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My First Time Buying A Website

by Mike

One of my goals for 2011 is to double the amount of revenue that I earn online.  Part of my strategy for achieving that goal is to build one new mini-niche site each month.  I’m talking small sites that are designed to make money with AdSense and/or affiliate programs.  I’m targeting small markets and keywords with relatively low competition so it shouldn’t take too much to get them ranked and earning.  I don’t want to spend a ton of time working on them because this blog is still my first priority and I don’t want it to suffer.

As a firm believer in income diversification I’m continuously looking to develop new streams of income. I already have a handful of niche sites up and running so I know this strategy is viable if done right.  And if I can stick to 12 new sites a year my revenue should really pick up.

So far I’ve registered a handful of domains and built one new site which I officially launched at the end of January.  It’s been up for a month and has made me $10.89 so far.  Not exactly enough to retire on, but it’s early.  It currently ranks near the bottom of the second page in Google so it’s not seeing much traffic, but it is still getting some clicks.  With a little work I should be able to get that one ranked near the top for its main keyword and then I should see some nice income.

The plan has always been to build each site by myself from scratch using XSitePro (I love WordPress for blogging, but it’s just overkill for small static sites like these).  But after reading a few posts from The Financial Blogger and seeing how much he spends to grow his business, I decided to try taking a shortcut by buying two already established websites.

Now before you get all excited, these are tiny sites that I bought.  They target very specific keywords in rather small niches that don’t get a lot of traffic.  In other words these sites will add only a few drops of revenue to my income streams.  But let me explain my thought process a little so you can understand why I bought them.

I’ve been considering buying a small site for some time.  I had never done it before so I figured it would be good learning opportunity to walk through the process.  But since I don’t really have a ton of funds on hand to devote to it I wanted to start small.  So instead of looking for well-established sites that are already generating revenue, I’ve been searching for a diamond in the rough that has some potential.  In baseball terms, I can’t afford to spend like the Yankees Brian Cashman so I’ve been looking for bargains with potential like Brian Sabean or Billy Beane.

Anyway, I’ve been browsing Flippa regularly but haven’t found anything just right.  There are lots of sites on there that talk up their potential earning power without any real backup to support their claims.  And there’s also a lot of crap.   Many sites in the lower price range are just auto-blogs, which I’m not interested in.  I don’t want sites that will here today and gone tomorrow.  I want sites with real content that will continue to grow and rank well for years.

I also checked out some online forums before finally finding what I was looking for at the Warrior Forum.  The seller was offering ten sites in all but I only wanted two of them.

Here are the main reasons I chose to purchase these two sites:

  • They were built with XSitepro, which is a plus for me because I already own it so adjusting the site would be a breeze.  In fact, they were built with the same theme too, one that I have seen before and I know for a fact that it does particularly well with AdSense.
  • The prices were rock-bottom low ( I got both of them for only $35).  The seller was disappointed in their earnings to date and was just going to let them expire, so he was happy to get almost anything for them.  And although I don’t envision either of them turning into big winners I do think I can make them profitable pretty quickly.
  • One site is currently ranked around 12 in Google for its main keyword, the other is close to 30.  That means they’re very close to the first page already.  If I write a few articles and get a few backlinks I should be able to push them onto the first page of Google and then the traffic should pick up.
  • They both have estimated AdSense CPCs of $3-$5, so even if traffic is low I can still make a profit if each click earns a couple dollars.
  • Both sites are focused on specific products categories which means I can also monetize with affiliate links.  I’m going to add some pages on specific products from each category and include Amazon affiliate links to them.  I’ve had some success with this method on another niche site I built.
  • The content is decent, if unspectacular.  I ran both sites through Copyscape to make sure it was all original and I wasn’t completely turned off by the articles already written.  Like I said, I don’t want to spend a lot of time re-working these sites because that would defeat the purpose of using them as a shortcut.

So in the end, the sites I acquired were dirt cheap and have limited earning potential.  But buying them saves me the trouble of building them from scratch, and I see enough potential in them to take a shot.  I don’t want to share the specific niches these sites are in but I will give regular updates on their status as I hopefully build them up to be profitable members of my money-making team.

 

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Car Negotiation Coach

Mike, Good luck, I’m excited to see how this works out for you. I’ve been tempted to dabble with Flippa myself, and as you know, I’m in the process of trying to figure out the right methodology to rank better for my desired keywords. I’d love to read more on the types of strategies you use to increase your search engine rank.
Car Negotiation Coach´s last [type] ..Beta Launch- Personalized Car Buying Advice App

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Mike

Hey Geoff,

I will definitely share some updates as I go. Right now I just have too many ideas and not enough time to implement everything.

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Evan

I have only used Wordpress and to a much lesser extent Joomla (much less since I don’t really understand how it works and I hired a freelancer lol) – what is xsitepro and why not just use the free wordpress and the premium theme you clearly already paid for?
Evan´s last [type] ..My Favorite Thing About Paying off Debt

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Mike

Hey Evan,

I’ve looked at Joomla too and it confused the hell out of me. XSitepro is another type of CMS (like WordPress or Joomla) but it’s very intuitive so there’s not much of a learning curve. I agree WP is unmatched for blogging purposes, but for small niche sites it’s just too much. To get the look and functionality I need using WP it would take me forever (or I’d have to hire someone), but I can do it myself quickly using XSitePro.

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Crystal

That sounds like a great decision! It’s also a fantastic deal – the most you could possibly lose is $35 plus the domain names but you can build them into sites that could easily make $120 a year on Adsense. Woot! Maybe I should look into purchasing already developed sites…

Reply

Mike

Thanks Crystal. I figure it’s a low risk opportunity to see if I can expand a little.

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Jenna

That is exciting! Good luck!

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Mike

Thanks Jenna!

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Dr Dean

Great idea. I am worse off than Evan. I use wordpress in that I know where to type my posts…

Other than that I am clueless. Hope it works out for you!
Dr Dean´s last [type] ..Buffett Speaks- Are YOU Listening

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Mike

Hey Dr Dean,
I’m not that tech-savvy either, but I learn as I go. I’m a control freak and I like to be able to do things myself.

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[email protected]

Thanks for sharing this information. I find it fascinating to hear how others are exploring the online world of money making.

You have my admiration, my site and my one lonely blog keep me busy more than full time – just with the writing and the attempts at marketing. I too am a do it yourselfer. I’m using Joomla for the site and like it pretty well. Blogger is what I use for the blog and it is OK, but frustrating in that I haven’t spent much time figuring out how to customize it.

Ten or fifteen years from now you will probably have an online dynasty! It will be interesting to follow the blog-sphere to see if it ends up getting concentrated into just a few owners…..hope not :)
[email protected]´s last [type] ..How to Get Sudden Money

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