By Jesse Collier. Updated October 2017.
There’s plenty of ways to earn money online. Get started flipping websites and you could be rolling in the dough.
You may have heard about buying and selling websites before and equated it to buying and selling real estate. When most people think about purchasing a piece of real estate, they usually believe that it’s out of their league.
However, what most people fail to realize is that there are websites ready to be bought and sold at all price ranges, and it’s easy to find a good deal if you know what to look for.
In this guide, I’m going to break down a few different strategies you can use to buy and sell websites to earn money online.
How To Earn Money Online With Website Flipping
Flipping a website uses the same principles that are applied to flipping a piece of real estate. You want to buy it low, improve it, and then sell it for a hefty profit.
There are quite a few different places you can find websites that are ready to be improved. Remember that you need to find websites that have potential so that you’re not risking your investment.
As a flipper, your primary goal should be focused on finding a good deal for a website that shows potential but has become abandoned or mismanaged.
So where do you find these websites?
The answer: Either through a public marketplace, or a private broker.
Public Marketplace: Flippa
Flippa is one of the most well-known public marketplaces, and has thousands of active listings at any given time. It’s not unusual for you to find a website that is being resold that was previously listed for substantially less.
This is the perfect example of a flip.
It’s worth noting, though, that with so many websites being sold on a regular basis, there is a lot of low-quality sites, and a lot of scams that you’re going to have to sift through.
Even with that being said, Flippa makes it easy for you to perform due diligence and to learn how to apply the criteria I’m going to give you to find websites that are prime targets for being flipped.
Private Broker: Digital Exits
If you’re looking for solid websites that are ready to be improved, scaled, and resold, working with a private broker is one of the easiest ways to get started.
However, when you work with private brokers, there are levels to the types of websites you can find and it may be harder to find low-value websites like you can on Flippa or similar website-flipping sites.
To ensure minimal risk to your investment, a reputable private broker like Digital Exits is one of the best ways to get started buying and selling websites to earn money online.
Criteria To Use When Buying A Website
To make sure you’re not going to be risking your investment, you need to understand how to validate whether a website is worth buying or not.
To figure out if there is still potential left in the website which will help you earn money online, you’re going to need to check it using a few different criteria:
- Does the website have a brandable domain name?
- Does the website have unique, engaging content?
- Is the website receiving consistent traffic?
- How long ago was the website started?
- Is the website currently generating revenue?
Learning how to buy a website with the intentions of flipping requires you to do a good bit of research, as it could make you a lot of money in the future.
There is quite a bit more that goes into whether or not a website makes a good investment, but the five criteria above will help you get started.
Traffic Is Tops
Before you purchase a website, you’re going to need to verify that there is traffic coming into the site, and where that traffic is coming from. You will also need to make sure that no shady or “blackhat” tactics were used to build that traffic.
For websites like Flippa, the traffic statistics will be listed. Even though they’re listed publicly, though, you need to verify what you’re seeing. Many sellers will falsify their traffic stats or buy traffic to help get the website sold.
In a perfect world, you’ll find a website that has traffic coming in from multiple different sources and has a brandable domain name.
Older Is Better
In general, an older website is going to be more in-demand for a few different reasons. The biggest one comes down to how the major search engines view websites, and how they treat older, more established websites.
Older websites tend to rank better in the search results, and search engine traffic can be incredibly profitable when it’s taken advantage of correctly.
Some marketers will also purchase these aged websites to include in their “private blog network” to help generate back-links to other revenue-generating websites.
Content Is King
If there’s one major expense when it comes to building a website or improving one that you’ve purchased, it’s in the content.
An ideal purchase would be an aged website that has decent search rankings with content that’s easy to read and somewhat engaging.
You could improve the website in a few different areas, let the changes take effect, and then flip the website and collect your profits.
But first, you need to evaluate your specific strategy for flipping websites.
Which Type Of Website Investor Are You?
For the most part, there are two different types of investors. One wants to make a quick buck. The other wants to buy and hold for increased profits down the line.
The strategy that you use depends entirely on your own level of risk aversion. Are you the type that wants to get in and out as quickly as possible?
If you are, you’re going to need to find websites where the owner doesn’t realize the worth, so you can buy them, make slight improvements, wait a month or two, and then flip them to another investor to earn money online.
However, if you’re the type that wants to buy and hold so you increase the chances of making a huge profit, you’re going to need to be prepared to have your money in limbo until you get the website sold again. This can make buying multiple sites at the same time more difficult, especially if you’re just diving in to website flipping.
A Few Top Tips
One of the biggest tips I will tell you is to never hold onto a website longer than you absolutely have to. Knowing the right time to buy and the right time to sell is critical when you want to earn money online.
If you sell the website too soon, you may not have given enough time to let the changes take effect and maximize your return on your investment.
Yet if you wait too long to sell the site, you may have a hard time finding investors.
The most common mistake is selling the website too soon, and missing out on potential returns.
Remember, the more you improve the website, the more you’re able to earn when you sell it.
If you keep the tips in mind that I’ve given you here, buying and selling websites can be fun, but also incredibly profitable for you.
Do you have any questions about flipping websites or some additional suggestions and helpful tips? Let us know in the comments!