Here’s why you should consider building or buying Directory websites to generate semi-passive income…
We have been focusing a lot on Directory websites with our students lately. They can be very lucrative digital assets and if you get them big enough can sometimes sell for Millions of dollars.
But even as small niche websites you can build them up to make a nice semi-passive income from simple listings and advertising. They are also a great way for you to connect with local businesses.
Once established, directory sites can be run pretty easily around your day job, and can make a nice side hustle for you to diversify your income stream.
Today Ben Weiss from Flippa shows us a great example of a directory website in Europe that earns almost $3,000 a month. At 9-years-old, it’s a well established site, and has proven income and traffic although its dropped off during the recent Covid-19 period.
CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW to learn about this profitable directory website for sale
Directory Website for Sale in the Wedding Niche
Matt Raad: Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s Website for Sale Showcase. And today, I’ve got Ben Weiss from Flippa with me. And Ben, you’ve got a really interesting website to share with us.
Ben Weiss: Yes, thanks for having me. We’re going to go over a pretty fantasticthats currently for sale.
Matt: Wow, a wedding-destination website! So, what does a wedding-destination website do? Let’s just start there.
Ben: This website focuses on wedding destinations, particularly around Europe. So, obviously there are people out there planning weddings. They are excited and they might want to look up information on where to get married, where to have their honeymoon, etc., all over Europe, in Greece, or France, or Spain, etc. So, these guys have really cornered the market on that.
Matt: This sounds very similar to a strategy that we teach in our online entrepreneurship courses which is creating directory sites.
This is essentially a directory website, and if someone wants a wedding, they google “where should I have a wedding in Europe” , or “the best places for a wedding” etc. This site will come up in the search engines and provides that information. It’s provides a whole listing of wedding venues and lots of good content around planning weddings.
This established website ranks well in Google for wedding venues in Europe
Ben: Exactly. This is actually a confidential listing site with Flippa. You can ask the owner, but it doesn’t mention where they rank on the first page for the wedding venues in their particular location (I’m assuming its somewhere in Europe).
But, clearly people are googling for, “Where should I get married?” and they do rank really well.
Matt: Yes, so we should mention for our audience – this is a confidential listing site. So, it’s great that we’re getting access to learn about this site. And typically, confidential listings with Flippa are really good ones to check out. It can be a great way to buy websites on Flippa.
Established 8-year old website that earns over $3,000 each month
So Ben, let’s get into it. What’s the scope for this site? What site is it first and foremost?
Ben: Firstly, just to add to what you just said, don’t be afraid of confidential listings on Flippa. It basically just means the owner wants you to quickly sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement) and then they’re happy to get you all the information you need. It’s just one extra step towards learning how to buy websites.
So yes, this one’s a great website. We always have an “at-a-glance box” right at the top of the listing where you can get all the information quickly. The site is 8 years old, actually it looks like they’re closer to 9 years old already. So, it’s been around for a long time, and has well-aged content on there.
I would assume they have quite a few articles on there. I don’t know if it mentions it in the listing itself. But given the site’s over 9 years old, I would assume they’ve written a lot of content over that time.
And of course, the most exciting thing people like to see is the numbers. This site is averaging over $3,000 in profit each month.
Weddings: an evergreen niche that people still research even in troubling times like Covid-19
And by the looks of the traffic, this site has about 37,000 page views and over 19,000 unique visits. These figures look quite steady over the last 12 months, including (surprisingly), March and April 2020. The traffic figures over these 2 months are relatively steady, so seemingly it’s been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. People are still researching wedding destinations online even though they aren’t traveling at the moment.
Matt: So, the wedding niche is a nice evergreen online niche.
Current owner used good SEO practices to establish authority in Google
Ben: Yes, it’s very cool. And continuing through the numbers, there’s a few things that stand out.
Firstly, their website traffic numbers are definitely split as far as locations. It’s pretty even between the UK and the United States, with some more coming up behind that. Given it’s an English website; even though they’re based in Europe, they’re going to get native English speakers in the UK. And then obviously a lot of Americans like to go and get married in Europe as well, which makes sense.
Something else I love, they’re getting about 65% of their traffic organically. The seller mentions in their listing about a few awards they’ve won. They’ve won awards such as Top International Wedding Blog, etc. One of these awards comes from Huffington Post. To be honest, it doesn’t excite me so much that they won an online award. But what does excite me is that means they’re getting some really good backlinks. To have a backlink from the Huffington Post, that’s going to pull you way up in the Google search rankings. So, I couldn’t care less if they’re the “top wedding blog”, but I do care if they have that link coming from another authority site.
Matt: So, whoever buys this website; basically, you’re buying a valuable, long-established online asset that comes with some really good backlinks which is reinforcing that digital real estate.
And it’s also in a niche that’s interesting. The wedding niche is one that we talk about a lot in our online entrepreneurship courses. Ever since we’ve been online, it’s been one of those classic niches that you can go in that’s just evergreen. There’s always money to be made there.
Ben: Yes, and it has super high search volume. Theoretically this is something you only do once in your life (maybe twice). So, it’s a topic that you’re always keen to find more information online because it’s relatively new to you.
And you’ll see also in their listing, they’re doing a huge amount from social media, particularly Pinterest. Apparently, they have over 275,000 Pinterest followers, so this is a huge driver of their traffic.
