No matter what you’re doing, the hardest part is always getting started. Especially when it’s an arena in which you have no experience. But when you jump in head first, you risk getting scammed. That’s why putting in the groundwork is so important.
As a website owner looking to sell your business, there are tools you can use to help ease the process and steps you should follow. And if you take your time doing the research, there’s really no way you can go wrong. After all, you have a website that is worth money. Once you understand what buyers look for in a website, you can accurately gauge how much your site is worth.
But, that comes later. First, you need to figure out where to start. If you’re new to the game and don’t know what you’re getting into, this guide will break down the simplest way to get started selling your website.
Step 1 – Observe the landscape
Before you enter the world of website trading, you need to do your research. When you’re looking to sell something online, the market will be full of people trying to trick you. And if you don’t know the actual value of your site, they will succeed. So how can you make sure you get paid the real value of your site? And what do we mean when we say observe the landscape?
The best part about using a platform like ours is that you’re part of a community of buyers and sellers. That means you can look up similar websites in your niche. Make sure the sites you are referencing have similar traffic, products, profits, and sales systems. Then look at how high they’re pricing their sites.
By observing the online landscape and comparing your work to that of other creators, you can estimate your website’s value. Keep in mind this is just to give you a benchmark and is not an accurate method of pricing your site. However, when you’re getting started, it gives you something to work with. Also, look at sites that have already been sold to collect data on how much buyers are willing to spend on different assets.
Step 2 – Collect data for your site
The process of selling your website will take you a while if you’re doing it right. Rushing through it only increases the chances of messing up. A smart seller takes their time researching the market and evaluating buyers before accepting an offer. Collecting data for your site is an essential part of the selling process.
Ideally, you should have these systems set up before you ever consider selling your site. In fact, this data directly relates to why your website may be worth money. However, there’s no need to panic if you haven’t used these tools before now. While it’s always best to start as early as possible, it’s never too late to collect data.
The first tool you need to install is Google Analytics. This app helps measure web traffic for your site and record trends. When it comes to selling your website, it is imperative to show potential buyers upward growth patterns and traffic bumps. Meeting measurable metric goals is a huge aspect of pricing your site.
Next, you need to be able to show tangible proof of earnings. This will vary depending on what kind of business you have and how you make money through your website. Overall, it can include profit reports, AdSense, Ezoic records, PayPal reports, and other earning methods like affiliate marketing. Having your records ready beforehand shows potential buyers that you’re serious about selling your site and know what you’re doing.
Step 3 – Break down your task list
Different buyers have different needs when it comes to the time and effort they’re willing to put into their site. Often beginner buyers and sellers don’t realize the impact this has on sustaining profits. For example, if you’re putting in five hours a day managing various tasks for your site and the next owner only puts in two, they won’t make the same profits.
A savvy buyer knows this and will want details on the tasks you do and how long they take you, as well as your various income sources. As part of your prep, list out all the tasks you do for the website. Also, mention how long each one takes you and the level of difficulty.
If you’re handling a lot of the work yourself, you may want to find freelancers to hire. After all, you may be willing to manage everything yourself, but this will put off potential buyers. A mistake many beginner sellers make is thinking profit margins are all that matter.
Goal: Minimize working hours
While it’s important to keep the running costs low, your buyers will want to know that they can replicate your success. So if certain tasks are technical or time-consuming, buyers won’t want to go through the hassle. Your sale will go through easier if you create systems that manage these tasks for a new owner. The more you can simplify the running processes before you put your website on the market, the better.
Tip 1: Outsource work
You’ll notice that buyers you communicate with will appreciate knowing which work you outsource. Many of them will inquire whether they can keep your workers on board. Generally, it is best practice to talk to your employees before you list your website. Once you inform them of the impending change in ownership, you can also discuss their transfer.
Tip 2: Cut out useless tasks
Alternatively, spend time identifying the tasks that don’t have a big effect on the bottom line. When you create a site, you put a lot of emotional labor into it. But when you’re selling it, you need to streamline and simplify the process. Your goal is to get your site as close to running on autopilot as you can. Once you’ve identified these useless tasks, cut them out to minimize your working hours.
