Do you own an up-and-running website or an ecommerce store? You may make more money by selling it than by keeping it operational. Lots of people are stuck with their websites, but they have no intentions of running them.
Or they can’t find the time to maintain it, and as a result, they are potentially sitting on stacks of cash but don’t know what to do with it.
If that’s you, then you’ve reached the right blog post. There’d be several individuals and businessmen interested in purchasing your live website.
Below, we’ll take you through the process of selling your websites for the right price.
In some ways, selling a website can be just as exhausting as selling a house. Some might be easier to sell than others. But with the right strategies, you can catch the eyes of potential buyers and crack a deal easily. As Adam Audette, SVP and SEO leader at Blend360, rightly put it, “It’s a battle to get noticed online amidst the noise and crowds.”
Let’s run through the steps that can help you sell the website fast and get the true value for it.
- How to Sell a Website in 7 Steps
- Understand Your Audience
- Determine Your Website’s Worth
- Minimize Your Involvement and Automate the Processes
- Research Marketplaces for Buying and Selling Websites
- Optimize Your Website Before Making a Listing
- Learn to Approach Interested Parties the Right Way
- Get the Right Statistics to Present to Buyers
- 5 Websites That Were Sold at a Significant Profit
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Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sell a Website in 7 Steps
Here are the 7 best tips for selling your website and generating a decent profit.
1. Understand Your Audience
Selling a website without knowing who you might be selling it to is like trying to sell with a blindfold on.
There are different types of buyers with different motivations for purchasing a website. For instance, businessmen, bloggers, investors, etc.
By identifying your target audience, you can improve, modify or revamp your website to suit the interests and goals of your potential buyers. Also, your website will sell faster if it attracts a wider audience group.
So, how can you know your audience to begin with?
The top element here is market research. There are several ways to know your audience, from sieving out the search engines and social media to taking interviews. One great way is to be active in the discussion forums.
Suppose you want to sell ecommerce websites. Join the ecommerce discussion forums and see the common website problems ecommerce store owners and managers face. Be sure to address them on your website and enhance your chances of fetching lucrative deals.
There are several things that website buyers are interested in, for instance:
- Traffic sources
- Content distribution channels
- Design layouts
- Content type
Know what your ideal customer profile (ICP) wants and see what your website offers. It’d be best to have elaborate reports about different elements of your website, such as traffic, content, website performance, etc. You can then go about with a targeted approach and bag more $$ for your website.
2. Determine Your Website’s Worth
Selling a website for profit starts with knowing your website’s worth.
There are several ways to price your website. This step is important so that you don’t sell yourself short. Let’s see the ways to price your website rightly:
- Have a ballpark. Usually, if your website is making good money and is in an in-demand niche, it can easily sell for 20-30 monthly profits. So if your site makes $1,000 monthly, you can reasonably sell it for $20,000 to $30,000.
- Look around for website listings. You can find websites with similar credentials to yours and see how they are priced.
- Factor in the variables. The pricing for a website can depend on several elements such as daily visitors, industry, domain age, website’s SEO standings, etc. Be sure to consider all those variables while analyzing the price of your website.
- Utilize pricing calculators. There are several available that can give you estimates for your site. Some examples include Siteprice.org, and SiteWorthTraffic. These tools only give you rough estimates. Sometimes, their suggestions can be far from your site’s actual worth.
Another important thing while pricing your site is the tax implications. Most site sellers think that whatever the site goes for is profit. But they are soon met with unpleasant tax numbers, which they hate to pay.
A good strategy is to understand the tax implications when pricing your site. This will help you value monetarily value the website correctly. Taxation for websites is a tricky business, and it’s best to consult a tax professional when putting your website out for sale.
3. Minimize Your Involvement and Make the Processes Automated
Running a website requires lots of individual involvement. You already know that. But know that once the website is sold, you should no longer be required to assist the purchaser with the operations.
In fact, if the potential buyer sees that your running a website is highly dependent on your presence, they’ll likely avoid the deal altogether.
Sure, you’d be needed for a smooth handover, and you may be needed for some time after the handover. But a constant dependence on you will annoy you and the buyer as well.
Here are a few things that you can do to ensure that your handover is smooth and you seep out of the process smoothly once the deal is done:
- Automate your website processes. To save time and effort, automate routine website tasks using tools and plugins. With Cloudways, you can utilize SafeUpdates for updating WordPress plugins, effortlessly take backups, and generate performance reports for your site.
