Everything you need to be successful building cashflowing websites, even if you’ve never built a website before.
Hi guys Sunil here and this is Jeff Hunt. He’s a website investor I’m the CEO of FlipMinds. We’re here to talk to you about?
It’s a good thing he knows what we’re talking about!
We have got a new course being launched called Review Website Masterclass where you can learn how to build review websites and of course make money from them, which is the most important thing.
And even become financially free by developing review websites.
Jeff what is a review website?
Well review websites are very simply, websites that are created to help people in the buying process to make decisions about what products to buy. And I think probably everyone, you included, have been on review websites even in the last few weeks.
I would imagine absolutely. I mean I was just looking for a piano for my six-year-old daughter. So I actually spent a lot of time trying to find the right piano for her. I know someone who’s just learning how to play the piano doesn’t want to spend too much or too little. We want something that’s going grow with her. So yeah, we did spend a lot of time doing research.
And you’re not alone. I think you know that’s the trend. So many people are buying online now that the percentage of purchases that are online is growing all the time. And there are so many more products that are available which means so many more choices that you have to make, and things to choose between.
And that’s why review sites are growing in importance. Lots more people are visiting review sites now than even before.
The business model has been around forever. I mean I remember when I was a kid my parents had the Consumer Reports magazine and when they were buying a washing machine or a mattress or whatever, they looked it up.
So it’s not that this is a new thing but I think it’s getting more critical as time goes on.
I think so too. So that I understand it and everyone at home understands it as well, a review website is a website that you put up which reviews products. It has links to buy those products and then when somebody buys those products the website owner makes a commission.
Yeah that’s exactly right. And the cool thing about that is that you don’t have to create the products and you don’t have to sell or service the products. Your job is simply to explain and research the products and help people make those decisions. Then you influence them to click the links and make a purchase.
So the good thing about it is you don’t have to be a salesman and you really are helping people by doing this. Everybody needs that advice and is looking for someone else to do the research on their behalf.
Awesome, so how much money can you make from these things Jeff?
Well you know there’s a long answer to that question and a short answer.
A little over a year ago a famous website called TheWireCutter.com sold to the New York Times for around 30 million dollars. It was a pure review website – that’s all they do is product reviews.
That made a big splash and of course people started to take note of that. You know anytime you have a website sell for 30 million dollars people think “whoa. maybe I can do this too!” I was one of the ones watching when that happened.
My websites aren’t at that level… yet! My portfolio of websites includes a relatively young one that’s about 14 months old. It didn’t make any money for the first four or five months and then started I started seeing the traffic and the revenue come in. Now it has grown to about seventeen hundred dollars a month in revenue.
As you probably know, websites are valued on a multiple of their net income. Rough numbers, you could take 30 times that average monthly net income and probably sell that site for about $51,000 based on what it is earning now. But, of course it’s growing every month.
That’s one example and I have about 12,000 dollars invested in it. So the fact that just a little over a year old and it’s already worth $51K, plus it has cash flow every month makes it a really phenomenal ROI.
Absolutely. You used the word “invested”. What have you invested in?
I used the word invest and what I meant by that is I’ve spent twelve thousand dollars, primarily on articles for the website. That’s mostly what the website is about, just articles that review products.
So you’re telling me that you actually don’t do the articles yourself?
Yeah, I don’t ever write articles myself. I don’t I want to spend my time that way. I hire writers to do that and it works really well. The kind of work I end up doing is to find the writers and to give them assignments of which product to write about.
I do the research. I try to determine what the best products to write about are.
So that’s your secret sauce?
Yeah it is. What makes it important, why it’s sauce, is because the choice of what products you write about and which articles you write is what drives whether any traffic is going to come to your site or not.
For a website, traffic is the same thing as a customer is for a store. We have to have people coming in the door or visiting our website. It makes all the difference in the world which article topics you choose.
If you just walk down the hallway at Walmart or something and you see a product that sounds good to you and you go home and write an article about it, your chances of actually ever getting visitors to that page are very low.
So the model sounds really straightforward. You review products. You, of course, find the right products to review and obviously have some sort of process involved in writing that review. I guess there are certain things you have to include or not and then you put it out there.
Then you do lots of marketing and like spend lots of money to get people to your website? What happens next?
The answer is no. We don’t do any marketing at all. What we do is we have this process for choosing the right articles and the combination of the right articles and very high-quality content, well-written articles, actually yields the traffic. We don’t have to go out and do any outreach or any marketing or any search engine optimization stuff with backlinks and things like that.
We only do things that we can do on the site itself.
Wow so is there any reason why you don’t write the articles yourself?
Well, you know I suppose if I had time and I was interested in writing the articles, I could do that. One thing in my case is because I found that I get such good returns on my money I actually want to get as much article content out there as fast as I can.
