You want to know how to sell websites, but you’re overwhelmed.
You’re unsure if you’re making the correct decision. Imagine selling your website for $3,000, and a few months later, it sells for ten times that amount.
While selling a website can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be if you educate yourself beforehand. Selling can be fun, profitable, and even addictive (in a good way).
In this article, you’re about to learn everything there is to know about selling websites. We’ll discuss when, why, how, and touch on the crucial things you need to know.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
When Should You Sell A Website?
Let’s start by talking about when you should sell a website. Below are a few telltale signs to look for when thinking about selling.
The more that relates to you and your website, usually means it’s time to sell.
Insufficient Funds To Continue
If you’re struggling with cash flow to maintain and grow your website, it’s probably time to consider your options.
Hosting, plugins, and software cost money, especially as traffic numbers grow. And there are other expenses to consider, too, like hiring writers and purchasing images.
These costs can become such a burden that you have no choice but to sell.
In addition to this, if you’re competing against websites in a popular niche, most of them will have deep pockets and a writing team. It’s not unusual for websites to publish over 30 articles per month, and you will need to do the same to keep up with them.
If you can’t afford this, selling is an option.
Site Reached Its Full Potential
Sometimes a site reaches its full potential. If you’re struggling for content ideas or feel you’ve hit a brick wall, selling could be a way out.
You’re probably wondering if it’s reached its full potential, why would anyone buy?
There’s a simple answer — what might feel like the end of the road for you won’t necessarily mean that for someone else.
Often buyers will have fresh ideas for the site, and the sale will happen.
You Need Cash For Another Investment
If you need to raise cash for another investment, selling could help.
It may hurt to do, but if the investment is as good as you think and you can’t raise funds, the decision is a no-brainer.
You Got Tired Of It
Ok, so you picked a niche for profit potential, and at first, all was good. But now things have changed, and you’re bored — the thought of writing another piece of content feels like the equivalent of climbing Everest.
If this is how you feel, it’s time to get out.
When You Shouldn’t Sell Your Website
Sometimes selling your website is a bad idea. It might seem like a good idea when stressed, but it’s essential not to make rash decisions before thinking things over.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- If you’re feeling burnt out, is selling the only solution? For example, could you take a step back from the business and employ a website operator to ease the burden.
- Will you miss the recurring income? Ok, a big payday might sound good, but if you’re not desperate for money, is it worth selling, and will the monthly income be missed in six to twelve months?
- Am I getting the right price for the website? Most websites are selling between 35X to 45x your monthly profit.
- How long have you had the website? If it’s less than 12 months, this might be why there are low traffic and income numbers.
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before selling your website. Don’t make a rash decision, and always list the pros and cons before deciding.
Who Buys Websites?
You have portfolio investors at one end of the scale looking for ways to diversify their income. And at the other end of the scale, you have newbies looking for a quick and easy way to get an online business without starting from scratch.
In addition to this, people also purchase websites to add value to their online presence. For example, a website owner who has an authority site in a related niche might buy the site to compliment the site/s they already own.
The important thing to remember is that people, business owners, and brands buy websites every day.
Take a look at Empire Flippers Q3 business reports for 2021 to prove my point. Their brokered site sales revenue was $36.201.468 — their Q3 report was more than this!
Everybody is buying websites.
How To Properly Evaluate Your Website’s Worth
You need to value your website correctly to make the optimal profit.
The average MM (market multiplier) is between 35 to 45x your monthly revenue, so understanding your figures is crucial for valuing your business.
Let’s look at what you need to know when valuing your site.
Revenue is how much you make per month, averaging over 12 months. You then multiply that by 35-45x to get your estimated value. You need to use net profit, and expenses must be subtracted before reaching your final figure.
For example, a website in the pet niche made $10,000 in total monthly revenue. However, the expenses and costs were $5,000, giving them a net monthly profit of $5k.
To work out the value from this figure would require the following sum:
Total Net Profit ($5k) x Market Multiplier (35-45x) = Website Value.
