If you’re an online marketer, then you’re familiar with building websites to sell your products or services. But here’s something you may not have tried yet, building websites for the purpose of selling these websites to other marketers. If you doubt that this is a big and profitable business, just look at website marketplaces like Flippa.com.
Look at the prices some of the websites sell for. Or take note of how some people sell a half a dozen new websites each week.
This specific Post is very long and you might need to bookmark this page for later incase if you didn’t finish this post right now.
In today’s Post you will learn specifically
- How to come up with ideas for profitable websites.
- How to quickly and easily build these websites, even if you don’t have a technical bone in your body.
- How to create ad listings that generate plenty of bids and high selling prices.
- Where to list your site for the best exposure. And More
Choosing a Business Model
You can base your web business on one of the following models:
1. Create websites and sell them immediately for a profit.
2. Create websites, build traffic and sales, and then sell the sites.
3. Buy websites, tweak them to make them more profitable, and then sell them.
- Create and Immediately Sell
The main advantage of this model is that you can get your cash very quickly. The disadvantage of this model, however, is that these sites go for the least money. That’s because you’re basically just selling a domain name and some content – and since anyone can create these kinds of sites (or hire someone to do them), bidders
generally are not willing to pay a lot.
Nonetheless, the reason you can make money with these sites is because you can create them so quickly.
You’ll see these sites go anywhere from $30 to about $500, perhaps more, depending on what type of site it is, the niche, whether you’ve created a product for it, how much content is on the site (or other features) and the value of the domain name.
2. Create, Grow and Then Sell
The big advantage with this model is that you can make a whole lot more money. Indeed, these sites go for anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Depending on their assets, you’ll even see these sites sell in the five and six figure range.
The disadvantage is that you need to take the time to grow these sites and develop their assets. Obviously, you also need special skills in order to grow a site, such as the ability to drive traffic and monetize this traffic.
Some of a site’s assets include:
- Traffic (steady).
- Google Page Rank.
- Good rankings in the search engines.
- Prospect mailing list.
- Customer mailing list (verified sales).
- Other forms of monetization.
- Marketing system (easy to replicate and continue).
- Marketing partners (affiliate and JV partners).
- Memberships (either free, like a forum, or paid).
A quick rule of thumb is that you can sell this type of site for 10 to 12 times its monthly revenue. So if the site reliably makes $1000 per month, then you’ll likely be able to sell it for $10,000 to $12,000.
However, your site may sell for more or less depending on how well you’ve built up the other assets. Keep in mind that you don’t need to grow ALL of a site’s assets before you sell it. Point is, you can sell a site at any point in the process – from sites that are just starting to get traffic to a full-blown site that makes a predictable monthly income.
Reviewing Your Options
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular types of sites you can build…
- Affiliate Websites
This is where the main purpose of the site is to sell affiliate products and services. The advantage of this site is that you don’t need to create products, deal with fulfillment or even deal with a whole lot of customer service issues. Generally, an affiliate website includes one or both of the following:
- A blog
- A newsletter
Even if you don’t bring in traffic to the blog or start building the actual mailing list, you can make this a turnkey business for the buyer in two ways:
1. Create an initial autoresponder series. In other words, create at least seven to ten messages, such as a multi-part ecourse, that the buyer can upload to his autoresponder. Ideally, this course should primarily focus on
selling just one or two affiliate products.
2. Stock the blog with content. You can create a blog and populate it with a variety of content, from “how to” and tips articles to product reviews. Create at least six to ten articles so that your buyer can quickly establish his blog.
2. Product Websites
This is a website where the focus is on selling one or more exclusive products that you create. Thus you’ll need to include at least one downloadable product for this site, such as:
- A report.
- An ebook.
- Software or other tools.
- Other downloadable resources.
3. Service Websites
This website is very similar to the previous website, except that here you’re selling a service rather than a product. There are two kinds of services you can provide:
1. A manual service. This is where you or someone you hire trades time for dollars, such as with a ghostwriting service or a web design service.
2. An automatic service. Examples of this include autoresponder services or webhosting services. This business tends to be more scalable, since you can grow almost limitlessly since no one is directly trading timing for dollars.
4. Lead-Collection Sites
These are sites where the focus is on getting prospects to give you their names, email addresses and perhaps even their offline contact information, such as a telephone number. You then sell these leads to a business.
