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 on.
If you’re looking for a new way to make money online, or if you have a website you want to sell on, this guide is going to show everything you need to do.
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 sites SEO, traffic and content to increase the value.
Preferably, you should have a decent understanding of WordPress, copywriting and good SEO practices to make this side hustle work for you.
If you feel you don’t have the right knowledge, but you want to learn – go check out some free courses on Skillshare. Grab your 14-day free trial here.
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 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, work on increasing its traffic and earnings, a website can sell for 2-3 times its yearly earnings.
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.
Is Website Flipping Right for Beginners?
Just like anything, getting the hang of website flipping for profit takes time.
If you have great web design and SEO skills, you should have to 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 to choose from. You even get FREE WordPress 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;
The Beginners Guide 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 the platforms mentioned above and understand what makes a blog profitable and how to attract the right buyers. Follow this guide to buy and flip your first website;
1. Find a Website to Buy
Have a search through the blog flipping platforms I’ve listed above.
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 Start Fast Guide: Get Set Up In Just 20 Minutes
- 7 Best Affiliate Marketing Courses in 2021
- Affiliate Marketing For Beginners: What You Need To Know
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: eBook, PDF, a short report, a cheat sheet, a tools list or a 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 on.
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
The Best 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;
Make Money Flipping Websites – Final Thoughts
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.