Lessons Learned from 175 Website Flips: Mushfiq’s Easy Win Strategies for 10x Growth

Lessons Learned from 175 Website Flips: Mushfiq’s Easy Win Strategies for 10x Growth

Mushfiq S. is a name I keep hearing more and more about. I’ve been aware of his work, but had never connected with Mushfiq until now. 

Mushfiq is the owner of a popular  website flipping newsletter and EasyWins.io. To date, he has completed over 175 website flips, whether buying, selling, or brokering website deals. 

Even more impressive, he’s done all of this while still holding a full-time job. 

How did he manage to flip so many websites? He’s created systematic processes of “easy wins”. These easy wins are tasks, or site improvements often overlooked but take relatively little time to complete and provide a big impact. 

He then took the processes and bundled them into a resource you can purchase at EasyWins.io. It’s not a course, but a growing database of 100+ strategic wins for website creators to 10X revenue and traffic

This week only, the Niche Pursuits audience can get $50 off EasyWins.io right here.

100+ battle-tested strategies applied to 175 websites over 12 years to increase website valuations

  • 100+ strategies and growing!
  • Sort by category, impact, and effort required
  • Lifetime updates
  • Guaranteed impact or 100% money back

Get $50 Off Easy Wins

Watch the Entire Interview

How did Easy Wins get started?

Mushfiq started his first website as a college student in 2008. Then in 2010, he got an offer from an Australian company to buy his website. 

At the time, Mushfiq didn’t even know you could sell a website. This was just around the time Flippa and other website marketplace platforms were just getting started, and there wasn’t a lot of information on website sales.

The sale of his first site netted him $25k. The company that purchased his site is now known as Slashdot Media, the company behind SourceForge and other popular brands. 

As other college students were going into debt and working minimum wage jobs, Mushfiq got his first glimpse into website flipping and found his passion. 

Mushfiq says browsing websites for sale on sites like Flippa and Motion Invest is almost like a hobby for him now. Whenever he has a little downtime, he finds himself scrolling website classified listings. 

Website Flipping Examples

Mushfiq’s website flipping hobby is paying off big time. In the last few years, he’s been able to 10x a handful of sites. 

Example #1: Outdoor Website

In April, he bought a site in the outdoor niche from Flippa for $23,000. At the time, the site was only making $300, about a 70x multiple. By just about any standards, this meant the website was notably overpriced. 

As most people passed the site over as of the high asking price to revenue multiple, Mushfiq saw the potential. 

The site was receiving over 100,000 views a month. Mushfiq knew it was under-monetized. In just a few short months after adding advertising and affiliate links and applying several of his other “easy wins”, the site began making $3,000 a month. 

Ten times the original monthly sales, but he didn’t stop there. Last month the site did $7k in monthly revenue. 

I would maybe just chalk this up as good luck, but this wasn’t the first time Mushfiqs has 10x revenues. 

Example #2: Relationship and Dating Website

In 2019 Musfiq had similar results when he bought a relationship and dating website for $25,000. At the time, the site was making $1,000 per month with 30,000 pageviews. Again Mushfiq believed the site to be under-monetized and had plenty of potential. He was able to bring the site from making a mere $1,000 per month to over $8,000. 

100+ battle-tested strategies applied to 175 websites over 12 years to increase website valuations

  • 100+ strategies and growing!
  • Sort by category, impact, and effort required
  • Lifetime updates
  • Guaranteed impact or 100% money back

Get $50 Off Easy Wins

Using his systematic approach of applying his list of easy wins, he was able to quickly grow this site in less than a year.

What makes a good deal?

Mushfiq spends hours looking for great sites. He’s says finding these opportunities for a 10x revenue flip typically only happens once per year. There are a few very particular things to look for to make this happen. 

  1. Previous Owners.
    Mushfiq loves to find amateur bloggers or hobbyists that are writing about their niche because they love it. People who start a passion blog have great content but lack the experience to generate significant revenue from their online presence.
  2. Lots of traffic, low monetization
    Low monetization can mean a lot of things, and different industries have different benchmarks. It could also mean other monetization channels, whether that be from advertising or affiliates.
  3. Quick deals
    Mushfiq prides himself in fast deals. If there is enough potential in the site, he’s ready to strike a deal. Mushfiq won’t spend much time negotiating. If he can get the deal done quickly and the opportunity is there, he is willing to pay the full asking price.

Mushfiq’s Website Flipping Process

Each deal is held anywhere from 3 months to 1.5 years. Each site is different, but the operational aspects of Mushfiq’s website flipping process have been boiled down into a few categories: growth, stabilization, and maintenance. 