Example: You can create a site about specific legal issues, and then sell the leads to an attorney. Or you might set up a website that collects leads for veterinarians in your local area.
It’s important to note that you must be sure to check local laws about collecting leads. Example: The real estate industry has specific rules about how or whether real estate agents are able to purchase leads.
5. CPA, MFA and Similar Sites
First, let me define those acronyms:
- CPA = Cost Per Action
- MFA = Made for AdSense
Basically, this is where the site makes money without the site owner having to actually sell anything (as is the case with an affiliate site, for example). Instead, the site owner makes money when the site visitor performs a specific action, such as joining a mailing list (CAP), taking advantage of a trial offer (CPA) or clicking on a link(AdSense or other pay-per-click programs).
The advantage for you is that you don’t need to create a product for the site. However, you’ll get the most money when you sell this site if you first bring traffic to the site to prove that it is indeed profitable. Typically, you need to set up a blog for the site.
6. Advertising Sites
The final main type of web model is to build traffic for a site and then sell advertising space. This includes banner ads, text ads or even just links (especially if you build the Google Page Rank for various pages on your site). The advantage of this site, just as with the previous model, is that the site owner doesn’t have to sell anything in order to site visitors to make money.
Instead, you need to focus on building quality traffic in order to attract advertisers. Indeed, having advertisers already in place and a steady stream of traffic will make your site easier to sell.
Deciding What Type of Site to Create
In order to discover what your buyers want, you just need to do a little research. Here’s how…
Step 1: Go to Flippa.com. This is one of the biggest website marketplaces, so it’s a great place to do your research. Plus, it’s a good place to get your finger on the pulse of your market, since you’re likely to sell your sites in this marketplace.
Step 2: Look at the “Just Sold” listings. You can find them here:
https://flippa.com/just-sold. Look at these listings closely, paying particular attention to the following factors:
- Number of bids. A lot of bids shows there was a lot of interest in this particular type of site. This is an even better indicator if there are several different bidders.
- Number of similar sites for sale. If you see a lot of the same types of sites in the same niche, and ALL of them are selling, that’s a sign that there’s a demand for this type of site.
- Ending price. If the site ends with a high bid and plenty of bidders, that’s a good indicator that bidders are interested in this type of site. However, be sure to examine these listings to see what made them so valuable.
In short, you’re looking for patterns – what types of sites are generating a lot of interest among buyers?
Step 3: Check current listings. Return to the main page of Flippa.com and view the current listings. Again, look at the same factors:
- How many bids. Keep in mind that most bids occur during the last day of the auction. As such, you’re comparing apples to oranges if you’re looking at the bids on a newly listed auction versus one that’s ending today.
- Number of bidders. Again, you’re looking for multiple bidders on the auction.
- Price. This is the actual bid price, not the seller’s listing price. If the seller has listed the auction for $500, the auction ends today and there isn’t even a single bid, that’s a sign that the auction isn’t generating much interest – at least at that price.
And again, you’re looking for patterns, such as sites in a particular niche or particular types of sites (such as affiliate sites or CPA sites) that are generating a lot of interest among prospective buyers.
You can follow the steps above to know more about the recent market demand.
Creating the Site
Now that you know what kind of site you’re going to create, there are two steps involved in creating it:
1. Choosing a domain name. Remember, a good domain name can boost the bids on your auction and add value to your website.
2. Creating the actual site. Mainly this involves creating the design of the site. If, however, you’re creating a product site, you’ll also need to create the actual product. Fortunately, you can outsource all of this. So let’s look at these two steps separately…
1. Choosing the Domain Name
There are several issues to keep in mind as you choose your domain name. Specifically:
- Choose a .com. That’s because these names tend to be more valuable than any of the other extensions. If the other extensions are available, you can purchase the .net and .org versions as a bonus for your buyer.
- Get a short domain. You’re not going to find a short one-word domain (unless you find one elsewhere on an auction or unless it’s a really bizarre word). Nonetheless, try to secure a short, meaningful and memorable name whenever possible.
- Use the niche keywords. Some buyers consider keyword-rich domains an asset. This is especially true if these domains are EMDs, or exact match domains. An exact match domain is when the domain is comprised entirely out of a keyword phrase, with no fewer and no extra letters or numbers.
