Buying Sites With Great Products

The longer I work online, the simpler everything becomes. All the “shiny things” lose their appeal over time, and at the end of the day you find that making money online all boils down to adhering to a few key principles that always work.

One of the most basic things you need to start a good business is a high quality product. While market research, keyword research, copy writing, traffic generation, sales funnels, and the like are all very important components of any online business, I’ve found that they all become a little easier when you’re building off of a solid product you have faith in. It just makes it easier to do all that other stuff when you’ve got confidence in your ability to deliver on the promises you make when selling to your market.

One of the big draws for affiliate marketing is that without doing any product development, or customer support, you can create a website to pre-sell someone else’s product. So rather than creating value, countless thousands of internet marketers have chosen to go for the quick cash as an affiliate, only to fizzle out for lack of having their own audience, customer list, brand, and the like to build off of when major traffic giants like Google decide to slap them.

Which leads me to today’s post topic: Buying sites with great products! Remember those basic principles I spoke of earlier? One of them is that it’s usually better to buy than to build. (not ALWAYS of course). A huge hindrance to becoming a product vendor is its sheer difficulty for most people. In reality, creating products (especially info products) is pretty easy…but creating GREAT products can be very difficult, no matter what format you create them in.

One solution is to buy them! When browsing online marketplaces, I am of the opinion that most website investors think too narrowly…They look at the numbers, and if the site has great traffic and revenue, they’ll look into it further. If not, the site gets passed up. But buying websites is a great solution for more than ROI. It’s also a great solution for acquiring business building blocks, like a great product.

So, what makes a great product? Here’s a few of my own thoughts…

1.) Great products over deliver on any promises their sales messages convey. Which means the product should make writing your sales letter EASIER! You should be able to confidently look your prospects in the eye and tell them your product will fix their problem or they don’t pay.

2.) Great products come with everything the customer needs. In other words, all inclusive…nothing else needed to buy to achieve the desired end result.

3.) Great products are easy to use (or follow if it’s an info product). When buying a website for it’s original product, sometimes this is where the fix needs to happen. The product could be amazing, but if it’s a 500 page PDF file, think about converting it to video.

4.) Great products create traffic. The product should cause the customer to tell their friends and family how awesome their experience was, and create viral traffic from satisfaction. If a site you’re looking to buy has the above characteristics, but little viral traffic, perhaps you just need to build in mechanisms that make it easier to share via facebook and twitter that aren’t already there.

5.) Great products are mostly evergreen. They are tried and tested, and aren’t going to be obsolete in 3 months. You’ll be able to sell it for a long time to come.

A lot of things go into making a product great, these are just a few I had off the top of my head. Perhaps being a vendor is the missing piece in your online business? If so, I’d encourage you to look for sites with high quality original content you can use as your own.

What do you think? Tell us what makes a great product…

*closing tip*

One place a lot of people look to is CBengine.com. Look for clickbank products that have expired due to lack of sales. Contact the owners and make them an offer. Ask to see the products. You may be pleasantly surprised.

The Piece by Piece Website Flip

Have you ever seen the movie “Pretty Woman?” It’s the one with Julia Roberts and Richard Gear. My wife was watching it the other night and it got me thinking about website flipping.

If you’ve seen it, you’ll remember that Richard Gear plays a billionaire business takeover guy that preys upon struggling businesses, buys them out, and sells them off piece by piece to other companies.

In today’s post, I want to talk about doing the exact same thing when it comes to websites and group auctions. Let’s call this a Piece by Piece Website Flip.

One type of auction I see passed over by so many people in online marketplaces is the “group of 250 adsense sites” type auctions. Usually, there’s 1 or 2 sites in the bunch that make up the majority of the claimed income, and the owner is throwing in his collection to inflate the perceived value.

If you’re like most people, you don’t even give these auctions a serious look. I mean, who wants to pay to renew 250+ domains every year?! Who wants to go through with the hassle of transfering 250 sites to a different hosting account?

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can get the owner to sell you just one of the sites in the bunch, but more often than not they aren’t willing to separate the wheat from the chaff for fear of not being able to sell the chaff.

So, what’s a website flipper to do? Become Richard Gear!

When I see these types of auctions, I like to take a look at each site to sniff out ANY potential value in them. Even if the sites have zero traffic or revenue, the domains, content, and designs may be worth something. Even if only $25-$50 each.

Lets use the above example. You go to Flippa.com, and come across a listing that says “Network of 250 Adsense Sites for Sale”. The network of sites collectively earn about $350 per month, and over $300 of that is from less than 5 sites that are the real winners in the group.

The BIN is $3,000.

Also, the seller is absolutely UNWILLING to sell you the 5 money makers by themselves. They want you to take the whole bunch of them, or nothing at all.

After browsing through the 245 duds, you see that most of them have 5-10 quality original articles on them. They each have a decent looking design with a unique header graphic. In fact, the only reason they don’t make any money, is lack of traffic and ad placements.

So, with the domain names, site designs, and original content, you figure each site is worth about $30 to you.

You quickly place the BIN for $3,000, (primarily for the $350/month in adsense income from the main 5 producing sites), and you devise a plan for extracting that $30 per site from the rest of them.

Instead of being blindly optimistic, we’ll assume that  we can only successfully extract that $30 per site from about 40% of them. So 40% of 245 sites = 98.

The plan is twofold:

1.) List the sites at eBay, digital point, and other cheap marketplaces where these types of sites will sell for $30 without much cost to you.

2.) Create a special offer at Warrior Forum or to your own marketing list to create “unique, high quality adsense sites with 5 + articles, graphics, & domains for $30 each”.

Between these two strategies, you successfully sell 98 sites times $30 for a cool profit of $2,940.

Your new income stream has paid for itself, and you still have 147 sites you can use for link building or whatever you want.

Perhaps this will give you a new perspective on monetizing auctions you normally wouldn’t give a second thought to.

Have you ever done a “piece by piece” flip? Have you ever broken down the assets of a larger site and sold them off piece by piece to other people? Better yet, have you ever bought a business and sold off chunks of ownership to 2 or more parties to recoup the initial spend?

Comment below with your thoughts on Richard Gear, piece by piece website flipping. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

How To Flip A Website

Before discussing the specifics on how to flip a website, let’s first define…

What It Really Means to Flip a Website

So many things have been lumped into the topic of “website flipping” that actually don’t belong there. Much of it has polluted the marketplaces, and that is largely due to the amount of guru products on the subject leading people astray.

Website flipping is not:

  • Creating sites from scratch to sell…Even if it’s down the road
  • Creating turnkey sites to sell with zero traffic or revenue

These activities are more accurately placed under the banner of “site selling”. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Lots of people add tremendous value to the marketplace by creating valuable sites to sell. It’s what they do for a living.

However, it’s not what I consider “website flipping”.

The phrase “website flipping” is borrowed from the concept of flipping houses. Consider the buy and renovate concept of flipping houses. When people invest in a house to flip, it’s usually because they recognize some things (like new paint and carpet) they can add or fix to immediately increase the value of that home for resale.

So, what about people who build houses to sell them? Are they considered “flippers”? I’d call them builders or contractors.

So, what is website flipping and how do you do it?

Flipping involves buying low, and selling high. Not buying and keeping. Not building to sell.

Buying low and selling high…FAST.

Now, you may buy a website and sell it several years down the road. That can be considered flipping, but REAL “flipping” involves turning properties over a little faster in my opinion.

This skill is more of an art than a science. It’s truly a beautiful art! Why?

For the very reason you’re reading this blog, and the reason our marketplace of buying low and selling high has become so popular:

BIG – MONEY – FAST

It’s not for everyone though. I’m seeing a trend amongst the savvy long term investors in our marketplace towards buying to hold.

That’s partly because many people struggle to find anything worth buying in online marketplaces anymore. When they do, they aren’t very keen on letting it go.

Honestly, buying to hold is a very wise model. If you’re looking for information about how to do this the smart way, I’d invite you to check out BuyingAndSellingWebsites.com.

For the sake of this conversation, let’s assume we’re defining flipping as buying with the intention to sell quickly. It’s what we teach in our course Killer Flipping Secrets and is where you have potential to make big money fast.

How to Flip a Website

To flip a website, you need a special set of skills. You’ve got to be able to do at least 1 of 2 things very well. They are:

1.) Spotting areas of underdeveloped monetization opportunities, or traffic generation.

Ask questions like, “Can I add an up-sell to this site’s sales process?”, or “Can I raise the price of this product?”, or “Could I increase the targeted traffic to this site by creating a PPC campaign, or doing some SEO?”

In other words, look for areas that require little work to achieve huge potential results on the bottom line of that business you’re about to buy.

Know what you’re good at or what you’re able to outsource, and try spotting opportunities to apply those skill sets.

2.) Arbitrage.

Buy low, sell high, immediately. That’s what arbitrage is all about.

Here’s the money question when it comes to selling an online business…

“Who stands to make the most money from owning this site?”

Answer that question and you’ll know who is also most likely willing to pay a lot more money to own it than what you can acquire it for.

This can also be done between marketplaces. Sometimes a site you find over at ebay.com can be sold for a lot more at Flippa.com.

Get familiar with the types of sites that sell well on the various marketplaces so when you find one listed lower than you’re used to seeing it listed for on another, you can scoop it up and sell it on the other site for a quick profit.

Fast Profits With Website Flipping

There’s so much stuff out there that people are teaching in forums and in ebooks that isn’t really geared towards the fast profits that can be generated using the above 2 concepts.

The entire appeal of flipping websites is fast profits. Don’t get me wrong, please. There’s nothing bad about buying to hold, or starting sites to sell. Those are good business models when done right, but they are not the same thing as flipping.

When I buy a site to flip, my goal is to get it renovated and sold inside 6 months. The time frame will depend on how much value I believe can be added fairly quickly and what’s involved in that process.

It’s only something I’d do if the potential upside of the flip is a large enough amount of money to justify the amount of time and work I’m going to put into the project.

If it takes longer than 6 months, or the potential margin of increase isn’t large enough to justify selling it again that fast, I wouldn’t take it on as a flip project.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy it to hold. That’s just a different conversation.

For those who are new to FlipWebsites.com, this should serve as a clear definition and brief introduction to answering the question “how to flip a website.”

For the faithful readers, and seasoned website flippers, perhaps this will serve as a reminder to get back to the basics of pure “flipping”.

Remember what flipping is about…

BIG – MONEY – FAST

Perhaps it’ll get you back on track if you’ve strayed the course or lost focus.

What do you think? Am I being too rigid with my definition of website flipping? Comment below and let me know.