Matt: So, this is a complete, ready-made website for sale. It comes with significant social media accounts as well. Everything is ready to go, and it seems making almost $3,000 a month.
So how much will this turnkey website sell for on Flippa?
On that sort of a website sales multiple, is there any indication from the seller what they’re expecting or what they’re asking for this website?
Ben: For this listing, you have to request the actual reserve price from them, but you’ll see the starting price is $60,000, which is quite reasonable. I also happen to know their actual asking price is reasonable. It is just around a two x annual multiple, so this is something you can make back relatively quickly from a niche website like this.
Why Sell An Established Passive Website Like This?
Matt: Ok, it sounds like this is a really well-priced website as well. And the classic question everyone is going to ask, any indications why they want to sell?
Ben: Look, my guess right off the bat is that they’ve had this site for 9 years. So sometimes you just get to a point where you just want to move on to other things, and they do say it in the listing information memorandum.
They have started numerous online businesses in the last 9 years and this is taking away a little bit of their focus from what they truly want to put their time and money into. So they’re selling this site even though it’s making a killing. They’re obviously doing well with their other online businesses too, so they have to focus on those.
Matt: Well, we see this all the time. Typically, a lot of these sellers (ourselves included), have portfolios of websites. And, they could be better to use the money elsewhere. Or it might just time to move on or focus on some bigger sites, something like that.
Use A Website Due Diligence Checklist Before Buying a Website!
If you do any due diligence on this website, one thing I recommend is speak to the sellers. Have a chat to them about why they are actually looking at selling it. This one is actually sounding like a solid deal here. I’m sure it’s going to stack up well in due diligence, but you do need to do your own website due diligence on this one.
Ben: If you’re going to spend any money, even if you’re spending $100, make sure you do your website purchase due diligence.
Who should buy a website like this…
Matt: That’s right. And during that process, when you’re doing the due diligence on a website like this, you should also be looking for the growth opportunities. Ben, is there any indication from the seller there what do they see as areas for growing this website for a new owner?
Ben: It’s interesting because they don’t really point out expected growth paths, but they do give an idea of who they think this website purchase might be fit for. And they give three people. They’re interesting ideas, and I’d say probably only one of these might be one of your students. So, going backwards order here….
- They’re actually recommending maybe a wedding venue might want to buy this site, so they can use the website to get people to come to their venue first.
- They’re looking at maybe a travel or a honeymoon business that’s already established, so they can get more qualified online leads
- And then the third type of buyer is someone looking to buy a ready-made website. Sure it can grow, but it’s already doing really well as it is. So, if you’re looking to just buy a ready made website that already makes good money, then this would be it.
How does this passive directory site actually make money?
Matt: Ben, this sort of a site appears to be a directory site from what we can see on the listing. And what that means is that the main web maintenance is posting content about wedding destinations.
But what’s important to understand is how it’s monetized. This is a really exciting way or very powerful way to monetize a website because it can be quite automated or passive. And basically, how they’re making money is they charge these wedding venues a small fee, say a directory fee, to be listed on the website.
Ben: Yes. It sounds like they have a few revenue models right now, including your standard content. There’s some sponsored posts and some display ads, but they do make mention to a small amount of affiliate marketing as well.
So, I would see that as being probably the biggest room for growth. The website connects with a lot of these wedding venues, which then allows you to connect with other companies involved with wedding, such as florists and caterers, etc., who’d be willing to give you a percentage for leads.
Matt: Or we see a lot of directory sites that are monetized by direct advertising as well. That means reaching out to the same companies and saying, “Hey, we can feature you prominently on this leading wedding directory site”. It might be $250 a month to put a simple little ad on the website.
One thing we should mention too, the other reason why this is such a strong niche, as Ben said, is think of the customer avatar who’s coming here. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully!) thing that they’re doing. But of course, customers are willing to spend a lot of money on a wedding.
Ben: That’s right.
Matt: So that’s why the online wedding niche is so lucrative. And being online, if you’re the person online who’s driving leads for the wedding industry, you can make a lot of money.
So this is a fantastic site for our audience to look at because at the very least, they can learn and get great ideas from it. But certainly, if you’re in the market to buy a ready-made, solid, long-established website, I think this one certainly ticks a lot of boxes for our website buying community.
How To Buy A Website On Flippa…
A lot of people in our website buying community would recognize this business model online and how automated it can be. So Ben, what’s the next step to someone who wants to go ahead and look at buying this website?
Ben: Firstly, since this is a confidential listing, just go in, it takes a few clicks to sign the NDA. It’s just a standard NDA that we use for every listing on Flippa that’s confidential. You can check out the listing here:
Next I would say, start a conversation with the seller. Take a look through the listing, there’s quite a bit of information on there. They’ve done a really good job of telling us what’s going on here. So, pick out a few points that sound good to you. Take a few things that you’re maybe confused about (or concerned about), and just ask a question to the seller. Say, “Hey, this looks great. I love what you’ve done but here’s a couple questions I have. Let’s start a conversation.”
And hopefully, this works for one of your students. I think it’s a great one.
Matt: Fantastic, Ben! Thanks for sharing this website for sale with us
Ben: Of course. Thanks for having me.
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Learn How to Buy Ready Made Websites…
If you want to learn more about how to buy and sell websites on Flippa, then take a look at our free online training: How to Buy and Sell Income Generating Websites. We teach both beginner and advanced website purchase due diligence so you can buy truly profitable websites.