Just like any financial transaction, there are right and wrong ways to sell a website. If you do your homework and do it correctly, you can make a decent profit. If you’re lazy and try to cut corners, you might end up losing money or you might end up stuck in seller’s limbo.
The huge landscape of the internet makes selling a website a double-edged sword: you can quite easily find an avenue where you can create a listing to sell your website and even find interested buyers, but thousands or even millions of other sellers are probably using these same avenues as well! The question here is how you can make your own listing stand out.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that website owners make when trying to sell their website, and how you can avoid them.
DON’T: Rely solely on your website’s current performance
A lot of website owners make the mistake of assuming that since their website is currently performing strongly, it will keep on doing so, especially if they keep up whatever methods are working at the moment. However, that’s the crucial part: AT THE MOMENT. The Internet is an extremely dynamic and volatile marketplace, and a website that’s experiencing a boom right now might suddenly lose all traction in as little as a month! Keep in mind that most websites are bought as long-term investments, so relying solely on current market performance is a dangerous way to place value on a website.
DO: Analyze your website’s long-term value properly
You should always know the difference between a website’s valuation and its profitability. As an extreme example, take a look at Amazon. Its current valuation is nearing a mind-blowing 1 TRILLION dollars, but this number does not reflect the website’s profits at all. A company’s valuation refers to its long-term value.
For your own website, you should not focus too much on monthly profits compared to its revenue growth potential over a long period of time. Look at factors such as social media presence, consumer traffic, and visitor conversion as strong indicators of long-term value.
DON’T: Hype up your website’s bells and whistles
When building your website, you probably paid (a lot) for features such as a friendly user interface and a unique design. Sure, it might have helped your website gain a lot of attention and customer loyalty when you used it, but now that you’re trying to sell it, you might be surprised that people don’t really care about all those features that you thought were so valuable. In fact, putting too much focus on all these “one-of-a-kind” features might backfire on you; experienced buyers know all the tricks, and they know when you’re trying to hype up your website to drive up the valuation.
DO: Focus on factors that generate revenue and traffic
The hard truth is that buyers only care about which factors on your website will generate revenue, so this is the data that you want to highlight for potential buyers. Place focus on the unique traffic that your website gets, and the conversion rate that it has. You can also talk about your current market, and what kind of unique selling point your website has to attract potential customers.
Avoid “fluff” factors as much as possible: factors that sound impressive, but don’t really do much when it comes to describing how your website generates revenue.
DON’T: Advertise on random platforms
You might think that, when it comes to selling your website, it might be a good idea to advertise on as many online platforms as possible so that your listing can be seen by the widest possible audience.
Well, no. Indiscriminate advertising MIGHT net you a potential client here and there, but it will probably cause more trouble than it’s worth. At best, you’ll be wasting a lot of time, effort, and possibly money, to advertise on multiple websites while hoping that you catch a buyer. At worst, you’re putting your online business in a vulnerable position where unscrupulous people can target your website for malware or scammer attacks.
DO: Attract the right buyers
Since the main goal of putting your website up for sale is actually getting a real buyer, you need to put time and effort into attracting the type of people who are interested in buying your website. A large audience is not necessarily a receptive one; it’s always better to appeal to a niche audience when possible.