Welcome to my series of posts about buying, managing, growing, and selling websites and online businesses.
Why am I writing this guide to investing in digital assets? Because
- I'm doing it, and have been doing it for most of this year,
- There's almost no (objective) information out there about investing in online assets, and
- I realised that in spite of thinking I knew a lot from years working in finance and in my own online businesses, I realised how much more I had to learn about the acquisition process.
And as I usually like to do on this blog, I'll share what I learn, so others can benefit from it.
In this series I'm going to cover that you need to know how to do to buy, manage, grow, and (eventually) sell a website — the major things you should be familiar with.
Here's a general overview of what I'm going to cover. If you're interested in hearing more, consider signing up to my email list.
See below for an overview of articles I've written. The existing links are the ones I've published; the ones that aren't linked are articles to come.
Like this guide to investing in websites and digital assets?
Then sign up to my email list. I'll send articles on digital investing, and occasionally other topics. If you like, you can also keep checking back at this topic, or visit the Digital Investing Overview page.
Digital Business Investment Basics
- What are the different kinds of digital businesses you can buy? Websites, apps, marketplaces, shops, and more.
- What is a "Website"? No, it's not just a domain name! How do they make money? (affiliate, advertising, SaaS, products, amazon, and more)
- Digital investment terms you might hear (a lot)
Deciding to Buy a Digital Asset
- About me as a digital investor — My background
- How I got started buying apps and websites
- Why buy websites (and not property, gold, stocks, bonds, crypto etc.) for cash flow and investment
- Is owning a website “passive income”? A reality check
- The time required to manage, build, and grow a website
- Investment multiples for websites — what you should expect to pay for a reasonable amount of income
- How much it costs to build a website — what it has likely cost the person selling it to you
- Horizon: How many blogs survive X number of years? For example, how does it care to survival rate of companies in S&P 500?
- Should you buy a site for a premium or build one yourself? (Or pay someone to build it for you?)
- Is buying a website a good idea if you have never set up a successful site on your own?
Shopping for Websites — How and Where to Buy them
- Where you can buy an online business — brokers, Facebook groups, or direct purchasing
- The best brokers for buying websites (EmpireFlippers, Flippa etc.) — compared
- Should you buy a "Starter Site"? Checking out starter sites on Flippa
- How to get a great site made for you — Outsourcing services
- Finding "good deals" — What they look like (and what to avoid)
- Types of websites you can buy — marketplaces, blogs, review sites, forums, and more
How to Value a Website to buy
- Checklist for website purchase due diligence — everything to check
- The basic elements of due diligence — valuation on current figures, projections, opportunities, de-risking, and understanding the current owner's contracts
- General valuation guidelines for websites — what is cheap, and what is expensive?
- What data to analyse when valuing a website (traffic, revenue, and more)
- What do the different traffic types mean? Sessions vs Pageviews vs Users
- Analysing and understanding traffic — Geography, Source/Medium, Device, and what can kill a deal
- Analysing SEO — page rank, keywords, rankings
- Tools to use to analyse a website’s performance — Google Sheets, Ahrefs, SEMRush a few others
- What’s a domain name worth? Is a .com worth more?
Due Diligence in Buying Websites
- The main questions to ask when doing due diligence
- What are the signs of a good website seller?
- What should you check on the platform — host, themes, and so on?
- Buying a company and organisation vs. buying just a "site"
Risks in buying websites
- Are PBNS or paid backlinks bad, if they’re even disclosed?
- Red flags — Signs you should walk away from any investment
- How to evaluate website investment risk and how it affects valuation
- How to analyse the seller in your due diligence (KYC)
Take over and Transition
- Avoiding getting screwed — how to use a payment escrow service
- Checklist for website hand-over — everything to include
- How long it takes to acquire a website and hand it over
- Contract terms that any website purchase should include
- Migration — the Best Website Hosts compared
- Transition the team, or build your own team?
Maintain / Grow your Website
- Major parts of website management to outsource (content generation, backlinks, technical management)
- What is traffic worth when it’s not monetised? Understanding potential RPMs
- Analysing site technical performance — load times, display, etc., and opportunities for improvement
- Tools to use to manage a website's data
- What you need to do to manage a website once you’ve bought it
- Website Revenue Streams — an overview
- Comparison of major advertising platforms — Adsense, Mediavine, Ezoic, Adthrive, and others
- Affiliate revenue explained
- Costs of managing a website — what will it cost you to host it, manage it, and grow it?
- Optimisation — how to improve website statistics
- Best tools to improve a website's performance
Connect with other Online Investors
- Resources for website buyers
- Facebook groups to join for website buyers and sellers
- Courses to take on website buying and selling