If you’ve been thinking about starting a new blog or a website, you might want to consider buying an established website instead of starting from scratch. If you buy a blog or a website, you’ll reap several benefits such as:
- Saving time that it would take you to build one from scratch
- The ability to make a profit from traffic coming to it by selling a product or a service
- The ability to sell the website later for even more profit
In this post, we’ll show you to how to buy a website so you can make a profit from it.
How to Buy a Website
Buying a website consists of several steps, which include:
- researching a website before buying it
- pricing considerations
- places where you can buy a website
- how to improve the website after buying it.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.
How to Research a Website Before Buying It
Before you set out to buy a website, the most important step is to research your options. This will ensure that you’re getting a good deal and make your purchase a worthwhile investment. Here are the key points to consider.
1. Know What You Want
The first step is to figure out what you want and what you're trying to achieve by buying an established website. Are you looking for a website that you can take over and improve so you can monetize it by selling products and services? Or are you looking for a website that you can improve and resell for a quick profit?
If you fall into the first category, then paying for a website is an important business investment that can give you a strategic advantage over your competitors. If you fall into the latter category, then the most important piece of advice is to buy low and sell high.
No matter which situation applies to you, you should do your due diligence and thoroughly research the website.
2. Does the Website Generate Revenue and Traffic?
Once you know what you want, you need to investigate whether the website you want actually generates revenue and traffic. After all, the main advantage of buying an established website is to save time building it up, not to mention the fact that you’re trying to improve your own bottom line.
If the website already has a steady stream of traffic and revenue, that’s usually a good sign. Often, you’ll find websites that are established, but are being sold for a low price simply because the owner no longer has the time or the drive to keep it up. Websites like these are a great opportunity to get a good return on your investment.
3. Is the Website In Your Preferred Niche?
Whenever possible, buy a website in a niche you’re familiar with, otherwise, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with it and improving it. You might even consider buying a website that’s a direct competitor not only to eliminate the competition, but also to expand on your own products and services. A famous example of this is Facebook, who bought not only Instagram but also WhatsApp and OculusVR (among other things).
4. Does the Website Use Good SEO Practices?
As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons for buying an established website is because you want to capitalize on existing SEO and get found for specific key phrases. When you set out to buy a website, be sure to do your research and check if the website is ranking for the keywords and phrases you’re trying to target.
A quick Google search is a good way to start, but you’ll also need to use a tool like SEMRush to see how many backlinks exist and evaluate their quality. Watch out for warning signs such as low-quality or very few backlinks on a website that ranks on the first page of Google for a chosen keyword. This may be a sign of blackhat SEO tactics at work.
5. Who Owns the Website?
You’ll also want to check who owns the website. First, you want the contact details so you can make your offer. Secondly, you want to make sure that once you purchase the website, you'll indeed be the true owner. Check how long the website has been up, how many owners has it had, and if any alarming change is present. You can use a tool like Whois History to perform a quick search on your desired website and get a detailed report.
6. Check the Website's History
Lastly, you’ll want to check the website history and see how it evolved over time. A tool like Wayback Machine can show you the type of content that was on the website since its first day online. This is useful as it can uncover if the website has ever been compromised or if it served misleading content.
Price Considerations to Keep in Mind When Buying a Website
Now that you know what to consider before you buy a website, let’s talk about pricing. You need to know how much you’re willing to spend on a website as well as how to protect yourself during the buying process.
1. How Much Are You Willing to Pay?
Buying websites can be quite pricey, especially if you’re trying to buy a well-established website that’s been around a long time and has a short and memorable domain name to boot. At the same time, you want to be sure you’re not overpaying.
You also need to know how long you can afford to go before seeing a return on your investment. A general rule of thumb to follow is if you want to see an ROI within a year, don’t pay more than 12x the monthly net profit of the site. As such knowing how much a website makes in a month is important as mentioned earlier. Consider the following:
- How does the website make its revenue?
- Is it consistent and stable?
- Does the website have several income streams or only one? If it’s only one, how risky is it to continue on like that?
2. Know What You’re Buying
Another factor that influences the final step is whether you’re getting only the domain name out of the deal or the entire website with all of its content, audience, and the domain name and servers.
3. Use Escrow
Using a site like Escrow can protect you from potential fraud. In other words, they won’t release the domain name until the funds have cleared. This is a great way to ensure you won’t get ripped off.
