Are you looking to buy websites but can’t figure out how?
Buying websites can be a great way to make money online as you can utilize the efforts made by the previous owner and start with a guaranteed cash flow from day one rather than taking the pain and risk of starting a blog from scratch.
But without the right plan and research, you’ll end up spending money on scammy sites with no revenue potential.
And so, in this step-by-step tutorial, I’ll show you how to buy websites to earn passive income in 2022.
Buying A Website (At A Glance)
Before we begin with our detailed steps, let’s answer two of the most common frequently asked questions:
Can You Buy a Website?
Yes, you can buy existing websites cum online businesses from online marketplaces like Flippa.
You need to register in the marketplace, find the website as per your requirement and place the highest bid to buy the website from its original owner.
Alternatively, you can directly contact the original owner via email to make the deal.
However, it’s better to go through the marketplace route for better safety and easy migration.
Is it Profitable to Buy Websites?
Yes, it is profitable to buy websites as you get a headstart in terms of SEO and revenue from day one.
Then, you can either hold the website to earn passive income or invest in its growth and flip it later into the same marketplace at a profit.
Buying websites is one of the fastest ways to make money online, provided you’ve put in the effort to find a blog with promising revenue potential in a profitable, evergreen niche.
Where To Buy Websites: Best Platforms In 2022
Here are 3 best platforms to buy websites legally in 2022, starting with:
Flippa is arguably the best online marketplace to buy content websites, ecommerce blogs, and SaaS businesses.
As of writing this guide, they’ve over 6000 websites listed on Flippa with prices ranging from $250 to $2,50,000+.
You get choices to buy starters and established sites on multiple niches on the platform, all pre-verified by Flippa’s vetting team.
Buying businesses on Flippa is free; all you need to do is to sign up using your Google account.
On the downside, there are multiple scam listings identified on Flippa over the years, and there are serious allegations of fraudulent sellers getting away with fake screenshots as the platform doesn’t vet attachments of listings priced under $50K.
The best Flippa alternative, Empire Flippers, has many legit listings of affiliate websites, ad revenue-based websites, Amazon FBA businesses, and so on.
However, it’s hard to find a starter or mid-established website at budget prices on the platform, as the cheapest site listed on flippers as of writing this guide is at $25,584.
The registration process on Flippers is hard, as you’ve to share your phone number and provide proof of your available funds for the purchase. It makes Flippers not the go-to marketplace for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
It is a fairly new domain marketplace, starting its operations in January 2020.
You can see its listings by becoming a member free of cost, but you must show proof of funds.
Choices on Investors Club are limited to content websites and e-commerce blogs, and prices start from $10K.
How To Buy Websites: Step-By-Step Instructions
Now, we’ll start detailing the entire process of buying profitable websites from scratch.
Again, I’ll use flippa.com as that’s the best marketplace for entrepreneurs of all sizes.
Here we begin:
Fix Your Budget
The first step is to fix a decent budget to buy websites.
Although you might find websites selling at $100, mid-established websites typically sell for around $5-6K, depending on the niche, profit stats, traffic + revenue potential.
Determine Your Buying Strategy
It’s critical to figure out how you intend to make money with the website you’ll purchase. There are 3 possible options:
- Buy and grow the website from where the original owner left to maximize its revenue and profit.
- Buy a website, work on its drawbacks and flip it at a high price.
- Buy a website and hold it to earn passive income on your digital real estate investment.
Determining the buying strategy will help you to:
- Improve the vetting process.
- Give an ace while negotiating.
- Finally, help you realize a solid ROI.
Search And Vet Sites
Once you’ve devised your buying strategy and fixed your budget for the mission, you can start finding and vetting sites on various marketplaces.
Follow the steps mentioned below (assuming you’ve already registered as a buyer on Flippa):
- Go to https://flippa.com/websites and select the type of websites you want to buy from the list of options in the horizontal bar at the top.
