Since starting to work for myself, I’ve watched carefully other people ideas. I’ve watched even more carefully which ideas worked, and which websites got sold. A great place for observing this is Flippa.
Flippa is an online marketplace to buy and sell websites. It turns out it’s a burgeoning industry with established buyers and sellers tracking the right opportunity, along with people who just want to get rid of their websites and get some money to focus on other things.
Websites are like any other form of investment: there are good deals to make, scams to avoid, trendy neighborhoods to know about. You can buy a fledgling website one day, revamp it, market it like mad, and resell it 6 months later with good profit. Actually a few people do exactly this as their fulltime activity. I must say it’s pretty interesting just to watch the action.
That’s what I ‘ve done, for over a year now: keep a list of interesting sales. An interesting sale is one where either:
- the owner created and ranked a website very quickly to make good profit
- the owner sold a website that I could have done myself given my current skills
- the same kind of websites gets sold over and over (meaning it’s a “hot niche”)
- Great example of brand execution
- Website script creation and selling
- site URL: http://articlesetup.com
- sale price: $5.250
- time-to-sale: 13 months
- what we can learn: there’s money to make with custom website scripts, that could be of interest to web developers. In this case it’s a script for making article directories but you can take the same approach with any kind of website: classifieds website, social networking website etc.
- Auction page
- Good ol’ business directory
- Powerful entertainment magazine
- Quick adsense site
- site URL: http://petfoodtalk.com
- sale price: $60.000
- time-to-sale: 7 months
- what we can learn: this one was really pushed very strong very fast. It has also been built with lots of content- with 430 unique posts, it shows that if you’re committed to write blog posts regularly, you’re gonna get the traffic. It must have hurt though to write about pet food all this time
- Auction page
- Affiliate website
- A filesharing site
- site URL: http://filevelocity.com
- sale price: $50.000
- time-to-sale: 2 months
- what we can learn: that’s probably the most impressive sale of all: $50.000 for a 2-month-old website, that’s what we call a good ROI. It’s also interesting because I happen to own a file sharing website, although its focus is totally different (it’s a paid app for companies). This website managed to get crazy growth by promoting very aggressively an affiliate program and give money to its users to upload files. I’m not sure it’s sustainable practice since big filesharing sites have been recently shut down but the owners of this site have managed to make some bank for sure.
- Auction page