Until recently, I hadn’t considered that buying and flipping websites to make money online was even an option! I knew that websites were assets, and it took time and money to develop a good website, however I hadn’t thought about it as an income producing option.
Buying and flipping websites is simply about buying incoming producing websites, adding value to them and selling them on. Its house flipping – but the digital version!
I am on a journey to Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE). Growing your income, and savings is a key part of the FIRE Journey. Therefore, an opportunity to use buying and flipping websites as a way to start a on online business is an interesting path to explore.
Firstly, this concept is not new. When Captain FI raised it in a making money online blog recently however, it reminded me that it was an opportunity I wanted to learn more about. BUT! Beware the rabbit hole or business opportunity trap. Read on to learn what I mean.
This article will demystify buying and flipping websites, for those who want to know what it is, who its for, and how to apply it.
Why buy and flip websites to make money online?
When you search ‘make money online’ there’s a massive volume of information. There are quite a few different ways to make money online, some of which we have covered in previous articles.
Starting and building a website from scratch, monetising it, growing an audience and making it profitable takes time.
However, if you start with a website that’s already been created and focus on levelling it up, then you give yourself a head start.
Buying and flipping websites is similar to buying and selling a business
Websites that are making an income are essentially a business, so – buying and flipping a website is similar to buying and selling online businesses. The same as in any market, if you buy well, add value and sell well – you will make a profit.
What’s some reasons behind buying and flipping websites? There are three, really:
- The entry point (cost) is a lot lower than buying and flipping a property or bricks and mortar business!
- There’s opportunity to outsource, scale and even automate your new online business assets.
- With experience you can improve your strategy and even hold a portfolio of online assets.
How to buy and flip websites
There are some excellent guides to buying and flipping websites to make money online. There are also some step by step courses, including coaching.
Your level of comfort researching and identifying online business opportunities will be a key factor in whether you want to invest in online courses, such as the Digital Investors Program.
However, if you have been working in the digital space for a while you may want to dive in. A knowledge of online monetisation strategies, traffic, SEO and other key concepts in digital marketing can certainly be an asset. Check out this guide from Jaserodley.com as a good place to research.
Doing basic research, like doing a Google search to see if a site can be found is good due diligence.
Where do you buy and sell websites?
Marketplaces to buy and sell websites include Flippa.com, Empire Flippers and Exchange Marketplace. They work like any other online marketplace (Gumtree, Amazon, eBay). That also means that is wise for buyer to beware and do their due diligence.
Before you dive in and start buying, do some healthy research. Watch the comments of sites going up for sale and look at those recently sold. The same as buying a business or property made of bricks and mortar – good research will pay off and help you identify opportunities. If you want to be profitable when buying and selling websites then you need to buy well.
Types of websites to buy and sell
When looking to buy and flip websites online, consider how much time you can invest. Do you want an ecommerce business where you need to handle products, stock and customer orders? Unlikely. There’s a good chance you want to stick to websites that make income through advertising revenue or affiliate marketing.
These sites don’t sell products, instead they rely on high quality content to generate visitors to their sites. Advertising or affiliate links then generate the income for the site.
How do you get traffic? That’s a long story – and if you are asking the question, you may be best off doing specific research on that topic or investing in a course. There’s a number of strategies, one of the most popular is a tactic called search engine optimisation.
So, you are looking to achieve two things with a content site – first, attract your end users. Second, rank well with search such as Google. Because, while content is king, if you’re not being discovered by visitors who generate you income, what’s the point, right?
Some simple tips for buying and flipping websites to make money online
Here are additional tips website buyers need to file in the back of their minds:
- Make sure your research includes checking what is included in the sale and the technology the site uses (WordPress is very popular)
- What support is there after you buy?
- Is all the content copyright in order? You don’t want to find that you are buying a site illegally using someone else’s work!
- Make sure the traffic is sustained and sustainable.
- Check the name / intended audience or topic of the site matches the keywords the site is ranking for.
- Ask for video walk-throughs of Google Analytics to check the traffic statistics, or use a platform such as SEM Rush or AHrefs as part of your research.
- Be prepared to buy and hold. Time can be your friend with Google rankings and growing your investment.
A good CMS like WordPress has a lot of technology and SEO functionality already built in, but there maybe other elements in the ‘tech stack’ such as email marketing.
You don’t need to be an expert to set run a self-hosted WordPress site and use a SEO plugin like Yoast to produce and improve content. There’s plenty of guides on SEO for website owners and managers. There is also the option to outsource content research and development, using sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Airtasker.
Begin it to Win it
I love this saying. It’s a great reminder to get started and take action. Buying and flipping websites to make money online won’t be for everyone. Once you have bought a site, the renovation and optimising may be a continuous process that takes time, commitment, and patience. But soon enough – you could be growing the income the site is producing and therefore growing its value! If you keep your actions focused and strategic, this could be a great addition to your investment portfolio! Before you head down this path, I highly recommend you watch the video below from Shane Melaugh.
Tell us all about your experience buying and flipping websites? Have you considered this strategy?