4. Always Use a Contract
It goes without saying that you should always use a contract. It’s there to protect both you and the seller as well as to outline the exact expectations, responsibilities, and outcomes of both parties. If the seller doesn’t want to sign a contract, think twice about buying their website or avoid it altogether no matter how good the opportunity seems.
It’s worth mentioning that your contract should also include a non-compete clause that prevents the seller from selling you the website and then launching a new one in the same niche on the same topic.
5. Ask About Post-Purchase Support
A good idea is to ask the seller if they would be willing to support you in the first couple of months after the purchase. They can help you get familiar with the website and give you insight details about the audience.
6. Get Familiar With the Refund Process
Lastly, know where to go and what to do if you’re not happy with your purchase. The last thing you want is to hand over your hard-earned cash without getting your website.
Where Can I Buy a Website or a Blog?
You may be wondering, "how can I buy a website?"
When it comes to buying a website or a blog, the two most common options include using a website marketplace or buying one privately.
- Buying sites on Flippa.com is one way to find a website or blog. There are also several websites online that are, in fact, marketplaces for domains and websites. The most popular among them is Flippa (which I've already mentioned). Others include Website Broker, Empire Flippers, Exchange Marketplace.
- Approach the website owner privately—another option is to approach the website owner of the website you want to buy and ask them if they've considered selling it.
How to Improve Your Website After Buying It
Once the transaction is complete and you are a proud owner of the new/old website, it’s time to make it even better so you can get the best possible ROI.
A good example of a great return on investment is Chris Guthrie from UpFuel. Chris bought the website CopyCatCrafts.com and managed to triple the website’s profits within seven months of the purchase.
Here are a few improvements to consider after you buy a blog or website:
1. Update the Design With a New Theme
A great place to start is to update the design of your website with a new theme, especially if a good design was one of the things that was lacking. Luckily, you don’t have to hire a developer or a designer and spend thousands of dollars on a new design. There's no shortage of quality WordPress themes that you can install and set up in an afternoon.
You can find themes for every niche imaginable on Envato Elements, so make this your first stop after you get your website.
2. Evaluate and Improve SEO
Now that you own the website, you can do a thorough evaluation of SEO practices that the website was using. You can find out what was working and what needs improvement. From there, you can start making changes that'll boost the current SEO rank.
- implement a proper caching technology and use a fast-loading theme to improve loading times
- test and ensure the website is responsive, works as intended, and looks good on various devices
- check to see it shows up as a relevant search result when searching for targeted keywords
- make sure it uses alt tags in images
- make sure blog posts and pages use keywords without keyword-stuffing
- check that external links work correctly and don’t point to low-quality websites
- ensure that there are no broken links on the website or they're redirected to relevant pages and posts
The above tips are just the tip of the iceberg, but will put you on the right path towards improving your site’s SEO.
3. Create a Marketing Strategy
You’ll also want to create a marketing strategy so you can start reaping the benefits from your purchase. Familiarize yourself with the existing audience and where they spend time. Go through the social media profiles associated with the website and evaluate the marketing strategy so far.
You’ll want to keep marketing on the channels where most of your audience hangs out. These channels should also be the platforms where you get the most engagement and clicks back to your site.
4. Improve or Create an Offering
If you’ve done your homework, you’ve bought a website that has a steady stream of income coming from a variety of sources. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement.
Create a poll and ask your existing audience on what they think about your offer or if they feel like something is missing.
Alternatively, consider creating a new offering that would be beneficial to the existing audience that could complement existing products and services.
5. Examine and Refresh the Content
Lastly, examine the blog posts and pages and see if any of them need to be updated. If any of the posts seem outdated or are no longer relevant, delete them and work on improving others.
Similarly to the point above, you can also ask your audience on what type of content they enjoy the most and dig into the analytics to get an idea on potential posts, articles, and pages to create.
Make a Profit by Buying an Established Website
Buying an established website has several benefits, the most important one being the amount of time you save by not having to build the traffic and the audience from scratch.
It’s not a complicated process, but it does require some planning and research if you want to get the best possible return on investment. With the tips in this article, you’ll be well on your way to successfully buying a website and making a profit from it.
If you're about to buy a blog or website, or if you've already bought one, why not head ever to Envato Elements to find a theme for updating your new site?