Stefano Treviso: From Homeless to Six-Figure Exit

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How Stefano Treviso Went from Homeless to Six-Figure Exit

We’ve covered plenty of interesting and inspiring entrepreneurial stories here at Flip My Site, but Stefano Treviso’s may be the most unique. His story involves going from poverty in Venezuela to homelessness in Italy, to finance worker in Spain and Cyprus, to successful business owner and a six-figure exit in Dubai.

And to top it off, Stefano’s website was in one of the most competitive industries online. Read on to see how his story unfolded.

If you enjoy Stefano’s story, check out his book Zero to Dubai.

Going from Broke to Homeless

Stefano grew up in Venezuela. His family was wealthy at one time, but a series of events led them into poverty. As a kid, Stefano was always hustling and looking for ways to make money. Later, he started a few different businesses, but Venezuela’s hyperinflation and poor economic conditions made everything a struggle.

At one time, Stefano owned a coffee business. “Imagine going to buy coffee for $15 per kilo,” he said, “selling it for $20 and then going to buy again so you can keep growing your operation, and it turns out the supplier’s new price is $27. How do you materialize the extra capital? All you do is lose.”

After several years and a few failed businesses, Stefano realized he needed to leave Venezuela. “Making it forward in life is hard already,” he said, “but in a place like this, it was simply impossible.”

Stefano’s cousin in Italy offered a place to stay for three months while getting established. In 2017, at the age of 24 and with only 400€, Stefano moved to Italy, hoping for something better.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Stefano’s cousin kicked him out of the house after just eight days. After that, he ended up sleeping on the beach.

Stefano made some money working as a photographer on the beach, saving up enough to move to Barcelona. He’d always been interested in finance, and in Barcelona, Stefano landed a sales job with an online broker.

About a year later, Stefano found a job with another finance company, which allowed him to relocate to Cyprus. This position was in customer service, and he spent many hours helping customers via online chat. 

Stefano’s customer service experience inspired him to start a website with beginner-level information for traders. He researched the competition, and it seemed that none of the existing sites had quality information that was easy for new traders to understand.

After taking a few months to develop the site, Stefano launched The Trading Bible in 2019 with four static HTML pages. By this time, he had two years of experience working in the industry.

The Trading Bible

Stefano tried WordPress when setting up his website but felt it was confusing and too complicated. He was already learning code, so he decided to create his own custom CMS, which later became MozartCMS.

“I started pumping articles,” Stefano said, “and over the course of 2-3 months began seeing traffic come my way. From 10 clicks a day and slowly growing to 20, 30, 40, 50, and so on.” 

Then, Stefano implemented a strategy that significantly contributed to his success. He built a tool to compare brokers. After entering the data for each broker, the system created unique pages for every possible comparison, resulting in 3,000 new pages of content.

Over time, Stefano added about 100 more manually-written articles to the site. He chose the article topics based on what seemed logical for a finance and trading website to cover.

The Trading Bible Website

Organic search accounted for almost all of Stefano’s traffic. The site’s traffic was never huge compared to some sites, but the 10,000 – 20,000 monthly visitors were extremely valuable.

Stefano monetized the site by selling ads directly to brokers. “This allowed me to build my own ads,” he said, “make them look super organic so ad blockers never targeted me and also allowed me to have a faster, better-looking site that makes much money even with less traffic.”

Initially, Stefano reached out to affiliate managers and asked for an introduction to someone in the marketing department. The results were so good for advertisers that most stuck around long-term.

The downside of Stefano’s monetization approach is that his income wasn’t steady because he sold ad slots for several months at a time. He might collect a few large sponsorship payments to lock up ad spots for several months and then not have any new sponsorship payments the next month. But on average, the site generated about $9,500 in monthly revenue with very low maintenance costs.

The Six-Figure Exit

In 2023, after running The Trading Bible for a few years, Stefano decided to sell the site. “The instability I was living with was killing me,” he said. “I needed to finally get a place to call home in a developed country to feel like I settled down. Also, I understood that under my current conditions, I didn’t have the opportunity to continue growing the site. I couldn’t invest and live at the same time with my income.”

Although he still enjoyed working on the site, Stefano felt selling was the best option. He said, “Selling was the best option for me to trigger a change and a new stage in life that allows me to build new things.”

When looking for a broker or marketplace, Empire Flippers drew Stefano’s attention. “I loved their high-quality curated vetting process for sellers and buyers,” he said.

After a seven-month process, Empire Flippers sold The Trading Bible for Stefano. One of the challenges he faced was potential buyers who didn’t want to acquire a site built with a custom CMS. Many buyers prefer WordPress because that’s what they’re familiar with.

Although the seven-month wait was a bit frustrating, Stefano stuck with the process. “I did consider backing off [the sale] because deep inside I loved my site,” he said, “but I never took the listing down. I understood it was something I needed to do to start the new stage of my life.”

Stefano used some of the proceeds from the sale to buy an apartment in Dubai, finding the sense of stability he desired. Today, he’s working on a few different projects. He published his first book, Zero to Dubai, which shares his personal journey. Aside from MozartCMS, he’s also working on I Go Venezuela, a tourism website, and Glofinex, another finance website.

“I guess some of us are unstable by nature and love changing a lot,” Stefano said. “I’m still trying to figure out the next steps of my journey. The only thing I know is that I want to create value with everything I do, and I want to make sure it’s something positive for the world.”

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