How Ivan Ranked and Sold an Amazon Affiliate site for $200k

I’d like to introduce you to Ivan Gordiyenko.

Ivan is a customer of mine and one day he emailed me about a site he was flipping – a site he sold for $200k.

He ended up telling me the story about the site and how he ranked, monetized, and flipped it.  As he told me about his site, I thought to myself how great of an interview case study it would be.

Graciously, Ivan agreed, and not only that… he pretty much spills the beans on everything he used to rank the site.  Enjoy.

In this interview, we get into:

  • Keyword research
  • Onsite optimization
  • Content length and frequency
  • Site architecture
  • Recommended software
  • Critical SEO service gigs
  • The exact link types used
  • Anchor text strategies
  • Social Signals
  • Monetization
  • The flip process

As I said, Ivan reveals all.

Resources

Transcript

Matt Diggity:

Hello, hello. Thanks for joining us today. Today I’m sitting down with an SEO named Ivan, who recently sold his affiliate site for $200,000. I wanted to talk to Ivan about his experience and it turns out to be a super cool story. I talked Ivan into doing this interview and even better, Ivan has agreed to share just about all the secrets on how he ranked, monetized, and sold his site. Let’s get started. Ivan my friend, tell us a bit about yourself. How old are you and where are you from?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

What’s up, guys? I am 23 years old. Originally, I’m from eastern Ukraine, but now I live in the United States of course, Virginia.

Matt Diggity:

Cool, cool. You’re very young, man. Did you go to college or you just jumped straight into SEO?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Funny thing about that, Matt, I went to college if you want to count it I think. It was seven or eight days and then I left. Then I pretty much after that, decided to go ahead and just find a way to make some money because that was such an important thing to do.

Matt Diggity:

Sure, sure. Just not your thing. I get it. I get it. Have you held any jobs before you started SEO?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Oh my, God, man. So many. I lost count, dude. There were like 50 jobs.

Matt Diggity:

Any particular ones that stood out to you?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

In terms of the good or bad?

Matt Diggity:

Either. Anything interesting.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Bad jobs, yeah. Working morning shifts at Arby’s. That was horrible. Working at warehouses in the freezing cold and during the winter – that sucked really bad. Probably the best jobs I’ve had were driving for Uber and for Lyft in Washington D.C. You can still call it a job, but you get all the flexibility in the world to make some money. I really enjoyed that. You get to talk to a lot of people and meet some really interesting individuals.

Matt Diggity:

Cool, man. For some reason, I have curiosity about certain jobs and one of them is being a taxi driver. I have to ask you. Do you have any crazy or funny stories from being an Uber driver?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

All right, so I’ve always had some laughs here and there, but nothing really stood out in terms of funny. Crazy wise, yeah. All right, this happened this year, man. In April, the end of April. I was doing a really big week. I was just riding back and forth between D.C. and the suburbs. I picked up this guy at the Union Station. It was a train station in Washington, D.C. I had to take him like an hour home. Really, really cool guy. Very business oriented. He was like 35/36 years old or so.

We just started talking about business, cars, and what I want to do with my life and stuff like that. That was really the conversation. Then he brought up that he bought a new Ferrari. I was like, holy crap. Dude, that’s awesome. He showed me a picture and stuff like that, so I believed him. Then as we’re approaching his house he’s like, hey man, you want to check it out? I’m like, no problem, man. Yeah. He opens the garage and there it was. I was like holy shit, you were not lying.

Matt Diggity:

Nice.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

We took it out, started it up. Rev’d it a little bit. I was like, wow this is awesome, man. He was like, you want to take it for a test drive? I was like, no bullshit, man. Yeah, you want to take it for a test drive? I was like, dude, yes. What do I have to give you? My license? Some money? What do I have to do? He’s like no, just go down the street, man. I wound up three or four miles down the road to 7-Eleven. Got myself a sweet tea. Came right back. Obviously gave him the keys. It was the first time I ever drove a Ferrari and went alone, and actually experienced being inside a Ferrari. First time anyone has ever trusted me with anything that expensive in my life.

Matt Diggity:

Sure [laughs].

