website flipping

Website Flipping: An Ultimate Guide to Making Money in 12 Months

Website Flipping: An Ultimate Guide to Making Money in 12 Months

In today’s episode of “How you can make money online,” I bring you the ultimate guide to website flipping. 

We’re going to go into:

  • what it is,
  • how much you can earn, 
  • the benefits,
  • downfalls, 
  • best niches, 
  • where you can buy and sell sites, and of course, 
  • the all-important step by step guide to help you get started with becoming a web flipping pro.

If you’re interested in making a bit of money from the comfort of your home, then sit back, relax, pour yourself a cup of tea, and grab some biscuits because we are about to take a deep dive into website flipping.

Here’s a little sneak peek into the guide:

  1. Decide on whether you are building it yourself or buying one
  2. If you are buying one instead, find a website to buy
  3. If you are buying one, negotiate
  4. Improve the traffic and profitability of the site
  5. Sell your site for a profit 

Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

website flipping

What Is Website Flipping? 

For those of you who don’t know what website flipping is, do not fret. 

Website flipping is similar to flea market flipping or house flipping, except instead of items or physical products, you’re flipping websites. 

It’s simply the process of building up or buying pre-made websites, improving them, and then “flipping” them or selling them for a profit.

You can opt to purchase a pre-made blog or build a blog from scratch (if you have the time), make improvements to it, watch it grow, and then sell it.

How Much Can You Make Flipping Websites?

Is website flipping a lucrative business, you ask?

You can make a living if you decide to start a flipping website business but as for determining a set income, that’s a bit challenging to calculate. 

You see, how much you make is dependent on a set of things (which we’ll cover later on in this article).

You can set the price of the website at face value, sell it based on its potential or take a page out of Forbes’ book, and sell your website at 24 to 36 times the monthly revenue.

If you’re working on more than one website and selling them based on this principle, then you can make a six-figure income by flipping websites.

Take a look at the prices these sites are going for, IT’S A LOT OF MONEY ! 

Building vs Flipping A Website, Which Is Better?

To build or to flip, not exactly the age-old question but one that is widely debated on the website flipping scene. 

Whether you decide to build or flip a website, here are some points to consider.

When you choose to build a website from scratch, you have the liberty and freedom to make all the decisions you want from the very beginning. 

Another thing that might be of interest is, buying a domain name can cost way less than buying an existing website that’s already owned by someone else.

This can save you a few hundred dollars (or more)

If you buy a website that needs fixing, then be ready to roll up your sleeves for those renovations. 

If you’re lucky, that fixer-upper might be in decent shape and you only need to make a few tweaks here and there but that can’t be said for other websites. 

Some might require more work than others and that process can take time and money.

website flipping

A Step By Step Guide To Flipping A Website

Now that we’ve covered the basics of website flipping, the good and the bad, the best niches, and where you can sell your websites for a profit.

We can finally get into the all important website flipping guide.

Here’s how you can get started website flipping:

  1. Decide on whether you are building it yourself or buying one
  2. If you are buying one instead, find a website to buy
  3. If you are buying one, negotiate
  4. Improve the traffic and profitability of the site
  5. Sell your site for a profit 

Step 1 : Decide On Whether You Are Building It Yourself Or Buying One

Building it yourself is cost efficient and entirely possible, its best for those who don’t have  the budget to buy a site.

Let’s talk about building a website.

It’s cheap, you get to map it out exactly the way you want it to come out, and there’s no getting to know the email list or community’ adjustment period. 

You’ll have full and total control and understanding of your website. And did I mention it’s cheap?

Building can cost you anywhere from $3.95-$100.

  • If you want to build a blog from scratch and monetize it, check out this step-by-step guide.

Alternatively, if you haven’t got the time for building. You could buy a blog but that doesn’t mean your work is done just yet. 

Let’s have a look at step 2 for those of you considering to buy a blog.

Step 2: Find a Website To Buy

Earlier on, I listed nine companies that act as website marketplaces where you can purchase domains and websites. 

You can start there but here are a few things to consider before you buy a website for flipping.

Choose A Profitable Niche

How much you sell your website for will be dependent on how relevant it is.

For something to sell, there needs to be:

  •  a demand and more importantly
  •  a market for it. 

So, when you’re website flipping, it is best to steer clear of creating a new audience. 

