Profiting From Site Auctions Without Spending a Penny – Real World Walkthrough
For the past couple of days, I’ve been writing incessantly about how you should look at website auction sites and use them to inform your online portfolio building strategy.
If that last sentence sounded a bit complicated, what I meant was that you should look at website auctions to see how you can make money.
Today, I couldn’t think of a separate article topic to write about, so instead I’m going to walk you through the process I’m thinking of when I talk about all the things I mentioned in my previous article on website auctions.
For the regular readers, this is an actual walk-through of the exercise I discussed yesterday in the latest Niche Site Challenge update.
Niche Site Website Auctions
I’ve decided to concentrate on a niche site that I found, although I originally found a Software-as-a-Service site which was another great example of something you could go through this process with. The reason I switched to talking about a niche site is that:
- A lot of my traffic loves niche site building projects
- I’m not an expert on SaaS yet
- SaaS is more complicated, so the article would be longer (and it’s Sunday evening – give me a break!)
- The idea was a lot more profitable so I’m probably going to steal it and do it myself
Anyway, my point with mentioning the above is that I’m pretty sure there’ll be people who read my blog for other subjects (like copywriting) who think, “not another god-damned niche site article!”
This process will work with any type of site you can find. Authority, niche sites, business sites – the principles are the same.
Alright, let’s get on with this.
We’re going to a website auction site. Specifically Flippa.com because I like the layout and it has a “Recently Sold” section – proof of value, basically. (If someone will spend $1500 on a site, it’s guaranteed to be worth close to that – otherwise no sale.)
We’re not going to buy the site. Instead, we’re first just browsing for ideas. On the first page, I saw this:
Ideally, you want to look for sites that have sold for actual money. A $50 site like you see with Commando Workouts is generally going to be a turn-key, automated pile of rubbish that someone is trying to sell for $50 to a gullible newbie to internet marketing.
If a site costs $1000 though, we can work with that.
As you can see, this site is about mattresses. So if you’ve never thought about selling mattresses online, then congratulations; you’ve just found a new idea. (Sorry to any readers who might have carved out a lucrative niche selling mattresses. I didn’t mean to give the game away.)
Before we click to find out anything, let’s look at what we can see on the above page regarding the site:
- It sold for $1000
- It’s a new site
- It makes $94 a month
- It gets 384 visitors
We can learn a lot from just this. $1000 isn’t a value to be sniffed at, depending on what’s on the site; if there’s less than 50 hours of work gone into that, that’s $20 an hour, or, a better wage than you’ll get stacking shelves. That’s in addition to the $94 a month it already earns. If you built a site like this and held it for a few months and sold it, you’d be doing ok!
Secondly, it’s a new site. This is great if you were thinking of saying, “Hey… I could build a new mattress review site.” If you were competing with a ten-year old site with thousands of reviews, you’d have a tough time.
Thirdly, it makes $94 a month. We don’t know whether that’s an average or anything, but assuming it’s an average, then that’s not bad. In fact, whoever bought it got a deal. It’d pay itself off after less than a year. Let’s hope the buyer did his due diligence, because if he did, then he’s onto a potential winner. (Unless someone reading this blog takes my advice and builds a great competitor.)
Finally, it gets 384 visitors a month. This puts to bed the myth that you need to have thousands of visitors for a niche site to succeed. If you find the right affiliate program and work on your copywriting skills, small sites can pay off big.
Let’s take a closer look at this site.
More Detail Via The Auction Site
Flippa.com is great. It gives you all the financial details, traffic details and all the things you need to know before you buy a website. (Obviously do your due diligence before spending money, people.)
Let’s look at a few things:
As you can see from this, you can see the amount of visitors, the revenue, age of site… everything.
It’s crazy that this is all out in the open. Some things of note:
- .com domain name. That’s good for whoever bought the site – you should always get a .com (some sites on this auction site could be improved upon just by changing this)
- It comes with social profiles – if you’re working in this niche, check them out and see what they’re doing
- There’s about 40,000 words of content in this project. That’s not a lot
- The guy wants to sell it because he needs the money… whatever. We’re just looking for scam alerts like “I’m selling this because I want to make someone a millionaire.”
You get the idea. You can spend a lot of time reviewing the data you find here. We’ll move on though.
The Site Itself: And How You Can Improve It
As you can see… it’s a basic niche site. Let’s assume you had bought this for $1000 and you wanted to improve profitability. What could you do immediately?
- Firstly, you could redesign that home page. It’s basic text. Throw on a good theme (although this site uses Thrive Themes, it’s poorly implemented. Thrive Themes are great. I’m using one right now on this site.)
- The writing is pretty poor. I mean, it’s okay in terms of 0-10 on the “did a computer program write it?” scale, but it’s the same sloppy content that you’d find in a Fiverr article. Hint: That sort of language doesn’t convert well.
- You can see what keywords have been targeted. Make your keywords invisible.
- The site navigation is poor. I know it has a top menu bar, but it should be pretty easy to click on loads of interesting things.
- You could easily wrap up one of these massive articles (like the comparison/what to look for pages) and turn them into a PDF. Throw an email capture widget on the site (I recommend Thrive Leads) and capture the visitors that are lukewarm or looking for info as opposed to buying. Then you could write a quick autoresponder list taking people through the mattress buying process before recommending the best mattress.
- The site is an Amazon affiliate site. You could easily find better programs for that and improve profitability over night. Search “mattress affiliate program” to see what I mean.
- Other arbitrary ideas. Write a blog about better sleeping techniques, maybe even promote a book (that you may have written) on getting better sleep.
All of the above ideas are simple – they’d take at maximum a weekend to put together and you’d probably take your income from $100 a month to a lot more. You’d also be multiplying the $1000 value of your site pretty instantly.
Of course, assuming you’re not the buyer of the site, there’s nothing stopping you from following the process with a new mattress site – or site on any subject. I’m not saying that you should all stop what you’re doing and create a mattress site, or even that you have to follow this process in any way, but from this little exercise we’ve generated:
- A new project idea
- Assessed the potential value of said project
- Worked out what we can do to create a better product
The above process has taken me less than an hour. I don’t know the subject well and I’ve been writing this article (and taking screen shots) as I go along. You can do a much better job within less time than I have, so this is by no means a complicated process.
Hopefully, you’ve got some inspiration or insight from this article. If so, drop a comment.
P.S. This article almost didn’t get written because we’re getting dangerously close to “revealing the system.” (My friend James already told me to stop posting about this sort of thing!) This might be a bit cryptic, but I’m going to be hiding this sort of material in the future, so enjoy it!