Selling a website can be an overwhelming process, especially if you’ve never done it before.
You might be wondering how to set the right price, how to find a potential buyer, or what the process looks like.
Fortunately, I am well-versed in building, ranking, and flipping websites, having honed my expertise over several years.
In this step-by-step guide, I will reveal the precise strategies we employ to sell our websites at the highest possible price.
I will also provide you with some tips on how to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.
So, let’s get started.
Table Of Contents
- Quick Summary
- Step 1: Develop a Sale Strategy for a website
- Step 2: Prepare Your Website for Sale
- Step 3: Know How Much Your Online Business Is Worth
- Step 4: Get the Right Reports
- Step 5: Find the Best Platform to Sell Your Site
- Step 6: The Negotiation Phase
- Step 7: The Closing Process
- Examples of Websites Sold for Above Market Price
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Ready to Sell Websites?
- Selling a website requires a strategic plan, including preparing your site for sale and understanding its worth.
- Platforms like Flippa, Empire Flippers, and FE International can be used to sell your site, with negotiation and closing being key steps.
- Website value is determined by factors like type, niche, traffic, geography, monetization channels, age, content, user engagement, and SEO health.
Step 1: Develop a Sale Strategy for a website
The easiest way to lose money is to not have a plan for what to do with that money.
You can’t just sell your website and have the cash sitting in your bank account doing nothing.
If you did that, you won’t only be losing money to inflation, but you will also be tempted to use this money to buy ridiculous stuff that you don’t really need.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t sell your website.
In fact, there are many reasons to sell a profitable website – you may need the money for personal reasons, you may be moving on to a new site, you may need to diversify your investments, or you may simply want to cash in on your success.
Whatever your reason is, it’s important to set a goal and work towards it.
This will not only help you sell your website for a higher price, but it will also make sure you won’t get taken advantage of a potential buyer who knows how to lowball sellers.
Some important questions to answer before selling your website are:
- What do you need the money for?
- When do you need the money?
- How much time/money did you spend on creating the website?
- How much time/money you are willing to invest in preparing your website for sale?
Answering these questions will help you develop a selling strategy that meets your needs.
On the other hand, if you have the luxury of time, then you can prepare your website listings for sale and maximize its value.
Step 2: Prepare Your Website for Sale
Why would someone buy your site?
Some sellers may say it’s because of the traffic, some say it’s because of the quality content, and some say it’s because of the niche.
All of those factors play a role in how much your website is worth, but the main and only reason someone would buy your site is because they know they can make more money from it than they paid for it.
It’s that simple.
Website flippers are veterans at this. They buy websites, improve them in some way, and then sell them for a higher price.
When a flipper sees your website, they are not looking for traffic numbers or how much content you have, they are looking for how easy it will be to improve upon what you have and how quickly they can do it.
For this reason, it’s crucial to prepare your website for sale before you list it.
Even if you don’t have the time or money to do it, knowing what your website lacks and how much money can the buyer make by fixing those problems will be extremely helpful in the negotiation phase.
Step 3: Know How Much Your Online Business Is Worth
Pricing your website too low can result in leaving money on the table while pricing it too high can result in your website sitting on the market for months (or even years) without selling.
The key is to strike a balance and come up with a fair price that meets your needs and the needs of the buyer.
On average, websites sell for 20x-60x their net profit over the last 12 months.
So, if your website makes $1000/month in profit and has organic search traffic, you can expect to sell it for $20,000-$60,000.
Of course, this is just an average and your website may be worth more or less depending on a number of important factors, such as:
- Website Type: Ecommerce, affiliate, content, lead gen, etc.
- The type of website will affect how can you monetize the traffic and how quickly a buyer can start making money from the site.
- Ecommerce stores, for example, usually sell for higher multiples because they have a proven track record of generating revenue and they can be easily scaled.
- Niche: Some niches are just more valuable than others.
- For example, a website in the finance niche will generally sell for a higher multiple than a website in the home decor niche because there are more ways to monetize finance traffic and the average order value is usually higher.
- Traffic: It’s not just about the amount of traffic your website gets, but also the quality and sources of that traffic.
- For example, a website that gets 100,000 visitors/month from search engines is worth more than a website that gets the same amount of traffic from social media.
- This is because search engines traffic is usually higher quality and it’s easier to monetize.
- Geography: Websites that get the majority of their traffic from developed countries (such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, etc.) usually sell for higher multiples than websites that get most of their traffic from developing countries.
- This is because there are more ways to monetize traffic from developed countries and the average order value is usually higher.
- Monetization Channels: How you make money from your website also plays a role in how much it’s worth.
- Websites that have multiple monetization channels (such as advertising, affiliate marketing, and digital products) usually sell for higher multiples than websites that only have one monetization channel.
