Business, SEO

How to Invest In Websites In Your Spare Time

How to Invest In Websites In Your Spare Time

Every day, websites are being bought and sold.  They’re purchased at low rates, or even built from the ground up, and then sold for massive profits.

There’s no other business model that makes it as easy for you to double your money as buying websites, renovating them, raising their revenue, and then reselling them to someone else down the road.

And these websites are everywhere. There are literally millions of websites that are being underutilized, or just aren’t being monetized properly, marketed properly, or turned from a hobby website or blog into a full-fledged business.

If you’re just getting started, don’t have a ton of money available, or want to minimize your risks until you figure out the business model, here are some of the best advice we can give you:

#1 You Need to Have the Money to Invest

It’s the same with any form of investing.  You need to have money to spend, and the more money you have to spend, the better off you’re going to be and the quicker you’ll see results.

Many investors just getting started probably aren’t going to have the money available to really take off the way they wish they could.

When that’s the case, you’ll want to focus more on finding an under-monetized blog, getting it monetized, and then flipping it.

You Need to Have the Money to Invest
You Need to Have the Money to Invest

Once you have the first large deal under your belt it’s going to be a lot easier to purchase another site, or even reinvest the entire amount into a single deal or multiple deals to increase your potential profits down the road.

Generally, sites that are going for higher asking prices will have more traffic and be generating more in revenue than the lower priced sites.  In this situation, even if you don’t grow the site, you’ll be able to generate revenue from month to month until you do decide to sell it.

If you aren’t familiar with internet marketing or optimizing websites, it’s worth it to brush up on some easy-to-implement strategies so you can increase how much you’re able to ask for the sites you’re selling when you begin negotiations with investors.

#2 If You Don’t Have The Money Then Find Alternatives

This is usually best done by having the patience to build the website yourself or go through the search results and find blogs and websites that aren’t being monetized, buying them for less, and then using that capital to start launching into buying bigger sites.

When you’re doing the work yourself there is a learning curve that you’ll have to get over.  Nearly all of the sites that most marketers and entrepreneurs start in the beginning of their careers will flop.  It’s a sad reality, but one you’ll need to understand.

If you’re passionate about topics, you can start websites around those topics and then work on figuring out how to properly market them, then learn how to generate revenue, and eventually sell the site off to an investor to get your seed money to start buying and flipping.

As with any other business, there are no guarantees, and you’ll want to ensure that the risk of losing the money isn’t going to have huge negative impacts on your list.  If it’s going to have a large negative impact or effect your quality of life, don’t do it.

#3 Look For Sites That Are Underutilized

When it comes to picking the sites that you’re going to buy, you primarily want to focus on sites that are growing organically — or sites that don’t have proven marketing strategies behind them.

These low maintenance sites have typically been grown by people that are passionate about the topic and don’t actually understand what they’ve done to get to the point where they’re at, or even what they actually have, in terms of their site.

This organic growth is great for an investor, because it’s hard to replicate, but by implementing smart marketing and monetization strategies you can exponentially grow the traffic and revenue.

One strategy that some investors are finding to be fairly lucrative is investing in forums.

Forums are fairly low maintenance compared to other business models, but can also be harder to monetize — which means, if you know how, you can come behind the owner and start making money that they weren’t able to.

Forums come with a built-in community and a base of regular participants that are constantly adding new content, so you don’t have to worry about creating the content or bringing in new readers on a regular basis.

Another great investment is blogs.  This is especially true if you are purchasing one that already has a steady writer or a team of writers that have developed a readership. Even if you do buy a blog that doesn’t have a consistent writer or a team of writers, it’s easy to find writers that are proficient in the topic who can help you grow the blog after you buy it.

Investing in Blogs
Investing in Blogs

One thing to keep in mind is that blogs are reliant on a consistent stream of new content.  If you don’t have a way to keep the content coming in you could end up regretting making the purchase.

