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Monetizing Websites

Buying and Selling Websites Summit

Would you like to learn the top 3 reasons to attend the Internet Investment Summit (or any live event) and my one secret that puts me above 90% of people who attend events? Read on.

The Internet Investment Summit is a three-day live event for anyone interested in buying, selling or flipping websites. If you are an investor in sites, you need to be at this event.

If you’ve been waiting for a place to meet serious entrepreneurs and investors who are involved in buying, selling, flipping and investing in websites, this event is it.

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10 Fast Ways to Double a Site’s Earnings

As you probably are well aware of, one of the most important things to consider when investing in a site you’re planning to flip (or keep), is how you will increase the bottom line. So in today’s post, my hope is to get your creative juices flowing by throwing a few ideas your way.

Things That Could Potentially Double Your Site’s Revenue

1.) Create your own product. If it’s an affiliate site getting generic market traffic (traffic other than the organic searches for the product name of the vendor it promotes), create your own product and keep 100% of the sale. If the commission is less than 50%, you immediately double your revenue assuming conversions maintain constant. If commission is already at 75% or higher, create your own product anyway. Make it better and raise the price.

2.) Raise your prices. If the site sells it’s own product or service, repackage it, and raise the prices. 15% – 50% is an easy range to get away with for info products without much difference in conversions. For the heck of it, DOUBLE the price, or more, and see what happens.

3.) Add similar traffic sources. Does the site rank #1 in Google? Why doesn’t it rank in Yahoo and Bing as well? Together, you MIGHT double the traffic depending on the market, and from my experience, Bing and Yahoo visitors convert better. Find out what it’ll take to rank in those search engines as well and do it. Is it paid traffic the site makes its money from? Great, your job is easier. The internet has an unending supply of paid traffic available. Scale it.

4.) Sell more stuff to your existing customers. The hardest sale you’ll ever make is the first one. Everything after that is EASY in comparison. They already have had a good experience with your brand. The trust factor is already there. They probably WANT you to sell them more stuff if you delivered on your first product. So do it!

5.) Split test till the cows come home. Look, if there’s one fault we have as work-at-home internet marketers…it’s being lazy. Most of us just don’t feel like doing the things we already know work. One of them is split testing. If the site already has traffic, and is already making sales, it only takes a few minutes to tweak a headline, a background color, an add to cart button, a price, an offer, etc… Pick one thing to split test per week. If it beats the old way, make it your new control and test it again. You could legitimately DOUBLE your income doing this.

6.) Reach out and make friends in your market! Landing the right JV, ongoing promotion from super affiliates, or high PR links from authority sites in your market can make huge differences in your business. Be friendly. Give before taking….Scratch that…Give before asking. You’ll make friends fast, and they’ll become your best sales team. How many super affiliates/JV partners have you seen carry entire launches on their backs? It happens a lot. I could list product after product that is now a house hold name simply because they had the right people promote for them. But it only happens by helping others first. Do that, expecting nothing in return, and before you know it, you’ll likely get plenty in return.

7.) Create a “light version” of your product. You know the #1 reason your target market doesn’t buy your product? It’s not always your copy, or some ninja marketing tactic you haven’t figured out. If you have a good product, people probably just can’t afford it, or don’t want to pay that much.

Overcome this by making a “light” version. a.k.a, a “down sell”. This isn’t contradictory to the above “raise your price” advice. Do that. But for everyone else, have a basic, front end product to sell. You’ll not only get more customers on your list, you’ll likely sell more copies of your high end product if you show them something good with the first smaller purchase.

8.) Do a survey! Nobody said you couldn’t ask people what they’d like to buy. Get that information, create it, and start selling it from your site.

9.) Do regular giveaways. Giveaways are HUGE. Make it a contest. Ask for a facebook like, Google plus 1, or a tweet to enter the contest. Make the giveaway something great! That’s the real trick to running good contests and building bigger audiences. The giveaway has to be something unique…not another ipad. It’s “free” traffic (minus the cost of the giveaway), and if you do it right, it could dramatically increase not only your following, but your sales.

