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Buying, tweaking & selling sites?

     
2:37 pm on Jun 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Do you guys know of any SEOs who are searching out sites they can get at a fairly low price (considering their potential), then tweak them and sell them at a higher price...succesfully?

Im not on some get rich quick stuff ;) Im fully aware of the fact that in order to pull that off successfuly one has to actually understand what one is doing, etc. but Ive been wondering why I so rarely hear about this topic.

Any people out there make a living that way (instead of doing SEO/internet marketing consulting....or developping their own sites)? Or is it not as profitable for most people?

PS: not sure if this is an appropriate place for this, but I thought it would fit better in here than in the e-commerce or the domain names forum (or any other forum Im aware of)

2:59 pm on June 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

you do hear about this occasionally. (And like most things) there are probably people out there making a nice living out of such endevours.

In order to be able to succeed, you probably need to stick with a particular topic. I have tried unsuccessfully offering to purchase this type of site in my own niche. At the price I was offering nobody wanted to buy :)

6:48 pm on June 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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"(And like most things) there are probably people out there making a nice living out of such endevours. "

Well thats what Im owndering because it seems that it wouldnt really take a much different skillset than running your own sites successfully or doing SEO/internet marketing consulting for other people or working as an in-house SEO would take....However, nobody seems to be doing this full-time as their business model, so Im wondering if it has to do with the profit margins not being high enough and the site flipping business model not paying as well as doing simply consulting/running your own sites (which many SEOs seem to do)

3:48 pm on June 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, there are always people on the marketplace over at Sitepoint looking for sites that earn a couple of hundred dollars a month, presumably since they hope to multiplty such earnings after buying it.

To make your living from it, you have to get enough people who will be willing to buy each site from you to make it worth it. Sounds difficult.

If it was me, I'd try to buy lots of small site, trying to tweak them to improve rankings, and slap on Adsense in the right places. -> Multiple passive incomes.

6:04 pm on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You could take $2000 and buy a site making $200/month. After 10 months you take the $200/month income + sell the site for $2000 and buy a $400/month site. You don't even need to tweak as long as earnings stay constant.

One problem is that sites seem to go for higher multiples the higher the revenue is. A $50/month site might only get 3 months revenue whereas a $10,000/month site might get a few years revenue. I guess that works in your favor if you can find sites that go for few months revenue and tweak them to the 1 year plus revenue area.

It all sounds good in theory but the "$200/month site" I bought was a new site and only had 1 week of revenue history. All the traffic was from Digg and Stumble Upon so traffic basically dropped by 90% after I took over. Live and learn.

So lots of due dilligence required even for the small earning sites. And you have to make sure you're buying a site not buying a job [for yourself].

7:11 pm on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It all sounds good in theory but the "$200/month site" I bought was a new site and only had 1 week of revenue history. All the traffic was from Digg and Stumble Upon so traffic basically dropped by 90% after I took over. Live and learn.

Do you think the guy screwed you over with that deal? How much did you pay for it?

Personally, I would try to spot sites that show certain criterias and present opportunities rather than only going for a site that seems to make money (I can already think of a couple like that).

Also, I'd try to approach webmasters myself, that way, if you can find sites that present opportunities as suggested above you can determine a price you'll be willing to pay and can expect that you wont be the one getting screwed over (as the webmaster would be less likely to sell you a wack site if it was your idea to buy it and he only had the idea to sell it when oyu asked him).

I think Im pretty good at analyzing and have always had a very analytical mindset. With creating my own sites, unfortunately that has held me back quite a bit (because I often overanalyze instead of taking action more quickly) - talk about paralysis by analysis ;). However, I think analyzing deeply would overlap very well with buying/selling sites and trying to get a good deal, whereas overanalyzing can hardly happen (unless you never end up buying a site hehe).

Also, its not something Id do if I had only basic knowledge, but only if I was convinced that I could get a good deal out of it (because of my knowledge of the "game" being superior to the other guy's knowledge)...basically Ive been thinking of it more as an alternative business model to a)working inhouse b)working as a consultant or c)starting your own sites from scratch...and have been wondering if anyone is doing that as part of their business model or even full-time.

Just out of curiosity - did that guy you bought the site from screw you over? Or did I misunderstand it? It sounded like you bought a site when you still didnt know much about internet marketing (maybe Im wrong, but I wouldnt buy a site if the webmaster didnt allow me to have a peak at his traffic stats) and the guy sold the site on purpose to leverage the high earnings he had at that moment, knowing they would drop very soon, because it was just a temporary digg/stumble upon kind of thing.

Am I correct? or did I confuse something?

Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing your experience with this!

8:39 pm on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It was only $500 - I paid the full buy it now price because I thought someone else might snatch up this great bargain before I could (lol).

I don't think he lied or mis-represented anything. Basically the site had been live for 1-2 weeks. He put up some posts and got those Dugg and Stumbled. He posted screenshots of traffic levels - but not referring sources or keywords. He posted screenshots of adsense revenue of $5-$10 per day for the previous 10 days.

Was it his obligation to say, "Hey, when the Digg and Stumble effect wears off, traffic will probably drop 90-95%" - I don't think so.

I still have the site over 2 years later but it's really in a niche I don't care about. I thought I did when I bought the site but considering I've only added 3 blog posts in 2 years I'd say I don't.

I really think what you're talking about is possible. I think one of the first "skills" to learn though would be web site due dilligence.
Making sure the revenues are
A) what they're stated to be and
B) not likely to drop after the sale
is going to be crucial.

12:36 am on June 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If there's anythign I'm guilty of other than being an overanalyzer, it must be a security freak haha (I'm already wondering what I might be doing if the internet ceased to exist, if electricity ceased to exist or if capitalism ceased to exist, am trying to find niches in which links can drive actual referral traffic, and whether my website will still be able to survive once book publishers work out deals with G & co and everything will be published online for free, etc.)...so I guess that one won't be a problem for me (which of course doesnt mean that I'll be able to make a profit doing this, maybe the profit margins simply aren't high enough or I lack another talent for it).

If you still have the site after 2 years, has it made you any money since then? just curious because even if it made a lot less you might still have come close to breaking even hehe ;).