For example, if we use a monthly multiple of 35x, the website value is $175.000.
Traffic numbers will add to your overall valuation, so you must know your numbers for the past 12 months and have evidence to prove it. Typically, the greater the traffic, the higher the valuation.
Google Analytics is the go-to tool. You can also gather traffic data, insights, and reports from AHREFs or ad management software tools.
For example, Ezoic offers website insights that tell you how many website visitors, impressions, and various other metrics you’re receiving.
These are significant numbers that will help to value your site.
What is the potential of your website?
A buyer will consider this before purchasing, and a website with the potential to grow will cost more to buy.
If the site’s market is on an upward curve, or the niche can be branched off into other subtopics, this will help get a higher valuation.
Other things that point to site potential include:
- Untargeted keywords
- Untried monetization methods
- An email list of active subscribers
- Lack of topical content clusters
- Easy conversion rate optimization techniques
Site Quality & History
A website with a track record of quality incoming links (no PBN links) and great content will increase your overall value.
In addition to this, if your website can show profit and loss for 12 months or more with a P&L spreadsheet and has good internal linking, images, a professional logo, and a clean overall website design, this will also positively affect your valuation.
How Can You Sell Your Website?
When it comes to selling your site, you have a few options. Which one you choose depends on your circumstances, experience, and how hands-on you want to be with the sale.
The three most common ways to sell are through a website marketplace, website broker, or private sale.
Let’s take a closer look at them.
Using Website Brokers
A website broker can take away the stress of selling your website. They usually have a good track record of selling and know the industry inside out.
The great thing about using brokers is that they typically perform background and due diligence on your behalf. In addition to this, they also offer free valuation tools, decent sales success rates, and even communicate on your behalf with the buyer.
Some excellent broker sites are:
A popular place to sell websites is on public marketplaces like Flippa. Marketplaces attract many buyers and provide security checks, straightforward pricing, and an overall easy way to list your website.
Most marketplaces offer good support and valuation checks at no extra costs.
Website marketplaces to consider are:
Finding a Private Buyer
You can sell your website with a private buyer, which usually happens when a company or private buyer contacts you about the sale.
The benefit of selling with a private buyer is no commission, fast sales, and higher profit margins; however, you need to be extra careful, and due diligence and background research into the buyer is essential.
When selling to a private buyer, ensure an accurate valuation and use safe payment methods like Escrow.
How to Maximize Your Profit
If you want to maximize the profit of your website and increase your sales potential, you should concentrate on a few crucial steps.
Some of these steps will take a few months or longer to implement, so it’s worth starting immediately to increase your profit when selling.
Let’s take a look at them.
Diversification of Income
If you have multiple income sources for your website, this increases the price of your site. However, having too many sources of income could slow down the sale.
A website with one income source (say Amazon Associates) will lower the value because a buyer will think you have thrown all your eggs into one basket. On the other hand, if you have another income source (say a recurring affiliate income), this will raise the value of your site because it’s a safer bet for the buyer.
If you’re keeping the site, add as many income sources as possible without affecting the website’s quality, but only having a couple could be better if you’re selling.
You can then tell the buyer that you have two income sources that earn so and so, but the site is also ready to add display ads for an additional revenue source — this will increase the chance of closing the sale.
Diversification of Traffic
Does all your traffic come from one source, or do you have multiple traffic sources? The diversity you have with your traffic will also increase the value of your site.
Organic traffic is the most valuable, but most buyers know that a Google algorithm update could close it down. That’s why it’s crucial to add other traffic strategies for maximizing profits.
Reduce Your Involvement
The less involvement you have with the site will increase the value. Most buyers will be looking for a website that doesn’t have the ex-owners footprints all over it.
Add multiple authors and make it hard for people to know that you own the website. It may take you a while to reduce your involvement, but it will increase your valuation.
