Buy for 2 years income and repay yourself in one year

Return on investmentStill bargains to be had
I bought a website with an old friend who wanted to invest money with me last month, he doesn’t work online, the most important point being that it was zero maintenance as it would be unfair for me to have to run a site and him profit so we bought a site advertised on Digital Point for 24 x monthly income which needed zero maintenance and cost us in total USD $7000. Making just under $10 per day the site would take a full 2 years to pay itself back which for an established low/zero maintenance site is about right in my opinion.

Now just because it makes just under $10 per day just now doesn’t mean that has to continue and we have to wait 2 years for our money, I pretty much took the website and in one morning went over it dealing with the points listed on the seo checklist, I won’t mention the url as it’s a joint site and not just mine but I’ll give you the facts. The site is a tool based mini site that was already established and well linked to and is only two pages so not too much to deal with.

  • Page title: ok bit short so was quickly updated/extended to add the second best keyphrase as well
  • Long tail phrases: Hardly any text on the site so a few sentences added
  • Footer Copyright: Changed it so it linked to the domain url and used keyword text (it used to link to index.php)
  • Alt text -lacking, so added to a couple of images
  • Adsense: Nicely blended - fine as is
  • Banners/Design: The site had some flashing banners that had not made any income and detracted from the site so removed them which would help increase Adsense CTR.

That was it, nothing ground breaking, no voodoo or magic dust.

Adsense Income previously when the site was for sale
July $178 ($5.74 per day average)
August $271 ($8.74 per day average)

Rising IncomeBought the site middle of September
September Earnings from 19th -30th = $166 ($13.83 per day average)
October Earnings from 1st - 9th = $182.99 ($20.33 per day on average)

As you can see the daily average has pretty much doubled since taking it over and although we have a long way to go to get our money back I am extremely happy with it, weekends drop right down but weekdays are over $20 per day just now so we could have this zero maintenance site paid back within 12 months with the wind behind us which would be excellent. The difference between my mate and many other people is that even though he doesn’t have a great deal of internet knowledge he trusts my judgment and he took action based on the facts and knew the risks as well as presuming it would be 24 month to repay the money. It is much easier to deliberate and dwell and do nothing.

2 years is a long time to get your ROI but it shows that with a bit of simple work and a good eye even today on public forums there are some good deals still to be had that you can improve on, granted you have to search through an awful lot of crap to find them 😉

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.


  1. I love zero maintenance sites, nice find. I’m assuming you’re not doing this as an expense so it’s not a tax right off (have to check in case you know a loop hole).

    • It is a nice zero maintenance one, did $21 yesterday so chugging along fine n dandy. It isn’t an allowable expense that can be written off in one year unfortunately hiss 🙁

  2. It is even better than that.

    As you bought the site with the domain name as well, you have potentially bought two assets - the site and the name. If it has a half decent domain name the value of the name itself will just go up and up.


  3. Cool stuff. I guess the key here is look for good potential sites that need some simple tweaks that easily boost traffic and revenue.

    • Yep, it doesn’t take much sometimes to push a site on if the basic building blocks are all in place, so a few wee tweaks can make all the difference.

  4. How much business do you do on Digital Point? They have a lot of volume but think it’s difficult to find quality stuff on there. I’m confident I could buy a site and make a few bucks but worried about getting slammed by the search engines.

    Where else have you had success finding domains for sale?

    • oh not a great deal Richard, just try and look in on the sites for sale every few days but far too much dross imo, I have more luck approaching sites not for sale and negotiating directly that way, more recently I am concentrating on trying to build a leasing portfolio of domains/sites so focusing on nice domains that can be leased eventually once I have them ranked.

    • LOL! Agreed, there’s so much chatter at DP that its hard to find the gems of knowledge out there. But, they are out there. I’m playing with a program called Steadyniche right now, which, for someone without coding or design skills, is perfect for me.

      Scott, how is the domain leasing program going? Is this just for your own portfolio? Or do you plan to sign up public customers? I have the domain that I don’t know what to do with. I think it will be valuable, so I want to lease it out, but don’t know how to go about it . . .