- Get an aged domain, if possible. Another thing that tends to make a domain worth more is if it’s been continuously registered for a while.You can’t get these domains at a regular registrar (like NameCheap.com),
but you can find them in a variety of places, including GoDaddy.com auctions, Sedo.com and eBay.com.
- Use a reliable, popular registrar. If you’re not purchasing an aged domain, then use a reliable registrar such as www.Host1099.com. That’s because a lot of other people use www.Host1099.com too, so it’s easy for you to “push” (also known as “transfer”) the domain name after the sale.
Once you’ve selected a domain name for your site, then you can move on to the next step…
2. Creating the actual Site
There are two ways to create your site:
1. Do it yourself.
2. Outsource the task.
If you have the time, skills and the tools, then you can certainly do this task yourself. What I’d suggest to you is that you spend a day creating an assortment of unique templates. That way, whenever you need to create a site, you can quickly and easily pull up one of our templates, make a few tweaks and you’ll have your site’s design literally ready
in just a few minutes.
I will not show you how to build a new website on this post but What I can do, however, is teach you how to outsource this task to a competent professional. And that’s exactly what you’ll discover over the coming steps…
Step 1: Find Prospective Web Designers
It’s pretty easy to find a web designer. However, you’re not just looking for any web designer. You’re looking for one who’s reliable, professional and affordable. In order to find this particular person – especially if it’s someone you hope to work with in the long term – you’re going to need to spend a little time upfront casting a wide net.
This means you need to start by creating a big list of prospective web designers. Here’s how…
1.1. Search Google. You can run a variety of related searches, such as:
- Freelance web designer
- Hire web designer
- Freelancer web design
- Affordable web design
- Quality web design
- Web design [your city]
- Web design [your state]
1.2. Post a project on a freelancing site. These sites include freelancer.com, Worker.com and oDesk.com. In just a moment you’ll get a sample ad you can use to post your project.
1.3. Check marketing forums. This is because some freelancer designers tend to hang out on business and marketing forums since this is where their clients congregate. One of the best places to find this sort of freelancer is in the “Warrior for Hire” section of WarriorForum.com. Not only can you browse ads placed by freelance designers, but you can also place your own ad.
1.4. Use CraigsList.org. Sometimes web designers post their own ads looking for work. You can certainly place a “want ad” to get designers to contact you. You’ll get a sample ad below.
1.5. Check locally. Don’t forget to check locally. You already learned how to run a local search in Google. You can also check your phone book (in the Yellow Pages or other business listings).
Step 2: Determine the Best Candidate for the Job
The previous step should generate a lot of prospective candidates for the job. Now it’s time to narrow this list to the best one or two for your job. Here’s how…
2.1. Review the designer’s portfolio. This is pretty straightforward – just
check the designer’s samples to see if you like his or her work.
2.2. Verify references. Yes, you should actually contact these references to
verify that they’re real, legitimate references. You’ll also want to see if these
people still recommend the designer.
2.3. Check the designer’s feedback. If you hired the designer through a
freelancing site (like elance.com), then check the onsite ratings and feedback.
2.4. Research the designer’s business history. If you’re liking what you see
so far, then search for the designer in Google. You can enter a variety of
- The designer’s name.
- The designer’s business name.
- The designer’s website.
- Other unique, identifying bits of information, such as the designer’s email address or telephone number.
2.5. Ask for a quote. Because every design job is unique, you’ll need to ask the designer for a quote or bid for your work. Give as many details as possible so that you get an accurate quote.
2.6. See if the designer uses templates. Some designers have created their own set of templates, which they’ll modify for you. If you find a designer who’s a bit out of your price range yet you love their work, this is one way to get a great design at a more affordable price.
Step 3: Sign Agreements
If you found your designer on a freelancing site, then you’re generally protected with an escrow service and bound by the freelancing site’s contract. Some designers may have their own agreements. Otherwise, you can present your designer with an agreement.
Step 4: Create a Detailed Brief
Once you’ve done your due diligence and found a competent designer, then your next step is to offer him or her a detailed project brief. This is where you tell your designer exactly what you want so that he doesn’t need to do any guesswork. Here’s an example of the types of details to include in your brief:
- Overall feel of the site. That is, what kind of feeling do you want the site to convey to visitors when they first arrive?
