Buying A Website in 2019: How and Where to Start

by Corey Philip //  November 4, 2019

So you’re probably here because you want your own website? Read on. 

Having a website of your own is one great way to advertise or sell products and services. It enables you to gain an audience without having to leave the comfort of your home. You get to reach and connect with people all around the world with just the click of a button.

First things first, there are a lot of things to consider when you want your own website. You can either make it on your own from scratch, hire a professional website builder or buy an existing website that’s for sale.

Making your own website could be a good option, but you have to consider the following before you can even make one. Website designing, coding, and collecting a community are things that you need to consider, and if you are a total newbie with this IT stuff, this option will require a lot of time and effort to even pull it off.

You also have the option to hire an IT professional to do the job for you, but chances are, you need to shell out huge amounts of cash for their services alone. Sure, you will get a great website as output, but sometimes, shelling out money for a website that might not even generate enough income is not worth the risk, especially for a start-up business. In addition, you also have to assess the professional who will work for you. Not all “professionals” out there have that much experience to pull off a triple-A website.

Purchasing an existing website is by far the best and most practical choice. Not only is it more affordable compared to hiring someone to construct a new website for you, but it is also faster and requires less effort. And to top it all off, most existing websites already come with a built-in developed customer base—which means you won’t have to figure out how to start growing your audience.

While it is interesting at first glance, attempting to purchase an existing website may be overwhelming for the inexperienced person. While buying an existing website has a lot of rewards, it still possesses lots of risks that you need to know.

In this article, we will help you set a path on finding an existing website that will work best for your specific needs.

Where to Find Websites for Sale

Thinking ahead about managing your soon-to-be website is a good strategy, but first, you must consider where to get the website!

One option is to find a website with the help of a website broker—just like real estate brokers out there, website brokers can help you find websites that suit whatever purpose you have in mind. You also have the option to check the website marketplace out if you prefer a more direct buy and sell approach. Here are five options to help you get started:

1. Empire Flippers

Unsure about how much the website you’re interested in should cost, and how much you could stand to profit? Empire Flippers can help you with that. Empire Flippers built a very helpful valuation tool that helps evaluate your website’s monetary value. You’ll have access to 12 months of real data, which has been vetted by the experts. This can help you make up your mind on how much you’ll need to spend to get the website, and how long it will take before you can earn that money back.

2. FE International

FE International is considered one of the premier website brokerages out there. With over 700 business sales and a 94.1% sales success rate as of writing, you can say that you can find above-average websites with the service level this website broker provides. Be aware of their commission rates though—they are reported to be on the high side of things.

3. Website Closers

With great dedication to the sale of website properties all while maintaining clarity and transparency with the site owners, Website Closers is one of the highly recommended choices of many website buyers. They provide professional services to those with valuable online assets so that their websites can be bought by the right clients at a great price. 

4. Flippa

Unlike the website brokers mentioned above, Flippa is more of a marketplace. It’s like the eBay of websites. You bid high, you get the website! As the website marketplace platform with the highest number of visitors around, finding the best website for you will be easy as you will have lots of options. One thing to take note though is that this platform is not a brokerage where someone assists you in getting a website. You’re pretty much buying one on your own, which means you really need to be vigilant about spams and scams out there.

5. Posts in Facebook groups

With Facebook being considered one of the biggest, if not the biggest, social media platforms out there, lots of people have decided to build communities for buying and selling websites on it. Like Flippa, this could be considered a marketplace you can look at. But unlike Flippa, you are dealing with a much smaller community. Odds are you may have a somewhat harder time finding a website that fits you. Fortunately, Facebook communities are a lot tighter, it’s somewhat safer against scams and spams.

How to Audit a Website to See If You Can Earn From It

When we shop for clothes, shoes or food from the market, we always consider taking a closer look to inspect it thoroughly so that each purchase is worth it. The same goes for websites. You don’t just pick one without examining it first! You want to ensure that you can gain profit from it or else you’d just be wasting money.