Growth: 

As a developer, Mushfiq says he loves to work in sprints. Each time he purchases a new website, he will put together a sprint of easy wins to build momentum for the project. 

The growth stage is when he is focused on income. This is where is putting in the changes to take the site from, say $300 to $3,000. 

Stabilization: 

At this stage, the focus is on infrastructure. Maybe a new website theme is needed, removing or adding plugins, site speed, or structuring keywords. 

Maintenace: 

Depending on whether he is planning for a quick flip or keeping the site in his portfolio, maintenance may look a little different, but ultimately at this stage, the goal is to look at page keywords, content, etc. Essentially he wants to keep doing the things that made it a great website in the first place. 

Using EasyWins.io Strategies for OwnTheYard

100+ battle-tested strategies applied to 175 websites over 12 years to increase website valuations

  • 100+ strategies and growing!
  • Sort by category, impact, and effort required
  • Lifetime updates
  • Guaranteed impact or 100% money back

Get $50 Off Easy Wins

Each phase will leverage different strategies found in the EasyWins database. To show exactly the type of strategies that are in the list, Mushfiq gave my site OwntheYard.com a quick audit and shared exactly what he would do to improve the site. 

I knew there was room for improvement with my site, but what surprised me was just how quick and easy the suggestions Mushfiq suggested would be to implement. 

These suggestions were things I could do once and be effective for the life of the website. 

I’ve included just a few of the recommendations he provided. You can see all his recommendations with the Youtube video here. 

  • Sticky Side Bar Ad

    I was already using Ezoic on my site and have been monetizing quite nicely this way, but Mushfiq shared a way that I could optimize to earn even more.

    The sticky sidebar ad is one of the highest-earning ad placements. On a handful of my pages the sticky sidebar ad was not enable. By enabling I should instantly see a spike in revenue.

  • Minimizing Featured Image

    Above the fold is one of the most valuable places on the page. By reducing the large featured images to be smaller, I could get more content above the fold and provide a better user experience.

    Making featured images smaller would also result in more ads being shown higher up on the page, providing additional revenue.

    Mushfiq also recommends using tools like Canva to add a customized logo or making the images unique as he’s seen a better performance than when using custom vs stock photos.

  • Adding Link Text

    I used the AAWP plugin  and the AmaLinks Pro plugin to push traffic to my Amazon affiliate links, but one area that I wasn’t linking was the link text.

    A quick, easy win would be to add link text when mentioning products and brands. Both text and image links are high converting links. By adding the link text we should see a significant increase in the number of on-page clicks. 

  • Replace Amazon Native Ads

    At the end of many pages, I include a “Shop Related Products” option using Amazon’s native shopping widget.

    Historically this native shopping widget provides low conversions. Mushfiq’s recommendation was to replace the native ad with AAWP product comparison or telling the readers my best product suggestion at the end of the article as a call to action.

Implementing EasyWins.io

Anytime I start thinking about optimizing my sites, I start feeling overwhelmed. Owntheyard.com has over 500 pages. Optimizing feels like a never-ending task. 

Mushfiq recommends only looking at the top 10 revenue pages or pages with significant traffic, and the suggestions like updating the themes featured image position would only have to be done once and implemented across the site. 

Mushfiq also sees some of his Easywins.io customers leverage the database of strategies to provide the list to a virtual assistant to complete the tasks. 

These just scratched the surface of the strategies Mushfiq and EasyWins.io have to offer. There are over 100 and the list keeps growing. 

You can get $50 off the database this week when you purchase EasyWins with the NichePursuits link here!

 

Here’s What We Learned About Google Searches

Here’s What We Learned About Google Searches

We analyzed 306M keywords to understand the types of queries that people use in Google search.

Specifically, we looked at keyword distribution, query length, keyword difficulty, CPC, SERP features, and more.

Using data from DataForSEO and Ahrefs, we uncovered some very interesting findings.

Now it’s time to share what we found.

Here is a Summary of Our Key Findings:

1. 91.8% of all search queries are long tail keywords. However, long tails are responsible for a relatively small percentage of total search volume (3.3%).

2. Search demand is concentrated in a small percentage of high volume terms. In fact, the top 500 most popular search terms make up 8.4% of all search volume. And the top 2000 keywords are responsible for 12.2% of all searches conducted in Google.

3. The average keyword gets 989 searches per month. However, the median search volume for a keyword is only 10 searches per month. Which shows that low-volume long tail keywords are extremely prevalent in Google search.

