June Acquisition Update: I’m a little out of my depth.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclaimer here.

Hi there 👋

If you’re new here, in December we bought a new business! We’ve started something like five businesses over the years and you know what? It takes a loooooong time to go from 0 to making money. So we decided to buy one instead! (Spoiler alert: if this is the first acquisition update you’ve read, it’s been going better than expected!)

Our goal is to share the ups and downs of our experience buying our first business (so you can learn from our mistakes!).

The business we purchased is called RV Inspiration, which consists of two websites: RVInspiration.com & RenovatedRVsforSale.com.

As a whole, the blog is focused on helping you make your RV feel like home and the renovated RV marketplace helps people sell their beautifully restored RVs.

Okay, let’s get into it!

Photo Credit: Jeff Myers, who sold this beautiful RV on our marketplace 🙂

Things That Went…Well?

We always title this section things that went well, but we’ve never had a section for things we focused on/worked on during a month. But that’s what I want to share today: what we focused on in June that (hopefully) makes big positive impacts on the site.

Site Audit (Pretty much as boring as it sounds)

In June, I got super technical looking into RVinspiration.com. Heath and I use Semrush to look at all sorts of information about the website. The tool’s primary focus is SEO, but SEO encompasses so many things that they have like 50 tools within their SEO tool.

We used Semrush years ago for a couple of months, but it is CRAZY expensive. Upwards of $100/month! 😱

21 Things You Only Get If You're The Broke One In Your Squad

Heath mentioned maybe canceling it because of the cost, but before we did that, I decided to use the fancy expensive tool that, let’s be honest, is a little out of my scope of genius.

Fortunately, I still had all of the (unread) onboarding emails that teach you how to use the different features. I studied them all over the course of a few days. The emails covered so many things—from how many clicks it takes for someone to find a webpage (which we actually were doing good on!) to giving me a list of “competitors” with stats on their backlinks and ideas on how to compete.

The site audit I ran looked like this. (Lots of warnings! And the student in me is dying that I could score a 0% in something! 🙊 )

Here’s what I learned:

1. So many broken links!

The tool told me how many links on our blog posts were broken links. These were all internal links—so links to other blog posts on the site. Some of them were posts that got deleted. Some were outdated URLs that had gotten changed at some point over the years.


There were a lot of these and to fix them, I had to locate the link (weirdly difficult) and then remove or update it. We’ve mentioned previously that we’ve been updating all of the existing articles. This has included optimizing SEO, correcting typos, changing copy, and updating photos. But I never once thought to make sure all the links worked correctly… 🤦‍♀️

Now they have all been updated! 😁

2. We are highly toxic 🦠 

You can put a backlink to RVinspiration.com on your website. Anyone can link to us in fact. Even the lovely spammers! This can hurt your domain authority and make you seem like a spam site if you have too many highly toxic sites (AKA spam sites) linking to you…

WE HAD 10,000.

The green number is the “toxicity” score. The sites in this screenshot aren’t rated as toxic, but they still aren’t legit sites.

10,000 toxic sites were linking to us! Thousands of them with “highly toxic” scores in the 90s.

My favorites were: yousuckatmarriage.com (awwww!!!) and clownswilleatyou.com (probably not wrong).

Of the 10,000+ URLs that I sifted through, about 50 were legitimate. But it wasn’t until I got down to about 1,500 left to review that I started seeing any legitimate sites, including friends’ sites. Fortunately, we’ve been RVing long enough to recognize many RVer URLs and I could look at them and say, “Okay, that’s Julie, that’s Camille, that’s Tina…”

When I say legitimate, I don’t just mean that they are a real site. I also mean that they are relevant to our content and genuinely linked to it. Some of these sites just copy-paste our articles onto their own sites (bad!) and some just steal photos (with no context) and they link to our site with the photo.

Once I “disavowed” all these links on Semrush, I exported the list and sent it to Google’s disavow tool.

This can negatively impact your website for a short while when you suddenly lose all these backlinks. But we didn’t notice any dip in traffic or ad revenue. Plus now our site isn’t associated with any more bad sites, only the good ones!

In case you’re wondering…this took about four hours. Not fun. But beneficial.

3. We are slooooooooooow.

Have you ever run a speed test on your website? Especially if you have a bunch of photos, you’ll see your site can load pretty slowly… You know, like thousands of photos of renovated RVs…

I don’t understand everything in this report, but I understand the color red pretty well. I passed this info off to our tech support guy. (You should always have a guy. No one wants to do this themselves.)

