In February 2015 I have purchased a website from Flippa (a website / domains marketplace). My purchase price was $5000. The website was at the time making about $120 / month, which is not a very good income for a $5K website. However the website had good traffic, with a nice mix of Organic, Social and Referral. Many pages were shared by Lifehacker, Buzzfeed, etc.
Also I know how to optimize AdSense income by increasing the RPM and click-through rates with clever ad placements. So my plan was to get the site and through optimisation increase profits. Also I planned to post new content, so more good (organic) traffic would come. I planned to have the site pay for itself with 2 years, and then become a Cash Cow.
See what websites are for sale on Flippa
Here is my WordPress traffic stats screenshot:
At existing income level (at the time of purchase), it would take me 40 months (3.5 years) to make back what I’ve spent on the website. But as soon as I purchased it, I changed the theme of the site and radically changed AD Placement
Adsense Income After Purchase
As you can see, in about 7 months, the income from AdSense was $1579 or $225 / month. So I nearly doubled monthly adsense income of the site immediately after purchasing it.
If you look at the Income Graph above, you will see that beginning in mid August, the daily income starts to grow. At that time, I did additional ad placement tuning, and the results came in right away!
In September, income is now nearly $400 / month. While this will fluctuate, I expect monthly income to stay around $300-350 or more, if nothing major happens with the website.
September 2015 Adsense Income:
Recouping your investment:
So as I mentioned, at time of purchase, AdSense income as about $120 / month. At current AVERAGE monthly income of $225, it would take me about 22 months to get my purchase price of $5000 back. But I expect future income to be about $300 or more per month. So as of right now have $3421 to make, until I break even. At $300 / mo., it will be about 12 months.
So, in total it should take me 19 months or less to get my 5 grand back, until I start profiting from this site.
Sure this is not super fast but think out it – this site has a 63.15% APR return on investment! This sure beats Wall Street, stocks, bonds, retirement accounts and other conventional forms of investment!
How to buy and monetize Flippa websites properly
PLUG So first of all, why Flippa? Well, because this site is the only large website and domain names marketplace out there, with active listings, and super easy ways to buy sites. There are few others, but they are either outdated or are brokerage firms. And now other site beats flippa on the number of listings! Ok, enough with the “plug”.
CAUTION: The reality is that most sites on Flippa are GARBAGE! I highly recommend that you avoid 98% of listing on Flippa, because they are mostly scams or are LESS THAN 1 YEAR OLD websites with Black Hat SEO and crazy traffic stats, that WILL come crashing down!
Finding a GEM is difficult. So far I’ve only bought one site there, but I’m actively looking for more.
Hot to Find and Monetize Flippa Sites
If you feel uncomfortable / not ready to buy a site – DO NOT BID. If you have the cash, find a site that is at least 2 years old, and did not have a sudden surge in traffic. I recommend you stay within your NICHE. For example, if you know TECH GADGETS, do not buy a MEDs or Social website. Stay within TECH niche.
Do not buy Service websites!
Do not be afraid of current low AdSense earnings. You can always increase it through optimization.
Do not buy a website that had recent major drop in traffic. This means it got a Google penalty and will probably NEVER recover.
Buy sites with stable ORGANIC traffic. I recommend buying sites with at least 30000 unique visitors / months, reported through Google Analytics.
Always ask seller to grant you Google Analytics access.
DO NOT ask questions in public comments section. Always go for private messaging. You do not want to give your ideas to others.
Research your seller. There is a lot of scams going on, so do not just trust people because they say they are nice.
INCOME: I use up-to 30x multiples of income to cost ratio. This means that if site makes $200/mo., you should not pay more than $6000 for it. But that is just me – you should use your own judgement.
There will be more – I will write a separate post about buying sites on flippa and what to avoid, soon!
My Plan with Flippa Websites:
Basically I plan to have about 10 websites making $300-500 or more per month, and grow these sites. After I recoup the initial investments in these sites, they should be bringing me $3-5K or more each month. I will of course want to grow them. My goal is $10000 / month. With current $300 from the site above, I’m not that far off 😀
Go look for what sites are for sale now.
Good luck with Flippa, and be careful – do not buy junk sites!