Buying and selling websites is a legitimate business, particularly in the West. Even though India is at the forefront of technology startups, it has lagged in turning website buying and selling into a legitimate business.
Most people aren’t even aware that websites can be bought and sold just like real estate properties, stocks, etc. Website buying and selling is a legitimate business opportunity, but it involves a lot of learning on the part of a prospective buyer because the Internet abounds with scams.
This post intends to be a comprehensive resource for buying websites or blogs in India. This buying guide can teach even a beginner about buying a website in India even though I would not suggest a beginner, buy a website unless he or she has someone looking after his interests. Surprisingly, there are very few resources on the internet given the information overload that we have in 2022.
How to read this guide?
This is a comprehensive guide that is divided into five following phases:
- Introduction Phase: In this phase, you’ll learn whether buying is a good option for you or not.
- Prep Phase: In this phase, you’ll learn about the jargon and what tools are required for buying a website?
- Identifying Phase: This phase will help you to apply the principles you learned in the Prep phase and look for opportunities.
- Buying Phase: Prepares you with the buying checklist so that you do not skip important things.
- Growing Phase: This is the most exciting part and my favorite one. This is where you’ll learn to grow the website.
- Selling Phase: After growing, the next step is obviously to either keep it for the long term or sell it. This phase will teach you about the later part.
Prepare the user whether he should consider buying or not?
In this phase, we’ll be learning all about whether you should even consider buying a website because the majority of websites that are selling online are scams in one form or the other. So you need to learn to distinguish a good website from a scam one. For that, we’ll need lots of learning. This blog post will teach you everything about buying, growing, and selling the website.
Let me make one thing clear at the outset, a beginner should not think about buying a blog or website because there is a big possibility that you will be scammed. The Internet is full of scammers. So if you are a beginner, consider looking for a trusted website broker so that there are fewer chances of being scammed.
Look to reject, not to buy.
This above-mentioned quote is a guiding light for my strategy while looking at a website for buying. Creating a website may look intimidating to a beginner but it is easy for web developers. Even though creating a successful website takes time, patience, and lots of learning.
The barrier to entry is quite low when it comes to establishing a web-based business. That is one among many reasons, for so many scams out there. Does that mean you shouldn’t consider buying a website? Of course, not. If I approach online businesses from the point of expertise, then buying a website can become one of the best opportunities you have ever come across. With an informed approach, you can reap many benefits.
I don’t want to waste your time. So just want to outline a few things upfront that will require a lot of patience and NO saying in addition to a lot of learning. But if you go through this complete guide from start to finish, there are much bigger chances that you will save yourself many headaches.
Why you should consider buying a website?
Buying a website will save you a ton of time and frustration down the line. But please don’t think that it will be a cakewalk because running a successful website will require all the skills one needs to build a successful website and more.
Buying a website will help you to avoid the Google sandbox timeframe, which is the time that Google takes you to start trusting a website.
This guide is NOT for:
- Someone who’s looking for a “Get rich quick” scheme. This is NOT such a scheme.
- Someone who’s not willing to invest at least a week understanding what he’s getting himself into and what it takes to run and grow a successful website.
- Patience is a virtue, my friend. If you’re someone who can NOT say NO to offers and choose the right one for you. Life won’t be easy for you.
This guide is for:
- A complete beginner who doesn’t know much about running a website but is willing to put in the effort and show patience.
- Someone wanting to get into a web business or start a website. You’ll need to be extra careful.
- Someone with a background in web designing & development and now looking to learn about buying a website.
- Someone already maintaining a successful site and is exploring to buy or sell more websites.
- If you’d like to learn about flipping websites i.e. buying a good enough website and after putting some work into it, selling it for a profit.
Train the user for various tricks and tools of the trade. Train in tools, technical jargon, and skills.
So you know what it takes to buy and then run a website and are looking to buy a website. In this phase, we’ll learn things that are required to successfully buy a website.
But before starting our prep stage. Just want to warn once again about who will suit buying a website and who will not.
Who should not consider buying a website or blog, just yet?
On an additional note, you shouldn’t consider buying a website:
- If you have not created a successful website before.If you don’t know much about the particular niche.If you are already working on a website. It is best to focus on ONE website at a time.
- All the above-mentioned points make sure that you have created and maintained a successful website i.e. you know what it takes to create a successful website. This will help you to avoid scams and find opportunities that are suited to you.
- You should have a clear path in mind, regarding how you’ll grow the website.
