Author Topic: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?  (Read 9093 times)

CollegeTrep123

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Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« on: October 17, 2014, 07:38:28 AM »
Has anyone bought existing, established sites for Cash Flow? I have bought 27 sites for $2,500 off Flippa- Social media sites, flash game sites, directories, etc.

Thoughts? By my calculations and research (I used worthofweb.com) I've figured they can make $138 DAILY via Google Adsense..

All of these sites are built well and I have talked to the owners (Trust, But Verify!). I did not use any of the owners/sellers numbers but did all the research/estimates myself. Thoughts? Feasible? Smart?

The highest earning site should make $20 per day and the lowest earning site will make $0.45 per day.

Would LOVE input!

J Boogie

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2014, 07:51:26 AM »
After listening to a podcast that featured a guest who bought web sites, I considered the idea.

I still might, but I'm gonna look for quality (and personal fit - would I like to update the website/is this an area of knowledge for me) over quantity and past revenue.  I don't trust past revenue too much - if I don't know why something is getting hits (aka is valuable to someone) I'd rather stay far from it.

I hope your Flippa trench serves you well - I plan on either creating a website or finding one I'd be uniquely well suited to maintain and grow.  Best of luck!

CollegeTrep123

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 07:53:49 AM »
That is the biggest thing that is "irking me," people think that because I bought 27 sites for $2,500 that the websites are such low quality and useless! Why?

karlr

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2014, 10:21:47 AM »
Why would anyone sell something that yields $138 per day for $2500? Watch out for scams! Often sellers will pump the visitor count by buying traffic which will then collapse once the sale clears.

eyePod

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 11:24:28 AM »
Just to give you an idea of adsense, I am getting an average of $0.05 per day even though worthofweb says I should be getting $5.98.

I'm sure I'm screwing something up (placements of ads, etc.) but just wanted to point out that those sites aren't always accurate.
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CollegeTrep123

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 02:34:49 PM »
Just to give you an idea of adsense, I am getting an average of $0.05 per day even though worthofweb says I should be getting $5.98.

I'm sure I'm screwing something up (placements of ads, etc.) but just wanted to point out that those sites aren't always accurate.

What would you suggest I do now that I have 30 sites?

ketchup

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2014, 03:05:12 PM »
If those numbers are legit, I'll write you a check for $2,501 right now and retire tomorrow.

bacchi

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2014, 03:15:45 PM »
What would you suggest I do now that I have 30 sites?

Start learning about SEO.

tjt

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2014, 03:36:07 PM »
I'm eager to hear more about how your new sites are doing!

tomsang

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2014, 03:47:23 PM »
If someone is going to sell you something that generates $50k a year for $2,500 you might want to be careful.  My long lost brother is a Nigerian Prince and needs some help getting money out of Nigeria.... 

gimp

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2014, 03:48:38 PM »
Yeah, look, you don't just jump into investing into websites without a very good idea of how websites work, how search engines work, how to optimize campaigns, how to get the most out of advertisements, and do on. I've met your type before, blindly dumping money in based on some calculations other people (or automated tools) have done with no idea why they're correct (or incorrect, more likely) or how to turn them into reality.

Every single website whose owner runs it to make money sucks, bar none. Quality websites with quality content can make plenty of money, but they require a lot of work. Alternatively, you can register the same domain name of a business, and put hardcore porn on it, and sell it to the business for a few hundred bucks, that makes good money.

CollegeTrep123

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2014, 04:14:18 PM »
Thanks for the advice and support. Yes, I made a mistake. I got carried away thinking the more established sites that I bought, the more cash-flow I would have (I'm a fan of Kiyosaki)

