Hello and welcome to the November 2015 edition of my niche website income report and progress update.
Every month, I detail what actions I’m taking to develop this portfolio of websites and what kinds of revenue and expenses come with it. The goal of these websites is to supplement my regular employment income with multiple streams of passive income; money that I can earn while I’m at work or asleep without me having to interact.
This month I’ve been taking some serious steps to close the chapter on one of my biggest niche websites. Not only will the immediate income be great, but I’m also very interested to learn more about how buying/selling websites actually works, and what steps you should be taking as you develop the website to best position it for a future sale.
And so with that, here is what happened in November.
Niche Website Income Report – November 2015
Here is my income and expense report for the month:
Here’s a closer look at my income sources for the month:
- Amazon = $155
- Clickbank = $274
- Google Adsense = $238
- Web Hosting = $0
- Personal Capital = $0
- Private Advertising = $0
None to report this month!
Putting NS1 up for Sale!
Just like I was teasing above and mentioned at the end of last month’s update, the big news for this month is that I’ve been taking steps to put NS1 up for sale. Though it’s not officially listed yet, I’m pretty far into the process and it won’t be long now.
Why sell this website?
Why am I selling a website that I’ve been developing for the past 3 years?
For a lot of reasons:
Like the California gold rush of the pioneer days, I still believe that when it comes to websites, there is still “a lot of gold in the hills” to be found. Translation: Websites are still relatively new, and you can still make a lot of fast and easy money simply by building, owning, and selling them.
BUT … I’ve always been skeptical about how long this will last. I remember back in 2011 when I first started blogging, there were a lot of “glory stories” about bloggers like JD Roth from Get Rich Slowly who had sold their websites for SUBSTAINTAL amounts of money (some of them in the seven figure range! Just check out this list and it will make your jaw drop!
However, lately, you just don’t really hear about that as much anymore. Perhaps investors have turned to other forms of marketing or maybe those valuations were bloated. At either rate, the value and opportunity for a lucrative sale at the level of website I’m capable of building seems to be dwindling down each year.
So then, I have to ask myself (realistically): How long is this gravy train going to last?
Would I be a lot smarter to “cash in my chips” right now while the getting is good, as opposed to waiting it out and potentially seeing my website dwindle down to next to nothing in value?
What about the draw and significance of the website itself?
Every day Google changes who ranks first and who ranks last. So even though NS1 has been on the first page of Google for a long time, how long it’s not? (How long before ANY of the websites I’ve built are no longer on the first page of Google anymore?) What happens when the traffic drops to less than 1,000 visitors per month? When the revenue drops below $100 per month?
Again, if I truly feel I’m at the peak (or even the tail end of the peak) for my journey with this website, then wouldn’t it be better to capture 18-30 months worth of income right now in one big up-front payment rather than to gamble and possibly have $0 in revenue in 12 months?
Accepting that this website may have peaked (in terms of what I can do with it) has been one of the most frustrating things about this decision and the journey overall. No one likes to admit a failure or that they don’t know what to do next. Yet, when I look at the stats for the site and all the attempts I’ve made over the past 12 months to resuscitate the website, the opportunity for me simply isn’t there.
Like I mentioned in my “should I write an ebook or start a new website” post, at this point I’d like to instead invest my time and energy into a new project, and start with a clean slate (lots more to come on that project as I develop it).
Perhaps the site would be in much better hands of someone that was able to invigorate it with new content, new backlinks, and new opportunities.
Plus, let’s be real … getting a nice up-front chunk of change is always nice!
Selling a Website:
So how does one sell a website?
I’ve been looking around the Internet and considered a couple of different options. Flippa is probably the biggest option; but there are a lot of challenges to using a platform like that.
Instead, I’ve been talking with the folks over at the Empire Flippers.
When the process is complete, I plan to write a review about my whole experience. But for now, here’s a few details as to “why” and how it’s going:
In case you’ve never heard of them, the Empire Flippers is a group that used to build niche websites. But eventually they found that they had a much more profitable business model selling them. So they sold their niche website inventory and started brokering websites for other people too.
Unlike Flippa, they do a complete “vetting” of a website before it gets listed to make sure it’s legitimate (and not a scam). This is a big problem with websites on Flippa. By doing this , the shoppers on Empire Builders have more trust in their listings, and therefore they can command a much higher price for the site.
