Choosing The Perfect Monetization Model When Flipping Websites

This is a guest post by Ryan T. Malone from FlippingAwesome.com.

Let me start by telling you something about myself. I create websites, and I sell them. Not really that much of a surprise there, however, I don’t just create and THEN sell, I create, sit on the site for a long time, then sell when it is a viable business opportunity for my potential buyer. This is my business model, and it works great for me. Of course, along with brokering the odd website (this is my other business!), this is how I generate the majority of my income.

Recently, in the podcast that myself, David Jenyns, and Danny Batelic have launched, we spoke about an auction by Lynn Terry, in which she attempted to sell her 5000 Backlinks product and website. Now, although this is a fantastic product (believe me, I know it sells very well!), the problem with this product is not the product itself. It is the power of who is marketing it, and how.

So, let’s look at things this way. If the product were to make Lynn $30,000 in the first six months of the product being available, is it going to make a “no name” webmaster anywhere near the same in the next six months, with the same level of promotion? Probably not.

This is where you need to define the absolute perfect monetization model for those websites that you create to sell. And in creating that monetization model, it needs to be universal in its application, so that regardless of who purchases that website, they need to be able to achieve the same results as you did when you owned the site.

This is a huge task, I will not deny that. Personally, I have been struggling to get a grasp of this notion for some time now, and have decided that ultimately, to create the perfect six figure website, there are a few things that you will need to consider when doing the initial research and concept development.

First, you need to consider the efforts that you take to market the website, or any attached products or desired courses of action. This needs to be universal in a sense of how it is applied. For example, when you are considering whether or not to sell, you will absolutely need to consider your buyer, and whether or not they can literally purchase the website, and monetize it tomorrow.

As an example, when Lynn Terry first launched 5000 Backinks, she marketed the product to her personal list, which resulted in a large number of sales. As this list was not included in the sale (as it is one of her personal lists) the idea of replicating that process is null and void. Regardless of the total income claimed for the website, the claimed revenue is all but useless, as it would be extremely difficult for a new owner to replicate the whole process without having access to her personal list.

I would also recommend completely removing your name from the website as well. I would recommend using a pen name. The way that this works is simple. It sets the website up on neutral ground, so that neither someone with a high profile name, or low profile name has the advantage when marketing either products that you sell on site, or even in attracting traffic if PPC is your method of monetization.

As an example, I can easily market a product to my viewers, and as I have the proof that I have been successful at what is is that I do, people will be more inclined to stand up and listen. This will not be as likely if a new face with no proof of success tried to attempt the same.

At the end of the day, it is as simple as this. For a website to sell for a good price, it needs to be able to generate income for the buyer. It could’t be more simple than that.

Of course, I have only mentioned a few points to consider above, however, there are more methods of monetization than I can count, so the key is simple. before you push your next site into production, make sure to consider this first. Can the new owner of my website continue making as much money as I do with this site? If not, go back to the drawing board for a bit. Your wallet will thank you for it, and so will your buyer.

Ryan’s personal blog can be found at http://www.ryantmalone.com where he writes about SEO and website flipping topics. You can also follow him on Twitter.

  • Travis

    Great post, Ryan. I couldn’t agree with you more on this subject. From a buyer’s perspective, I can’t tell you how many times I have walked away from deals because I knew I wouldn’t be able to replicate the original owner’s success (either because of their list or reputation).

    Too many newbie buyers, I believe, get screwed on these deals where they think they can just buy the website, slap their name on it, and make money. You need to study the sites for sale and find out how the income is generated and ask yourself if you can replicate it. If you can’t, then it isn’t the right site for you!

    Travis