Buying Websites For Passive Income: My Personal Experience [2022]

Ok, so yes, as the title says, I’m going to talk about buying websites for passive income. But first, a story about how doing this changed my life…

When I was looking out the window from my desk at the big investment bank I worked at, I never dreamed I would be able to make more than my corporate salary by working for myself.  

All I was thinking about was that I didn’t want my boss’s job, and I didn’t want my boss’s boss’s job and what was I going to do about it? 

Does this sound familiar?  

Keep listening to find out how I managed to surpass my corporate salary and create financial independence for myself and god willing one day for my family and future husband and kids.

Back to the story…. 

I decided I would do anything to get out of that claustrophobic tower of discontent, even if it meant I only made enough to cover my bare minimum living expenses.  So that’s where I started.

I saved up 6 months’ worth of living expenses and started to work out how I could become a digital nomad.  You can read more about my experiences here.

buying websites for passive income

But in this post, I want to focus on the “side hustle” that I never knew existed back when I was staring out the window and that changed my life.

We’re Going To Go Into:

  • Pros of buying websites for passive income
  • You’re In Control (Most Of The Time)
  • Money, Money, Money (Yes, You Can Make High Returns Buying Websites For Passive Income)
  • Cash Flow Is King (Compared To Other Investments)
  • Overheads Aren’t That High
  • You Can Outsource The Work
  • Low Stakes
  • Pitfalls And Misconceptions About Buying A Website For Passive Income
  • Websites Provide 100% Passive Income
  • Websites Are Set And Forget
  • Websites Are Low Risk And Cheap
  • Websites Aren’t Expensive And It’s Not A Risky Investment
  • Websites And The Passive Income Lasts Forever
  • Passive Website Income Is Consistent
  • Google Seo Updates (They’ll Always Be Traffic, Or Will There?)
  • How Is Buying A Website For Passive Income Different From Investing In Stocks Or Real Estate?
  • Is Website Income Really Passive?
  • How Much Can You Make Buying And Selling Websites?
  • Where To Buy Passive Income Websites?

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Buying Websites For Passive Income

Note: I took 2 of the best website flipping courses to help me increase what I know about website flipping. 

Each of these gave me what I needed to know in 2 weeks, rather than the 2 years it would have taken me to learn by myself (not to mention all the money I would have spent buying inappropriate websites!).  

I started applying what I learnt immediately and bought 1 website. 

Since then I have bought 2 more.  They are now making money and I think I’ll sell them for 6 figures by the end of 2022!

1.Mushfiq’s Deep Dive Course On Website Flipping

2.Chelsea’s Blog Flipping Course

You can learn more about what I learnt in each course and which course is best for who in this article about website flipping.

Pros of Buying Websites For Passive Income

First the good news, for me, my blogs have been life-changing.  They’ve bought me time and location freedom and the ability to spend money on the people I love.

The key to this has been choosing diversified blog niches, traffic and income sources – so good SEO, ad and affiliate income plus several blogs.

Thanks to these strategies, I can work from anywhere, or not work if I don’t want to and make way more money than my corporate banking job.

Read on to hear about more of the pros of buying websites for passive income.

1.You’re In Control (Most Of The Time)

buying websites for passive income

Just compare owning a website to other ways of earning passive income.  For example; stocks and shares.

You have absolutely no control over how a company runs the business or how to increase the value of the share, unlike websites where you have direct control over increasing the income and valuation price based on your knowledge and skills.

To increase income, I create content, optimise SEO, add affiliate links and maybe some printables, and hey presto, my income goes up, and in return, the valuation rises!

If traffic goes down, I can do a website audit or pay someone to and make any improvements needed to get my traffic back.  

2.Money, Money, Money (Yes, You Can Make High Returns Buying Websites For Passive Income)

buying websites for passive income

A few years ago you would be lucky to make money selling your website.  Now?  The multiples are going through the roof!  

It’s now standard to sell a website for 35x what it earns and some can now even go for 40x.

This means that if your website is bringing in $1000 a month, you could sell it today for $35,000 to $40,000.

Here are some places with passive income websites for sale:

3.Cash Flow Is King (Compared To Other Investments)

buying websites for passive income

I’m not sure where you’re from of course but where I’m from, getting cash flow from purchasing a rental property is basically impossible, unless you got into the game decades ago, you will probably be paying the bank for the pleasure of owning a piece of earth!!!  

And the multiples? Well let’s not even go there…

I bet you can’t tell me a place on this planet where you could buy a property for the multiples we’re talking about with blog buying.  

So, if you can get enough money together to buy the right website, then the passive income you’ll receive from it will outrank property any day.

Another example; shares.  

Yes, you can get dividends from shares, but to make them worthwhile you have to have serious capital invested and while I love this avenue of investing, it is a long, long game.  

