Buying a niche website is a great way to generate cash flow from an investment. In this article, I cover the ins and outs of where to find niche websites for sale, why buy them, what to look for, and more.
Let’s get into it!
What’s a Niche Website?
A niche website is a website that focuses specifically on a relatively narrow topic. Examples of this could be as general as a site on tent camping, or as specific as high altitude tents for mountaineers.
A personal blog, company website, or creative works of fiction are not niche sites. Niche websites are non-fiction, focused on a topic, and often monetized through various means like affiliate programs and display ads.
4 Reasons to Buy Niche Websites as Investments
Niche websites can be a fantastic investment for many reasons.
For one thing, there’s a monthly cash return. Ads, affiliate programs, lead programs, and other monetization methods often pay monthly. When I buy the site, those monthly payments start immediately.
Aside from cash flow, websites can become incredibly valuable. Since they can sell at a 30x or 40x monthly earnings rate, even many moderately successful niche websites can become as valuable as a house.
A website is an investment that can provide a passive income. Because a website earns based on online traffic, its value is not at the whims of a stock market change or economic downturn. As long as the niche site gets traffic there will always be ways to monetize it.
While there are many more reasons for looking at niche websites as a great investment option, some of the most popular reasons include:
- Possible to build passive income
- Monthly cash flow
- Extremely good valuations for one-time sales
- Investments earn for me from day one
- Strong control over the value and security of investment
How are Niche Sites Valued
Niche site valuation is pretty straightforward. The formula for getting an estimated valuation on a niche site is average monthly earnings multiplied by 30 to 40 months.
Generally, most brokerages require the previous 6 months of earnings to figure out the monthly average. Some places or buyers will insist on 12.
Once the monthly average income is figured out, the only variable is then the exact number of months used. 30 is the low end, while 40 tends to be on the high end of the average range.
6 Step Process of Buying A Site
- Find a site for sale through brokers or marketplaces
- Perform due diligence
- Understand monetization and easy win opportunities
- Make an offer
- Perform website migration to your host
- Validate the site’s earnings
5 Common Ways to Monetize Niche Sites
There are several excellent options for monetizing a purchased niche site. Display ads and Amazon Associates are two that are common for buyers to see across virtually all niche sites, but there are others.
1. Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is the largest affiliate program in the world. It’s also arguably the easiest to sign up for and use.
Amazon has virtually every type of product imaginable. It’s also a very trusted brand, which is good for conversions. They are a backbone for many marketers making a living with niche sites.
Sites that optimize for Amazon will see very impressive conversion rates while those that don’t will tend to struggle. Using the information in my Buying Amazon Affiliate Sites guide helps me spot Amazon sites that might be under-optimized for this program.
That’s an easy win for increasing profits with Amazon.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Amazon isn’t the only affiliate option out there. Affiliate marketing can be done in partnership with individual companies, affiliate brokers/marketplaces, or even by hammering out a one-on-one deal.
There are many affiliate programs that offer great commission rates, with some like Clickbank even offering 70% on many digital products. Taking the time to find affiliate deals with high commissions and long-lasting cookies to track sales is a major part of optimizing monetization for niche websites.
3. Display Advertisements
Display ads are one of the most common ways to monetize traffic. Google AdSense is the program many affiliates start with. Once a site has enough traffic the smart move is to go to a more advanced ad provider like Ezoic, Mediavine, or AdThrive if traffic numbers are over 100,000 a month.
Display ads can integrate well with affiliate links. They also allow monetization of traffic that doesn’t buy anything.
4. Lead Generation
In certain industries, a single client can be worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. When I can provide a customer to a solar panel installation company or an attorney, that lead is worth a lot of money.
Lead generation can be an incredibly profitable way to monetize in the right niches.
5. Digital Product Sales
Digital products are still one of the most profitable ways to consistently monetize a niche site. A great ebook, guide, or other digital product that solves a problem can be worth money to a lot of online visitors.
4 Tips for Due Diligence When Buying Sites
Due diligence is a crucial step before purchasing any website. Never skip this process even if buying from a brokerage known for providing some level of vetting.
1. Review Traffic Trends
Is traffic steady, rising, or declining? The trends can be critically important when deciding whether a niche site is worth purchasing or not. Be wary of any site that is showing a massive drop-off from its high traffic numbers. The owner might be trying to cash out before things get worse.
2. Review Backlink Quality
This goes beyond looking at a list of results. Are there any obvious high authority backlinks? Lots of obvious spam? Check out some of the URLs that aren’t obvious spam. Are they PBNs? Are they actual sites or look like they’re from link farms?
A few really strong backlinks can really improve a site’s prospects while clear PBN signs should throw up the red flags.
3. Review Site History
Has this site ever been penalized by Google for spam or blackhat SEO? How old is the domain? Were there previous sites on this same domain name? What type of sites used to be on this domain name?
These are important questions to get the full picture of a site’s potential value as well as potential hidden problems
4. Review Revenues
The revenue reports can be very telling. Not only do I want to confirm that the numbers reported make sense and aren’t abnormal, but I also want to see how monetization is done.
How many methods of monetization are being used? Are there obvious upgrades (like going from AdSense to a higher-paying display ad network)?
Reviewing revenues is a step I never skip during due diligence.
For more detailed information and guidance, check out my due diligence framework.
8 Places to Find Niche Websites For Sale
There are multiple options when it comes to finding places to buy niche sites. Sometimes I’ll contact a website owner directly, but going through a website selling brokerage is easy and puts a lot of sellers in one place.
Popular places to find niche sites for sale:
- Empire Flippers
- FE International
- Motion Invest
- The Website Flip Brokerage
- Facebook Groups
- Contact Pages of niche sites that interest you
If you want to save time, check out DealFeed.io, which is a discovery tool for content sites for sale all in one place.
FAQs About Niche Websites For Sale
Are niche sites still profitable?
Niche sites are absolutely still profitable. Many thousands of website owners make a full-time living from income the sites bring in monthly or from the sale of profitable niche websites.
How do I find a niche website idea?
There are many ways to get great ideas for niche sites. You could brainstorm hobbies and interests, surf random YouTube videos, walk through retail stores, or look at my choosing a niche website guide.
Are there risks with niche websites?
There are risks with any investment. I’m a strong believer in niche websites as a fantastic investment but changes in affiliate programs, Google’s algorithm, and other factors are always going to mean risk.
Can I flip niche websites?
Flipping niche websites is a very profitable business. I’m a huge fan of buying a site, ramping up the earnings, and then selling it for a large profit.
Niche websites are an incredible investment. This is true whether building a portfolio to hold for monthly passive income or buying, improving, and flipping for a huge pay-off.
Good due diligence and smart monetization help make sure that every site bought has a chance to be a seriously amazing investment.