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Knowing When To Sell Your Website

EF Staff Updated on February 29, 2020

If you are considering selling your website, you are most likely either the owner of a site that’s bringing in a healthy revenue stream you’re ready to cash in on, or you’re someone that thrives on passion and energy.

Now to ask yourself the million dollar question: when should you cash in and move on to greener pastures?

This is a question that we get asked a lot, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to it. To determine when you should sell, you need to  explore several aspects.

First, you must determine the actual value of your site. Then, consider if selling your site is what you really want to do, or if it’s an impulsive reaction to a shitty day? Finally, when you have confirmed that, yes, you want to sell, what’s the next step?

What’s It Worth?

You’ve invested hundreds of late nights, and consistent effort, into maximizing the profit and audience potential of your site. Now you need to find your site’s real-time market value.

You can do this by figuring out its monthly revenue.

The revenue from your site might come from multiple streams, and it’s important to pull up the analytics and web stats for all of them. Also, make sure to check how many sites are listed on your account before you start taking down numbers. If you have two sites linked up to one account, you may be inflating values inadvertently.

After determining your site’s monthly revenue, you can double-check your work using a website valuation tool. There are literally hundreds of free website valuation tools available on the web. The majority of these will give you about as accurate a result as you would get taking one of those “Can We Guess Your Age?” quizzes on Facebook.

This is because they use guesstimates found on websites like Alexa. A serious buyer is not going to be satisfied seeing a value provided by Alexa. Alexa doesn’t look at primary metrics like the number of email subscribers you’ve acquired, the age of your site, the quality of the domain name, etc. These are the things that influence a buyer’s decision the most.

We created a free valuation tool you can try here that takes multiple provable variables into account before giving you a dollar figure. It values a website by using the same specifications an actual buyer would.

A common practice for selling your website is to release an asking price of 20x its monthly revenue, but there are other variables, such as those listed above, plus if any technical know-how is needed to run it. Buyers will also look at recent comparable websites that have sold in the industry to get a ballpark figure in mind.

This is why it’s imperative that you get an expert assessment of your website’s worth.

Submit Your Business For Sale

When You Should Sell

Think like serial entrepreneur and billionaire Richard Branson, who famously said, “Business opportunities are like buses; there’s always another one coming.”

  • You should consider selling when you feel that your site has reached its potential — or at least its potential with you at the wheel.
  • You find yourself wanting to work on more exciting projects, but are frustrated that your time is being spent maintaining a site you are no longer interested in.
  • You have found another investment opportunity and need the cash.

We get it.

Selling something you have poured blood, sweat, and tears into can be tough, but adopt the mindset of a serial entrepreneur. This sale should bring a huge sense of relief and freedom.

You will be free to focus your time and attention on a new project or opportunity that you’re excited and passionate about!

When You Shouldn’t Sell

Do yourself a favor and really think long and hard about it. Are you going to regret this transaction six months from now? Are you going to miss the consistent revenue coming in each month?

Let’s say you are overwhelmed with an insurmountable workload at your nine-to-five job. You come home to see you have an inbox full of comments, questions, or technical issues with your site that need to be addressed. You imagine how great life would be without all this extra work. Without any great deal of thought or careful consideration, you immediately list your site.

You haven’t explored your options. Are you really ready to step out of the driver’s seat, or do you just need a pit stop to get out, stretch your legs, and unwind? While unwinding at the pit stop, you can start thinking about if you’ve really done everything you want to do behind the wheel. Are there some exciting features or updates you would like to give a go?

Where to Find a Buyer

You’ve made the momentous decision to sell your site. You have all your ducks in a row in regards to the paperwork: ROI report, traffic stats, domain transfer, etc. You are excited. You are nervous. You are…wondering where your buyer is?

The buyer might very well be someone you’ve already established a connection with. Start with people that advertise on your site. Send out a notice of sale. After all, they are targeting the same market, so they might take an interest or know someone else in the industry that might express interest.

What about the competition? Reach out to your competitors, and let them know your site is up for sale. It could be a smart business move for a competitor to buy your site to gain a new customer base or venture into a slightly different niche market.

The right buyer is out there; it’s all about making the right connections to find them. When making connections and disclosing that your site is up for sale, be sure to market your website towards the needs of the potential buyer and not your needs. Someone who is building their already robust portfolio, or a “Portfolio Buyer” will not be as focused on the same things that a person who has never purchased a website before, or a “Newbie Buyer,” would be.

Let’s analyze some of the buyers you’ll be looking to sell to in further depth:

The Portfolio Buyer wants to see the ROI. They wants to know if there is a team running this site. They don’t have the time nor desire to buy a site that they will need to invest a lot of his own time in.

The Newbie Buyer wants a general overview of the site. They need a website that is fairly passive,something simple to maintain, and without complex monetization methods.

The Strategic Buyer would purchase a competitor’s website to expand her product range and/or add value to her current customers. She makes purchases with a specific strategy in mind.

The DIY Buyer would be fascinated with how your website works, especially if there are any weaknesses that can be tinkered with and improved. “DIY David” loves to tinker and learn new things.

The Flipper is looking for sites that have low revenue, but high traffic. They know what they want and if they are interested in your site, they, more than likely, already have your site’s stats and analytics in his hand.

Closing the Deal

Now, before you crack open the champagne to celebrate closing the deal, make sure all your t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. You now get to walk hand-in-hand with your buyer through the process of transferring the domain, getting all the monetization switched over, and double-checking to make sure all the pages and links are working correctly.

Finally, after every last ad affiliate account has been signed over and funds have successfully transferred, you can crack open the bottle of champagne and begin dreaming of your next business venture — now that you have the capital to invest!

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