Owning your own website and turning it into a profitable investment is not uncommon in this digital age. You did it. You started your business or your blog and you made it hugely profitable.
But now you want to sell. It is time to cash out but you don’t know how to do that. Where do you even start when trying to sell a website?
That is why we made this complete guide on how to sell a website. We will walk you through how to prepare your website for sale.
Not only that but we will also talk about why people sell a website and the methods by which the sale can take place. This knowledge will help you get the most money for your website.
Why Sell a Website?
The first question that we need to answer is why someone would sell a website. There are actually quite a few reasons why someone might want to sell.
We are only going to talk about six reasons. There are more but these are the most common reasons.
Time for a Change
A common and pretty simple reason is that the owner simply wants a change. Maybe they want to retire, start a new website, or get out of the digital world.
Taking the time to evaluate where you want your focus to be is not a bad thing. If your website doesn’t fit into your life anymore then it needs to go.
You Want Maximum Profit
Maybe you have been kicking around the idea of selling for a while now. The timing has never been right. However, the value of your site has just hit an all-time high.
If you are afraid that the value will never be higher than it is time to sell and get the most profit. This is a pretty common reason that people sell.
Especially if the website was started to be a business investment. Cashing out investments is not unusual.
Money is Tight
Along the same lines of money and investment is the next reason to sell. You simply need the money.
If your personal finances are tight or you have a large unexpected emergency then you may need to sell your website. This would be similar to cashing out a retirement or savings account when times get tough.
Because websites tend to sell quickly this is a good choice if time is of the essence. To make sure it sells as fast as possible read on about getting your site ready to sell.
The Passion is Gone
Sometimes you are just done and ready to move on to the next thing. The passion for the website or the niche has gone.
If you are no longer passionate about the website and are simply going through the motions then it is a good time to sell. If you have a profitable site it is better to sell than to just let it go.
If you are a solo act then this won’t apply to you. However, if you have a business partner there may be trouble in paradise.
Partner problems tend to be a common reason for website businesses to either fail or be sold. One or both partners could be done and want out. Selling could be the most profitable option.
Other Obligations are Taking More Time
Life changes all of the time and business is no different. If you don’t feel like you have enough time for your website anymore you might want to sell.
This is especially true if neglecting the website will cause the value to fall. It is better to sell while you can make some money then let it fall by the wayside.
Preparing Your Website to Sell
Now on to what you really want to know. How to prepare your website so you can sell it for maximum profits.
These things are essential to selling your website for what it is worth. Neglecting any of the items on this list will result in a loss.
There are many people that want to sell a website because it isn’t making money. This is not something that really can or should be done.
People that are going to buy websites are those that want to make an investment. While some people might buy websites inexpensively and turn them into something profitable, most of the time this isn’t the case.
Know What Your Website is About
This may seem like a given but you would be surprised by how many owners can’t concisely explain their website. The first step to selling your website is to know what it is about.
Can you explain the theme, goal, and purpose of your website is less than two minutes? If you can’t then you need to work on that. It will help you sell the site.
If you can’t tell the broker you want to hire what your site is about then they will have a hard time finding you a buyer.
This is similar to brick and mortar business sales. People don’t usually buy businesses if they don’t know what they are.
Make Your Website Unique
There are so many websites out there. We are living in an increasingly digital world. If you want to sell your website then it needs to be memorable.
If your website is eye-catching, unique, and fills a niche then you will have a greater chance of selling. Your site should also have great content that engages the audience.
Boring, run of the mill content is going to not only send internet users away but your potential buyers will leave too. Think about the audience and solve their problems when you are creating content.
Your site will be more appealing and sell faster.
Know the Numbers
You have to know the numbers involved in your business. There are a few sets of numbers that brokers will need to know when you are trying to sell a website.
Knowing the value of your website is the first set of numbers to know. If you don’t know what your site is worth then how will you sell it for what it is worth?
Traffic numbers are next. How many visitors come to your site every day? This is something that your website broker will want to know.
Most potential buyers won’t want to buy a dead website. They want proof of traffic.
Profit and loss reports are an integral part of the numbers that brokers and buyers will want to see. How much your site gained and lost will paint a clear picture for those interested.
Optimize the User Experience
Creating a user-friendly website that is not cluttered or difficult to use is a great way to prepare your site for sale. It is likely that if you have a profitable site that you already have this in place.
However, if your site is profitable but could be better on the user experience site you can hire a web design firm or clean the site yourself. This may cost money but you stand to profit in the end.
Making the investment to create a website with great user experience is a wise move when wanting to sell.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile
So much of our population worldwide now has a smartphone. Creating a website that is not mobile-friendly will be a problem.
People pull up websites on mobile devices often. If the site is too hard to use on a mobile device they may exit the site.
Buyers will not be attracted to sites that can’t be used easily in a mobile format. If you are going to sell your website using a website broker then they will probably tell you this.
Make Sure Your Site is Profitable
This is a big deal. Making sure your website is profitable is going to be the key to selling. You can’t easily sell a website that doesn’t make money.
It is true that there are website flippers. They are similar to real estate flippers. They buy websites that need work, fix them up, make them profitable, and sell them.
This is not profitable for you. If you put in the work to make a profitable site you will make more money.
