Should you sell your blog right now or should you wait a bit longer? Of course, there are circumstances where you need to get the sale as soon as you can, however, if you are not in a rush, there are steps you can take if you want to get the most out of the sale.
Once you start flirting with the idea of selling your site, you should immediately start putting it into order to boost its value. Did you know that with relatively small tweaks you could increase its price by 20-30 percent?
Optimizing Your Site
Review Your Homepage
When someone lands on your website for the first time, they judge it instantly based on the design. Potential buyers will do the same. Therefore most site owners care about the design factor.
What they may not consider is the SEO value. Your home page is very important to optimize. Since the majority of backlinks come into the homepage, SEO-wise it is normally the most powerful page on your site.
But are you utilizing this potential correctly? Should your home page be long or short? How many words?
If you are a successful brand like CrazyEgg, you can get away with a homepage like this.
Your homepage is, just like other pages on your site, an opportunity to include keywords and funnel PageRank to content you want to boost with powerful links.
If you are a more content-based business, consider putting more keyword-targeted text onto your homepage, so that it can rank higher for more keywords.
You don’t write for search engines, however. You write for real people. If your homepage has a bunch of stuffed keywords, random links and useless content, your readers will bounce very fast.
However, I also saw a friend’s organic traffic tank after changing the theme and thereby removing a lot of text.
Review The Navigation
The purpose of your navigation is to give your visitors what they want. Navigation can ruin your website’s performance in driving visitors into your sales funnel.
Site owners tend to set up the main menu and then forget about it. The next that happens is that they don’t get adjusted to changes in the site content and after a while, menus may become outdated.
Your menus may look fine on desktop, but horrible on mobile, therefore make sure to test them on different devices. If your site has weak navigation, it will frustrate not only your visitors but also your potential buyers when they want to quickly find the information that interests them.
Make sure your important pages appear on your menus. Why don’t you visit a competitor’s website and write down what you like and don’t like? Then compare it to your own site.
Fix Broken Links
Have you ever visited a site to get answers, but ended up on a 404 error page? Broken links are not only annoying but can also hurt your SEO efforts.
The solution is simple. Use a plugin like Broken Link Checker. It is important that you handle any broken links you find immediately by removing or replacing them.
Optimize Database & Files
When you transfer ownership of your site, you will need to provide the files and the database. Decreasing size is also important for performance.
Plugins and themes both use space in your database. Removing any you aren’t using is an easy way to decrease its size.
WordPress stores the text of a site’s content in the database. (Pages, posts, comments, etc.) The older your site is, the more data it will have gathered and the larger the database will be. Deleting leftover columns of old plugins could improve your site’s speed.
If you ever used a backup plugin, earlier backups may be stored within your WordPress installation. If you try to zip your site, these backups may increase the size of the archive by over 500 MB. Caching plugins you used previously may also have leftover files. Cleaning up such files can decrease size drastically.
Optimizing Your Listing
Honesty & Transparency
Are you tempted to bend the truth a little to make a sale?
Honesty is extremely important when you want to sell a site. Even if you have to tell potential buyers that sales have decreased in the last few months, or that changes to Google’s ranking algorithm have hurt your traffic, honesty is the best policy.
If you tell a lie, even a small one, and you get found out, your credibility is gone and the chance of a sale probably goes with it. If you over-promise and don’t deliver, you will never get more business from that buyer, or from anyone he or she ever talks to. People remember bad things more clearly than all the good things you do.
Provide Ample Proof & Details
The biggest barrier in selling a website is lack of trust, which goes back to plain lack of information.
Just think it over: If you knew that you need to pay $5,000 for a website and you can earn $20,000 in 8 months, would you hesitate with the purchase? I know I wouldn’t. But if I had a shadow of a doubt, I would refuse to buy it.
We have all been scammed and we want to avoid getting scammed again. Part of this comes from the reluctance to waste our hard-earned money, the other part is simply that we all hate to be proven wrong.
You are selling much more than a site. You are selling a dream, an opportunity to make more money. The potential buyer needs to see how your site will make his dream a reality. You need to assure him with lots of information, but at the same time, you need to avoid giving too much data away.
- How does your business make money? Where does the money come from?
Making money can sometimes be quite strange because money can come from the most amazing and unexpected sources. As an example, I have a site that has over 100 blog posts. There are only 2 or 3 of them that actually make money. Only 700 visitors. But those couple of pages make an average of $700 a month. I just took this screenshot of commissions:
Presenting your income like this will make your earnings more realistic than just throwing up a 3-month-old Amazon affiliate graph.
- What are the costs? Can they be decreased?
People spend tons of money and effort on sites that never result in any return. The Pareto Principle says that 80 percent of results are generated by 20 percent of your effort.
In online business we can even talk about the Super Pareto Principle – 5 percent of efforts generate 95 percent of your results. The above example of 3 of 100 blog posts generating income is an awesome example of this.
Therefore it is recommended that you analyze your business – which is the 80 or 95 percent where the new owner can optimize and save money/efforts? You are in a much better position to point it out than the person that is about to step into your shoes.
- How much effort does the business require?
This question is connected to the previous one. Are you spending 60 hours a week and you are only making $50 per month? Are you wasting all that time with useless actions? Or is it going on autopilot and you just need to get the money out of your PayPal?
- Why are you selling it?
This is something you need to explain in very realistic terms. If a site is making $10K per month with 1 hour of work per week, why would someone try to sell it? You would need a convincing reason, otherwise, it will raise suspicion.
- What is the main source of traffic?
Traffic is the fuel of online business. You may have read the story of the website where a penalty came a week after the sale and traffic crashed… Your buyer needs to see that your traffic is built on solid foundations. Giving access to Google Analytics and Search Console to anyone who wants can help the sale.
- Have you done a link building campaign?
If you are making decent money without having done a link building campaign, that is a great opportunity for someone who knows how to do one.
- What are the strengths, opportunities for a new owner?
How can the future owner improve this business? Unutilized opportunities for more profit increase value.
- What are the key day-to-day operations?
What marketing you do, etc is something that the new owner needs to be able to replicate, otherwise, he won’t be able to achieve the results you are getting. It is also recommended that you provide some post-sale support for a certain period after ownership is transferred.
I hope that the above tips increase your chances of getting the most money out of your online property.
Do you have any other tips? List them in the comments below.