Today we catch up with online entrepreneur Jeff Taylor, CEO at Devise Media, to discuss his experience founding a successful web development company as well as his $300,000 sale on Flippa of FightState.com. This interview is a must-read if you’re thinking about selling a high-value content site.
Tell us about your background as web entrepreneur.
I became involved with digital marketing over 7 years ago. I had a great job as a Business Intelligence consultant, helping the public sector make intelligent business decisions based on their data. I was incredibly fortunate to have been given the chance by the owner of the company. It was a great 5 years, the money was excellent, but something was missing, I just wasn’t happy. I decided to risk it and follow what interested me the most, which was creating and building websites.
I quit with no guarantees of succeeding. I think every entrepreneur has probably faced this decision at some point. You can’t be halfway in. I started a Web Design firm that focused on building websites for local area businesses, and then from there expanded to providing digital exposure and marketing services for client websites. I soon realized that client work is like having hundreds of bosses; that’s when I made the push to create digital assets to earn revenue for myself.
What is your education/employment/career background?
College is expensive and I didn’t want to take out massive loans to get myself in serious debt, so I joined the U.S. Navy to pay for college. It was an amazing experience, I was able to travel the world, and learn so much about other cultures and countries. I still talk with a bunch of the people I served with. All amazing people. The irony of it all was the experience in the Navy and secret clearance was what got me hired and a strong job afterwards, not my education.
When did you begin building and buying web businesses?
I started building web businesses outside of clients 4 or 5 years ago. It’s been a rewarding experience. I’ve met so many great people. I’ve had some great partners. My partner Evan Lisabeth has been right there with me for most of it all. Couldn’t have done it without him. The years of experience, and knowledge gained from working with people have been the most valuable asset. With the right knowledge and experience time is irrelevant.
What kind of sites have you worked on in the past?
I’ve had multiple seven figure website sales, revolving around fitness, gaming, and style. I’ve also had several six figure sales revolving around MMA, Tech, and Health. Those sites have ranged from affiliate based sites to display advertising. They all had strong communities of support that were passionate about the niche. These websites have all been content based sites (articles/videos). Very low tech. Anyone with decent WordPress knowledge could have built them.
Any special skills that you bring to the table?
Hundreds of hours of watching YouTube videos, reading forums, and learning from others. I don’t know of any course that will teach you what you need to know. You just need to get out there and fail as much as possible, and fail fast, so you can figure out what works and what doesn’t. Stop waiting for the perfect time. Stop reading this interview. Go work on it right now.
I don’t think there’s anything special I do in particular. I love this stuff. It never feels like work. I think maybe that plays a big part in it.
What brought you to Flippa? Why do you use Flippa?
I’ve used Flippa since the early days of it. It’s always an exciting experience. There’s not many experiences in this business better than seeing that bid icon light up. It’s no secret that Flippa has high visibility and a large, active userbase. I want to get as many eyeballs on a sale as possible. I’ve always focused on building quality sites with very strong communities that support them. There’s nothing to hide or shy away from. The sites I’ve sold are the result of months to years of tedious leg work, so I want them to be seen, and Flippa is the obvious choice for that.
You once sold FightState.com for $300,000 on the Flippa marketplace, what was that experience like?
It was a great experience. It was actually one of the largest public Flippa sales ever at the time. The response was overwhelming. Nothing drives exposure like a Flippa listing. During the course of the sale, I answered hundreds of messages, and met some great people. The Flippa staff was very helpful and provided excellent support throughout the entire auction through their account management service. Their support was invaluable, and made the experience very smooth from listing all the way to escrow and transfer. I’ve never had a bad experience with Flippa.
This interview i’m doing with Flippa is in itself proof of the great support from the staff.
For those who don’t already know, tell us what the site about?
Fightstate was a very popular (Alexa top 10k) entertainment website revolving around combat sports (MMA/Boxing). We put together a team of fight nerds who spent their time scouring the internet for the most entertaining martial arts content.
The site had multiple large social profiles that supported it, with hundreds of thousands of fans across Facebook that would send an average of over 6 million visits to the website a month. We worked hard to build up the community first. The website was an extension of the social community itself.
We had countless articles go viral with coverage from BBC, Vice, Yahoo, and hundreds of mentions, retweets from famous fighters, boxers, and other social influencers. In the end the hard work paid off and the business sold for $300,000 on Flippa.
Any advice for other web entrepreneurs looking sell websites on Flippa?
Be patient, don’t rush the process. Explain details clearly. Try to answer every single message and comment. It can be a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding. You never know who you could be speaking to. I’ve actually met future business partners through Flippa messages. It’s been a great vehicle for my business, I couldn’t recommend them any higher.
So there you have it, that’s Jeff’s Flippa story! If you have a high-value content site that you might like to sell on Flippa, request a free website valuation and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours to let you know what your site is worth!