Existing Email List or Social Media Channels
The bigger your social media following will boost your valuation, so work on building your followers and subscribers.
Use social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. And if you have an email list, use it to maximize your monthly profit.
What To Do After You List A Site For Sale
There’s still a bit to do after listing your site, especially if you want a quick sale and the maximum profit.
Here’s what to do after listing your website.
Buyers will have questions about your website, so be prepared to answer them. For example, they will want to know about traffic, monetization, hosting, profit and loss, domain registry, time spent on the site, etc.
Most marketplaces will allow you to have a dedicated Q&A section on your listing, so it’s worth filling these out with clear, concise answers.
It’s also a good idea to create a template sheet that answers the most common questions because you’ll be able to use them away from the listing, and having them to hand will save you a lot of hassle.
In addition to the fundamental questions buyers have, think about the answers to the following:
- Do you outsource your content?
- Are you prepared to give the contact details of your writers?
- How many articles are on the site?
- How can I improve the website?
- Are there any hidden expenses?
- How did you build backlinks?
- Is your email list active?
- Are you willing to support the transfer for a set time after the sale?
- Did you buy the site or start from scratch?
These are just a few questions people will ask you, so include them in your listing and save them for future use.
It’s also good to create screenshots of essential data and metrics and have your P&L statement ready to share.
Share on Social Media
Link to your website listing in your social media posts, and encourage your followers to like and share for greater exposure.
You’ll likely get a bit of attention, so your Q&A template sheet will come in handy for answering any questions.
How Long Will it Take To Sell a Website?
How long it takes to sell your website depends on the niche, the broker, and the marketplace you choose to sell on. In addition, the amount of exposure you create yourself from social media and various other traffic sources can also determine the time it takes to sell.
However, typically you’re looking at a few days to organize the listing, a few months on average to make the sale, and then around a week to transfer everything over.
What Happens After The Sale?
How you sell the site will determine the amount of work and things to do after making the sale.
For instance, if you sell to a private buyer, you’ll have to transfer the domain, hosting, social media accounts and organize the release of the money.
However, a website broker or marketplace can make this much easier with a done-for-you system that removes the headaches associated with the after-sale requirements.
That said, here’s what you need to do after the sale.
Release Of Funds
You should use an online payment service that protects you from being scammed to release the funds. The most common one used and recommended when selling websites is Escrow.
Here’s an example of how Escrow works:
- First, you and the buyer agree to the terms of the sale.
- Then, the buyer pays the funds to Escrow.
- After that, the seller sends the website files over to the buyer.
- Next, the buyer accepts the website.
- Finally, escrow releases the funds to the seller (you).
After the sale, you will also need to transfer your domain name and website files over to the buyer. The good news is that most brokers and some marketplaces will include this in the sale, and those that don’t offer excellent tutorials.
If doing it yourself, you will need to transfer the domain name by changing the account’s details or transferring it to the buyer’s preferred registrar.
As for transferring website files, you do this by creating backups (including databases if using WordPress) and sending them over to the buyer’s hosting account or email.
It seems complicated, but it’s not as hard as you think, and again, there are plenty of tutorials available.
And as already mentioned, some brokers include this as a done-for-you service.
It’s a good idea to offer the buyer a set period of support to help them with any issues. Typically, a 30-day support pledge will please a potential buyer and give them extra confidence in purchasing your website.
The buyer could have teething problems with specific software, plugins, or certain features on the website, so offering to support them for a few months after the sale will go a long way in getting the deal over the line.
Here’s a summary of the main steps involved in selling your website:
- Make sure that selling your website is the best thing to do for you
- Decide if you want to sell with a website broker, private buyer, or a marketplace
- Evaluate your website’s worth and consider steps to maximize the value before selling
- Combine reports for revenue, traffic metrics, and proof of income
- List your website for sale, including relevant information that the buyer will appreciate
- Create an Escrow account to receive the funds when sold
- Transfer website
When the sale goes through, and you see the money in the bank, it will all be worth it.