If you’re a beginner in buying websites for passive income, how do you imagine your life four years from now?
Consider the possibility of owning a portfolio of income-generating websites that earn you more money while you’re away on holidays than you do at home.
At a time during COVID where a lot of people are worrying about their finances and their jobs, Nathan and Alexa were travelling through Europe, earning more money now than before they left 12 months ago.
Today they share with us some really exciting stories of websites that have grown exponentially in their portfolio.
Watch the video, or read the transcript below, to see that by following our simple strategies, Nathan and Alexa are achieving some phenomenal returns in 2022!
Hear the exciting new updates from Nathan and Alexa’s online journey, where just one website alone has now increased its value by 4,200%!!
Matt Raad: I’m really excited to have back with us again two of our most inspirational students ever. These guys are always up for sharing their journey. And it’s such a fascinating story.
You might remember our Champion students, Nathan and Alexa. They now earn their income online through buying and selling websites and have been hugely successful at this.
I’ve asked them to come back and give us an exciting update on one of their sites that some of you may already know of. And the new evaluation has just hit.
So welcome. Thanks so much for coming along today.
Alexa: Great to be here, Matt. That’s quite an intro!
Matt: Well, you both help inspire so many people. You were also at our recent Champions Bootcamp event, and we had so much fun, didn’t we?
Alexa: Yeah, it was fun! The bootcamp was awesome. We had a great time.
Matt: Your story just blew everyone away.
So, a big thank you for coming and sharing the story publicly, because you have just recently hit another big success!
You might remember from past interviews that Nathan and Alexa are the guys who bought one of my favourite websites for passive income, Curd Nurd. Remember the site that you both learned from? For under $1,000, you learned the ropes, you followed our system and then you sold it a couple of years later for nearly $17,000.
Alexa: That’s right, just under $17,000.
Matt: And you sold that through a trusted website broker Joe Burrill. Joe is another one of our students who brokered the deal for you there.
The simple strategy Nathan and Alexa use for Making Money Online, all for under $5,000
Matt: What I love about your strategy is that you’re buying these semi-passive content sites quite cheaply (often under $5,000). You build them up over a few years, and then you sell them off for a much higher price.
Let’s have a quick look at the one that we’re going to talk about today. Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?
Alexa: The website is called Crochet News. It’s a website about crocheting, which neither of us know how to do, but our team actually does now, which is really good.
We bought the website about four years ago for $4,500. And at the time, it was making around $600-$700 a month.
Alexa: And we were posting on there once a month?
We had No Money in the beginning – We had to do everything ourselves…
Nathan: When we first bought the site, the owner was posting every day. So, when we bought the site, we started doing that, too, and it took up our whole time.
We then had a chat with you and you said, “No, do one post a month.” So we dropped it to one article a month. It was just too much work.
Alexa: And it wasn’t just the time. We didn’t have the money to pay someone to do the posts for us. We had to do it ourselves, so every day was too much.
Matt: Had you both quit your jobs by then, or were you still working?
Alexa: No, we weren’t working. We didn’t have an income at all.
Matt: I remember, you didn’t tell me that bit back then! You just told me you quit your jobs.
Alexa: No, we kept that from you.
Matt: I don’t want to hear. I wonder what your mum and dad think?
Alexa: Well, we did go through a pretty tough time for a while, but it was worth it.
Nathan: It was worth it.
How using the Local Business Strategy can help Cash Flow and improve your Digital Skills
Matt: Just so our readers know where Nathan and Alexa came from – your strategy was that you wanted to earn money online and you always wanted the freedom, didn’t you?
You wanted to be able to travel and live the laptop lifestyle, but you had no money. So, to start with, you bought some passive sites and you built them up along the way. But to get the cash, you also built websites for local businesses, didn’t you?
Alexa: We did because we had to. To be honest, we didn’t really want to do it. But we got to a point where we were like, “Okay, we need some fast cashflow.”
So, we started our digital agency of building sites for local businesses. That gave us a great head start, not only for earning money (which we needed!), but also for learning how websites worked on a much faster scale.