There are basically three ways to make money on your website:
This kind of marketing is done mostly by writing reviews of products. You put links for the products in your writing or on your site.
If someone buys through that link you get a commission. People do this with recipes, DIY, and products they love.
There are a few sites that do this. Amazon is the biggest and most well known.
2. Google Ads
This is another way to make a profit on your website. You sign up and Google will put the ads on your site.
If you have a lot of traffic that will click the ads then it can make quite the profit. However, this may not be a good option for low traffic sites.
3. Direct Ads
If you have ever sold ad space for a newspaper or magazine then you know what this is. You can make money by selling ad space to companies.
If you share a similar message and have a fair number of followers then this might work for you.
Know What Method is Profitable
If you use any or all of these methods to monetize your website then you need to know which method is the most profitable.
The broker and potential buyers are going to want to know where the money is coming from. Because the money is coming from different sources you can track it.
Have a financial report from each profit-making method. This will help with the sale and attracting buyers.
Ways to Sell a Website
Along with knowing why people sell websites and how to prepare websites for sale we need to talk about how to sell a website.
There are really two ways to do this. How involved you want to be in the sale will determine the method you use.
If you want someone to do the heavy lifting for you then you might want to go with a business broker who deals mainly in online businesses called a website broker. A website broker is similar to a real estate agent.
They do the work of finding a buyer and handling the paperwork. They can also guide you in preparing your website.
Brokers help clients sell a website online. This is their business and will work hard to make sure you get the most for your website.
There are companies that do this.
We are going to list four that have a good reputation:
1. Website Properties
Websitesproperties.com is a top website broker based in Seattle Washington. They have experience and treat each client like the most important client.
Website Properties doesn’t believe in one size fits all service. Your personal broker will treat the sale of your website like the unique opportunity that it is.
If you want to sell a website using a website broker Website Properties is a great option. They will take care of you and get you the most profit for your website.
They will also give you a free website valuation to get you started. If you want a stress-free experience Website Properties is the way to go.
(READ OUR WEBSITE PROPERTIES REVIEW HERE)
2. Founders IB
If your website is a large site that makes a large profit then Founders IB is a great investment brokerage firm that can help.
They don’t typically hand website sales unless the company makes more than $5 million a year. Founders IB specializes in high dollar strategic sales.
If you want to sell a website using a website broker, this company will only work for larger companies. That means you have to prove how big your company is.
(READ OUR FOUNDERS ADVISORS REVIEW)
3. Digital Exits
Your website can still be extremely profitable without making $5 million a year. If you don’t make enough for Founder IB but make at least $100,000 a year Digital Exits can help.
They do want your website to be two years old or older. They have experienced staff and will make sure the sale goes well.
The process to sell a website online will be stress free with digital exits.
(READ OUR DIGITAL EXITS REVIEW HERE)
4. Empire Flippers
Empire flippers is another online website broker. They can help you find the business you have been waiting for or help you sell your website.
Similar to Website Properties, you can get a free website valuation. Having this will be extremely helpful in the selling process.
Empire flippers has a great company culture and work ethic. Both of those things will make sure your buying or selling experience is optimal.
This is basically you selling your website yourself. There are risks involved and you may not get top value for your website.
With that being said, there are several places online to sell a website. If you choose to sell yourself then you need to be careful.
Choose a good site and do your homework.
Here are four website marketplaces you can use to sell a website:
You really can buy and sell anything on eBay. They have a special section of their website dedicated to websites.
eBay has been around for a long time and has protection for both parties in place. If you have never sold a website online before then this might be a good option.
You may have heard of Flippa.com. This is basically the eBay of website sales.
While there have been some larger websites sold on this site in recent years it is really more for small business websites.
This is not a site that would necessarily handle a large scale sale. However, it is a fast way to sell your website.
Since this is an auction site you could make more than your site is worth. On the other hand, could also make less.
This is a risk that businesses take when selling their website online through this type of broker.
3. We Sell Your Site
Another pretty well-known option is wesellyoursite.com. This site is a place to list your site for sale.
You can also go and find a new website to buy. They facilitate these sales but have a pretty hands-off approach.
There are policies and procedures that protect buyers and sellers. We Sell Your Site is a good option if you want to sell the website yourself.
This site is similar to the other two that we have listed. However, it isn’t as well known.
The landing page of this website is similar to realtor.com. You choose the type of business you are looking for, the location, and how much you want to spend.
This site then pulls up websites to match. You can also list your business easily on this site. It is very user friendly.
What to Avoid When Selling a Website
There is one final thing we need to talk about. What to avoid when selling a website.
Knowing what to do is important. Knowing what not to do is just as important. If you have done any of these things stop and start over.
It is tempting to build up your website with your words. To exaggerate the greatness of the website to make it more appealing.
While it is true that you can say what you want you need to have proof. Buyers and brokers are not just going to believe you.
Inflating numbers or simply lying about how profitable your website is should not be done. It won’t help you sell your website.
Be honest about how much money your site makes. If it isn’t enough then you need to work to be more profitable prior to selling.
Listing Too Soon
If you list your website before it has enough traffic you won’t make any money.
This is also true when it comes to selling before it is profitable. Impatience is not your friend when selling a website online.