You’re sitting at your office desk, contemplating starting a business. You start by spending your breaks looking for ways to make money online. Eventually, you take the step to set up a website. Over time you make a few hundred extra bucks a month. But that isn’t enough to quit your day job. It’s one thing to start a side gig and another to quit your 9 to 5 to become your own boss.
Let’s be clear; it can take a new business anywhere between two to four years to take off. The first step is turning an idea into a sellable product. Then you spend months marketing, producing, delivering, running quality control, and handling customer service. All while working a day job because your company is still in the red, with no guarantees any of it will work.
Simply starting a website from scratch means creating content, using SEO, growing an email list, developing a brand identity, using social media, and building an audience from the ground up. And after all of that, there’s still a big chance you will fail.
What if we told you there was a way to skip all of that? A risk-free method for you to become your own boss, not in two to four years, but today. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It’s a way for you to invest in your future and make a lot of money. If you want to become your own boss, you need to get into the business of buying and selling websites. What does this mean, and how does it work?
How you can buy websites and skip the hardest part about starting an online business
The hardest part of starting an online business is building an audience. There are so many layers to this process. Not only do you need to build traffic to your site, but it needs to be the right type of traffic. It isn’t enough for people to visit your website; you also need them to buy a product after. Even if you’re using expert SEO strategies, marketing on every social media platform, and combing through your email list, organic growth takes time. Buying a website means starting on step 15 instead of zero.
You’re basically buying a pre-packaged business plan. It has everything you could want. An audience, a product, and all the systems already in place. More than that it’s already making a profit, so there’s a zero percent chance of it failing. Someone else has already taken the time to nurture this seed. All you have to do is water it to help it grow. Now it’s up to you to take this working plan and make it better. If you think you can come up with creative solutions and innovative ideas to grow a business, this plan is for you.
How you go from owning a website to becoming a boss
Before you start this process, you need to map out your goals. If you take the right steps, you can go from buying one website to owning multiple. It’s a ripple effect. So you spend your initial investment on a small site, with midrange traffic, in a niche you like. Then you take a few months to grow that business, with better marketing strategies and professional SEO tips. Wait till you’re satisfied with the jump in profits and make back at least a portion of your money. Now you can either sell it for more than you spent. Or buy another site in the same niche. There are multiple reasons why people collect websites.
1) Sister Sites
The goal of website trading is to maximize the revenue of a site before you offload it. And there are many reasons why buying more than one site ups the value of both. How can you add a second site to your current plan to increase viewership for both? One strategy is to purchase a sister site that meshes well with your existing website but attracts a different audience. Say you have a gardening blog, and you buy a second site that reviews tools and gloves.
Now you have access to two groups of customers for the same niche. By featuring your content across both of your platforms, you double viewership for both. It is a delicate process, of course. If you’re going down the rabbit hole of cross-promotion as a marketing strategy, both sites need to have prior solid branding. Any steps you take should not pollute or water down either brand. Done correctly, this gives you a solid standing in your niche and is a great way to become your own boss.
2) SEO value
Another move you can make is to buy a site that has higher SEO value. Quality SEO value is part of what to look for in a website. But it can also add value to a previous purchase, whether that’s through links or keywords. Since both sites share a niche, the main keywords will overlap. However, the lists of additional keywords are endless. Knowing what phrases draw in most traffic is the key to SEO success.
If your goal is to become your own boss by buying websites, then your strategy changes. There are several ways to determine the value of a site. But you’ll always have to prioritize one factor over another to stick to your budget. So, if your first site’s success is off its marketing style, buy a second site that adds most of its value through keyword traction. Now you know how to market to your niche’s audience and what SEO strategies to use. The more you know, the more valuable your overall brand.
3) Email lists
Mailing lists are the golden goose of marketing. With a website, your email list is what will make you the most money. It’s also the most reliable. Experienced bloggers will tell you that Google’s algorithms have changed tremendously over the past decade. How you use SEO now is a far cry from how you used it in 2010, or even 2015. The same is the case for social media marketing and every other aspect of running a website. You have no idea what changes will occur in the online landscape or the long-term effects they’ll have on your business.
