Five Can’t Miss Signs of a Diamond in the Rough

By | March 5, 2012

Let’s be honest: buying websites is not always an easy thing. You might buy one website for its potential only to realize that there’s a reason that potential was never realized. You might buy a website from an untrustworthy owner and find out that none of the statistics they quoted you were accurate in the slightest.

At, we know and understand these potential problems. But we also know that there’s a great reward to buying websites: finding that one spectacular “diamond in the rough” that completely outperforms even your wildest expectations. If you want to find more of these bargains on a consistent basis, it’s time to look for these five can’t-miss signs and never skip over another diamond again.

Sign #1: Under-monetization. Sure, that site seems to have a lot of good, tangible variables: they have a lot of traffic, they have low operating expenses, and the asking price is perfectly reasonable considering everything else the site has going for it. But if you can spot an under-monetized site – or a site that isn’t reaching its full sales or advertising potential – you might be able to score a bargain and enact a few changes to the site that will soon have it bringing in a lot more money.

Sign #2: Too many expenses. On the flip side of the coin, what if a site has too many operating expenses that you – and only you – know how to bring down? That might be the sign that a diamond in the rough is available to you. A website owner will ask for a lot less money when their profit margins are slim, and expanding those margins isn’t always about getting more sales; it may simply be a matter of decreasing expenses.

Sign #3: Great domain, terrible website. Along the same “unmet potential” vein, consider the domain that is valuable that doesn’t host a website that capitalizes on that value. Maybe the site receives a lot of type-in traffic, but that’s it. If this is the case, you might be able to spot the sites with unmet potential that simply need a fresh design and some more inviting copy.

Sign #4: No social media presence. Verifying a site’s value should include a range of variables, of course, but don’t forget about social media; if a site hasn’t been exposed to the viral-exploding potential of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, there may be a chance that the site could qualify as a diamond in the rough – and therefore as a worthy investment of both your time and your money.

Sign #5: All niche, no substance. If you know about a niche that is set to explode but aren’t sure how to crack into it, this might be the type of site you need to buy. This kind of site would be optimally located in the niche of your heart’s desire, but doesn’t have the substance to back up that position and earn any real money. If you can bring substance to that site and increase its value, you’ve got a diamond in the rough on your hands.