The final part of my site's journey was to sell it for over $25,000 on FE International. I blogged all about it here.
To avoid repeating myself too much, this part of the series is going to cover whether you should hold on to a site, or sell it.
To summarize though, by the end of 2015, the site was making me $2,000 per month, which is amazing for a site I had quit in the past! In total, the site made over $10,000 in 2015, and would have gone on to make close to $25,000 in 2016 had I kept it.
That's not a bad income at all, and was virtually passive by this point.
When Should You Sell?
Deciding whether to keep hold of a site or sell it is not always a straightforward decision. Many people sell or hold for many different reasons.
The most common reason for selling according to Flippa listings is “I need money for a better opportunity”. While this is sometimes true, I doubt that it is always the real reason.
Is It A Matter Of Strategy?
I've asked various friends in the past what their thoughts on the matter are, and everybody gave a different answer.
Some people said they prefer to hold on to a site as long as possible, because they prefer passive income. Others will state that they think of it as a part of their net worth, and decide whether to keep or hold it based on the percentage it takes up of their portfolio.
Less complex reasons might be because they prefer to grow sites to X amount and then sell them for a bigger amount.
I also know people who set out from the beginning to build sites, rank them, and flip them. I guess it's easier when you set out the plan beforehand.
There really is no black and white answer.
What's Your Personal Income Objective?
For example, let's say it takes you 6 months to grow a site to $1,000 per month. You can do this twice a year (assuming you only work on one site at a time). If you sold both those sites, you would get roughly $20,000 each for them, making your income $40,000 per year, plus the $5,000 or so you earned while holding onto the sites.
On the other hand, if you kept the sites, your monthly income would be $2,000 per month by the end of the year, meaning that you would earn $24,000 per year from the start of the following year. This is a smaller amount, but of course, if you did this for a few years, and were able to build multiple sites per month, perhaps holding onto the sites would be the better option.
It really depends on your own financial situation and goals.
Another question is, what would you do with the funds?
In my case, I was looking to buy Authority Azon from Tung Tran, and needed to raise some funds to pay for it. Selling my shaving site gave me those funds, otherwise I would have kept hold of it.
Since Authority Azon was likely to earn me a lot more than the shaving site, especially over a long period, it was an easy decision for me to make.
Perhaps you would do something similar with the funds, by buying a cheaper site and fixing it up, or investing those funds into making something bigger and better.
Is The Site Maxed Out?
Another thing to consider is growing the site. Do you think your site has potential to grow and scale, or is it maxed out? If it's maxed out, would you prefer to cash in at 20-30x monthly profit now, or would you prefer to just enjoy the income? Amazon sites are pretty passive once they get going.
There's also the risk factor you need to consider. Do you think your site will still be earning the same amount in 2-3 years? If not, maybe now is a good time to cash in.
If you think there's a chance the site gets a penalty because of your link building habits, that's soemthing else to consider. While selling it takes the risk away from you, does it transfer it to the buyer? Some buyers have a much bigger financial power and will have the ability to pay for white-hat link building to reduce the risk of a penalty.
This is something you and the buyer would need to discuss. When I sold my shaving site, the buyer was aware I had used PBN links and I suggested ways they could grow the site to reduce the risk of a penalty.
This brings me onto the next part of the article, if you do decide to sell your site, how do you go about it?
How To Flip A Site
Here are some things you will need to make sure you have done before approaching a potential broker or before listing on Flippa.
1.) Make sure you are aware of the income and expenses the site has experienced. The longer the financial history the better. 3 months would be a minimum. 1 year would be ideal.
2.) Make sure you are aware exactly how you built and grew the site. Buyers will want to know the site's history, and will definitely check out your link profiles.
3.) Make sure you have Google Analytics or Clicky installed on the site.
4.) Make sure you know how many hours you work on the site per week, and what that work is.
5.) Do you hire a writer? Will they stay on board if you sell? You need to know this too!
6.) You also need to think about everything else the buyer will need to know when doing their due diligence.
Whatever you decide to do, I recommend going through a proper broker, because Flippa can be a nightmare, and even though the fees are lower, the income multiple you earn will be lower too. Typically on Flippa you can sell a site for 10x monthly profit, while EF and FEI can get you anywhere from 20 – 36x.
This is the final post about selling a site and the end of the journey for my shaving site. However, to end it with a bit more closure and a summary of everything I learned, and everything you can do to replicate my success (and avoid my failures), there will be one more summary post published after this.
See you there!
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Missed the earlier parts of this series? Go back to the beginning here.