So there’s no way I could do everything that I do by myself. I hire. I do have a budget. I try to stick to a certain monthly budget for how much I spend on articles and how many writers I hire. That’s how I’m constrained. If I had more writers then I could grow even faster.
Going back to the “how much you can make” equation for a minute, you said it took a little while for the sites to get traction. So what’s the curve look like? Is it like a straight line curve or more like a Whoa kind of curve?
It is more like the Whoa kind of curve. You’ve got to invest a bit of money upfront. You have to have the faith that it’s going to work out, and then once it kicks in, if you have followed the process you’re going to start to see returns.
And you get an asset that’s worth a great deal more than you invested in it. And it is throwing off all this cash flow, and there’s no limit on how many of these websites you can create.
Yeah that’s really great.
It depends on how much cash you have to invest because it’s going to take a little while for that first one to pay for itself. The first part of the process, the part where we’re doing research to choose the niche and we’re doing research to figure out which articles to write about, you know, that takes some time and some effort.
I do that myself. I can’t do an infinite amount of that although I could probably train people to do it. I could scale them that way. I just haven’t chosen to do that yet.
Right. So it sounds really straightforward. You know you go and spend some time working out what to write about and write the articles, put it out there and eventually Google kicks in to send you traffic. And because it’s such a quality article people then start to buy the products you’re recommending and you get commissioned. Yeah that’s brilliant.
That’s it. Yeah you do have to be patient in that Whoa curve the first six months or so. You’ll start to see some traffic, maybe a little bit of revenue in that first six months. Then it really starts picking up once, as you said, Google kicks in.
Is it suitable for normal people or do you have to be a techie?
That’s a good question. I think a lot of times when I tell people what I do for a living and I mention the word “website” they think this is just a technical thing, it could never be for me.
But the truth is that there are a billion websites in the world that are active; maybe a little more than that. The vast majority of them are created by normal people. They don’t have technical backgrounds or experience or education or anything like that.
You know there are 20 million mommy blogs alone, I’ve heard. So regular people can do this.
And another question that comes to people’s minds – I think you know some people ask do you have to be a techie, but I think some people are just wondering “Can I do this?” “Do I have what it takes to do this?” Have you seen that in your business?
Yes and that’s a really great way of putting it. So let me rephrase the question. What kind of skills do you need to be successful in this business?
Well you have to be organized. You have to have some discipline. That’s what’s going to make the difference in most cases. If you have the willpower, you stick with it, you have the patience to get through, set it up, then wait for the system to work, you’re going to be successful.
If you get impatient, you get frustrated, you know, you don’t hire the writers or your first writer doesn’t turn out well and then you stop, obviously you’re going to get nowhere.
But that’s a part of any business right? Whatever you start you’re going to have hiccups, you’re going to make mistakes along the way.
Obviously because you’ve got that many years of experience I guess that’s been you’ve been able to fine-tune your system more effectively and package it up in a good format that’s available for everybody?
I think part of it is its it comes back to motivation and for me, the thing that’s helped my motivation in this particular arena is that I’ve actually seen these things work out. I’ve seen several of them start at nothing and then build gradually and then pick way up and really be worth something.
I have lots of confidence I could start three or four more of these this quarter. You know you may have that little doubt in about month five or six. Is this thing really going to work. And then they just take off. So I think that’s what has motivated me.
Good stuff! How can people find out how to do this? Or maybe you can tell us more about the Review Website Masterclass?
The review website masterclass is basically my system, my templates, the tools that I’ve used, the things that I’ve learned.
And specifically, the real important strategy for choosing those article topics and then knowing what to put inside the articles themselves.
That’s the system part of it but then there are tools and templates that I use to hire and educate writers, and the stuff that gets installed on the website that makes everything perform better. All of that is part of the package.
And there’s more than that actually, because we also include commercial tools that would be a little bit expensive but we include those in the package as well.
Then we have a community as part of the whole Review Website Masterclass. I believe the community and having people around you doing the same thing is really important.
You know you can learn stuff and when you’re learning you’re very motivated. But the motivation tends to go down after you’ve learnt and I think being part of community for basically as long as you need it (you know we’ve been told that we can’t say “for life” now because it’s like, whose life is it?
But it’s there and it’s available. There’s no ongoing fee for access to the community so having that support community around you is really, really important. I think it is a critical factor for success seeing other people make progress is inspirational and very, very important.
Yeah and that’s certainly the case for me. It’s really cool to be at the same stage of the lifecycle as other people who are starting out fresh and have very similar questions to you.
But it’s also good to have people who’ve done all of that and have the real knowledge. You know, they’ve made the mistakes and can tell you what they did to get past the obstacles and things like that. All that’s available.
Didn’t you tell me that when you created the course you actually started another website live right from scratch?