10.) Add bonuses. The key to making this work is much the same as the giveaway. The bonus should be perceived as MORE valuable than the actual product the site sells itself. People will buy your product to get the bonus even if they don’t want the product sometimes. It’s like the old Sports Illustrated commercials. They advertise free gear WITH your subscription to SI. But the whole commercial is about the bonus.

Those are the first 10 things that came to mind after sitting down to type this post. What ways would you typically approach growing a business, or even doubling it? Let us know in the comments below.

Buying Sites With Great Products

The longer I work online, the simpler everything becomes. All the “shiny things” lose their appeal over time, and at the end of the day you find that making money online all boils down to adhering to a few key principles that always work.

One of the most basic things you need to start a good business is a high quality product. While market research, keyword research, copy writing, traffic generation, sales funnels, and the like are all very important components of any online business, I’ve found that they all become a little easier when you’re building off of a solid product you have faith in. It just makes it easier to do all that other stuff when you’ve got confidence in your ability to deliver on the promises you make when selling to your market.

One of the big draws for affiliate marketing is that without doing any product development, or customer support, you can create a website to pre-sell someone else’s product. So rather than creating value, countless thousands of internet marketers have chosen to go for the quick cash as an affiliate, only to fizzle out for lack of having their own audience, customer list, brand, and the like to build off of when major traffic giants like Google decide to slap them.

Which leads me to today’s post topic: Buying sites with great products! Remember those basic principles I spoke of earlier? One of them is that it’s usually better to buy than to build. (not ALWAYS of course). A huge hindrance to becoming a product vendor is its sheer difficulty for most people. In reality, creating products (especially info products) is pretty easy…but creating GREAT products can be very difficult, no matter what format you create them in.

One solution is to buy them! When browsing online marketplaces, I am of the opinion that most website investors think too narrowly…They look at the numbers, and if the site has great traffic and revenue, they’ll look into it further. If not, the site gets passed up. But buying websites is a great solution for more than ROI. It’s also a great solution for acquiring business building blocks, like a great product.

So, what makes a great product? Here’s a few of my own thoughts…

1.) Great products over deliver on any promises their sales messages convey. Which means the product should make writing your sales letter EASIER! You should be able to confidently look your prospects in the eye and tell them your product will fix their problem or they don’t pay.

2.) Great products come with everything the customer needs. In other words, all inclusive…nothing else needed to buy to achieve the desired end result.

3.) Great products are easy to use (or follow if it’s an info product). When buying a website for it’s original product, sometimes this is where the fix needs to happen. The product could be amazing, but if it’s a 500 page PDF file, think about converting it to video.

4.) Great products create traffic. The product should cause the customer to tell their friends and family how awesome their experience was, and create viral traffic from satisfaction. If a site you’re looking to buy has the above characteristics, but little viral traffic, perhaps you just need to build in mechanisms that make it easier to share via facebook and twitter that aren’t already there.

5.) Great products are mostly evergreen. They are tried and tested, and aren’t going to be obsolete in 3 months. You’ll be able to sell it for a long time to come.

A lot of things go into making a product great, these are just a few I had off the top of my head. Perhaps being a vendor is the missing piece in your online business? If so, I’d encourage you to look for sites with high quality original content you can use as your own.

What do you think? Tell us what makes a great product…

*closing tip*

One place a lot of people look to is CBengine.com. Look for clickbank products that have expired due to lack of sales. Contact the owners and make them an offer. Ask to see the products. You may be pleasantly surprised.

The Piece by Piece Website Flip

Have you ever seen the movie “Pretty Woman?” It’s the one with Julia Roberts and Richard Gear. My wife was watching it the other night and it got me thinking about website flipping.

If you’ve seen it, you’ll remember that Richard Gear plays a billionaire business takeover guy that preys upon struggling businesses, buys them out, and sells them off piece by piece to other companies.

In today’s post, I want to talk about doing the exact same thing when it comes to websites and group auctions. Let’s call this a Piece by Piece Website Flip.

One type of auction I see passed over by so many people in online marketplaces is the “group of 250 adsense sites” type auctions. Usually, there’s 1 or 2 sites in the bunch that make up the majority of the claimed income, and the owner is throwing in his collection to inflate the perceived value.

