How to make money buying websites

by Kylie on April 14, 2014

How to make money buying websites

Disclaimer: this is just what I have personally done and I know you don’t make the money in the actual purchase, but you have to buy them to make the money. My advice when buying any sort of business is to discuss it with a lawyer and accountant. Make sure everything is fine before moving ahead. Below is the steps I take for finding, buying and monetizing sites. 

This has been the biggest question I have had this year, closely followed by how I got started which will be answered in a future post properly, but a quick version is here.

The 5 sites I own
To be clear, I am still in the process of changing things on some of these sites. It has taken a little longer due to some unpleasantness in my personal life taking up a lot of my time. However, I do make money from each of these sites.
KylieOfiu.Com, established after I got a book contract with Wiley for 365 Ways To Make Money
You can follow on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+

Aspiring Millionaire Header

Aspiring Millionaire where I originally started blogging about my goal and ways to make and save money. This is the site Wiley “discovered” me. I am not that active on social media with this site but you can follow on twitter and Facebook.

SavvyMumma

SavvyMumma is my first blog, which just has total randomness and isn’t a huge part of my business, more just whatever I want type site. I have a Facebook page for it, but again, don’t do much.

The Thrifty Issue Header

The Thrifty Issue – acquired recently and shares craft tutorials, fashion advice, recipes and tips on frugal living. You can also follow on Facebook, twitter (new) and Pinterest.

The bread and butter chef

The Bread And Butter Chef – acquired recently. Currently it is just frugal recipes, with a lot more to come and a blog starting soon with menu plans and tips on cooking on a budget. The Facebook page shares mostly humour.

Why buy established websites and not just start one from scratch?
For me, the right website can be monetized immediately. It has social media set up, posts on the site already and is easily transferable to me. An established website is less work than setting up a new one, trying to get traffic and grow social media. All of that takes a lot of work. It is much easier to buy a site, make some changes and continue with it than it is to set up.

You do need to be careful and selective about which sites you purchase, do thorough check and things, but I will get to that further down.
 
What do I look for in a site?
I look for a few things:
- Finance related sites, as that is where my expertise and contacts are. It is easy for me to monetize a finance site.
- The owner has lost interest. As in, they aren’t posting frequently or haven’t for some time.
- How monetized is it and what potential does it have? I see a lot of sites, mine included that have the potential to make more money. It’s about balancing the potential with the current reality.
- Social media presence. I prefer a strong social media presence on at least one platform. The amount of followers is not as important as how engaged they are.
- Traffic – decent traffic is always necessary.
- Page rank - I am more flexible on Page Rank provided other stats work well and I know I can make money from the site.
- Site value – based on site value calculators.
- Domain authority and other stats

How do I value a site?
I do two things before deciding on a number. I check the value of the site, including its social media through a few sites then average the price.

I ask the owner how much money the site has made in the last 6 and 12 months. The site is worth what it is making now, not what it can potentially make or how much I know I can make from it. It is easy for owners to overvalue their site, but the reality is, if it is not making money, it usually isn’t worth much.

I offer a price that takes into account previous income (eg I will offer the amount the site has made in the last 6 – 12 months) or I will offer the average of the value based on the sites I checked it on.

How do I find the sites?
Both sites I have purchased, I knew the owners through a Facebook group .I have my eye on a few other sites where I have chatted with the owners on social media or met them in person.

I know other bloggers look up blog lists and check through for sites not actively being used, but I had no luck with that and it took more time than I wanted to spend on it.

How do I make the purchase?
Once I have found a site, I contact the owner to see if they are interested in selling. I request statistics on everything from site traffic to social media. If they are interested and I am happy with the statistics we negotiate a price, I outline what I need and send through the contract. Once the contract is signed I pay half the agreed price. After I get everything I need and the site is completely switched over, I pay the other half.

What do I request?
The contract covers all ownership issues, but I send a list separate to the contract. I ask for:
- Log in details for everything pertaining to the site such as wordpress, emails, hosting, domain name (if not done with the host), social media and so on. ANYTHING associated with the site I need access to.
- I request to be made an admin on Facebook and once I am, the previous owner is removed
- I request a few posts to ease in the transition of site ownership
- I stipulate they are not to tell anyone about the site purchase until it has been finalized to give me time to do everything.

What do I do once you have everything?
As I get log in details, I go in and change passwords on everything. On the site I change affiliate links to my own, set up any ads if appropriate and contact all my advertisers to let them know I have another site.

I schedule up some posts and social media at the same time. I change details on the About page and set to making the site more user friendly if needed or streamlined to how I would like it.