      • Still in talks about getting my first domain leased and I have 2 domains in Escrow that I have bought would be ideal for ranking & leasing for the future so once I make some progress there I’ll be sure to post an update. I am just looking to build a small portfolio of ranked good product related domains and lease them for stable income.

  5. Nice purchase, did you and your friend signed an agreement while investing in this deal or was it “I will take your word for it” kind of stuff?

    • We do have an agreement in writing for 50% onwership each, it can be awkward to do as there is a stigma of ‘lack of trust’ even though the reverse applies but we both agreed to do it anyway.

      • I am all for agreements although for family I would just do a trust thing. Anyone else an agreement is best… not because of lack of trust in most cases, but for being forgetful and forgetting what was agreed. Also should something happen like a death of one of the partys then it could get interesting if that persons family says you owe them X amount.

  6. Scott, what do you see as the main reason for the increase in revenue. Has the traffic doubled since your SEO changes or has CTR increased…or both perhaps?

    • Both Ryan, increase traffic from a few small tweaks and increased CTR by removing some flashing banners to leave the site looking neater and letting the integrated Adsense do it’s job.

  7. Zero maintenance is the bomb. I have just a couple of sites and they keep me really busy. I need one of these zero maintenance sites.

  8. Pretty much the approach I take, but all with turnover. Purchase a site with a 24 moth ROI return. Double productivity so the ROI is lowered to 12 months, and sell at the 13th month for double what I originally paid. The key is truly 0 maintenance, and taking that approach once a month is a perfect way to pull in a nice steady revenue stream.

  9. Well, I guess this assumes that you could do this with any site you buy. Unfortunately a lot of sites for sale are already maxing out their potential, and you really will have to wait the two years to see ROI.

    • Personal Motto: A site is never at it’s full potential. When you think it is, there is always another way to monetize further :p

      • I’d agree Humphrey, sounds like you are having plenty of success - I like the idea of repaying the investment in 12 months and then selling for double on the 13th month, great business indeed if you ever fancy doing a guest post get in touch.

  10. Unbelievable that you could sell a website for $7000 if it only makes $5 to 10$ per day.

    How muuch is then a website worth if it makes $200 per day? (Adsense, Chitika, …)

    $6000 per month x 24 = $144,000 ?

    • If it shows stability and has good records then yes, the only problem then is your taking away what could be a full time wage from someone and the sellers usually wouldn’t see 48 months as a good deal. Also the fact that the site is zero maintenance certainly ads value.

  11. Nice, congratulations on that wonderful find Sir Scott.

  12. John Parry says:

    So you are making $20 per day from a 2 page site? Did I read that right? How does a 2 page site rank at all, even with the SEO tweaks outlined above? I’m confused.

    • That’s right John, it could actually be one page. Ranking doesn’t come down to size of the site. One of my other sites makes me $10 to $20 per day and it is a one page mini site zero maintenance and gets over 1k visitors per day.

  13. I have been utilizing this method for a while now, and I continue to see great returns.

  14. Nice Find Scott

    I am planning on doing something similar with so that I get posts ready automatically and then I just publish them. Not fully no maintainance but nearly there.

  15. Scott, what kind of traffic did they site originally get per day? $10 per would still require a fair amount of traffic (or some highpaying keywords).

    Doing the small tweaks and adding another 100% income sounds incredible.

  16. I almost bought a zero maintenance site the other day but the bids went 5k higher than I was prepared to go. I have sold sites making only 2-4 bucks a day for 7K and they were typos of a TM. Its a crazey business. I really want to get a couple of to sit on. The way the stock market is it sounds like a better bet. Have picked up a few to hold on to, if you cant buy on the water just buy a few blocks back.

  17. I’ve started buying and upgrading websites myself. So far it has worked reasonably well.

    Far easier I find to buy and existing site with traffic and upgrade the SEO and content than to do it from scratch/



Leave a Reply