Seriously! I Never Imagined I Would End Up Buying A Website Or Blog… Really!
Well, it's done! No point looking back now. And actually, to tell you the truth, I went on a spending spree…
What does that mean? It means, my “buying a website” phase I went through recently, did NOT start with this blog nor did it end with this blog.
I know that some of you may actually be calling me crazy right now, but hey, maybe I am a little… sometimes… I think.
And contrary to the title of this post, if you think you want to start a blog that matters, a website that earns you passive income or if you have been searching for ideas on how you can do a new blog launch, and especially if you are new to websites, blogs and internet marketing, one way you could do it is to buy one that is already up and running…
But, read this post until the end first!
So What The Heck Is This Post About Then?
Well, by now, some of you already know but most of you don't – my name is Mahindra. I know that some of you will stay and some of you will go, as a natural part of the process when “new management” comes down to run the office and dictate the terms! 😀
You could read the “About” page if you would like to know a little more about me and why I'm here creating this post (and not Tung Tran), or you could send me an email through the “Contact” page if you would like to say “hello”, or you could just keep reading this post.
There are a few reasons I've decided to create this post today:
- I wanted full transparency about this change in blog ownership,
- I wanted to answer questions people have asked after they found out I bought this blog,
- I want to share my experience of how and why I ended up buying a website,
- To create the foundation of future posts on everything that's involved in “buying a website“.
It has been a really intense month filled with lots of interesting lessons, learnings, experiences and even some stress. Don't get me wrong. Buying a website is not such a stressful experience actually. It just so happened that I experienced stress because “Mr. I-Got-To-Have-It-All-Now” bought several sites!
But not to worry, even if you do learn anything from this post and future posts on the subject, and decide you want to get (buy) an already set up and ranked website, I'm sure you'll be much smarter than me! 😀
So Before Moving Onto Details About Buying A Website, Here's More Transparency…
I'd like to create great transparency about a couple of facts before we get talking about buying websites, starting a blog and all that jazz.
Some of you are more experienced in the World of Internet Marketing (IM) and therefore what I'm about to say won't be a surprise. You may be surprised I'm saying it the way I'm saying it, but you won't be surprised with the content.
But for those of us who are just starting out, especially those who have not even taken the first step towards building a website or blog – towards building their “online empire” – you must get or understand that whenever I recommend a product or service to you, I will make a small commission from the sale should you choose to purchase. (For those of you who are experienced and way better than I am at all this, please bear with my slow build up and repetition of basics. “Repetition is the Mother of All Skill” as they say).
BUT, whenever I recommend a product or service to you, I have either used it and tested it extensively, or I still use it and think it's absolutely great, AND I still believe it will be worth your time and money should you choose to buy it. In fact for most of the products, services and tools I recommend to you, they won't just be worth your time and money, but they will in fact, SAVE you tons of time and money down the line!
But seriously, don't buy anything just because you get excited in the spur of the moment or get influenced to buy it now, and don't buy unless you can afford it… and of course, if you are ok with me making a few bucks in commission.
Of course, one could argue that what you can or cannot afford now is all based on perspective, but only you know what is best for you here. So do what you feel is right!
Alright enough of that now…
The “Spark” That Led To Me Buying A Website
So, one day, I was sitting in front of my Mac, eating lunch I had bought and watching an Internet Marketing Tutorial by a really great and seasoned IM guru – Armand Morin. The tutorial that day was about… Yup! Buying Websites!
So anyway, Armand was walking me through (by video of course) the process and resource he has used to buy a few of the many websites he runs and makes money from. These “Marketing Tutorials” I pay a monthly membership fee for are really valuable because I've lost count of the new realizations and discoveries I've had with regards to Internet Marketing. And I've really learned a lot from Armand's Tutorials.
As I was watching that video tutorial, my brain began to come alive with ideas of how buying a website could apply to me and how it could benefit the couple of other websites I am building and income too.
I was blown away even though to most other people, what I was being exposed to was a very simple idea! Maybe you too have had moments in your life when you remember hearing or watching something so basic that made sense but at the same time, for some reason, you had never thought about it before…
Anyway, long story short, I finished the marketing tutorial and jumped straight into the resource he had just shared with me to check it out myself.
