Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ask Kelly & Ted - Advice on Selling a Website?

Here's a question we answered over at the very hip DC Web Women's Organization and Email List...

"Anyone have any advice on selling a website?"

Buying and selling Internet real estate and online digital assets is big business -you certainly can make good money from this, so long as you've got a good means of assigning current and potential value to the online property (i.e. "appraising" it, just like your home). Value doesn't have to only be about income-producing potential, either - sometimes websites are purchased simply for marketing, as a defensive move against competition, or for more altruistic purposes.

A quick online analysis of your site doesn't indicate much actual revenue-producing value or clarity in purpose, and there's much onsite work to still do, to make it ready for "prime time", in terms of online marketing, performance and usability from a conversion perspective. It probably wouldn't appraise for much - but that's only one opinion, without extensive research and competitive analysis, and the market ultimately decides value.

Regarding the market, and are examples of markets that cater to this...

Funny, we actually just finished helping someone evaluate and "stage" their site for sale (again, just like a house!) - and the site was a place for people to buy and sell other websites!

The best steps to take for your site are probably (1) get a decent appraisal of your site, (2) create some "sales copy", i.e. verbage about why the site is so great, (3) find a few outlets online on which to pitch it, that make the most sense, given your motivations and the site's theme, and (4) do a little online marketing and "buzz" creation of your own, pointing to your site from a blog or two, for example.

You could also simply "monetize" it a bit (i.e. add some ads), improve the seo a little, and let it "soak" a while (i.e. get its pagerank up from "0") - you might find it brings in just enough interest and revenue-generating "click-throughs" (i.e. from Google adsense) that it covers the hosting/domain charges, and basically just pays for itself.



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