Just like Real Estate, Only Better!
When you buy real estate for investment you have to think of the endgame before you ever make a bid on the house. The same goes with buying and selling established websites. Are you buying this property to flip for fast cash? Do you want to get in and then turn it around in a month or so and get right back out? Or do you want to “buy and hold” and manage the website for maximum long term profits?
What kind of property is it? Is it a new house in a new hot subdivision or is it a well kept manor house on ten acres with manicured lawns and gardens? Is the website a turnkey (newly made) with no traffic worth mentioning or is it a 100%2B page “authority” site and plenty of user generated content with monthly revenues in the 5 figures? Years ago, an old real estate professional told me, “You have to make your money at the “buy” not the “sell”.” In other words, if you are smart and buy property at a good bargain price then you don’t have to worry if you will make you investment back when you sell it.
This is especially true of websites, a bargain’s not bargain unless you know it is. Don’t let the web owners’ personal feelings and life stories cloud your judgment. Be prepared to do your homework. Always exercise “due diligence” when buying and selling established websites.
You heard it before, “location, location, location” is the key to a great piece of real estate. Online it’s “traffic, traffic, traffic”. A website can have the best written and the coolest content you have ever seen on a particular topic, but if it’s not “popular”, i.e. the site has poor traffic, then it won’t be a success. Like a book, a good established website has to be a “bestseller” not a “best written.”
Is the property in a growing, healthy community? A house in a bad neighborhood, full of gangs and graffiti is not going to sell easily. Most investors avoid the same thing when buying and selling established websites. Proven traffic, quality and original content, site structure and even link popularity are all contributing factors when consider flipping an established website.
If the site has user generated content (forums, website comments, visitor reviews, etc.) have the web bullies and trolls taken over? Are all the postings full of hate-messages, and name calling? Are the moderators and admins asleep at the wheel and the place is headed for a Valdez break up? A community gone bad can be the smell of money or disaster if you don’t know what you are doing.
Now that you know what to look out for when buying and selling established websites, you should be ready to get out and get the information you need to flip websites successfully.