If you have ever watched the TV show “Pawn Stars“, you’ve seen this haggle. The Expert comes in and says the antique is worth $10,000. Instantly, the owner wants all of the ten grand. He doesn’t realize that keeping it in a box in the attic didn’t help the appreciation. Then the Pawn Stars crew reveal they need to make a profit and ultimately offer $4,000 for the item. It’s the same with URLs.
A website is more than just a URL (Unless you have something like Pizza.com). A few weeks ago, 2 URL’s were set up for auction, one being xxx.com. They asked for $5 million reserve and nobody took the initial bid.
So when it comes to your Ifoundthiscoolwebsite.com, it might be a nice URL, but why buy a Ferrari without an engine?
Last week I was approached to buy a website. They wanted $3,000 for the site, but when I looked at their statistics, all I saw was a site with no traffic. The site hadn’t been updated since January and some of the images weren’t working. Further, the people couldn’t tell me who their active audience is.They were betting on the sale of the URL, but their site was in shambles.
The previous week I ran into another person selling their show. It was the same situation – They wanted to sell the URL and podcast, but couldn’t prove they had a listener base.
I made offers on both, but they were both turned down. They don’t realize that I have to spend time to rebuild a base. I cannot buy a pile of junk with a flag on top.
The idea in buying an existing URL is to get a new user base. Have a new group of viewers and listeners come into your website. Yet, by getting these properties, I have to do all the legwork trying to find out the audience.
If you sell a car, you give it a good wash, make sure the basics are done (oil changed, brakes fixed, interior detailedÖ). If you sell a house, you get an appraiser to let you know what needs to be corrected before you put it on market, then you have to keep the house clean and looking it’s best while the realtor parades people though at odd hours in the day. So when you sell your website or podcast…
It’s not tough to do, you just need to discipline yourself during the sales period. Here are some ways to do that.
Make upgrades to your site
If you are on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or another CMS, update the core files and all plugins to current versions. Try to make sure 95 – 99% of your site is working properly (there are always going to be dead links), fix image problems and site malformations. Make the site look presentable.
Start putting up content again until the sale.
I know you don’t want to do this, but if you haven’t posted anything in 3 weeks or more, then half of your traffic might be gone. Repair the damage by posting again. If you run audio or video, post updates and smaller shows. Anything to keep people around for the sale.
Hire someone to help
Some people cringe on the word “hire”. But if you can get someone that cost you $40 a week for 8 weeks, that $320 could mean an extra $500-600 in a sale (or more). If you cannot update it, get someone else to do it.
Install 3rd party tracking systems
Any type of statistical program will help in the sale. Google Analytics is the most obvious program to put on your page. There are other sites that offer free statistics monitoring to a point. If you can tout ranking numbers, people will be more apt to buy.
Promote on other sites and through friends
Just like you did when you started – Go to other websites and comment on posts. Get traffic to your website. Think about putting $50-$100 campaign together on Facebook. The more traffic and better ranking, the quicker you can get a buyer for your site.
Offer to stick around after the sale
You don’t need to tell your audience your site or show is for sale. But offer those buying that you will be around for a small period while the transition completes. Plan a date that you exit the site so the new owners get a chance to keep the audience. Remember – any type of change (especially abruptly) and you could lose your audience.
Most important – Know when your selling efforts are working, or if you need a new strategy. If people are not biting on your sale price – even after you try these items – then you might need to re-evaluate your site’s worth.
Talk with your friends. Ask them if they go to your site or show. If they say no, ask why. You might get that golden nugget that, once changed, could command the right price.
The shinier the object, the sooner it gets sold. You might even make a little more money than you expect. It may take a little work, but the end result could make it worth it.