When building websites for other people, you learn how to build the websites. But then, you also learn how SEO works in a local market. The results are so much faster, so we were able to learn it quite quickly from doing that.
Using the digital skills we learned from building local business websites, we could then implement that on our portfolio of passive income websites because we knew what we were doing by that stage.
See how Nathan and Alexa increased their Online Income and created their Ultimate Laptop Lifestyle
Matt: I want to mention – Nathan and Alexa have been doing this for 4 years. They had the laptop lifestyle dream, and they hit their goals.
Now look at you two – both looking so tan and awesome! You’ve just come back from overseas, haven’t you?
Nathan: We just got home from Manly, and we went to the beach this morning.
Matt: All right!
Nathan: But yes, we went away for 12 months. So we travelled to Eastern Europe, over to Mexico and then came home. We’ve been back home in Australia for about four months now.
Matt: Was it during COVID that you left Australia with your laptop?
1./ Build your team and remove yourself from the business
Matt: And you literally ran your whole business, and lived off your website portfolio for those 12 months?
Alexa: That’s right. We actually did a bit of a test run at the end of 2019. We went to Thailand for two months. That was our test to see, “Can we do this laptop lifestyle?”
At that stage, we were transitioning from Polar Web Design, our leading digital agency in Paramatta, into building our portfolio of passive income websites. So, there was this awkward transition time where you need to build up your portfolio, but you also need to spend time on your clients.
So, we used that time while we were in Thailand to make the transition. We got our team on board to work on Crochet News. We hired an amazing PA, who is just the best person ever! His wife also works with us now. His sister-in-law works with us and they’re an amazing team. And then we’ve got our writers as well.
So, they pretty much got Crochet News up and running. And then for the next year, it started building up and then we took off and went overseas. And by that stage, it had really done really well.
Matt: That’s great. Where is your team based? What country?
Nathan: They’re in the Philippines.
Matt: So, it’s not an expensive proposition you’re building up.
2./ Master the Due Diligence process when buying websites for profit
Matt: Let’s talk about why the team is so important for you two. You’ve blitzed the process of buying, renovating and selling websites for profit. But the big skill you are particularly focused on is finding really good deals when buying websites.
When we look back at it, you think of all the awesome deals you’ve done, they’re all pretty much semi-passive, aren’t they?
Alexa: Pretty much. And the key to that is how much Matt talks about how important due diligence is. And so, we just said, “Okay, due diligence is going to be what makes us money.”
Due diligence is what we mainly focus on. That’s how we found all these great deals, because it’s things that people miss (or they just overlook), and we are looking at it very deeply using the due diligence process.
Nathan: Before we did websites, we were in property and we’re doing property renovations. So, we already understood that the due diligence process is pretty important.
For example, if you purchase a $512,000 house and it doesn’t stack up and you’ve bought it, well, that’s a pretty big debt to have on board. So we’ve taken that skill and brought it to websites. It requires being stringent with our due diligence process.
3./ Buy content websites that can be run by someone else
Matt: And you’re deliberately looking for sites that you don’t have to work on every day. These are quite passive for you personally, except for the planning bit. But, essentially it’s your team that runs them over 12 months?
Alexa: That’s right. As long as we don’t have to, we hire someone else to do it. These are usually tasks like social media management, and getting content onto the site etc. As long as our team can do that, we’re happy with the site.
If it’s stuff that we to and spend our time on aside from planning and keyword research, then we do that.
Nathan: We always do that.
Alexa: We always do that because that’s probably the most important.
4./ Be able to work with your team wherever you are in the world
Matt: When you were travelling around for 12 months, what were the practicalities of the laptop lifestyle? Did you enjoy it? Did it work with your team given all the different time zones you were in?
Nathan: The Philippines is a couple of hours after Sydney, but then when we were in Eastern Europe, it was the morning. So I started working afternoons and our team started getting up at 5:00am.
We had a two-hour crossover period, where we could communicate with our team for those two hours. We would use Zoom videos, or Facebook etc to catchup with them. But to be honest, we were only really working for three to four hours a day anyway.
Alexa: But what was really important is that before we went on that trip, we had trained the team. They already knew what they were doing before we left.
Matt: That’s great.