- Set relevant filters like maximum price range and age so you can choose from relevant listings. I’ll advise you to set age filters to a minimum of 2 years.
- Analyze SEO metrics from the filtered list of websites using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. You need to check their organic monthly traffic and backlink quality.
- Prioritize sites built on growing evergreen niches like work-from-home equipment and not on random trends like fidget spinners.
- Use Wayback Machine to check what the website used to be in the past. Try to get details on these questions:
- Is the seller the original owner of the domain property? Or he, too has, bought it from elsewhere?
- Is there anything suspicious or spammy about the site history?
- Only select websites with verified sellers to ensure legitimacy. In Flippa, they are marked with a green tick beside their name.
Once you’re ready with a vetted list of potential prospects, it’s time to check the stats provided by the seller on the platform.
Contact Sellers And Place Your Bid
If you are logged into Flippa, you can see traffic stats and profit/loss details for previous months.
- Click on “Contact Seller” to request sellers for access to Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and financial statements.
- Analyze Google Analytics data for traffic trends and ensure nothing unusual. For example, avoid sites hit with a penalty in the past or whose traffic mainly comes from one or two pages [unless it’s a home page on an ecommerce website].
- Give preference to websites with diversified traffic from social media handles and email marketing.
- Carefully scrutinize the financial statements to determine the revenue model of the website. For example, content websites can earn from ad revenue, affiliate marketing, or both. You can prioritize sites earning from multiple streams.
- Ensure that the profits are reasonably stable and that its expenses seem justified. Faking screenshots is common on Flippa for sites valued under $50K, so you should ask for direct access to dashboards or request a live screen recording.
- Schedule an online meeting to clarify doubts on P/L statements, what skills are needed to manage the online business, and ask for suggestions on improving website performance for more revenue.
Once you’ve enough data about your shortlisted sites and analyzed them as per your buying strategy, you can place your bid on one or more sites to see if you come out as the highest bidder.
You can also keep sites on your watch list to see if the reserve price comes down to your preferred range.
If you win the bid, it’s time to execute the final steps to buy the online website for passive income.
- Make a contract to validate the purchase as per the law of the country you physically reside. Take the help of a certified lawyer in your city rather than depending on your guesswork. Your contract should contain details of:
- Personal information of both buyer and seller.
- The digital property bought: website content, servers, paid plugin access, etc.
- Details on the period of support offered by the seller.
- Mode of payment
- Schedule of payment along with the confirmation that once the final payment is made, the seller will have no rights to the website and its contents.
If you are buying from Flippa, you can use their Flippa Legal service to get access to legit purchase agreement templates or talk with pro lawyers directly.
- Make payment in installments from trusted payment portals like escrow.com. The schedule should go like this:
- Seller provides the part of the property as per schedule (say hosting access).
- You inspect the property and approve it.
- Payment is made from the escrow account.
Never make payments through PayPal or other payment applications, as it can give rise to unnecessary disputes and legal complications.
If you are buying from Flippa, there’s nothing to worry about, as Escrow is their default option.
- Always ask the seller for a support period of 2-3 months after the deal is closed to ensure a smooth transition before you can run and grow the website as your own.
Other Buying Websites-Related Tutorials To Check Out
Buying websites enables you to work on the niche you are an expert in with a headstart on revenue and traffic.
Here are some more buying website-related tutorials to check out:
- How to Sell a Blog: Learn the best marketplaces and the detailed step-by-step process to sell blogs for a profit in 2022.
- How to Buy Digital Real Estate: Here’s a complete breakdown of the entire process of buying different digital real estate to generate passive income.
- How to Sell a Domain Name: Know the secure and profitable process to auction your domain name in reputed marketplaces in 2022.
Buying websites is the fastest way to earn passive income and build an online presence in the niche you are an expert or passionate about.
You can also buy to redirect new backlinks to your existing website or expand your online business.
And the best way to buy a website is to head over to flippa.com, select browse>websites, set relevant filters, vet, and finalize prospects using the process detailed above.