Selling your website is the most extreme form of monetization achievable; but often times we find ourselves in need of capital and/or free time to dedicate elsewhere. A sale can afford you a bird-in-hand payment of a revenue multiple going months and even years forward. However, because of financial stakes involved it is critically important to value your site correctly.
It’s funny how offering the smallest things can really have an effect on the final selling price of a site. For example, many investors are really just getting started and may be comforted by you offering them free hosting for a period of time after the sale. This is relatively cheap for you and can often be the factor which leads to the final decision to purchase. As well, regardless of who the buyer is, they will almost always be comforted if you offer to lend any assistance about the site after it has been sold. After all, who knows the site better than you do. Helping them make the transition lets them feel secure that you will be there to help and that you are not selling a bum product.
Several months ago I sold a site which could have been considered on the high-end of valuations, you can read more about this transaction in my e-book: Web Profits Book. I could have held out for more money, but I was happy with the sale and felt that I had received a fair value for the site. The single largest inhibition to site sales are the inflated views of the value placed by the owner. The working knowledge of the average selling price of a site is about 13 times the monthly revenue. Because the internet is a very quickly evolving place, business models must be exceptionally proven and established before valuation figures begin to exceed one or two years of gross revenue. To boost your pre-sale revenue you may want to consider utilizing a CPM ad network like Value Click Media.
However, it is important to remember that prices may be severely affected by ancillary values in things like the domain name. Short and brandable domains with keyword relevancy will absolutely command a premium on top of the monthly profit valuation. While just about every serious investor will take into consideration the quality and length of a domain, they will also take the age of the domain into account as well. If you believe that you have a domain with considerable value it may be wise to have the domain appraised so that you can provide those credentials along with the other vital statistics you provide in the sale.
Most importantly, you should always be entirely transparent when you are trying to sell your site. All of your traffic statistics, earnings, and promotion models should be provided to sellers. If you are selling your site somewhere like flippa.com, it would be a good idea to offer your phone number and email address to everyone bidding. If buyers feel that you are not being fully transparent they will almost certainly assume that you have something to hide and will be reluctant about spending large amounts of money.
For more tips on monetizing, creating, and even buying or selling websites please check out Web Profits Book. Written by a successful entrepreneur to pass on the lessons learned from creating profitable sites.