Creepypasta.com is a 9-year-old website that has a loyal demographic and name recognition.
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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.
How is your business monetized?
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?
Which platform does the website use?
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?
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?
Which accounts will you be including?
Are there any email lists included in the sale?
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?
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?
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?
Are all ad networks transferable to the new owner?
Does your website utilize direct advertising?
Please list all affiliates generating more than 1% of total revenue
Are all affiliate relationships transferable to the new owner?
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?
What are the primary growth opportunities for the business going forward?
Are there any geographical limitations to the potential buyer of the business?
No, there are no geographic limitations.
|Site Established ?||April 2008|
|Built With ?||WordPress|
|Google Analytics Detected ?||Yes|
|Domain Registered ?||6 April 2008|
|Content Unique ?||No|
|Design Unique ?||No|
|Pages In Google ?||46,400|
|MajesticSEO Inbound Links ?|
|SEOmoz mozRank ?|
|Alexa Rank ?||89,108|