Own a profitable business at the click of a button.
A website with quality content, steady traffic, and consistent monthly revenue – sounds too good to be true? Well it doesn’t have to be – there are plenty of high-quality sites for sale on the web.
Whether you are looking for tech websites, eCommerce businesses, affiliate sites, or lifestyle blogs – there is the perfect niche site out there waiting for you.
Read these tips to help you with your next site purchase – make sure you get the best possible deal.
Start With Website Brokers & Platforms
Start by exploring the big brokers and platforms out there: you will find thousands of ads and listings to choose from. You may get lucky and just stumble upon the perfect opportunity.
Some of these sites charge fees, others are free online communities:
• Flippa — use the advanced search to help you filter this big database
• Empire Flippers — specializing in selling established websites
• Exchange — specializing in ecommerce stores with a huge database
• FE International — established website brokers
• Ebay — yes, they also list websites for sale!
Top tip: Use email alerts, spreadsheets, and IFTT to help you shortlist and keep track of ongoing conversations with sellers.
Social Media & Outreach Methods
Some people prefer to sell directly – they will advertise their site sale on social media, instead of listing it on marketplaces. Keep an eye for out anyone selling by following relevant keywords, and engage sellers in conversation if anything promising crops up.
Be proactive about your search and use your outreach skills to your advantage. Put out requests to buy on social media, and seek out relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups. It’s worth posting on relevant forums and blogs to let people know you’re looking for sites to buy.
You should outreach directly to any specific sites you’ve got your eye on. Email the site owner with a concise email – show that you’re a genuine buyer with serious intentions.
Auditing a Potential Purchase
You should never buy a site without doing due diligence checks first.
When analyzing a site before purchase, focus on core metrics. Get hard figures on traffic and revenue before you proceed any further.
Here are some things to look out for:
• Is the traffic organic or paid? Be careful with heavily subsidized paid traffic, or organic traffic that’s faked (look for traffic from similar sources, or traffic that doesn’t convert).
• Fully audit the backlink profile to spot any worrying links or future risks to the business. Here are some backlink audit tools you may want to try.
• Validate the revenue source(s) and look at revenue channels from the last 12 months. Is there a good spread of income? What’s the overall revenue trend like? Can you spot potential for growth, or has the site plateaued?
Fully investigate anything that’s worrying you, and don’t rush into anything if you’re feeling unsure.
Audit the site’s content to spot future revenue opportunities.
All content should have a clear theme and the site should cover the niche thoroughly. Niche sites need to be thoroughly researched in order to be credible – you are speaking to die-hard fans and aficionados, as well as hobbyists and newbies.
Content formats to look out for:
• Resources and guides that go into detail on niche terms
• Interview videos with niche experts and influencers
• In-depth reviews with videos & ratings
• Interactive quizzes & calculators
• Downloadable magazines & guides
• Image galleries
• Niche roundups
• Tool & software reviews
• Listicle posts
• Seasonal content
• Contributed articles
If the current site-owners haven’t gone all-in with their content, this may be the perfect opportunity for you to up the site’s value, and flip it a few months down the line. Content upgrades are a great way to increase traffic, revenue, and overall site value.
How do you know if a niche is going to bottom out soon?
Consider these things carefully:
• Gimmicks – has this site got staying power? Can you ride the wave long enough to get what you want out of the deal?
• Low margins – can they be increased? Can you play the volume game?
• Marketplace – do people actually care about the site? Are there influencers and content producers you can collaborate with?
• Saturation – is everyone else doing the same thing right now?
• Competition – who do you have to defeat in the SERPs? Who else has their eye on this niche?
• Testing things out – can you try before you buy? How much are others making on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis off similar sites?
Some entrepreneurs swear by formulas and calculations when evaluating a niche, but you also need to consider your interest levels and internal resources. There is nothing worse than working on something that holds 0% interest for you, even if it’s profitable.
Approach the niche community
Search for information and support out there – there is loads of it online! You can learn a lot from others who have already done it, like Spencer Haws at Niche Pursuits – it’s worth following relevant blogs and social profiles to see what others have been up to recently.
When buying a website, make sure that the transaction and transfer of assets are properly managed.
You need to ensure that your seller is the genuine article, so always request proof of ID and address details. Your best bet is to use a service like Escrow.com to ensure your funds stay secure. When it comes to security, the seller should be just as concerned as you – watch out for anyone looking to ‘cut corners’.
Dealing with a multi-currency transaction or conversion rates? Take care that you’re not missing out on money due to timing or mismanagement – speak to some financial experts first.
An agreement in writing (a contract) is a good idea, as it allows all parties to define their role in the partnership and asset transfer. If you are considering a transitional ownership period, a legally-binding contract is a must-have.
A website doesn’t function in a vacuum: buying an online business might mean purchasing a ton of other assets like social media profiles (often included in the website price, but not always), licenses, supplier relationships, unpublished content/editorial planning, freelancer relationships etc.
Be very clear on what you are, and are not, purchasing. You need to ensure that you are taking on a viable business model where you can generate profit immediately. You need all the pieces of the puzzle to make that happen.
Selling A Website
If you want to get into buying and selling websites, you have to get good at spotting commercial opportunities, and maximizing them.
Sell a site on at its peak, and you may be in for a healthy lump sum. Buy up lots of sites and upgrade their content in one go, and you might be able to make a tidy profit.
Tips for site sellers? It’s important that you price your sites competitively, and that you approach the sale in the right way. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and cut out any personal waffle in listings: keep things data-driven and actionable. You have to really sell the site and the niche to people, so include as much positive information as you can.
Sign up for a few different sales platforms, and do some of your own marketing too. Try bidding for relevant search terms, and putting out ads on forums.
Buying a niche site is a great way to expedite your online income goals for the year, but don’t get suckered into buying an expensive site that’s not going to ultimately make you much money. It’s a good idea to start small: buy a few small niche sites, improve them, flip them, and work your way up to bigger purchases.
At the top end, people spend millions on websites: it’s big business. But these days, anyone can start buying and selling niche websites thanks to a relatively open marketplace.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.