Yeah, I did and in fact I hadn’t planned on doing that and then one of my students said hey as you’re putting this course together why don’t you actually do a live site. So I started a new, live site and I did the exact steps that you’ll need to do when you create your own review website. You can watch during the course how that site got built and in fact it’s still being built. There are articles being published on the site even today.
You’ll be able to watch along with me how the site grows. And nothing will be hidden. You’ll know the niche that it’s in, see what it looks like and be able to use it as a model for your own site or at least visualize what a completed site looks like.
That sounds really good but how easy is it really? I mean you know, you’re making it sound pretty straightforward. Is it really that easy?
Well they tell you it’s easy. All these things are fairly easy to get into but they’re hard to master. I mean they take some real skills to perfect.
What we’ve tried to do is explain that very clearly in the course. There is certainly effort required and most of the time is front-loaded, setting up the website initially. Understanding how to hire writers and get them on board, researching the niche, etc. but then after that, depending on how many articles you publish, if you decide just to publish one a week or so, you might only spend 20 or 30 minutes per week.
Even if you write them yourself you’re only going to spend a couple hours a week. If you want to publish a whole lot more articles, then that amount of time might scale up.
Now one thing I’ve done personally is I make sure the writers themselves do almost ninetynine and a half percent of the work. I mean I try to train them so that I don’t have to do much editing whatsoever and that really takes the load off myself.
Brilliant. You talked about investment. So if I’m contemplating doing the review website masterclass to build one website, what kind of amount of money should I have available to invest in these articles and the content?
You can set your own budget and go at your own pace. Kind of a rule of thumb is to aim for about five thousand dollars to be spent over the course of a year. That’s around 400 dollars a month. That would be a very reasonable goal.
I think I mentioned one site that I have that’s about 10 or 11 months old. I’ve spent about forty five hundred on that site so far and its earning around and it’s now earning $400 a month so the income curve and the cost have now crossed. When it earns more than 400 I’ll have positive cashflow from it.
But of course I could sell the site today for ten to twelve thousand dollars, so I already have one hundred percent ROI on the investment.
I think the beautiful thing about these kind of businesses is when you’re looking to sell them, they require limited effort to keep running, which is very attractive for a buyer. Most other businesses they are looking at require more ongoing maintenance which is why the multiple that Jeff talked about, 30x, is actually quite on the high side in terms of buying websites and in some cases for websites even 2 or 3 or 4 years old, that multiple could be even higher. Right Jeff?
Yeah that’s right and as you said, you know everybody wants to buy a site that doesn’t require much work and so people are willing to pay more for sites that are pretty passive income.
Jeff what are the risks of these web sites? It can’t be all good, right? What are some of the problems that could happen?
Well you know there are two categories of risk primarily. One is on the traffic side. One is on the revenue side.
On the revenue side the people who pay the commissions, the retailers, Amazon, etc., they can change their terms on you. So you’re a little bit at their mercy from that perspective. That’s why we try to diversify on that side of things.
Then on the traffic side the risk is that you could get less traffic from Google. But on that side most people think that would be the riskiest thing about this because they’re relying on Google. In fact it certainly is a risk area but the way we do it, completely whitehat, using completely clean techniques, it is far less risky. We don’t do anything to manipulate the search engines so we actually feel pretty confident about the traffic consistency.
You’re just ticking all the boxes, of basically what Google’s looking for. And I remember going back 20 years and there were people who used to tell me that content is king. Back then and that hasn’t changed. Really good content is still king.
That’s what people are looking for. As you said there’s no blackhat. There’s no underhanded things going on to try and get traffic. A lot of the websites that we see for sale online have unwanted things happening behind the scenes, or questionable practices somewhere in their history. They are sitting there in the closet waiting for Google to find them out. So many sites you buy end up going to zero within a few months or even weeks because of those shady strategies.
What I like about the review websites is yeah, they do tick all the boxes, great content and because it’s high quality content, that’s what’s bringing in the traffic. So would you say that one of the risks is somebody else writing a better article about that particular product that you’re reviewing? Is that a risk?
Yeah that’s a possibility. People can compete with you when you put something out on the Internet. Everybody sees what it is. I mean we can copy from The WireCutter in terms of their structure, their form, their length – all of those criteria.
But as you said it takes some time for the website to gain traction. If I’ve got a two-year old article that’s really performing well, and somebody else starts today I’ve kind of got a two-year head start on them.
Yeah that’s absolutely right. One thing that happens is as traffic builds, and people start clicking on your articles, then your authority indicators go up in Google’s eyes. So you’re perceived as having more authority, more credibility. And although people can attack the same products, attack the same article topics, there’s nothing that keeps people from doing that, it takes them a while to establish the same authority, if they ever establish it.
If you’re producing a lot of content, and that competition happens in a couple of areas, then it is just noise as far as the overall business is concerned.
Do people need this course Jeff? Sounds really simple.