CollegeTrep123

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2014, 04:16:02 PM »
Here are all the sites and how much I thought each would make daily

gamedue.com - $0.45
pinxpets.com - $3.84
TrompiGames.com- $6.56
funtraingames.com - $0.47
newgolfsite.com - $3.37
runningmanshow.net - $20
photovoltaicsreview.com - $4.73
ooblur.com - $6.36
passivesolarstrategies.com - $4.35
worldcup2014results.org - $4.84
cartoonshub.com - $0.14
GardenerReviews.com - $4.53
afterbeforesurgery.com - $3.33
lostebay.com - $3.07
CheapBabyMonitors.org - $5.12
JazzandJokers.com - $0.55
TheFunnyCartoon.com - $6.51
fasttraffics.com - $2.53
submitarticle.in - $6.20
chordstabszone.com - $1.21
officialwindows.com - $30
MiniGamesCobra.com - $3.69
familyvideos.us - $6.40
hugemoviesneed.com - $2.25
findholidaysnow.com - $1.11
bestgamesup.com - $1.07
gamestoned.com - $5.77
findbudz.com - $6.54

healthycoffeedrink.com - $2.16
stellarcorner.com - $6.45
NationalZip.com - $0.49

tomsang

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2014, 04:30:35 PM »
I gave you a few clicks.  Good luck.  It could be fun to see how this plays out.


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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2014, 05:49:42 PM »
How are you going to keep the site content fresh and current?  Or did you NOT intent to post anything new?  What would then get you repeat traffic?
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Terrestrial

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2014, 08:20:31 AM »
That is the biggest thing that is "irking me," people think that because I bought 27 sites for $2,500 that the websites are such low quality and useless! Why?
 

First, I hope your new business endeavor works out for you, congrats on trying something new.

As to my thoughts on why people have the impression they do, this is why:

First and foremost putting aside the cost/revenue side of things, 27 sites for $2500 meant the setup and labor expenses spent to break even on building them was less than $100.  That's a tiny amount, and that's what gives the impression that the sites are not of great quality.  I'm not saying the ARE low quality (haven't seen them)...just that assuming someone values their web development time at a reasonable rate ($25/hour?), that amount of labor expense is a few hours at most on each website, not a ton to develop high quality websites.  But I don't know the full story...perhaps they were developed by an Indonesian web developer for vastly lower labor costs than what would be typical for American rates.

Going to the cost/revenue, not to be a buzzkill its skeptical someone would sell a business that pulls in 50k year for 5% of it's yearly revenue. If you talked to the owners did you ask them why they would sell the sites if they were raking it in?  Did the reason make sense?  It's not common for any legit business to sell for less than a year of it's profits, if it will be a perpetual ongoing business.

Unless the $138/day you note is the gross, and the expenses of the sites cost something hefty so the actual profit is much smaller (hosting, site registration, whatever? i'm not a tech guy so i don't know what would be involved), I either don't see how it makes sense, or you got a great deal.   Alternatively, I don't know what the websites are, but if the $138 is dependent on a lot of fresh new content to drive the required traffic level to make that much, I may see how it makes more sense...the ammt of labor involved would probably be quite large for that many websites so it is either a huge time commitment and the 50k is a 'wage', or you'd have to pay someone to do content and the expenses will be large.

If I had to guess, I would probably lean more toward the revenue will be nowhere near $138/day, even gross.

Good luck!  Once you start getting some real revenue numbers let us know how it's working out! 

Terrestrial

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2014, 08:32:20 AM »
After I posted my thoughts I went to a few of the websites.  If you want my honest feedback, some looked pretty decent, some of them looked kind of sketchy (i generally always close anything that looks pay per click geared as its sole purpose for existing pretty quickly)

The National Zip one looked like a legit website that I wouldn't immediately close.

Good luck!


CollegeTrep123

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2014, 01:19:18 PM »
Terrestrial,

I bought these sites off Flippa, and from what I've read (I'm not sure if it is true), but it seems like people sell these sites to do things like pay off debt or move on to bigger sites.

Each website was purchased from a different person- I did not just buy a collection of 27 websites from a random person.