If you’re like most people, you don’t even give these auctions a serious look. I mean, who wants to pay to renew 250+ domains every year?! Who wants to go through with the hassle of transfering 250 sites to a different hosting account?

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can get the owner to sell you just one of the sites in the bunch, but more often than not they aren’t willing to separate the wheat from the chaff for fear of not being able to sell the chaff.

So, what’s a website flipper to do? Become Richard Gear!

When I see these types of auctions, I like to take a look at each site to sniff out ANY potential value in them. Even if the sites have zero traffic or revenue, the domains, content, and designs may be worth something. Even if only $25-$50 each.

Lets use the above example. You go to Flippa.com, and come across a listing that says “Network of 250 Adsense Sites for Sale”. The network of sites collectively earn about $350 per month, and over $300 of that is from less than 5 sites that are the real winners in the group.

The BIN is $3,000.

Also, the seller is absolutely UNWILLING to sell you the 5 money makers by themselves. They want you to take the whole bunch of them, or nothing at all.

After browsing through the 245 duds, you see that most of them have 5-10 quality original articles on them. They each have a decent looking design with a unique header graphic. In fact, the only reason they don’t make any money, is lack of traffic and ad placements.

So, with the domain names, site designs, and original content, you figure each site is worth about $30 to you.

You quickly place the BIN for $3,000, (primarily for the $350/month in adsense income from the main 5 producing sites), and you devise a plan for extracting that $30 per site from the rest of them.

Instead of being blindly optimistic, we’ll assume that  we can only successfully extract that $30 per site from about 40% of them. So 40% of 245 sites = 98.

The plan is twofold:

1.) List the sites at eBay, digital point, and other cheap marketplaces where these types of sites will sell for $30 without much cost to you.

2.) Create a special offer at Warrior Forum or to your own marketing list to create “unique, high quality adsense sites with 5 + articles, graphics, & domains for $30 each”.

Between these two strategies, you successfully sell 98 sites times $30 for a cool profit of $2,940.

Your new income stream has paid for itself, and you still have 147 sites you can use for link building or whatever you want.

Perhaps this will give you a new perspective on monetizing auctions you normally wouldn’t give a second thought to.

Have you ever done a “piece by piece” flip? Have you ever broken down the assets of a larger site and sold them off piece by piece to other people? Better yet, have you ever bought a business and sold off chunks of ownership to 2 or more parties to recoup the initial spend?

Comment below with your thoughts on Richard Gear, piece by piece website flipping. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Choosing The Perfect Monetization Model When Flipping Websites

This is a guest post by Ryan T. Malone from FlippingAwesome.com.

Let me start by telling you something about myself. I create websites, and I sell them. Not really that much of a surprise there, however, I don’t just create and THEN sell, I create, sit on the site for a long time, then sell when it is a viable business opportunity for my potential buyer. This is my business model, and it works great for me. Of course, along with brokering the odd website (this is my other business!), this is how I generate the majority of my income.

Recently, in the podcast that myself, David Jenyns, and Danny Batelic have launched, we spoke about an auction by Lynn Terry, in which she attempted to sell her 5000 Backlinks product and website. Now, although this is a fantastic product (believe me, I know it sells very well!), the problem with this product is not the product itself. It is the power of who is marketing it, and how.

So, let’s look at things this way. If the product were to make Lynn $30,000 in the first six months of the product being available, is it going to make a “no name” webmaster anywhere near the same in the next six months, with the same level of promotion? Probably not.

This is where you need to define the absolute perfect monetization model for those websites that you create to sell. And in creating that monetization model, it needs to be universal in its application, so that regardless of who purchases that website, they need to be able to achieve the same results as you did when you owned the site.

This is a huge task, I will not deny that. Personally, I have been struggling to get a grasp of this notion for some time now, and have decided that ultimately, to create the perfect six figure website, there are a few things that you will need to consider when doing the initial research and concept development.