- This is because multiple monetization channels provide more stability and growth potential.
- Age: Older websites tend to sell for higher multiples than newer websites.
- This is because older websites have a proven track record and they are usually more established in their niche.
- Content: Quality, quantity, informational to affiliate ratio, click-through rate, and conversion rate are all factors that affect how much your website performance is worth.
- User Engagement & Social Shares: If your website has high user engagement (i.e. people are spending a lot of time on the site, visiting multiple pages, and sharing the content), it will generally sell for a higher multiple.
- This is because high user engagement indicates that people find the content valuable and are more likely to convert into paying customers.
- Technical SEO & Health Score: A website’s technical SEO and health score is a good indicator of how well the website is performing and how easy it will be to improve upon.
- Things like website speed, missing alt text, broken links, and duplicate content can all be easily fixed and will improve the website’s value.
- Backlink Profile and SEO Authority: If your website has a strong backlink profile, it will generally sell for a higher multiple, as good SEO authority indicates that your website is more likely to rank well in search engines, which will result in more traffic and higher revenues.
- Website Design: A well-designed website that is easy to navigate and has a professional look will generally sell for a higher multiple than a poorly designed website.
- Expenses and Upkeep: How automated is your website? If it requires a lot of manual upkeep (such as adding new content, responding to customer inquiries, etc.), it will generally sell for a lower multiple.
- This is because the new business owner will have to invest time and money into maintaining the website.
These are just some of the factors that affect how much your website is worth.
If you want to sell your website for the highest possible price, it’s important to understand how these factors play into the website valuation.
Step 4: Get the Right Reports
Now that you understand how to value a website, it’s time to get the right reports.
These reports will provide potential buyers with the information they need to make an informed decision about your website.
Some of the reports you’ll need to include are:
- Google Search Console: This report will show potential buyers how your online business is performing in SERPs.
- It will include information on keywords, impressions, clicks, and average ranking positions.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics report will show interested buyers how much traffic your website is getting, where that traffic is coming from, and how people are interacting with your site, as well as other important metrics.
- Google Trends: This report will show buyers how your niche is performing over time.
- If it’s trending, that’s a good sign, as it indicates that there is potential for growth.
- It’s also important to show the interested buyers if the niche is seasonal, as that will affect how much traffic your website gets.
- Affiliate Sales: If you are a member of an affiliate program, it’s important to include a report of your sales process.
- This will show buyers how much revenue you are generating from affiliate commissions.
- Advertising Sales: Similar toot the affiliate sales process report, this will show potential buyers how much monthly profit you are generating from advertising networks such as ezoic or google adsense.
These are just some of the reports you’ll need to include when selling your website.
If you have any other important information about your website such as the social media following, email list, etc, be sure to include that in the sale as well.
Step 5: Find the Best Platform to Sell Your Site
Now that you’ve done your research and gathered the necessary reports, it’s time to list your website for sale.
There are many different brokers and website marketplaces you can use to sell a website, but from our experience, these are the 3 best:
Flippa is one of the most popular platforms where you can sell a website with an organic search traffic easily and has been in business since 2009.
They offer a wide range of third party services, including appraisals, escrow, and financing.
While flippa is a great place to sell, it does have some downsides.
The biggest one being that there are a lot of scammers and low-ballers on the website marketplace.
The second one is the lack of vetting of buyers, which can lead to a lot of time wasted if the buyer ends up being unqualified.
Finally, flippa auction sites in public, which means that everyone can see your niche, organic traffic, and earnings.
2. Empire Flippers
Empire Flippers is one of the largest and most well-known website brokers. This broker been in business since 2013 and has sold over $413 million worth of websites and businesses.
One of the great things about Empire Flippers is that they vet all of their buyers to make sure they are qualified and have the necessary funds to complete the purchase.
This broker also mediates the whole process to make sure that both the buyer and seller are happy with the transaction.
But what I really like is that they hide all of the information about your website until after the buyer has been vetted and is interested in purchasing.
This helps to avoid any low-ball offers or tire-kickers wasting your time.
While Empire Flippers is a great broker, it does have some downsides.
The first one being that their listing process is very long and detailed, which can be time-consuming.
The second downside is that this broker charges a 15% commission, which is on the high end for brokers.
- Listing Fee: $0
- 15% for businesses under $1 million
- 12% for businesses between $1 millon and $2 million
- 8% for businesses between $2 millon and $5 million
- 5% for businesses between $5 millon and $10 million
- 2% for businesses above $10 million
3. FE International
FE International is an award-winning M&A advisor that specializes in the sale of high-quality SaaS, content, and ecommerce websites and online businesses.
They have been in business since 2010 and have helped thousands of entrepreneurs sell their businesses with over $1 billion in lifetime acquisitions and an impressive 94.1% sales success rate.
