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Stuntdubl has a very detailed post on how to build a website you can sell. He’s got some awesome nuggets of wisdom in that post, but be forewarned – it is super long. Be prepared to spend some minutes learning.

There’s one paragraph, however, that struck me as obvious but that a lot of potential website sellers/marketers don’t quite get.

Rule #1 – You can’t sell potential. Take the word out of your vocabulary. Cringe when you hear it from others.

There’s a reason this is Rule #1. It’s real simple. Potential is something the buyer brings to the table, not the seller. Potential is nothing more than the ability of the buyer to capitalize on the opportunity. If you succeed in selling your website with “potential,” there is no guarantee that the buyer will succeed in making it profitable. Why? Because they have to do something to earn payback on that “potential.” Savvy buyers understand this.

If you are going to sell your website, you won’t sell it to smart buyers if you are trying to sell potential. That’s why it’s better to build a revenue model into the site and prove that model by earning the revenue yourself before you sell the site. A site already making money will be easier to sell.

This is a lesson to anyone interested in buying and selling websites for a living. Just like flipping houses, if you want to flip web properties, you have to improve them first. That requires imagination.

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