Case Studies

I Bought a Penalized Hunting Blog for $4001 (Here’s How I Will Grow It)

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Life is funny…

Last week, I wrote a big Flippa review, where I explained why buying a site from Flippa might not be the best idea, specially if you are new in the world of internet marketing.

I still 100% believe that. If you are new, stay away from Flippa as the chance is very high that you will get scammed.

Having said that, I just bought a site from Flippa for $4001.

Hi, I'm​ Khalid...

I travel the world and try to live a digital nomad life. Want premium goodies from me? For free?

The reason that the price is $4001 and not $4000 is because the set buy it now price was $4000 and on Flippa, you will have to pay more than the set buy price to get a website.

The seller, who sold the site is from Vietnam, and the site is about Hunting.

Confirmation email from Flippa

Disclaimer: I hate hunting, I don’t support animal hunting and my plan is slowly transform the site into a gear review one.

This case study is basically about what I will do with the site, what’s my plan to grow it and how I will try a few monetization strategies to break even and eventually make profit from the site.

Note: When I bought the site, the seller didn’t disclose that this is a penalized site, also, his claims about Instagram and a few other points were wrong. I am trying to see if I can at least get a partial refund. My Flippa review still stands strong.

The Backstory

Here’s what I received from the seller:

  • The domain
  • The hosting files
  • A gmail account
  • An Instagram account with 32,000 followers
  • A Facebook page with 700 followers

That’s about it. As you can see, the Instagram is valuable. Around 89% of the Instagram audience are from USA and it is very active. I have plans to monetize the Instagram page, more on this later.

The site was primarily making money with Adsense & a few affiliate programs. All these affiliate programs are related to guns, and I don’t have any plans to continue those as I said in my disclaimer.

The only reason why I paid $4001 for the site is because of the healthy Instagram account with a decent follower number & the traffic of the site (still I think it was a mistake after a detailed due-diligence).

Google Analytics

As you can see from Google Analytics, the site actually receives a decent amount of traffic every month (though it dropped from June 2nd, 2019, thanks to the core algorithm update). Though the site doesn’t have many ‘money content’ pages (a money content is where you place an affiliate link or try to sell something to your audience), it is filled with informative articles. These pages are generating a good number of visitors every month.

I have a feeling that I will be able to recover the hit that it received on June, 2019. I also think, this is why the seller is selling the site in the first place and that’s why I got a good deal (according to me).

As you can see, very clearly, that bounce rate and average session Duration are two big problems that I need to address.

My Action Plan

Alright, so we just spent $4001 USD. We need to somehow get it back, right? I am not in a rush to get the investment back, but I would still want to make the site profitable within next 6 months. At the same time, I have plans to publish tons of content, which will delay the profitability.

I will keep you updated.

What would be my action plan to make it happen?

I don’t know yet.

For now, I am going to change all the links, make sure that the site has been moved perfectly and maybe go ahead and sign up with an Ad platform to see if we can monetize the site with Adsense or a similar platform, just to get things going.

If you want me to publish more updates about this site, let me know in the comments, and I will.

32 Comments

  1. Faisal Rahman Reply

    Hey,

    It will be very helpful for us to know the updates from time to time. How you monetize and how you use those huge Instagram followers, will be some interesting things to know. Please let us informed πŸ˜‰

  2. This will be an interesting case study. A site of mine that was affected in the June core update is just restored to its first page ranking after doing some internal re-structuring.

    Keep us updated!

  3. Would you kindly tell us, how you recovered this site? Recovering process

    • KhalidFarhan Reply

      I haven’t recovered it yet Mizan. Still penalized.

    • Dear Brother,
      I am sure that you are going to win this game. Please give us step by step (especially about your actions) information so that we can obtain learning from from yoir deal.
      Good Luck!!
      Eklim Bhai

  4. Gazi Atiqur Rahman Reply

    M waiting for your updates,
    Highly interested to know how you monetize this site.

    • JUWEL SAHA Reply

      interested to know the updates.
      I want step by step case study

  5. Interested to know and learn how this site will become a profitable site.

  6. Oh!! This is really thinking and understanding facts especially for beginner internet marketer. Definitely if let us update your action to help to learn more things.

  7. Really ur all activities r interesting. This is the main reason to like U. Keep update. We r waiting……..

  8. eagerly waiting for your case study result. It’s very good concern that you are examining with a penalized site, Many marketer has bad experience with their penalized sites. I hope they will be helpful by your study, and novice like me. I hope you will write continuously on this case study.

  9. Hi Khalid. How did you know it was penalized? From Google Analytics only or did you check Google Search Console looking for a drop in indexed pages for example? On the other side, did you compare the traffic trend year over year? I want to understand, to discard that drop in June is not a seasonal behavior.

    Good luck with the project.

    • KhalidFarhan Reply

      Hi Julian,

      It is the curve that tells everything (there’s big fall from June 2nd, nothing on search console though). Basically, it lost most rankings on that day. Not seasonal.

  10. Md. Raihan Kaisar Reply

    Dear,
    Khalid Farhan Bhaia, I’m waiting for your update

    Thanks
    Raihan

  11. Tanvir Alam Reply

    Highly interested in this topic. Waiting for your next article. πŸ™‚

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