Last updated: December 27th, 2019
This might come as a surprise to some readers…
But I sold my first affiliate website earlier this month.
In the past, I’d been a big proponent of always keeping your cash-flowing digital assets for yourself.
If something is making you money, you might as well keep the asset, grow the asset, and reinvest the cash flow back into the asset.
That’s a pretty beautiful cycle right? It’s a proven system that works really well.
But here’s the reality:
You can only focus your attention on 1 or 2 projects at a time and achieve extraordinary results.
You actually perform at your best when you laser-focus on just one project for months or even years.
This is exactly why I’ve been simplifying everything, selling assets, and decluttering my life to the extreme.
I want to focus on 1 or 2 businesses and do them really well.
- No distractions
- No trying to juggle 10 different projects at the same time
- No mediocrity
Keep reading this article to learn more about my experience with selling my very first profitable affiliate website – and whether this turned out to be a good decision or not…
Why I decided to sell my very first profitable affiliate website in the beauty niche
My small beauty website was just sitting in the background generating a small chunk of cash every month on autopilot.
It was my very first affiliate website, and I’d owned it for years.
But I had barely even touched the website in 2+ years. And it continued to spit out a little bit of cash every month.
It was technically a micro niche website that generated an average of $43+ net profit every month for the last 2 years.
I figured it was the perfect web property to sell because it was extremely stable and consistent.
Plus, cash-flowing websites are in extremely high-demand right now. Website valuations have skyrocketed in recent years.
People have finally figured out that owning a cash-flowing online business is conducive to living an awesome lifestyle.
I’ll take a 100% remote digital business over an office job any day.
Because with the 100% digital business, there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
You have the option of selling your digital asset for a 30x multiple, and walking away as a free man or woman.
That’s what people truly love about online businesses.
When you own a digital asset that cash flows, you have a real opportunity for lasting freedom.
And there are plenty of people out there who are willing to buy that opportunity from you if you decide to sell the asset.
First I tried selling my affiliate website on Flippa
Where do you go to sell a small cash-flowing website on the internet?
Well my first instinct has always been Flippa.
Unfortunately, while Flippa has a reputation for being a shady marketplace, there aren’t many other popular marketplaces for selling small websites.
So I ignored Flippa’s bad reputation and listed my affiliate website for sale on Flippa.
My first mistake was listening to the Flippa employee who helped manage my listing.
She recommended I sell my affiliate website for $1500 or a 35x multiple.
Affiliate websites are in very high demand and 35x multiples are actually not that unusual.
But…I eventually got the feeling that very few people are interested in buying an extremely overpriced affiliate website.
My affiliate website was very high-quality.
But the website’s content hadn’t been refreshed or updated much over the last few years.
My website probably wasn’t worth $1500…
I still took her advice and listed the site for sale on Flippa for $1500.
In came the Flippa data miners and info gatherers
Flippa is loaded with data miners and information collectors.
After listing my website for sale on Flippa, I received quite a few requests from people who wanted view access to my Google Analytics property.
While some of these requests were probably legitimate, the vast majority of these people just wanted to snoop on private data and seize profitable keywords.
I can make this assumption because no one on Flippa actually came close to buying my affiliate website. Even when I offered to sell my website for $1000, which is a very reasonable asking price that’s close to fair market value for the web property.
Luckily, if your affiliate website is built well, you don’t have to worry too much about anyone from Flippa taking your Google rankings.
If you’re decent at SEO, Flippa snoops probably aren’t able to do much to harm your website’s search rankings.
However, there’s still something odd about people who hang out on Flippa and attempt to data mine profitable websites.
To put it simply, the vast majority of people on Flippa have no intention of actually buying a website legitimately.
They’re just fishing for information or attempting to scam people.
It’s safe to say selling a website on Flippa is the exact opposite of a positive experience.
What about the notorious Flippa scammers? Is this still a problem in 2020?
I do have some good news to report about Flippa.
I didn’t have to deal with any serious scam attempts on Flippa.
One questionable character on Flippa did send me an offer to buy my affiliate website.
After a quick Google search, I saw that the person’s email address and password had been published on a Russian blackhat forum.
So I was either chatting with someone who had unknowingly been hacked…or he was the hacker himself.
I set clear payment terms with the guy, and told him I would only accept cryptocurrency payment upfront in exchange for my affiliate website.
“No thanks,” he replied.
This was the closest I came to selling my affiliate website on Flippa.
