Many of us have blogs and websites that have become like children to us. We nurture them with SEO and watch them grow using Google Analytics. We see them get their first pay cheque when we start using affiliate links or Adsense. Then the day comes when we can take them no further. We just haven’t got the time or the skills to take it to the next level. So it’s time to let them go.
Selling a website can be a tricky business. After all, it’s not like you’re selling a tangible object such as a car or a house. When it all boils down to it you’re selling a sequence of ones and zeros that you somehow own the rights to.
Obviously, you must value your website. Since we’ve given our blogs and sites some of our best work this is often the hardest step because we’re in a very biased position. Asked off the top of our heads we’d probably value our websites at an astonishing figure purely out of love. But you’ve got to put aside all of that and do some realistic math.
We’ll use a basic valuing formula which is multiplying your annual revenue on a website by the yearly commitment a buyer could be expected to make until he/she sees a decent turnover.
Firstly, decide which category your site fits into. Is it :
a) A timeless, long-standing website that can easily evolve. An example of this would be MakeUseOf or Lifehacker.
b) A blog or site that has an expiry date. An example is one attached to a specific product or service that will eventually decrease in popularity (although retro fan sites are the exception).
c) A new emerging site that could easily be modified and changed due to the low-traffic but still has high-potential.
d) Another site such as affiliate marketing or B2B.
Then take your category and multiply your yearly ad revenue by these corresponding values:
d) 1.5 – 3 depending on popularity and credibility
If your site is new or you haven’t monetized it yet you will have to make estimates for your annual advertising revenue. This is specific to your niche and the type of content you create. It’s worth monetizing your site for a few months purely to get an idea of this (and to make a few bucks on the side).
You should now have a ballpark figure for your site. Add on other income streams (or potential income streams) which your site owns. For example, extra features such as newsletters, eBooks, forums and apps which could all easily be monetized need to be added on. Use the same ‘ annual income X yearly commitment’ formula we used above.
Also, if your site has a shop or a product for sale, you can value those as well. Then total up the approximate value for your site and tweak it until you’re happy with the figure and you think it’s attractive to buyers.
Online Valuation Tool
For an easier way to value your site (or just to get an idea) use WebsiteOutlook. I tested dozens of valuing tools and this is the only one I would recommend. Other services gave me laughable valuations. For example, I just started a blog last week and one service gave me a valuation of over 30K even though my revenue is down at a couple of dollars a week!
When you go to Website Outlook, enter in the URL of your website in the text-entry box in the top right-hand corner. If your site is only a few days old this may not work for you but if it’s live for more than a week then it’ll work just fine.
When you hit enter, a page such as the one above will display. The top part gives you a rough evaluation of your blog. The screenshot below shows you the traffic data for your website and the Alexa rating. Perhaps more important in the quest to advertise and sell your website (which Jack will cover in the second part of this series) is the traffic origin tool. This tells you from which country your traffic arrives. So if it’s all from the US then you may want to try selling it to a company in the US.
It’s important to keep in mind that this tool will only give you an average based on revenue from similar blogs. It also doesn’t take into account any other income streams such as the ones we discussed above. You’ll have to add those on yourself.
One final tip I’ll give you on valuing your website before you decide to put it on the market is to think rationally. Would you buy your site for the price you’re asking? If your answer is ‘no’ then it’s time to rethink.
Look out for part two of this post where Jack looks at nine online places where you can put your site up for sale. Stay tuned for that!
Image Credits : TheTruthAbout