Things That Did Not Go Well 😬

Leaving Money on the Table

We bought this business in December which I do not recommend. Do you know what your brain is like at Christmas time? Full of cookies. You have cookie brain.

Due to cookie overload, we missed a handful of transitional items in our first month. For instance, I found a few plugins/accounts that I had never logged into before…even though I swore I went through all of them! (I kept getting automated emails addressed to Ashley, the previous owner, which is how I figured out I had never updated the information on these accounts.)

But the best one was when Ashley emailed and said she was getting checks from Amazon. As it turns out, I never updated any of the tax or payment information. This meant all of our monthly payments were still being sent to Ashley. 🤦‍♀️ Lots of face palms in June.

I finally got this updated and Ashley sent us our missed payments.

No money was lost, but just one more thing we missed…for seven months 🤦‍♀️

We’re Missing $2,000?!

After realizing all of the aobve, we also noticed other missing payouts. Namely, our ad revenue from RenovatedRVsforSale.com.

Earlier this year we switched ad networks for this website in an effort to bring in better revenue. This has worked and now ads bring in enough money to cover all of our site expenses. MAJOR WIN!

Except money wasn’t going into our bank account…

Because someone didn’t ever add our banking info…

And it only took us four months to notice.

Good news: We got a couple extra grand in July when all those waiting payments were finally processed.

Progress Report!

Last month I found an interesting journal note (shared more about it in last month’s update). I wrote it shortly after Heath left his full-time job at Camping World, which had been our primary source of income.

We knew that when Heath left, we’d only be making a couple thousand per month. In the journal, I wrote that in one year our goal would be to find a way to get this number up to around $10k/ per month.

Drumroll please…

June Revenue Breakdown

RV Inspiration Ads: $5,637

RV Inspiration Marketplace Ads: $897.33

Listings: $1,821

Amazon Affiliates: $1,612.39 + $1,200 bonus

Other affiliates: $88

Total: $11,255.72

(Yay! New record!)

Revenue Deep Dive

Amazon Bonuses!

We were randomly(?) selected to participate in a bonus program for all of Q2 for Amazon. If our affiliate links resulted in $30,000 worth of shipped products, we earned a $1,200 bonus. We hit this all three months in a row for a sweet $3,600 bonus in total.

We also hit our highest month ever of Amazon affiliate commissions in June. This has been a huge boost for us, but also we love seeing that even without the bonus, we would’ve hit that 10K mark.

Ad Revenue: Best Month Ever

This was our best month ever for ad revenue on both sites. I don’t know what to attribute this to… Fixing SEO issues? Writing new content? Starting to share email newsletters twice a week? All of the above? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Probably a combo of all of the above.

Listings Revenue 😱

Listings revenue refers to when people buy a for-sale listing on our marketplace. Most customers opt for the Premium listing, which is $100. That means we got about 18 new RVs listed on the site in June. We currently have 54 listings total on the site!

This is a huge improvement, considering we had about a dozen listings on the site when we bought. Our ultimate goal is to get 1 new listing a day, so it feels like we are about halfway there. The more listings we have, the more time people spend using the site shopping for beautiful RVs, the more credibility we have as a marketplace. At least, that’s the goal.

Key Takeaway

I’m having a great time.

It may sound silly as a key takeaway, but it’s the truth. I am so enjoying running this business. It’s just outside my “zone of genius” (a term we stole from Jill Sessa) to feel challenging, but not so difficult that it’s paralyzing.

Meanwhile, Heath is focused on our Youtube channel while I run RVI and he’s loving it.

We share an office right now, so I hear him bursting out laughing as he watches our videos. It feels so good to be in a place where we both love what we are doing and it brings in money. Well, not Youtube. That brings in next to nothing. But that’s okay. We’re crushing our growth goals with RVI right now, so we can keep playing on Youtube 🙂

Looking Forward

Our goal set in January was to grow our income by $1,000 each month.

I had this chart in January to project what it would look like if we added $1,000 each month. So far we’ve been close to or exceeding these numbers and were almost $2K ahead in June!

But who knows what the future holds? Especially once we are traveling again in a few weeks!

Time will tell. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the ride 🙂

One thing I would love to hear from you after reading this:

Are you enjoying running your business? What parts do you love? What parts do you hate? Share in the comments 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.