A lot of the transactions have NOT went through FYI

Thanks!


vawt

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2014, 02:31:14 PM »
I am curious to see how this works out.  I had never head of Flippa, I will go check it out.

kudy

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2014, 02:54:18 PM »
My biggest concerns would be:

  • What platforms are the sites running on? Assuming most of them are WordPress, you'll want to spend a chunk of time (or money) each month keeping them up to date and secure
  • What techniques have the previous owners used to generate traffic? If they've done any black-hat SEO stuff (very likely), then any existing traffic has the potential to disappear on the whims of Google's algorithm changes
  • Ad placement and style can have a huge effect on CTR, and content can have a huge effect on per-click value; optimizing either of these things is pointless without a large volume of traffic - I'd focus my efforts on improving and maintaining the sites that seem to have the most consistent and reliable volume of traffic
  • some of the sites appear to be more targeted toward affiliate income rather than adsense - I'd audit everything to make sure the old owners aren't still getting affiliate incomes that could be yours
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 02:56:58 PM by kudy »

lemanfan

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2014, 03:56:54 PM »
I find the general idea interesting, but implementation might be a bit different.

One thing: watch out for copyright intrusion.  I just checked the cartoonshub site and I wouldn't dare to use copyrighted images like the ones from Peanuts on a site like that.  Or am I missing something?

Also, how is that site making money?  No ads are visible to me.



Terrestrial

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2014, 05:57:17 PM »
Terrestrial,

I bought these sites off Flippa, and from what I've read (I'm not sure if it is true), but it seems like people sell these sites to do things like pay off debt or move on to bigger sites.

Each website was purchased from a different person- I did not just buy a collection of 27 websites from a random person.

A lot of the transactions have NOT went through FYI

Thanks!

Sounds like an interesting website (flippa)...I have never heard of it but may check it out.  Do they sell all sorts of businesses or just websites?   When you said you had talked with the owner, that's why I had assumed one person owned the whole basket.

However, I would say the point still remains in aggregate if you broke it down per website from 27 different owners.  I know the financials will be different for each but just using the indicated average as a proxy...Why sell something for 5% of the yearly revenue stream to pay off debt (i'm ignoring that revenue may not be the profit, it's a philosophical question)....if the website revenue is legit you would have the necessary amount to pay off said debt in about 3 weeks and make $$ the other 49 weeks of the year, and every year after.

Question:  Why do the deals lag in going through?  Do they provide you with some kind of due diligence period or something?

vawt

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2014, 08:40:12 PM »
I looked at Flippa and don't believe the revenue that is claimed for some of the sites.  I would be very careful purchasing those sites...

rocketpj

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2014, 12:06:57 AM »
It's an interesting market - high risk, lots of potential return if you are careful and smart.

Flippa is sort of the Wild West version.  If you have a bit more cash there are places like EmpireFlippers that have made a business of doing the due diligence on a site before selling it (for a commission), and they handle all the escrow etc for site transfer.  Their policy is that sites sell for 20x proven revenues (with at least 3 months of proven revenues). 

Flippa can be a cheaper option (lower multiples), but with higher risk (scammers, shady sites).  It is a viable but difficult business model to buy some sites for cheap at a fairly cheap multiple, then put the time and work into upgrading them and expanding their monetization options, then reselling it at a higher price.  But you need to know what you are doing first, or you are easily scammed and/or will make foolish mistakes with lots of money.

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2014, 05:58:36 AM »
It sounds like you are in an interesting experiment! If nothing else its a learning experience for you (and for us if you share it with us!) Do keep us all posted as to how this works out :)

eyePod

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2014, 05:53:39 AM »
Eh, a lot of people have made worse decisions on $2500. I think this one is interesting.

How do you update all the ad links? Like the baby monitor site, that's associated with an amazon referral account, how do you update it to yours? I'm sure this has to happen on all of the sites that you purchased.
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sobezen

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2014, 03:33:10 PM »
Thanks for the advice and support. Yes, I made a mistake. I got carried away thinking the more established sites that I bought, the more cash-flow I would have (I'm a fan of Kiyosaki)

I wish you well on your website SEO adventure and encourage you to research more how adsense and SEO works. Run more numbers to see how much traffic you need to even make it break even. Good luck and keep us posted.

