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  1. #1
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    Hello

    Hi everybody, my name is Tim Ginn. I'm in my mid twenties, married, and with a toddler. I'm from Canada but presently live in China. My background is in computer science/HCI/web development. Right now I teach at a university; but, have enough free time to sink into the right project to get it started (and have the summer off).

    In a bit more than a year from now, we're planning to move back to Canada. I'm hoping that before then I can get something established well enough online that my wife and I can work flexibly and spend time with our daughter rather than get plain old full time jobs. We've been browsing Flippa and filtering through a bunch of other sites looking for gems.

    I've got technical skills (server setup/maintenance, web development, PHP, WordPress, Apache, nginx, MySQL, MongoDB, etc.) and my wife has graphic design experience. We're looking to purchase something that plays to our strengths and already has proven income (since marketing isn't one of those strengths). We're not interested in the 100% automated created only for AdSense everything plagiarized from RSS feeds types of sites.

    We'd rather start small/medium and build up somewhat of a portfolio rather than jump straight into buying one big site that could replace two full time incomes.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    Welcome, Tim. I'm sure Jim Waller will come along and formally greet you later, but he tends to be busy on Sundays.

    Your plan seems to be well thought out and sensible. I would suggest that you are careful not to dismiss sites because they are mainly funded from Adsense. Those automatic sites you mention are definitely close to useless these days, but a few of our members still make good money from Adsense. It is a lot harder to do that since Google's Panda and Penguin updates.

    The usual advice is that sites should not rely on Adsense or Google traffic, but a technique for getting traffic from other sources is hard to generalize because those sources are diverse and sometimes intently focused, eg. twitter is good for entertainment stuff but not very good for selling crockery.

    If you're not into marketing, I would suggest you start learning - knowing how to drive traffic is a quick way to improve any site you purchase.

    Something that does occur to me - if you're in China, you're in the ideal place to make trading contacts. Being an importer when you get back to Canada could also be an option.

    Lots of info about how to buy sites diligently around here - read the site!

    Good luck in your search.

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    JimWaller (12 May 2014), Kay (11 May 2014)

  4. #3
    New Member Mentor JimWaller is a Premium Member
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    Hi and welcome timginn (Tim Ginn)!

    Thanks for taking a moment to introduce yourself. Here at EP, introductory posts are important as they help us get to know you and help our other members decide how much value they will place on your views and opinions.

    We try to maintain a high level of quality information, and one way we do that is by following our forum rules (especially rule 3 our so-called "no fluff" rule) Our members put a lot of thought into their posts and I'm sure you'll do the same. We have very helpful members in our community, so feel free to ask questions in the appropriate forums. Who knows, another member might have the same questions you have.

    Out of curiosity, how did you find us? Was it a web search, a referral by a friend, or something else? I originally came here when a friend who was already a member here told me about it.

    You've definitely come to a good place to get the information you need. I think crabfoot's idea of trying to establish contacts for future use is a good one. Not only might you be able to establish an import business,you also might be able to connect inventors/ businesses with manufacturers for which you could get a finder's fee if nothing else. Additionally, China is becoming more consumer oriented, so you might be able to do something with exporting to China, too. (Though I'm not sure what that would look like.)

    If you're more intent on buying an existing business, I'd suggest you start with the due diligence and gotchas forum, as you can learn not only what to look for, but also what to look out for when buying or selling a website. (If you're considering upgrading to Premium Membership, one benefit is access to what is probably the definitive guide to due diligence. It is clear, concise and an easier way to learn about due diligence than just reading the forum posts. Either way, you can find out about due diligence.)

    I'm sure some of our other members might benefit from some of your technical expertise with regards to websites, so I hope you're willing to share what you know. I'm sure you can also pick up a bit about the marketing side of things from them. i hope you'll be an active member of our community.

    Kind Regards,

    Jim
    Help bring Janice home My mother-in-law was hospitalized while on vacation (holiday) We're trying to bring her home.

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    I've thought about the importing thing, too; but, have no experience there... and I'm not proficient enough in my Mandarin to negotiate trade deals, and additionally have the misfortune of being in a city where most locals prefer to use their own dialect rather than standard Mandarin. My reading/writing is better; but, likely still not good enough. Getting good at that would definitely be a challenge for me. I have toured one of the factories here; but, am a bit clueless as to what people look for if they're actually inspecting a factory for trade purposes.

    @Jim:

    I found the site through a web search. Connecting with people can be hard... my best hope is that the students I teach go on to be successful and I get a lot of connections that way. That's more a long term plan though. Some of the expat groups are interesting here, and, I do attend/learn from those events when I can. There are some products from Canada that are slowly making their way into China (for example, ice wine) but so far a lot of those markets are underdeveloped. I think there's definitely opportunity, but, I'm not sure it's the right opportunity for me with the skills and time line I have.

    I've already been reading about due diligence here. Actually, reading posts like that are what made me join. The answers here were of significantly higher quality than much of what I found elsewhere. I definitely want to join a community that can help me fill in gaps in what I know now and am certainly willing to return the favour.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to timginn For This Useful Post:

    JimWaller (14 May 2014), Kay (13 May 2014)

  7. #5
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Hi Tim, welcome from me too. Thanks for starting such an interesting thread. There are lots of things to think about.

    Having read about you and your skill set, somehow I can't really see you as a trader importing from China. That doesn't mean you couldn't do it, I'm sure you'd be successful if you put your mind to it. It's just that I get the feeling it's not really your kind of thing.

    I like the idea of playing to your and your wife's skill sets, starting small(ish), and growing a portfolio. It sounds as though you have a good idea of where you want to go and at least some ideas of how to set off on that route. Good luck!

    AdSense. I am/was one of these AS people which crabfoot mentioned, but never into auto stuff or stealing other people's content. I had some sites that did very well with AS, and I pushed it nearly as far as I could with optimising ad unit placement and various techniques like that. I also had some little sites which were pure MFAs. I created some of these in the process of test driving some get rich quick products, the type of thing the gurus sell. If you blow the dust off some of the old stuff in our MMO forum you'll probably find some of my exploits in there, although I never made any money from them. (Don't waste your time looking for these, they won't teach you anything useful - except perhaps to avoid gurus, but you already know that.)

    There was a method which worked for a while - do keyword research, identify high value keywords, build a blog according to a certain format (you could get out-of-the-box themes to use), outsource the writing of some keyword rich articles on the subject, make sure the content wasn't too good or you'd not get the clicks... and it worked for a while. In my experience, these days are long gone. Even on my good AS sites, now I probably only get a quarter of what I earned back in 2010 on AS. When I discovered EP and took the advice I got from the people here I diversified a lot, and when the AS income started to decline I was already prepared with other sources of revenue.

    Then there's the build or buy dilemma. I was nearly always the build from scratch type, but that was back in the day. It's really tough to do that now. Some of us have tried to start from scratch to find something that really works these days. It's a struggle. I now think that buying is probably a better way to get over that big start-up hurdle and a way to quicker growth. Take something that's already got something and grow it.

    I hope you do stick around because it'll be interesting to hear how you get on and how your ideas develop and change as you put your existing technical and design skills into running a business.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Kay For This Useful Post:

    JimWaller (14 May 2014), timginn (14 May 2014)

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