We will have to learn a few things about buying and selling a site. We’ll be learning mainly about the following components:
Learn Google Analytics (For Content)
Helps you to identify how Google sees and treats the website currently. Shows the quality of the content.
Google analytics data is one of the most important that you’ll take a look at while buying a website. This data should not be your sole decision-making criteria because it can be manipulated or inflated by buying clicks. Nonetheless, it is a key consideration.
There are a lot of people inflating traffic and reported revenues. Fake clicks can be bought and sold in the market and hence Google Analytics data can be manipulated as well.
Learn to perform Search Analysis (For Content)
Helps you to identify low-hanging places for improvement after you take over the website. Shows the strategy of the website’s owner that he used for growing it.
Search analysis is searching for keywords or terms people use to find resources of the particular website in question. If you can identify these, this will be one of the most important skills. It will help in defining the value of the website for you. But it will also help you in growing the website if it doesn’t have good search analysis performed.
Learn to read Backlink profile (For Backlinks)
Helps you to identify the personality of the website and owner. If shady link-building techniques have been used, stay far clear of such a website. It shows the current reputation of the website.
Backlinks are the relevant links that point to your website from other websites. The better quality they are, the higher reputation they will have in Google’s eyes. Look for relevant links that help a website to achieve something. Links for the sake of links aren’t that helpful and can hurt the reputation of the website in years to come.
You do not need to actively build backlinks if you are building a website, no matter what experts say. But if you are buying a website, backlinks are really important.
Monetization front (For Monetizing the website)
The ultimate goal of running a successful website is to earn some money. Check what type of methods have been employed by the current owner of the website.
This part is one of the important. If the website is highly and efficiently monetized, it leaves little or no room for you to make improvements on this front. It will be one of the low-hanging places for improvement after taking over a new website. A highly monetized website will have one less avenue of improvement and will be expensive to purchase.
Following are some of the methods of monetizing the website: (Best to worse)
This is the list of What you are selling? opposed to How you are selling? which we have discussed later.
- Information products like e-books, Courses, etc
- Membership or SASS website
- Selling services / ConsultationSelling own products (eCommerce)
- Lead generation
- Direct Ad space selling
- Affiliate commission
- Auto Ads by a platform like Adsense, Ezoic, etc
Prepares the user to find good quality undervalued websites to buy.
Now we are trained with the tools and techniques. In this phase, we will use those tools to find a valuable website for buying.
In this phase, we’ll learn to find opportunities and how to identify unpolished diamonds
Categorization of websites (based on monthly earnings)
(A) Earning less than ₹ 3000 ($50)
This category is most suitable for initial buyer websites. At the same time, there is a huge risk involved with such websites because it is very easy to create such a website for an experienced person.
The website in this category can be bought for 28x 3000 = ₹ 84000
There is no fixed multiple or price for websites of this category. You may easily find deals even for 10x – 20x the actual earnings.
(B) Earning between ₹3000 – ₹20,000 (around $50 – $300)
Websites that are a little more established fall in this category. Risk is smaller too compared to the preceding category.
The website in this category can be bought for 28x 20,000 = ₹ 5,60,000
There is no fixed multiple or price for websites of this category. You may easily find deals even for 25x the actual earnings.
(C) Earning between ₹20,000 – ₹100,000 (around $300 – $1200)
One of the best categories to buy a website. But you’ll not find many websites in this category because the website is starting to show growth.
The website in this category can be bought for 30x 100,000 = ₹ 30,00,000
There is no fixed multiple or price for websites of this category. You may easily find deals even for 25x the actual earnings.
(D) Earning between ₹100,000 – ₹10,00,000 (around $1200 – $13,000)
These websites are well established so they will attract a premium over the earlier categories.
The website in this category can be bought for 35x 10,00,000 = ₹ 3,50,00,000
There is no fixed multiple or price for websites of this category. You may easily find deals even for 25x the actual earnings.
(E) Earning more than ₹10,00,000 (around $13,000+)
Websites that are a little more established in this category fall in this category. Risk is smaller too compared to the preceding category.
The website in this category can be bought for 40x 10,00,000 = ₹ 4,00,00,000+
How to find the current value of the site?
This is the value you’ll be paying.
Average earning per thousand views ($28.09) * (Views / 1000 pageviews) = What the website should be earning right now.28x Current Earning per month = Price of the website, you should not pay more than this.
Do not buy based on the potential of the website. If the owner could have achieved this, he would have.