Of course blogging is a long game too but we’re talking months and maybe a few years as opposed to decades of stock investing to get meaningful dividend returns.

4.Overheads Aren’t That High

Your most important cost is paying for the URL and hosting. 

 That runs to a few hundred dollars a year, so when you start off buying websites for passive income, you may even be able to reduce some of the outgoings the previous owner had.

Once the site starts earning that moolah, then you can always spend money to keep your site safe and ticking along nicely.

5.You Can Outsource The Work

buying websites for passive income

My blogs have my face on them and I still love to write, it’s my passion. 

But with a growing portfolio of sites, it would be impossible for me to keep on top of content creation and administration.

So, I hired a fantastic team to write and tend to my blogs, especially the blogs I’ve bought rather than created from scratch.

Once you have a system in place for finding and hiring writers and admin staff, it’s a no-brainer as it means you can focus your time on growing your business – like me!

Another amazing reason to buy a website for passive income rather than having, for example, a YouTube channel is that you cannot outsource video creation if there’s a person at the center of the channel…

5.Low Stakes

Remember how I mentioned that I saved up 6 months of living expenses in order to quit my job and become a digital nomad? 

 Well that meant that I had to live very frugally at the start of my journey, I didn’t have the firehose of cash from my day job or a wealthy sugar daddy to support me.

This meant I had to bootstrap my blog and that is exactly what I did. 

I didn’t have the money to pay a website developer, writers, or marketing people, so I learned how to do all this stuff myself.  

I did learn from some free resources, but I also invested in several courses to give me confidence and a blueprint to follow, so I wouldn’t skip that step if I were you.

You don’t have to spend millions though.  Here it THE course that got me to earning over $10,000 a month from my first born blog: Stupid Simple SEO.

So go the low-stakes route and monetize your own skills and time before you outsource.  

Another bonus to this method is that it makes it much much easier to manage people when you decide to grow your team, as you know what they are doing and how long it should take them.

6.Easy To Learn (Especially Compared To Some Other Fields)

Compared to becoming a doctor, lawyer, or investment banker (and I learned how to be both a lawyer and a banker), learning how to blog and buy and sell websites can be learnt much more easily than these other complex fields, which usually require advanced degrees.

People from all walks of get into blogging and become very successful. 

 I know other lawyers and bankers for sure, but I also know a plumber from Australia who is now killing it as a leader in the blogging world.

  All you need is time and the dedication to learn and apply what you learn.

Pitfalls And Misconceptions About Buying A Website For Passive Income

1.Websites Provide 100% Passive Income=NOT

While it is true that I earn money from my websites while I sleep and I earn more money than I did when I was on the work treadmill, my work with websites is definitely not passive. 

What it means for me is that I no longer get paid by the hour/week/year.  

I have separated my time from my income which means, although it’s not “passive” in the dictionary sense of the word, it does mean that as you read this, I might be on holiday learning all about Korean culture, food and clothes!  

2.Websites Are NOT Set And Forget

Remember, someone has got to do the work of updating posts, checking for broken links, getting good backlinks, adding new content, and generally keeping Google happy.  

What about making sure your plugins, theme, site speed are all still working well? 

 Good luck to the person who abandons their website for a year. 

Just watch it get on Google’s bad side and blocked for malware!

You can do this yourself or as mentioned above, outsource it – as long as you have a good team in place and pay them well, then well, yeah, your website income could well be passive. 

Just make sure you don’t go buying a website thinking the money will start rolling in without you having to do any upkeep.  

The truth is that there are hardly any niches that have no competition and if you sleep and neglect your site, your competition will outrank you.

3.Websites Are Cheap

Yes, websites used to be cheap but they are not anymore.

  As mentioned, the multiples are going up and up.  It’s not like a house purchase either where you can get a loan from the bank. 

 You need to come up with the cold hard cash yourself just to buy the site.

Then you have to think about how you will pay for hosting and improvements to the site if you are going to outsource.  

To cover the investment of just your purchase price, you need to be sure that the site can do that AND make you a profit, otherwise, it could be a risky investment.

4.Websites Aren’t Expensive And It’s Not A Risky Investment

buying websites for passive income

Income-generating websites for sale don’t come cheap.  

This may have been true a few years ago, but those days are long gone. As I mentioned earlier the multiple is now 35-40x

I was so excited to buy my first website, I didn’t think to check the theme – it was Divi, literally my worst nightmare. (makes your website super slow booooo!)

 I usually use Astra or other streamlined, well-functioning, free themes and just didn’t know what had hit me when it came to trying to get my new site up to par.

I got there in the end but I had to outsource the tech stuff and that did not come cheap as there were lots of problems to fix.  

So a word of advice, include a theme check in your due diligence list and if it’s a tricky theme, leave some budget aside to fix issues.

