Selling a High-Profile Site
December 11, 2006 8:55 PM   Subscribe

I run a community website that receives around 2 million pageviews a month. I'm finding that I don't have the time to run it these days - and I'm considering selling the site. It's in kind of a "hot" area and I think I could sell it for $2 million.

How does one find buyers for something like this? I don't want to put it on eBay or another public site selling service like SitePoint because of the potential backlash from the community. Are there brokers that will represent you and present your site to companies that might be interested? Any links greatly appreciated.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Many of the most reputable creative agencies have internet agents who do this kind of thing. Sorry I can't give you any specific pointers but I've encountered it a couple of times in trying to get rights to online content.

If the purchase price is really in the $2m region you should go right to the top, ie CAA, William Morris, ICM and so on. The number of buyers is likely to be strictly limited -- enough that you could identify them yourself -- so you might also get by by simply using a good lawyer on a percentage to approach the interested parties and do a deal.
posted by unSane at 9:02 PM on December 11, 2006

Just to warn you: you may discover that potential buyers for your 2-million-page-view-per-month site don't think it's worth anything like as much money as you think it is.

This article explains why.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:23 PM on December 11, 2006

Be forewarned, I think you're going to have to show current revenue of $200K a year (at least) to warrant that kind of price tag.

I tried finding an agent for an online property I own and have had zero luck so far, sorry I cannot be of help.
posted by maxwelton at 5:58 AM on December 12, 2006

Seconding Maxwelton - You don't mention any sort of current profit level, which - from what I'm seeing as I pursue something similar - is what the vast majority of potential buyers want.

Be able to show them value beyond "It does a bunch of traffic and you can put ads on it". P&L's, traffic growth numbers, rankings, etc.
posted by bhance at 7:48 AM on December 12, 2006

Maxwelton, I think you're being kind. $200k a year in gross revenue does not equal a $2M acquisition unless you're in such a great position that you can demand a 10x gross annual revenue purchase price. That's exceptionally rare. You're more likely to see a multiple of less than 2x annual revenue for an internet publication.

Now, if you can show $500k in net profit, you're probably in a much better position to argue for a $2M valuation (as you're essentially asking the investor to pay you the profits you would have made over the next 4 years.)

The last few times people have approached me about acquiring our online content property (which I'd describe as both "market leader" and "sustainably profitible") those offers were looking more like 2x to 3x gross annual revenue.
posted by bclark at 8:35 AM on December 12, 2006

I'm surprised Google hasn't contacted you already. Shouldn't be hard to find an interested party at their firm.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:38 AM on December 12, 2006

I don't think people are answering the question... he's asking how to sell it, not why you won't pay his asking price. Each industry is different a real estate community site could easily be worth $2 million to the right buyer.
posted by matimer at 11:48 AM on December 12, 2006

Go to and under internet business select general internet. This is what you are looking for.
posted by pwally at 8:34 PM on December 12, 2006

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