Bio: Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 175 website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. His free newsletter, The Website Flip, covers case studies on his portfolio of sites, website flipping guides, and exclusive websites for sale.
Despite all the things that have changed online over the years, niche websites remain one of the best ways for almost any individual to be able to make money online. Buying a website already earning some income, growing it, and then flipping it can lead to massive profits.
This is one of my favorite methods of making money online since it not only earns me the monthly commissions from ads and affiliate sales but there’s also a big one-time payout when the site is sold.
Why Buy a Website?
There are several reasons to look at buying a website. One is getting an investment that starts paying back immediately. When I buy a website that’s already bringing in income, that’s an investment already paying off even before a single change is made.
There are many opportunities for buying profitable websites online. The three following pieces of advice are some of the most important before jumping into the website buying business.
3 Tips To Consider
1. Find Your Niches
Finding the right niche or niches to buy from isn’t as easy as it might sound. The commonly given advice of “buy a site in a niche you’re interested in or passionate about” can have merit, but too often I’ve seen it lead website buyers down the wrong path.
When building a website from scratch, going with an interesting niche can be a benefit. Especially when it comes to motivation.
However, in many cases, this also means more competition. When buying a site, going with a boring niche or untapped niche is often a much better strategy. Especially since those types of sites are often more likely to be underpriced versus overpriced.
The end goal isn’t to be excited. It’s to scale the earnings of a profitable site for a much higher eventual sale price.
Do some research on boring niches for websites. Consider underserved niche areas where a good site could quickly ramp up into becoming the authority on the topic.
Find the undervalued sites in niches you can scale up whether through direct writing of content or outsourcing to specialists.
2. Due Diligence Is a Requirement
I never buy a website without personally doing due diligence. Neither should anyone else.
Even if buying from a broker who does a good job of checking provided earnings screenshots and traffic numbers, I’m a firm believer in always verifying those numbers myself. As well as going through a checklist of other important pieces of information.
The end goal is to get as high a sales price as possible when flipping a bought site. The better the due diligence up-front, the more likely I am to see the great deals and avoid the problem ones.
This starts with verifying the earnings and traffic numbers, making sure there are no obvious red flags that throw those numbers into question. This is only the beginning.
Do I like the domain name? Does it have potential as a standalone brand? Is the traffic stable or trending up? Are there any obvious red flags I need to take a closer look at?
Major due diligence points include:
- Is the domain brandable and free of copyright issues?
- Does the niche have a low ceiling or high ceiling? What opportunities are there?
- How is the traffic trending in recent months?
- Are there any spam or blackhat backlinks to worry about?
- What’s the monthly profit? Are earnings seasonal or steady?
A full detailed explanation of my due diligence framework for buying sites can be found by following that link. These are the steps that I use with every single website purchase and are a key set of stops before the next step.
3. Determine the Easy Wins Before Buying
By seeing what easy wins could improve a newly acquired site immediately, I get a good sense of how much room there is for the site to grow and how rapidly this can happen. A lack of display ads (or only using Google AdSense), no call-to-action buttons, or a lack of comparison tables are easy wins I know have a major impact on earnings.
Some sites will be relatively well put together. They may have some comparison tables, good writing, and quality original pictures. They have ads running, although maybe not optimized, and may have the most room to grow with more labor-intensive easy wins.
Then there are others missing all kinds of optimization. They have no display ads, no call-to-action buttons, or poorly worded call-to-action buttons. Maybe there are no contextual affiliate links (or only contextual affiliate links). Many otherwise good sites only optimize with ads or with Amazon, leaving a ton of money on the table.
Looking at all the potential easy wins is a crucial part of the evaluation process. I want to know whether I can expect to see massive jumps in income in one month, three months, or six months. I want to know how much of a ceiling might still exist for the site and the niche.
Immediately look for the following:
- Affiliate comparison tables
- Affiliate call-to-action buttons
- Display ads
- Contextual affiliate links
There are many other easy wins that I look for. Does the site load quickly? Is the theme clean and responsive? Is there a sitemap that makes crawling the site easy for Google?
A long list of easy wins that can be implemented quickly tells me that the site is potentially a very good buy that can be turned around in a very short time.
Don’t believe the story that the golden age of making money off websites has passed.
There are many underserved niches and plenty of opportunities to make money with content-based sites.
By finding the right niches, undergoing proper due diligence, and paying attention to potential easy wins, I can find great deals that scale up to incredible profits.
Happy deal hunting!
Looking for more tips on buying niche sites? Check out our review of Mushfiq’s course on website flipping.