slowly build up that network in local, expat friends. Where you go, like, “Hey let’s go hang out and you know, geek out on Amazon associate stuff or whatever.” Geek out in PBNs.

Daryl Rosser: Uhm, yeah. There’s a lot… In Chiang Mai there’s a lot of cool people here.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And so I mean, the last two months in like, the way up to conference like, more and more people are coming in, that you know, been sticking around for two or three months, and then going from there. So it’s like, just meals after meals after meals.

The process to build up a 5-10 per month site

Daryl Rosser: That’s cool. Uhm, another, we’re getting near the end, but another question I’m curious is, how do you build a site that do that the 5, 10k a month mark. I know it’s the same sort of process, but as you deliver it, what are you thinking in mind, or size of a niche, or something like that, to grow into that size.

Kevin Graham: Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of that authority site modelled that people are going on and off, so we sort of got on that model at the start of 2014, and you’re building out sites that may have like, 30, sometimes 50 like money site pages on there.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: And so, some of those will rank very well, some of them will do okay, and like, when you throw on for one site like 50 money site pages which is probably 100+ keywords, of like, keywords you find volume on–

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: There’s a ton of traffic. Then, yeah.

Daryl Rosser: And it’s the testing approach, right? Like you’re building 2 a month. You’re not expecting every single one day if I’m thinking 5-10k a month. Is that correct?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. So there’s… Some of those that will just be workhorses, you know, 500-1000 a month, there’s some that might make 2 or 3, and then there will be a few that you know, becomes stand out to make those you know, 5-10k per month.

As long as you hit 1 of them a year, then that’s kind of a goal to hit one of those site per year, get a nice 6-figure exit on them, plus then the revenue off of everything else, it’s like growing, or like, you know, those stable learners, then combined. you’d get pretty good money.

Daryl Rosser: It seems to, like, it not just luck, you know. Three years in a row. I don’t think it just like it happened to get lucky, lucky process. Seems to be working, right?

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And I guess once you’re at that point of you know, 50, 60 sites, you start to get really good at like, Richard was saying the other day, someone was asking like, “which keyword metric do you use to like, try and work out a keyword, whether you can rank or not?” I just look at it now on eyeball it and I know whether I can rank or not.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah. I say this to people but, it’s not the answer they want. Because, “Oh, just look at it, like, check the metrics and stuff, like, “Oh, it’s easy enough.” Like, there’s no real metric at specifically to look at, but you gotta give some than what we actually try and teach them.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. And it’s true for you, it’s like, Rosser ranking, you just look at it, like, what Rosser of rank score? Is it like maybe–

Daryl Rosser: It’s coming out soon. You guys are going into the market just look for the Rosser rank. You can code up for us. It’s cool. Anything else that we missed out in flipping… That someone needs to know if they want to go out there and build up these sites to flip.

Kevin Graham: Uhm, I mean, the only interesting thing that I sort of throw in around the other day was someone asking like, “Hey, could I flip like a parasite?” Which–

Daryl Rosser: Interesting.

Kevin Graham: Uhm, from what the empireflippers guy is saying, you can’t because there’s no real asset, like, they have to actually sell. Yeah, you need that to main, and all of that content that is yours to be able to turn around and sell like, sure, you might make some good cash, off like, ranking a parasite, on Facebook, and you know, driving that traffic to some livestreaming offer or whatever, but you’re not gonna be able to like, turn around and flip that.

Daryl Rosser: At least not for much.

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah I put out Facebook page before. Like we put up like a million fans, maybe possibly millions, but we pay like, $7000 for it. Like I’m not gonna pay much for that, I was even risking yourself at page got deleted at like a month. So, we got our money back already. Uhm, but, it’s like, there’s no control, right?

Kevin Graham: Yeah, coz you’re playing on someone else’s platform. But like, having your own site, your own domain, you know, they can move it to the separate host if they want, they could change the CMS from wordpress, to like, static if they wanted, or whatever it is. There’s a ton more controller to that.

Daryl Rosser: How come then you don’t do something like just set-up and email list. You don’t use it just to say “Hey” like, there’s an asset there. There’s not really an asset if you don’t email them, but still…

Kevin Graham: Yeah. I guess, I mean, maybe you could take an email list and sell it. I’ve never seen it done, but I guess, you know, it kind of happens in some niches.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: Uhm, but yeah, you know, the more interesting part of that email is would be, if that was linked to a website, and you’re using that email list to drive traffic to the website, and sort of overrule assets to that business that generate the revenue for the website.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, I agree. I think that’s better.

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: Uhm, one more question. Maybe two, maybe three. Uhm, so, last time that was before the big Amazon commission structure changes, are you still 100% Amazon?

Kevin Graham: For affiliate stuff? 100% Amazon? Obviously, Bulk Buy…

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, of course, of course.

Kevin Graham: But yeah, so that was I think it was about 20-25% off of our topline revenue was just, you  know, taking out overnight from that announcement. Uhm, it’s a standard Chiang Mai, like you’d be hanging out in a pool with someone, and then there’s like a plane that will go, it’s just… Just wait for the plane. Uhm, but yeah, like 20-25% overnight was taken out. It’s rough, but I mean that’s what happens when you know, you rely on that one revenue source.

Daryl Rosser: I guess you don’t because would you, today, would you rely 100% on that, if like you’re at it, a bigger level than most of the guys starting out. So you start now and just rely on it like you built something up.

But today like, at your level now if you didn’t help bulk buy, and the launch CDN will get on the hand of it, uhm, would you rely 100% on Amazon, or would you try and extra stuff?

Kevin Graham: I mean, for me, I really like Amazon. They’ve got a ton of really smart CRO experts there.

Daryl Rosser: You don’t want to piss them off coz they pay more some money.

Kevin Graham: Yeah. But that felt like so many CRO guys in there, and so, you know, I’ve seen them move like the buy button, two pixels this way, or three pixels that way, to try and optimize that.

Daryl Rosser: You must be really detailed person if you can notice that.

Kevin Graham: And I’ve got like so many guys in there, also, so many hundreds of thousands of Americans, or millions of Americans or whatever. That have their current cards just locked and loaded, stored in Amazon, and I’ve got their trust factor of their name in their brand.

So like, even if I was to swap from Amazon to say Walmart’s affiliate program, there’s gonna be no where near as many people with credit cards stored in there, which you know, add some extra hurdle to the buying purchase uhm, and you know, Amazon just like the name for like online shopping.

Daryl Rosser: It’s Amazon.

Kevin Graham: Yeah.

Daryl Rosser: No, I’m with you. Like, if I’m going to Amazon, I’ll just buy, done.

Kevin Graham: Compared to like, I mean, there’s probably a much higher affiliate commission often selling like a click bait product, but you know, how we’ll see the road is that landing page. How, you know, all those aspects. Just lead me to go… Yeah just all in on Amazon.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah, so, different model, really. Uhm, click bank versus Amazon stuff like that. Those are interesting. And, so there’s no changing anything with what you guys are doing now?

Kevin Graham: Nope. Sticking with Amazon. Still believing in their sites.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: I mean, yeah, it sucks we lost 20-25% on top line of our revenue overnight, but the counter is that, like, of the revenue that we generate from Amazon, only 80% of that, on average, is on Niche. 20% of that is off niche.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: So if we’re here and we’re trying to recommend like, seats for interviewing, right?

Daryl Rosser: Is that your niche?

Kevin Graham: It is now. It’s gone, right? Uhm, 80% of our sales will come from that, and 20% will come from like, the rag on the floor, that nobody else will be able to see.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: And so, you know, there’s that sort of swings around about–

Daryl Rosser: Nicely making 20% more… All I know is it necessarily creates more money. Coz it depends on–

Kevin Graham: Yeah. 20% of our revenue comes from like, non-niche related products.

Daryl Rosser: That’s awesome. Okay man, any final words to wrap it up on? You got some wisdom left in you to like, wrap the interview up on?

Kevin Graham: Uhm, I guess, I mean, for a lot of affiliate guys, they’re purely looking at it like, let’s try and build that MRI number, and try and build that monthly return revenue, and like, how many sites do I need, to like, sit in Chiang Mai, down to like eat a few coconuts, or whatever and just hang out. Alright?

But I guess, I’d implore people to do is to maybe have a look, like, what introducing that flipping component, would add an change their business model. Uhm, so like, for last year, when we’ve flipped you know, a 6-figure site, that became about, I think roughly… What did it do… I think it was about 20% of our income from last year was from that site.

Daryl Rosser: Okay.

Kevin Graham: Which then, you know, if you can then, get all these, you know, huge chunkcs upfront, you know. Remove a little bit–

Daryl Rosser: And that allows you to scale significantly first, I presume.

Kevin Graham: Allows you to scale faster, removes a little bit like, risk, so why is it so shared it was being in any affiliate SEO niche.

Daryl Rosser: Yeah.

Kevin Graham: And yeah, like it just changes that whole business model. To have that as part of your overall strategy. Coz that mean, I started as just like, yep, build and hold, build and hold, build and hold, and then when I started looking at it… Well, no, the money comes from actually selling these assets, integrate that into the model and yeah, just taking it to crazy levels.

Daryl Rosser: I think that’s really good advice actually, I like that a lot. Uhm, where can we find you man if you wanna connect?

Kevin Graham: Yep, uhm, so, I’ve got a blog that I never write on.

Daryl Rosser: You do?

Kevin Graham: That KevinGraham.com, I’ve got like 2 articles there. Otherwise, like, twitter is @_kevingraham, or you can look at my product sites BulkBuyHosting.com, and LaunchCDN.com.

Daryl Rosser: Awesome. I appreciate you joining me, it’s been awesome.

Kevin Graham: No worries, thanks.

Daryl Rosser: Hope you guys enjoyed. Uhm, yeah.

Daryl

About Daryl Rosser

Daryl runs a six figure SEO business primarily focusing on local clients. He's extremely analytical, and his favourite ranking strategy is using PBN's.