- Delegate tasks to VAs. There are several monotonous and routine tasks that you need to run the website, such as answering customers, managing orders, etc. You can train virtual assistants for such tasks and free yourself from this responsibility.
- Outsource content creation and SEO responsibilities to third-party services.
- Make sure all the credentials are safely handed over so that you aren’t bothered after the handover. Emails, passwords, tools, etc.
Remember, websites that make money with minimum management interests the investors the most.
Because most investors are usually looking for ways to expand their portfolios and look for passive incomes.
And even if someone has other needs, they’d not want to stay dependent on you for a long time. So, sort out the website management issues, and you’ll have a better chance to crack a lucrative deal.
4. Know the Right Marketplaces for Buying and Selling Websites
In today’s developing world of marketing and commerce, there is more and more of everything. There’s something new rearing its head every second, from software and search engines to blogs and marketplaces.
So, don’t limit yourself when it comes to selling your site.
There are several avenues that you can explore to sell your website. Let’s see a few here:
Selling a website can easily be like selling a house online. There are marketplaces where you can list your websites and let the buyers place their bids. There are several platforms that you can explore, such as Flippa, BusinessExits, Empire Flippers, etc.
These platforms specialize in assisting different types of website owners to get their websites sold. For example, Flippa is famous for selling websites that make under $300K per year.
For high-earning sites, consider using BusinessExits. Commission rates vary among platforms. Flippa charges $49 to list and 10% of the successful deal, while Empire Flippers has tiered commissions based on the list price (e.g., 15% under $1 million, 12% for $1-2 million, etc.).
Caution: Understand commission models on platforms before listing your websites to avoid unexpected costs. Explore alternative ways to sell your websites as mentioned below.
Word of Mouth
If you are surrounded by people operating in the same industry as your website, they’d be interested already. Selling via word of mouth can be a hassle-free process. So, when you’ve decided to sell the website, make sure your peers know about it.
Even if they themselves wouldn’t want it, they’d likely know someone who’d want to buy your site.
- Social Media groups: Social media platforms are ready grounds for ecommerce activities. You can look out for groups and pages that’d have the audiences interested in buying your website.
You can also spread the word on your social media profiles, and interested people could contact you.
5. Optimize Your Website Before You Make a Listing
As mentioned above, SEO is an essential tool for knowing your target audience. However, it’s also the backbone of a good website. Without it, a website crumbles and falls into nothingness.
SEO has become the first thing on the tip of buyers’ tongues as they ask website owners and managers, ‘Is your website optimized?’ If the answer is a no, they won’t think twice before moving on to the next big thing.
So why is optimizing your website before selling it so important? Optimization helps:
- Search engines understand the why of your website better.
- Rank each page of your website higher up on Google.
- Bring your target audience to your website more through keywords which ultimately leads to higher click rates.
- Turn visitor clicks into cash for you or your website’s buyers.
Besides, Google penalizes unoptimized sites. Its algorithms only rank the fastest-loading, most user-friendly, and authoritative web pages. Without optimizing your website before selling it, you run the risk of lowering its organic visibility.
There are several practices in use today to optimize websites. In the broad sense, you should increase your website’s:
- Conversion rates (making your website’s audience do what you want them to do, e.g., subscribe to your business’ newsletter)
- Visibility (making your website pop up quickly when users search for it through search engines)
- Usability (making your website and its pages load fast and perform better) to improve its optimization.
More specifically, you can optimize your website by using tools and methods like:
- Content delivery network (CDN)
- Using a better host provider—like virtual private servers (VPS) host—to speed up website loading times
- Database optimization through your website’s central management system (CMS). This will help reduce your load times and offer better performance.
All in all, this is necessary if you want to fetch a decent price for your website. Else, your website will be “just another one” in the vast sea of online resources. But if you have an optimized site that’s prepared to impress potential buyers, you can even signup for website brokerage services to get you sweet deals.
They’ll take some commission for it, but it’s likely that they’ll help you sell for more than what you’d get if you ventured into selling websites on your own.
6. Learn to Approach Interested Parties the Right Way
Listing the sites on different platforms isn’t the only way to get bids for your website. You can approach the buyers by yourself as well and make a deal.
Approaching potential buyers is not the same as knowing and understanding your target audience. The latter has to do with who your website will attract the most, especially if you want to sell your website quickly.
