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  1. #1
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    How to estimate the value of a site that has not been fully monetized yet?

    Hello,

    I run a forum which is online for more than 5 years, it has a PR of 5 and receives about 40.000 unique visitors, 75.000 visits and 700.000 page views every month.

    So far I didn't try to exploit its full potential and I have just 1 small block of 2 google text ads on it, which make just $300 per month.

    I am not really interested to sell the site, neither I want to add more ads on it at this point. I am just curious to know what it worths. Any way I can estimate this?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist catweasel's Avatar
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    How many active members does it have?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer to your question but I saw an auction recently where someone was selling site that wasn't monetized. Maybe his/her responses will help you in valuing your site? They demanded a high price based purely on the massive traffic they received.

    http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/auctions/33882

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard ShayneTilley's Avatar
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    buyers will certainly do their due diligence in terms of monetization potential. We've seen some sites with little or not revenue, but strong traffic, obtain some high prices. It's the web site flippers that might show the most interest, get in, monetise, and sell. It's interesting but the type of forum you've got impacts the price. Plus if your traffic stats are on the up, level or declining that will also play a big factor in the price you'd expect.
    Shayne Tilley

    My slightly left of center thoughts on
    marketing, business and life in general.

  5. #5
    Non-Member MusicLyrics's Avatar
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    It depends on the niche. If your forum had a specific niche, then you can apply for high paying CPM ad networks; since your site content will be highly targeted.

    It all depends. It can be subjective.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    As a buyer I'm always, always weary of sites that have little to no revenue for massive traffic. I mean, if the site owner can't be bothered to slap even AdSense on and can't make a 1$ eCPM then I'm always going to question the fundamentals of the business and of the traffic.

    That said, when we *do* buy sites with little to no revenue we basically take some industry standard rate (for your site 1-2$ RPM), discount that, and project growth forward to arrive at our range for a site.

    That said, we`re currently buying in the 5MM pages+ range, so the math would likely end up screwing you on a smaller site.

    Any purchase is both a discussion and a game of chicken. If you can start a real dialogue, at that point it`s purely a matter of who`s going to blink first. Sometimes when we say it`s our highest price it really is - which is where the discussion component is so important. Other times we`ll be very flexible and tell you what will impact valuation - and what you can do about it.

    As a soft example, there`s a purchase we`ve been looking at now for almost a year. Great site. 20MM+ pages per month. Useless revenue. We`d bought a site off of him previously, so told him what we`d pay under his current deal; what we`d pay if he improved his revenue; and what we`d pay if he sat on his butt and did nothing.

    It was a larger deal (500K+) for us, and both parties knew each other, so this is non-typical (even for us), but ultimately if you can try and create a discussion with individual buyers (and, tip: if I say I only answer email and not to PM, don`t PM me... and if I give you my cell number it`s so you can use it) you`ll get a better sense of where they`re at - especially if you look at how they respond to other offers. After all, while I should be emotionless when I`m posting, I`m only human and so when I`m excited that`ll come across.

    Hopefully that helps
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
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  7. #7
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Zoom123, if you'd like you can PM me the url of the forum you're talking about and I can have a look and let you have an opinion. I've purchased several forums with similar stats recently, and have a good eye for the market.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your answers guys!

    As I said I am not really interested to sell it. Just curious about how much it worths very roughly. Like closer to $2000 or closer to $20000.

    At pick hours it has around 10-20 registered users logged in. Around 400 new posts every day. The traffic is constantly going up. It had 1/4th of this traffic 3 years ago. I wouldn't say is in some great niche though.

  9. #9
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Without knowing more details, I'd have to say you'd get closer to $2,000 than $20,000, without some better monetization. Some niches sell much better than others, though, and when you say it's not in a great niche I'm assuming yours would be in one that doesn't attract a lot of attention. If it's something like Warez, you might not even find a buyer at that.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  10. #10
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    Thanks peter. No, its nothing illegal Its a mix of politics for an EU country and general chat kind of discussions.

    If I was to fully monetize it achieving its 100% potential, would there be some formula to estimate its approximate worth?

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  12. #12
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom123 View Post
    Thanks peter. No, its nothing illegal Its a mix of politics for an EU country and general chat kind of discussions.

    If I was to fully monetize it achieving its 100% potential, would there be some formula to estimate its approximate worth?
    Most forums I've seen sell recently are going in the range of 10 to 30 times the monthly revenue. But, if your forum is in a language other than English, that also will severely limit the pool of potential buyers. And, politics is a topic that I've known buyers to shy away from.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  13. #13
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    Thanks jeremy and peter. The forum is in English and it doesn't need much to maintain. I guess 30x monthly revenue would be OK, but I think 10x would be too low.

    Thanks again

  14. #14
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    Wait, why would a forum demand 10 to 30x the monthly revenue? I was under the impression that forums are nearly worthless for advertising, unless it's a really big forum of more than 100,000 users or it uses subscriptions.

    From my own experience, forum users never check out your website's homepage--they seem to just hang out in the forums like those kids that come to the party and play video games in the bedroom while all the other people are out on the lawn partying and dancing. Well, you get my drift

    I would imagine that while most of the forum users are a loyal bunch, they are already blinded to whatever advertising model one has going on the website.

    If buyers really do like forums, then would a great website with an excellent forum command a premium?

  15. #15
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    I think your better off setting site up and earning money for awhile before you sell it. this way you have better idea of real value and can show earnings.

  16. #16
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    Zoom123, what are you waiting for? If I was you, I would monetize the site immediately, then worry about how much it is worth.

  17. #17
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skunker View Post
    Wait, why would a forum demand 10 to 30x the monthly revenue? I was under the impression that forums are nearly worthless for advertising, unless it's a really big forum of more than 100,000 users or it uses subscriptions.
    A forum with 100,000 members could be worth anything from nearly nothing to millions. Let me make up two examples to make the point...

    Forum 1: A support forum about a specific medical condition. Lots of traffic and a high percentage of those 100,000 members visit regularly and it's a chronic condition that doesn't just go away.

    Forum 2: A forum offering illegal downloads. Lots of traffic, but of the 100,000 members, hardly anyone participates or visits on a regular basis other than to share files illegally.


    Which of those two do you think would find interested buyers with deep pockets? Imagine Forum 1, if a big pharma company was developing a new treatment for the condition? The phrama company probably wouldn't buy the forum outright, but you'd have a natural sponsor there for the forum. Compare that to the liability of Forum 2.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.


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