- Colors you’d like included in the site. Be as specific as possible here, such as sending exact color samples to your designer.
- Types of graphics you’d like included in the site. Again, be as specific as possible about what you want.
- What all pages you’d like included in the site. Here you also need to let your designer know if you want him to add you’re prepared text, or if you’re going to do it yourself later.
- Any special design elements?
- Do you need any special scripts or coding? Not all designers are capable of working with scripts, though most of them can install popular scripts like WordPress (for blogging). However, if you need special customization for a script, you may need to hire a programmer in addition to your designer.
- Any other special features?
- Do you have any samples? It’s always a good idea to show your designer samples of sites you like, along with telling him what it is you like about the sites specifically.
Selling Your Site
Congratulations! You’re ready to sell your site.
In order to do that, you need to be able to create a good advertisement that really showcases the highlights and benefits of your site. And that’s exactly what we’re going to go talk about here in his part.
We’ll start by talking about the kinds of information you’ll need to include in your advertisement. Then you’ll learn how to write a good advertisement that persuades people to bid on your auction or outright buy your site.
Preparing to Sell
Serious buyers are going to have a lot of questions about your site. Thus you need to put together as much information as possible.
Here then are some points you may need to include in your ad…
- Domain Name
Obviously you’re going to list the domain name in your auction or other advertisement. However, your prospects will want to know as many details about this domain name (although serious buyers will verify these details). Specifically:Is the domain name aged? That is, when was it first registered? If it’s an older domain, has it been continuously registered? Is it an EMD (exact match domain)?
- Date the Site was Established
Your buyers will also want to know when the site was officially established. That’s because this date often doesn’t correspond with the date the domain name was purchased. Indeed, these dates can be weeks, months or even years apart. To be exact, what your prospects want to know is how long the site has been indexed
in search engines such as Google. So when you talk about when the site was established, you’re often talking about when you first started advertising it (so that people became aware of it) as well as when Google became aware of it.
- Google Page Rank
Those who’re interested in purchasing sites with the potential to rank well in the search engines will also want to know what the Google Page Rank (PR) is for the various pages of your site. If your site is new, your PR will be zero. But you can check your Page Rank at any time using the Google toolbar:
Those who are interested in a site that’s optimized for the search engines are also
generally interested in how many backlinks the site has.
The most valuable links you can get are from sites that have these characteristics:
* Links from pages with a high Page Rank.
* Links from high quality sites (especially authority sites and those that have
been established for a long time). Links from .edu and .gov sites are
* One way links (e.g., non-reciprocal).
* Links from relevant niche sites.
- Search Engine Rankings
Naturally, those who’re interested in a site’s SEO (search engine optimization) are going to be particularly interested in whether your site’s pages are already indexed and ranking well in the search engines.
- Alexa Rank
This isn’t absolutely necessary, since you’ll be providing your actual traffic stats.
However, some prospective site buyers like to purchase a site with a good rank on
Alexa.com. This is particularly true if the site buyer is interested in selling advertising on the site.
No matter what kind of site you’re selling, most prospective buyers will be interested
in knowing if the site gets any traffic. And if the site does get traffic they’re going to
want to know the following: The source of the traffic, How many page views,How many unique visitors
- Web Content
One of the site’s assets is all the content you’ve loaded up onto the site. Be sure to mention whether the content is unique. That’s because some sellers create sites using PLR (private label rights) content, which means that other people have the rights to this same content. Thus exclusive content is generally more valuable. And if the content is either bringing in visitors or converting your visitors to buyers, your prospective buyers will want to know about that, too.
If you’re selling products on your website, then your prospective buyers are going to want to know if these are exclusive products. In other words, did you create these products yourself (or have a professional do it), or did you license someone else’s products? Also, if you’re selling something like a membership site – which will require the new owner to keep creating content – then you’ll want to let the prospective buyers know this.
- Other Assets
As mentioned before, any content you have posted on the web (such as videos on
YouTube) can be considered an asset worth mentioning.
You’ll also want to mention any other site assets, such as:
* Mailing lists. These include prospect mailing lists, customer mailing lists and even a list of your affiliates. Be sure in all cases that you have permission from subscribers to share their information with the site’s new
* Blog. Be sure to mention how much content is on the blog, if any of it is ranked and how many RSS subscribers you have.