Instead, try diving into a niche or market that has an existing and sizable audience to capitalize on. 

If you want to specialize in something, you can opt for micro-niches. 

Let’s say you decide to flip a website in the food niche, you could choose to focus on healthy eating or a vegan-based recipe website as a micro-niche. 

The first and crucial step to making money with website flipping is choosing the right niche with a large pool or existing consumers.

Tip: Work with what you know. If you know something about a specific industry, use that experience and insight to tailor your content.

Choose Moderate Tweaks Over Massive Overhauls

Much like when you buy a house, you’re going to want to find one with “good bones.” 

This same rule applies for digital real estate. You don’t want to buy a house only to tear it down and start from scratch, right?

But what contributes as “good bones” in a website? Here are a few things to keep and eye out for:

  • Reasonable monthly traffic (more than 10K views)
  • Regular content 
  • Domain authority (more that DA of 10)
  • A sizeable email list (more than 500)
  • Keyword ranking (more than 5 posts ranking on page 1 of Google )

Keep An Eye Out For Community-Driven Websites

You’ll find that certain niches will have organically built communities around them. 

More often than not, these websites are owned by people who are hobbyists and they don’t think about monetizing their site. 

This is where you come in and take over. 

You’ll have access to their audience and your next steps are to optimize content, create content, figure out your sales funnels and make that money.

Buy Domains With Strong Keyword Presence

A lot of people focus on the content and rightly so but sometimes, the domain name in itself is a gold mine, without the website. 

Imagine grabbing a hold of a sought after domain name that contains strong keywords or highly-searched keywords while the internet was in its early years.

You can earn a lot of money just by selling that domain name. 

Buying great domains is an important part of making money by website flipping. Try to stay clear of domains that have too many hyphens (or any at all), that are difficult to remember, or ones littered with numbers.

Go For Solo Web Owners

You know those websites that rank on the first page of Google?

Well, those are nearly impossible to purchase and they’re usually run by a team of pros. 

Look out for websites that are run by individuals and not a team of professionals. One that is maintained regularly and could use a little help. 

These sell for lower prices in comparison -the key to flipping is buying low and selling high.

Website Brokers

Some of the website flipping marketplaces we covered sold websites through auctions and bids but when you use websites like Flippa, a website broker approaches and offers a deal directly.

I know, I know. 

What on earth is a website broker and what do they even do? 

Think of your website broker as a digital real estate agent. 

A website broker will:

  • Research websites according to your criteria
  • Vet potential sellers
  • Prepare an information folder (this details the websites statistics) 
  • Value denomination
  • Deliver the offer 
  • Help the involved parties close the deal and transfer ownership 

Note: Brokers do take a cut of the sale. 

website flipping

Step 3: Negotiate With The Website Owner

A website has caught your eye and you want to purchase it. Your next step is to reach out to the owner of the site and negotiate a sale. 

Determine a reasonable price point based on your research and the website’s statistics.

 The negotiation phase can be lengthy depending on who you’re dealing with -be it a single individual or company.

The general rule is to be patient but also realistic. Sometimes, people aren’t ready to sell and that negotiation can be time wasted on your end. 

There are plenty (and I mean millions) of websites waiting to be flipped out there. 

Don’t spend your time chasing one because time= money.

And if you do find those sellers that are keen to sell at a moment’s notice, be a bit wary and go over the information carefully. 

Maybe they’re over enthusiastic about selling or maybe the website has some holes that need fixing. 

But that’s what you’re there for, right? These often sell at low prices.

Contracts And Transfer Ownership

Once you’ve worked out the kinks in the negotiation process and you’ve struck a deal, it’s time to make it official. 

Draw up a contract and transfer ownership of the website. (or Google a template of a contract)

The contract should include details like:

  • The domain name
  • Registration details
  • Business name
  • Business entity information

Also, it is imperative to make sure that the third-party softwares and subscriptions are updated with your information.

Now, all that’s left to do is sign that bad boy. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

Step 4: Improve The Website

Congratulations! You are now the proud new owner of a website. 

Step 4 on this guide is to flip it so you can sell it for a profit. 

Here are some things to help you out with this process:

Assess The Website

Get to know the bones of your website, see what you’re working with; identify its weaknesses so that you can strengthen them. 

Think about website navigation.

 Is it easy? What about the font? Is it legible or does it illicit a headache? 

Use your website’s heatmaps to see how users navigate through your website and where they stop that interaction. 

This information is essential and can help improve your marketing and sales strategy.

You can increase the value of a website in 2 ways : 

  • Improve traffic 
  • Improve profitability 

Improve Traffic Via SEO and Pinterest

Improve SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a valuable investment.

 When was the last time you clicked on the second page of Google’s search results? Never.

SEO ensures articles are on the first page of Google and guarantees you traffic for years. (I know this because this blog gets thousands of pageviews from SEO :))

SEO is your best friend if you want to rank high and for free. The higher you rank, the more chances people will click on your website. 

If you want to learn a bit about SEO, here are some excellent courses I have taken: 

Utilise The Power of Pinterest 

Pinterest currently has 322 million active users.

 If you can reach a fraction of these users from Pinterest and direct them to your blog, you can watch your traffic skyrocket and stand to earn quite a bit of money. 

Intrigued?

 Here are some resources to help you get started:

Always Choose Mobile-Friendly Themes

 Mobile friendly themes will improve speed and user experience = More Traffic 

This is important.

You can have a great website but that doesn’t cut it. Your website has to work just as well and look just as great on a mobile interface too.

Smartphones can do nearly everything a PC can. 

They’re smaller and we always have them on or around us at any given time. A website that isn’t mobile friendly can very easily destroy your traffic.

A few lightweight recommended themes are :

Improve Profitability 

You can improve profitability a number of ways 

  • Display Advertising 
  • Affiliate Marketing 
  • Digital Products 
  • Subscription Services 

Display Advertising

This is when an advertising network pays you each time someone views or clicks on an advertisement that’s being displayed on your site.

The more people view your blog (and these ads) the more you make.

Affiliate Marketing

This is my favorite way to earn a passive income through blogging. 

All you have to do is recommend a product or service and if someone purchases it using your link, you get paid a commission.

The customer pays the same amount they originally would if they had purchased the product without your link. You make money because the seller pays the commission to you.

Digital Products

You can monetize your blog with products you created yourself or products others have sent you to advertise.

The former is essentially you advertising your products and or services, like coaching services, ebooks, or a course you’ve created. 

The latter is commonly known as product sponsorships and involves you getting paid to write or talk about a product or service on your blog or social media networks.

Subscription Services

If you want to monetize your blog through subscriptions, you need to entice readers to invest. 

If you have an established readership and provide top notch content, you can advertise premium content and advantages to market your subscription services.

Want to know more about monetizing your blog? Here’s a post to help you rake in that cash with your blog.

website flipping

Step 5: Sell Your Website Online

Your website has been optimized, your work here is done. Now, all that’s left to do is sell your website. Your website however, won’t sell itself. Once you’ve listed it on the platform of your choice, take a look at some of these tips to maximize your chances of making a sale:

Description Is Key

Be as descriptive as possible in your listing. 

A lot goes into the decision of making this purchase. You want your buyers to be at ease and feel as if they have all the necessary information to make an informed decision. 

You don’t want them feeling like they’re getting scammed by not providing all the facts.

No Fuss or Fluff 

Leave out claims like, “#1 fitness blog on the market.” 

Don’t overload your listing with useless data either. Play to your websites strengths, list the critical information clearly, and avoid any fluff. 

The person buying your website is most likely another marketer. 

So try to avoid the cliched sales copy pitch -chances are they’ll see right through it. 

Be Responsive

Treat every potential buyer with care; be considerate, communicative and responsive.

 This can be your ticket to closing that deal. 

If an interested buyer has taken the time out to reach out and ask you questions, be courteous and address any of their concerns, thoroughly and politely.

website flipping

Benefits Of Website Flipping 

Flipping websites for profit has it’s benefits if you’re thinking of starting a website flipping business.

 It’s got low capital investment, a low barrier to entry, and there’s a demand for it in the market.

Low Capital Investment

Usually, when you think of starting a business, you think about the investment and even possibly taking out a loan to get your business off the ground. 

Website flipping is great because it has a smaller initial capital investment.

You can buy a domain name for as cheap as $2 (you get a domain name FREE if you use my Bluehost referral link) and even buy an existing website for a few hundred dollars. 

Low Barrier to Entry

Another great thing about website flipping is that anyone can do it! 