Blogs and websites that have been focused around a specific niche are other great buys, especially for new investors.  Niche sites, or niche blogs, tend to rely on the search engines to bring in traffic which means the traffic comes in on autopilot and grows from month, to month.

If you find niche blogs that have a stable traffic history and either aren’t being monetized or are being monetized poorly (ie: displaying advertisements when affiliate links would deliver more income), buying them and growing the traffic and revenue can be very lucrative.

As a general rule, if you don’t understand the business model you will want to avoid buying the site.  Complicated and complex models can be risky in themselves, and when you don’t understand what you’re doing the chances of losing your money are dramatically increased.

#4 Build a Team to Make the Process Hands-Free

Any website you’re thinking about buying is going to require you to work on it.  There’s no way around that fact.

Build a Team to Make the Process Hands-Free
Build a Team to Make the Process Hands-Free

From the moment you complete the negotiations and buy the site you are going to have to start working on transferring it to your own accounts, making sure everything is working, and putting strategies in place to grow the traffic and revenue.

You may have to spend time responding to emails, switching affiliate links and advertisements, or digging into your analytics to figure out where your traffic is coming from.

There’s a ton of tasks that will need to be completed.  You can take care of the work yourself, but that is usually going to take you away from working on your main projects or other projects that require your attention.

When your goal is to flip websites in your spare time; that takes you away from your goal.

You could also build a team of people that know more than you do about the industries you’re working in and have the skills that you don’t have, or the time that you don’t have, and keep your investing strategy as a truly part time endeavor.

If you have a team of people in place that you trust and know that they can do the job better than you and quicker than you, it makes no sense to devote your own time and energy into the areas of the new business that need to be addressed.

Your time will be better spent trying to find new businesses to invest in.

#5 How To Find A Steady Stream Of Websites

If you’re just getting started, you are probably going to need to go out and discover new sites on your own.  The best way to do this is by sifting through the search results in industries, markets, and niches that you know can be profitable.

Finding under-utilized websites and buying them for cheap, renovating them, generating revenue, and then selling the websites to another investor can be incredibly lucrative for you and is a great way to get your feet wet in the industry.

However, if you have the money available or are wanting to jump into the big leagues and start buying established websites that are already profitable, with the intentions of growing them and flipping them for increased profits down the road, working with a broker is the best strategy you can take.

Brokers are constantly working between investors and business owners to get websites and businesses bought and sold, and there isn’t much that they haven’t seen, when it comes to investing in websites or flipping them for profits.

Contacting a broker will get you a list of businesses that are currently available, with most of the due diligence completed.  Then, it’s up to you to figure out which businesses you think you can capitalize on and work with the broker to begin the negotiation process.

Likewise, when you’re ready to start selling businesses you’ve invested in, a broker will have the high-level investors that are willing to consider your offer so you spend less time chasing an investor down and more time negotiating the sale and closing the deal.

Why Not Give It A Try?

Investing in websites can be an interesting and fun way to make some extra cash or it could potentially be the start of a new, longer term business venture.

Starting off can be daunting but remember, it is perfectly acceptable to start slow and small.

You will also likely learn some useful new skills along the way which you can apply to your next website or future business ideas. Anything from basic web design and working with a remote team to negotiation techniques and managing finances.

There might be a steep learning curve but by following the steps above, you should have a solid foundation for starting to invest.

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    1. Hey David,

      Buyers are usually willing to pay a multiple of the earnings of a business to acquire it. A quick example: a website making $200,000 a year may be valued at a 1x multiple, to be sold at the same 200k. If the multiple offered is 2x, the website will be sold at $400,000.

      This multiple is usually determined by the amount of risk involved, so the higher the risk your site holds and the lower the multiple.

      So how do buyers perceive the value of a website? To answer that, let’s consider those factors that would make your site a less risky investment:

      1. Solid, consistent earnings
        Increasing growth
        Automated systems in place
        Multiple revenue streams
        Diverse traffic sources
        A unique selling proposition (USP)
        Market leadership and branding
    2. Hope that helps 🙂

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