As for Kiyosaki, I suggest reading John T. Reed's website about Kiyosaki and other real estate "gurus". http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html  Reed raises some valid points worth considering.  Good luck. :)
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eyePod

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2014, 06:29:10 AM »
Thanks for the advice and support. Yes, I made a mistake. I got carried away thinking the more established sites that I bought, the more cash-flow I would have (I'm a fan of Kiyosaki)

I wish you well on your website SEO adventure and encourage you to research more how adsense and SEO works. Run more numbers to see how much traffic you need to even make it break even. Good luck and keep us posted.

As for Kiyosaki, I suggest reading John T. Reed's website about Kiyosaki and other real estate "gurus". http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html  Reed raises some valid points worth considering.  Good luck. :)

No offense but that John T Reed's site looks a little crazy. I agree that the rich dad/poor dad guy is a sham, and most of the info is true there, but throwing in "so buy my book instead" every other line really lowers the quality of his argument...


But back to the talk at hand, CollegeTrep, did you see the MadFientist post/podcast? http://madfientist.us4.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=522b56f8d4f39fd23cf9a4c18&id=53741168d1&e=6be6a23102

Should be right up your alley since it talks about this exact topic!
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arebelspy

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2014, 10:41:56 AM »
I was just coming on this thread to post about the latest MFMF podcast, but iPod beat me to it.

(Normal) Link: http://www.madfientist.com/empire-flippers-interview/

I haven't listened yet, but have it downloaded, and I haven't yet heard an MFMF podcast that wasn't worth listening to.
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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2014, 10:57:51 AM »
Just to give you an idea of adsense, I am getting an average of $0.05 per day even though worthofweb says I should be getting $5.98.

I'm sure I'm screwing something up (placements of ads, etc.) but just wanted to point out that those sites aren't always accurate.

Yeah, I'm a bit skeptical as to how buying sites like this would work in reality.  MOST sites thrive off of content being produced over and over again.  If the site is completely static, it has to be some sort of application that provides value (think www.cfiresim.com).  If you have a bunch of wordpress sites, you'll need to keep posting articles to drive the adsense revenue.

FWIW, I checked worthofweb's calculator for cFIREsim.com and the value they gave was 3x the reality of my adsense revenue (which is not a lot by the way).
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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2014, 11:01:47 AM »
I was just coming on this thread to post about the latest MFMF podcast, but iPod beat me to it.

(Normal) Link: http://www.madfientist.com/empire-flippers-interview/

I haven't listened yet, but have it downloaded, and I haven't yet heard an MFMF podcast that wasn't worth listening to.

It's interesting. I've added the word "di-worse-ification" to my vocabulary!

sobezen

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2014, 12:00:57 PM »
Thanks for the advice and support. Yes, I made a mistake. I got carried away thinking the more established sites that I bought, the more cash-flow I would have (I'm a fan of Kiyosaki)

I wish you well on your website SEO adventure and encourage you to research more how adsense and SEO works. Run more numbers to see how much traffic you need to even make it break even. Good luck and keep us posted.

As for Kiyosaki, I suggest reading John T. Reed's website about Kiyosaki and other real estate "gurus". http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html  Reed raises some valid points worth considering.  Good luck. :)

No offense but that John T Reed's site looks a little crazy. I agree that the rich dad/poor dad guy is a sham, and most of the info is true there, but throwing in "so buy my book instead" every other line really lowers the quality of his argument...

No offense taken. :) I agree Reed's site needs a makeover. I go there strictly for the content material and his expertise in real estate. He research is worth considering. YMMV.

And I enjoy MadFIentist's podcasts and will listen to his newest today. Thanks for the reminder. :)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 12:02:56 PM by sobezen »
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eyePod

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2014, 11:39:12 AM »
Just to give you an idea of adsense, I am getting an average of $0.05 per day even though worthofweb says I should be getting $5.98.

I'm sure I'm screwing something up (placements of ads, etc.) but just wanted to point out that those sites aren't always accurate.