But, your mailing list will never fail you. It is a direct lifeline between you and thousands of potential customers. Ideally, your first website should come with an active email list. If you followed the factors for getting started on buying a website, you made sure it was part of the deal. However, your initial email list may not have enough names or active buyers. If this is the case, it might be worth your while to buy a second website with a large and active email list. Even if the site adds no other value to your arsenal, just getting your hands on a valuable mailing list will increase your profits.
When you’re looking to buy a second website, you cannot follow the same steps you did the first time. The trick to adding another site to your portfolio is identifying the weaknesses of your current website. Whether that’s poor SEO keywords, an inactive email list, or a small audience, pick your weakest link and fix it. The path to becoming your own boss is all about having vision and foresight. When you’re focused on the bigger picture, you can turn a small website into a massive business and make thousands of dollars flipping it. The factors that add value to your site remain the same, but the way you use them depends on your plan for success.
How to optimize a site like an expert?
There’s a difference between making a little money on the side and earning a living owning websites. The steps you take when you’re looking into buying a site are not the same as the steps you take to maximize profits. If you want to optimize a website like an expert, here’s what you do.
Step 1 – Run A/B tests
No matter how much research you do beforehand, there’s no way of knowing what will work with a 100 percent certainty. That’s why you have to run A/B tests to tweak your content and strategy. When you test the different elements of a site, you see what works and what doesn’t. To compare the changes, you need metrics for conversion rates.
Analytics tools like Crazy Egg, Lucky Orange, and Optimizely add value to your website by identifying areas of maximum and minimum activity. Some common features include:
- funnel analysis
- visual editor
- test scheduling
- statistical analysis
Step 2 – Check SEO metrics
The top two tools you need in your arsenal are Google Analytics and SEMRush. While Google Analytics is the best app to study your own site, SEMRush allows you to do the same for other websites. Together they form the power duo that lets you identify the holes in your strategy and the potential answers in other people’s sites. When you’re in the business of buying websites, keeping an eye on both these sets of data is essential to your success. If you want to run your business like a boss, you need to start dealing with hard data.
SEMRush also helps you cross-check the metrics a website owner sends you when you’re looking to buy their company. Often websites will try to convince you they’re worth more than they actually are. That’s where bargaining comes in. Checking the numbers is a must when you’re trying to determine the value of a site. You cannot simply take their word for how valuable their site is.
Step 3 – Clean up keyword cannibalism
The first thing you need to do after you buy a site is to clean up your keyword capitalism. If you want to be taken seriously as a website trader, you cannot make rookie mistakes. These are the kind of errors beginner bloggers with little SEO knowledge often make. Keyword cannibalism occurs when you have multiple articles on similar topics using the same keywords. So you’re basically competing against yourself and hurting your own rankings on Google.
When you dilute your backlinks, all of your content ranks lower. It’s also very easy to check if you’re struggling with keyword cannibalism: simply Google, your domain name, and the keyword in question. If two articles rank on the top together, you probably messed up. Fixing these mistakes can boost your rankings quickly.
Overall, the difference between buying one site and owning websites to become your own boss is simply a matter of vision. You either have it, or you don’t. If you want to start a business out of trading websites, you need to approach this with a clear strategy. The basic rule is that all of the websites you own at one time should be interlinked. Whether you use sister sites to cross-promote, capitalize on an active email list, or simply want to peak at a competitor’s keyword list is up to you. As long as you have a strategy in mind, you’ll likely see an increase in revenue.
If you want to treat this as a business venture instead of a side gig, that means dealing with hard data. Analytics tools like Crazy Egg, Lucky Orange, and Optimizely can help you identify the areas you need to work on. Similarly, you also need to keep an eye on SEO strategy. Your goal here is to maximize a site’s potential and then flip it. If you’re going to sell a website on the market for a high rate, you can’t make beginner mistakes. Educate yourself on SEO and make sure you remove errors like keyword cannibalism.
Also, keep an eye on the metrics. Two tools you need to have are Google Analytics to study your stats and SEMRush to keep an eye on the competition. There are a dozen other tools that can help you get where you want if you’re willing to put in the work.