First, you need to consider the efforts that you take to market the website, or any attached products or desired courses of action. This needs to be universal in a sense of how it is applied. For example, when you are considering whether or not to sell, you will absolutely need to consider your buyer, and whether or not they can literally purchase the website, and monetize it tomorrow.

As an example, when Lynn Terry first launched 5000 Backinks, she marketed the product to her personal list, which resulted in a large number of sales. As this list was not included in the sale (as it is one of her personal lists) the idea of replicating that process is null and void. Regardless of the total income claimed for the website, the claimed revenue is all but useless, as it would be extremely difficult for a new owner to replicate the whole process without having access to her personal list.

I would also recommend completely removing your name from the website as well. I would recommend using a pen name. The way that this works is simple. It sets the website up on neutral ground, so that neither someone with a high profile name, or low profile name has the advantage when marketing either products that you sell on site, or even in attracting traffic if PPC is your method of monetization.

As an example, I can easily market a product to my viewers, and as I have the proof that I have been successful at what is is that I do, people will be more inclined to stand up and listen. This will not be as likely if a new face with no proof of success tried to attempt the same.

At the end of the day, it is as simple as this. For a website to sell for a good price, it needs to be able to generate income for the buyer. It could’t be more simple than that.

Of course, I have only mentioned a few points to consider above, however, there are more methods of monetization than I can count, so the key is simple. before you push your next site into production, make sure to consider this first. Can the new owner of my website continue making as much money as I do with this site? If not, go back to the drawing board for a bit. Your wallet will thank you for it, and so will your buyer.

Ryan’s personal blog can be found at http://www.ryantmalone.com where he writes about SEO and website flipping topics. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Content is Queen, Revenue is King

This is a guest post by Mike Roosa from mikeroosa.com.

If I’ve learned anything over the last couple of months with regards to selling sites, it’s that REVENUE is King. Selling new startup sites on auction sites such as Flippa has become much harder and the return is not as good as it once was. The buyers have realized that it takes work to build a successful site, which means you need something to make the site more attractive. That something is revenue.

In order to maximize the sale for a new startup site, you need to take a little time to drive some traffic to the site and try to convert that traffic into cash. When selling your site, a potential buyer is much more likely to place a bid when you’ve already proven the concept by making some money.

The more revenue you are able to generate over a 30-60 or even a 90 day period the more likely it is that your sale will be successful.

While making a living online can be difficult and take many years, earning some money for a website is not all that hard, but does take some planning and a little luck. I don’t care what anyone says, there is some luck in getting ranked on page 1 of Google.

Here is the quickest and simplest way I know to get your site off on the right foot and earning money quickly.

It all starts with traffic and the traffic that a buyer wants to see is search engine traffic. I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times, but you need to find the right keywords with lots of searches and little competition.

When selecting a keyword, I like to find a 2 or 3 word keyword as my main keyword for the site I’m building and find an exact match domain name. For example, if my keyword is “glass french doors,” then the domain name should be glassfrenchdoors.com, glassfrenchdoors.net, glassfrenchdoors.org, or (hold your breath) glassfrenchdoors.info. Don’t be scared off by the .info domain as they will sell if you can show proof of earnings.

There are many other sites that tell you how to do keyword research so I’m not going to go into that here, but the keyword you select should get at least 5,000 searches a month, have less than 50,000 competing sites and have at least 2 page rank 0 sites on the first page of Google.

Try to come up with 4 or 5 similar keywords and incorporate those into your site as well so you can try to gain some additional search engine traffic.

Once you get the site built and optimize it for your keywords by creating some quality and unique content, then you need to get your site indexed.

You can wait for Google if you want, but I’m not that patient. I recently discovered a way to get a site indexed quickly and that is to go to http://www.ismysiteindexed.com and put in your url. Just by checking on your site, it will get indexed quickly, many times in the same day.

If you’ve done your keyword research correctly then you should be somewhere on page 1, if not then you are going to need to build some backlinks by writing articles for EzineArticles, GoArticles, Squidoo, Hubpages, or some other article directory or Web 2.0 site. You also should ping your site and submit some social bookmarks.