If you know the secret to how to get traffic, that’s the main challenge of the whole internet, is how do you do that. So if you already know how to write articles and get traffic. And if you can write the right targeted articles to drive the maximum revenue then you may not need the course.
I think the vast majority of people really don’t know how to do that and a lot of people who think they know how to do that don’t actually know how to do it. That’s the core value of the course. The process and system and the way to be able to repeat it. Not just, you know, one time or ten times but several hundred times, as you build out the content for a website.
Then of course beyond that it’s just the tools and templates and the ability to be able to jumpstart this thing.
And the community of course.
Exactly. Just getting past those obstacles by being able to get a quick answer from people who have already done it before.
Cool and you’ve obviously done a lot of different websites and seen a lot of different things online. What are some of the things that you like especially about review websites?
I mentioned earlier that I like the idea of not having to be a sales guy. Not necessarily having to be an internet marketer either. You just write credible, authoritative articles and published them.
I like the idea that just by being authentic and being yourself, you can do something that people really want and need. That’s the second thing. It really helps people. People value good advice about purchase decisions.
So there’s gratification and there’s money to be made. The trends are going in the right direction.
This is one of those rare business models that has been around forever, giving advice, doing product reviews and so on. But it’s also kind of unique in that it’s been around forever but now is a good time to get in. Why? Because there are so many more choices and so much more research to be done. Every week there are more new products coming out than the previous week.
Yeah so much misinformation out there.
Cool. If you’re interested in the review website masterclass you’ll find a link to book the course below you’ll get instant access and of course you’ll be part of the community, which for me is very valuable.
You will get immediate access to all the videos so you can start learning straight away. All the tools are there and then you can get set up and get going.
And of course, remember that it doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long-term process. So if you’ve got some spare time and you want to invest in something that is going to create an asset for you, that is going to be extremely valuable and give you cash flow, I think review websites is an excellent choice.
Any last words Jeff?
First of all, thanks for this discussion. I think it’s been really good. I’ve never actually talked about this in a public forum before, so I think that’s good. You know, there are a lot of ways to make money online. I can personally recommend this one from my own experience, having seen and tried most of the other methods. So I feel good about recommending this to people and I look forward to having you join me in it!
Great thanks very much
The Review Website Masterclass…
A Proven System
The secret sauce of any online business is two things. 1) How to get visitors to a website and 2) How to make money from those visitors.
This course teaches Jeff’s step by step process for defining, launching, operating and scaling websites in a way that consistently attracts visitors and maximizes profit from those visitors.
9 Video Modules
You will receive a WordPress site template preloaded with a theme and collection of plugins selected to get you up and running as quickly as possible.
Live Case Study
Total Duration: 00:00:00
Success factors in the development of your first product review website. The basic economics, how much it will cost, how much you can make and what you can sell your website for when the time is right.
The exact process for choosing a successful niche. Not all niches are created equal and not all niches will even be profitable.
The tools and process for locating keywords that will be the foundation for profitable traffic to your review website.
The do’s and don’ts and tools for choosing and purchasing your domain name.
The structure and process for creating article content that will attract traffic and generate profit-earning clicks. Templates and tools to train writers to create this content for you.
Where to find writers, how to choose good writers, the hiring process and work assignment and management.
A template for setting up your review site with all the plugins and settings you need to implement the techniques in this course.
The pages every authority site must have and website structure that will please Google and keep visitors engaged.
How to double down on successful traffic, generating even more traffic to to important articles and making more money from existing visitors.
What If I Am New to Websites?
Website builders come from all walks of life and educational backgrounds. You don’t have to be a techie or a marketer to make money with websites!
We are including the Online Business Masterclass to give you a complete foundation for the review website course and in fact, for any website business you may want to launch.
This comprehensive course can be consumed start to finish, or can be used as a resource to refer to for specific skills you may need at any time in the future.
About Jeff Hunt
Jeff Hunt is an internet investor, website owner and Internet marketer. He supports his family of 6 from his home PC and iPhone.
Over the last 10 years, Jeff has bought and sold over 300 income producing websites.
He speaks, teaches and coaches and is always on the lookout for the next big deal.
As a Project Executive for IBM, Jeff managed $25 million annual outsourcing contracts for mega-clients including Kodak and Sony-Ericsson. In between offline and online careers his family spent 7 years in a West Asian country serving students, families and small businesses.
Today Jeff enjoys capitalizing on internet opportunities and helping others to do the same. He actively buys and grows websites with the intent of creating multiple passive income streams.
Jeff makes his home in Indianapolis with his wife and 4 kids.
Review Website Masterclass Order Form
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I get immediate access?
Yes, as soon as you book you will be sent access details for the masterclass along with details of how to access the membership site.
How long do I get access for?
There is no end date to your access. As long as Flip Minds is in existence, you will have access.