9 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Niche Site Rather Than Build One
There are two kinds of people in the business world:
- People with a lot of time, but not a lot of money
- People with a lot of money, but not a lot of time
It is rare to be in a category where you have both a ton of time and a ton of money, though those people do exist, too.
If you’re reading this, that is likely not your case — at least not yet.
You’re probably out there busying yourself with trying to build out your own niche site empire using what Stuart Walker talks about on Niche Hacks.
That is great.
In fact, you should do that — his advice is incredibly valuable and sometimes practically gives you niches to start your work from.
But before you roll up your sleeves, what if there was a better way for you to earn from niche sites — especially for people out there in category #2 in the business world?
Well, there is a better way.
Instead of developing a niche site from scratch, pouring all of that sweat equity into a property that may or may not bear fruit for you a year and a half down the road, why not just buy one that is already earning a profit?
This is a route very few niche site builders think about when they’re first starting, but there are a lot of benefits for going in this direction rather than starting from scratch.
In fact, there are nine main reasons why you might consider buying a niche site to fast-track your road to success versus building out a niche site from start to finish.
What You’ll Learn In This Post:
- Why it’s not always good to start a niche site.
- Whether it’s easier to build $0 to $1,000 per month or $1,000 to $5,000 per month.
- How to earn money and come out ahead, even while you’re brand new to niche sites
- How to avoid Google Sandbox and jump right into traffic, revenue, and scaling growth.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...
1. A Proven Profitable Niche (No Waiting!)
This is one of the best reasons to buy a niche site versus building one.
When you are buying a niche site, as long as you’re doing good due diligence, you are buying a niche that has proven to be making money.
After all, you’ll make sure both the traffic and revenue are verified before releasing the funds to the seller.
If you are using a brokerage, this makes verifying the proof of both the revenue and the traffic a lot easier — since most professional brokerages will do some vetting on the sites before they’re sent out to potential buyers to make sure they’re real assets.
Though this is definitely the case with us and most professional brokers, make sure you still do your due diligence to prove to yourself that the site is actually getting traffic and revenue.
If you can master due diligence, then you’ll save a lot of time when going about acquiring a site.
When you’re building a niche site from scratch, you will often have to wait 8 to 15 months before you know if what you’re doing is succeeding at all.
Since most niche sites derive their traffic from search engine optimization (SEO), it is going to take a long time before Google starts sending all that high-value organic traffic to your website.
That is … if they ever send you that high-value traffic in the first place.
There is a lot that goes into building and growing a niche site.
You need to master keyword research, content writing and planning, and link building — and that is not even to speak about the actual design of your website, which might impact your ability to gain any credibility with earning backlinks through white hat strategies.
That means you’re going to spend likely at least 15 months — working every month, week, and day — on a niche site that really has not proven whether it is going to do anything at all.
By purchasing a niche site, you get rid of that possibility.
You already know the site has been earning money, getting traffic, and attracting quality links.
You can skip the entire waiting period and focus on growing the asset even further.
2. Immediately Gain Quick Wins Through Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
We have buyers that scour the Empire Flippers marketplace specifically looking for websites that are ugly, not mobile-friendly, and have a host of other issues that could seriously affect their CRO of turning that traffic into actual customers and affiliate commissions.
When you are starting a website from scratch, you have zero data to help you with what you are doing.
You have no idea if the button that says “go check the products on Amazon” should be orange, eggshell white, or maybe forest green.
You don’t know if an email opt-in box should be on the right side, left side, or maybe nowhere because that email opt-in diminishes potential ad revenue so significantly.
You have no traffic to play with, so you can only set up the site in a way that you believe (and hope) will drive sales through your affiliate links.
When you purchase a niche website, you get to speed up this whole process, since you already have traffic and revenue data to work with.
It is not unheard of for someone to buy a niche site monetized through Google AdSense, for example, and just optimize the placements of those ad blocks.
A simple two-week ad block split-testing period can jump a site’s revenue from $2,000 per month to $3,000 per month, without adding any content, backlinks, or really doing anything other than just test ad placement.
If the site you buy has an ugly layout that isn’t mobile-friendly, changing the layout is another easy win that could increase a site’s revenue without doing any SEO work at all.
You can only really do these kinds of tests with a site that is already earning with affiliate links, ad-media blocks, and even information product pages.
CRO is likely going to be where your quickest wins come from if you decide to purchase a niche site rather than build one.
There are plenty of sites selling on Empire Flippers...