Step 4 – Identify growth potential
When you’re marketing a product, your success depends largely on how well you understand what your audience wants. And when you’re selling a website, you have to realize the one thing buyers are looking for is growth potential. Most websites aren’t meant to be flipped immediately. While website trading can be a lucrative business, it doesn’t promise overnight fortunes.
The entire business model rests on the idea that a buyer can improve a site’s value. You may think that it’s up to the buyer to identify the website’s growth potential. And you’d be right for the most part. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to do the groundwork, especially if you’re pricing your site high.
No one knows your audience and niche market better than you. Do not underestimate the value of this knowledge. If you can tell your site’s buyer what concrete changes they can make to grow the business, you’ll have better luck getting them to meet your price demands. This means showing them how specific changes will impact the profit outcomes of the website.
Step 5 – Find out what buyers want
To sell your website successfully, you first need to find out how the market works. Once you understand what buyers are looking for, you’ll be able to maximize your site’s value. These include factors like growth trends, conversion rate, branding, and marketing success. Overall, your goal is to identify your assets and monetize them.
Knowing what buyers want is the key to learning how to sell your product. Only when you analyze your website and isolate your selling points can you accurately price your site. It isn’t enough to simply list a number, either. You have to defend your position and explain to potential buyers why you think your site is worth that amount.
Remember, you may end up selling your website to a first-time buyer. In such a case, it is up to you to break down the merits of your site. In general, if you can convince them that your site will make more money in the future, buyers will invest in it. To do that, you can highlight factors like an active email list, a comprehensive online marketing strategy, or organic SEO rankings. Put your best foot forward and your biggest assets in the limelight.
Step 6 – Take steps to increase the value of your site
The worst mistake you can make as a website owner is selling your site without fully optimizing it. You need to increase your site’s value before you put your business on the market. That can mean trying a variety of advertising networks and affiliate plans or experimenting with ads and ad placement. Either way split test every version to find the one that maximizes your profits. When you’re selling your website, A/B testing is a must.
Unoptimized sites are an excellent opportunity for buyers, but not for you as a seller. Why? Because that means the buyer spends less money on a mediocre site and can boost revenue overnight by implementing basic strategies. As the seller, you want to maximize profits for your site before you put it on the market and get the most money for it.
Additionally, try to reduce the overall daily workload. The best way to increase your site’s value is to automate it as much as you can. Buyers are willing to spend more money on websites that generate revenue with little effort or work on their part.
Step 7 – Communicate with the buyer
Having a direct line of communication with the buyer is essential because it allows you to build trust. Once you establish a rapport with potential buyers, you have a greater chance of not only closing a sale but also getting a high price. Sharing information is a two-way process between the buyer and seller.
You want to establish that they’re legit. And they need to know that you’ve accurately represented your site. Using a secure service or platform helps minimize the risk of running into scammers, but you should always take precautions. Ask for their identification and proof that they own the domain for the site.
When you’re talking directly to the buyer, you can get a greater feel for what they’re looking for. That means you waste less time negotiating with people just aren’t interested in your site. Your goal is to figure out precisely what a particular buyer wants, how far you can fulfill their needs, and what they’re willing to offer you in return. A successful sale leaves all parties satisfied.
Step 8 – Plan the transition
As the site owner, it’s your job to plan the transition and ensure ease of transferability. What does this mean? You score the most points is you can move your site to a new owner overnight with no impact on profits. But it rarely ever works that way. Chances are the sale will involve the transfer of vendors, assets, workers, freelancers, and other resources.
If the process does involve a handover period, consider how long it will take. Then make a plan for how you’re going to keep the process as smooth as possible. One of the things buyers look for is the ease with which they can take over. If there’s a possibility they’ll lose profits in the handover, it will put off many potential buyers.
Also, take into account your hosting service and CMS systems. If you’re using an open-source CMS instead of a strict web builder, that’s a definite plus. And if your buyer doesn’t know the difference, make sure you highlight the facility you are offering them, especially in terms of design freedom.
Overall, getting started selling a website is extremely simple. You take your time getting to know the market, have detailed discussions with potential buyers, and make sure you understand the value of what you’re offering. Work your way through this list and take your time. The worst decision you can make is picking the first buyer that comes your way. Don’t undervalue your website, and once you set a price, stick to it.