Yesterday afternoon, I posted a request to buy a website, and I listed several requirements that needed to be met for me to consider acquiring a website. Someone asked me if I could explain why I chose those requirements, and I thought that it would be a good idea because that might give you some insight into what I personally find valuable.
- Must be a directory website, preferably for a service
I have done pretty well with the directory model, but more importantly, there’s a business behind directories. There are several monetization options for directories. You can place advertising on free listings, you can sell listings, or you can offer upgraded listings over the free listings. In large and popular industries, there may be thousands of prospects to buy advertising or to have listings.
- Must have at least 300 directory listings all either manually added by you or by advertisers
This will save me time. Instead of spending time researching businesses or landmarks and then having to verify, upload, and focus on getting them indexed, the job will already have been started for me. Ideally, these listings will be populated with unique content to help the website stand out amongst other competing websites.
- Must be on a keyword exact match .com domain name (look at what I buy for an idea)
If the directory doesn’t earn as much as I hope, or if I decide to sell the domain name, I want to own an exact match .com domain name that has value aside from the revenue. There’s burn down value in a good keyword exact match .com domain name.
- Website needs to be live and have been live for at least 5 years
I don’t want to buy a made for Adsense site that was built by someone last week and may nor may not have legs. I want to buy a site that someone cared about and gave it TLC. I’ve also found that older websites tend to have more inbound links, established trust, and brand awareness. A website may need a little extra care and attention from someone else, and I want to give that.
- Website must make at least $800 per year
If a website has been up for five years and has 300+ listings, it should make at least $800 even with minimal monetization. If it’s not making this, there’s probably something wrong with the model. Perhaps there aren’t enough searches or the revenue per click is too low to make it a viable business. Whatever the case, it’s probably not worth my time.
- Website must be monetized via Adsense and/or direct ad placements (no affiliate sites)
I’ve never had luck with the affiliate business (aside from one affiliate deal that was highly targeted and I had a good relationship directly with the company). I want to be able to implement my own accounts like Adsense or reach out to advertisers to continue advertising. I don’t really have to worry about Adsense changing terms, and perhaps I can increase revenue with some minor changes.
- You must be able to prove the revenue (ie stats, receipts…etc).
There are lots of scammers and bullshitters out there, and if someone can’t prove something when they’re selling a website, it’s probably not true.