How I Figured Buying A Website Would Be Useful
Remember I said earlier that my brain started to wake up with great ideas of how I could buy website and use it to my advantage? First of all, we need to be clear about something very important.
You seriously don't want to go and buy any website you get excited about. Trust me! Seeing all the “seemingly” great websites for sale, combined with the (sometimes) artificially inflated income figures sellers will give you and your excitement to get started and build your Passive Income Empire, could very quickly lead to you having spent a whole lot of money for not very much.
I didn't end up doing that, but I promise you, in the beginning, while my excitement level was really high, I could've easily fallen into that trap. Many sellers on website auction and website sale sites WILL over inflate their income projections and paint the nicest and rosiest picture for you to get influenced. Be cautious!
So anyway, one of the main things I realized immediately was that buying a website or blog that was already ranking high for (already) very profitable keywords AND that (more importantly) was already making steadily growing income, would already be a source of Passive Income! That's the whole point yes??
There are other factors to consider of course, but for now and for simplicity sake, we basically want to be owning and running an “already profitable” income generation machine! Yes?
Even if you learnt all about how to start a blog from scratch, did everything right and built a great website or blog that was getting lots of visitors every day, week and month, your end result would naturally be to generate income from or through it. If you don't agree with me then I seriously don't know how you've gotten this far down this post on a blog called “Passive Income Diary”. 😆
So basically, the act of buying a website, if researched and done in very strategic and diligent way, while knowing what your top goals or outcomes are, could very well be an awesome shortcut to your “online passive income empire“.
Now that we have got that straight (I hope), you must also realize there are many other considerations to think about and take care of. So, I will list a few I can think of at the top of my head in the sub-categories of “Benefits of Buying a Website” and “Disadvantages of Buying a Website”.
Benefits Of Buying A Website
1. The Website Or Blog Is Already Ranking High For The Keyword Phrases You Want
As I mentioned earlier, if you already know what keywords or keyword phrases you must target in the niche you are aiming for, and if the website you are considering buying is already ranked on the FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE for those keywords, then chances are (depending on the niche and keywords), it is already receiving decent traffic and therefore is either already making decent income or has great immediate potential to do so.
In other words you are buying a “cash cow” with the potential of it becoming a very, very fat cash cow! 10 points for you!
Obviously, if you are thinking about buying a website which is already ranked very well for certain keywords, you would first of all want to know all about keyword research and how it works, in order to be absolutely sure that buying a website with keywords that will be profitable. Click here if you'd like to first read “The Ultimate Keyword Research Guide“.
2. The Site Is Already Filled With Quality “Unique” Content For your Niche And Keywords
If the website or blog you want to buy is already filled with great quality content, then you're already way ahead of the game. Great unique content combined with great keywords, great ranking and great traffic, is already a winner. You and your soon-to-be bought website, are more than half way to creating a huge source of passive income.
3. Website Or Blog Is Already “Monetized”
A “monetized” website refers to website that is already generating income.
If the seller has already established a secure and steady income stream or streams on the site he/she is selling, plus if the first two points above are met already, then you are like 70% ahead already! Some websites for sale will have one source or stream of income, some will have multiple streams of income. Whether one or more streams of income are better, is subject to “other” considerations which will definitely have to be dealt with in another post.
The important thing is that the website you want to buy is already making money and will keep making money for the next person who buys it – YOU!
4. The Website To Buy Already Has Lots Of BackLinks
Backlinks = Links on other websites or blogs pointing back and leading back to your site.
One of the (still) HUGE factors in determining the SEO (search engine optimization) value and therefore ranking of a website or blog, is “Backlinks”!
Even as Google continually tries to “clean up and rid” the internet of “crappy” sites which are ranked high simply because of the “crazy” amounts of back links they have by de-indexing even some established and large blog networks, the fact remains that Google STILL relies on the number of backlinks in the ranking algorithm they use. This of course may change at some point, but for now, backlinks are one of the biggest factors involved in “Off Page SEO”.
