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Has anybody considered buying a content website in their niche to funnel traffic to their own website?

I was just thinking about this today..

Let's say that I have a website related to travel and I wanted more traffic. I could buy an existing content website which gets X number of users per day and update the content to point at my own website. The upfront investment could potentially pay off in the longer term, and the content site that you bought would remain an asset that you could sell if it didn't work out.

Has anybody done anything like this?

  1. 3

    I haven't bought one, but I did create https://newslettercrew.com/ to drive traffic for my SaaS product. This is deffinietly the longer road to take but it's been paying off and has become an income stream in itself, which is cool!

    1. 1

      Yes, I have done the same like this. Although I don't see why buying would be much different than creating besides upfront cost. Buying would definitely speed up the desired results!

    2. 1

      That is really cool indeed! Thanks for sharing.

  2. 2

    I started a content site 13 years ago that was in the same topic-category as the product/ecom business I started around the same time (in 2008).

    At first I did not do it to be a lead-gen site. I did it to force myself to stay current on my industry. Writing articles requires more in depth research and studying than you'd normally do with typical competitive analysis.

    Today, that site is probably the internet's most authoritative site related to the product category. It has also been a reasonably good lead-gen and awareness growing medium for my product brand.

    That said, I think the content site has been more helpful in other ways.

    For example, if you're going to build (or buy) a content site, you are forced to learn and understand SEO. That knowledge has helped me do things to get my product/ecom website to rank in SERPS.

    Also, after some time, if you have a contact page on your content site, you start to get questions from visitors. Those questions present opportunities to learn something you wouldn't have thought about. It also can introduce you new product ideas. Two of my most popular products were a result of learning something through my content site.

    You can see what people are searching for. This information is helpful because you can see more clearly what people are interested in. This "intelligence" can be helpful in many ways.

    You learn about competitors -- because they contact your content site directly or indirectly through their agency. If you create the site as more of an independent entity and not as part of your brand, you will likely receive inquiries from competitors. Many times, they offer free samples of their products, or they'll tell you about products they're launching well before they announce it to the general public.

    The site can generate it's own revenue by way of ads (direct or network), affiliate, or possibly selling some digital product (like an ebook).

    All the above said, it does take up time and attention. I'm not sure my decision to create and maintain the content site for the last 13 years was a wise one. My product brand could have been more successful if I were more focused and/or I utilized my time toward the product brand instead of the content site.

    There's so much more to share, but I think that's enough for now :)

    Hope it's helpful.

    1. 1

      Thank you, Mike, this was a very interesting read. Especially your point about learning from competitors and others in your space.

  3. 2

    It's called rank and Rent.
    you can google more about it.

    but, i think a growth hack approach to this, is identifying pages on the blog you want to rent , pages with high traffic. you then embed a CTA button. on the page. for longtivity

    you can send me a message to explain more to you, but hey, most blog owners find it hard to re-visit the pages they have published. so you swim in there and own them.

    1. 1

      Interesting, thank you! I'll do some reading about it

      1. 2

        Yeah, and there are lots of interesting variations of this. For example, if you look at the top themes on any static site generator theme aggregator (themes for Hugo, themes for Jekyll), you start to notice that they all have optional-but-encouraged integrations with hosting providers, analytics providers, JAMStack form providers, etc.

        Any place that your customers put their attention is a possible place to redirect the attention back to you.

  4. 2

    I considered building one, but the amount of work required for growing this side-side-project would probably not pay off and distract me from the main project.
    However, buying one could be a viable option. I wonder how to find one that is to sell though.

    1. 1

      I only know of https://flippa.com but I have 0 experience in buying websites :)

      1. 1

        me too, and they have 0 website to sell in my field.

  5. 1

    I feel like every major app has considered this at one point or another. I believe it was a big reason saleshacker.com was acquired by outreach.io.

  6. 1

    I've not done it before, but I do think it could be (hypothetically) worthwhile if you found one that had a lot of content/seo value, but not necessarily making money, I would assume something like this would be relatively cheap, especially compared to the cost of trying to write content (it takes so long!)

    I've often lurked on selling websites looking for stuff, but have never really found anything of interest.

    1. 1

      Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking. Seems like it could theoretically work but I have no idea about that "space". I will keep creating my own content but this just popped into my head and I thought I'd seek the advice of wiser people on here :)

  7. 1

    I understood the concept but would you evaluate a website? Any tool or something to do that?

    1. 1

      No idea.. that's also what I'm wondering.

  8. 1

    Buying website with good traffic is going to cost a lot of money. That amount of money you can use to acquire users through marketing or ads.

    1. 1

      Good point. Maybe buy ads on the site before buying it outright.

      1. 1

        Right, yeah. I guess I'm wondering what the ROI is in each of these scenarios. Ads only have value for a certain amount of time, whereas an existing website will (i'd imagine) potentially generate traffic for a long long time. The fact that you can then sell the website back if it wasn't working for you might also make it a more flexible option?

        I don't really know the answers - just wondering if somebody has thought about it / tried it already.

        1. 1

          Buying ads is a cheap way to validate the ROI and figure out what you'd be willing to pay if you bought the site.

          1. 1

            Sorry, I misunderstood your first comment :) so you'd buy ads on the site that you're considering to buy.

            In that case, I wonder what a good ROI would look like..

            1. 2

              Ads going to give better results because generally buying a site going to cost you 24-40x of monthly revenue of the website.
              Now after buying this is not just a site, now it's another project. You need content writer to keep updating website, server to manage it.

            2. 1

              I don’t know about the ROI things but buying ads on the site answers the question of how many visits actually would convert to traffic to your site and eventually become a customer.

              Also think about how much time the site would cost to manage. Maybe it’s more valuable to spend your time elsewhere and then keep buying ads. Your time is worth something especially if it is taken away from your core business.

              1. 1

                Both good points 👍🏼 thanks

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