Sure, like everything else, there’s a learning curve but with the internet, anything is possible. 

Plus, online platforms and websites like Flippa make the buying and selling part way easier.

Market Demand

Have you visited a website and felt like you’ve taken a peek at the 90’s? The font is fluorescent and hard to read, the layout is clunky and navigation is a nightmare. 

If you know what it takes to create a user-friendly and appealing website, then you can tapinto a lucrative market. (Or just use the themes I recommended above :))

There are plenty of businesses that will pay you for websites that look good, rank well, drive traffic, and generate income.

website flipping

Downsides Of Website Flipping

Much like any other business venture, there can be a few downsides that come with a flipping website business. 

Here are a few things you might want to consider:

Significant Time Investment

Anything you flip with needs some TLC (Tender Loving Care) but this can also mean time. 

Depending on the state of your website, it can take some work and time before your website is ready for sale.  

Another thing to factor in is ranking with SEO. 

This study shows that it took 61 to 182 days for a page to rank for a specific keyword. This means that your SEO efforts can take anywhere from two to six months before you see results.

Remember that website flipping is a long-term game and it’s one that requires patience.

Need for Outsourcing

If you’re a jack of all trades then you can get by being a one person show but if you’re unfamiliar with web development related skills like design or copywriting, then you’re going to want to outsource.  

This is both good and bad: it’s good because you save time by letting the pros do their thing. It’s bad because it takes away from your income.

Note- I use Fiverr to help me with tech related stuff. Its cheap and reliable , just make sure you read the reviews of the person helping you fix your website first.

No Guarantee of Success

Let’s say you bought a website and you’ve put in the work to make sure it’s optimized, there’s no guarantee that it will sell at the price point you expect or that it will sell at all. 

Various factors could affect your income.

For instance, if you bought a website domain that focused on tamagotchis, you might find it difficult to sell in the future because the demand is low (do they even make tamagotchis anymore?) and it’s a fad that’s fizzled out almost a decade ago.   

Make sure you do extensive research beforehand and purchase sites in an existing market, preferably one that will withstand the test of time.

What Does It Cost To Set Up Or Buy A Website?

The answer to this question is not so straight forward and it depends on two things.

Are you planning on building this site from scratch or purchasing one and fixing it up? If you’re looking to build one then you can spend anywhere from $3.95 to $100 just to get it started.

If you want to buy a website, bare-bones and all, then you’ll be looking at a few thousand for high-income websites but don’t leave just yet. 

You can (usually) make a bargain. 

Best Niches That Are In Demand? 

Site flipping can be a lucrative business if you stick to niches that are in demand and stay relevant.

Tamagotchis and fidget spinners are out of the equation.

 According to WordPress Beginner and Create And Go, here are a few of the best niches that are in demand:

  • Travel
  • Food (cooking and baking)
  • Business
  • Personal finance
  • Personal development
  • Health and wellness
  • Technology
  • Women’s fashion
  • Pet products
  • Beauty items
  • Home improvement
  • Smart accessories
  • Parenting 
how to flip a website

Where Can I Buy And Sell Websites?

Flipping websites has never been easier with websites like these to help mitigate the whole process. 

The websites listed below are some of the few places online where you can list and sell your websites for a profit:

Flippa was the first website to start a platform that facilitated the buying and selling of domains and provided support to the people who wanted to do it. 

They work on an auction system, meaning that interested customers bid on the price of the websites. It’s up to the seller to decide the bids or not.

Flippa lists a whole range of websites for various prices and the marketplace is accessible to all budgets. 

They also have a commission fee that works on a sliding scale:

  • 10% commission for $499,000
  • 7.5% commission if the amount is $500K to $1M
  • 5% commission for sales that start from $1M – $5M

Trademysite

Trademysite (also known as hugedomains.com) is another platform for business owners to sell their sites. 

They have over 350,000 domains for sale on their website and a resource center to help with domain valuations. 

How great is that? 

Their customers and contracts range from countries like the USA, Australia, Ireland, and Malaysia. 

Afternic

Once you list your site with Afternic, it will be instantly visible to other buy sell website platforms that they are in partnership with. 

They work in partnership with a domain registrar and web hosting company called GoDaddy, and that partnership makes the transfer of ownership a seedy process. 