3. Immediately Gain Quick Wins Through SEO
While SEO takes forever to kick in for new niche sites, this is not always the case for a well-aged niche site that already is getting some love from search engines.
Google favors authority sites — the more expansive and higher quality your content, and the older your site is, the better it is going to rank.
When you purchase a niche site, you can run it through a tool like Ahrefs.com, which will let you know where you’re sitting on Google for good commercial and informational keywords.
You should be running a potential purchase through Ahrefs or a similar tool before you actually make the purchase as well, just to make sure its backlink profile looks healthy and nothing seems out of place.
Once the site is purchased, though, you can use the keyword data that Ahrefs shows to find a plethora of keywords sitting on Google’s page 2 that just need a bit of on-page optimization to bring them higher up in the search engine rankings.
Also, when you add new content to the site, you’ll likely rank for those keywords faster because your domain already has authority in Google’s eyes, compared to if you built your own niche site.
These are all things you just cannot do with a niche site you’re building from scratch until much later down the road after that eight- to 15-month mark, which is when you’ll start to see the first real signs of ranking.
Of course, it is possible for a newly built niche site to rank much quicker; it is just not typical from what we’ve seen in the industry.
4. Earn While You Learn
Probably one of the most attractive reasons to buy a niche site rather than build one from scratch is that you will collect a paycheck every month from the site.
If you buy a niche site for $80,000 at a 30x multiple of the net monthly income, that will make you right around $2,600 per month, so you’ll make back all of your original investment into the site in about two and a half years.
That timeline of earning back your money is actually pretty similar to building a niche site from scratch … if you did everything else right.
There’s a chance you might earn back the content costs and other costs that go into a built-from-scratch niche site in about two to two and a half years.
By purchasing a niche site, though, you’re effectively earning while you’re learning.
If you’re brand new to internet marketing, then when you purchase a site you can focus on adding new content to the site.
You can still learn all the basics of SEO and affiliate marketing while operating an affiliate niche site already earning money since, once these kinds of sites get going, they are not usually very hands-on.
That means you can take your time and really delve into how they work.
You have the best example in front of you since the niche site you purchased is already working.
You can get insights into the inner workings of one far quicker than someone building from scratch who is still having to guess what is the right next step for them to follow.
In these scenarios, you can safely keep adding content to the site as you learn more about what needs to be done, while also collecting a nice monthly check that is recouping the cost of your investment and teaching you valuable skills.
5. Easier to Scale into a Real Branded Authority Site
Most niche sites do not start off as authority sites.
Typically, your site is going to have a very narrow focus on a specific sub-niche of a larger niche.
This is the case for almost every niche site in their starting stages.
While that sub-niche might be very profitable, it is likely attached to another niche that is larger and related to the sub-niche that could earn you even more money.
However, if you’re starting from scratch, you might be two years out on that niche site before you can even begin to start tackling other parts of your niche.
For example, if you started a niche site talking about toasters, the first stage of that site might be all kinds of different toasters.
There is a lot to cover here, from different models of toasters that are best for certain situations, to how to use the toaster, to different kinds of cooking and fun things you can do with one, and so on.
In that first year and a half, a site built from scratch might never really wander away from the toaster topic.
Whereas a purchased niche site has often already explored a large portion of the niche it’s talking about, making it ripe for expansion into other related topics.
Keeping with the toaster analogy, a purchased niche site on toasters might be ready to expand into other kitchen products like blenders, ovens, cookware, and more.
Once you start expanding your topics, your site really starts going from just a small niche site to a potential authority site.
Authority sites can carry all kinds of weight to them, including the ability to start driving a lot more traffic, not just from SEO, but from other channels like social media and even paid traffic.
This is because your site is not just a brochure of products to buy anymore, but rather a credible source with content that people want to come back to again and again.
The timetable to be able to do this expansion for a site built from scratch is very slow, but a purchased niche site that already has a lot of the topics covered can be expanded almost immediately into other related niches.
It is right around this stage that adding an email list to your site can become super beneficial.
6. Ability to Start Stacking Monetizations
Most niche sites started from scratch have one primary way they’re planning on making money, and typically that way is through the Amazon Associates Program.
It is a great program because it’s super newbie-friendly and can certainly be scaled up to making you six figures per year from it alone.
Since Amazon believes in CRO as much as we do, they’re also split testing how they sell products all the time; and out of any e-commerce giant in the industry, they probably know better than anyone what makes someone buy something.
However, there are so many more methods of making money with your niche site that is outside of Amazon Associates.
