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The Complete Guide to Buying Content Websites

By Quiet Light
| Reading Time: 7 minutes

Content websites offer many unique qualities that make them excellent acquisition opportunities for the right investor. However, to land a good deal, it’s important to know what to look for when buying content websites.

This article discusses the benefits of purchasing content websites, how to maximize their profitability, and where to find deals that match your criteria.

The Complete Guide to Buying Content Websites

Reasons to Purchase Content Websites

In the world of online business acquisitions, content sites are in high demand. There are a few key reasons why buying content websites is so appealing among investors

  • Growth potential
  • Stability
  • Passive income potential

“In the world of online business acquisitions, content sites are in high demand.”

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Pay Attention to Growth When Buying Content Websites

Many content sites have enormous growth potential. With millions of people online, there are always more opportunities to build out fresh content that reaches new potential customers. 

In addition to growing your content strategy, you can also look for more ways to monetize your existing traffic. A few common drivers of growth for content sites include:

  • Facebook and other social media channels
  • Email marketing
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Search Engine Optimization

Relative Stability  

Another characteristic that makes content sites attractive is their relative stability. Unlike some other business models, content sites can often enjoy consistent and stable revenues. 

If you find a site with content that has consistently ranked well for the last 15 years, you can be reasonably confident that it will continue to perform. Compare this to an eCommerce store or e Commerce website that operates in a quickly-changing market that has only been around for two or three years. With the latter, revenues could quickly drop post-purchase if your timing is wrong. 

Of course, content sites are susceptible to downturns caused by algorithm changes, just like an ecommerce website or Amazon FBA. However, if the site has a wide breadth of content and a long track record of successful content marketing, the chances are good that it’s a solid investment.

Passive Income Potential 

One of the most attractive qualities of content sites is their passive income potential. If you find a turnkey website, it’s often possible to enjoy a minimal workload as the site owner. However, this doesn’t hold true for every content site, so be sure to do your homework.

“One of the most attractive qualities of content sites is their passive income potential.”

In addition to asking the basic questions about traffic and web hosting, take some time to examine the workload involved in running a given content site, it’s important to look closely at the current owner’s roles and responsibilities. If the current owner writes every blog post and does all the web design themselves, it could be a time-intensive project. On the other hand, if they have a dedicated content team, the site might truly provide passive income. 

How Content Websites Make Money

Before diving into the world of content website ownership, it’s important to understand their revenue models. 

The overall strategy is simple: Create high-quality content to attract customers to your website and then monetize. There are several common sources of revenue for content sites

  • Ad revenue
  • Affiliate offers
  • Digital products and courses
  • Paid memberships
  • Email marketing

“Before diving into the world of content website ownership, it’s important to understand their revenue models.”

Ad Revenue

Perhaps the most basic source of revenue for content sites is ad revenue. By joining an ad network, you can enjoy passive income through ad revenue generated. Google’s own program, Adsense, has long been a starting place for online advertising. It also integrates flawlessly with Google analytics.

While Adsense and other advertising platforms are simple and easy to use, they don’t allow you to customize your customers’ experiences. Instead of choosing which offers your website visitors encounter, Google Adsense chooses for you (or whatever other platform you’re using).

Affiliate Offers

Promoting affiliate offers (i.e. via Amazon associates) can be a great strategy for monetizing blogs and content websites.

Unlike with Google ads, you have a lot more control over the process when you promote affiliate offers. If you join an affiliate network, you can choose from an extensive list of products or programs to display on your website. This enables you to choose offers that best align with the content you’re creating.

In addition to joining affiliate networks, content sites can also partner directly with individual brands. This cuts out the ‘middleman,’ but also can require a bit more work. Affiliate offers generally provide a higher commission than traditional ad networks.

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Digital Products and Courses

Selling other people’s products is a great place to start, but selling your own has some key advantages. 

When you sell your own products on your site, you obviously don’t need to pay anyone a commission. This enables you to earn more money for each sale generated on your site. Also, you won’t be competing with anyone else who’s selling the same product.

The potential ‘downside’ to this route is that it can take some time and investment to create your own offers. For some, this isn’t a big deal. If you’re a content creator who’s passionate about the niche that the niche site serves, this step may even be enjoyable. 

Paid Memberships

Paid memberships can be another solid source of income. If a content site has a paid membership component, that’s a great sign!

In addition to revenue, paid subscriptions create added stability to a content site. In some cases, a content site may offer gated content on a premium domain that is only available to paid members. 

“Paid memberships can be another solid source of income. If a content site has a paid membership component, that’s a great sign!”

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to leverage organic traffic and boost revenues. 

Many content sites use lead magnets to build an email list and build relationships with potential customers. Intermittently, the content site owner can then promote products through email to drive additional sales. These can be the owner’s own products or those promoted through affiliate marketing. 

Buying Content Websites

Where to Find Content Websites for Sale

One of the best ways to find a profitable website as a buyer is to explore the online marketplace.

Depending on your budget, there are a few common ways to find content sites for sale:

  • Marketplace platforms
  • Your network
  • Brokers

Platforms 

If you’re looking for a small business or online store that doesn’t qualify to work with a website broker, online platforms can be the way to go. 

When you go this route, you communicate directly with sellers and evaluate deals on your own. While you can find some reasonable deals on online marketplaces, you also don’t always know who you’re working with. Therefore, always do thorough research and due diligence when buying content websites.

Buying Content Websites

Your Network

If you have a strong business network, you can consider looking for content sites that your friends, colleagues, or acquaintances may be selling. 

The obvious benefit of working directly with a seller is that neither party has to pay a commission. Although the person selling a content site or selling a blog pays the commission, this affects both parties.

The main ‘con’ to buying content websites directly from a seller is that you’re operating alone, which means you can’t turn to someone to discuss the numerous elements that are important to crafting a great deal. Additionally, it’s more difficult to evaluate one specific deal without understanding the context of the larger marketplace.  

Working with a Business Advisor

Another option is to work with a qualified business Advisor.

When you buy a business that is represented by a reputable Advisor, you know that the business has essentially been ‘pre-vetted.’ In other words, all financial information and details have been thoroughly reviewed and analyzed by an experienced professional. 

Although it’s always essential to conduct due diligence, buying through an Advisor adds a level of confidence that you can’t get when you’re operating alone. Not to mention, you can always ask questions and inquire about other listings that the Advisor may be working with. 

For those selling, working with an Advisor allows them to pick up many great seller lessons that make a world of difference throughout the process. 

“Although it’s always essential to conduct due diligence, buying through an Advisor adds a level of confidence that you can’t get when you’re operating alone.”

What to Do with a Content Website Once You Have Purchased It

Buying an affiliate website can be an exciting event. Not only do you get to enjoy the income that it’s currently generating, but you can also continue to build on its current success.

“Learning from the previous owner is essential. During the training period, try to acquire as much information as possible to help ensure your success.”

Buying Content Websites

There are several key activities to engage in following the purchase of an established website. 

  • Learn from the previous business owner
  • Take advantage of SEO opportunities by implementing an effective content strategy
  • Focus on Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Create more revenue sources
  • Streamline all operational processes

Learning from the previous owner is essential. During the training period, try to acquire as much information as possible to help ensure your success. Come up with a clear strategy and follow through with the action plan that you decide on. 

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