How to find the potential value for you?
This is not what you should pay the owner of the website. Instead, this value is where the margin exists. Please keep in mind that this value will be different for different people depending on their expertise, financial condition, and time they are planning to dedicate to the website.
What to look for when buying a site to flip?
If the website has the following qualities then you should consider the website for buying:
- It has a solid backlink profile i.e. relevant links pointing from reputed websites, with a good context but doesn’t have much traffic.
- Lots of easy-to-fix technical SEO mistakes that are preventing the website from achieving its potential.
Must do checklist
Check the Domain history through Archive.org. Make sure the domain has not been used for any other niche than it is now.
- Check Content Quality: Check for Search analysis, plagiarism, grammatical mistakes, and depth of the topics covered.
- Check Backlink Quality: Backlinks pointing to the site should belong to the same niche and should be high quality.
- Check Traffic: Analyze traffic trends & organic keyword rankings for the website or blog.
- Check Revenue: You will see spiky traffic on the website where keywords are not targeted intentionally.
Content Quality check
- Check for Search analysis
- Depth of the topics covered on the website
- Plagiarism of the content e.g through Copyscape, etc
- Grammatical mistakes
- Those keywords should be targeted that have some value for the core business of the website.
How to check Backlink quality?
- General-purpose links that do not add much value e.g attribution links from the home page are bad. Google states on the “link schemes page”: Widely distributed links in the footer and templates of various sites may be classified as “unnatural links”.
- Links that don’t have any particular context like homepage links, and footer links are “unnatural links”. Sitewide and footer links are bad.
- Look for backlinks that are relevant to the business and belong to the preferably same industry.
- Look for DoFollow links, try to recognize which is a valuable link from a reputable website.
- Check for every backlink for the website you want to buy manually.
- Look for anchor text. If branded anchors (name of the site) or naked links (www.example.com). That’s a good sign. If too much-targetted keyword stuffing is there, that means the website has used intentionally link-building practices.
- Analyze website for low-hanging places for improvement. At this point, I want to see if there’s a way I can improve the website’s traffic without a significant amount of effort or resources.
Technical SEO Checks
Look for technical SEO issues
- Find pages that have the most links pointing to them and see if there are any issues plaguing them.
- Check for HTTP, HTTPS, WWW, and non-WWW version redirections
- Check the status of on-page SEO i.e. quality of search analysis
- Check for broken links
- Check the organic keywords competitors in the industry
Verify traffic and revenue
Find ways to know more about the traffic of the website.
Steps to analyze traffic trends:
- Check domain ranking
- Consistent organic traffic growth
- Relevant Organic keywords ranking
- Branded traffic is valuable.
Do not place too much emphasis on the data provided by the owner. Though it has its importance, you never know who has manipulated the data. So it is a must to check for alternative sources.
Following are some of the other sources that can provide you with traffic data.
- Google Analytics
- Check revenue data of various sources.
Do not place too much trust in any of these. They just confirm your understanding of the website. Try to include as many sources as possible.
Check what sources of revenue are being used and what can be a suitable addition.
How to Find Undervalued sites?
There are about 1.17 billion websites on the internet out of which only about 200M websites are active. Every day 252,000 more websites are added. Check for more. So it is not tough to find good website deals. You just need to know what to look for.
A website that has not achieved its complete potential even with the current traffic. If your expertise can add value to it that will be even better. So if you feel the website has the potential to drive a lot of traffic based on data but doesn’t generate much revenue currently.
So let’s find and buy undervalued websites so you can save time, and money and get a headstart to more traffic
Don’t have a lot of search traffic but have the potential to drive a ton of SEO traffic.Potential traffic = High-quality content + high-quality backlinks.
These are some of the points to look for while searching for an undervalued website:
- The niche must have commercial value i.e. the content should be monetizable. Say no to Jokes, quotes, torrents, illegal sites, etc.
- Understand the value of the website: look for high traffic, low revenue site, that has a lot of potential to generate traffic and income based on data, not emotions.
- Look for the potential to generate a lot of traffic
- Type of traffic source: High-quality traffic is good regardless of its source. But look for diversified traffic websites. SEO traffic is one of the best.
- High-quality content + high-quality backlinks
- Check the website’s backlinks and history. Naked and natural backlinks are much more valuable than Attribution links on the site’s home page bottom.
Steps for checking the backlink quality of the website
If it doesn’t check all or most of the boxes then be patient.
