Towards the beginning of the summer I wanted to experiment with www.flippa.com and see if I could turn a profit by building and flipping a new website.
For this experiment, I took a domain name that I owned from 2011 called www.comfyabode.com. Then I purchased a few PLR article packs online and repurposed some of the ones I already owned to create the content.
Yup! That’s correct. I used all PLR articles for my content and ended up with about 100 posts on the site.
Of all the content, maybe I customized about 25% of the articles, but that’s only because initially my intent was to keep the site for myself.
The auction for my website ended 9/14/2014 and I have to report unfortunately it did not sell. I’m not discouraged by that because I have much more insight into how to sell a website for next time.
But, I want to share what I learned from this experiment because first, there can be good money in selling a website. Secondly, the entire experience could be a bit intimidating, especially if you never tried to sell a website before.
A little background info on my website
Comfy Abode is a home and garden website that is just a few months old. The articles as I mentioned above are all PLR and the site is designed in Genesis Frameworks – a premium WordPress theme.
While the site does not have an income, I have monetized it in a few ways. There are Google Adsense ads on the site and it was recently approved for the Yahoo Bing ad network.
I also have Amazon and Shareasale product links on the website to further monetize it. Lastly, I added printable coupons to the website, just to give it a little more appeal.
Another nice feature of this website is that I have a developer’s license for Easy Azon 3 and that premium plugin is part of the website.
While I think all of the above are nice features, I started my Flippa auction at $449 which I guess proved to be a bit high for what I offered.
Here’s my homework that lead helped me list and price my website
I initially took a look at what types of sites were on Flippa and how much they were selling for. What I found was that basic websites with a monthly income, even as low as $75 a month were popular and selling.
This surprised me because some of the websites were not really attractive, but the sellers had proof they were making money.
OK, I get it. People want to buy websites that are profitable. And as long as you can prove the site is making money, you can get more interested buyers.
But here’s the interesting part. If you’ve ever heard of www.siteprice.org and typed in your website domain name, it will tell you what it is roughly worth.
Here’s what it told me my home and garden site was worth.
Of course I take that value with a grain of salt. But I did notice that many of the sites that sold on Flippa, did come close to the price that www.siteprice.org calculated.
Based on what I’ve learned so far, I’m thinking, (and hoping) that once I get this website making steady income, it will be more likely to sell close to this calculated price.
So for now on, this will be my tool of choice for estimating website costs.
Google Analytics and proving you have traffic
Early on in my auction, I had an interested party who wanted to see my Google Analytics and asked me to add them to my Google account.
Say what??? I had no idea I could do this.
So I dug around in my Google Analytics and sure enough I found that if you have a person’s email address, you can easily add them into your Google Analytics dashboard as a “read only” guest.
Simply log into your Google Analytics account, go to Admin > User Management > and type their email address into the “Add Permission For” box as a Read & Analyze user.
Of course from now on, I will make sure I include a screenshot of my Google Analytics with my auction description.
But I love this feature, especially if you are writing for a client, you can easily let them see which pages are more optimized and which can be improved upon.
How original is the website I created with PLR articles
Well… After my website listing went live on Flippa, I discovered there is an online tool called www.siteliner.com that analyzes the originality of your web content, page by page.
It will give you an overall originality rating then show you duplication for every page of your website. I’m not sure how it comes up with the overall rating, because mine seemed low overall, but much higher as I looked at each page individually.
In my gut, I know that I need more customizing of content here. But I have a feeling that if the site starts earning, people may overlook it. Just my opinion.
So how much did this all cost me?
If you are going to list a website for sale on Flippa, the cost is generally $9 for startup websites and $19 for established websites. They also take a 10% success fee if the site sells.
It cost me about $20 to list my website, because I opted for a premium listing. As for other costs, I spend about another $30 on PLR articles plus $12 for my domain name.
I’m not counting the cost of my Easy Azon 3 plugin because I use it for a lot of projects. So, overall I don’t have a huge investment in my website, but I do need to get it to start earning money if I want it to sell next time around.
But wait! There’s a free alternative!
About 2 weeks into my auction, I got an email from someone telling me where I can sell websites for free. It’s called www.freemarket.com and they offer free listings and a 5% commission fee for sold websites. I have not tried this yet, but it sounds interesting. It beats spending another $20, so I could be trying it out soon.
Overall, I enjoyed everything I learned from my Flippa experiment. I feel much more confident in the selling process but more importantly, I have a better understanding of what buyers are looking for.
But selling a website for profit on Flippa is not easy. So, during the next few months or so I will make some modifications to the PLR articles on the Comfy Abode website, monetize it some more and see if my Google Analytics improve.
I now have the option of trying www.freemarket.com and I might even put in in my PLR Store as a singular, unique product, so who knows??? The possibilities are endless!