Alexa: I think it would’ve been really difficult to train the team while we were travelling because that does take a lot of time.
Matt: That’s a really good point, Alexa.
As long as you’ve got internet – you can avoid the 9-5 life
Matt: You’ve already done the reps, reps, reps like we talk about in our course and at our Digital Investor Summit Events. You’ve done the training, you’ve trained yourself, you know how this works, plus you’ve trained up your team.
Once you get to that level, you put in all the hard yards, plus you’ve also gotten results. Your sites are also self-sustaining at that point. But tell me, what was the internet connection like while you were overseas?
Alexa: It’s so good!
Nathan: Matt, it’s so quick compared to Australia.
Nathan: It was so good.
Alexa: We were wondering if we might have some problems, but not compared to Australia.
Matt: Wow, look at the both of you brighten up when I mention the internet! Let’s just say, for us Aussies, we all know what Nathan and Alexa are talking about. The internet’s a bit patchy at times here in Australia, even in the major cities.
Alexa: We had initially planned to do a year trip around Australia but the internet’s just not good enough here.
Nathan: It can’t work.
Alexa: Once you get out of the suburbs, it’s no good. So we said, “Okay, well, let’s just go overseas instead.”
Matt: Well, that’s what Chris Dinham was saying was his biggest limitation when living the laptop lifestyle in Australia. He says when he and Beck are out travelling on the bus, the biggest problem is once you get away from the major cities in Australia, there’s no internet.
Alexa: There’s no internet.
Matt: So even if you’re just working an hour or two a day, he had to keep driving back into a town to get on his laptop.
Alexa: Well, we’re looking forward to doing the Australia trip one day, but we just need to sort something out or just not have to do any work, either way.
Matt: Well, bring on Starlink hopefully.
Alexa: That would make it easier!
See how Nathan and Alexa tripled their income and live life on their own terms…
Matt: You recently shared something really interesting while you were travelling. Your portfolio actually grew and your income went up during that 12 months, so the travel didn’t impact on your income.
Alexa: Our income tripled while we were away.
Nathan: The whole net worth tripled, so it worked out quite well.
Matt: Well, you just casually let that slip out there. Come on, let’s celebrate that!
You’re travelling, you’re living the laptop lifestyle and your income tripled over the 12 months that you are away.
Alexa: I think part of it is, you know how they say – if you love your life and you’re doing what you love, everything just naturally comes to you. It really happened. I guess it is so true.
And maybe part of it as well is getting out of routine, getting into a different environment. You think differently, you do things differently, and that might have something to do with it as well.
Nathan: And if you only have three hours a day available to work, you’ll get the eight hours’ worth of work that needs to be done in three. If you give yourself 20 hours to do a task, you’ll take the full 20 hours. Give yourself three hours, you’ll get it done in three hours.
You either get it done yourself or you’re outsourcing someone else to do it, which is what we do. My whole work now is pretty much just an assigner and just talking to people and that’s it.
Matt: That’s a nice lifestyle.
Is Owning Websites for Passive Income Better than Real Estate?
See how Nathan & Alexa now earn DOUBLE the amount they initially invested into the website – every month!
Matt: Let’s look at what you’re doing now. Because while you’re away travelling, you’re working on three or four websites, and they have just gone gangbusters for you.
Let’s go back to Crochet News. It cost you $4,500 and is making how much a month?
Alexa: It’s making $8,000 a month at the moment.
Matt: So it’s making $8,000 a month. And how much work do you do on that site yourselves?
Nathan: None. We’ve done about eight hours’ work on it in the last 12 months.
Alexa: Plus just catching up with the team each week, making sure everything’s ticking along.
Matt: In terms of working on that particular site, this is a very passive asset.
You guys come from real estate investing world, right? So this is a site that gives you $8,000 a month cash flow for a $4,500 initial outlay. Plus now, you’ve obviously got to put money back into the context.
Alexa: Yes, which is not significant actually. It’s about a $1,000 a month.
Nathan: Well actually, when we started working on it, it was $1,000 a month. We’ve got it down to about $400 now.
Matt: There you go.