However, narrowing down your target audience helps narrow down interested buyers. It’ll greatly help in selling websites. If you have experience in client management, it could go a long way in helping you figure out how to deal with potential clients to sell your website.
A widespread mistake some website sellers make is auctioning their website on a marketplace that’s intended for a larger, general audience. Sometimes, you have to hunt for your potential clients in conventional markets.
If your website has a defined niche, try to sell it at a marketplace that deals with buying the same niche websites. Some popular niches for websites include healthcare, digital marketing, making money online, coupons, blogging tips, food and recipes etc.
7. Get The Right Statistics to Present to Buyers
Statistics are everywhere, mainly because people believe what they see and because numbers don’t lie. Any person you want to sell a website to will ask for statistics.
Backing up a claim like “My website will generate a lot of revenue in the long run” will not convince your website’s potential buyer(s) if you want to sell a website quickly.
However, complementing the report summary or an item with statistical figures—perhaps in the form of a statistical infographic, for instance—will make them turn their heads and listen to what you have to say.
For instance, consider the following website statistics’ overview for a hypothetical website:
This is a BAD way of representing statistics to potential website buyers.
You can also give the same information with elaborated infographics, as shown below.
Make your reporting as elaborate as possible so that you can show the truest potential of your website and fetch better pricing.
Most website sellers use SEMrush or Ahrefs to gather and present their website’s statistics. However, Google Analytics makes the task much more accessible. It holistically offers website stats, which can then be made more presentable to buyers. And with the new GA4 already launched, you can have even better and more thorough reports to help you with website flipping.
No matter how you present your website’s statistical information to a buyer, make sure it’s:
- Reliable, valid, and authentic.
- Supports the claims you are making about your website’s strengths or weaknesses.
- Is not too ‘stuffy.’
- Doesn’t have general or swooping statements.
- Is as specific as it can be.
- Paints an overall picture of your website’s what, why, and how to your potential buyers.
In other words, when they look at your website stats, they should instantly get a good idea of its worth and a promising search presence. Don’t forget to mention your high-ticket clients, especially recurring buyers.
Tip: If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating a statistical chart from scratch or presenting to your client whatever Google Analytics shows for your website, there are many free, downloadable templates for presenting website statistics.
5 Websites That Were Sold at a Significant Profit
Now, here are 5 tips from professionals who have sold their websites at a profit.
1. Jamie Hickey Sells His Fitness Site
“I’m the founder of Coffee Semantics, we design coffee sites and perform product reviews, teach brewing techniques and review coffee gear. we’ve been featured in Healthline, Bustle, Wirecutter, Woman’s world magazine, Delish, and Readers Digest.
My fitness site was generating $2,000 a month, I sold it for 3 years worth of profit which turned out to be $72,000.
I waited to sell it at the beginning of March which is the end of the fitness craze in the beginning of the year to make the numbers look elevated and I changed the theme to give it a fresh look before selling it.
I did not offer any services after the sale.”
2. Ebony Chappell Sells on Flippa
“There are hundreds of auction sites where you may sell your website, but only a handful of them are worthwhile. Flippa is the most popular, and despite its reputation for sometimes hosting unscrupulous websites, it is really the finest choice available. I recently sold two websites on Flippa for mid-four-figure amounts, one of which had a return on investment of over 400%. However, don’t mistake a big audience for a good audience.
If you run a website in a particular specialty, for example, it’s nearly always preferable to target other people in that area directly rather than using an all-purpose platform like Flippa. As I said in step two, it’s critical to understand the kind of individuals you’re selling to, not simply the number of prospective customers you have.”
3. John Frigo Has Sold Multiple Websites
“I oftentimes setup sites, get them profitable and then flip them, and the amount of money you can flip a site for these days is often several years multiples of the monthly profits. I’ve seen sites going for upwards of 5 year multiples which is insane knowing so much can change in terms of Googles algorithms and serps as well as affiliate programs coming and going.
While I oftentimes could continue to improve and grow a site, if I can get a 2 or 3 year multiple I’d rather just flip it and do it all over again.
My most recent site I built up and sold was a Google Blogger Blogspot site. I initially started it almost just as a fun experiment to see if a blogspot site could still be ranked as many people say they’re dead. The type of content I put up is pretty low effort, I write about new products and new supplements hitting the market. I learn about these products from brands Instagram page, do a brief writeup and that’s about it, it takes me less than 15 minutes per day to run.
