I have been building and selling websites since October last year and although it has not been that long I have learned a lot and it has become a nice way for me to diversify my business.
I have found that it is a relatively simple and and a good low cost way to start making some cash using your blogging skills. In this article, instead of just theoretically talking about how you could do it, I challenge you to put some time down and do it.
Your success cannot be guaranteed but I will say that most of my new build sites sell for at least $100 profit. If you want to see some of my sales just check out my profile on sitepoint.
Like I said, I want you to try this and I will be here to ask questions, critique your site before sale and give any other advice that you may need. Now onto what you need to do….
1. Go to the Sitepoint Marketplace section “Startup Websites For Sale” and take a look around. Look at what seems to be selling and have a read over some of the sales copy to get an idea of what is going on. Then sign up for an account, it’s free.
2. Based on your readings and what you are comfortable with, pick a subject. Things like economy, frugal and green living seem to be doing well but if you want to try something wacky you never know it may sell for a great price.
3. Write 10-15 articles on your chosen subject. Alternatively you can buy the articles but this will reduce profit. If you want to outsource then ask a friend or try Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. You should be able to buy an article for around $3.
4. Buy a .com or .net domain that is catchy and related to your subject. Setup hosting pointing to that domain and install wordpress. I advise Godaddy for domains, discount coupon codes can be found at Fatwallet. And I advise Hostgator for hosting. I use a reseller account that allows me to create separate accounts for every site that I create all for $25 a month.
5. Find a suitable WordPress theme. You want a clean and professional looking theme. Premium themes can help push the sale but I have had success using many free templates. More recently I have been using Hybrid News from Justin Tadlock. Install your theme, add a few plugins that you feel are needed. I normally keep it to a minimum but Google Sitemap, a Social Media plugin and Featured Content Gallery are good options.
6. Now you need to create a custom header design and any other graphics that you want. It needs, again, to be clean and professional. If needed outsource this, Mechanical Turk could be a good place to start. Then add all your articles and make sure they all have their own image. I find using free stick from Sxc.hu gives my sites a professional feel. Make sure you have the right to use ALL images.
7. Finish the site up. I often add adsense and affiliate ads so that they buyer can see how the site could be monetized. In some cased I re-brand a PLR ebook as added value . Also just tidy anything up that looks messy. You want to provide value for the customer as the hope is that some of these guys will become repeat customers.
8. Now go to sitepoint and list your site. I suggest setting the BIN (Buy It Now) price for a new site at somewhere between $150-$190 and I also through in a few bonuses such as free transfer ( My post “Move A WordPress Blog” shows you how to transfer a blog after a sale). and often a few free banner designs. You could offer free articles, some PLR extra content or whatever your creativity decides! For your listing text use other sales as inspiration and honestly sell the value of the site you have created. For a small sale like this I would also normally just accept Paypal, however there can be risks with this so be diligant and make sure you trust the buyer before handing over the site. Bigger sales can be secure using Escrow.
9. Hopefully you will start getting bids, comments and messages. You may even have someone buy the site at BIN. Just answer everyone, be courteous and make sure you are quick to respond when someone has purchased the site. Get onto closing these sale asap and make sure they are happy. An important part of buying and selling sites is back-end sales. Make sure you take their email (with permission) and start to make a mailing list. Offer them discount hosting (I offer a $15 rebate if they buy Hostgator hosting through me) and anything else that you feel may benefit them and you.
That is really about it. I tend to buy my articles these days so spend around $35 and about 3 hours of my time for a $100 profit and a possible future client. So why don’t you give it a try?
If you need any help just ask. If you want me to critique your site and offer advice, take a look over your sales copy or anything just let me know.
I can be contacted privately via gmail. Forest.Parks@gmail.com.
Good luck, I’m off out tonight so i’ll raise a glass to your success.