So basically, if you have a good month, you’re making about $8,000 off that. So that must compare nicely to real estate, I would imagine?
Alexa: It’s so much better.
Matt: Look at the relief in your faces. No debts anymore.
Alexa: Real estate was so stressful.
Nathan: Clean hands. I love clean hands!
The Website is now valued at $180,000, more than 42x the initial purchase price!
Matt: And it gets better because that’s now an asset. You just had it valued from two different brokers, didn’t you?
Alexa: Yes. We planned to sell this website next year. We got a bit excited and thought, “Oh, what if we just sell it now?”
So, we spoke to two brokers. One of them being Joe Burrill, who sold our Curd Nerd site and another leading broker called Empire Flippers. And both of them valued it at $180,000.
So pretty awesome to go from $4,500 to $180,000. But it’s not quite what we wanted, so we’re not selling it right now. We’re going to hold onto it for the moment.
Matt: Congratulations guys! You have, yet again, more than 10x another website.
We always say, from our private equity days, that’s always a goal in angel investing is to 10x your investment. You’ve just blitzed that one, blown it out the water yet again, just like your first website you bought for $900 and sold for $17,000.
Should you sell your website, or hold onto it for the cashflow?
Matt: But you’ve decided not to sell the site this year. So, what’s the thinking there?
Alexa: We wanted to get above a certain price to warrant selling it this year. We feel it didn’t quite hit that, so we thought “We’ll just hang on to it. It’s got good cash flow.”
Nathan: I’ve already got the content plan done until October. So we don’t have to do anything more to it.
Alexa: We’ll just let it sit there.
Matt: That’s what we were saying at the bootcamp. For six hours work, you’re going to make $8,000 a month, net. It’s going to keep going up in cash flow as you keep putting more content on there.
That’s a nice, passive asset. You don’t have to replace any kitchens anymore. There’s no debt, there’s no interest repayments, there’s nothing. It’s clear and free.
So, congratulations. It must be an amazing feeling to have that. And that’s what helped support you as you travelled around Europe.
Alexa: When we were renovating houses, we had this vision of a lifestyle that we wanted and we couldn’t do it if we were in property. We were saying, “Okay, let’s find something else.”
When we first saw Matt and Liz Raad speak, we thought, “Oh, this is perfect. Let’s get online.” And this whole journey has been to design this lifestyle that we want and we’re living it now.
It took four years or so to do it, but it was definitely worth it. I mean, we’re sitting here after just having done a 12-month trip while everyone was locked up in COVID. And we’ve just gone to the beach this morning and our website’s just ticking over. We don’t have to do anything.
Nathan: We’re looking at Darling Harbour out of the window.
Matt: Wow, very nice.
See how growing a passion website can more than 10x your money
Matt: And it gets better though because I know you both are particularly excited about two other websites that you own. That’s what we’ve been talking about lately.
So, I would like to touch on that because I think we’ve got another big success story on our hands coming up. I think we can all feel it.
Let’s put a timeline on it now guys. It’s why I want to interview you because in a year’s time, we’re going to come back to this interview to go, “Yep, there it was.”
Nathan: Yeah. Okay.
Matt: For our readers – you’ve heard their strategy. Nathan and Alexa buy content sites, (exactly like we teach), they do the planning once a year, and then they get their team to put content on it.
One of those sites you came across was in the gardening niche. It’s quite a big gardening site and it’s based in America. The niche is seasonal, but you’ve been hugely successful with that.
How to use your existing experience to grow even further in your niche
But what I want to share with our readers is the other cute site that you bought which you shared with us at the bootcamp.
Alexa: A cute little site.
Matt: You and I have talked about this site a number of times. We’ve had to lots of fun with it.
Alexa: So, we purchased this American gardening site, which as you said, it’s doing really well. That was a bigger purchase, and it’s a much bigger site. Out of that, we were just checking the website’s inbox, and we came across this email from another website (AGT). They wanted to sell their website.
Basically, what happened was the guy who previously owned our American gardening site (before we bought it) had reached out to AGT and said, “We want to do a guest post.”
That’s how they made contact with them initially. So AGT has come back to them and said, “Hey, we’re selling. Do you want to buy our little Aussie gardening website?”