Side note: There have been some negative reviews about Afternic.

 This has to do with funds being held in escrow too long or that their website layout is a bit challenging to navigate (how ironic considering the business they’re in).

Another thing to consider before signing up with Afternic is their commission fees:

  • 20% commission fee for sales up to $5k
  • 15% commission plus $1k for sales from $5,001 to $25K
  • 10% commission plus $4k for any amount over $25K

Freemarket

From the team that gave us freelancers.com, Freemarket is a newly started website platform for users to list their websites on and to buy domains. 

The best part of Freemarket is their commission fee. 

They only charge 5% commission per sale. They have zero listing fees and are a great option for website flipping if you’re looking to save on costs.

Web Hosting Talk

Web Hosting Talk is kind of like a forum where you can sell websites and domains. 

There are plenty of discussions, debates, and questions on the forum.

 People often go back and forth a bit but if used properly, you can find a buyer for your domain on this website.

Website Broker

Website Broker is an online platform, much like a marketplace that allows you to sell and buy domains.

The website doesn’t charge a commission fee at all. 

That’s right, nada. 

Their FAQ page details that you do not owe them a percentage of your sale if and when you sell your website.

But how do they make their money? Instead of asking for a commission fee, they charge their users a standard listing fee.

This costs $9.99 and if you want to upgrade your listing to a premier listing. This means that you’ll get better exposure for your listing. 

You can do so for the price of $14.95.  

Empire Flippers

Empire Flippers is an online marketplace for buying and selling established, profitable online businesses.

The first website they sold was their own. 

And now, they help other business owners do the same. They’ve helped people all over the world buy and sell over $100 million worth of online businesses.

Are There Any Courses I Can Take To Teach Me?

I mentioned anyone can learn how to start website flipping but if you want to minimize time and skip the whole trial and error phase, then why not upskill by taking up a website flipping course?

 I have the course just for you!

 The Blog Flipping Course is one that I have taken myself and can vouch for.

it’s pretty amazing and for the price of $297, it’s value for your money.

The Blog Flipping Course

Created by Chelsea Clarke, The Blog Flipping Course aims to help sellers learn how to generate more traffic and revenue to their website, so they can sell it for a big profit. 

Chelsea has been developing, selling and brokering websites for several years.

 In fact, this past year she has sold over $300,000 in websites. 

This course is perfect for new bloggers, intermediate bloggers, and advanced bloggers.

What you’ll learn in the course:

  • How to launch your blog as a business worthy of a high ticket price
  • How to professionally brand your blog on a budget
  • How to market your blog & generate traffic 
  • In-depth Pinterest marketing
  • SEO training
  • Profit & loss tracking
  • How to monetize your blog in multiple ways (all at once)
  • Affiliate marketing training

Here’s a little peek at the full course schedule:

website flipping course

And enrollment is super easy too! 

You have to input your contact information, press continue, and make the payment. Voila, you are now ready to learn how to flip blogs.

website flipping

What If You Don’t Have Time?

So, you want to make money flipping websites but you haven’t got the time? 

If you don’t have the time to write (or you’re not exactly a wordsmith), you can opt to outsource. This goes for any other website related task you feel could be handled better by a seasoned pro.

Search for quality and affordable freelancers to outsource your workload to on these websites:

Yes, this takes out of your earning but imagine how much faster your business could grow if you outsourced everything except hunting profitable domain names and negotiating sales?

Outsourcing things like content creation and SEO services if you don’t have the time or skill for it can actually increase efficiency and maximize your site’s performance. 

Outsource all of the complicated, repetitive, and mundane tasks you’re faced with, and spend your time on the vital parts of your business that require exercising judgment and expending creative energy. 

Useful Website Flipping Resources:

I follow and learn from :

Conclusion

What are your final thoughts about website flipping? 

I think there’s something inherently rewarding about taking something like an underperforming website and transforming it into one that generates money. 

It’s good to remember that website flipping is an intermediate to long-term game. 

For the right entrepreneur (you), website flipping can be the perfect way to make a decent income.

Website Flipping: An Ultimate Guide to Making Money in 12 Months

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Hello and Welcome!

Hi there. My name is Aisha Preece. Founder and owner of OutandBeyond.

Being able to earn and save from any location in the world transformed my life.

I now LOVE MONDAYS. I want to help you do the same.

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