So let’s say you got an established website for sale but you don’t know how much it’s worth or how much you should sell it for. In this post I am going to give you some tips on how to sell your website so you get the best offer possible.
Why would you sell your website in the first place? Well, it’s a great way to gain quick instant cash for your other projects. Let’s say your website makes $500 per month which isn’t hard to do with some affiliate promotions these days, you could sell it for possibly $5-10k. Of course there are other factors that contribute to your website’s value such as traffic, user base etc. There are sites that lose money every month but because their user growth is exponential the value could be into the millions. It all depends on what’s the nature of your website and the potential it has for the future.
But let’s assume you have a content site that makes you some nice steady income each month and you got other bigger ideas that you would like to work on. You could flip that site for some instant cash in your bank account very easily.
If you would like to learn how to build a profitable content site read my post about making money with blogs.
So the first thing you should do is come up with a plan on how you are going to position your website or blog to the potential buyer.
You need to sell them on the idea.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself first:
– Why would someone want to buy it? – There are many different reasons why someone might purchase your website. It could be a product owner who has something to sell in your niche. For him your traffic would be very valuable. It could also be someone who just wants the site for the passive income it generates, or the site could have SEO value for a company that buys sites for linking purposes.
– What would you like to see happen with the website you are selling? – Some people won’t sell their web properties to just anyone. They want to see the site grow and fall into the right hands.
– What is the earning potential of your site? – You need to sell them on the fact that your site is established, produces traffic, and money. You also need to give them ideas on how to grow the site and how it could become even more profitable for the new owner. If your site gets a lot of traffic it could be a great lead generation machine for someone else.
– What price similar sites sold for in the past? – There could other sites with similar traffic stats, income that sold in the past. You should go to Flippa.com and research how well other sites are selling with similar stats to yours.
– How can I monetize the site right now to increase its value before I list it for sale? – A lot of people who sell websites don’t even know what kind of goldmine they are sitting on. I have seen sites with enormous income potential that get a lot of free organic traffic being sold for peanuts simply because the owner doesn’t know how to monetize it correctly. Your site should capture names and email addresses. If you can include a nice size list with your sale your ending price of the auction could double or triple. Sometimes even adding just an Adsense block in the right spot of your website can increase monthly income by quite a bit. Always make sure that you have properly monetized the site before listing it for sale.
– Do I really want to sell it? – Make sure you are doing the right thing by selling the website. People like the idea of getting lots of cash fast but if you don’t have a plan what to do with it then it’s probably not a good idea to get rid of your cash flow. If your website is earning you money that’s a cash flow that you can always count on. Once you sell it it’s gone and you will need to make sure you use that money to create a new stream of income. You need a business plan before you sell your website.
Are you ready to sell it? If so let’s talk about how you are going to put together your offer and what you need to include in your auction.
There are about 6 most important factors you need to include in your auction. You need to provide proof for each one and you have to be 100% transparent with your sale. The more proof you provide and answer all your potential buyer’s questions the more money you can get at the end.
1. Traffic Stats – You need to prove that your website is getting traffic. Just stating it in your auction description is not enough. You have to give your buyer insights to all your stats. Best thing to do is to take as many screenshots as possible. Go to Alexa.com and take a screenshot of your rankings (Alexa doesn’t give the actual traffic stats and a lot of times it’s very misleading). Login to your webhost and take a screenshot of your traffic stats from your Cpanel. It’s a good idea to have Google Analytics on your website so you can show that as well. Use Statcounter.com to prove that your website gets traffic. Statcounter gives you some really good data that you could use for your auction. You could easily show keywords that produce most traffic, sites that send you visitors, your most popular pages etc.
It’s also a good idea to update your stats during the auction, so you can show it’s consistent and you have nothing to hide.
The more insights you provide about your traffic the more bidders you will get which ultimately equals more money for you at the end.
2. Page Rank – The higher the Google Page Rank the bigger perceived value of your website. Experienced marketers and SEO experts know that Page Rank doesn’t really mean squat, but for others it’s still a good indicator that you have some valuable links. To find out what is your Page Rank you can install the Google toolbar for Firefox or get the PageRank status extension for Chrome.
3. Income/Revenue – This is the most important factor you need to prove. List all your income sources from the website. If you promote some affiliate products you need to login to your accounts and take screenshots of your sales. Also it’s important that you tell your potential buyer how he/she can become an affiliate for the products you are promoting. If one of your income sources is Adsense then show your stats for at least the last 6 months.
If you are building a list with your website and you make some money by sending promotional emails you need to include that as well. Login to your autoresponder and take some screenshots of click through rates, number of sales generated from your promos etc.
If you are selling advertising space directly on the site then show your receipts or paypal payments for the last few months.
The more information you provide about your income the better.
4. Potential – Here is where you can sell the dream 🙂 Basically you want to show your potential buyers how you would grow the site yourself and how they can make it even more profitable. You want to give them clues that would make them excited about purchasing your web property. If your main income is from affiliate promotions just imagine how much more money someone could make if they owned the product they are selling. Tell them how you promoted the site and how they could improve to get the most out of it.
5. SEO Value – Believe it or not there are people who buy websites for their SEO value nothing else. Companies buy websites to include them in their network so they can link from it to their main properties. Take screenshots of your rankings in Google. Find all the keywords that send you the most traffic and use that as your selling point.
Tip: Check out who is bidding on Adwords for the same keywords and send them a link to your auction. They could be interested in buying it.
Get some stats about your backlinks. You should have Webmaster Tools account with Google. It will give some great data about how many links you have, most linked content, rankings etc.
6. Demographic Data – If your website gets thousands of visitors a day you want to show some Demographic data of your traffic. Best thing to do is get an account with Quantcast and put their code on your site. It will give you some very useful information on who is visiting your site, average income of your visitors, age and more.
All the above factors need to be included in your auction when selling your website. Make a good plan on how you are going to present everything and figure out how you are going to position your web property. Don’t rush the sale.
Where to sell your website? Most people sell their websites on sites like Flippa.com, BuySellWebsite.com, WebsiteBroker.com, and DigitalPoint Forum. But if your site’s income is in the 6-7 figure range then you probably want to find a broker.
Always use escrow service when selling websites. Believe it or not there are scammers out there who will not keep their end of the deal and run after you transfer your domain name to their account.
You also might want to restrict who can bid on your website. On Flippa you can approve bids that people place and if you see someone placing a bid with no feedback or with a brand new account then it would be a good idea to do some research on that person first or contact them.
Anyway here are some more good articles about selling websites that you might be interested in reading: