CreepyPasta.com

Website for sale

Sold by Buy It Now

$65,500 USD

Ended 129 days ago
Share:

9-year-old Site with 333,554 uniques/mo making $1,343/mo; built in community

Creepypasta.com is a 9-year-old website that has a loyal demographic and name recognition.

At a glance ?

Touch a value for a description

Site Type
Content
Platform
Word​​Press
Site Age
9 years

Traffic ?

Page Views
1,463,499
Unique Visits
333,554

Financials ?

Gross Revenue
$1,343
Net Profit
$1,061
AdSense Revenue
$1,148

Traffic ?

Uniques Page Views
Feb 17 321,105 1,420,921
Jan 17 368,585 1,419,586
Dec 16 310,972 1,549,990
Nov 16 356,941 1,751,543
Oct 16 395,426 2,015,084
Sep 16 308,147 1,783,587
Aug 16 380,268 2,109,961
Jul 16 431,095 2,394,727
Jun 16 423,348 2,371,413
May 16 465,841 2,703,019
Apr 16 453,767 2,624,405
Mar 16 489,673 2,849,538

Traffic Health ?

Pages / Session
2.68
Avg. Session Duration
00:05:03
Bounce Rate
53.61%

Top Channels ?

Page Views % of Total
Organic Search 984,786 69%
Direct 342,203 24%
Referral 72,497 5.1%
Social 21,151 1.5%
(Other) 284 0.020%

Top Countries ?

Page Views
United States 845,160
United Kingdom 105,444
Canada 65,806
Philippines 50,876
Australia 37,510

Financials ?

Monetization Methods

  • This website earns revenue with Google AdSense
  • This website also earns revenue with Affiliate Income and Advertising Sales. It is recommended to request a video walk through from the seller to verify all revenue claims.

Last 12 Months Claimed Revenue and Profit

Revenue Costs Profit
Mar 16 $2,095 $265 $1,830
Apr 16 $1,834 $278 $1,556
May 16 $2,060 $265 $1,795
Jun 16 $2,055 $265 $1,790
Jul 16 $1,655 $265 $1,390
Aug 16 $1,654 $265 $1,389
Sep 16 $1,677 $354 $1,323
Oct 16 $1,763 $484 $1,279
Nov 16 $1,693 $265 $1,428
Dec 16 $1,529 $317 $1,212
Jan 17 $1,234 $265 $969
Feb 17 $1,268 $265 $1,003

Seller's Notes

Creepypasta.com was founded in April 2008, back when the "creepypasta" meme was brand new. Since then, it has evolved from a mere archive to a website that receives tens of thousands of amateur writing submissions each year. 

The website is archived by the Library of Congress for their internet folklore program. The creepypasta trend has spawned many books and even a TV show, so having the ground zero domain for the meme would be excellent for someone with a passion for the genre.

The site is currently run on WordPress, with a few paid plugins and themes (ratings and mobile theme). The new owner will not own the copyright for the stories; the authors retain the copyright while signing terms that give creepypasta.com permission to host their work, however you will be given access to the admin email/records and may contact past authors if you wish to try and update these terms.

Currently the income sources are Google AdSense and Disqus.

I am interested in selling mostly because, while I adore the community and have thoroughly enjoyed my time as admin, I simply no longer have the time and energy required to live up to the site's potential. The community often requests an app and forums, and I am barely keeping up with the submission curation tasks lately.

I would like to find a buyer who can take over for me and make the site the best that it can be - I know that both the end user experience and monetization can be vastly improved by someone with proper time and resources.

SELLER INTERVIEW

How is your business monetized?

  • Advertising
  • Affiliate

Please describe your business model

Creepypasta.com is an amateur writing community that specializes in the horror microfiction (commonly termed "Creepypasta") niche. 

I open submissions a few times a year and get 10s of thousands of stories submitted to me - I then read them and post one curated story per day. The stories in question remain the property of their owner, though they give permission to me to host their word indefinitely. I don't pay the authors, thus it seemed fairer to me to not insist upon any exclusivity or copyright. 

The website is archived by the Library of Congress for their internet culture collection. 

The site is monetized via advertising, currently only has a few ads from Disqus, Project Wonderful, and AdSense.

Are you the original owner of the business?

Yes

Which platform does the website use?

WordPress

Where is the site hosted and will this need to change after purchase?

It is currently hosted on a dedicated server with Certified Hosting for $245 a month; it would need to be moved to the buyer's own hosting.

Why are you selling the business?

The site's potential has outgrown my ability, in summary. 

The community is loyal - I get around 350k uniques per month, and a large percentage of those are repeat visitors. I feel bad that I cannot live up to all of their requests (apps, more community aspects like forums/profiles, interfaces or functions to allow group collaboration on stories, etc). 

I would like to find a buyer with the resources and commitment to take the site to a higher level of activity, interactivity, and income. 

I am also considering going back to school on top of a normal job - this will really hurt my ability to give the community/site the time they deserve. I cannot reiterate enough what a good base the site has; I want them to have a site owner/admin who can give them much more than I can!

Can the website’s revenue be accurately tracked back to the website?

Yes, revenue can be accurately tracked back to the business.

Is the website’s revenue kept separate from other business and personal accounts?

No, but mostly separate.

If necessary, do you have tax returns available to support your revenue claims?

Yes, this proof can be provided to serious buyers and/or Flippa Marketplace Integrity.

Are you willing to provide live revenue verification?

Yes, upon request from serious buyers and/or Flippa marketplace integrity.

What are the main expenses of the business? 

  • $245 dedicated server hosting per month;
  • $20 cloudflare fee per month.
  • Once per year, domain name renewal/whoisguard.
  • I also pay for Sucuri once per year, but that is a multi-site plan and I'm assuming any serious buyer would probably have their own account/plan already or something comparable.

Please list all domain names you are including in the sale

creepypasta.com - primary site

crappypasta.com - a "sister" site attached to the Creepypasta.com submission process. It is crappypasta.com; it's where I post stories that I like, but feel they just need more work before acceptance to the 'big leagues' of creepypasta.com. Crappypasta is kind of a non-entity with regards to traffic (it's mostly just a set group of the same users that give feedback on each post, 500-600 visits/day), but in it's current setup, it's involved with the main site.

Are you including any social media accounts in the sale?

Yes

Which accounts will you be including?

  • Twitter - 5583 followers

Are there any email lists included in the sale?

No

Is there any intellectual property included in the sale or anything buyers should know about the site infrastructure?  

The ratings system is a paid plugin - I prepaid the license for a year, but would have no use for it once the Creepypasta/Crappypasta set is out of my hands. I would be willing to simply transfer access of my license account over to any new owner, as the rating system is the only item in there and it's a pretty core site functionality.

Crappypasta's theme is currently Divi, which is accessible via a yearly Elegant Themes subscription - that I could not transfer as I do use other aspects of that sub for completely unrelated things. So the new buyer would need to be aware that they'd either need to get their own sub OR simply change the theme.

All other paid plugins are one-time purchases via Envato - they're non-integral (ie things like a mobile theme that can easily be changed to something else), but those licenses can't be transferred to a different Envato account or anything.

What are the primary traffic sources of the site?

  • Organic - Ranks top 20 in Google for over 18,000 positions (see attached SEM Rush report).

Do you use, or have you experimented with, social media marketing?

No, I have not.

Have you done any Search Engine Optimization?

No, I have not done any SEO.

Has the site ever received any search engine penalties (manual or algorithmic)?

No, to my knowledge my site has never received any search engine penalties.

Do you use, or have you experimented with direct / display advertising?

No, I have not.

Do you have employees or contracts with freelancers?

No

How is the content of your website produced? Provide a step-by-step breakdown

Amateur writers submit stories to me - terms are that they give me permission to host their work free of charge, but they retain copyright/ownership. 

I get tens of thousands of submissions per year, and curate them down to (at least) one story per day. 

New owner would receive access to the email address where all submissions/contact info is stored, so they could theoretically renegotiate terms with willing authors. And of course, they could set new terms going forward.

Task 1 - Site Admin
Description - I do everything. Read submissions, troubleshoot technical issues, schedule posts, reply to contact requests, moderate comments, etc.
Who - Owner
Hours per week - 10
How may people perform this task? - 1

Does the owner need specific skillsets in order to successfully operate the site?

Basic knowledge of WordPress and FTP, literacy, people skills.

Do you and/or any employees or freelancers provide customer support?

Yes. It's just a form where users can contact me with concerns/suggestions/complaints. I usually get a few messages per day, but often they are just people who didn't read the FAQ asking a question already covered there, so I just link them to the FAQ.

Please identify and briefly describe your main competitors (1-3 is fine)

Other Creepypasta sites come and go too frequently to bother noticing, but I think the only other mainstay of the niche is the Creepypasta wiki: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Creepypasta_Wiki

What makes your website better than its competition?

The main difference is that they are a wiki, allowing anyone to post content, whereas my site is a curated archive as well as the keyword domain AND the oldest website in the niche. I'm told that being accepted to my site gives more cachet/bragging rights than simply uploading their story to the wiki, as the wiki is essentially a lightly modded free-for-all with lax standards.

Which ad networks does the website utilize?

  • AdSense
  • Disqus

Are all ad networks transferable to the new owner?

Yes

Does your website utilize direct advertising?

No

Please list all affiliates generating more than 1% of total revenue

Amazon

Are all affiliate relationships transferable to the new owner?

Yes

Please explain which affiliate relationships are not transferable

The new owner would simply need to replace my ad code with their own. In theory, nothing is un-transferable, in this way.

Are you willing to sign a 3-year non-compete contract in the industry that the website operates in?

Yes, I am. However, I have a side project (curated-creepy.com) which is not included in the sale. It's not a finished project, it has no income, it hasn't been launched, it's not even connected to analytics, and is NOT related to CreepyPasta.com

Instead it's just an idea I had for a website about documenting things I find interesting (not a writing site like CreepyPasta.com) in the vein of folklore, ghost stories, etc. Think the difference between a site dedicated to horror movies and a site dedicated to ghost stories. There's thematic overlap, but otherwise unrelated.

Will you provide 1-3 months of post-sale support & training, in order to ensure that the buyer is able to fully take over the business and its operations?

Yes

What are the primary growth opportunities for the business going forward?

  • Advertising optimization: I know that I am probably leaving money on the table due to lack of time/expertise 
  • App: The community really wants an app, not just for simply reading, but to expand the interaction (think forums, user profiles, ability to cooperate on writing stories with each other in-app or on-site, writing games, etc) 
  • Expanding community activity/interaction (see above) 
  • Redraft TOS: New owner would have access to all author contact info (if they wished to renegotiate terms to use stories for things like games, videos, books, etc) or the ability to change terms going forward to allow such things

Are there any geographical limitations to the potential buyer of the business?

No, there are no geographic limitations.

Site Info

Site Established ? April 2008
Built With ? WordPress
Google Analytics Detected ? Yes
More info: BuiltWith

Domain Info

Domain Registered ? 6 April 2008
Registrar ? ENOM
More info: Wayback Machine and Whois

Site Uniqueness

Content Unique ? No
Design Unique ? No
More info: Plagspotter and Copyscape

SEO Presence

Pages In Google ? 46,400
MajesticSEO Inbound Links ?
SEOmoz mozRank ?
Alexa Rank ? 89,108
More info: SEOmoz and SEMRush

Comments

Px48x48 avatar bb76a436 29d0 406a 85c7 99b785d50c00
gazelle99 ( | $20.9K )
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 14:08:22 AEDT

What do you know of the org domain of the site creepy pasta. (no sense giving them a direct name hit)
Are you involved in any way, or is it a competitor, is there any overlap or defection with members?

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Fri, 31 Mar 2017 14:24:26 AEDT

@gazelle99 No affiliation. I am not sure how they run things or how much overlap we share with regard to community. I'd assume there is some, of course!

Noavatar
retireat30 ( new )
Sat, 01 Apr 2017 04:18:25 AEDT

CreepyPasta appears to be Trademarked. Do you own the trademark?

Noavatar
bizguyseattle ( new )
Sat, 01 Apr 2017 07:52:38 AEDT

Are you the original creator of the site?

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Sat, 01 Apr 2017 09:47:39 AEDT

@Stacyrandolph I do not, though my site has been operating under my direction long before any trademark was filed (as far as I am aware, I am the earliest established user of the term and predate the trademark filing by over half a decade). I always felt it would be damaging to the community (and my anonymity, which I value significantly) to pursue trademarking the name of a meme/writing genre.

My understanding after a brief consult is that any attempt to seize my domain/halt use by someone who registered a TM so long after the domain was established and in constant use would almost certainly be considered an attempt at Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, and it would not end well for them.

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Sat, 01 Apr 2017 09:47:51 AEDT

@bizguyseattle Yes.

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Sat, 01 Apr 2017 10:40:27 AEDT

@Stacyrandolph Also of note about the two service marks: one is for book publishing, specifically, and another is for a TV show, specifically.

Noavatar
retireat30 ( new )
Sat, 01 Apr 2017 13:02:15 AEDT

@smdb Thank you very much!

Px48x48 avatar 7500442e 832f 403c 945e 7fc830bea5f7
inventcreative ( banned )
Sun, 02 Apr 2017 02:51:18 AEDT

Please add me to analytics : [email protected]

Noavatar
viralagain ( new )
Sun, 02 Apr 2017 05:30:37 AEST

Hello, I am the owner of facebook fan pages Creepypasta, Creepystuff, Weird Creepy Shit, Creepy Things and many more in creepy niche. I would like to make an offer for the website. I think I deserve this community because I can grow it as I already have a lot of facebook pages. I can merge my page's fans into it and can try to make it an amazing place as whole.
I want to buy it just not for commercial purpose but also because I am really into this and I think this community has most beautiful people around the world. I entertain a decent amount of fans already on my social media and they're constantly demanding for a website. If possible can you please email me at - [email protected] and also assign google analytics role so we can closely monitor insights.
Have a great weekend.