There are numerous factors to consider when you opt to buy websites. Whether it’s the audience, the content or popularity reach, you want the website to be able to sustain further growth more than it already has.

1. Traffic

Without traffic coming in and out of your website, it’s as good as a dead site. You don’t want a site that relies on annoying ads and clickbait titles either3it’ll only give you short-lived attention that will only show up every now and then. You want to have traffic that’s steady and there on a regular basis, not in a dribbling way.

So how can you determine if the traffic that your site has is sustainable or not?

A sustainable website encourages continuous visits even without using clickbait articles or spam advertisements, it shows a solid trend in traffic on the matter. People want to use and visit your site whether or not there is something new or popularly viral from it.

A non-sustainable site, on the other hand, cannot, or is not likely to maintain organnic traffic. Instead, it has sudden spikes and relies heavily on viral posts created by journalists and the media or 'black hat' SEO techniques. These strategies may gets tons of traffic, but are not likely to continue in the long term, and thus sites with non sustainable traffic sources should be avoided.

One convenient tool you can use to get an idea of just how sustainable the traffic is, is SEMrush. It makes use of online visibility and marketing analytics to gather data on any domain you provide. It then shows you an estimate of the organic search rankings. A steady growth path over time is what you are looking for. A quick spike in traffic, or no traffic are red flags.

2. Link Profile

Providing links that are relevant to your site can be very helpful and as it allows you to integrate with other websites. Not only will it help your content become more useful for users, but it also promotes a healthy partnership with other site owners.

A sustainable site will provide only relevant links with the quality content that it needs. On the other hand, a non-sustainable site will be flooded with multiple links that don’t contain useful or valid information at all.

3. Community

Getting a website that already has a community built around it is better because there’s a higher chance that it can bring you a bigger audience in the future. A website with no community will take a very long time before it gains a small audience enough to build a community around.

4. Age

Any website that is 2 years old and below is not sustainable enough for you and your profit needs. Anything younger than 3 years tend to not have an audience big enough to be a community nor does it have enough traffic to help it grow.  

To check these factors, there are plenty of free analysis tools on the Internet. We'll be covering those in-depth in another blog post.

You Finally Bought a Website, What Now?

The road to gaining profit through your website does not end with buying. This is just the beginning of multiple steps that need to be done.

There will always be room for improvement. Just because you were able to buy the website of your dreams doesn’t mean it stops there. Always make sure to create additional changes that will be beneficial to you and your site. 

To create a master plan for the acquisition, you can check out the following elements of your website:

1. Design

Keeping your site unique and user-friendly helps enhance user experience. Make sure that there are no confusing links, sub buttons or annoying pop-ups that will prevent users from enjoying it to its maximum potential.

2. Content

Always keep your content relevant and up to date. No one likes to view misleading, clickbait content that’s dated 30 years ago. Only create quality content that is original, or at least gives a fresh take on things. And consider having your site and content search engine optimized!

3. Integration

Is the theme or content of the website you just purchased similar to the one you already own? Why not merge the two! This way, you’ll only have to manage one website, while still having access to the audience and traffic that the other one has to offer.

4. Alternate Monetization

Maintaining your business also means dealing with the income you receive from it. After all, it will be the source of any expenses that you will spend to keep your website in tip-top shape. Sticking with one method of gaining revenue is not a good idea—always have a backup in case your current method of getting profit flops. Ads no longer working for you? Try other means like Amazon Affiliate. Never let your website run out of gas, and keep looking for other new ways to generate profit through your website.

A Website Will Be a Great Source of Profit, If You Do It Right

With the constant advancement of technology, keeping up with the times is a great way to engage with existing and prospective clients. With a website on your hands, you are basically connecting yourself with the rest of the world. As long as you make the right investment choices, getting a website up and running can sustain your business long enough, or it can even earn you more cash than you expected.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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