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Our Competitor Tried to Sell This Site for Over Six Months…. We Sold It in One [Case Study]

Lauren Buchanan Updated on November 15, 2022

When it comes to selling your website, building a quality, profitable asset is only half the battle.

As attractive as your business may be, if the right people don’t see it for sale, you’ll have a hard time making a speedy exit.

This was the situation one of our recent sellers found themselves in. They’d build a cracking website, but it sat on our competitor’s marketplace for more than six months without generating any real interest.

The seller then turned to Empire Flippers to see if we could drum up interested buyers for their site. Not only did the business generate lots of interest on our marketplace, but it was snapped up by a buyer in less than a month!

Read on to discover what led the seller to their successful exit and how you can make your site more appealing to future buyers.

Building an Attractive Website to Sell

The business in question was a content site in the plumbing niche.

What made the business such an appealing asset was its simplicity. The site was well-niched down, focusing on a distinct area of plumbing instead of a broad range of subjects.

The content was made up of informational articles, product guides, and reviews that guided readers toward relevant plumbing parts and accessories sold on Amazon. This made it easy to generate Amazon Associates revenue, backed up by income earned from well-placed display ads.

The lack of complexity meant the seller didn’t have to spread themselves thin across many processes and tasks. With the help of a family member, the seller spent around three hours a week writing high-quality content, and an additional hour doing keyword research and sending out email campaigns to subscribers.

A mere four hours of work per week brought in an average monthly profit of $1,773.00.

Boosting the Site’s Traffic and Revenue

The business was created in early 2016 but saw very little traffic until late 2018.

Up until this point, the seller was creating content sporadically and hadn’t really focused on optimizing the articles they were publishing.

At the start of 2019, the seller made an active effort to regularly publish new content. They made use of an AI-based content planning tool that assisted with keyword research, content brief creation, and SEO to streamline the content creation process.

The keyword research ensured that the content was relevant to the site’s core audience. SEO optimization helped the articles rank higher and attract larger volumes of traffic.

This new consistent publishing schedule, partnered with quality content production, resulted in an immediate and substantial increase in traffic and earnings.

Finding a Buyer for the Business

Having built a solid foundation for the website to thrive on, the seller decided it was time to sell the business and move on to other projects.

After researching several online business brokers, the seller decided to list their business on an online marketplace that specializes in selling websites. Unfortunately, the seller’s site sat stagnant on the marketplace for over six months without selling.

Frustrated by the lack of buyer interest in the business, the seller turned to Empire Flippers for help. Listing their site on our marketplace gave the seller access to our large pool of buyers.

Thousands of high-net-worth individuals trawl through our marketplace every week, and the wide variety of business models we sell helps draw in a diverse group of buyers.

We sell Amazon FBA, eCommerce, SaaS, Amazon KDP, display advertising, Amazon Associates, affiliate, lead generation, and a number of other types of businesses. These businesses attract everyone from first-time business buyers to aggregators and private equity firms, website flippers, portfolio builders, and even eCommerce or SaaS entrepreneurs who are looking for websites to use as bolt-on acquisitions for their existing businesses.

New businesses go live on our marketplace every Monday. A breakdown of all the new businesses for sale is sent out to our email list of ∼250,000 subscribers.

All this results in more eyes on your business and a higher likelihood of selling your site quickly.

It was exposure to a larger audience that ultimately helped the seller achieve their exit.

A Quick and Efficient Sale

Small businesses sell faster because more people can afford them. Large, six or seven-figure businesses can take a few months to sell, but businesses under the $100K mark often get snapped up in a matter of weeks, or even days.

This content site fell into the smaller category, so we were expecting it to receive a fair amount of attention from interested buyers.

We weren’t disappointed. The business amassed a total of 103 unlocks from interested buyers who wanted to learn more about the website!

Ultimately, the business was on our marketplace for just under a month before the seller accepted an offer from a buyer.

From there, our migrations team leaped into action to transfer all the business assets into the buyer’s name.

While the business had sat unsold on our competitor’s marketplace for over six months, we were able to sell the site and transfer it to the new owner in under 2 months!

How to Build a Website That Will Attract Buyers

One of the reasons this website attracted so much attention from buyers is because it ticked many of the boxes buyers look for when searching for an asset to buy.

Here are a few key factors that will make your content site business more appealing to buyers:

Reduced Owner Involvement

There’s a popular saying among entrepreneurs, “Work on your business, not in your business.”

Reducing your involvement in day-to-day operations frees up time to focus on growing and optimizing your business. It also means you can outsource activities like content writing, bookkeeping, or SEO, to professionals who are likely more skilled at those tasks than you are.

This strategy pays dividends when you decide to sell your site too.

Many people buy online businesses in an effort to move away from the traditional 9-5 workday grind, or because they want to expand their existing business portfolio. In both of these instances, buyers don’t want to purchase a website that requires them to put in hours and hours of work. They’re looking for a business they can maintain with minimal effort.

In a nutshell, reducing your involvement in the business will help you focus on growth and will widen your buyer pool when you decide to exit.

Diversification of Traffic

Traffic is the lifeblood of any website. But if you’re not careful, your main traffic driver could also become your Achilles heel.

There are two ways to prevent yourself from falling victim to Google Algorithm updates.

The first is to diversify the spread of traffic across your site. You shouldn’t rely too heavily on one page or article to drive traffic. If that page is taken down or penalized by Google, you’ll lose a large chunk of your revenue.

Instead, traffic should be evenly distributed across the various pages on your site. Writing high-value content and creating internal links to relevant articles on your site will help you diversify your traffic.

The second way to protect yourself from algorithm updates is to diversify your traffic sources, i.e. where your traffic originates from. For most websites, the majority of traffic is organic, coming from Google Search.

Creating an email list, building a social media presence, creating backlinks, and running paid advertising campaigns are great ways to reduce your reliance on Google.

Diversified Revenue Streams

Diversification is also important when it comes to the way you monetize your business. Much like with your traffic, it’s risky to put all your eggs in one basket.

Luckily, there are a variety of ways to monetize a content site. You can earn income from display ads, Amazon Associates, affiliate links, or lead generation, to name a few.

You can diversify your income even further by working with multiple affiliate partners and display advertising networks. This ensures that you’re not at the mercy of one service provider.

Business Age

Interested buyers rely on your website’s historical data to assess the site’s profitability and overall performance. The newer your site is, the less data is available.

Ideally, you should wait until your site has at least one year of profitability before selling.

This should generate enough data to determine any seasonality and fluctuations your website experiences. It will also allow time for your published content to start gaining traction.

The value of your site will increase incrementally as the site ages, but it’s best to focus on diversification and outsourcing if you want to see a substantial increase in value.

Sell Your Business the Right Way

Entrepreneurs are used to doing things the hard way and taking the road less traveled. While this is a great way to get ahead in business, selling your website doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.

As this seller learned, choosing the right marketplace can make a world of difference when it comes to ensuring a successful exit. From there, selling your site is as easy as one, two, three.

First, create an account on our site. Second, submit your website for sale. Third, sit back and relax while we work our magic and find the ideal buyer for your business.

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