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I was blown away. I also made a friend. It was a very, very interesting experience. Probably by far, the craziest thing I’ve had happen to me being a driver.

Matt Diggity:

That’s a freaking rad story, man. I definitely would have killed myself in that thing. You’re a car dude, right? You really like sports cars. Isn’t that right?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Oh, dude. I’m a diehard car person.

Matt Diggity:

That must have been a treat.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

It was awesome.

Matt Diggity:

Let’s talk a little about SEO. When did you get into SEO and how did it happen?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I got into SEO probably – I can’t really put my finger on exactly the date, but say late 2010, early 2011. I just started dabbling around with affiliates, doing random funnels and affiliate stuff. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. That’s how I kind of got started.

Matt Diggity:

Okay. Did you end up taking any courses or were you following any free blogs? What was your education like in SEO?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

My SEO education didn’t really start until 2012 or so. I’d say – that’s pretty much when I started doing SEO. I just started reading blogs, like Smart Passive Income, Niche Pursuits, etcetera. A whole bunch of other blogs and I kind of put some knowledge together. I started to rank some stuff here and there. It wasn’t very effective when I was doing it. I was just doing those crazy blog comments and I thought those things were going to make my sites rank.

Matt Diggity:

Oh, okay. When do you think was the turning point of when you started to figure things out?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

By far, my first successful project that I made was I made a website about The Walking Dead. It was half illegal, half legal. I just was providing free – a slideshow of the free comics. I built just a very basic back lease to it, but traffic started coming to the site because it was obviously free. Within three months or so, I went from a thousand visitors a day to about 12,000 visitors a day. I built like, no backlinks.

Matt Diggity:

Wow.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I was getting 150 to 250 visitors on the site at a single time. Obviously, I had no idea how to monetize it, so I forgot, sense. It was also where I made my first $3,000 in a month, which was crazy. I’ve never made that much money in my life before. That made me more confident in what I was doing. It got shut down, by the way. In October-ish, the attorney sent me a letter saying, hey, cease and desist. I’m like, fuck.

Matt Diggity:

Aw snap. Tell me more about the site you actually sold. You don’t have to reveal the exact niche or anything, and definitely don’t mention the URL or anything. What was the overall theme like? What niche was it in? The high level niche and how did you come up with it?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Sure. I kind of thought of this niche – it’s kind of the automotive niche. The general automotive niche and stuff like that. What I did was, I kind of just thought of a random name. Something that sounds catchy and I was like, okay cool. This should be something cool. I could make an ecommerce site out of this or something like that. I just kind of started working on it little by little. Over time, I ignored it for a little bit because I was working on some other projects. Then I was like, man I should really just start digging deeper into this site.

It was random – I didn’t really want to work on it, but I had no other projects to work on. I just went ahead and dove right into it. I was like, if I can make $100 out of this thing in a month, I would be satisfied. I started following some other blogs, like Source Wave and stuff like that. I started buying Fiverr gigs and other gigs to get site ranking. I hit $100 a month within two months.

Matt Diggity:

Oh, very nice, man. You said you came up with a clever name for it. I’m guessing you went with a branded domain?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah. I’d say it’s probably a branded domain. It’s nothing like – yeah. It sounds like a branded domain to me.

Matt Diggity:

Okay. All right, cool. Cool. When did you start it? It was a brand-new domain when you started the site. You said you named it yourself, right? It wasn’t an expired name, right?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yes.

Matt Diggity:

Okay, cool.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

No, it wasn’t expired. It was new.

Matt Diggity:

Got it. Got it. When did you start the domain?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I’d say end of April, early May of 2015.

Matt Diggity:

Very cool. Now, let’s start to dig into the onsite SEO for this site. First question I have for you is, how about the keyword research. What was your strategy there?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Initially, for the longest time I pretty much was like, am I finding three to four main keywords? Am I using them in my URL? I’m going to use them in my title and also in my headings, H2, H3, maybe in H4, but that’s not very important. Also, in my Meta description area. That’s pretty much where I kind of focused on my main keywords. Also of course, in the body itself. I had to take the average of ten people on the first page for the main keywords and I figured out how I calculate to have them in there. That’s pretty much how I did my keyword research. I mean, how I kind of put it onto the onsite and I used the Google Keyword Planner to find all the keywords. Sometimes I used SEM Rush, but Keyword Planner was the best.