4. 14.1% of searches are in the form of a question.

5. “How” keywords are the most common type of question keyword. Followed by “what”, “where” and “who”.

6. The mean CPC of a keyword is $0.61. Search terms related to finance and real estate have the highest average CPC.

7. The average keyword is 1.9 total words.

8. Not surprisingly, longer keywords get searched for less often than shorter keywords. In fact, keywords with 5+ words get an average of 10x fewer searches than search terms that are 1-3 words in length.

9. Industries with the highest search volume are “News and Media”, “Internet & Telecom”, “Arts & Entertainment” and “Consumer Electronics”.

10. Popular keywords have significantly higher keyword difficulty scores. In fact, each time search volume doubles, keyword difficulty goes up by 1.63.

11. SERP features are extremely common in Google search. In fact, only 2.4% of all Google search results don’t contain at least one SERP feature.

12. The most common SERP features present in Google are People Also Ask (19.5%), image packs (19.4%), video results (17.9%) and Top Stories (15.5%).

We have detailed data and information on our findings below.

According to our analysis of 306M US keywords, the vast majority of search terms (91.8%) are long tail keywords.

91 Percent Of Search Terms Are Long Tail Keywords

However, we also discovered that long tails don’t account for a large percentage of search volume.

Head Terms Account For The Vast Majority Of Search Volume

In fact, all long tails combined only account for 3.3% of total search volume.

In other words, we found that most keywords tend to be long tails. But even when added together, long tails only make up a small part of global search demand.

(For this study we considered any keyword with 1-100 searches per month as “long tail”).

This finding is largely in-line with a keyword analysis conducted by Ahrefs earlier this year.

Like the Ahrefs analysis, we defined long tail keywords as any keyword getting less than 100 searches per month. The exact numbers differed due to differences in sample size and analysis. But we both found that a) long tails account for most keywords and b) long tail keywords represent a relatively small slice of the search demand pie.

Key Takeaway: 91.8% of keywords are long tail keywords. However, even when added together, long tails only account for 3.3% of overall search demand.

Search Demand is Largely Concentrated Among a Relatively Small Number of Keywords

A relatively small number of search terms make up a large percentage of total search demand.

Specifically, the 500 most popular search terms make up 8.4% of all search volume.

Search Demand Is Largely Concentrated Among A Relatively Small Number Of Keywords

It’s not surprising to see that monthly search volume is not evenly distributed. But we were surprised to see how skewed search behavior is towards a small number of search terms.

For example, when including misspellings, 2-3% of all searches conducted in Google are for 4 keywords: YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and Google.

Most popular keywords in Google (ranked by % of all searches)
Keyword Volume
YouTube 0.546%
Facebook 0.530%
Amazon 0.407%
Gmail 0.296%
Google 0.271%
Weather 0.164%
Yahoo 0.161%
Ebay 0.161%
Walmart 0.145%
Yahoo Mail 0.143%
Netflix 0.139%
Google Docs 0.100%
Translate 0.098%
USPs tracking 0.093%
News 0.091%
Craigslist 0.091%
Fox News 0.091%
CNN 0.083%
Calculator 0.073%
Hotmail 0.064%
Roblox 0.063%
Target 0.063%
Instagram 0.057%
MSN 0.057%
Trump 0.054%
Twitter 0.054%
Bank of America 0.051%
New Year 0.051%
Maps 0.050%
NFL 0.044%
UPS Tracking 0.042%
Pinterest 0.041%
Linkedin 0.041%
ESPN 0.038%
Disney Plus 0.037%
Etsy 0.036%
USPs 0.035%
Finance 0.033%
AOL 0.029%
Women’s World Cup 2019 0.026%
NBA 0.024%
You 0.023%
Amazon Prime Video 0.022%
Internet Speed Test 0.021%
Bed Bath and Beyond 0.021%
Ikea 0.020%
Dow 0.018%
Food Near Me 0.018%
United Airlines 0.018%
Speedtest 0.017%

This finding is interesting for two reasons. First, it shows that a large amount of Google searches are navigational.

Second, it demonstrates the popularity of the four dominant internet brands compared to all other brands.

Key Takeaway: The 500 top keywords account for 8.4% of all search volume.

Average Search Volume for a Keyword Is 989 Searches Per Month

The typical keyword gets an average of 989 monthly searches.

The Typical Keyword Gets An Average Of 989 Monthly Searches In Google

However, this number is slightly skewed due to the concentration of extremely high-volume terms that we just talked about. Which is why we decided to also analyze median search volume.

And we discovered that median search volume is only 10 searches per month.