Next I tried selling my affiliate website on Facebook
As mentioned above, the man who was potentially a questionable character was the only serious prospect on Flippa who offered to buy my affiliate website.
But the man refused my request to pay upfront with cryptocurrency.
So the deal with him was officially off.
Not knowing what to do next, I asked the man if he had any leads on where I could sell my affiliate website.
He referred me to a Facebook group for flipping websites.
Luckily, this Facebook group was 100% legitimate and full of people actively buying and selling cash-flowing websites.
For whatever reason, I never would have thought to sell my affiliate website on Facebook.
But it’s actually the perfect platform for buying and selling websites.
I immediately listed my affiliate website for sale in the Facebook group, attached screenshots of my Google Analytics traffic and Amazon Associates affiliate earnings, and waited.
After 10 to 15 minutes, the offers started rolling in.
This time, I had 10 legitimate offers from serious website buyers.
After dealing with all of the Flippa nonsense, I went in the complete opposite direction, and listed my affiliate website for sale at an extremely reduced price.
I went with a 20x multiple at $43USD/month. So my asking price was only $860. This was a pretty fire offer.
I sold my website in less than one hour on Facebook.
The man sent me about $900 via PayPal to cover the fees, and I sent him the website credentials.
After spending an entire month dealing with time-wasters on Flippa, I managed to sell my affiliate website in record time on Facebook.
The entire process took only one hour.
Key lessons I learned from selling my first affiliate website
After successfully selling my first affiliate website, I’ve started the process of selling yet another affiliate website and an e-commerce website as well.
Here are the key lessons I’ve learned so far…
Key lesson #1. Monetization methods matter a lot
In a recent article on Online Heaven, I compared many different online business models and monetization methods.
Let’s just say it’s been a hell of a lot easier selling an affiliate website than an e-commerce property.
Affiliate websites are simple. They’re 100% digital. Anyone in the world can purchase an affiliate website, take over the cash flow immediately, and grow the asset.
It’s just a website domain, web hosting, and content.
With an e-commerce business, there are usually more variables involved. An e-commerce business might involve suppliers, shipping, third-party fulfillment, customer service and more.
Even online courses can be overly complicated for some buyers.
For example, one of my affiliate websites also generates revenue from an online course. I chatted with one prospective buyer who was only familiar with ad operations. They didn’t want to deal with the hassle of managing an online course.
This is why I believe display advertising and affiliate marketing are the two best methods for monetizing and selling a website.
People don’t want complexity.
How you choose to monetize a web property matters a lot.
For the absolute best results, try to keep everything about your business as simple and streamlined as possible.
Key lesson #2. People just want easy cash flow
At the end of the day, when you’re selling a website, you’re essentially selling a source of cash flow.
People don’t want to buy risky or complicated cash flow.
People want a stable, consistent source of cash flow that’s extremely easy to grow and operate.
I tried to circumvent this rule when I built a somewhat complex e-commerce business that had too many variables involved.
This scared some people away from buying the business.
If you plan to sell your website in the future, I recommend making it extremely easy and attractive for someone to take over the asset as soon as possible.
Key lesson #3. Website broker fees and commissions might go away soon
Remember how cryptocurrency was supposed to decentralize everything?
Well it’s been a pretty slow process.
But decentralization is still happening right now.
I’m seeing it happen right now in the website flipping space.
Many people don’t want to pay enormous commissions or fees to buy or sell a website.
If you want a website broker or online business marketplace to sell your website for you, they’re going to take 5% to 15% of your website’s final sales price.
But you don’t always need someone to sell your website for you.
If you can handle selling your website on your own, there’s always Facebook groups, LinkedIn and cold email prospecting.
After selling my first website, I’ve actually started emailing people who might be interested in acquiring my other web properties.
If you’ve gone through the hard work of building a profitable web property, I highly recommend finding a buyer yourself.
Side note: Sometimes hiring a professional website broker may be the right decision. Especially if your website is worth more than $20K or so. Some professional website brokers or marketplaces have a large list of contacts which can make the process of selling a website much easier for you. It’s entirely up to you to decide how you want to do it.
Selling my first affiliate website was an awesome experience and I’m glad I did it.
If I could do it all over again, I’d probably ask for a 25x multiple or $1000 and dedicate a little bit more time to the sales process.
But I was a little bit impatient after wasting so much time on Flippa.
And I was happy to work with a speedy, trustworthy buyer who I found in a Facebook group for flipping websites.
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