If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you’ve probably read our posts about the Amazon Associates program, how to create an affiliate site, and how to capitalize on affiliate marketing. However, if you don’t have the time to put into creating your site for scratch, there’s always the option of buying an affiliate site.
Yep, you read that right! You really can buy a site that’s ready to go! With that said, you will want to do a little research before buying just any old site that’s for sale.
In today’s post, we’re going to shed some light on buying an affiliate site and why it’s important to do your due diligence so you aren’t getting suckered!
Is Buying an Affiliate Site Really an Option?
The thought of making money via the Amazon Associate program is pretty appealing because Amazon is a trusted name and they offer a huge variety of products. However, since there are so many products available on the site, you’ll want to focus on a particular niche.
By choosing a niche, you’re likely to attract potential buyers who are interested in the type of products you feature on your site. That means you can make money via commissions if someone makes a purchase through the affiliate links on your site.
Unfortunately, building a site from scratch is time consuming and even frustrating if you’ve never built an affiliate site (or any site for that matter) before. There are so many things to consider such as:
- Choosing a catchy domain name
- Choosing the right hosting service
- Creating a logo
- Choosing a theme
- …and more.
That’s not even including researching and choosing your niche, finding good products to promote, and creating useful content that will appeal to your potential readers.
This is where buying an affiliate site (sometimes referred as a done-for-you (DFY) site or a turnkey site) comes into play. Instead of doing all the legwork, you can find expert affiliate marketers who have done all the research and created profitable sites that are ready to go.
Which Is Better – Buying vs Building?
One of the biggest questions you’re probably asking yourself is whether you should buy a turnkey site or put in the work to create your own. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each option.
Benefits of Buying an Affiliate Site
One of the primary benefits of buying a turnkey site is that you’ll start making money from day one. You don’t have to wait for customers to find your site because the site already has an audience. Since the site is already up and running when you purchase it, there’s no waiting period.
Another benefit of buying a premade affiliate site is that you don’t have to do the work. You don’t have to research products and keywords that will convert. You don’t have to create blog posts that provide readers with useful information.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do – you’ll still want to add content. You can use the posts already on the site as a template for future posts, since the pre-existing posts have already proven that they work. What this means is that you never have to wonder if you’re doing the right thing. You simply have to follow the strategy that’s already seeing positive results.
Benefits of Building an Affiliate Site
As wonderful as the benefits of buying a site may be, there are a few reasons why you should consider building the site on your own. One of these being that you are in control from the very beginning. You can choose the products, the design of your site, the content… Everything. When you build your site, you can create your own strategy for marketing your business in a way that aligns with your goals.
Another benefit of building your site is that you can trust that you’re using white hat SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. What this means is that your following SEO techniques that will help your site rank higher on search results without breaking any rules outlined by Google.
Examples of white hat SEO are:
- Only posting quality content that’s useful for your readers
- Ensure your site loads quickly on both desktop and mobile devices
- Use keywords without stuffing your content with them
- Promoting your content on social media
Examples of bad SEO techniques (also called black hat SEO) are:
- Stuffing content with keywords you want to rank for
- Showing your readers one article while showing different content to search engines
- Purchasing backlinks
You can read more about the different SEO techniques here.
Do Your Due Diligence for Buying a Premade Affiliate Site
Making the decision to purchase an affiliate site isn’t something you want to do all willy-nilly. You’re going to have to do your due diligence and make sure the site you’re buying is as it’s advertised. What we mean is that there are a few things you will want to do to make sure you aren’t getting scammed.
1. Check for Duplicate Content
When you’re looking for a site to buy, you want to check to make sure the content hasn’t been plagiarized. Plagiarized or duplicate content is a big SEO no-no and ruins your credibility. In order to check the content, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with plagiarism tools. We recommend Copyscape because it’s a straightforward, easy to use tool that many content creators rely on.
2. Get Your Money’s Worth
It’s not uncommon to find sellers who will tell you that the site you’re buying has the potential to make a huge profit… If you market the site properly. The whole point of buying a premade site is to have the hard work started for you, which includes marketing! By all intents and purposes, if you have to put a lot of effort into marketing your newly bought site, the seller doesn’t deserve your investment.
We recommend that your purchase reflects the amount of success it’s had within the past few months. Do keep in mind that there are some sites that may not have an audience or haven’t had many conversions. If the content is interesting, the site could be an up and coming niche, do a little research to see if the keywords on the starter content is even relevant. Also, think if the topic is appealing enough that you’ll be able to continue creating great content.
3. Make Sure the Numbers Are Legit
A website isn’t going to have barely any traffic one week and suddenly have thousands of daily views, nor will it go from making only a small amount of revenue (if any) to earning several thousands of dollars in a month. That’s just not possible, especially if you’re buying a starter site. Revenue is generally based on ad conversions (or people using your affiliate links), require a huge investment (ie: paying for high-ranking keywords) or it’s all a big lie.
For traffic, you’ll want to check Google Analytics to see the source of this sudden surge of traffic. If the traffic is listed as organic (people searching for specific keywords), use a tool like AHREFS or Alexa. If the traffic comes from social media, see if they paid for followers and likes. Check out this article to find out how to spot fakes.
4. Insist on Proof of Reports via Live Video
We like to think that screencaps are proof enough that the numbers are legit. Unfortunately, these screencaps can be altered in Photoshop or the report can be altered by CSS or HTML. These reports can be downloaded as an HTML file, edit the numbers and then open the doctored file in their browser before taking a screenshot.
Instead of relying on screencaps, insist that the seller walk you through the accounts associated with the site (PayPal, Adsense, etc.)
Buying an Affiliate Site Wrap Up
Buying a website that already has traffic and is making some kind of money sounds incredibly appealing, but like any business, there are folks out there who’ll take you for a ride. They’ll try to say the site has so much potential to earn lots of money. They’ll doctor reports or plagiarize content in an effort to dupe you into thinking the content is original. People will do anything to make a quick buck.
With all that said, it doesn’t mean buying a premade affiliate site is a horrible idea. All it means is that you have to do your research and make sure you’re buying a legitimate site.
Of course, if you don’t want to do all that research and vetting, sites like FE International or Empire Flippers do all of that for you. They’ll screen sites, verify their legitimacy and so forth before putting a site up for sale.
Whether you decide to buy or create your own, make sure you do your homework. Making money as an affiliate has the potential to be very rewarding, but you don’t want to throw a lot of money into something you aren’t serious about.