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Website Flipping: How to Flip Websites for Profit

Website Flipping featured image
Website flipping is a well known way to make money online, but how does it work? Image credit: John Schnobrich

Believe it or not, websites are a form of real estate. Just as there are many opportunities to make millions of dollars by buying and selling homes, there is huge potential for profit from website flipping.

In fact, it is far easier to break into the business of buying and selling websites than most other assets, because the capital requirements are far lower.

If you’re thinking about growing your wealth by investing in online real estate, this guide will give you an overview of how to flip websites for profit. We’ll cover what makes a great website to flip, as well as how you can monetise this.

Basics: What is Flipping Websites?

When people think of house flipping, they often imagine married couples that make their living by purchasing old homes, renovating them, and then selling the homes for a profit of $20,000 to $50,000.

Hypothetically, these couples then repeat the process a few times every year to make enough money to live on. While there are some similarities between house flipping and website flipping, there are also many key differences.

Namely, you should not expect website flipping to be as glamorous as house flipping.

Website flipping began when entrepreneurs were inspired by the concept of house flipping and decided to apply it to another area. A good entrepreneur will find a business that is underperforming and purchase it.

The entrepreneur will then use their skills and knowledge to improve the performance of the business and then sell it for a nice profit.

Flipping websites and businesses is not easy. It requires a huge amount of diligence and research. However, the rewards can make the amount of effort put in more than worthwhile.

How to flip a website infographic
In theory, website flipping is a pretty simple process. Image credit: Alpha Investors

How to Flip a Website: The Basics

Of course, the idea of buying and selling businesses for profit is appealing to many entrepreneurs. However, buying a website or business can be very costly. Therefore, many entrepreneurs have a hard time getting started.

If you make the wrong decision, you may lose a significant amount of money. Of course, the same is true when it comes to real estate and the stock market. Therefore, you want to be certain of your ability and skills before you make an investment.

The Internet is still relatively new and the online commerce industry is still growing at a rapid pace. Therefore, it should come to no surprise that the vast majority of business owners have poor websites online.

Other people have incredibly popular websites but are not taking advantage of the significant amount of traffic by monetising the website. Some are ignorant of the benefits of monetising a website. Others choose not to monetise their website.

Profiting from a website can be as easy as starting an AdSense campaign on a popular website after purchasing it from the owner.

If you purchase an eCommerce website, you may need to do some search engine marketing or make changes to your AdWords campaign to make a profit.

Advantages of Purchasing Websites

The main advantage of purchasing a website is that you don’t have to work on establishing an audience. You also don’t have to wait for search engines to index the website. The vast majority of webmasters understand the advantages of link exchanges.

Even if you buy a website that is poorly managed, it will likely have a back link network of some sort. Even if the website is not a top ten search result, the website will still be ready for you to improve and optimise.

If you buy a mature site, you won’t have to deal with the Google sandbox.

This is a major advantage of flipping websites that are already established. Of course, the amount of profit you can make from a website will depend on what stage the website is at when you take it over.

You should also keep in mind that the price of the website will reflect how much profit the initial owner expects you to receive from the website. A website with a readership of 100,000 people will cost you far more than a website with a readership of just 10,000 people.

The price you pay will depend on how much revenue the current owner will lose by relinquishing control.

How to Make Money Flipping Websites

With all this in mind, there are two key things you’ll need to start making money flipping websites:

  1. Understanding what makes a great candidate for website flipping,
  2. The skills to build on this and improve the profitability of your sites.

Let’s look at each in turn.

How to Choose a Website to Flip

Essentially, the business side of a website can be broken down into a handful of important elements:

  • Domain name,
  • Design,
  • Content,
  • Domain level SEO factors,
  • Traffic,
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation.

The thing is, if all of these things are great, the current owner probably won’t be interested in selling the site. Even if they were, there wouldn’t be much scope for you to turn a profit.

Say for a second you were trying to flip used cars rather than websites. You’d be looking for something with a couple of minor problems that you can quickly and cheaply repair and sell it on for profit.

The same principle applies for websites.

So if you’re an SEO whizz, you’d want to find a site which is strong in every element except SEO. Then you can work your magic and flip it for profit.

Website flipping backlink stats
Improving the backlink profile of a site is a quick way to boost traffic. Image credit: ahrefs

How to Improve a Website’s Performance

The remaining step is to fix whatever the site’s particular pain point is. Again, you should have chosen your site because it has a problem that you know how to solve, so this step should be a walk in the park.

Say for example you’ve bought an ecommerce site with strong traffic figures, but poor conversion rates.

Alternatively, you might purchase a site which is good at converting traffic, but is struggling in search engine results because it has a poor domain authority. In this case, you’d undertake a guest posting campaign to make the site more competitive for SEO.

Website flippings
Content improvements are another popular flipping strategy. Image credit: NichePursuits

Top Website Acquisition Strategies

Before you start your search for a website to acquire, you should think about what type of website you want to purchase and what changes you intend to make to the website.

You don’t want to purchase websites that won’t mesh with your web business strategy. Here are a few of the top website acquisition strategies to consider when searching for a new website to purchase.

Focus on Traffic

Purchase a website that receives targeted traffic for a service or product that you already offer. You will be able to use sales pages, advertising, and email lists to direct traffic from the website you purchase to your own products and services.

Buying a website is an easy and effective way to tap into a premade customer base for your products and services.

However, you need to be certain that the traffic that the website receives is quality. You don’t want to buy a website that doesn’t attract the type of users who would buy your products or services.

High traffic websites consume a lot of bandwidth. Therefore, it is always possible that you will buy a liability rather than an asset when it comes to high traffic websites. This would be true if your hosting costs eat into your profits.

Website flipping affiliate marketing
You can also take a site with strong traffic and focus on affiliate marketing. Image credit: ExtendThemes

Find and Flip Websites With Strong CRO

You may not make many changes to your new website besides boosting the amount of traffic that it receives, and improving the performance of any advertisements on the website.

Websites that have a lot of good content that is poorly optimized are ideal if you want to employ this strategy. Once you have the rights to all of the content, you can republish the content in other ways that are more effective.

For example, you can use the content for article marketing or as information products. You could also give away access to the content for free to entice users to join your email list.

Flip Websites Quickly

You might purchase websites to flip them immediately. When it comes to flipping websites, this strategy is probably the most risky. This is because you will need to find websites that are obviously underperforming.

The more potential that a website has, the less risky the venture will be. Once you renovate the website, you may be able to sell it quickly for a handsome profit.

You should look for eCommerce websites that are selling products that have a market that is still becoming established. You should also look for ecommerce websites run by owners who are not good at online marketing or search engine optimization.

These owners tend to be far more willing to sell their website.

Look For Sites with a Strong Community

Consider buying a website that is driven by its community. For example, you can make a lot of money from a website that has a massive forum.

These websites are usually created by hobbyists. Therefore, the aim of these websites is usually not profit. At some point, such websites may attract so much traffic that the bandwidth will be costing the owners a significant amount of money.

If the owners aren’t skilled in monetisation, they may be interested in selling the website.

This strategy is a great way to make a significant amount of advertising revenue. However, you need to be careful to analyze the audience of a website before you make a purchase. Some forum communities can be very difficult to profit from.

Make Money Flipping Websites with Strong SEO

Try to look for websites that are operating in a popular keyword or niche. You can also look for websites operating in a niche that you believe will become popular soon. Search engine traffic is largely based on keywords.

Therefore, if you have a knack for picking out trends before they even become trends, you stand to profit substantially. If you suspect that a trend will become popular soon, start buying related websites now before they become overpriced and mainstream.

Website flipping domain authority
Find a site with good content and technical SEO and aim to improve its domain authority. Image credit: SiteChecker

Purchase Competitors’ Websites

Purchase websites to eliminate or team up with the competition. You can purchase a competing website or negotiate for a merger to create a larger business.

The effectiveness of this strategy depends largely on the industry in which you are operating. Website hosting is one example of an industry in which this strategy has proven to be very effective.

Flip Websites with a Strong Domain Name

In some cases, you may want to purchase a website just for the domain name. If you buy a website only for the domain name, you shouldn’t care much about the website content.

For example, if you had purchased blog.com or apple.com a few decades ago, you would have certainly made a handsome profit. Sometimes, the address is the most valuable part of a website.

If you suspect that a website has a valuable domain, you should get your hands on the website and wait to see what happens in the future.

You can buy websites and make a considerable profit as long as you play your cards right when it comes to flipping websites.

Simply follow the tips discussed above and be dedicated to growing your new website and you should be able to sell it for a handsome profit within a few years.

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