Noavatar
LLLL ( banned )
Sun, 02 Apr 2017 12:37:06 AEST

Very interesting for this to be listed. Going to be interesting to see final sale price.

Noavatar
bjguadagno ( | $15.3K )
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:56:55 AEST

Is crappypasta also included in the sale?

Noavatar
bjguadagno ( | $15.3K )
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 08:04:33 AEST

nm - please disregards

Px48x48 avatar 1360746450.6631511b57d2a1e3e9.39867430
monetizemore ( | $45.1K )
Thu, 06 Apr 2017 09:34:26 AEST

- What is the reason for the dropping traffic?
- How would you recommend an owner unfamiliar with this community integrate with the community and spur engagement?
- How would you break down your tasks per week?
- Could you please link your Analytics account with [email protected]?

Noavatar
Szramiakje ( new )
Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:50:54 AEST

Can you add me to google analytics? [email protected]

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Fri, 07 Apr 2017 08:17:12 AEST

Hi everyone - I'd just like to request that people use direct messaging for analytics requests/ in depth questions. It's much easier for me to track conversations that way (and also sends me notifications whereas these comments do not). Thanks!

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:21:33 AEST

@monetizemore

I'll paste what I answered someone else recently:

Simply, I've had less time to work on the site. Due to lack of technical expertise and time, some issues that slowed site loading (in one case, a plugin had gotten so badly bloated that when people accessed a specific page it was overloading the database - so I replaced it with a different plugin that did the same thing, but it had issues that I went back and forth with my hosting's tech support for 2 months trying to solve...) weren't fixed for several months, so I think that's a big reason. It's part of why I'm looking to sell - I don't want to run the site into the ground due to my own failings, if that makes sense!

That lack of time has also prevented me from being as involved in the community as I was before, and I notice traffic trends definitely are affected by that - when I'm able to be more present and involved, people come back more consistently.

As for tasks per week, that largely varies by need. If there is a technical issue, my time can get sucked up pretty quickly - lack of knowledge means that sort of thing takes me significantly longer. I try to spend at least an hour per day on reading submissions/answering emails - sometimes more if I can manage. If I'm running a writing contest or other community endeavour, that can add to the timeframe. If there's a project I want to do (overhauling something or adding a new element to the site), I generally work on that as much as possible until it's done.

I'm adding you to analytics for both sites as we speak.

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:22:29 AEST

@Szramiakje This has been done!

Noavatar
sjf129 ( | $6 )
Sat, 08 Apr 2017 10:41:55 AEST

Wow 31X monthly earnings. Lot of hungry buyers out there ey...Great site, but it would take me way too long to get my money back on this one.

Noavatar
senos64 ( | $23.7K )
Sun, 09 Apr 2017 01:17:56 AEST

@sjf129 that's true if your ambition is just to buy the site and see when you can get a return on it.. but if you do some actual work and increase the earnings, then you wont have to wait 31+ months.

All and all a great website and it's nice to see some real good websites being sold amongst everything else.

Noavatar
Tormental ( account closed )
Sun, 09 Apr 2017 08:39:21 AEST

Is this sale open to buyers who wish to use ad parking or flip the domain again, or will you only sell to buyers who want to run the site as you have?

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Sun, 09 Apr 2017 09:00:37 AEST

@Tormental Absolutely not interested in selling to a buyer like you describe. If that was my only option, I simply would not sell.

Noavatar
Tormental ( account closed )
Sun, 09 Apr 2017 09:20:54 AEST

@smdb Cool. As per our private messages, it'd be cool to put that in writing above so buyers know what they're bidding on - but since you've said it in the comments I supposed that'll have to do. :)

Noavatar
alexan ( new )
Sun, 09 Apr 2017 13:07:22 AEST

Have you ever received any copyright / DMCA infringement complaints or any cease and desist letters related to creepypasta.com ?

Noavatar
smdb ( | $65.5K )
Sun, 09 Apr 2017 13:43:22 AEST

@alexan No, I have not.

The Seller
Sellerdefaultavatar smdb D B
1 transaction totalling $65,500
Payment Methods ?
  • Flippa Escrow
  • PayPal
Community Watch

Does this listing violate the Flippa Terms and Conditions?

If so, anonymously report it here.