Matt Diggity:

Okay. Got it. Got it. Finally, how big was your site? Was it small and laser targeted, or would you consider it as an authority site with a lot of pages, a lot of content?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

It’s more of an authority site. I made it a goal from the start when I started actually getting tracture, that I wanted to go in and make this general. Not be stuck with just one topic and then I can’t expand from there. I want it to be essentially about the whole categories.

Matt Diggity:

Got it. I think I understand. Give us a feeling. How many pages of content did you have for this site and did you end up writing it all yourself?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah. I’d say at this point from the day that I sold it, I had about 100 pieces of content and I pretty much wrote it myself. 99% of it.

Matt Diggity:

Wow.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I outsourced a few pieces of content, but aside from that I did it myself.

Matt Diggity:

I guess that’s one of the main advantages of being enthusiastic about your niche. You can just plow through content. It probably was really solid, too. I have to say I’m damn impressed.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah. It was fun, man. I learned so much about the stuff, the niche, and that made it interesting. After I did some research I was like, holy crap. This is important. Yeah, it was awesome.

Matt Diggity:

Wow. Did you use any outside help? Any VA’s?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

No, man. I was intimidated by using VA’s for a while, so I didn’t ask for any VA’s at all. I actually didn’t feel comfortable giving somebody else the ability to write content about cars. I felt I would be able to write it the best, so I went ahead and just wrote it myself.

Matt Diggity:

About how long were your articles? I get this question a lot. Were you using pages or posts for your ranking content?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I was using posts. My content was usually between 1,200 words to say 1,500 words. It wasn’t super long, but I think it was a decent amount in terms of words.

Matt Diggity:

Right. Did you have the blog feed for your home page, so the posts were coming up there over time?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yes. Yes.

Matt Diggity:

Okay, cool. Thanks for clarifying on that. I get this question a lot. Should I make my home page a page or a post? Different size fits for every category and obviously, you were able to pull off a very big win going with the posts on front. For some people, they might want to go with the pages on front. There’s no one size fits all for sure.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, I agree, man.

Matt Diggity:

How often would you make a new post?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I wanted to actually push out all the content as fast as I could. For a while, I was doing like five pieces of content a week, if not more. After things started to – as I started to get tired of writing stuff, I kind of just made about five pieces every month. Five pieces of content a month.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah, fair enough. You’re a beast, dude. You’re turning out the content. How about siloing? Did you apply any interlinking strategies? Linking together pages, funneling around link juice.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, man. I kind of started doing siloing after a few months the site had been running. I just kind of opened up a notepad and I wrote down all the posts and stuff like that. Then I kind of put three, four, to five related posts that were related to that one post. Then I kind of went into things like that. I didn’t make the perfect silos, but I think that interlinking helped my rankings. I strongly believe that. I read your SEO guide, on page SEO guide. That’s pretty much how I implemented everything.

Matt Diggity:

Oh, cool. Yeah, I mean it’s basic stuff and if you just shuffle around the link juice to the most important pages. Even if you go full blast out – as it sounds like you did – just fine anything related to anything and get the link juice flowing everywhere, you’ll see major benefits. I’m sure you saw the same, right?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think one of the things that kind of prove that was out of all the content I had on the site before I sold it, maybe ten or 11 posts out of those were getting some serious link juice. Everything else had no links whatsoever. Yet, a whole bunch of other posts that had no links, were ranking really, really well. I think the interlinking and stuff like that played a big role.

Matt Diggity:

Dude, that’s evidence right there. I mean, there’s no reason a page would rank unless it had inter link juice flowing to it.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Exactly, man.