Within about a year I was making about $1,000 a month off the site through a combination of Google Adsense, sponsored writeups and affiliate marketing. I recently flipped the site for $23,000.
I hadn’t really planned on selling the site and honestly wouldn’t have thought it would sell for more than a couple hundred bucks but honestly right now people are paying crazy valuations with passive income being a hot trend and a buzz word.
I wound up having someone reach out to me asking to buy the site which got me curious otherwise I wouldn’t have even bothered looking into selling it as I wouldn’t have figured anyone would want it. After having an unsolicited outreach I wound up beginning to advertise it on Flippa as well as some forums and marketing groups and ultimately found a buyer for $23,000.
I stayed on for about a month to help with the transition and to continue writing some content before fully passing it off to the new buyer.”
4. Alex Smith Sells on Motion Invest
“I sold my first website, an affiliate website, on Motion Invest. All I did was fill out their online form and they require proof of income via screen recording. After I filled it out, they reached out and said they were interested in buying it.
They then made an offer of 25x the monthly profit, which I accepted. I maximized it’s value by creating great content around buyer intent keywords and designing it where it would convert when people got on.
Overall, I had around 50 articles on that affiliate website. Everything on the website was very consistent, and systems were in place so that when someone would look to buy it, they knew it was lower maintenance.
This website was in the baseball niche. It was generating $400 per month over a 12 month period, and I sold it for $10k (25x the monthly profit).
To prep for the sale, I just made sure I had all of my information in a spreadsheet to make it really simple to turn everything over. I’ve done this before, and I actually do it more now as I do affiliate marketing full-time, but I valued my site at 20x the monthly profit, so I felt like I got a good deal. I did not offer any after-sales service.”
5. Steve Morrow, Founder of Paddle, Sells on Flippa
“I started a website in late 2017. This was the first website I had built. Honestly, I kind of floundered with this site for a little over 2 years. In 2019 I made a whopping (sarcasm) $2,500 from the website with affiliate commissions.
The site was in the health niche and I didn’t have the required E-A-T. I was constantly being impacted by Google updates. I decided in early 2020 to sell the website. My commissions had been anywhere from $0 to $500 in a given month in 2019.
I used Flippa to sell my site and the folks there helped me value the site. I ended up listing it for about $12,000 and sold it for just over $8k. My valuation was difficult because the site didn’t produce a consistent income each month. Some sites consistently generate $500 or $1,000 per month and I think those are easier to value.
I didn’t really do any prep to sell the site, and I didn’t offer any after-sales service. I think the individual who bought the site was looking for an aged domain that had some decent content.
With the money I earned from the sale, I started my new site, paddleabout.com. This site is doing much better after only one year than my other site ever did. I took my experience and used that going forward.”
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Wrapping Up – Sell Your Website the Right Way!
Selling your website can be a super competitive feat in today’s time. With new websites popping up every day, it’s easy to lose yourself in the crowd.
However, if you have a stellar website, you can fetch great money by selling it to the right buyer. Since we are at the conclusion, you should now know the right steps to execute and sell your site for what it’s worth.
Just make sure that:
- It’s optimized,
- Listed on the right platforms,
- Has the processes and traffic sources been well-reported,
- Designed great enough to catch attention.
And you are set.
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s your product. Do everything that can help you sell the site for maximum profits. And unless you are in desperate need of money, don’t sell yourself short and do proper research before closing a deal for your website.
Wish you all the best for your deals!
Q1. How to Sell a Website to a Client?
To sell your website to a client, first, make sure you have the stats associated with it. Then, you can put it up for sale and get bids.
Q2. How Much Should You Sell a Website For?
Ideally, you can sell a website between 25-35x of its monthly revenue. Therefore, if a website generates around $2,000, you should consider selling it for around $50,000.
Q3. How Long Does it Take to Sell a Website?
The time it takes to sell a website varies. From the moment it’s listed, it can take between 15-90 days to sell it. Obviously, the duration can be longer or earlier, but most websites sell in this period.
Q4. What Is the Best Way to Sell a Website?
The best way to sell a website is to first hire a website broker, or list it on a website marketplace. They can market your website on multiple social media pages and can also act as intermediaries, handling the entire sale process through escrow.
Sarim Javaid is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He has a habit of penning down his random thoughts and giving words and meaning to the clutter of ideas colliding inside his mind. His obsession with Google and his curious mind add to his research-based writing. Other than that, he's a music and art admirer and an overly-excited person.