Now, here’s the part that stings: They charge a $297 listing fee AND take 15% of the sale price for commission. But, when you consider that they might get you 6 to 12 times more in sale price for your site than if you tried to sell it on your own, it might be a cost well worth paying.
Plus they are full service. Empire Flippers will put together all the documentation that buyers are looking for (revenue statements, screen shots, etc). AND they will also handle the migration of the website. That’s actually a big benefit for me, since I have no idea how to do this myself.
After the listing goes live and the website sells, I’m sure I’ll have a lot more details to share. So until then, wish me luck!
Readers – When did you know it was time to close the chapter on one of your website projects? Did you end up selling the site? Why or why not? How many of you have sold a website either through Flippa or Empire Flippers?
Featured image courtesy of Dylan Meconis | Flickr
I’ve sold a number of websites on Flippa over the years. Generally speaking the reason for selling is simply that I’ve “lost the love” for a particular project. I’ve had a number of situations where I’ve built a website, grown it and then – for whatever reasons – started to get bored with it. If it truly is an asset – decent backlink profile, rankings, profits etc. – then just ignoring the site is likely to harm in long term. Better, in my opinion, to hand it over to someone else while it’s still performing well, and then have the cash to re-invest into a new project.
Even better, I’ve actually met some great people buying and selling websites, so it can also be beneficial from that perspective too.
You totally hit the nail on the head – I couldn’t express how I feel any more clearly than you have. It’s sort of a “it’s not you, it’s me” situation with these projects (almost like a bad teenage breakup).
What was your experience like with Flippa? Do you feel like you received good value? How did you handle the migration process?
I didn’t think about the aspect of meeting new peers and potential business partners. That’s another really good benefit to point out.
Good luck on the sale of NS1. It must be surreal to sell off your first niche site.
I couldn’t imagine selling off Angry Retail Banker, but then again, it’s still new and growing. Also, as a blog rather than a niche site, it’s very much my voice and experience rather than an information resource, just like My Money Design for you, MMD. Blogs that are one person’s experiences and story don’t really translate well with new owners. See Jason Feiber’s (alleged) sale of Dividend Mantra for practically a case study in this.
Just food for thought in case you ever are considering selling My Money Design (I know you never hinted that you were, but just in case). Pretty much, don’t.
ARB–Angry Retail Banker
I couldn’t imagine selling Enwealthen. Not just because it’s my baby, but because it wouldn’t really fit as someone else’s platform. It’s still very much my hobby rather than my business, but it lets me share what I’ve learned as I go. Moreover, it’s a great learning experience in monetizing web content, be it via ads, affiliates, etc. Since I build products with millions of monthly users for a living, I’m insulated from some of the nitty gritty details I get to experience doing my own product soup to nuts.
I’m looking forward to hearing your experience with Empire Builders. Sounds fascinating.
I agree. MMD is more of a hobby than a business; just a fun way to connect with other like-minded, financially savvy individuals. If I make money on the side, then great! But that’s certainly not the goal.
Thanks ARB! Selling a website is a business model I’ve wanted to explore for a long time. Though I don’t really expect to make tons of money doing this, I do believe that much like stocks there is some cyclical nature about a website’s value, and therefore opportunity to be rewarded handsomely if you choose to sell. Plus I’ve just plain hit a brick wall with NS1 and don’t know what else I can do to take it to new heights!
I totally agree with you about not selling your blog. A blog is a little different because instead of being just information (like NS1 is), a blog is a lot more about personality and voice. Unless its a case like Get Rich Slowly where the new owners keep the original writer on board to maintain that voice, there would be too much at risk to lose the very asset that keeps readers coming.
Thanks for the recommendation on Dividend Mantra. I’ll be sure to check that out. I don’t think you have anything to worry about with me ever selling MMD – I still have yet to have anyone ever offer me money for this site. Not that I want to sell it, but that doesn’t leave me with too many bragging rights! 🙂
Ali Raza says
Good going, however it would be great, if u have mentioned your hosting or domain expenses, as i don’t feel, expenses can be none, however that can be the possibility if you have bought yearly hosting or something.
Anyway, it’s still great to see these figures! best of luck
Yes, my hosting is paid once a year in full and shared with my primary blog hosting for MMD.