For a site that is just starting off, it is pretty ill-advised, to begin with, a ton of different monetizations.
Your focus will be spread too thin when you already need to concentrate on creating so much new content for your site.
It is typically wise to stick with one style of making money for your site until it starts making some real profit.
This is not so much the case with a niche site already earning good money from a certain monetization.
For a niche site, you purchased that monetizes only through Amazon Associates, it will likely have a lot of information-based content on top of the commercial content sending traffic to Amazon.
Most of the time, this informational content isn’t really monetized, and it is there to give a site a “real” and “credible” feeling.
It is pretty simple to sign up for AdSense for your site, then install some ad blocks sprinkled throughout your informational content to immediately increase the site’s earnings.
This is because most informational content on Amazon affiliate sites just is not monetized; it’s there more to make the site feel like a credible authority to the person visiting the site.
This alone for a medium-ranged affiliate site could look to add a few hundred to even over a thousand dollars per month in net profit that the niche site seller was leaving on the table.
If your goal is to turn your purchased niche site into a true authority site (which it should be), then eventually you’re likely to have far more informational content than commercial content, and you’ll want to find ways to monetize that content while still adding value to the reader.
Why did the niche site owner leave this money on the table?
Probably because they were so focused on one monetization strategy that they might never have even thought about switching it up a little bit.
It is not uncommon that as a niche site becomes an authority site and their content trove starts to lean more heavily toward informational content, they start seeing far more profit from their display ads than affiliate commissions.
But it doesn’t stop there.
You can stack all kinds of other monetizations to an authority site that is already driving traffic and revenue.
Using your data on the backend of Amazon Associates, you can literally see the kinds of products your traffic is buying.
This is great data if you ever wanted to start a Fulfillment by Amazon business.
You source the product your traffic is already buying, change out the affiliate link with an Amazon affiliate link now pointing to your product on Amazon’s website, and you double-dip in the revenue — getting both the affiliate commissions and net profit from the sale of your product.
All of this monetization stacking is far easier to do when you can take a more narrowly focused niche site and expand it to the next stage where it becomes a true authority site in the space that people trust.
If you remembered to build an email list, you can even send weekly offers from other affiliate networks using cost per action or maybe build an information product around some common and pressing problem in your niche that you can solve for your customers when they buy your course.
If you were to do this with a niche site you built from scratch, it would be far down the road before you would get to try all of these different styles of monetization.
When you buy a profitable niche site, you already have a great springboard to experiment with new monetizations, some of which can add revenue to your bottom line relatively quickly.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...
7. Ability to Hire and Scale Quicker
When you first start building a niche site, it will likely be quite a while before you’ll have enough monthly revenue coming in like clockwork to justify hiring someone to take over various tasks that you’re doing.
There are a lot of moving parts when first building a site (e.g., content costs, the design, link building, keyword research).
But when you buy a niche site that is already profitable, you can use the money it is already bringing in to hire people to fill more specific roles that become a lot more obvious that the site needs once it is at a profitable stage.
For most niche sites, whether you build or purchase one, it is better for you to handle the majority of the work yourself at first so you can really learn the ropes without spending an arm and a leg, but purchasing a niche site can help you delegate this work quicker.
When it comes to buying a niche site already earning profit, not only are you buying a proven profit maker, but you are also usually buying the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that the seller has already created to run their business.
The seller might have SOPs for certain kinds of content briefs that make it easy to outsource content, or perhaps they have an SOP on keyword research and even link building outreach.
When you have these SOPs, they can act as guides on what needs to be done and what is already being done.
You can use the monthly revenue of the business to scale the operation by following the instructions in the SOPs.
Is there an editorial calendar already in place?
If so, what is it?
Maybe their SOP says to publish one new article per week, varying the style of article from week to week.
You might choose to use the monthly revenue the site is already earning to scale that to four articles per week, with each of those articles covering the four styles the SOP already mentioned and scale the site in that fashion.
Scaling work outlined in SOPs as your road map can be an amazing way to grow your revenue, as you’re flipping the levers the previous owner was already using to make the site and just pulling those well-defined levers at a faster rate.
Purchasing a new site often can provide a very workable roadmap on what you need to do in order to scale the business.
Thanks to the domain already being somewhat aged, it is often easier to go about this route and take a website from earning $2,000 per month to $6,000 per month than it is to take a site from $0 per month to $1,000 per month.
8. Job Replacement Income Opportunity Right from the Start
Something a purchased niche site can do right away that a niche site built from scratch can’t do is replace your 9 to 5 job income.