If you can buy a website with tons of backlinks already created, with the three points above also satisfied and for a reasonable price, then you are WAY, WAY, WAY… ahead of the game!
Maybe you're already beginning to realize now, or get how each point is leading up to the other and each point by itself is part of the many considerations you must take into account before buying a website.
5. The Website To Buy May Already Have Subscribers Or Members
There's a saying in internet marketing – “The Money Is In The List!”
Some websites that are being sold will come with a transfer of all its members or subscribers, and sometimes that list is HUGE! This obviously is a HUGE benefit, especially if all those subscribers were originally signed up because they were offered something similar as what you (the potential buyer of the website) have in mind to offer, create or make out of the website.
Even if you have something else in mind to do with the website, starting a blog or website with a HUGE list of subscribers already, is STILL a pretty big benefit. You can always “warm” the list up and re-orientate them around the niche, product, concept or service you want. If you do it right and thoughtfully, most of them will stay on as subscribers and will be responsive to what you begin sending them.
There is also a disadvantage when buying a website with an already established list but we'll discuss that in the “disadvantages” section below.
6. The Website You Buy Can Be Linked To Your Other Sites
Here's another interesting twist or perspective which I was one of the strong points in me deciding to buy websites and blogs.
I have other websites too and one in particular that is “my baby”. I won't reveal the domain just yet cause it's being revamped in every way possible.
But anyway, one of the things I realized I could do since I was committed to buying several websites or blogs was to only buy websites that were related and that could be connected/linked my “my baby” at some point.
Two sub-advantages that come from this are:
- I will be creating a very strong interlinked and very related niche sites, and
- I can pass on site ranking between them as I grow and develop them.
But like I said, for this to be an advantage, I have to know exactly what result or outcome I want to produce in the end. For me, this is a long term strategy, not short term. and i know what my main niche site is about and what keyword I'm targeting, so it makes sense to have several smaller but very related niche sties around my main site.
And since, all the websites I bought already have good ranking and everything else, it's very beneficial to my longer term vision.
Having said that, when buying several websites or blogs, one must understand that the workload increases tremendously! Imagine that I've been writing this post now for about 3 hours or more and you can easily see how it can get a bit much if you own several sites. Of course I could outsource the content writing too, but I'd rather not. I personally prefer to write my own content so it has my voice in it.
So, that is one of the perspectives that you could see it from too.
Disadvantages Of Buying A Website
1. It Costs Money And Sometimes A Lot Of It!
To buy a website or blog that meets the criteria listed in the advantages above, will cost some money out of your pocket. How much depends on all those factors above. I've watched blogs and websites that have five or six pages/posts, some backlinks, good page rank but ranking on the first or second page of Google search results (for its keyword) sell for between $2000 and $5000.
Some sites, that were only one or two page websites, sold for up to $3000.How?
Well, generally, most buyers would be judging the value of a website they want to buy, by the amount of income it is generating monthly. Of course several other conditions have to be met as well, but generally, it's typical to see websites being sold and bought for about 10x to 12x their monthly earnings.
To pay anything more than the website 12x the website's monthly income would usually mean it had something else that was unique about it like a really valuable domain name, or a big list of subscribers or something like that.
Bottom line, be prepared to pay a couple of thousand if you are buying a website that is ranked on the first or second page of Google its keywords. But like I said, whether you pay the person you buy a website that is already making money, or whether you start a blog or website from scratch and build its ranking up over time, you WILL still be paying someone.
Even if you start a blog or website and decide to build it all by yourself, at some point you will realize that it will save you time and money long term, if you were to just outsource a few jobs like “building backlinks”, “writing content”, or “social bookmarking”. That's what I mean by “You will still pay someone”. You can do it all yourself, but, maybe you want to trust me when I say, it is a HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK to do it all by yourself!
2. If You Don't Research Diligently, It May Be A Complete Waste!
By now, I'm sure you realize, that everything we are covering is actually part of a greater list of items on the “Buying a Website Checklist”.