Matt Diggity:

Nailed it. Can you share any other on site SEO tips or golden nuggets that you’ve uncovered through this project?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Sure. I’m trying to think. Interlinking, that’s super crucial. You said the same thing. Let’s see. Being able to actually have like I said, an on page – oh, here it is. You mentioned this too, but I fixed this with my site because I realized I way over-optimized my site. For a while, I had one or two word phrases, like 10 to 15% out of the whole article. I went in there and I fixed that. I believe that actually did improve my rankings. There were a few times where after I did some changes, like a month or two later, my traffic just went skyrocketing up. I think that had to do a lot with it. I went back there and checked what my ratio was for the single or two word phrases. They were just really, really high. When I fixed that for a lot of them, I saw some changes for sure within a month or two.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah. Nice, man. Keyword density – you’re talking about keyword density, right?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, exactly.

Matt Diggity:

I mean, I take on a lot of projects myself from doing Launchpad and one of the best things we try to look for is a high keyword density because you change that stuff, it’s almost a guaranteed improvement in a couple of weeks. Glad you found that one out.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, for sure. Also, if you read something or write something. It’s not until you go over the content again and you say for instance, you do the whole CTRL+F and then find a single word throughout the article, and you see just how many times it is in a single paragraph. Then you’re going to see, holy crap. You’re reading it – I didn’t notice it too much. When I highlight all the words in the article, you just see how densely packed it. You know what I’m saying?

Matt Diggity:

For sure. I get it all the time. Cool, man. Let’s move on to offsite SEO. One of the most questions I get without related to offsite SEO, is what are the first links that I send to my site? I’ve got the same question for you. What were the first links you sent to this site?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Back then when I started to actually do hardcore SEO to the site, which was December 2015 – this was when I started finding out about the signals, authority stack, etcetera. That’s pretty much what I made my goal to do. Send some domain authority stacks to the site. I used Source Market for that. Then I also started sending some signals to various URL’s. Then after that I did a press release and even some local citations. Most of the things I sent to the homepage, a few of those I sent primarily the domain authority stacks. I sent a few of those to the main guides or posts that I had on the site. I did that for the first two months.

Matt Diggity:

Okay. I’m just going to save myself the effort later. I’m going to get about 1,000 messages about what source market gig you used for DA Stacking, so can I get that from you later?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, sure man.  (Here it is)

Matt Diggity:

Okay. Sweet, man. It’s very interesting you started out with DA Stacking. I always consider it to be a lot of work for me, so I try to rank my sites with the normal stuff, PBN, citation, press release. If I get stuck, I’ll hit it with the kitchen sink, which is stacking, and trust tiers, and stuff like that. You seem to have a gig for it and that would just make everything a lot easier, right? Good on you for finding that.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah.

Matt Diggity:

How big were the stacks and were they powered up with GSA or anything like that?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah. The stacks – I bought the highest level the guy had, which was a stack of 40. I did about three of those. There was GSA software that was used to power them up. I think that’s pretty much what contributed to the domain authority, and going up on my site.

Matt Diggity:

Oh, nice. In our pre-call, I remember you mentioning you ended up finding some paid links from real sites with traffic and all that. How did you end up finding these kinds of sites?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

It was all by accident, man. I was using Majestic to kind of spy on my competitors’ back links and stuff like that. Then I found a couple backlinks. There was really, really high domain authority and really high page authority. I was like, how in the world does this little affiliate site have this? I went in there and took a look. I was like, oh whoa. I can just give you money and you can put my work here. I did that and then what I did from there is, I looked at all the other links on that page and see what other people had for their back links, and I found ten more after that.

Matt Diggity:

Oh, very nice. You kind of reverse engineered your competition, found some links that were going to them that had – I’m guessing they had a “donate to us” and then you can have your link here, right?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, exactly.

Matt Diggity:

Sweet. Then you reverse engineered some of the other guys that had links on that page and you found even more, right?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah. That was probably one of the biggest breakthroughs I had. I think that also contributed a lot to the domain authority because those sites had the trust flow and citation flow. Anywhere between 30 and 70. A lot of them were do follow links.

Matt Diggity:

Got it. Very nice, man. Clever. The whole reason we actually know each other is because I met you from being a Diggity Links customer. You were indeed using PBN’s, busted.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yep.