Matt: It’s just a little micro site, isn’t it? It’s a little passion site.
Alexa: A little micro site. Mind you, it had been around for 11 years.
Matt: Yes, it’s 11 years old.
Alexa: It’s a little passion site with a few eBooks, and a few posts.
Nathan: It had very thin content, but it was very genuine.
It’s not always about the best bargain when buying a website
Alexa: It was a passion site, for sure. And so what were they asking for it?
Nathan: They were asking $300 and I thought they meant US$300. So, I looked at it and I said, “That’s pretty good, I’ll give you $450.” He’s like, “Yeah, beautiful. Let’s go for it.”
He sent me the PayPal invoice and it was AUD$450. So we ended up getting it for US$300.
Alexa: At the time, it was making about $20 a month, but it’s a nice, aged website.
So, we thought, “Let’s offer him more than what he wants. Let’s make sure that we get it because he’s probably sent this email out to 100 other people. We need to make sure WE get the website.”
Nathan: I read through the emails once we took over the website. Someone else came back and tried to negotiate the $300.
So the lesson is – if you know what you’re looking for, and it has good due diligence, be prepared to pay more than what they want so you get the deal.
We learned that in property as well. If you know you can make money on it, just take it. Just pay the extra and make the seller happy.
Alexa: From from what we know, that was a bargain. But it’s not always about bargaining someone down. It’s about making a deal that everyone’s happy with. And that’s what we like to do anyway, just make sure everyone’s happy.
Matt: And for $300, that’s an astonishing deal, a diamond in a rough. This is an Australian gardening site that was owned by an individual who’s passionate. It’s right in our sweet spot. He set this up and he’d had it for 11 years.
He just sold it off cheap because he is sick of it because he only made $20 a month. It’s not worth anything to him. He sells it to you guys but because you have done the reps, reps, reps on another (much bigger) gardening site. And now, you just apply the same content machine system to this little site.
How a little passion site grew to now making 600% return in income every month
Matt: Over the last year when you’re living off your laptop, how’s that site travelling now? Are you happy to share some of the numbers?
Nathan: When we bought it, it had about 6,000 users. Now, I’m not sure the users, but I know it’s about 48,000 sessions and it’s making about $2,000 a month now.
Matt: That’s just astonishing! This site cost you $300. Over the last two years, you’ve renovated and applied the same system to it. You’re putting the content on, and now it’s making $2,000 a month.
Nathan: It’s just reached above break even now, so we own it clear now. But of course, we’ve re-invested so much money into it for content. I think we’re spending around $500 every month for content.
But it only cost US$300. So it’s been the last five or six months it’s now making us money. We’re back out in front, but you got to invest for websites to make them work.
Matt: But what an asset. That’s a Warren Buffet idea. You’re investing. These are compounding machines because they throw off all this cash and you’re doing exactly what we teach – if you can afford it, take all the profits and reinvest it back into the website.
And now, that site’s starting to compound, isn’t it? It’s going exponential in terms of the traffic and the money.
Could this little passion website be Nathan and Alexa’s first 7-figure payout?
Matt: What’s your thoughts on this site going forward? I know what my thoughts are, they’re exactly the same as yours but I want to hear you it from you. And I want to see the excitement on your face.
Nathan: This site would dominate. It will be really big.
Alexa: We’re planning for that to be one of the larger gardening websites in Australia. And it should sell off for a significant amount.
Matt: You guys are way too humble about this. I jokingly say, “I’ll laugh if that’s the site that Nathan and Alexa sell as their first seven figure website.”
Alexa: It probably will be.
Matt: Well, the look on your faces, and the smile on your face, Alexa, says it all. I think you know; you can sense it when you hit a winner like that.
You hit a winner with Curd Nerd as well. And it’s from all your hard work that you’ve applied everything we’ve done. So an extraordinary success story to hear from you both, and we all know that this is going to be great.
Why it’s important to focus your attention on a small number of websites
Matt: In terms of where you’re at now – you’re much more advanced. You’re on the cusp of your first seven figure website. You also own a lot of sites in your portfolio, but where are you at strategy wise? Do you like the big portfolio or you’re being more focused now after you’re 12 months off in travelling?
