May 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm #27557
Just read an old post on flipping websites and was wondering if anyone here here has experience doing that.
I have a few niche websites myself, but the one time I got tired of one and tried to sell it was a bad experience. I used Flippa.com and should have done more research; in the end I got nothing for my troubles. Wish I would have read the article earlier. Transferring hosting is a big PITA; just handing over the files sounds much better.
However I do love setting up WordPress websites and this sounds like a great side project especially suited to an idea I have now.
Jen has some great advice in the article about establishing a reputation in marketplaces you’re intending to sell. Just wondering if anyone has examples of specific marketplaces. Are these niche topic boards, or sites like Flippa that are devoted to buying & selling websites? Any other advice or experiences to share?
Thanks for readingMay 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm #27558
I’m familiar with Flippa but I haven’t used it to sell websites. I used to sell them through the Digital Point forums, but I’m no longer an active member there so I can’t say what the market is like there these days.
I usually didn’t flip established sites. I would create new ones with the sole purpose of selling them there, with the added bonus that the buyer would receive professional content. You could probably do something similar in any community with online business owners and bloggers. SitePoint and Warrior Forum come to mind.
This type of flip (back when I used to do them) could bring in an easy few hundred to few thousand dollars depending on the niche. These days I would imagine there’s more competition, and to get more than a few hundred dollars you would probably need to show some history of the site generating income.
Because you’re a professional writer, you have that going for you. You can factor the value of your content (based on what you would normally charge your clients) into the asking price.
If you’ve had the site for a while, buyers are likely going to want to see income stats. It will vary from one buyer to another, but the old rule used to be that a site’s value would be around 10-12 months’ income and more if it was a particularly high-income site.
I would definitely avoid transferring hosts. That would require a different hosting account for each site you wanted to sell. Instead you can save on the up front cost and set the site up as an add-on domain on your existing hosting account and provide the files and database instead.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and I’ll help if I’m able.May 2, 2014 at 4:57 pm #27559
Just a few more quick thoughts:
1. That article is from 2008 when I was still quite new to flipping sites and my rates for custom content were much lower than now. So please don’t think the range I gave there reflects what you could personally charge given your current level of experience.
2. I mentioned there, but feel it’s worth repeating that this should primarily be filler work. You’ll usually make more selling custom articles to freelance clients than doing a quick-flip.
3. I also mentioned there that discounted prices are what help writers sell quick-flip sites when others can’t. For example, if you normally charge $100 per blog post you might sell a site with 5 posts for $250 — attracting buyers because it’s cheaper than hiring you, but it also gives you complete freedom, no edit requests, etc. To make up the difference so they get a discount without you taking a hit, I’d hold onto the sites for a short while (maybe 3 months). I’d also include a short report (think no more than 10 pages). Make it something you can sell for a few dollars to make up the income, and include it as an added bonus for the buyer to keep selling it. The income will help you get a higher price for the site, gives you direct income to make it more equivalent to your freelance work, and lets you increase the price due to the added content you’re offering. I doubt most quick flip sellers are doing anything like that.May 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm #27584
Wow, thanks so much for all the info Jen! Really appreciate it.
I didn’t realize that article was from 2008- I’ll definitely have to do some more research on how things stand now. But you’ve given me a lot of excellent starting points!May 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm #27595
Glad to hear it! I did a bit of digging a few days ago and saw typical sales levels claimed at anywhere from 4 months’ income to 24 months’ income. Lovely, right? I suspect the buyers push the lower targets and sellers look for the higher income ranges. If you give this a go, I’d love to hear how things work out for you.
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