Matt Diggity:

How long did you wait before building PBN links to your site?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

From the get go I was like, all right, I initially have my own PBN’s for other sites, but that failed. I was like, all right man, I’m not going to do it myself, so I’m going to hire somebody else to do it. It took a while to find somebody, but I was like, I’m going to wait about three or four months max before I start pointing to PBN’s. That’s why I did all the domain authority stacking and stuff like that, to kind of get a base going since it was up for a new site. I waited about three or four months and I’d say, I started putting PBN’s to the site in March 2016.

Matt Diggity:

Okay, cool. Cool. I have to ask – how did my links work out for you?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I think that’s exactly why my site ended up being where it is today.

Matt Diggity:

Nice. Glad to hear it.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

No kidding, man. Those things are like fucking magic, man.

Matt Diggity:

Thanks. You made my day. Do you mind telling us about your anchor text strategy?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Sure. Sure. I followed yours on the guide you wrote, but I also kind of made my own up a little bit. What I did was – it wasn’t real stressful, really. I pretty much went target to target, long tail phrases. I had a couple main keywords in those phrases. Let me give you an example. Toasters, right? Had the best toasters. I would have the top ten toasters to buy for your kitchen, that would give it anchor texts. I’d have that like, 50% of the time for individual posts. Another 25% or so would be like, URL’s or those branded links. Say, besttoastercentral.com. That would be 25% of my anchor texts. Out of say ten anchor texts that I’d pick, one of them would be an exact match. That’s how I did it. Long tail anchor texts, then some brandable ones, then some random click here ones. Then 10% of the time I would have the exact match.

Matt Diggity:

That’s really interesting. Overall, it was pretty aggressive. I mean even though you used exact match once, almost the majority of your anchors had keywords in them, because you said you had a lot of long tail and just a little bit of branded stuff. That’s cool. That just goes to show, what is Penguin looking at right now. Most people would think that Penguin rolls around, they’re going to get you on the anchors. You’re really aggressive and you definitely survived Penguin. That’s a cool little point of knowledge there.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah. I didn’t think I was doing aggressive. I only used exact match once for the links, for each page. That’s about it. Everything else was long tail. I also remember I used synonyms, different meanings for that same word. That kind of thing.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I did that quite a few times for other posts I made. I don’t know what you call those. LSI keywords.

Matt Diggity:

Right.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I did that for some.

Matt Diggity:

Awesome. Awesome. Tell us about social signals. Did you use them? Did you buy them? Did you get them naturally from a very, very active Facebook page? Did you run any Facebook ads? What did you do for social?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, I also used the same guy that I got the DA stacks from, for the signals (find the gig here). What he would do typically was, you can pick a package. I would typically go with the four URL package. He would take four different URL’s. I’d give him different anchor texts or descriptions for the certain signals. Then he would drip feed them over the course of 14 days.

Matt Diggity:

Got it, okay.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Each individual URL.

Matt Diggity:

Cool, cool. Did you end up sending any other links besides the ones mentioned already? Like blog comments. You said Web 2.0 is part of DA stacking, but did you do any blog comments, directories, stuff like that?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yes. I think I had about two directory links. One of them – actually, the third one is still pending. The Best of the Webs, I know you pay $150 for a year and you can get a link there. That’s something else I haven’t gotten to yet, but I think it’s a really good directory go to. I did have a few other directory links. They’re like, pay eight bucks, ten bucks, and you get a lifetime link there. I actually had probably ten to 20 blog comments that I kind of went out there, manually searched through my competition, through Majestic. I kind of made that. They were like random anchor texts with various different names like, Steve, Josh, Zach, Plato. Those were pretty much the anchor texts going to the site.

Matt Diggity:

Right, okay.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I did that pretty much, not link juice but – I don’t know if this makes sense but, to diversify the anchor texts ratio. Make it look natural.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah, absolutely. Makes sense. Did you end up bothering tracking your follow versus no follow ratios on your links?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I haven’t. Man, I never even thought of that really. I don’t know what the importance of that is. I’m sure it’s important, but I don’t know what the importance is. I haven’t tried doing that though.

