What I’ve Learned in the Past 6 Months from Buying Websites

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, so I figure it’s about time I break the silence and spill some beans. For the past 6 months I’ve been focusing mostly on buying new websites to add to my portfolio, later updating them with new content. There’s a lot to learn from acquiring established websites in very different niches from very different owners.

As I’ve been buying websites from Flippa keeping it very safe, I haven’t bought any duds (with an exception of one site that has died out after having a fair run) nor have I been cheated, so that’s a good thing. On the flip side (no pun intended) I’ve only been able to buy sites with traffic from Google and income from Adsense. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

So first thing I’ve learned is that Google is a mysterious devil and it’s extremely difficult to guess its ways. You would think that getting insight into several different websites you would make some conclusions as to what works and what doesn’t, what gets you to the top of Google. But other than “add more content” and “build more links” it’s not anything else to it. It has really become a mystery to me as compared to years ago when it was fairly easy to manipulate.

The second thing is, updating is a lot of hard work! If you think you can buy a website and let it just sit there, occasionally adding new content, think again. At best it will slowly dwindle away losing traffic and income, at worst you will see a quick drop in traffic and that’s that. You have to update websites, and develop a maintenance schedule for each. This has lead me to find new ways to acquire new content and streamline the process, albeit not for all sites.

But most important of all, by getting new established sites, you get a lot of new ideas, learn a lot of new things that you haven’t even thought possible before. It’s a continuous learning experience and that’s the best part. Getting new sites ideas, new content ideas, new SEO and marketing ideas – all that is pure gold, because you can see what has been done and what works.

Having all those new sites, I have more ideas than I can put to use, and I have to pick wisely. Trying to do too much simultaneously will lead to accomplishing nothing. So keeping focus is another thing I’ve learned, and on top of that knowing and not being afraid to let some things go. A site isn’t doing well and you’re stuck with it – oh well, shit happens, leave it and focus on those that do work.

Speaking of not doing well, traffic is very hard to build! Sometimes I do wonder how do they build it up from the ground in first place and I’m left scratching my head. It’s not as simple as adding new content (that’s a given), you need a marketing plan and a good one at that for each and every site.

Finally, what’s up with those home decoration sites? Adsense CPC is through the roof, no wonder Flippa is full of them… 😉

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