FE International have a similar assessment phase where a team of analysts will put together a comprehensive report on your website which is used to attract interested parties and help to get the best possible price for your site.
They charge no upfront listing fees and will help you to value, list, market, and sell your website but they do take around 15% commission on successful sales.
- Listing Fee: $0
- 15% on average
Step 6: The Negotiation Phase
This is where things can get a little bit tricky and it’s where most people get nervous and start to second-guess themselves.
The key here is to be confident in the value of your website and to have a clear idea of what you want from the sale.
It’s also important to remember that you are in control of the process and if at any point you feel uncomfortable or like the buyer is trying to take advantage of you, you can walk away from the deal.
Because trust me, they will find out eventually and it’s better to build trust from the beginning.
The negotiation phase can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and sometimes even longer.
Step 7: The Closing Process
Once you’ve reached an agreement on the price, it’s time to start the closing process.
This is where you’ll transfer the ownership of the website, domain name, hosting account, etc. to the buyer and you’ll get paid.
We recommend using an escrow service to hold the funds during this process to protect both parties.
The closing process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully sold your website for above market price!
Examples of Websites Sold for Above Market Price
To give you some inspiration, below are a few examples of websites that have sold for above market price.
To give you some inspiration, below are a few examples of websites that have sold for above market price.
1. W********.Com – Home Improvement Affiliate Website
The first website on the list is an affiliate site in the infamous home improvement niche.
In about 3.5 years, Shawn Shafai managed to get the website to make approximately $3,500 per month using organic Google search traffic.
80% of that income was from affiliate revenue and the other 20% was from display ads and lead generation.
In terms of expenses, the website was costing Shawn about $300 per month. This covered web hosting, plugins, link building, and adding some content here and there.
Now, how much do you think a website like this would sell for?
Well, Shawn decided to auction the website using Empire Flippers and he ended up selling the website for $105K, which is 33x its monthly net profit!
2. I*****************.Com – Paranormal Romance Website
If you think you are in a bizarre niche, pretty sure it won’t be as bizarre as this one.
This website is in the paranormal romance niche. Think “Twilight” and “Vampire Diaries” style stuff.
Almost no affiliate marketer has heard of this niche yet the world absolutely loves it!
The website started in 2011 and over the years it has grown to be the world’s largest fansite for its niche.
Over the years, the website had multiple revenue streams, such as:
- Selling advertising space in the newsletter ($50K/year)
- Selling spots for group giveaways (brought over $2 million)
- Social media sponsorships
- Virtual events
- Published boxed sets
- Subscription boxes ($146K/year)
Overall, the revenue was anywhere from $4K to $100K with about $3K expenses, so you could say that the net profit is about 30K/month.
But believe it or not, it was only sold for $125k, which is about 4x multiple!
There are many reasons why the website sold for such a low multiple.
But it’s mainly because no one seemed to really understand how to operate the website, so there was a lot of risk involved in buying such a big website.
Additionally, it was the first time for the owner to sell a website and he didn’t use a website broker, which would have gotten him a higher price.
3. Z*******.Org – Display Ads Website
The final broker on the list is a huge pet site that has been around for over 10 years.
During that time it has published over 1,300 pages of content, amassed a large following with over 700K social media fans from all over the world, and has been averaging over 500K pageviews per month.
Since most of the content was informational, the main monetization channel was display google ads but there were also some affiliate income as well.
The average revenue for the site was approximately $8,000 and the website was recently put up for sale on Flippa and sold for $315K.
That’s a 40x multiple, which is spectacular, especially knowing that 50% of its revenue is from ads! If you want to sell a website, you should consider this one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Does It Take To Sell a Website?
It takes around 30 to 180 days on average to sell a website.
How Much Should I Sell a Website For?
How much you should sell a website for will vary depending on the quality of the site, age, niche, etc. The average website sells for around 30x monthly revenue over the past 12 months.
Can You Sell a Website Without Traffic?
Yes, you can sell a website without traffic but it will be difficult to get buyers interested and you will likely have to sell it for a very low price.
Is Website Flipping Profitable?
Website flipping is extremely profitable. The average website flipper with a few years of experience can make upwards of $100,000 per year.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Websites?
There is no limit to how much money you can make selling websites. It depends on how many sites you sell and at what price point.
That’s $15,000 in profit!
Ready to Sell Websites?
Selling a website can be a great way to make a significant profit and it’s not as difficult as you might think.
By following the steps outlined in this post, you can sell your website for above-market price and walk away with a decent profit.
If you need to learn more about how to build successful websites, how to increase organic traffic, or how to improve your website’s earnings, sign up to our free online webinar today.
We will show you exactly how to take a website from scratch, and turn it into a profitable business, as well as how to buy and sell websites.