Do you have a website or blog in which you have invested your time and effort and now for some reason you want to sell it? In this article, I will explain how to sell a website.
There are many reasons why someone sells their site. Maybe he no longer gives him the satisfaction as before. Maybe he wants to start another site or maybe in that way he earns money on the Internet, builds a site to one level, and then sells it, the so-called Website flipping.
There are certainly a number of reasons to sell your site but it can be very difficult if you don’t know where to start. The first thing you need to do is prepare your site for sale.
The goal of these preparations is to make your website as attractive as possible for customers and to achieve the highest possible sales price.
How to prepare the site for sale
First of all, you should know that if your site is a copy of another site, it will be very difficult to sell it. Diversity is key to sales. Look at the competition and see what they do and more importantly, what they don’t do. For example, if you have a blog whose topic is online marketing about which the competition writes in the form of tutorials and statistics, why not try something a little different, including interviews with experts with some additional analysis.
Also, it is very difficult to sell an ugly blog, so if your design is outdated or ugly, try to fix it as best you can. If you think you have a very valuable site, then it can pay off to hire a quality designer who would revitalize the site a few months before the sale, otherwise, do the best you can to improve the existing design yourself.
Sometimes it can be harder to sell a site that makes some money than a site that earns nothing. In case your site is making money and that earnings have been declining lately because you no longer have the interest and desire to run that site, potential customers will think that the constant decline in earnings is due to reduced public interest in your site and that it there is no bright future. The same goes for Web traffic.
What you need to do is make sure to get Web traffic back on track and ensure constant revenue growth. The growth of Web traffic will certainly affect the growth of online earnings. Of course, this is easier said than done, but this is extremely important, so you have to do everything to achieve it.
Although it doesn’t happen often, it should be said that it can happen that a blog hosted on WordPress.com or Blogspot becomes popular enough to be worth selling. Unfortunately, the fact that it does not have its own domain and is not hosted elsewhere (outside the blog platform) significantly complicates sales and reduces the value of the site due to its attachment to the blog platform.
Each blog platform has its own rules related to site monetization so it would be best to have your own domain and hosting outside of the blog platform. You need to pay special attention to the transition of your content and the redirection of Web traffic and SEO (search engine optimization) benefits to the new domain.
At this stage of preparing the site for sale, you must intensify your activities to repair all the things that previously bothered you, in essence, for potential customers, your site must become an exceptional opportunity that should not be missed.
How to prepare necessary documentation
Once you have prepared your site for sale you now need to compile a document that gives potential buyers a concise but clear view of what you are selling. The document must contain:
- Web Traffic Information: Current figures, your view of how the site has grown over time, and its current trajectory. We also need demographic information, from which countries Web traffic comes from and in some cases, the operating system and search engine that your visitors use.
- Revenue: How much the site currently earns, as well as the monthly movement of online earnings in the last six months.
- Expenses: How much do you spend on hosting, content, and so on?
- Content: How many articles have you published? What kind of content is in question, whether it is news, tutorials, highly specialized articles, your opinion on a certain topic, or something else.
- Subscribers: If you have mailing lists, social media accounts, etc., how many subscribers do you have and what is happening on those channels, ie what activities are carried out there?
- Organization: Are you the owner of the site or is there someone else. If so, what is their role and what do they do?
- Initiatives: Have you tried anything lately, something that the new owner could pursue? Something to do to increase earnings or Web traffic.
- Inventory list: It is necessary to compile a simple list of everything that comes with the site, from social media domains to logos.
The document should be full of optimism and must contain as much information as possible. If there is something negative, such as a drop in Web traffic, be sure to mention it in the document. Why? So because the potential buyer will notice it or ask for additional information after which he will not be at all happy that you kept something like that secret, he will believe that you tried to deceive him.
Which approach is best?
There are many ways to sell a website, but they can generally be classified into two ways: selling in an online marketplace that specializes in selling websites (like Flippa) or selling to private customers.
If your site is already well-known, well-known with high value, then a private arrangement is the best option for sale. In this situation, you do not want to publish too much information, nor do you want to worry readers and others that your sales would change the dynamics of the site or worry advertisers and business partners about the future of their relationship with you.
With a private arrangement, you will also find it much easier to provide treatment for those who depend on you, which may include freelance writers or permanent editors.
Specialized online markets for selling websites are an ideal place for sites that you have built to a respectable level and that you now want to sell.
Selling in these online markets is quite simple, make settings, answer potential questions from potential buyers and eventually sell the site. Looking for a private buyer doesn’t work that way.
How much is your site worth?
Once you have brought your site into shape, the next thing you need to do is value it properly. This is extremely important.
You can bet that your site is worth a million dollars, but no one will buy it because it is not worth that much! People will only pay for what they believe is a fair price. Each site is different but its value can be estimated. Today, several methods are used to assess the value of the site, which can be divided into three main categories:
This approach is based on the belief that income is most important. It calculates the value based on the revenue that the customer can expect to earn with the site, taking into account the risks involved in running it.
This site valuation approach considers aspects such as:
- price model based on capital values
- internal rate of return
- net present value
- the weighted average cost of capital
- net cash inflow
- generally accepted accounting principles
Approach to the market value of assets
This valuation approach focuses on the market value of what is involved in the sale itself. This method aims to find the total value of the property being sold, including, for example, a website, its list of users, a logo, contracts with suppliers (in the case of a site for the sale of products and services), and so on.
