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At Frugal For Less, we often talk about making money by completing surveys and joining different apps to earn money, but today we’ll introduce you to a new method of making money online – buying and selling websites.
There are people making thousands flipping websites online, here’s how you can be a part of the wave:
How Does Buying and Selling Websites Work?
It’s as simple as it sounds.
You can buy a website off the internet or create your own, then put it up for sale for a profit.
Based on how successful your website is, you may be able to make thousands on a single sale.
Continue reading to know more about how much money you can make buying and selling websites and how to get started.
How Much Money Can I Earn Flipping Websites?
I know of people who make over $5,000 per month flipping websites but some hardly make a few hundred dollars.
I can’t tell you exactly how much you’ll make buying and selling websites as your take home pay will depend on a number of factors including:
This is one of the most important factors as some niches are in more demand than others.
Buyers, for example, love to invest in Amazon affiliate sites since Amazon pays a good commission.
Hence, be sure to stick to a niche that sells well when buying and selling websites.
Facts and Figures
Most buyers would like to know how many visitors you get and how much money you make through your website.
The more visitors you have, the more money you will make.
Buyers prefer websites with a good history and name, hence older sites tend to fetch good numbers.
If you are a good marketer, you will be able to sell your website at a higher price.
Find a platform that’s suitable for your site and make an impressive pitch to attract good buyers.
If you have a well-established website in a good niche then you will have no trouble in making good money.
Some very well reputed sites can fetch over $500,000, but it can take years to build such a reputation.
Shall I Purchase a Website or Build My Own?
Most people who make money flipping websites prefer to purchase a site, work on it, then sell it at a higher rate instead of building a new site from scratch.
However, it may be a good idea to build your own site if you do not have enough money to buy a site.
While it will most probably be cheaper to build your own website than to purchase a similar site, remember that you’ll still have to spend money on purchasing web hosting and domain, hiring a web developer, etc.
Plus, it can take a while to build a new website and gain enough visitors to sell it.
If you are not in a hurry then you can concentrate on starting your own website, otherwise, it is best to look for an established site.
Ready to Buy: But Which One?
You can’t get up one day and decide to buy a domain like Yahoo.com or MSN.com.
You will have to search the market, understand your requirements, and look for a domain within your budget.
Let’s have a look at a few factors to keep in mind when selecting a website to buy:
Be sure to be clear about how much money you can afford to spend on buying a website.
Some big websites with thousands of visitors can be as expensive as $500,000.
While they may offer great benefits, not everyone may be able to afford such expensive sites.
Hence, it is best to be clear about your budget and only look for sites that you can afford.
However, remember that most sellers are willing to negotiate and you may be able to bring the price down by about 10 percent if you have good negotiation skills.
Zero In On a Niche
Do not make the mistake of going for a niche that you think will do well.
Always choose a niche that you know about and you’re most comfortable with as working on a website that you know nothing about can lead to unnecessary trouble.
Financial websites, for example, do very well but they can be hard to manage if you do not understand finance.
You will have to count on others to maintain your site which will make it more expensive to manage the business.
Hence, look for a niche that you know about but make sure it holds potential.
Be Clear About Your Plan
It can take a while for a website to appreciate in value.
If you are in a hurry, then buying and selling websites may not be the best option for you since most websites can take at least six months to gain value.
Go Through the Numbers
Try to get your hands on an established site so that you can begin to make money right away.
Pay attention to the following factors:
- Number of visitors including returning visitors and unique visitors
- Alexa ranking including the DA
- Monthly profit including historic earnings
- Operational costs including domain and hosting charges
- The history of the site including the date it was established
- Links with other sites including partnerships and sister sites
- Information on visitors including geographic location, age, and gender
- Issues including controversies such as data breaches and hacks
It may be a good idea to present this information to an expert to understand how good of an investment it is.
Experts can help you understand the risks and also highlight red flags.
For example, if a website currently has 500,000 visitors per month but the average visitors for the last six months stand at only 300,000 then it’s a sign that the seller has used blackhat techniques to increase visitors.
Verify All the Information
It is not uncommon for sellers to post false information in order to receive high bids.
Hence, perform a bit of research and verify the information.
You can ask the seller to submit financial documents.
They can provide you with valuable information about a site including owner details and history.
Moreover, it may be a good idea to run a Google search to ensure the website ranks well and is not blacklisted.
Do not make the mistake of investing in a blacklisted site as such sites can be very hard to monetize.
