When it comes to selling websites online, there’s really only one game in town – Flippa. Although there are plenty of other sites out there that allow site owners to offer their web properties for sale, none of these competitors come close to offering the same features or boasting the size buyer base that Flippa has pulled together.
As you might expect, more hungry buyers means more opportunities to profit from buying and selling websites through the service. If you’re ready to grab your own piece of this pie, check out the following techniques for making money selling websites on Flippa.
Method #1 – Purchase and Revamp Existing Websites
A few years ago, “house flipping” TV shows that documented people snatching up foreclosed or undervalued homes, renovating them and then reselling at a profit were all the rage. But while the down housing market may have significantly reduced the potential of this business model, the basic premise is still alive and well in another marketplace – website flipping.
Website flippers purchase sites that are undervalued and then turn them around to make a profit. Perhaps it’s a site with good content, but a bad design that’s scaring off potential visitors. Or maybe it’s a site that used to receive significant traffic that hasn’t been promoted in some time. Whatever the case, the key to flipping websites successfully lies in your ability to separate the sites with underlying potential from the junk that’s also listed on Flippa.
The following are a few indications that you’re looking at a site with good potential:
– Past sales history. Plenty of webmasters start up new sites, only to lose steam for one reason or another – which is why you’ll frequently encounter sites that made sales in the past, but slowed down as their owners invested less time in site promotion. Although this could mean that the underlying business model is no longer sound, it’s usually a good sign that the site is able to convert and that sales will pick back up with renewed marketing efforts.
– Missing monetization models. Frequently, the sites listed on Flippa come from new website owners who make a good start, but aren’t able to get their “babies” to convert. If you have past experience launching and running successful websites, you should be able to pick up on potential opportunities that these site owners have missed, allowing you to quickly increase the site in question’s profit potential.
– All original content – Many of the sites listed on Flippa use scraping tools to automatically post content from other pages as their own. And while this may work well for some business models, finding sites with totally unique content that are undervalued in some way can give your flipper site a leg up in terms of SEO.
In addition to identifying sites with hidden potential, another key to successful site flipping is being able to get your “fixer-upper” site at the right price. Just as with house flipping, buying too high will limit the profit you’re able to generate on your renovated website.
So how much is too much to spend? Consider that most websites on Flippa tend to sell for anywhere from eight to 25 times their monthly revenues, with the highest quality sites falling on the upper end of that range. In order to price a flipping site correctly, either try to get it at a multiple that’s at the low end of that range (eight times monthly revenue or less) or estimate how much you think the site will earn post-renovations, determine a ball-park future selling price and set a buying limit at the number that gives you an acceptable amount of profit.
Method #2 – Start from Scratch with New Sites
Buying existing websites to turn around and resell on Flippa is a great way to make money, but the problem is that you and I aren’t the only ones who have ever heard of it. As the whole concept of site flipping grows more popular, greater competition drives prices higher and higher – making it significantly more difficult to get a good deal on an undervalued site.
So what’s the solution? Instead, build your own site from scratch to sell on Flippa!
Of course, while you can sell totally new sites on Flippa, you’ll find that you’re able to make significantly more money selling a site with an established income history. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry – there are a few relatively easy approaches you can take to build a site that’s ready for sale on Flippa.
– Build an Adsense website targeted to a profitable long-tail keyword. To do this successfully, you’ll need to find a long-tail keyword that has low competition (as determined by the number of competing exact match pages and the strength of the Google Top 10 for the keyword) and a high average CPC (which determines how much the site will earn from Adsense clicks). Buy an exact match domain, install WordPress, put up 5-10 unique content articles and send traffic over. Once you’re earning $20-30/month via Adsense, you should be able to sell the site for a few hundred dollars.
– Put together a quick ebook or digital product that solves a pressing problem (look at popular questions in niche forums to get some ideas). Then, build a simple long-form sales letter website for your product and advertise it in the most popular forums in your niche. This will help to drive up your monthly earnings, and – consequently – the amount you’re able to sell your site for on Flippa.
– Create a blog of affiliate product reviews. This type of site tends to convert well, making it easier to drive up the monthly earnings before listing the site for sale. To do it, find a popular affiliate product (Clickbank and other affiliate clearinghouses typically report lists of their current “hottest” products) and then write an extensive review of its features. You’ll earn some traffic naturally from long-tail keywords related to the product, or you can increase your earnings even more by driving traffic to the site before selling it.
In some ways, starting from scratch requires more work, as there are certain setup steps you’ll have to take that you wouldn’t when buying an existing site. However, keep in mind that buying existing sites will still require effort in terms of making changes and testing different improvements to maximize earnings before selling the site. In large part, deciding between these two will depend on your specific skills and the value of the sites you’re able to purchase on Flippa.
But there is another option…
Method #3 – Lather, Rinse and Repeat with Turn-Key Sites
The toughest part about building a site from scratch with the intention of selling it on Flippa is that there’s no guarantee that the site you create will make enough money to get you a decent selling price. The solution to this problem? Build the types of sites that have historically performed well on Flippa!
The following are a few turn-key site building strategies that always seem to do well on Flippa. The selling point of these sites is that all the work is already done for the buyers – all they need to do is add traffic and wait for the sales to come in. Because of this perceived value, you’re often able to sell these sites for more money – even if there’s no existing income from the site when you list it for sale.
– Resell traffic and SEO services. A quick search of Flippa will turn up at least a few of these sites, which bundle traffic services or backlinking packages from cheaper providers (like Fiverr or Odesk) and sell them at a markup to other companies. Because these providers will always be available, you can turn around and sell the same type of site over and over again.
– Repackage PLR products. There are tons of PLR products on the market today that can be bought cheaply, repackaged and then sold as totally new websites on Flippa. With a new name, flashy new graphics and a new sales letter, you’ll find that these sites are very appealing to new buyers.
– Limit your investment with Autoblogs – Whether or not you feel these sites (which, as mentioned above, publish content that’s pulled from other sites) are ethical, there’s no doubt that they sell well on Flippa, due in large part to the buyer perception that these sites require less work to be successful.
Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into selling websites successfully on Flippa (the quality of your website listing being a pretty major factor), but you’ll find that starting out on the right foot by using one of the site selling methods described above leads to better results than simply listing any old site that’s wasting away on your servers.
By studying past listings on the site and launching a few sales of your own according to these methods, you’ll be able to quickly determine how to best position your site for sale, resulting in lasting income from this fun opportunity.