Opportunity costs of running the other assets
Also, ask about the other intellectual property, social media accounts, email list, and domain names of the website. They should ideally be included in the same price.
Even though having diversified traffic sources helps a lot in building the cost. But do consider their maintenance overhead. Having a YouTube channel is great, but it will require you to post videos on it. They will perform as well as you will work on them.
SEO traffic is preferable because it needs the least amount of maintenance once you have done the search analysis and posted the article.
Opportunities to look for:
This part will be different for different types of websites but these are some of the most common things you’ll be able to do to score quick wins.
- Battleship the content
- Add more quality content
- Perform good Search analysis
- Boost monetization with the help of Ads, Affiliate links, and Resource page building
- When buying the content of the site, look for opportunities where the website has quality content and after work can be pushed to a higher ranking.
Ways to find great sites:
Though there are many large platforms. But it is really easy to be scammed there because these platforms have automatic checks and it is not feasible for them to check all of the listings manually.
- FE International
- Facebook Groups
- Contacting directly owners of the site
Other Tips & tricks:
- Search inurl: “blogs for sale” on Google
- intitle: “blogs for sale”
What does an average good website look like?
A website that has been developed through only the legitimate and recommended ways will always have a traffic curve something like the following pictures. I am also sharing average stats which can give you an idea, of what a normal website looks like.
Do keep in mind that this is just to give you an idea. There can be legitimate websites whose graph or curve looks different. It is just that you’ll have to pay more attention if you find a deviation and try to find out what may be the reason. It is best to ask the owner about them.Bounce rate: 70% – 90%Pages/Session: 1 – 1.3
Red flags don’t mean that you should outright reject the website. Instead, tread carefully and look for explanations.
- Sudden traffic boost
- Sudden drop, etc
- Too many ups, and downs.
- Black hat SEO techniques, Links from PBN(Private Blog Networks), Duplicate Content, Bad reviews, etc.
Green flags don’t mean you should outright buy the website. It just means these features are great if they are found.
- Consistent traffic/earning
- Graph starting from Zero and slow growth initially.
Prepares the user for actual buying and provides a checklist.
Now, you have identified the prospected website (s) which you want to buy. Let’s discuss the buying phase now.
That was quite a long step. But you are trained in identifying good website deals. In this phase, we’ll delve deeper into the actual buying of the website.
Steps to buy:
Now you know what an average website’s Google Analytics data look like, and what it takes to run a successful website, Let’s move on to the next step i.e. actual buying phase.
- Find a Niche You Care About. This niche should have a commercial value
- Find a website/blog that has the potential to drive a lot of traffic and earn revenue but doesn’t earn now. It will be an undervalued Blog/website.Website/Blogs value depends on what it earns now, not its potential.
- Look for websites with bad monetization but strong traffic so that it is undervalued & cheaper to buy.
- Aim for a valuable source of traffic. Look for diversified traffic sources in websites/blogs.
- If you are more technically sound, look for websites that don’t have a ton of search traffic at the moment but have the potential to drive a lot of traffic in the future after some improvements
- Identify low-hanging fruits & analyze existing revenue and potential growth
- Check for any scamming signals & original content
- Understand the business operations of the blog you’re buying i.e business aspects.
- Examine your website’s traffic statistics e.g Google Analytics data
Questions to be asked to the owner
- What is the history of the site?
- Have you done any link building? If yes, what type?
- What sort of SEO tactics you have been using?
- Try to find the real reason why the owner is selling the business.
Stats to look for
- What is the age of the content?
- When was the website started?
- How much earning does it make?
- What’s the pageviews data?
- The seller must include all the supporting online assets e.g YouTube channel, Email-list, etc.
- Domain and supportive domains.
- Intellectual Property rights related to the website.
We have bought the website. Now let’s grow it. So in this phase, we’ll focus on ways to grow our website so that we can sell it or earn from it for a long time to come.
Technical SEO improvements (Low hanging places for improvement):
- Do a 301 redirect from HTTP –> HTTPS, www –> Non-www, and add canonical tag
- Check the interlinking.
- Whether the site is intentionally keyword targeting or not. Quality of on-page SEO
- Look for organic search competitors in the industry.
- Broken links.
- Check monetization efficiency.
Low hanging opportunities to flip a site
- Battleship the content i.e. write content on the topics that have top-performing articles.
- Add more content around that topic and interlink.
- Look for ways to improve monetization.
