Going, Going, Gone! – First Niche Site Sold

I’m happy to announce that my first site for sale went on Flippa yesterday. It sold for $102. This is less than I expected, as I was hoping for about 10 to 20 times monthly income for the site ($18/month times 10 or 20 is $180 or $360). It’s okay, though. It went to a nice buyer who I think will really benefit from the sale since he can easily make the expense back in a few months without any work. It’s also good for me as I will be able to build my reputation as an honest seller of quality websites on Flippa. A win/win situation.

What kind of profit did I see on this sale?

The website cost me $29 to make. I paid $19 to Flippa to list the site and then $10 for the success fee. From the site’s initial completion to sale it made $40.60 in Adsense. Therefore I made $102+$40.60-$29-$10=$103.06. Not too bad. Now I need a lot more sales.

Why did this site sell for only 5 times monthly income?

I have a few theories on this:

1. I’m a new seller on Flippa and no one really knows who I am on there. I don’t have anyone vouching for me as a seller and without this social proof I think it’s very difficult to get a high price.

2. It was a fairly new site. It only had two months of income proof, and the first month’s income was quite low. I think next time I sell a site I need to show at least two months of STABLE income. No one wants to buy a site and then see the income drop off.

3. It was a low-earner. For my next sale I will put together a package making more than $100/month. I think this will get more attention and draw in more bidders. Plus, with a $100/month earner I’ll be able to justify paying $50 to Flippa to get it on the Featured Sites page.

4. April was a bitch of a month for SEO. After the Panda and Penguin updates people are running scared. There’s a lot of talk about the end of niche sites and people’s adsense accounts getting closed. I think we need a month to settle down and get back to work. Niche sites are still going strong, but the game has changed a little bit. We need to change with it.

Why do you think it only went for 5 times monthly income? I’d like to hear your comments and advice in the comments below. Thanks!

  1. I found your site through the Flippa sale. I was considering buying it myself. I hope you keep updating this site and fill us in on what you know. Thanks

    By the way, fellow Mainer here, I’ll buy you a lobster roll when you get back.

    1. Hello fellow Mainah 🙂

      Glad you found my site. I’ll be putting some new auctions up in the near future.
      I’ll send a notice out to my list when my next sites are for sale if you want to sign up.

      I’m looking forward to the lobster roll…I miss them.

  2. Hey Mike,

    Good job on your first sale. I’ve read a few of your posts before, and I believe that you and I are pretty similar in our niche site + website sale endeavors.

    I haven’t put anything up for sale just yet. I’m waiting until I have 6 months of Adsense data. I believe this extra data alone will drive up my sale price.

    How was the whole domain/website transfer process? A pain in the ass?

    1. Vin,

      Thanks. I agree with you that by having more income proof that it’s easier to sell for a higher price, but I’m willing to settle for a little lower if I can make a quicker sale. I don’t need to be getting 20 times monthly income, but 10-15 would be fine with me.

      I’m in the process of transferring the domain right now…I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. Congrats on your first sale. Also, really interested to learn more about the website transfer process and time involved. Maybe a post on that?

    1. Manyu,

      That’s a great idea. Once I get the transfer complete I’ll post about transferring sites. Thanks!

  4. Hi Mike
    Congrats on your first sale!

    I agree with your points about reputation and age of site why it sold at low multiple.

    Why did you sell it do soon?
    Was that always the plan?

    Best of luck with the next one.


    1. TJ,
      Thanks it was always the plan to make websites to sell them. If I can sell them quickly enough that I can make more sites and make even more money. At the same time I’m able to help other people out by giving them sites that are already making money with AdSense.

  5. Hi Mike! Thanks for the Twitter follow that brought me to your site. I’m just getting started with this online income biz and what I’m curious about is how I might approach building my first niche site in light of the new Google changes you mentioned. I don’t really know what the changes involve, but I am aware enough to know I shouldn’t build a site that’s based off out-dated algorithms. Any tips or resources?

  6. Kate,

    Welcome to my blog! As far as making niche sites goes, my process hasn’t changed at all. The only sites of mine that were affected by the algorithm update were older sites that I had built waaaaay too many links to. You should be fine following the advice that I give in my blog as it is the same system that I’m using now.

  7. Hey Mike, Curious to hear about how the site transfer process went. Are you planning on doing a post on the process? Thanks!

    1. Yes, I plan on making a post about the transfer process in the near future. Stay tuned.

  8. hello,
    I was just talking to you using the chatbox. The link you gave me for long tail pro took me to their website and after returning to you website the chatbox disappeared. I can seem to find it anymore. Could this be a bug?
    Just giving u a headsup so you don't think I just left the conversation.

    1. Shane,

      No problem. It was nice chatting with you. Let me know how Longtail Pro works out for you. It’s the only keyword research tool that I use (besides Adwords).

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