For entrepreneurs who don’t have the time or inclination to build a website from scratch, turnkey websites are a viable option. There are two ways to proceed if you are interested in a ready-to-go website: buying an existing, profitable site, or establishing a turnkey affiliate site.
Buying A Ready-made Website
Whether you are buying an established, profit-making website or a newly developed concept site, it is important to treat the transaction as if you are buying an existing business. Follow all the protocols for buying a business: hire an attorney, and perform due diligence on the company. Don’t just bid on a website at an auction; you don’t want to find out after you have invested a lot of time and money that you don’t really have clear title to the site/business or rights to the content. Nothing would be more maddening than to build your site to a respectable Google Page Rank only to have your site and your profits yanked by a former owner. Be careful when buying existing turnkey websites.
It’s best if you use an escrow agent to handle the transfer of money. Make sure that you have everything transferred into your name and are able to operate the site before the seller gets your money.
Two of the most popular sites for buying and selling ready-made turnkey websites are Flippa http://www.flippa.com and Sitepoint http://www.marketplace.sitepoint.com/ . Before you jump right into bidding/buying, spend six to eight weeks looking around to get a feel for how transactions are done.
Turnkey Affiliate Websites
Turnkey affiliate websites are pre-made fully functional websites. You can get a site that focuses on selling products and comes complete with shopping cart functionality, a site that is focused on selling affiliate products, where you just have to plug in your affiliate ID’s to get started, or a site that is ready for Google Adsense ads which comes complete with site content. Everything you need to run one of these turnkey websites, including email and autoresponders, is included. Typically, where products are involved the company providing the site handles all the orders and shipping; you just promote the site and collect commissions on the sales.
It is to the advantage of the company offering the affiliate turnkey websites to have as many affiliates as possible. Advertising is one of a businesses largest expenses, and it is often cheaper for a company to sign up many affiliates and let the affiliate pay for advertising and promotion.
Of course, promoting a cloned site effectively is where the difficulty lies. If there are hundreds (thousands?) of similar turnkey websites on the web, then there is nothing to differentiate your site from all the others. If this is the case, it is important to pay attention to some SEO basics. Frankly, many people who opt for a turnkey affiliate website are looking for easy money and think all they have to do is sit back and wait for the money to start rolling in. Nothing could be further from the truth. If turnkey websites are to be profitable, you should have a keyword-focused domain name, work hard at link building, and perhaps invest some money in Pay-Per-Click advertising.
Originally posted 2011-03-09 10:04:00.