Matt Diggity:

I thought it just makes things look a little bit natural. There’s going to be a good balance between follow and do follow links on any natural looking site. You definitely passed the test anyways, because you’re getting links from all different sources and some of them are going to be follow versus do follow, just naturally. I think you got it. You nailed it anyways.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, man. I think more than half of my links are actually no follow. That’s partly because I have probably about 20 to 30 links from those press releases and a lot of those were no follow links initially. I think that kind of set me half and half at this point.

Matt Diggity:

You’re absolutely right. That’s one of the main awesome benefits of press releases. What did you do – did you do any outreach or content marketing, or whatever they’re calling it these days? Did you do any of that?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I haven’t been. I know that’s a really good strategy to implement, I just have been scared to do it. I don’t know who to reach out to. I don’t think my contacts were that great to where people would link out to me, but maybe it is that good, or maybe it’s just me being negative about my site in terms of quality. I know it’s a good strategy to do and I’m going to implement it in the future for sure, but I haven’t done it for the site in the past.

Matt Diggity:

Gotcha. Well, hats off to the WhiteHat folks who have figured out how to do this and scale it. I’m intimidated by it, by myself man. Just being honest.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, hats off here too, man. That’s some persistence right there.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah, yeah. Okay, cool. Let’s talk about monetization. How did you monetize this bad boy?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Sure. First thing I did was I placed Amazon affiliate codes, I placed codes and that’s pretty much it. I did that for a while and then I think like six months later after I got the site’s income to get the ball rolling, I added some AdSense in there.

Matt Diggity:

Okay, good old Amazon. Did you try any other methods like CPA?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

No, man. I’m not sure – I couldn’t think of how I could implement that in there. I wasn’t too crazy about it because I didn’t know how I could make it work really good. That’s why I didn’t do it. I didn’t put it in there. I’m sure it would work, I just don’t know how to do it properly.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah, I’m not that familiar with the auto-niche, but I’ve seen many CPA offers there. Yeah, it probably exists somewhere.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

You can probably put links to Allstate or Geico and get some kind of commission off of that.

Matt Diggity:

Sure, there you go. For sure. Question. Did you get all your traffic from organic or do you mix in any PPC or email marketing, anything like that?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

No, pretty much 98% of the traffic site was organic.

Matt Diggity:

Okay, cool. The same as me. Strictly organic, man. Whole Foods.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, I think it’s more targeted. People are searching for a specific topic. They find your site. It’s better.

Matt Diggity:

Cool, cool. This is a question some people are sensitive about, so maybe you don’t really want to answer it. At the point, you sold your site, what was your monthly revenue looking like?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

The month before I sold the site – the site made me just a tad over $18,000 in sale. The most money I’ve ever made, probably ever in a month.

Matt Diggity:

Very cool, man. Awesome for a 23-year-old. I have to ask this. You had so much passive income, it’s the most money you’ve ever made. What made you decide to sell the site?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I didn’t want to sell the site at all dude, to be honest. I was just like, all right. I initially thought that it would take a while to sell the site. I thought this would take months, since it’s already a $200,000 site. I put it up and I was just expecting that it would take a few months. I didn’t think it would sell within three weeks from being up for sale. I initially didn’t want to sell it, but it just happened to sell. I was like, all right, whatever. It’s time to work on a new project.

Matt Diggity:

Dang. You just had this idea like, okay, selling it does sound cool. I have no idea when that’s going to happen, so I’m just going to put it up there now. Three weeks, boom. You’ve got $200,000, right?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Pretty much. Exactly how it happened. I was pretty freaking shocked.

Matt Diggity:

That’s crazy. How did you sell it? Why was it so easy? Did you use a broker or did you do it yourself?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

I used Empire Flippers to sell it. I basically let Burkhart know I know FE International, but I haven’t talked to them yet. I’d been following them for a while. Yeah, they’ll set up your site, let’s see what happens. I think probably one of the reasons why it sold really fast was because it was listed at a relatively low multiple compared to the income I was about to get on average. Also, if you were to see the earnings on the chart, from March to the day it sold, it would lose those classical – the curve up. The curve up things, like crazy spike.

