Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Katie
A website or blog is a piece of digital real estate. Just like buying a flat and flipping it for profit, you can make money flipping websites.
You can either buy aged domains or starter websites that are already built or you can set up your own, grow it to a certain stage and sell it.
If you’re looking for a way to make money from home, this guide will show everything you need to do to start website flipping for profit.
But you won’t just instantly make money buying any old site. You’ll need to do some research to ensure the site has promise and you’ll need to put work into improving the site’s SEO, traffic and content to increase its value.
Preferably, you should have a decent understanding of WordPress, copywriting and good SEO practices to make this side hustle work for you.
But these things can be learned pretty quickly with a simple Google search and reading the right articles.
If you’re still interested in making money website flipping, here’s what this guide will show you how.
How to Make Money Flipping Websites – What You’ll Learn in This Guide
- What is website flipping?
- What’s the income potential with website flipping?
- How to flip websites for profit step by step
- The best website flipping resources to ensure you succeed
- Is website flipping right for beginners?
- The best platforms to buy and sell websites
- Pros and cons of website flipping
- Best courses to learn website flipping
- How long does it take to flip websites?
- Final thoughts on website flipping
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What is Website Flipping?
Website flipping is the process of buying a website, adding value to it and selling it on for profit.
It’s similar to flipping furniture or houses, except this is with websites.
You’ll need to make an investment upfront to buy the website and you’ll need to put in the hours making improvements.
Just like with any new venture, the more time you spend on it, the better results you’ll gain. You can buy a new site or an aged site.
Aged sites cost more as they will have more traffic and backlinks already.
If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to start with a new site that you can build from the ground up, unless you have the cash to invest.
You can also buy premade blogs. This is a way to avoid the techy side of building a site from scratch and have it all ready to go for you to put content on it.
This is how I started this blog. I bought a ”done for you” WordPress theme that had the site and pages set up for me.
I just had to add in my own website copy, articles, links and social media handles and work on growing the traffic each week.
Note: I took the WordPress Affiliate Suite course that gave me a FREE WordPress template. Inside the course, I also got:
- Affiliate training
- WordPress training
This taught me everything I needed to know to set up a user-friendly blog, how to get traffic and how to monetize my site.
How Much Money Can You Make Flipping Websites?
Website flipping can be a lucrative business model once you learn how to do it well.
It’s impossible to determine a set income you could make from website flipping as this will depend on how good you are at improving websites and how many websites you flip monthly.
Some people flip websites for side hustle cash and some reach millionaire status selling websites.
To give you a little inspiration, some of the most expensive websites ever sold online include:
- VacationRentals.com. This site sold for $35 million in 2007
- PrivateJet.com. This site sold for $30.18 million in 2018
- Internet.com. This site sold for $18 million in 2009
- 360.com. This site sold for $17 million in 2015
This list goes on of websites selling for millions. But of course, these sites are the exception. Not every site will sell for anywhere near this much.
A lot of factors go into determining the value of a website including; monthly traffic, earnings, how old the domain is, the domain name, how well the site has been looked after, backlinks, domain authority (DA), any penalties against the site and so on.
So back to the question: how much money can you make flipping websites?
If you buy a website for $500, and work on increasing its traffic and earnings, a website can sell for 2-3 times its yearly gains.
Let’s imagine you’ve got your website to the stage it earns $500 a month ($6,000 a year), you could possibly sell it on for $18,000.
Step By Step Guide on How to Make Money Flipping Websites
Now let’s take a look at how to make money by flipping websites.
Remember, it’s not a side hustle that will make you a fortune immediately.
Take time to research any website you think of buying and spend a good amount of time building the site and adding value to it.
Follow this guide to buy and flip your first website;
1. Find a Website to Buy
Have a search through the blog-flipping platforms mentioned below:
Decide how much money you have to invest and filter the websites accordingly. You can buy starter websites for as little as $100, but be aware these will have no traffic or income.
If you have a little money to invest, you can buy a website that has already shown it can make money and has a good amount of organic traffic.
Whether you decide to buy cheap or invest a larger sum, do ensure the website has a decent structure to begin with.
You want a good framework that you can build on, not a total mess that might be beyond repair.
2. Inspect the Website You Like
If you find a website you like, don’t just run in guns blazing with an offer.
Just like when buying a car, you need to check to see what’s going on under the hood.
Here are a few things to look out for:
- Domain authority (DA). If it’s 10 or above this is pretty decent. Starter sites probably won’t have a high DA. The higher the DA, the more favourable the website is with Google
- How much content the site has and when was an article last published?
- Does the site rank for any keywords?
- How much monthly traffic does the site get?
- Is there an email list or social accounts that are included?
- Does the site have quality backlinks?
Much of this information should be provided in the website description.
But you can also do your own research by using platforms like Ahrefs or Keysearch to analyse the domain. Both allow you to use their platforms free for so many searches.
If you find that the backlinks to the website you like are low-quality or empty fake brand sites, move on and find another one.
3. Negotiate with The Website Owner
If all the information looks good, you can make an offer to the website owner or you may need to take part in a public auction.
Each website flipping platform will have their own rules for purchasing a website.
Try to be patient and be realistic. Have an amount you can afford to spend and stick to it. No point in getting yourself in debt straight away!
Some website owners will be willing to negotiate for a quicker sale and some won’t.
If they won’t budge, move on and find another site within your budget.
4. Strike a Deal and Buy the Website
Once you’ve finally found the website you want to buy, you can make it official.
The contract side of things should be taken care of through the flipping platform.
Ensure the contract contains; the domain name, all official registration details, business name and business entity information.
Also, make sure all the third-party information is updated like web hosting and domain name registrar.
5. Improve Traffic, Content and SEO
Now you have your new blog, it’s now time to roll your sleeves up and start improving on what you have.
Here are the main areas to work on.
- Improve the website SEO. If you can get your new website onto the first page for search terms, you’ll get a huge amount of free traffic from Google. Have a think about it – how many times do you look past the first page when looking for information? Probably very rarely. Use a free Chrome extension called SEO Meta to assess the SEO of your website and make adjustments accordingly
- Get traffic from Pinterest. Pinterest is a powerhouse for driving traffic to blogs and websites. It has over 322 million active users and many bloggers see their traffic skyrocket once they’ve established themselves on the platform. Take time to create clickable pins, pin regularly and join group boards to get your pins shared
- Edit the content and add fresh content. Google prefers to rank active blogs and websites that are regularly updated. Take a look at the content already on the site and spend time improving it. This can be; increasing the word count, adding fresh images and updating information. Add new content, at least one new post a month or more if you can handle it
- Ensure the website is mobile-friendly. Many people read blogs on their phone these days and your new blog needs to accommodate this. Make sure the website loads fast and is easy to read on all small screens
6. Decide How To Increase Profitability
If your new website is earning already, that’s great!
But you can always add new income streams to increase profitability.
Here are some ideas:
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn money from a blog.
Choose affiliate products that relate to what you write about and add your unique links into articles.
When a reader clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you make a commission.
To find relevant affiliate products search in Google: ‘your niche’ + affiliate program. Another way is to affiliate for products and courses you’ve taken yourself.
This way, you know what you’re promoting is good and it will help your audience.
- How To Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?
- Affiliate Marketing Without a Website: 7 Ways You Can Start Today
- Affiliate Marketing on Twitter: How to Make $1,000/Month Tweeting
Once you’ve started getting more traffic flowing to your website, another way to earn cash is with display advertising.
You’ll get paid every time someone clicks or views an ad on your site. Each ad platform will have its own rules regarding payment and who qualifies to have ads displayed on their site.
For example, last time I checked, Mediavine requires bloggers to have at least 50,000 monthly page views to their blog, before they will be accepted as an advertiser.
Some popular ad networks for bloggers include;
- Google AdSense
Sell Digital Products
A third way to make extra income is to advertise your own digital products or services for sale.
Things that sell well are eBooks, digital courses, coaching services or freelance services.
As your blog grows, you may even get sent products for free which you can write about for extra money.
Partnerships with companies can be a good money earner as they get more traffic and you get free stuff plus extra income.
- How To Write eBooks For Money (Complete Beginner Guide)
- How To Make Passive Income Selling Courses Online
Create A Subscription Section
Once you have an established readership, you can set up a premium subscription section that costs a monthly fee to view.
This is similar the model Medium.com uses. They allow you to read a certain amount of articles a month, then ask you to pay if you’d like to read more. You need a lot of new content for this to work though.
Have a think: what extra value could you offer to premium subscription members? It has to be good to keep people paying monthly.
Building The Email List
If your new website came with an email list, you can promote products here for extra money.
To get new people onto your email list, create a valuable lead magnet such as an eBook, PDF, short report, cheat sheet, tools list or video tutorial and offer it for free in exchange for an email address.
An email list is an income-producing asset and the bigger you grow it; the more value it will add to your website when you sell it.
7. Flip Your New, Improved Website for Profit
Now you’ve done all the hard work increasing your website traffic and getting it to earn more money, you can flip it for profit.
There is no right time to do this – you can hold onto the website for longer and make more money as the site ages and improves.
Once you’re ready to sell, list it on the platform of your choice. If you want help with this, use a blog broker.
They will take a percentage of the sale, but you have the advantage of their experience and possibly a faster sale. Tips to sell your website;
- A descriptive description. Tell possible buyers as much about your website as you can and be honest. Don’t make claims your website can’t fulfill: this will make buyers run from you
- Avoid ‘fluff’ and clichéd sales copy. Just because you think your website is the number 1 food blog, saying this does sound a bit click-baity
- Respond quickly to questions. This makes interested buyers feel at ease that you are communicative and responsive
Best Free Website Flipping Resources
If you need a little extra help with website flipping, there’s a ton of free info out there.
