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Flipping Websites 101: How to Buy & Sell Sites for a Profit

shopping online at boutique fashion store

Flipping Websites 101: How to Buy & Sell Sites for a Profit

Website flipping is a lucrative business in the virtual world. The business principles applied when flipping websites are similar to those applied in many other businesses. For instance, just like a real estate investor chooses to buy a house in areas likely to develop, people flipping websites gravitate towards purchasing chances with the potential to grow.

Website flipping is ideal for you if you’re planning to start a side hustle or shift to a career that you can pursue from the comfort of your home.

However, keep in mind that it’s not always smooth sailing. Like most businesses, flipping websites has its ups and downs.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered!

This article will give you a step-by-step guideline to help you succeed in website flipping. But first, let’s define website flipping.

What is Website Flipping?

Website flipping is the business of identifying a profitable website, revamping it by adding high-quality content and features to increase its traffic, then reselling the website to make a profit.

The entire process can be challenging—from choosing the right website to putting in effort and resources for months to improve its ranking on search engines.

There are many website flipping off-the-shelf techniques all over the internet and other resources that you can try. However, if you want to stand out in this field, you need to find a process that works best for you.

One of the most exciting things about flipping sites is that you can do it on a small or large scale.

How to Buy & Sell Sites for a Profit

1. Determine the Time and Cash to Invest

Regardless of how appealing a website may appear, there is no absolute assurance that you’ll make gains from it. Therefore, before deciding to venture into website flipping, determine the amount of time, money, and other resources you’ll put in.

Like other ventures, website flipping also comes with risks, so invest just what you can live without.

After establishing a budget, determine the amount of time you’ll need to revamp the website. If you buy a site that’s already earning passively, there will be no use in making many adjustments. However, you should still look for areas to improve to boost the site’s revenue.

2. Go For the Right Niche

When you want to acquire a website, it’s essential to determine what type of niche you’re going for. Avoid investing in websites that have specialized in a temporary craze. Instead, opt for websites with timeless evergreen content.

Find Your Niche word in notebook on the desk
Source: Shutterstock

The following are some of the evergreen niches to consider:

  • Finances
  • Health
  • Relationships and self-improvement
  • eCommerce
  • Small start-ups
  • Sports and leisure
  • Food and culture
  • Education
  • Political comments and current affairs
  • Showbiz and Entertainment

The topics mentioned above can be further subdivided into several sub-topics. ‘

For example, you shouldn’t consider general niches such as health; instead, niche down to areas like physical injury for adults over 60.

Typically, specialized topics are more valuable to a segment of consumers. Besides, they face lesser competition and have a loyal audience unlike sites with wide-ranging topics.

3. Identify The Best Website For You

The following are key indicators you can use to determine the right site to buy:

  • How much the website is already making
  • How constant are the revenues (for example, are they consistent or sporadic? Are there highs and lows?)
  • Is the revenue typically passive—can it generate some revenue even without putting a lot of effort into it for a period of time?
  • Is there room for growth? Consider whether you can figure out strategies to increase visitors, diversify revenue streams, and upgrade current content.

Consider paying a bit more than what the site is currently earning—monthly or annually because the holder will forego future payments, the price should be reasonable.

However, you can find cheaper websites if you’re ready to take more risks and willing to put in more effort in improving the site. You’re likely to pay less for new sites. However, newer sites lack the established consistency in earning, which exposes you to more risks.

The following are the best places to find websites for sale:

4. Do an Extensive Background Check

When you’ve chosen a site you would like to purchase, conduct some background checks.

The following are things to look for:

  1. Try to figure out why they’re disposing of the website: Is there a steady decline of popularity in the site’s niche? Has Google flagged the site? Or is the owner trying out something new?
  2. Search for evidence of income and traffic: you can use Google Analytics or other google features to check the site’s traffic.
  3. Is your seller trustworthy? Some websites feature user profiles that include comments, ratings, and other information.
  4. Assess their link history:  Are their links white-hat, or do they buy links? Can you maintain both the quality and quantity of links if the website relies purely on white hat SEO methods?

Contact the owner with these questions and assess indicators such as traffic and revenue data. All the platforms mentioned above provide broker solutions that might assist you in evaluating the site. Some also extensively audit each site before listing it.

5. Submit Your Offer

Once you’ve identified a site that has all the features you’re looking for and conducted a comprehensive background check on it, you can quote your offer.

Most site listing websites feature a price list section for each site. In this case, you should state a lower price, but your offer should be reasonable. For example, start bargaining at 75% of the stated price—this gives you enough negotiating room, particularly if you spot a few negative features that were not stated forth.

But if the price is not listed, an extensive background check will help you estimate the website’s value.

6. Optimize the Website

After you’ve bought the website and it has been fully handed over to you, it’s time to start improving the website by upgrading its content and design. The goal is to steadily increase your website’s monthly revenue.

seo and web optimization
Source: Shutterstock

Below are tips to help you through the process:

  • Upgrading content strategy to get your website ranked for keywords and generate more traffic
  • Considering affiliate prospects or bargaining for better terms with existing partners
  • Raising your website’s investment in areas such as paid advertising and social media to increase income
  • Developing and maintaining an engaged email list

Essentially, you need to strive to maximize traffic and profits. A website that requires minimum time to manage will command a higher price than one that needs more effort to stay profitable.

Pro Tip: You can hire freelance SEO and content managers to help you manage the website if you solely want to focus on something else. However, you need to have some experience with what’s required of the new website so that you have a clear plan for the new content manager.

7. Determine The Value Of Your Website

After devoting enough time and effort to raise your website’s worth, do your evaluation to determine its current value. This stage will be pretty similar to the one you took when deciding what to offer for the website.

Consider the following:

  • Your website’s present traffic and the gains since you bought it
  • The amount of money the site currently generates and how steady it is
  • The number of revenue sources it has and the likeliness of them continuing
  • The size of the website social media following and email lists—one-time visits are less valued than loyal followers
  • The amount of work required to keep the website profitable at its current level?

If you’re pleased with the figure you see and convinced that you are in a better bargaining position, you can list your website.

8. Search For Market

There are two ways of finding a buyer; Using a reputable website marketplace or employing a dealer.

There are websites we recommended at step three that are excellent picks for listing the site. This approach allows potential buyers to look for you instead of going through the stress of looking for them. Furthermore, listing websites charge fewer fees than a broker.

However, hiring a broker would be the ideal approach if you’re a newbie in selling sites or have a website that is estimated to be of high value. Website brokers have a range of networks to contact and market the website quickly. Furthermore, they can easily identify and find potential buyers and can almost instantly identify jokers.

If you prefer hiring brokers, you can opt for some website marketplace that offers site brokerage services. These websites include FE International and Flippa. Other firms famous for site brokerage are:

9. Negotiate With the Potential Buyer

After you’ve landed a potential buyer, plan on how to negotiate, determine a favorable price and negotiate the transaction terms and conditions.

If you’re working with a broker-dealer, they’ll do the negotiation and paperwork on your behalf. But if you’re working alone, you may need to hire an attorney to ensure everything is in order.

Consider using an escrow payment process while receiving your payment. This is an excellent strategy to prevent fraudsters while assuring the buyer that you are not a fraudster.

10. Transfer The Site Details To The Buyer

While this is the last step, it’s a critical phase where a broker-dealer can come in handy. However, if you are doing it independently, contact your hosting service to ensure that you complete the necessary technical procedures and transfer the site to the buyer.

They will want the connection to your domain name, website hosting account,  and a website builder or any CMS that you employ. In other words, all of the website’s contents will have to be transferred to their preferred details.

As the original owner, you are responsible for helping the new owner in changing your website’s information. Ensure you’re available to provide the support your buyer needs to transfer the website to their preferred host and details.

The following are are some parts the new owner will need your help in:

  • Updating the account information
  • Updating the security questions
  • Removing or changing the Payment details
  • Changing the Contact info
  • Changing the account password

If the account is updated with inaccurate information, the new ownership will be declined. Therefore, proceed with caution and confirm that you give the correct information.

Advantages of Flipping Websites

  • It is simple to begin.
  • No experience is necessary.
  • You don’t need coding or programming experience
  • There is no need for additional storage space for domain names.
  • There are no shipping costs when transferring domains.
  • There are no ongoing maintenance costs.
  • There are no post-purchase concerns.
man working on laptop
Source: Shutterstock


Can I Make Income From Buying And Selling Websites?

Yes, you can make a large income by flipping websites. However, identifying the correct websites and increasing their worth takes a lot of effort and experience. If you understand how to detect a perfect niche and have experience raising the site’s traffic and income, website business can be a lucrative opportunity.

How Much Can I Sell My Domain Name For?

Domain names can cost any amount, although most range between $5,000 to $20,000.  Short domains, category killers, premium domains, on the other hand, can cost upwards of $100,000 and even run into millions.

Is Website Flipping Legal?

Yes, it is legal to sell domain names. However, cybersquatting is never accepted; buying a domain that already has a trademark expecting to benefit from the image of the business that owns the brand.

Can You Sell A Website Idea?

Yes, you can sell your website idea. You put down your website concept outline, how the website will operate, who will run it, its purpose, and when you will use it. Evaluate the value you want from selling your concept and compare it with the income other individuals have previously made from selling their ideas. Finally, schedule a meeting with possible investors and present your proposal.

Final Thoughts

There is no limitation on the amount of money you can generate when it comes to flipping websites. You may earn hundreds, thousands, or millions in a flip provided that you have the cash to buy websites and the ability to improve them.

However, there’s also a chance you’ll lose your money on bad flips. To reduce this likelihood, extensively investigate potential websites and purchase only those that you are specifically confident that you can revamp.

Because historical income is directly related to a website’s worth, you must improve your acquired websites to create more money. It not only provides an additional money source, but it also makes your sites appealing to potential customers—allowing you to sell them for a better price.

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