Matt Diggity:

Sure.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

That all had to do with traffic. The traffic was going really, really high and that’s why the income was also going high, too.

Matt Diggity:

Okay. Cool. Empire Flippers usually figures out your selling price. They take your monthly profit and then they figure out a multiple on what to multiply that by. Typically I see, I don’t know, 20 to 30X depending on whether it’s BlackHat, GrayHat, WhiteHat. What kind of multiple did you get?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Initially it was a 28X. Yeah, that’s right. 28X. I was actually blown away. I didn’t think it would be that high.

Matt Diggity:

Wow. That’s really good. I’ve never had one that went over 25, but I’m like full blast PBN. Maybe it’s because you mix it up so much. You had such a good, big site. So many really good things going on for your site and quality content that someone just saw an opportunity and was like, yes. This is mine.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, probably. Not sure what was going through the person’s head, but I think they were pretty optimistic and for a good reason, too.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah, yeah. Were there any challenges in getting it sold? Did you have to jump through any hoops? Was anything difficult in the process?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

No, not much. Just the fact, I just used a lot of different tracking ID’s to the site. I never went into optimizing different pages for the revenue, but I initially started – I recommend anyone who actually wants to have a full-time, crazy site, you want to go and track the individual pages with different tracking ID’s. That’s pretty much what I did. I had about 100 different tracking ID’s. I had to go actually out there and manually change them. A lot of them were extra short codes. I had to go out there and manually change individual short codes into full Amazon links. That took a little while, man.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah, all right. Well, I mean that’s okay. Not too bad.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Aside from that, man, it went really smooth.

Matt Diggity:

Okay, cool. I’ve used Empire Flippers a bunch of times. Do they make it pretty painless for you?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Dude, it’s really easy, man. The people are actually really chill and everybody talks on Skype. Through the whole process they were like, what’s up, man? How’s it going? They were almost like a friend. Pretty much your friends. It was really cool.

Matt Diggity:

They’ve got that vibe to their company. Shout out to Joe and Justin from Empire Flippers. The question that everyone’s going to be waiting for is, what are you going to do with that money or if you’ve already done something with it, what have you done? What have you done with $200K?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Okay, so for $200K, I honestly put money away for taxes. Aside from that, I wanted to get myself a car. I’ve been driving a Toyota Prius for forever. Since I was an Uber driver. I finally pulled the trigger on a BMW. I got a used one for a really good price, so I’m really happy about that.

Matt Diggity:

Sweet.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

The rest of the money, I’m going to use that to invest into offline projects. I’m looking with a friend to go into a motel and also some other real-estate deals. We’re not really too sure what exactly to do with it, which deals we’re going to go through, which deals we’re not going to go through. Offline real-estate for sure. Then of course, like I said, other projects. Online projects. Other big sites and stuff like that.

Matt Diggity:

Very cool. I actually want to talk to you about offline. That’s my entire strategy. Make money online and then shift it offline with low risk. We can banter back and forth about that. I have to ask, what are your new projects? What are your new plans with SEO? Are you still into it? Are you still going for it?

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Oh, hell yeah, man. I could actually scale things up. That’s what I want to do, man. Reach a certain income per month and use that money to buy more websites and then on top of that, use that money to invest into real-estate and build up my site empire online. Almost like a real-estate empire. That’s what I want to do man, ultimately. That’s like my grand plan.

Matt Diggity:

Awesome. Awesome plan. Carry that momentum going forward. I just wanted to give you a big thanks for meeting with me and sharing everything that you had. You’ve been like an open book and I think everyone really appreciates that so, thank you very much, my friend.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Yeah, no problem, man. I’m really happy to have this interview, man. Hopefully I teach people some really useful tips.

Matt Diggity:

Yeah. Thanks everyone for listening. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to do more of these case studies, as I feel they’re pretty helpful for the folks that are all levels. Rather, you’re a beginner or you have some experience. Even myself, I’ve personally never sold a site as much as $200,000, so I’ve learned a lot from Ivan himself. I hope you feel the same. Come back soon. Again, thank you very much, Ivan. Take care.

Ivan Gordiyenko:

Thank you.

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