Here are some useful resources that’ll help you out:
Is Website Flipping Right for Beginners?
Just like anything, getting the hang of website flipping for profit takes time.
If you have excellent web design and SEO skills, you should have no problem improving websites and making money. Beginners may need to practice a little first.
But don’t let this put you off. There are a ton of free and paid courses out there to learn what you need. And practice makes perfect, you need to get in the game to learn, make mistakes and improve.
I had my first blog for a year and I had no idea what I was doing. But I managed to sell that blog for $1,300 which was a miracle.
A great idea is to start a blog that has an optimised theme like the one we are on now. This blog was already set up by Chris Derenberger (six-figure affiliate website owner) and I just had to edit the content.
Check out the WP Affiliate Suite here where there are hundreds of niche theme templates.
You even get FREE WordPress, affiliate marketing and SEO training with your purchase.
What Platforms Are Best to Buy and Sell Websites?
If you’d like to buy an aged domain or starter website, there are plenty of platforms selling.
Here are some popular ones to check out:
Pros and Cons of Website Flipping
If you want to make money by flipping websites, there are many benefits.
The work can be done in your spare time, you can start with a low investment and there is potential for big returns.
Low Initial Investment
To start a brick-and-mortar business, you have to invest a big amount of money to hire the premises, buy stock and pay staff.
With website flipping, you can buy a website that has already been built for a few hundred dollars and do the updating yourself.
Website hosting will usually cost a few dollars a month and the only other thing you have to invest is your time.
Anyone Can Do It
Website flipping has little barrier to entry, meaning anyone can make money from it.
You don’t have to be a technical whizz to add content to a website. I’ve done it, so I know! Anything you need to learn, you can do a quick Google search or take a cheap course online to learn the basics.
Also, the website selling platforms do a lot of the work for you and tell you the exact steps to take when purchasing your new site.
The old owner may even be available to answer questions for the first few months after your blog purchase.
Great Websites Are in Demand
Great websites are in demand and people and businesses will pay for them.
You can buy and add value to a site in any niche and sell it to a new owner so they don’t have to do the work.
A business owner will pay someone to do this, as they don’t have the time to do it themselves.
And, if you can start getting traffic to a niche website, this is also very appealing to a business owner who will want new customers.
A site with good traffic means more money and authority for a business.
Like with any business venture, there are a few negatives.
This shouldn’t put you off, but it’s good to be aware of what you’re up against. Here are the website flipping cons:
No Guarantee You’ll Succeed
Just because you buy a website and make a few improvements, there is no guarantee it will sell for the amount you want.
It’s important that you put your efforts into a website that has content that is in demand.
If no one is searching for the content on your site, it may not get enough traffic to make money.
Always do your research before jumping in.
Look through other websites in a niche you’re thinking of investing in. Does it get traffic and make money?
If yes, then it’s possible you can as well.
Takes Time and Hard Work
Nothing worth having is easy. Buying a website is simple, but you need to spend a significant amount of time updating it and improving it.
Remember to learn about SEO (search engine optimization) which will help you rank your site.
Each keyword you target with your articles can take anywhere between 2 to 6 months to rank so you need patience.
Think about the work you put into enhancing a website as a long-term investment. You put the work in up-front and reap the rewards later down the line.
May Need to Outsource Some Tasks
If you’re brilliant at web development you may not be good at copywriting.
If you’re great at copywriting, you might not know anything about social media marketing.
While you can learn as you go, you may want to outsource some tasks to move forwards more quickly.
The good news is you can get help super cheaply on freelancer platforms such as Fiverr.
Remember that it’s ok to ask for help and it can actually be beneficial. I used to try and do everything myself and I just wasted so much more time.
Best Courses to Learn Website Flipping
While there is a lot of free information online, this can often be sketchy.
To give yourself the best chance of getting it right the first time and making money with your first website flip, it’s recommended to learn from an expert and take a course.
Here are a few helpful courses to learn website flipping in more detail:
How Long Does it Take to Flip Websites?
There is no hard and fast rules for the time it takes to make money flipping websites.
Some people flip a website in a few months and are happy to make a few hundred dollars. Others work on a website for years to make massive improvements and get rewarded with a huge sale price.
To have enough time to grow a website and get it making money, think about holding onto it for a year.
This gives Google time to start ranking your posts and to trust your site so it starts getting more traffic.
Make Money Flipping Websites – Final Thoughts
Now you know the exact steps to make money flipping websites.
There’s no better feeling than taking something not so-great and sprucing it up to sell on for profit.
Flipping a website or creating a new website from scratch, gives you that accomplished feeling. It’s definitely not easy, but once you learn what you need to do, it’ll get easier every time.
Be in it for the long term and persevere over giving up immediately if you don’t get fast results. My first blog was hard work, but I learned so much in that year which has helped me with this site.
Now, go start making some money flipping websites!
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.