When you want to get into online entrepreneurship there’s one big question you need to ask yourself, “should I go out and buy one or more websites or start building them from scratch?“.
Logically, your personal financial situation will have a huge impact on this choice, if you’re just starting out and have zero savings but lots of free time it will make a lot more sense to build from scratch, your next question will be dynamic vs static.
On the other hand, if you’ve been around for a while and have some savings you can take advantage of it might be a good idea to astroturf your entrepreunership by going out to some of the marketplaces of brokers and have yourself a digital shopping spree.
For this article we’ll mostly look into content sites or blogs in particular, although most of the reasons apply to all websites and even brick and mortar businesses.
While there may be many good reasons to build a website, let’s list a couple reasons to buy instead of build a website.
Structure In Place
An (good) existing website will have an existing structure in place with its own automated procedures, especially in the 5+ figures tier. When buying an existing website, this site will likely have its own VA or editor running things for the owner and syncing with the writers and perhaps an SEO specialist.
You’ll have to opportunity to take over a running machine that’s generating cashflow without having to take over an entire job. It’s why it’s important if you’re building to sell to automate as much as possible and if you’re purchasing an existing website to make looking into the structure an important part of your due diligence.
You want to be buying a business, not a job. So buy one that has al procedures already in place.
Product Market Fit
When you’re buying an existing website already spitting out money, you immediately have proof there is a captive audience out there for this particular niche who enjoys the topics this website covers.
Building your own site will mean doing lots of research into your niche and pray your content is enticing enough to capture an audience. Now this hard task is done for you. The audience has already been sourced, now it’s up to you (and/or your VA/editor) to ensure they keep getting great content.
Buying an existing website is buying an existing audience.
No Sandbox Period
I know the dreaded sandbox is – and will always be – a hot topic. Some claim there’s no such thing, others do recognize there is some sort of delay until earch engines start picking up your content site but don’t like the name sandbox (given my IT background, I get their point but also think we should stop taking everything so literally the second we go online). I’ve heard people call it the ghost town, the black hole or (my preference) the void.
Point is, it takes time for your articles to gain those high positions on the SERP, especially in broader niches. There’s no denying that; and if you purchase an existing website, you get to skip the entire whatever-you-call-it period and get high rankings for every new post, since the search engines already know your site and trust it.
Buying a website is astroturfing your rankings, gettings new articles to rank from day one.
Cashflow From Day Zero
Perhaps to biggest advantage of them all is that when buying an existing website, you’ll have cashflow coming in immediately. The tap’s already letting money flow out, you just need to direct it to your wallet.
Just like the sandbox void might let you wait a long time for your articles to get indexed, it’ll take even longer for your website to reach its full cashflow potential and since you want to turn this into a business, you’re gonna need some cashflow. Rather soon that late.
Existing websites have existing cashflow and with the third party integrations most marketplaces provide, you might be able to get the data straight from the source (in this case Adsense, Ezoic, Adthrive, Mediavine…) which makes due diligence a mere formality.
Other income like affiliate or, even worse, sponsored posts might be harder to check, and especially on smaller sites it’s easy to have friends & family pick up some products through your affiliate link and, guess what, they’re not likely to continue doing that for a new owner. But when it comes to ad income, it’s feasible to think you’ll be making the same as the previous owner when using the same service.
Buying an existing business is buying immediate cashflow.
Existing Income Sources
Big part of getting cashflow is messing around with different ad providers and affiliate programs. There’s no underestimating the time it takes to set up the ideal affiliate links and there’s no magic formula either. What works for one audience will not for the other, so it’s very important to set up ads and affiliates carefully to optimize cashflow.
Having someone do it for you makes your life a lot easier. And you can probably trust the previous owner more than someone you higher on Fiver because the previous owner wanted to optimize cashflow for themselves as well, while someone on Fiver, well, they just want to get paid for their gig and don’t really care directly about how much you make. Although it might of course effect their reviews so I’m definitely not saying they will do a bad job, just their bottom line will not be directly effected by your earnings.
An existing business has already optimized its income sources for you.
Do What’s Best For You
So now you have some good reasons to consider an existing website, but there’s also some good reasons to start building a website from scratch anyway. Even if you have the budget the purchase one. It’s up to you to consider which of the reasons is most important. Every person is different and should choose their own path.
If you decide to buy instead of build, think about where you want to buy it as well, will you go private, marketplace, broker? There’s pro’s and con’s to all of them.
Keep us up to date on your journey. We love hearing success stories.