I also switch to my current host to keep things together and easy to maintain which is Bluehost

When I purchased The Thrifty Issue I did a quick survey to see what people did or didn’t want as well, which revealed a few interesting things.  Once I knew what was wanted and had monetized it, I hired some staff writers to help so it is not all me.

So you own the site, how do you make money from it?
The main income streams I use when it comes to blogging are:
- My own products such as 26 Ingredients, 365 Ways To Make Money and mentoring.
- Affiliate links to books and programs I have used
- Sponsored posts. I use them and they are frowned upon by Google. You can get penalized for posting them, so be careful and be aware.
- Ads in the sidebar including Adsense

What I do on each site varies a little. Often now when securing advertising I will secure it for a few sites, not just one. So in the time it takes to negotiate one sponsored post or one banner ad, I am negotiation 4 or more. My income increases but the amount of work stays much the same.

Also, my speaking, workshops and freelance writing all come through this site, but they aren’t the way most bloggers make money.

How do you keep your workload low and not get overwhelmed?
I don’t do everything myself, I outsource. It would be impossible to run multiple sites without staff. Here is what I currently outsource, with more planned in the coming months.

Staff writers - On The Thrifty Issue I have 3 staff writers, plus the extra posts I had from Alison as I switched it over. She was fantastic to work with.

Hootsuite – social media is a lot easier with Hootsuite. I use it to schedule and manage my social media from one spot. I like doing my own social media, particularly for this site because it is in my name. I will soon outsource the social media for the other sites though.

Advertising - Much of my advertising is done through PR firms I already have a relationship with. They know my rates, what I will and won’t post and it is usually simply a matter of them saying this is the link, I agree, payment is made. I get the post and send them the live link.

Systems – I have daily, weekly and monthly to do lists. I have a plan for social media, blog calendar so I know what I am posting and I have my business set up so that someone else could easily walk into it. It took me a little while to do it and I haven’t been perfect at it, but the systems are there.

Virtual Assistant – I had a PA for a while last year and am moving to a virtual assistant to check my emails and organize things.

I am selective about who I will use and try to outsource within Australia for everything I do. America is my back up. This mainly comes down to quality over quantity. I could get a lot more outsourced for less in Asian countries, but the language skills and communication is harder. I have found the quality of Australians and Americans when it comes to negotiating, writing, graphic design and so on is higher and issues resolved faster if they arise. I generally go Australia because it is where I live and we are in the same time zone, so same working hours.

How much do I make?
This varies from site to site and depends on the time of year, how much traffic there is and how engaged readers are etc. I won’t go into specific numbers but I can tell you I have been in profit within a week of purchase.  I make a full time income from my sites now, but I don’t just use the sites for money. I love writing, I do freelance writing, public speaking and mentoring. My sites are part of my overall business plan.

It is profitable for me because I have established contacts. Without them, I wouldn’t be as profitable when purchasing a site.

Can anyone do this?
Yes, but it requires patience, a good network, a system to know what you want to do and how you will do it. If you think you will buy a site and make money instantly without a plan on how you will monetize, without any connections anywhere and with little knowledge on running a site or social media, then you will find it hard and be in for a shock.

Like anything, you need some knowledge and experience, but I have found this to be a great way to make money from home.

Have you purchased websites? Do you monetize your sites? What tips would you add?

Also, if you have a site and are considering selling, feel free to contact me, I know others who might be interested if I am not.

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my top 29 posts to make and save money

Today is my 29th Birthday so I want to share with you my 29 favourite posts I have written on ways to make and save money, my journey the past few years and next week I will be sharing 29 ways I have made money. And in case you want to help with my birthday wish, I am aiming to raise $2,000 for the CEO Sleepout this June. Click here to donate, even if it’s only $2, every bit helps.

These posts are not in chronological order. In the past few years I have gone from living in Canberra then Sydney then back to Canberra. I was married, separated, got back together then separated and divorced. In that bit where we got back together he lost his job and we were renovating the house. So as you read, bear that in mind. Depending on when the article was dated my life has changed a lot in the past few years and I don’t expect anyone to keep track.

Current status – single mum with 2 daughters living in Canberra, I have someone in my life but I will never share who or any pictures of him. I have a lot of mess in my personal life ongoing from events in 2012 and 2013, but it will work out.

As always, I am open and will answer questions. Leave comments wherever you like or email me if you prefer.

So here they are:

Make money
1.) 17 ways to make money in school hours because finding a job in school hours isn’t easy.