Yeah, I'm a bit skeptical as to how buying sites like this would work in reality.  MOST sites thrive off of content being produced over and over again.  If the site is completely static, it has to be some sort of application that provides value (think www.cfiresim.com).  If you have a bunch of wordpress sites, you'll need to keep posting articles to drive the adsense revenue.

FWIW, I checked worthofweb's calculator for cFIREsim.com and the value they gave was 3x the reality of my adsense revenue (which is not a lot by the way).

I think the perfect sites would be something that has static content but it's also useful, something like wiki-how or webmd stuff. How to clean leather shoes isn't going to change, and if you could buys something like that, it would be perfect. Now, i'm sure it's a really expensive site (just looked it up and it says 1.6 billion), but that vein is what I'm talking about. Here's another one that has potential to me: http://www.neatoldtoys.com. Doesn't get the ideal traffic now but I think it has a lot of potential if someone with SEO experience could buy it and improve it. The information on it is really helpful and is definitely niche.
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gimp

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2014, 12:48:58 PM »
Static websites tend to do poorly because people don't keep coming back. You need a way to keep people coming back to your website. This isn't 1995.

VirginiaBob

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2014, 05:59:41 AM »
Sounds interesting, but not something I'm interested in, due to lack of experience.  If I were going the route of making money off websites, it would probably start with making money off websites that I created myself, and then maybe expand to buying others with a small portion of that income. 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 06:41:51 AM by VirginiaBob »

Davids

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2014, 07:03:47 AM »
I went to a few of your sites so hopefully I made you a few extra pennies today.

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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2014, 07:38:28 AM »
It's a real gamble.

Many sites are sold for 12-20x their monthly net income.  Which sounds great, except that 12-20 months is an eternity online.  Most sites I've taken a look at rely _heavily_ on "organic" traffic from google. 

Which again, sounds great, except that Google changes it's algorithm all the time.

Can someone take a site and "add value" to increase the income?  Sure, but if it was easy and profitable then the seller probably would have already done it.  So ideally you are looking for a lazy and stupid seller.  They exist, but they aren't common.

More common is someone who built a site up quickly (say in the last 12 months) using crappy content and paid backlinks.  They might also pay for some traffic to artificially boost their analytics data.  So you take look and see a site that has good looking backlinks and healthy traffic.  Great!

But when you buy, suddenly those backlinks go away and the paid traffic firehose shuts off.  You are left with a site that has some crappy content and little to no real revenue.

I've seen this play out time and time again.  It's a remarkably common scam.

If you want to avoid this, and still buy a site for investment purposes, then you need to think big.  You want a site that has been around for a long time.  5+ years.  Tons of organic backlinks with a natural profile.  Proven multi-year profitability and growth.  A seller who you can talk to on the phone.

And that's going to be expensive.

I've been told that the real profit opportunity comes from transactions in the $100k to $300k range.  Large enough that you can be assured there is a real business behind it, but small enough that it's not a serious buyout target for a company.

And at that level, if you want to be diversified you'd need significant capital.

Can you tell I'm not too hot on the idea? :-)  Had too many friends get burned.
www.Frugalwoods.com -- 30-yr-old Mr. and Mrs. working towards FI and a rural homestead. ‘Til then: adventures in frugal city living.

Foggier

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Has anyone bought existing, established websites for Cash Flow?
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2014, 10:45:54 PM »
I was wondering when I'd see flippa show up on these forums! I considered it a while back but decided too many deals were simply too good to be true and I had no real way to easily tell if traffic was bumped up via payments, paid for SEO, or otherwise somehow misleadingly window dressed prior to sale.

Furthermore, given how many weird cPanel/eJunkie like monstrosities and god knows what else each site could be hosted on for content/ads/payment processing/etc. - it seemed to me like the marginal maintenance/transition cost per each additional site might be quite large. I would still consider a reseller type site whose revenue came solely from sales that had good layout and variety, good connections with manufacturers, discount/volume deals, full and complete last year sale records, and drop shipping arrangements already prepared and intact.