Why I like to Buy Established Websites

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Some of my favorite sections to browse on Namepros, Flippa, and DnForum is the developed or established sites for sale. Most of the time they are filled with worthless turnkey websites with no real traffic or revenue but once and a while I find a winner. Another recent example of people buying and selling established sites was out at the Epik developers conference.

When I buy an established sit there are a few thing I look at. First, I make sure to get accurate traffic stats and proof of revenue. This normally means getting access to the analytics account and screenshots of revenue although screen shots can be altered getting direct access is the safest way to go. You can also look at alexa or compete data. I then look at the current SEO of the domain. I really like to buy sites that rank  well for good keywords, but that the current owner has under monetized the traffic. In that case, the traffic is already there for me, all I need to do is optimize the site.

I also look at the domain name of the site. Some people argue that a good developed site on a bad domain is ok and sometime I would agree, but I like to invest I quality domains for the resale potential. Often in the forums you will see lots of hyphenated domains and long nonsensical domains that the owners have tried to build into a website.

Lastly, but most importantly I look at the potential for the website. Is the current owner doing everything he can to make the most from the site? Is there an affiliate program or different types of advertising I could try to earn more money that the site currently is? If the answer is a big yes that is very good sign.

Buying established sites is great if you do your homework. The thing I love about established sites is they are already built so I do not have to spend my time creating the site I can use just a little time to try and improve the sites earnings.

More than a year ago I bought Namecheapcoupon.com on the forums for $200. At the time the site just had a hostgator affiliate on it and it made less than $15 a month . The thing I really like about the site was that it ranked 2nd in Google for the search name cheap coupon and many other related searches. Long story short after joining the namecheap affiliate program the site earns over $50 a month and traffic is over 300 visit’s a day. The site has more than paid for itself and continues to bring in monthly revenue with little upkeep.

Not all of my purchases work out as well as that one has but I am always looking to buy established sites for the right price. Personally I buy mostly smaller sites under $1000 so the most I ever want to pay is 1 years revenue many time less because with smaller sites you never really know what can happen  the traffic revenue could dry up and you would be left with a loss. My main goal with established sites like these is to create consistent monthly income that requires very little upkeep work after the initial set up. So next time your on the forums take a look at the established sites you might be surprised what you might find.

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2 Responses to “Why I like to Buy Established Websites”

  1. chris
    November 8th, 2010 @ 11:04 am

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    Good write up. I also look at developed sites for sale on the forums and I agree – there is alot of crap – but once in a while you come across a gem. I am still trying to buy decent domains and will soon start looking into buying turnkey sites – which I believe is much better than just building up domain names without content.

  2. Ken
    November 9th, 2010 @ 4:05 am

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    very nice post here, TD. I admire your eye for sites with potential and your skill to further progress that site into something more effective than before. Thumbs up to that! I’m new to this type of field so I guess I won’t be doing that kind of risk without knowing what to do. Maybe some time in the near future :)

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