page title icon Buying a Website: 4-Step Framework

This 4-step framework showcases details of buying a niche website. The steps include the business model, due diligence, finding sites for sale, and valuations.

Buying a content site is a great way to build monthly income and long-term asset value when and if you decide to sell the website. Content websites bring in traffic via many sources (e.g., Google search, Facebook, Email Lists), and can generate revenues in many ways (e.g., advertisements, affiliate products).

The process of acquiring a content site can be broken down into a 4-step framework:

  1. Understanding the model,
  2. Website due diligence,
  3. Finding sites for sale (dealflow), and
  4. Valuations

Check out the details of each framework along with further reading materials below:


1. Content Website Model

It's critical to first understand the business model of niche websites before buying a website. The following commonly asked questions are answered.

What's a niche content site?

A content website is a website that primarily focuses on articles that bring in traffic via organic search via Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines, or social media traffic via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, among others.

Typical content sites are build on a content management system (CMS) like Wordpress.

How do websites earn revenue?

Content websites earning revenue by utilizing many of these sources simultaneously:

  • Display advertisements
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Amazon Associates
  • Digital products
  • Lead generation
  • Consulting services

A website brings in traffic and then converts that traffic into revenue.

What skillsets do I need?

Buying and operating a website requires various skillsets. The individual needs to understand basic web development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization (CRO), ability to hire writers and/or assistants, and to understand the growth levers on a site.

It is possible to outsource many of these tasks as needed, but as a website investor, one should understand the ins and outs before outsourcing.

To continue learning about the business model of niche sites, read the following detailed guides.

14-Step framework to picking a niche. Read more

Investment Criteria

Determining your website investment criteria. Read more

Hiring writers For niche content websites. Read more

Hiring an operator to take over management. Read more.


2. Website Due Diligence

After understanding the business model of niche sites, the next step is to understand due diligence. Due diligence is the concept of performing research into the website's history, finances, SEO, monetization, and more in order to catch red flags. By catching these things, you can make an informed decision whether to purchase the website.

What data is required for due diligence?

To perform due diligence, you need data. Here is the data required:

  • Website traffic history
  • Website content (how many articles, who wrote content, etc)
  • Website monthly profit and loss
  • Backlink data from third-party tools

Read the more detail write-up on due diligence for a full list of data requirements.

What skillsets do I need for due diligence?

Due diligence needs similar skillsets to operating a website. You need to understand the ins and outs of website, how they are monetized, how they get traffic, among others. Only then will you be able to perform research whether the site you are planning to purchase is healthy.

In due diligence, you are using the data available to you to decide whether you should buy the site.

For further details on due diligence, review the following write-ups.

Full due diligence framework to follow. Read more

Hire us to perform due diligence for you. Read more


3. Finding Websites for Sale

Finding quality content sites for sale is critical. The website investing space has plenty of brokers and marketplaces where you can get access to deal flow.

What's a content site brokerage?

A broker helps a seller sell their business, or in this case content website. The broker in return takes a commission of the final sale price, which can range from 5% to 20% depending on the broker and deal size. As a website buyer, you can get access to review each deal the brokers have on their platform.

Read this detailed write-up on the best website brokers in the industry.

Can I find dealflow privately?

The best way to find a good deal is to find deals privately. As a website investor, you can set up your own outreach team to cold message specific websites that meet your investment criteria asking them if they are interested in selling.

However, this is easier said than done. Most website builders do not want to sell their site and when approached by an investor, their asking price is oftentimes not in tune with reality.

That's why brokers and marketplaces have their place when buying and selling websites.

Check out these detailed guides on how and where to find content sites for sale:

Coming soon! Access to all websites for sale.

Find out about the top website brokers. Read more

Finding Amazon Affiliate Sites For Sale. Read more.


4. Website Valuations

Once you've found a site to purchase, you need to come up with a valuation. Website valuations are based on the average net profit the site generates over a 6-12 month period multiplied by a multiplier.

For further details, read the following guides:

Coming soon!

Valuing starter (pre-revenue) sites. Read more.

Portfolio Finance Model

Download: Website Portfolio Financial Model. Read more.


Other Guides on Buying a Site

Check out our other detailed guides: