When you are looking to make extra money online, flipping websites (or blog flipping) can be a good idea. Site flipping can even be turned into a highly profitable full-time home business. Similar to flipping houses, the goal is to buy websites that are currently not doing very well, but have a lot of potential. You then improve them to make the sites more valuable and sell them for a profit. However, as simple as it sounds there are a few things that you need to be aware of when buying and selling websites for profit.
Here you will find the top 7 tips for website flipping (and a LOT more)…
Tip Number One – Buy from Well-Known Sources
When you are looking for websites to buy it is always a good idea to stick to well known marketplaces. Flippa.com is one of the most popular and reliable sites that you should try. As well as showcasing websites, it also offers you plenty of tips and information to get you started. Flippa is easily the most well known site flipping marketplace right now.
Tip Number Two – Beware of Sites that Seem Too Good to be True
It can be really easy to get carried away when you are looking for potential sites. Some may seem too good to be true. If you find websites for sale that promise the earth then you should be very cautious of them. Never invest in anything that sounds too good to be true (e.g. “$14,000 in just 10 days!” OR “Automatic business! 0 hours a month!”). It would be worth checking Google to see whether the sites have been blacklisted on any list on the web. If they have then you would find it very difficult to make them work for you. Also check the sellers and the website background on twitter search and blogs search to see what people have been saying about them. You should look at everything you can find to make sure it is legit. It’s much better to be overly cautious than it is to get screwed over.
Tip Number Three – Ensure that you stick to a Budget
You should always stick to a budget that you can comfortably afford. Set aside a set amount that you can spend on flipping blogs or any types of websites and do not go over it. This will help you to stay focused on what you are spending. Sometimes you can get carried away by a site that looks so promising, but going over your budget might not be the best thing to do when you’re just starting out.
Tip Number Four – Evaluate the Websites
Once you have found a website that you would like to invest in, you should first evaluate it deeply before making any offer. Look at how it would need to be improved, are there any usability issues, what new features would you need to add to the site, who are the suppliers if it’s ecommerce, what’s the margins, what kind of help you need to run the website and also think of everything that would need to be done to double the value of the website before you work out whether it would be worthwhile.
Tip Number Five – Understand the Work and Costs Involved
Another thing that you have to consider with website flipping is how much time it will take you to improve the site. What costs will be involved? When you need to add features to a website it can be costly. If the website would need a complete redesign then it could be worth just building your own site from scratch. The investment in the website is not just the purchase price but also the post-purchase investment in the improvements you’ll be doing. So take this in consideration.
Tip Number Six – Be Enthusiastic
If you want to make the most money flipping blogs then you will need to be enthusiastic about the website that you are buying/selling. You will need to want it to do well. Ideally you should choose a website that relates to something that you know about. That way you will be more interested in making it work. If you aren’t interested in the site then you might not give it your best. That’s simply how it works. So when deciding on which site to buy you should only buy those that you feel enthusiastic about and that will probably insure a nice profit for you.
Tip Number Seven – Know When to Sell
The keys to selling a website is giving it a better design, building its traffic up, increasing earnings, and making the operation easy to manage. When you succeed you need to choose whether to keep the site or sell it and make a profit. If you wait too long then you run the risk of a downturn further along the line. If the website suddenly starts to lose traffic then its profit margins will also deteriorate again. So in most cases it’s smart to sell the site when you feel it has hit its full potential. This way you can take the money from the sale and buy a larger website.
These basics should get you up and running as you enter the exciting world of site flipping!
However, if you don’t feel ready to dive in head first just yet, here’s a LOT more information to help train you for the site/blog flipping business olympics…
Blog Flip vs Site Flip
People often ask, what is the difference between “blog flipping” and “site flipping” or if they are the same thing?
Technically speaking, a blog is a website; therefore, site flipping and blog flipping are really the same thing just said in different ways because they are different kinds of websites. You can flip blogs, static websites, directories, product sites, ecommerce sites, and you can flip any other type of online website. They are all types of websites and you can make money flipping any of them.
It really doesn’t matter what type of site you flip, it is still essentially “website flipping” and they all are done with basically the same or similar process. The reason you tend to see more people flipping blogs for profit is because they are easy to build and are high in demand (more info on that below).
If you come across a “blog flip” information product or website or if you come across a “site flip” information product or website, they are really the same thing just being presented in a slightly different way.
So, when it comes to blog flipping versus site flipping the choice is yours. The process is the same or very similar so why not do a little of both? Blogs do tend to sell easier and for more money, with all other things being equal, but there is still a good market for all kinds of websites.
Why Flip Blogs?
Even after reading the above, I still get asked quite frequently why I recommend flipping blogs instead of flipping websites of other types such as static sites, ecommerce sites, single page sales letter sites, niche mini-sites, or any other types of websites that aren’t blogs.
There’s actually no easy answer to that question, but I will try to explain my reasoning a little bit here if you’ll bear with me. I’ve flipped many types of web sites. One of my favorite site flipping business models is to write an information product, create a sales letter, establish a couple months of good sales, then flip it for large profit. That’s a great way to make a lot of money flipping websites, so why don’t I recommend you start here?
Well, the reason is because this more elaborate site flipping business model I just described works well for me because I happen to have several key skills that are necessary to do this sort of thing. I have a lot of internet marketing and other online business experience. I can write compelling sales copy, I understand how to create a good information product, and I can get some sales coming in fairly easily. I’m not bragging, I am just pointing out that there’s quite a lot of experience that make this model viable for me. If you have it then, by all means, go for it! But most of the readers of this blog do not have that same level of internet marketing experience.
However, the typical person who reads this blog does have enough knowledge and experience to build a blog in a hot niche and flip it for profit. And besides the fact that I know you have the skills necessary to build and sell start-up blogs, another great reason for you to do this is the fact that the market for blogs is huge!
Blogs are HOT sellers! And rightfully so, because by their very nature, blogs can easily do what most other, more static websites can’t. For instance, they are easy to build, easy to update, easy to manage, and relatively easy to transfer to a new owner. Plus, they are usually very search engine friendly, and tend to rank well. That’s not necessarily the case with a static site. Blogs are also more natural for other people to link to, share on social media, comment on, etc… which makes them traffic magnets compared to many other types of website.
Another great reason to flip blogs instead of other types of web sites is simply because people love blogs. People associate blogs with quality information that is updated frequently and there’s more interaction on them. Blogs are open and other people can comment on them or even submit guest posts as most owners allow. That fact alone gives your visitors a sense of ownership of your information. Generally speaking they are much more likely to trust information on blogs more than information that comes from static sites.
In addition to all of this, blogs are relatively easy to design and make them look cool. There are a ton of free themes and plug-ins out there that you can use on your blog, which will make your site very functional and give it a very professional, polished look. This helps a lot when you go to flip it because website buyers respond to the visual aspects of sites. A cool looking blog will often sell for more money than a static site with the same information, traffic, and earnings.
So, why flip blogs rather than other website types?
I think I have answered that question well enough above. If you are just getting started then I recommend using blog flipping as your main site flipping business model. But I am not saying you should only flip blogs. Expand your horizons and see what works best for you, especially after you gain some experience!
The Best Domain Extension to Use for Site Flips
There are a LOT of extensions, also called top-level domains (TLD), that you can register when registering (or buying) a domain name for a new site. However, most of them are not good at all for website flipping and could end up losing you money on your sale in the end.
This is not an absolute rule these days since more and more TLDs are becoming acceptable, but you will still be doing yourself a favor by sticking to my advice on this part of things.
I’m sure you know that extensions such as .info are cheap, and there are a ton of other cool sounding, fun, new, and fancy domain extensions out on the internet to choose from. Since you are just going to sell the site anyway it can be very tempting to get one of them, but they are not your best options when it comes to the site flipping business. Getting a .info domain or another cheap/crazy alternative can often times lower the perceived value of your site, so you won’t get as much money from the flip.
The .com domain extension is the most widely used in the world and definitely the best to use for flipping purposes if possible. Almost all regular internet users know the .com domain extension and most businesses prefer a .com domain name because it is very recognizable for an online business presence. The .org and .net TLDs are quite well known as well and accepted by the vast majority of the population, so they are perfectly fine too.
One of the things that I try very hard to get across to my blog flipping students is to never use domain names like .info or .mobi or any other unusual extension. You should always go for the “big three” (com, org, net) whenever possible.
Like I said above, this isn’t a rule that will absolutely make or break your efforts, but it certainly can’t hurt to stick with the major extensions. You definitely can sell a site with any TLD, but you are in this to make money, and you will get a bigger profit most of the time from a site with a “normal” extension – with all other things being equal.
How Much Is My Web Site Worth?
When you are looking to flip a blog or sell a website, you always want to have a general idea of what it’s worth before you put it up for sale. How to determine how much your site is worth really depends on who you talk to. There are several schools of thought on deciding the value of a website.
There’s a saying that you may have seen before and it goes something like this, “Your site is worth as much as someone is willing to give you for it” – but that doesn’t help you much in determining what to start your price at when buying and selling websites.
So, how much is a site worth?
When figuring out the value of a website, there are a few different formulas you can choose from:
1) For a newer site that doesn’t have a long history of earnings but does make some money each month, you will usually take 10 times the monthly income it brings in. So, if your blog made you $100 consistently for the past few months, but it’s less than a year old, you can probably get about $1000 out of it, or maybe a little more.
2) If you have a premium site that has been well-established online for a long time (multiple years), gets a lot of traffic, and consistently makes a lot of money every month, you can usually get anywhere from 3-5 times the yearly income that it brings in. So, if your site earns $50,000 per year, you could get up to $250,000 for it.
3) Brand new sites with little to no traffic or earnings will not usually sell for very much and it is very hard to determine their value. In this case you will usually be looking at the “potential” the site has, the design, how much original content is already published on the blog, and other things that have some inherent value. You can expect to make maybe $100 to $500 from the sale of a site like this, depending on a number of factors.
Remember that these are just ball park figures. In some cases you might get a lot more or a lot less for a site that fits in one of these categories.
That’s the basics of establishing the value of your site. There’s no set rule for how much websites are worth and sales values can largely be determined by the market. However, you can use the above information as a general guideline for the next time you are flipping a blog so you don’t set your price too high or low, or buy something that is overpriced.
I Made $48,000 In Two Days Flipping a Website!
I’ve got a true story to tell about site flipping that should get you very motivated about this business idea…
I once sold a website for $48,000 and the listing was only up for 2 days before I got the “Buy It Now” bid to end the auction and solidify the sale!
In addition to that I received a private bid of $60,000 for the same site a couple days later from a very well-known and respected internet marketing guru. However, I had already started the transaction with the original buyer and I am not someone who backs out on a deal just because I can get more money from someone else, so I denied his offer and lost out on another $12,000 from the site sale.
Okay, so I admit the headline of this section is a bit misleading because it took me a lot longer than two days to build up that site to the point of being worth that much money. However, it still shows that you can make a lot of money selling websites.
Take the time and put in the effort to build a website or blog up to the point where it is getting good traffic on autopilot and consistently bringing in a solid monthly income. If you are willing to do that, you can sell it for THOUSANDS of dollars.
Most people say they would never sell a site that they had built up to the point of getting great traffic and consistently high earnings. I used to say the same thing. However, that nice lump sum of money is great for funding new projects, buying more sites, paying off debts, taking vacations, or whatever else you want to do with it.
There’s no doubt that you can make money flipping blogs & websites so if you are looking for an extra income stream, this is a great way to do it. What could you do with an extra $48,000 or more right now? Think about it!
The Escrow Process for Site Flips
If you are going to make money buying and selling websites, you need to be familiar with the Escrow process. this is very important because Escrow helps protect both the buyer and the seller from being scammed during a site flip. I would never be comfortable selling a site for a lot of money without the services of Escrow.com to ease my mind.
It’s too easy to get away with fraudulent transactions during the sale of website if you don’t have a 3rd party such as Escrow to help protect both sides. Nothing can guarantee you won’t get scammed out of your money or site (not even Escrow) but it does greatly reduce the risk. It’s probably not worth using for a small site flipping transaction due to the fees, extra effort, and time – but when you start getting into thousands of dollars per sale it is more than worth it.
A lot of site flippers don’t use them because they don’t know how it all works. I know I was nervous the first time I used them but honestly it’s not difficult at all.
Here is the (very easy) Escrow process so you know what it is ahead of time and you can put your fears to rest…
1) Seller or Buyer initiates the transaction
This basically just gets the ball rolling. You set the terms of the sale and other information about it. Either party can initiate it but as the seller I always like to do it. That way it’s just one more thing I am in control of to help prevent a fraudulent buyer from getting away with anything. I don’t really think it matters either way, but it does make me feel better if I am the one initiating the transaction. If you are flipping websites the choice is yours but I recommend being the one to initiate the Escrow process just in case.
2) Buyer and Seller Agree to Terms
Both parties agree to terms of the transaction set in step one above. This includes a description of the merchandise, sale price, number of days for the Buyers inspection, any shipping information, and so on.
3) Buyer Sends Payment to Escrow.com
The Buyer submits the payment by check, money order, wire transfer, credit card or Paypal. Escrow verifies the payment to ensure its validity and either approves or denies it. If they approve it then you move on to the next step.
4) Seller Transfers Domain and Site to Buyer
Upon payment verification, the seller transfers the domain name to the buyer. Escrow verifies that the domain name is transferred to the buyer then notifies both parties of the next step.
5) Buyer Receives Domain and Site
The buyer has a set number of days for inspecting the website and is given the option to accept it or reject it if they find the seller misleading them or whatever. The number of days for inspection is set in the terms of the transaction when it is initiated. Usually it’s set at around 3-5 days. If the buyer accepts it then you are pretty much done.
6) Escrow Pays Seller
Escrow.com pays the Seller by check, ACH or wire transfer and the transaction is complete.
As you can see the whole process is fairly simple and straightforward.
Also, I have copied/pasted the exact Escrow history of the $48k site sale I discussed above, so you can see exactly how it went and how long it took. Here you go:
* Apr 30 – 7:40PM PDT
Seller initiates the transaction
* Apr 30 – 7:46PM PDT
Both parties have accepted the offer, awaiting buyer payment.
* May 1 – 5:29AM PDT
Buyer selected option to pay by wire transfer, Escrow.com waiting for payment to arrive.
* May 1 – 9:44AM PDT
Escrow.com approves payment.
* May 1 – 2:13PM PDT
Seller submitted transfer for domain.
* May 2 – 5:12AM PDT
Buyer received merchandise. Inspection period starts.
* May 2 – 5:12AM PDT
Buyer accepts merchandise, transaction complete.
* May 4 – 8:33AM PDT
Funds disbursed. Final closing statements sent to both parties.
That’s it. The process took five days from start to finish and there were no problems. This was for a very well-established and highly profitable website so using this service definitely helped me sleep at night, even though I was still nervous until the money was safely in my bank account.
Using the Escrow service isn’t free because they do take a percentage of the sale but it can be more than worth it to save you from losing a lot more money, or a site you worked very hard on, to a scam artist. As I said above, if you’re only dealing with a fairly small site flipping transaction that you wouldn’t necessarily be crushed over if you got scammed then it might not be worth the time or the fee of using Escrow. But when you start getting into the thousands of dollars range, you really should use them!
WebSite / Blog Flipping FAQ (Remember they are the same thing)
Here are some frequently asked questions about buying & selling websites and the answers to them. Most of this has already been answered above but I thought you might like it summed up once again…
What is site flipping?
Basically it is just the act of buying (or building) a website and selling it for profit. Site flipping (or blog flipping) is one of the hottest online business models right now. Flipping blogs is somewhat similar to flipping real-estate in the offline world, but instead you are flipping virtual real-estate.
Why would I want to flip blogs?
Well, the best reason for blog flipping is simply to make money. You can make some quick and easy cash doing a site flip.
It’s also a great way to make money from a website that isn’t earning the income you expected for the amount of work you put in. You can also do it as a way to get rid of sites you don’t have time for anymore. There are a lot of reasons for flipping blogs but it mainly comes down to making money.
The great thing about flipping sites for money is that you don’t need to spend all your time learning all the internet marketing techniques most people use to make money online and there are very little technical skills or special knowledge required.
How much money can I make flipping blogs?
The sky is the limit really. Many people are making thousands of dollars on every flip. Some are earning over $500,000 per year flipping blogs. Most likely you will earn anywhere from $100 to $2,500 per flip depending on a number of factors including; domain, age of site, current earnings, search engine rankings, niche, how much content it has, readers, followers, social accounts, traffic, etc…
How do I get started in site flipping?
You already have a great start by reading this post. Then it’s basically just a matter of buying a website (or building one) and putting it up for sale at Flippa or Empire Flippers, or another similar marketplace where you can buy and sell websites. You can also just flip blogs and sites you already own if you are willing to part with them.
How do I know how much my site is worth or how to valuate a website I am looking to buy?
Okay, now you know how to buy a website and flip it for profit. So get out there and start making money flipping websites. You got this!