Another issue is, you don’t know if the seller did any dodgy activity with the site, which could lead to a google penalty 

What I mean by this is, linking to suspicious websites and getting backlinks from dodgy Private blog networks.

Also, don’t forget – it takes time for websites to make passive income.

5.Passive Website Income Is Consistent

Passive income from websites can be consistent for some blogs but not so for others. 

 If you’re in a seasonal niche, like outdoor camping or Christmas cooking, then you’ll get the bulk of your traffic in the summer months or around the holidays.

6.Google SEO Updates (They’ll Always Be Traffic, Or Will There?)

buying websites for passive income

If you’ve been in the blogging world for any length of time, you won’t have been able to escape hearing from the people whose sites get annihilated by the latest Google update.  

Let’s not even discuss how many bloggers have gone under thanks to Pinterest’s changes in the last little while.

I’ve been hit by both the Pinterest changes and Google updates and it’s not fun to see my traffic drop. 

It has definitely stressed me out in the past, but now I know as long as I create legitimate sites and keep up with what Google wants, my sites’ traffic will pick up again. 

I don’t panic now, I just work through what needs to be done and my traffic always increases, but again, this is not passive work – it takes commitment to work out what Google doesn’t like and fix it.

7.Isolation And Confusion

buying websites for passive income

There is no University of Blogging!  It’s quite a new concept and industry so you do have to spend a bit of time working everything out and deciding which courses will work for you.

8.Hard To Explain

Friends and family think all sorts of things – like you’re trying to be an influencer or that you’re just unemployed!  Also, it can be hard to get a mortgage from a bank.

Tips On How To Buy A Websites For Passive Income

  • Due Diligence Is A Must
  • Know Your Numbers And Don’t Get Emotional 
  • Brokers Are Best
  • Stick To What You Know (as in don’t buy a site in a niche you have no interest or knowledge of, at least when you first start buying sites)

To really get an in-depth understanding of these tips, these are the two courses I recommend.  I took them both and loved them each.

For the following reasons:

1.Mushfiq’s Deep Dive Course On Website Flipping

  • Mushfiq knows what he’s talking about – he’s sold over 175 websites since 2008
  • He still flips 10-15 sites a year which means he’s up to date on the market
  • The course provides
    • 4 clear stages to the process of flipping a site
    • Real-life data from 39 sites he’s flipped
    • How to find a good site, with examples
    • How to not get scammed
    • How to increase the value of the site (this is info you won’t find anywhere else
    • And many other things!

2.Chelsea’s Blog Flipping Course

  • She owns her own website brokerage site
  • She is kind and patient (I know this for a fact as I know her personally)
  • In the course you’ll learn:
    • How to launch your site as a high ticket value item
    • How to brand your site on a budget
    • How to do due diligence
    • In-depth Pinterest marketing (the other course doesn’t have this)
    • SEO training
    • Profit and loss training
    • Monetizing strategies

Can You Buy A Website And Make Money?

Yes, I have bought a few income producing websites. I’ve just bought another amazing one which has digital products but no SEO!  I plan on updating the SEO and flipping it for $30,000.  Once it’s ready, I’ll share this as a case study on my site, so be sure to check back regularly.

How Much Do Websites Sell For?

Profitable websites for sale aren’t easy to find these days. It’s normal to sell a website for a multiple of 35x40x.

This means that if your website is bringing in $100 a month, you could sell it today for $3500 to $4000.

Is Starting A Website Profitable?

Yes, it may not be in the first few months but if you buy the right website, you’ll be making a profit pretty quickly.

How Do You Make Money Selling Websites?

You make money selling websites by buying them at the right price, fixing them up (improve SEO, site speed, link building), then sell them at a profit.

How do I generate passive income from my website?

You generate passive income from your website by having killer SEO, a fast site, great affiliate links and display advertising.

Are websites a good investment?

Websites are a good investment if you do your due diligence and buy right.

Simple Step By Step Guide To Buying Or Selling A Website For Passive Income

  1. Set up a website or buy
  2. Grow traffic via SEO – check out my course on how to create an SEO blog post
  3. Add an advertising network 
  4. Add affiliate links to content 
  5. Add a digital product 
  6. Sell 

Conclusion

So, what do you say? Is buying websites for passive income worth it, despite all those cons I mentioned?  

For me, the answer is a resounding YES.

  Despite the hours of time to get a site working like I want it to, the Google and Pinterest updates and changes, the headache of dealing with writers (sometimes, most of my team are amazing:)), I wouldn’t have my online business any other way.

I’ve loved creating my own sites from scratch and watching them succeed but I also love turning around a struggling site with lots of potential.

Send me an email or drop me a message on instagram (I always reply to my IG messages! !) to let me know if this article has helped you decide if buying a website for passive income is right for you. I’d love to know if you’ve already bought one and how it’s going for you!

buying websites for passive income

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