Hopefully, within a few days of adding some backlinks, your site can get enough juice to move up to page one where it can start earning some money.

The simplest way that I know of to make money with a startup website is with Adsense. You probably aren’t going to make a killing with Adsense, but you don’t have to. If you can show proof of $15.00 per month ($.50 a day) then you should have a sale between $200 and $300, and if your site is attractive and has some good content then you could make much more.

Like with keyword research, there are many guides to setting up Adsense, but here are my 3 tips.

First, less is more. I like having one Adsense block on the page and no links to external sites AT ALL. You want visitors to either click on an ad or link to an internal page which will also contain the Adsense block.

Second, your content text color should be light and your Adsense block a little darker so it draws attention to the ads.

Third, try your own thing. There are no rules when it comes to what works and doesn’t work. Any given site could have success with something that doesn’t work on another site, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

An added benefit of using Adsense is that it is one of the most watched tags on Flippa which means your site will get its share of views.

I hope that I have been able to shed a little light on what it takes to build a money making site so that your next flip is a profitable one.

What about you? What are the best ways you have for monetizing a site to bring in some money quickly?

Mike’s blog can be found at http://www.mikeroosa.com where he writes about such topics as internet marketing, site flipping, building niche sites, making money online, and general productivity among other things. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Site Flippers: Make Money with Affiliate Marketing Today & Even More Tomorrow!

O.K., O.K, I admit the title is a little cryptic but let me explain. What I’m suggesting by the title is that site flippers can make money with affiliate marketing while they hold their properties and then they can make even more money when they sell them. The name of the game when you’re flipping websites is to get the absolute top dollar for them when you sell. In most cases you can only do that if your websites are making “good” money.

Affiliate marketing is a simple way to monetize your websites and to get them generating revenue as quickly as possible. Now it’s not as quick and easy as monetizing with AdSense or other advertising opportunities, but once you get it going you’ll make significantly more money. As an example, I owned a popular supplement website that was getting over 10,000 visitors per month. I was initially monetizing it with AdSense. At its peak, it was bringing in around $250 per month. I dropped AdSense completely and strictly promoted supplements as an affiliate. After that my revenues were consistently over $1,200 per month!

Here’s where it really gets good. I hung on to the site for a couple years because it was a total cash cow. I was making over $14,000 a year doing minimal work to the site. I eventually got bored with it and I knew sooner or later I was going to have to put more work into it or sell it. I chose to do the latter. Because it was such a solid earner, I was able to get over 10x monthly revenue for it. Granted, I probably would have gotten 10x monthly revenue if it was strictly an AdSense site but at only $250/month, I would have made a fraction of what I actually got when I sold it.

How To Master Affiliate Marketing

While it’s simple for site flippers to make money with affiliate marketing (and a lot of money at that), it isn’t necessarily easy. I have been a successful affiliate marketer and I owe ALL of my success to Site Build It! (aka SBI!). Ironically, I would never recommend SBI! for site flippers because it’s cost prohibitive. However, if you are struggling with making money as an affiliate marketer, than I have the best FREE resource you’ll ever find on the topic.

It’s called Make Your Site SELL! (MYSS!). It’s a 1,500+ page ebook that was coined, “The BIBLE of selling on the Net,” when it debuted over 10 years ago. It was updated in 2002. When I first started as an Internet Marketer in 2005, it was the first ebook I ever read. I practically memorized it. To this day I continue to refer back to it. I am not exaggerating when I say I owe most of my affiliate marketing success to this one ebook. It’s that good. You can get your copy by clicking here.

If you really want to make money with affiliate marketing, then do yourself a favor and download the book. It’s free and you have nothing to lose. And for you skeptics reading this, I am not an affiliate for SBI! The link I have to the book is a straight link. I just believe in it and I think it should be a required read for anyone new to Internet Marketing or anyone who is struggling to make money with affiliate marketing.

As a site flipper, you can dramatically boost your income and your business’ bottom line if you can “master” the art of affiliate marketing. You may never monetize your websites with AdSense or advertising of any kind again!

Do You Have Any Tips or Resources On How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing? Share Them In The Comments Below!