The Sugarrae / PushFire 2013 Year in Review & What’s Coming Next


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  1. Great stuff, Rae… I’m raising a big glass of sweet tea in your direction.

    To 2014 and beyond… :)

  2. This post also makes me think that some of my decisions to stop many of my side consulting projects was a good idea. Far too many of my sites I launched 2-3 years ago on the hope it would rank due to content and EMD has fallen flat and sucked up valuable time I could have spent on improving my fitness and spending time with friends and family.

    I started too many crappy affiliate sites that in the end I’ve given up on and started shutting down down but thinking my learnings might make for a better blog post so I’ll leave the rest till then.

    But always love reading these personal posts as they help both inspire and encourage many marketers and I trust 2014 will be a brilliant year for PushFire and best wishes to the team!

    • Thanks David!

      Affiliate always has been (and I think always will be) my first love – I’m far from moving away from it. I’ve been building branded affiliate sites for a long time now – but I still had an arsenal of “legacy sites” that were built with less thought behind them. ;-) And Google keeps raising the bar on what signals a site needs to provide and there’s only so many sites you can personally manage (with long term goals in mind) with that being the case.

      I wanted to really focus on the ones I could see myself committing to for the long haul. I’d rather do 3-4 sites with excellence then do 20 half-assed with their future being dependent on Google’s whims. ;-)

      • The problem I’m not facing is do I stick with the sites that are making money still that aren’t really brilliant and have the potential for maybe making the most with a little focus/attention or instead focus on a handful of sites that have a decent social audience and potential to be a brand but will take 1-2 years to bear fruit?

        I spent last night looking at Google Analytics data over the past 18 months and even some of the excellent sites just show a free fall due to EMD & Panda and I don’t see the revenue that would cover the cost of refreshing the content. Maybe just list them for sale and let someone else develop them out?

        As I experiment more I find more and more problems with affiliate tracking failing and revenue lost, so thinking of swapping from affiliate links to partnerships in 2014 that offers more support and higher margins and someone else to work with on development/marketing.

        I’m sure more affiliates are thinking the same looking at how many domains are not being renewed and just left to drop.

        But again keep writing these posts as they are always great because they are inspiring!

        • Just to be clear re my affiliate consolidation – the time I’m spending on my affiliate ventures will remain the same, they’ll just be more focused. I’ve long been focused on affiliate branding, but I still owned a slew of sites built “pre” that direction – and because they all still made money I maintained them.

          But, as the need for social, brand mentions, authority links, etc rises – it just becomes too hard to do that across the wide range of sites I was maintaining – so I am narrowing focus (and not moving away from affiliate) to achieve the same monetary results, but with fewer sites. :)

          Re the problem you’re facing – that’s a decision only you can make. What I can say is ranking an affiliate site will become much harder in the coming time unless if truly deserves to rank (and has a following).

  3. I love the way you and Sean work together and sort of reflect each other, you bring out the best in each other :)

  4. Rae, you are seriously one of the most inspiring people I follow online! Not just from a business and marketing perspective, but how you approach life in general. I hope you have a fantastic 2014!

  5. Vinny O'Hare says:

    Great post Rae

    We seem to be on similar paths when it comes to consolidating affiliate sites that either lost their passion or will be too much time in the future to maintain.

    Challenging year to say the least for you and I am glad we were along for the ride. Your post are very inspiring.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Life just wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t challenging. :) Good luck on your consolidation efforts as well!

  6. Stewart Kelly says:

    Wow, what a year you just had Rae. I’m sure a lessor person would have folded. It will be great to see what changes and opportunities this new year brings. I hope you will be more inclined to blog and keep us informed. I know we all would appreciate it. Best wishes on all your new endeavors…and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

  7. Andre L. Vaughn says:

    This is a really great blog post! Sounds like you are doing great things with affiliate marketing and I wish you continuous great things in 2014! Happy New Year!

  8. Curious to know more about how you sold your sites? Did you just list them publicly on a site like Flippa? Or did you reach out to potential buyers privately? If so, how did you find those buyers? (BTW if you have others you want to sell, we are interested in buying established sites).

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Kevin – it was in both ways. Some were folks that had reached out to us in the past regarding buying the specific sites and we rung them up once we were ready to sell. One was sold publicly. A few were sold to private buyers who had given me a standing “if you ever want to sell a site, let us know” offer, LOL. One I even bought back from MFE personally (AKA, bought my partner out of it). Currently, I’m pretty good to go in regards to everything I no longer want or need being off my plate. But, I’ll keep you in mind the next time I decide to do a niche switch and sell a current site. :)

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