Things to consider so that it can sell easily:
- Sell on the incline
- Depersonalize the site
- Easy maintenance
- Make sure the site has reliable traffic/income
- There shouldn’t be too many ups and downs
- Buy high traffic but poor monetization
- Affiliate and Ad monetized sites earn an average of $28 on average.
This phase will prepare you for the successful selling of the website after you have put in all the hard work.
Now you have a growing website. It is time to wait for about 6 to 9 months so that it has consistent growth in traffic and revenue. This will help us to show the prospective buyer that the website is consistent and is growing which will help us to sell it for a premium.
How to make money by flipping the website?
- You can improve the content of the site by Income school’s battleship method. Push more and more content to the top of the SERP.
- Improve monetization
- Get the website to perform consistently for at least 6-months before selling it.
- Try to sell on the incline.
- Depersonalize the site.
- Make the website as easily maintainable as you can.
Steps to successful flipping of a website:
- Get technology-savvy i.e. learn about all the technicalities of running a website and trust me it is not as tough as you may think. (Takes about a week even for a complete beginner)
- Learn the basics of SEO & Content Marketing (it takes 2 weeks for a complete beginner)
- Learn about the business aspects of running a website. (Takes 1 week for a complete beginner)
- Successfully create & maintain a successful website (Takes about a year, Income school’s project 24 is one of the best resources to start with)
- Gain knowledge about Buying a great website (Read this guide)
- Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Easier said than done, right? Continuing with the same enthusiasm for more than a week is quite tough. But if you’re willing to put in some hard work daily, it is not tough at all. Perseverance trumps all.
ALTERNATIVELY, you can hire the help of a website broker. You will need 4-types of expertise:
- Website brokerage: So that you are not scammed Technical help: One who can install, run and maintain the site for you
- Search Analysis: It works best if it is done by you.
- Content Writers: Again can be bought but works best if it is done by you.
Always remember, no one will look for your interests better than you. But taking the help of trustable experts will save a ton of time. Start with enlisting their help as consultants so that you can learn things.
The benefit of working with us
I am working to create a community around the buyers and sellers of blogs/websites in India. So it gives us an instant opportunity to cut down a lot of scammers short.
- You are buying or selling in a community that gives instant credibility and decreases the chances of being scammed.
- Escrow availability.
- We have partnered with web design and development agencies so that our customers can be helped during the transfer process.
- There are no charges except yearly membership fees for joining the community.
- Only 15 months or older websites or blogs can be sold in our community.
- Every website or blog is vetted by us before presenting to the community.
What to Look for When Buying a Blog to Flip – Case Study: Income school
How to Buy an Undervalued Website on Flippa: AHref
Should you buy a blog by Shane Dutka
I Lost $1200 on a Flippa website: Avoid these mistakes! by Michael Bordenaro
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any good website brokerages in India?
There aren’t any reputable website brokerages in India that I am aware of. That is precisely why we have started working in this field recently. So if you are from India and are interested in buying a website, get in touch.
How to buy a blog and make money in India?
I can not guarantee that you’ll make money. But I can definitely help you to buy an undervalued website that will have more value than it is bought for. Converting it into a successful website depends a lot on you and what you want to achieve.
If you can dedicate a lot of time and have already built, maintained, and grown a website successfully then buying can be a beneficial deal for you.
How do you value a website or blog?
Valuing a website or blog involves many variables. There are two values attached to a website when buying, one is the actual price at which it will be sold or bought and another one is the potential value for the buyer of the website.
Can I buy a website?
Buying and selling is a legitimate business. In India, it is not much practiced that’s why there is so much confusion. This guide is a step towards removing that confusion. If anyone reads this website buying guide in full. He will be well poised to buy a successful website.
How to find an undervalued website or blog?
An undervalued website is selling for significantly less than its value for a particular buyer. Do keep in mind that the same website’s value will be different for different buyers depending on their financial condition, the time they are willing to dedicate, and their skillset.
The potential value will only give you a hint about whether you should buy a website or not. Ideally, it should not have any effect on how much you want to pay for the website. This is just a guiding light.
- Website Flipping: Buying an undervalued website to grow and then sell for a profit.
- SEO: Search engine optimization i.e. optimizing the website to be found on the Search engine.
- SERP: Search Engine Results Page
- Search Analysis: Keyword research i.e. finding good keywords or search terms around which the post or website’s content is to be written.
- Backlink Profile: Hyperlinks from other websites to our website.