* Network of sites. These could be domains you own where the sites form a network, or they could be things like secondary blogs on sites like LiveJournal.com. Point is, if these are part of the sale then you should mention it.
* Other accounts. This includes things that you’ll transfer during the sale, such as a Twitter.com account, a Squidoo.com Lens and similar assets.
- Site Revenue
Finally, your prospective buyers are going to be very interested in whether the site makes money. And if it does make money, the prospective buyers will want to know how.
Creating Your Advertisement
Now you need to create an auction listing or other advertisement to showcase your website. Here’s how to do it…
Step 1: Brainstorm the site’s main selling points
In the previous section we talked about all the different benefits and assets that your site might possess, from backlinks to revenue. Now is the time for you to think about which of these assets your site has, and which ones are the main selling points.
If your site already generates a steady monthly income, then this is your site’s main selling point. If the site has traffic but not revenue, then the traffic is your site’s main selling point. If your site is new and thus doesn’t have traffic or revenue, then you need to figure out what the site’s main selling point is.
Step 2: Create a listing title.
Now that you know your site’s main selling point, create an auction listing or ad title out of this main point.
Step 3: Write your ad.
Now you need to sit down and write your ad, which will include all the selling points you brainstormed earlier. Generally, you’ll start your ad with a quick one-paragraph description of the site which hits the main selling points of the site. Then in subsequent paragraphs you go into more detail about:
- ALL the selling points of the site (which you’ll list in a bulleted list).
- How the site works. This is where you explain how the site makes its money and gets its traffic.
- Reasons for the sale. If your site is generating a lot of revenue – especially passive revenue – buyers will want to know why you’re selling. Be honest in your answers.
- A call to action. After you’ve told prospective bidders about all the selling points, you should then specifically ask them to bid on your site. This is referred to as a call to action.
- The terms and conditions of the sale. This is the “housekeeping” part ofyour ad, where you tell your bidders your terms, such as how they can pay (e.g., Paypal, escrow, etc), any fees associated with the sale, how you’ll
transfer the site, any support you’ll offer post sale, whether you have a guarantee of any type, etc.
Step 4: Add graphics.
Once you’ve created your auction, then you may add a few graphics to spice up your listing. You may also consider including screenshots of various forms of proof, such as showing your AdSense account to show how much money the site has made. However, take note that since screenshots are so easy to fake, the most serious buyers probably won’t believe these forms of proof anyway.
Advertising Your Site
Your site is ready. You’ve created a benefit-driven ad to sell it. Now it’s time to get itin front of your prospective buyers. Here are the best places to list your site…
This is one of the most popular website marketplaces, especially for lower-priced sites. That’s because the fees are reasonable: $19 to list the site and then a 5% success fee. So if you sell the site a site for $200, you’ll pay the $19 listing fee plus a $10 success fee, for a total of $29. Plus, because Flippa is so popular, the site tends to attract a lot of buyers. Thus when you list your site on Flippa, you’ll know you’re getting your ad in front of serious buyers.
If you run a search for either domains or websites on eBay, you’ll see that there are a lot of listings. However, eBay is a bit of a “bargain basement” site when it comes to selling websites. That means that people are looking for bargains, so you’re not likely to get high bids unless your site is extraordinary. Nonetheless, there is a lot of traffic on this site, so it’s a good place to make a fast sale.
This marketing forum has special place where members can buy and sell websites. While there’s not as much traffic on this site (especially as compared to a site like Flippa), it is a very targeted audience. And that means it does tend to be a good place to sell lower-priced sites (such as newly established sites that you sell immediately after creating them).
Sedo is primarily a domain name marketplace. However, if the primary selling point of your website is its strong domain name, then you may consider listing your website in this marketplace. While it’s free to list your sale in the marketplace, you’ll pay a 15% to 20% success fee.
A minimum fee applies, which is why this site is a better option for higher priced sites. You may also purchase options for extra visibility, such as having a featured listing.
5. Your Own Mailing List
As soon as you start selling websites, you need to start building your customer list. And then every time you sell a site – no matter where you list it or how you advertise it – you’ll want to tell your existing buyers about your site. This advertising is free, easy and VERY effective!
Congratulations! You just learned everything you need to know about starting up your own business selling websites. Basically, you have a blueprint in your hand that shows you exactly how to create and sell websites.
And that means there is just one thing left for you to do – take action!