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Buying Your First Website? Avoid the Cookie Cutters!

Mar 25, 2008
There are more websites for sale on Ebay than ever before, not to mention in a hundred other places. Unfortunately a lot of them are "cookie cutter" websites. Or, a site with identical or very similar content which has been reproduced over and over again for sale.

With so any people jumping on the adsense bandwagon with visions of easy profits from working at home it is not surprising to see so many of these types of websites for sale.
Many sellers are eager to exploit this new market. So what they will do is create, or use a free website template and resell it over and over and over again, sometimes with the exact same content.

One term you will see used loosely and often in these auctions is the word "established".

Established has a completely different meaning to the person selling and the potential customer looking to purchase a website. In the vast majority of cases established only means that the site has been set up on a server, submitted to the search engines and has started to be indexed.
To most people already in the business, an established site would be one that is already creating revenue for the owner.

Do a quick review of the persons feedback.

A lot of these sellers will make their feedback private so you cannot see that they have sold the same site many times before. If they say it is unique, that may only mean that it is their own unique creation and not someone else's, it does not necessarily mean they will not resell it a hundred times over.

There are three keys to the success of your site. Marketing, marketing and more marketing. Much like a brick and mortar business is location, location location.
If you want to make any money you will have to invest a lot of time researching your competition, and developing marketing strategies.

In short, you must drive the traffic to YOUR site.

One last thing to look for is if they require you to host the site with them for a period of time. A lot of webmasters make their money not so much from the site itself, but from the hosting of it.

There are a LOT of hosting companies out there and there is no reason for anyone to pay $9.95 a month anymore and be committed to a long term, unwanted relationship with them when you can get your own hosing for much less, sometimes even free.
And don't let them tell you it's because the site will only work on their servers, or they need to keep it on their servers to be sure it runs correctly, yada yada.

If you have decided to purchase a site, unless you really want to stay with them go ahead and sign up for your own hosting account. Also be SURE that they will move the site to your host and guarantee its functionality.

Above all, do not leave any feedback until you are absolutely sure the site functions the way it should.

In summary, be sure to ask a LOT of questions and do a LOT of research on the seller and the type of website you are considering buying before you commit to anything.
About the Author
Russ Hancock is a webmaster and freelance writer living in the wilds of Montana. He is the owner of the rSeek Network of websites which includes Cliksearch Search Engine and rSeek Search Portal
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