In a market-based approach to site evaluation, buyers and sellers look at the transaction values of similar sites that have been sold recently. By measuring the nature of each site and comparing it to the selling price, they can determine a rough estimate of the value of another site in that niche.
The idea that a site is usually worth several times more than its annual revenue is an example of a market approach. This is the approach that buyers and sellers most often use to assess the value of a site that is sold in online markets like Flippa.
What affects the value of the site?
The market uses several common primary and secondary inputs to determine the value of a site. Primary include revenue and use. Secondary include the age of the site and the technology on which it is built.
Of course, it goes without saying that a site that makes money is more valuable than a similar site that does not make money. A site that is already making money is usually sold at a value that is two or three times its annual revenue. So, if your site earns $ 1,000 a year, the price at which it will be sold will most likely be between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000.
To know what price to put we need to look at three key factors:
Repeatability or scalability of income. The recurring revenue model will value the site more than the one where the revenue is not renewable. Simply put, a site that makes money from subscriptions will be valued more than one that uses a “one-stop-shop” model, for example, a site that sells a product.
Quality, reliability, and cost of Web traffic on the site. Customers will value a site that attracts quality, converting Web traffic more than one that uses questionable techniques to attract Web traffic from anywhere.
The value of a site that uses “blackhat” SEO tactics, for example, will be significantly lower than a similar site that gets most of its Web traffic through organic search.
A current conversion rate of Web traffic and online earnings. Customers are likely to pay even more for a site when they know they can easily improve their conversion rate, increase their earnings by improving their shopping experience, or improve the value of Web traffic, perhaps by switching to an ad platform that pays more.
Use of the site
Web traffic is one of the key factors in estimating the value of a site. Customers will easily pay more for a site that has good Web traffic, especially if it is in a niche that is easy to monetize.
Many sites sold on Flippa show a monthly value per visitor that gives potential customers more accurate, comparable metrics for evaluating sites for sale.
Web traffic is affected by:
- Source and site – affects the reliability of traffic, the likelihood of fraud, and so on
- Return visits as a percentage of total visits – affects Web traffic costs, as well as conversion rate and revenue
- Site time per visitor – this reflects engagement
Given the importance of Web traffic, it’s no surprise that customers also look at third-party indicators (independent indicators) when buying a site, such as Alexa and PageRank.
Also, potential customers are likely to look carefully at the backlinks to the site, their quality, and legitimacy since backlinks greatly affect the position of the website on search results pages and Web traffic, so customers want to be sure that they will not disappear. when they download the site. Also, this way, the ranking of the site in the search is less likely to deteriorate significantly with the next change in Google’s search algorithm.
Given the factors we just discussed, it makes sense that customers give more value to a site that has a longer history than one that is new to the Web. An older site will usually have a better brand, better backlinks, more search engine results, and potentially better search rankings for key niche terms.
Most customers find it easier to monetize older sites than those that are relatively new to the niche.
Another key factor that affects the value of a site is the technology on which it is built. The older the technology, the lower the value of the site. The reason for this is that it is usually quite difficult to find a programmer who would maintain outdated code. On the other hand, sites that are built entirely from scratch using existing technologies may still need a lot of specialized maintenance work, so this too can affect the value of the site.
The best value is achieved with sites that are built on popular platforms, and that is well maintained. A site that uses standards, the current version of the code, will get the best value estimate. It will not be a problem to find developers who would work because it is relatively easy to work with sites like this.
Specialized online markets for the sale of Web sites
There are a number of sites through which you can sell your site or blog. The most famous is Flippa.
Flippa is a specialized market for buying and selling sites. According to the latest data, 4,000 users are on the site at any given time. More than 200,000 users are registered to buy or sell sites on Flippa. The average selling price is $ 1,000. In the period from 2009 to 2012, Flippa had a sales value of almost 90 million dollars.
WebsiteBroker is another option where you can see a large number of different sites for sale.
Lastly, it is very important to be open and honest about your site, so you will quickly see that you have no problem selling the site at all, which can only further motivate you to consider “website flipping” as a way to make money online.
Types of customers
Most customers can be divided into two groups, they are: financial or strategic customers.
Financial buyers evaluate each purchase opportunity as a stand-alone acquisition. They will usually pay a fair price for the site they want.
Strategic buyers will evaluate sites that are in context with their existing asset portfolio or specialized resources. Since this type of customer can see the synergy between the site being sold and their current operations giving them a chance to make even more money from the new acquisition than they would otherwise, they might be willing to pay a much higher price for the site.
I don’t think one needs to guess what kind of customer Facebook was when it bought Instagram for a billion dollars!
Although every seller would like a strategic dream buyer to be interested in his site, it is practically impossible to predict how much he would be willing to pay, there are no rules. It should be borne in mind that if you check the site in the hope that you will be bought by a strategic buyer, you will probably be left without potential buyers who will run away at the very sight of the price.
It is best for the seller to form a price for financial buyers, using the valuation methods we mentioned earlier.
Research your niche market to see at what price similar sites are sold and keep in mind everything that affects the value of the site.
Tags: internet earnings, how to, online sales, online markets, online earnings, website, earnings on the Internet