You will need to spend the time and energy to research all the factors involved in this process if you want to walk away with a great deal. Here is where, it can either be the beginning of you owning a great website or blog that earns you passive income month after month, or the beginning of very stressful and perhaps even demotivating experience.
You must know what to research, where to research and how to research, and then do it, if you really want to buy a website that not only gives you the same income as it gave the previous owner, but will also increase its monthly income.
If not, you may end up buying a website that is completely useless!
3. It Takes Time, Patient And Experience Observing and Researching
This point is related to the second point above but it is worth mentioning. It is not as easy as you think to simply go to any website auction online and buy a website you like or that is making money.
If you want to do this right, it will require you taking the time to “patiently observe and research” for a few weeks at least. About 3 or 4 weeks of observing what is being sold and bought (also what is included in the package), how websites are being sold and bought, and also how much the websites are being sold and bought for.
That 3 or 4 week period (minimum) should be enough time to give you a clearer idea of the process of bidding on online website auctions. You will also begin to notice the trend of prices that website purchases happen at depending on what is included in the package and what is not.
You will need to “sit with it” patiently for a few weeks as opposed to getting started right now with “How to Start a Blog From Scratch“. From that perspective of not being able to get started right away is why I say this is one of the disadvantages in buying a website.
4. Getting Caught In Bidding Wars!
Bidding wars… crazy place to be in!
If you do go down this path of buying a website or blog that is already set up, running well, making money, has good backlinks and perhaps even already has subscribers, here's what is definitely going to happen…
If you patiently do your homework and follow the guidelines I give you, you will eventually find a website or blog that is a great deal and that you know you want to buy! That is almost guaranteed.
The problem is, if you have done your homework about it, know it's a great deal and are excited to get you hands on it now, I can bet any amount of money with you, lots of other people are in the same position you are in and just waiting to get their hands on it to!
When a website that is being sold is perceived as “hot property” what is definitely going to happen is that you are going to end up in a bidding war with several other people. For sure!
One of the good and bad features that is built into online website auctions is that, any bid that is placed within the last 4 hours that are remaining for the auction, automatically extends the auction for another 4 hours!! It's good because you still have a chance to keep bidding until everyone else backs out, but it's bad because this can drive the price higher and higher and higher. This is the disadvantage – when the price keeps going higher and higher!
This is why it is very, very important you do proper research about the website that looks interesting to buy and you also know exactly why you want to buy the website concerned, what your goals are for the website, what you are going to do with it, how you are going to do it and a whole bunch of other factors.
I know it sounds like a lot, but it is not much more than the work you will have to do and process you will go through to start a new blog or website from scratch.
If you have done all the research, know all that you need to know about yourself and why you want to buy a particular website, then you will find it easier to set a maximum ceiling of how much you will be willing to pay for the what you want.
If you have a maximum ceiling based on facts that you have concluded through research, then you will less likely get caught up with the high emotions and energy of a bidding war. You will likely be able to make a better and more educated decision about how far to go with the bidding.
I've seen websites that were not worth much go for crazy amounts of money. But I've also seen websites that have so much value in them AND much more growth and income potential sell for below their real value. There is an element of chance/luck involved in buying a website through an auction website because it depends on who else is there watching, who else is looking for what you want and what they are willing to do on that day to get it!
Summary Of Buying A Website
To do or not to do?
That only you can know for yourself. I've given you a foundation to begin from, now you will have to decide for yourself based on several factors I've highlighted and not yet talked about too.
If the demand is high for more posts or content on this topic of buying a website I would be happy to share more with all of you about what I have learned from this process.
And if enough people want to know more, I will probably end up doing a video walk-through of the process, so let me know please…
Post your comments below, share your thoughts please and add whatever other information or insights (if you are experienced with this) you have so more people can benefit from this strategy of earning passive income online.
And last but not least, if anyone asks a question about buying websites or blogs, and I don't reply soon enough, don't be shy if you know the answer or have information, feel free to answer and share…
Thanks for reading everyone and take care…
P.S. – I just realized I didn't tell y'all what auction site I used. Here it is: Flippa!