Alexa: Well, it’s something that we’ve discussed quite a lot, actually. And we are a little bit torn because we have a lot of sites and we do want to work on all of them.
There’s a lot of them that we are really passionate about, but we just don’t have the resource or the head space to work on everything. And I think that’s really important, the head space. So, we’re focusing on five major websites in our portfolio.
Nathan: We have five websites we work on.
Alexa: They’re the ones we’re working on. Everything else is just on the back burner. We don’t have the head space to work on everything. And the thing that we’ve been talking about is, should we actually only be working on one site?
Alexa: How does that go? But I think it’s important to have a spread portfolio. Make sure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. So yeah, four or five sites. That’s our focus.
If you have $10k to spend, how would you build your website portfolio?
Matt: So, you know our community well, right? You’ve been around us for years, and we all love you guys. You’ve been on our high-level coaching programs for a number of years. And you come back to our Champions bootcamps regularly as my personal guest because I love having you to inspire everyone.
For our readers out there – if you had $10,000 to invest in websites, how would you split that up if you were a beginner? Remembering back to your Curd Nerd days…
Alexa: That’s a tough question, Matt!
Matt: Remember when you were sitting in that audience? I remember you two sitting right in front of me. I said this at the bootcamp.
Alexa: Yeah, right in front.
Matt: They’re always there.
Nathan: I’ll probably buy three websites around the $2,000 mark. And then use the extra cash to work on the websites.
That’s because in the past, we would buy websites and then not have the means to work on them. So now, I’ve learned you can’t do everything yourself. If you want the website to actually work, you need the money to invest in it.
Alexa: Well, you can wait. You can wait for it to build up and then reinvest that back into it.
I would probably say a very similar thing, but I would probably get two sites, not three.
Matt: Okay, two sites. But you keep the sites under $2,000 though?
Nathan: Well, you said it’s for your beginners.
If it wasn’t, I would’ve probably just go for one $8,000 website, and have $2,000 to spend on it.
Matt: If you knew what you were doing, yeah. But you know what you’re doing.
Nathan: That’s the thing.
How should I invest my money in buying websites if I’m a beginner?
Matt: Now, for beginners?
Nathan: I think for beginners, $2,000 because some niches work, and some don’t. We’ve got a skincare website and it has a lot of potential, but every time a Google algorithm update happens, it just gets slapped and…well… it can’t go any lower. It’s already just being smashed so hard every single time.
Alexa: That one didn’t work.
Nathan: And we found a lot of Amazon product went out of stock all the time. So, we we’re thinking, “It’s actually a lot of hard work to keep it up and running.”
That’s why you want to have a couple of different niches for your website portfolio.
Matt: And would you consider building a site from scratch?
Alexa: Definitely. As a long-term gain.
Nathan: Don’t expect it to be quick.
Matt: So, you are both full-time investors now. And you’ve come from a real estate investing background.
Using the wisdom that you have now, you have the benefit of all the experience and knowledge. This is a long-term journey, so you can plan out your portfolio accordingly. If you were just starting out now, you’d just buy a few.
And I love what you said, Nathan, leave enough funds in your bank to reinvest into those sites. Plus, maybe build a side or two as well. That’s a good starting point.
Alexa: I think that’s probably a great way to start. Have a couple of sites under your belt, build a couple, little bit spare to invest.
Nathan: What we aim for is we’ll get a site like Crochet News. We put all its money back into it. It built up, then we took its profits, and put it into another website. That then paid itself.
Then we took that money and built another website. And that’s now up to five. The income keeps coming in until they can pay themselves. And we just keep flipping right into the next website.
Matt: And then occasionally, you hit the big winners, like you have multiple times. You hit the big winners like AGT and Crochet News, and that they just take off.
This is absolutely fantastic guys. Thank you so much, yet again, for inspiring the Digital Investor community here in Australia. That is just awesome. And we’re really looking forward to some other updates off you guys.
Alexa: Thanks for having us again. Good to speak to you.
Nathan: Thanks for having us, Matt.
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