Google often blacklists websites for a number of reasons including using blackhat techniques to gain traction.
Such bans are usually permanent and will not get removed even if the ownership changes.
Shortlist Some Options and Compare ‘Em Critically
Once you have gone through all the possible choices, make a list of some good options and compare them on the basis of price, visitors, etc.
It may be a good idea to get in touch with the seller and negotiate the price at this stage so that you can reach a final figure.
Next, consider how the website will go with your current website, if you have any.
We suggest that you invest in the same niche to create a network of websites that you can use to leverage opportunities.
Plus having a network can also help market and manage sites as it will reduce your SEO efforts and give you good returns.
Important: Ensure You Pay For All That You Need
When you buy a website, you will have to buy everything linked to it including email accounts, web hosting, domain name, email lists, etc.
In most cases, the price will include all these elements as well, but it still may be a good idea to inquire and be clear so that there are no issues later on.
Also, ask the seller if there are any sister sites.
You may be able to get a bundle at a lower price.
However, go through the same procedure when negotiating for the sister site so that you can get a good price.
Once done, it is time to seal the deal and make the payment.
The seller will share all the details with you including login information.
Where to Find a Good Website to Purchase?
Now that you know how to select a website to purchase, it is time to know where to find good websites to buy.
You can check Facebook pages, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms for ads.
Get in touch with the seller and start discussions, however, having to find a site on your own can be quite lengthy and time-consuming.
This is why we suggest to work with a website that’s designed for buying and selling sites.
Some good options include:
Most of these platforms have a long list of websites to select from.
You can go through all the available options and pick one that suits your requirements.
While third-party sites will charge you a small fee for their services, it’s worth paying thanks to the great experience they offer.
Most professional sites only list verified websites with details, hence, there is little to no risk of scams.
Plus, you will be able to handle everything on the platform as they offer the ability to send and receive messages and make payments.
Bought a Website – What’s Next?
The next step is to work on your site so you can eventually sell it.
The whole process can take a few months so tighten your seat belt and start by:
Auditing the Website
If you understand website marketing then you can do it on your own.
Otherwise, you will have to hire the services of an online auditing firm that’ll inspect different aspects of your website and prepare a report that may also contain suggested changes.
Coming Up With a Strategy
Plan a strategy based on audit results.
You may have to add or remove pages/content.
In some cases, you may have to redesign the website and introduce a new theme.
Since all this requires money, it is important to create a plan that’s within your budget.
Looking at Facts
Keep an eye on the performance of your new website.
You may have to change your strategy if it doesn’t work.
However, if it’s providing good results then continue doing what you’re doing and enjoy the profit.
Time to Sell The Website
Most experts suggest to sell a website once it begins to bring you at least 25% more monthly revenue.
But, do not make the mistake of putting your website up for sale within a month or two even if you somehow manage to double your earnings.
Since you will have to share historical figures with prospective sellers, it may be a good idea to wait for at least six months so that there is consistency in your reports.
You can enjoy the profit in the meanwhile.
Once you’re ready, start by looking for a seller.
You can advertise your website on social media platforms or turn to one of the many platforms we mentioned above.
You will be required to submit details including financial reports and historical data before your website gets listed.
Once up, it is time to wait for those interested in buying the website to get in touch with you.
How to Sell Your Website Fast
Since there are a huge number of people buying and selling websites, it can take months for a website to get sold.
The best way to find a buyer is to sell the website at a good price.
But, sadly, website evaluation is a tricky topic.
According to a 2015 Website Buyers Report, the average website valuation multiple depends on the niche:
- 2.2x for Services
- 2.7x for eCommerce
- 2.72x for Transactional
- 2.8x for SaaS
- 2.9x for Content
Now, let’s say you have a website that offers SaaS-related content and generates a profit of $15,000 per year.
Based on the above formula, the fair value of your website will be 2.8 (x) 15,000 = $42,000.
Similarly, if it was a website offering other services then the price would’ve been: 2.2 (x) 15,000 = $33,000.
While this formula is said to be reliable, it may not always be true as factors such as risk and future potential are also considered when calculating the worth of a website.
They call websites virtual real estate for a reason.
The market for websites is huge and the potential is unmatched.
You can make a good amount of money buying and selling websites if you’re patient.
It may require a bit of hard work and effort but the results are worth it.
A very good thing about buying and selling websites is that you’ll be getting ‘rent’ in the form of monthly profit, so do give it a try.