The following guest post was contributed by Ryan Moran from eTycoon, a website dedicated to teaching people about buying, building, and developing virtual real estate. For more info on eTycoon, register for a training webinar.

If one man’s junk can be another man’s treasure, then one person’s dormant, neglected website can be another person’s goldmine when there is untapped profit. Like a house that already has a foundation, it is much easier to grow an established website than to start from scratch. In fact, it seems almost foolish to develop a website from scratch when someone else has already done most of the hard work. If you’re like most marketers who would rather be growing a site than designing or writing content, then here are a few reasons why you should start buying up other people’s websites:

1. Someone else has done most of the hard work.
When you buy a website, you can skip designing and coding the website, choosing the target audience, or creating the initial content. Instead of being bogged down with tasks that don’t put money in your pocket, taking over an existing business frees you up to start marketing the existing site.

2. You don’t have to be the expert.
The easiest solution to competing in markets in which you are not an expert is to buy the hard work of someone who is. Instead of attempting to create a product, a website, or content to a foreign niche, it is far more advantageous to buy a website created by someone familiar with the audience.

3. Most neglected sites have existing traffic.
Whether it comes from search engine rankings, links from authority sites, social media, or old article marketing campaigns, most established sites have consistent traffic. However, the traffic is rarely monetized near its potential. As a marketer, you can monetize the traffic that already exists, rather than resort to generating traffic from scratch.

4. Many sites come with customer lists.
If a previous webmaster was smart enough to build lists of prospects and customers from his or her marketing efforts, then your job is much easier once you take over. Oftentimes, a few promotions to the existing list will pay for the cost of the website itself.

5. Most importantly, if you purchase wisely, then the website has existing revenue and profit.
While there is no instant success in business, buying an already profitable business is about as close as it gets. However, few webmasters are capable of maximizing the profits of their websites, and there is often ample opportunity to expand revenue and profit once a site is purchased.

Building an online business from scratch is like attempting to push a car; the greatest amount of energy is required at the beginning in order to get things moving. When you buy a website from a previous owner, it’s like pushing a vehicle that is already moving and has momentum.

Instead of focusing on time-consuming tasks that either eat up productivity or don’t put money in your pocket, like website design, niche selection, and even some forms of initial traffic generation, you have the ability to skip much of the up front work that is required in building a profitable website. When you buy someone else’s website, you are freed from the burden of getting the campaign started. With the ball already rolling, your energy can be spent marketing the site, tweaking areas of weakness, and scaling the work that has already been done.

If you build a campaign from scratch, you are shooting in the dark. Significant time and resources can be spent building a site, choosing its direction, and developing its content, but there is no guarantee of profit. If someone else has done the work, however, you enjoy the benefit of existing data, a proven track record, and the confidence in knowing that your efforts contribute to building on an established foundation.