Median Search Volume Is Only 10 Searches Per Month

This shows that, again, the vast majority of keywords are “long tails” with relatively low monthly search volume.

Key Takeaway: The average keyword in Google gets searched for 989 times per month. However, it’s likely that this number is impacted by the top 500 search terms. And when we analyzed the median search volume, we found that the typical search volume for a keyword was only 10 searches per month.

14.1% of Search Queries are Question Keywords

As the name suggests, a question keyword is any keyword that contains “who”, “what”, “where”, “why” or “how”.

Considering that many people use Google to search for information, it should come as no surprise that question keywords are relatively common.

Indeed, we found that 14.1% of searches in Google were conducted via a question keyword.

14 Percent Of Search Queries Are Question Keywords

We also brokedown the most common types of questions that people used.

How What Where Are The Most Common Types Of Question Keywords

As you can see, the most common types of question keywords were: “how” (8.07%), “what” (3.4%), “where” (.88%), “why” (.82%), “who” (.6%), and “which” (.33%).

Questions, by their nature of being relatively long and specific, are typically long tail terms. And as we also previously outlined, long tails are common in terms of keyword frequency. But they typically have low search volume (even when added together).

Key Takeaway: Making up 14.1% of all search terms, question keywords are relatively common in Google search.

The Average Keyword Has a CPC of $0.61

One of the main insights we wanted to look at for this research was Google Ads cost per click (CPC). And how CPCs varied between different industries.

We found that the typical keyword has a Google Ad CPC of $0.61.

The Average Keyword Has A CPC Of 61 Cents

We also broke down CPC by industry.

Finance Real Estate And Health Industries Have The Highest CPC

Overall, keywords in the real estate, finance, health, legal and home have the highest average CPCs.

On the other side of the spectrum, keywords related to the news, arts & entertainment, food and fitness have the lowest CPCs.

Key Takeaway: CPCs vary greatly between different keywords. When averaged together, the typical keyword costs $.61 per click. The finance, real estate and health verticals have the highest Google Ads CPCs. While fitness, food, and arts have relatively low CPCs.

The US Has Higher Average Search Volumes and CPCs Compared to Other English-Speaking Countries

For this analysis, we used a dataset of English language keywords from 5 countries: the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

When adjusted for population size, Americans search in Google far more often than any other English-speaking country.

Americans Search In Google More Than Any Other English Speaking Country

In fact, Americans use Google 38% more than the UK. And 90% more than Australia.

The US also has significantly higher CPCs on average.

The US Has Higher CPCs Compared To Other English Speaking Countries

While the absolute numbers are different between the US and other countries, search patterns tend to be fairly similar.

For example, with some exceptions, searches that have high US volume tend to have high international volume, and vice versa.

Popular Searches In The US Tend To Be Popular Internationally

Key Takeaway: The US uses Google far more than other English speaking countries. In fact, Americans search in Google 38% more than the UK and 90% more than Australia.

Mean Keyword Length is 1.9 Words and 8.5 Characters

Our analysis found that, among the 306M keywords that we looked at, the average keyword is 1.9 words and 8.5 characters in length.

Mean Keyword Length Is 2 Words And 8 Characters

We also looked at the relationship between keyword length and search volume. When looking at character count, extremely long and short keywords get relatively few searches.

We found that keywords between 5-10 characters tend to get searched for most often.

Keywords between 5-10 characters get searched for most often

And that 1-2 word terms have the highest average search volume.

1-2 Word Terms Have The Highest Average Search Volume

Key Takeaway: Mean keyword length in Google search is 8.5 characters and 1.9 words in length. We also found that shorter keywords (in terms of word count) have higher search volumes. In fact, short keywords (between 1-3 words) get 10x more searches than longer keywords (5+ words).

Industries With The Highest Mean Search Volume Keywords Include Internet & Telecom, News and Media, and Consumer Electronics

We decided to categorize each keyword in our data set. And investigate which industries had relatively high and low volume search terms.

Here’s what we discovered:

Industries With The Highest Mean Search Volume

When it comes to mean search volume, the most popular keywords in Google tend to fall under the categories: Internet & Telecom, Retailers, News, Arts & Entertainment, and Consumer Electronics.

On the other hand, keywords related to Real Estate, Vehicles, Occasions & Gifts, Home & Garden, and Law get relatively few searches.

We also ran the same analysis with a focus on total searches. In other words, instead of analyzing each keyword’s mean search volume, we looked at the total number of searches conducted under each category.

Industries With The Greatest Total Search Volume

As the chart indicates, the results are similar. But not identical.

