Building and Selling Online Businesses | Marc from Vital Dollar

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In today’s episode, Cody and Justin are joined by Marc from Vital Dollar. Marc’s story is so impressive with being able to walk away from his job after just 18 months of blogging.

Even more impressive is the fact that he’s shown the ability to repeatedly create, grow, and sell his blogs which have amassed over $1 Million in total revenue.

So listen up and learn how to grow and monetize your digital efforts and hear what it’s like to sell a website for over $500k!

After you listen be sure to let us know what you think.

Episode Summary

  • He was raised by fairly low-income parents but was always raised to take care of what he had
  • He went to college for business and bible
  • After college, he wasn’t making much income but started tracking every single purchase and focusing on a plan for retirement
  • In his late 20’s he started swapping his focus from just saving to also increasing his income
  • In 2007, at age 28, he started doing some web design work and a blog for web design
  • His only formal education was an HTML class but just kept teaching himself
  • He didn’t really love client work and focused more on his blog
  • It took 6 months for the web design blog to make any money
  • Once he reached a certain traffic count he added ads for a profit
  • After 18 months, he had enough income to quit his day job
  • In 2012 he started a photography based blog and sold the web design blog for $500k
  • We discussed how these six-figure website sales go down
  • He generally doesn’t bring on employees except for some freelance writers and graphics from time to time
  • It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
  • We discuss the difficulties of keeping up with things like memberships and invoicing when tech changes get pushed from dependencies like Paypal
  • For those first two big website sales, he put in the contract that he’d stick around for 30 days to help transition the site to the new owner
  • He normally keeps one high revenue site while also running two others that can hopefully become money makers and sell the main one as the small ones grow
  • We then dive into how to select a subject matter for a blog and then how to monetize it
  • He also discusses how it might be good to start with a service but since it doesn’t scale it’s probably good to look towards a digital course or something
  • One method he used to earn money early on was to get his product/service into someone else’s email list who already had some established traffic
  • For investing he keeps most of it in index funds and target funds while also lowering liabilities like his mortgage
  • Even though he works for himself building websites it still feels like work for him and he looks forward to retiring in 10-15 years with his wife and two kids
  • Marc’s current spending is about $60k for the family
  • We asked why he doesn’t just start traveling now since his job is location agnostic but he points out the pains of traveling with kids and spotty internet
  • He is prepared for when retirement hits though with a big spreadsheet of locations he’s looking to visit including all 59 national parks
  • Marc’s parting advice is just understanding that it’s going to take time to grow your business but you have to be consistent and be patient

Key Takeaways

  1. Patience: Once you’ve heard so many experts say something…it’s worth taking note. Marc is yet another advocate for being honest with yourself on growth and being consistent with your efforts.
  2. Passions to Paydays: We loved how Marc started his online enterprises with a foundation in something he probably would have written about for free. Passions make that first takeaway of patience so much easier.
  3. Instagram Life Isn’t Everything: Marc could absolutely hit the road today. He doesn’t need to wait until retirement to work remotely, but he also understands the reality of his family dynamics. It’s ok to not be a nomad. Find what works for you.

Call to Action

Really focusing in on patience today. Find a goal that you absolutely  can’t complete in less than three months. Now break it down so you have lots of small wins for motivation. Finally, make a chart, checklist, or some form of tracking so you can keep yourself honest.

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Contact Marc:

Vital Dollar Facebook

Vital Dollar Twitter

Vital Dollar Blog

Learn More About Your Hosts:

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)