A business purchased at $150,000 might earn you around $5,000 per month.
And since niche sites can be pretty hands-off once they get going, that is $5,000 per month with little extra work added to your weekly schedule.
For many people, that kind of monthly income is more than what they are earning at their full-time jobs where they’re working 40 hours per week or more.
Someone purchasing a site like this could suddenly have the option to quit their job.
If you don’t have the kind of money to purchase an asset with monthly cash flow that can replace your job income, it could be worth it to partner with someone who has the money but the unwillingness to learn the skills needed to grow these kinds of purchases, but still can recognize the impressive return on investment (ROI) they can get on their money.
Of course, I would recommend you hold off on quitting and rather use the revenue as a way to build up a war chest, recoup the cost of investment, and use the money to scale the site to even greater heights.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone going full-time in the niche site business unless they had 12 months’ worth of savings stockpiled (and that means if you purchase a niche site, even after purchasing you still have 12 months’ worth of savings).
This is a good buffer, as you never know what might happen with a Google update, an Amazon commission change, or some other wave that hits the online business world that might negatively affect your business.
Still, it is nice to have the option, and it is definitely something purchasing an already profitable niche site can do for you.
If you want to go straight to living a digital nomad lifestyle in a place like Chiang Mai, Thailand, for instance, it will be a lot easier to do that with a purchased website than just move to Chiang Mai and hope for the best that in 10 to 15 months, the niche site you have will start covering your bills.
8. A Growing Asset that Gains Value Whether You Work On It or Not
This is something that can happen for a niche site you build from scratch, but again, it just takes a lot more time to make it happen and depends on multiple factors that you got right when you went and built the site.
A purchased niche site earning profit, on the other hand, will become more valuable if everything stays exactly the same.
If you buy a niche site for $150,000 that earns $5,000 per month and hold onto that site and do absolutely zero work to it, and that $5,000 keeps coming in like clockwork for an entire year, you can theoretically turn that site around and sell it for a profit.
During that first 12 months, you will have earned back $60,000 of your original investment, you will have added an entire year of trackable data onto the business, and you will be able to command typically a higher multiple than what you bought it for.
At the $150,000 level, that is a 30x multiple you purchased it for.
It is not unreasonable that you could list the business and sell your site for a 33x multiple for $165,000.
That is $15,000 more than what you purchased the business for, plus with recouping your original investment, you’ll end up having earned $75,000 from profit in that calendar year.
What if you took that same business and it went from a $5,000 net profit average to just a $6,000 net profit per month average and you still got that 33x multiple for the extra earnings history of the site?
The site would be worth $198,000, earning you $48,000 on top of what you earned throughout the entire year as you were increasing the revenue.
This is such a potentially lucrative business model for some people that we actually have a customer avatar called Flipper Fred that embodies this entire process.
They will purchase a niche site already earning a decent profit, increase those profits, or buy and hold the site until they can flip the site for profit back on the Empire Flippers marketplace.
Should You Really Buy a Niche Site? Or Build One?
In the end, it is always going to be a personal decision.
Do you have a lot of time but not a lot of money?
Then purchasing a profitable niche site might not be in the cards for you.
Of course, you could team up with an investor who will front the majority of the money for 50 percent equity in the niche site while you do all the work.
This is something that is becoming more and more common as investors want to dip into the lucrative ROIs that online businesses can provide, but have no real interest in learning how to do the work.
If you have a lot of money and no time, then buying a profitable niche site could be a great way to get yourself started.
Buying a small $40,000 to $60,000 Amazon affiliate site is a fairly hands-off process, and allows you to earn while you learn.
If rankings and earnings stay the same, you can always sell the site and likely command a higher multiple if you waited at least a year to sell, recouping the entire investment.
Or, if you increased the revenues using techniques like SEO, CRO, and stacked monetization, you could sell the business and realize a profit more than double what you originally invested.
The decision is ultimately something you have to make.
Both paths are great paths, and Stuart has a ton of content on how to go about building a niche site from scratch.
If all this talk about buying and selling online businesses has got you fired up, I would love to respond to any comments or questions you have in the comment form below.
And if you have a business right now and you ever wondered what it might be worth, you can check out our free automated valuation tool that would give you a rough estimation of what you’re sitting on.
Gregory joined Empire Flippers in April 2016 as the Content Manager. He manages the flow of content surrounding the brand – blog posts, guides, podcasts etc. – from producing the content to promoting it. Learn more about Empire Flippers by clicking the link above.