Specifically, at 19.5% of all searches, “News & Media” is the most popular search category in Google. With “Internet & Telecom” (17.5%) and “Arts & Entertainment” (17.4%) 2nd and 3rd.

These findings make logical sense. Millions of people use Google to find information on current events. Which is why news-related searches make up nearly 1 out of 5 Google searches. However, each term isn’t going to rack up significant search volume. Which is why mean search volume for news-related keywords tend to be low.

Key Takeaway: “Internet & Telecom” is the most popular search category in terms of average search volume per keyword. However, when looking at the total number of searches per category, “News & Media” comes out on top. In fact, 19.5% of all Google searches fall under the “News & Media” category.

To get keyword difficulty data on our data set 306M keywords, we analyzed a subset of terms (approximately 2.5M) using Ahrefs.

Perhaps not surprisingly, popular search terms have higher average keyword difficulty scores compared to keywords with low search volume.

Popular Keywords Have Higher Keyword Difficulty Scores

For this analysis, we ran a subset of keywords from our dataset in Ahrefs. Although each SEO tool has a different approach for analyzing keyword difficulty, the keyword difficulty measurement in Ahrefs is considered reliable. They’re also transparent about how the metric is calculated.

Overall, we found that popular search terms tend to have more competition in the SERPs.

Specifically, each time search volume doubles, keyword difficulty goes up by approximately 1.63.

For example, as search volume goes from 100 to 3200 (6 doublings), the difficulty increases by roughly 10 (1.63 * 6).

This is likely due to the fact that popular keywords are attractive to SEOs and content marketers. Which leads to heightened SEO competition for those terms.

We also looked into the relationship between keyword difficulty and CPC. We found a clear relationship between those two variables. Specifically, the more competitive the terms, the higher the CPC.

Keywords With High Keyword Difficulty Scores Have Higher CPCs

Again, this finding is something that most digital marketers would expect. Keywords with high CPCs tend to have strong buyer intent. While many businesses are willing to pay to get in front of those searchers via Google Ads, others prefer to rank organically. Which leads to a glut of competition for high CPC terms.

Key Takeaway: Popular keywords have higher average keyword difficulty scores compared to keywords with low search volume. We also found a relationship between keyword difficulty and CPC. Specifically, keywords with high CPCs tend to have higher SERP competition levels.

People Also Ask Boxes, Image Packs and Videos are The Most Common SERP Features In Google Search

Next, we looked at the prevalence of SERP features. And the relationship between SERP features and keyword difficulty.

Firstly, we looked at which SERP features appear most often in Google’s search results.

The Most Common Search Features In Google Search

We found that the most prevalent search features in Google’s organic results are People Also Ask (19.4%), image packs (19.4%), video results (17.9%), Top Stories (15.4%) and Sitelinks (11.0%).

And the least common SERP features include Tweet boxes, Google Shopping results and Knowledge cards.

We also looked at which SERP features appeared together in the search results. Here are the most common SERP feature pairings.

The Most Common SERP Feature Pairings

Interestingly, keywords that bring up SERP features tend to be more competitive than those without SERP features.

Search Results With SERP Features Are More Competitive VS Those Without SERP Features

And Google search results with more SERP features have higher mean keyword difficulty.

Google Search Results With More SERP Features Have Higher Mean Keyword Difficulty

All in all, SERP features appear in almost all Google search results. In fact, 97.6% of searches contain at least one SERP feature.

97 Percent Of Searches Contain At Least One SERP Feature

We also noticed that searches without SERP features tend to have low volume.

Search Results Without SERP Features Are Usually Results For Very Low Volume Queries

This is likely due to the fact that these low-volume queries are extremely specific long tails. Which means there’s less likely to be a “match” in terms of a relevant YouTube video or Google Shopping result to use as part of a SERP feature.

We also looked into the impact that various SERP features have on clicks. Interestingly, knowledge cards tend to significantly reduce clicks-per-search. While the other SERP features appear to have limited effect on drawing clicks away from the “10 blue link” organic results.

Knowledge Cards Significantly Reduce Clicks Per Search

Key Takeaway: 97.6% of all Google searches result in a SERP feature. “People also ask” is the most popular SERP feature in Google.

Conclusion

I hope you found this analysis interesting.

I’d like to thank DataForSEO for providing the data on 306M keywords that made up the bulk of this research.

For those that are interested, here is a PDF of our study methods. And a link to a GitHub repository with all of the raw data.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

What’s your #1 learning from today’s research?

Or maybe you have a question about something from the study.

Either way, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.