2.) Top 10 ways I have made money from home, most of which can be done by anyone.

3.) 10 ways to sell your used items such as Facebook, eBay and email.

4.) 31 Days of money blog tour – 31 guest posts from the month I launched this site.

5.) 15 tips for renting a room to a boarder. It can be a great way to make money, but be careful.

Save Money
6.) 6 saving plans you can do from $1 a day to 10% of your income, there is an option for everyone.

7.) How to do FinCon or any blog conference for cheap! I love blog conferences, with FinCon being my favourite. Here are my tips to reduce expenses when attending conferences.

8.) How to budget on a variable income, it isn’t easy, but it is doable.

9.) 6 ways to easily reduce debt because you don’t want to be in debt forever.

10.) 11 tips to stop spending. I have been a shopaholic at times in my life.

11.) How to do $12,000 worth of beauty for under $1,000. Being platinum blonde, in love with make up and beauty, I realised I would cost over $12,000 a year if I didn’t DIY beauty. I share what I do in this post to reduce everything I do to $1,000 a year.

12.) Assistance for low income/single parent families – this is for Australians.

13.) What to do if you become or are close to becoming homeless. I have been homeless and done a lot of work with homeless charities plus interviewed people who have been or are homeless. This post shares the advice from all of that experience.

14.) Complete list of discounts for Australian healthcare/pension/senior cards.

15.) Assistance for low income/single parent families, again another for Australians.

Success and motivation
16.) 10 Steps for success with goals is guaranteed to help you set, stick to and achieve goals.

17.) 10 ways to find inspiration and not just for work.

18.) How to create an unbeatable rental application. This is the method I used to beat over 70 applicants for rental properties.

19.) 12 tips for happiness.

20.) My biggest money mistakes this year. I share the mistakes I made last year with divorce, moving and things plus how much it cost me.

21.) 5 questions to ask yourself about money. A great exercise to help you work out your money issues.

22.) My vision board/motivation wall, the most recent one.

23.) How to make decisions. I share a few methods I have used to make decision making easier.

24.) Different motivation tactics – Don’t think. Don’t hope. Do!

Other money related or personal posts
25.) How you can help the homeless and my experience. This was posted last year and this year I am sleeping out to raise funds for the homeless.

26.) 12 tips to help with self harm/depression/mental illness – this is a very personal post and may trigger as I am very honest and raw in it.

27.) How to teach your kids about money. It’s very important as a parent to teach your children.

28.) Financial help for domestic violence victims and survivors, another personal, potentially triggering post.

29.) 30 day money makeover is a series of posts covering every aspect of your budget.

Do you have a topic you want me to post about?

I am now contributing at Money Circle. My first post is How to get stuff for free! 

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I do most things online now but still keep hardcopies of everything pertaining to my finances. Up until the other week I was doing this with mismatched files and not a very tidy system, although it was a system that worked for me. Now I have these nice folders from Folios Plus.

Folios giveaway

They have a simple design making it easy for me to keep track of my finances without them being lumped into one folder or filing cabinet.

As you can see there are four: tax, super, property and shares. Each folio has plastic tabs and a plastic sleeve inside to make organising your finances easy.

Tax folio

The folios are sturdy, easy to use and simplify keeping track of your finances.

To win a pack of folios worth $79.80…
Sign up to my newsletter




Fill out the form below

Terms and conditions
Open to Australian residents only.
Giveaway runs from April 9th, 2014 through to 10pm (AEST) April 16th, 2014.
One entry per person. Duplicate entries will be disqualified.
Winner will be notified by email and will have 3 days to claim or a new winner will be selected.
This is a judged giveaway, not a random draw.

What would help you with your finances?

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How do you work with young kids? ~Reader question

April 4, 2014

On Facebook I said “I will be sharing specifics on ways I have made money from home including details on websites I have purchased and how I made them profitable. Leave a comment on anything you want to know more on or any questions you might have.” One of the responses was “Did you manage […]

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April Giveaways for my birthday!

April 1, 2014

I am 29 this month and because we all love a celebration I am celebrating with giveaways, lots of tips and free stuff, including a $500 cash giveaway for the end of the month. They will not just be on here, they will be across all my social media. Quick tip I am Kylie Ofiu […]

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What to do if you become or are close to becoming homeless

March 26, 2014

What would you do if you found yourself homeless? The past 12 months I have done a lot of work with the homeless and it has been truly eye opening. Homelessness impacts on everyone and anyone can end up homeless. I’ve been homeless, twice. Both times I had my daughters and fortunately we weren’t ‘rough […]

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