If you’re looking for an online side hustle with an unlimited income potential, flipping websites can be the perfect option for many entrepreneurs.
Similar to other forms of flipping, the process is quite simple to understand. You’ll need to purchase a website, increase its profitability before selling it for more than you paid.
For those experienced with building and growing websites, your efforts can bring great profits.
In this post, I’ll explore what website flipping is, how to flip websites, where to buy and sell websites, and how much money you can make website flipping. Let’s get started!
What is Website Flipping?
Website flipping is the process of purchasing an existing website with the goal of selling it for more than you initially paid.
There are several methods of achieving this result.
You can think of website flipping as an investment. You'll need some capital up front to purchase a website as well as time to grow the website. As with any investment, time is the greatest factor when growing a website. The more time you have, the more you can scale your website to flip.
If you're looking for something a little less challenging and risky, you can also try flipping domains to make money. Instead of growing a website, you can simply focus on snatching up undervalued domains and selling them for a profit.
How to Flip Websites to Make Money (Step by Step)
Below is the exact process I’ve used to flip websites. There are a few options when it comes to buying and selling websites.
Purchase an Existing Website or Build Your Own
There are two options when it comes to obtaining a website to flip. You can either buy an existing website or build your own. Each offers a unique opportunity to make money but also comes with its own setbacks.
Purchasing a Website
By purchasing an existing website, you can build on a solid foundation. If you purchase a website with a strong backlink profile and great content, you can build the website much faster than building a new website.
The downside of purchasing an existing website is that it can cost a significant amount of cash. Depending on the size and profitability of the website, you can spend anywhere from a few thousand dollars to well over $20,000.
If you plan to purchase a website, you’ll want to do your due diligence to ensure the business is functioning as you expect.
To start, ask the seller for access to the website's Google Analytics account. This will detail the traffic to the website so you can better understand the website's potential.
Here are some things you’ll want to look for in a website with good potential:
- Traffic is from high-value countries (United States, Canada, UK)
- Traffic is from reliable sources (Organic, Social)
- The website has a low bounce rate (ideally less than 90%)
Here are some red flags when it comes to buying a website to flip:
- Traffic is from unusual sources (Direct, Referral)
- Traffic is from low-value countries (China, India, Ukraine)
- The website has a high bounce rate (Greater than 90%)
- The website has a skeptical backlink profile
However, just because a website currently has red flags, doesn’t mean you can’t flip it.
This can also provide a good opportunity to make money. By establishing a solid foundation in the future, you can change the direction of the website to make more money.
Building a New Website
Your second option is building a new website. This will be much cheaper than purchasing an existing website but it can take much longer to grow.
Depending on the website you build, it can take anywhere from 6 months to over a few years to grow.
You’ll need to spend time writing unique and well-examined content, building relationships with other websites to gain backlinks, or growing a social media following to gain traction for your website.
The obvious advantage of starting a new website is that you’ll have complete control of the domain name, content, and monetization strategies of your asset.
Improve Websites Profitability
Once you’ve either purchased or built a website, you’ll need to increase profitability to make money flipping it.
Improving Profitability of Existing Websites
To increase the profitability of an existing website, there are many different options. Below are some ideas to help you get started.
- Decrease hosting costs by switching hosting providers or using your own server.
- Optimize existing content on the website to boost Google rankings and decrease bounce rates.
- Create new content to rank on search engines or promote affiliate offers.
- Building links to content to boost search results.
- Growing a social media following to increase traffic.
- Optimize monetization strategies to include various sources like display advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling digital products.
If the website already has a strong online presence, it’s a good idea to look at decreasing costs or increasing revenues through your monetization strategy.
Improving Profitability on a New Website
If you’ve decided to build a new website, you likely won’t have any profits in the first few months.
You'll need to spend time churning out high-quality content and growing your following before you can start making money.
Any profits that you make in the first few months or years should be reinvested back into the website to further increase your earnings.
Similar to investing in stocks, your website will grow exponentially with time and effort.
Sell Websites for a Profit
Once you’ve improved the profitability of your website, it’s time to sell. Websites are commonly valued by the amount of profit it makes each month.
It’s common for the valuation of your website to be around 24-30 times your monthly profit.
For example, if your website profits $250 per month, you have the potential to sell it for around $6,000 to $7,500.
Best Places to Find Websites to Flip
One of the most challenging parts of flipping websites is finding the right website to start with.
But there are several options to help you find a website to buy and flip.
My favorite place to buy existing websites to flip is Flippa. It’s in the name!
With Flippa, you can browse hundreds of listings of various online businesses including blogs, affiliate websites, and Amazon FBA businesses. Each listing will include details about the business including how long the website has been registered, how much money the website profits each month, the costs of running the website, and how much traffic the website gets.
For those looking to purchase more established websites, Empire Flippers is a good option. These websites will often sell for over $25,000 so you’ll need to have some cash in hand to invest.
Similar to Flippa, you can find websites to buy with detailed information about the history and performance of the site on Empire Flippers.
Motion Invest is another option to purchase a website to flip. They only sell high-quality websites with proven revenues. This comes with a cost, however. You’ll typically find websites listed on Motion Invest slightly more expensive than other sources.
Best Places to Sell Websites
Once you've improved the website's profitability, you'll need to sell it to make money. There are a few places to sell websites online. I would suggest using the same websites as above: Flippa, Empire Flippers, or Motion Invest.
You can also opt to sell your online business privately to cut out the middleman and make more money. Because these sites charge fees based on the selling price of the website, you could end up losing out on upwards of 10% of the sales price.
Tips to Flipping Websites
Below are some tips to help you make money flipping websites.
Understand How to Grow a Website
Those without the knowledge of growing a website probably shouldn't go all-in on website flipping. You'll want to have the fundamentals of digital marketing and growing a website before you get started.
Check out my post on how to start a blog to get a better understanding of how to grow a website!
Just like any investment strategy, diversifying your portfolio is a great way to maximize earnings while limiting risk.
If you’re just getting started website flipping, I’d aim to find a cheap website or build a new website. Once you’ve become more skilled, you can invest in multiple more expensive websites to limit risk.
Explore Multiple Traffic Sources
Most websites will rely on one or two traffic sources to obtain 90% of their traffic. This can be risky. If one of your sources goes away or drops significantly, your online business is in trouble.
Instead, try to grow several traffics sources to limit risk and grow your audience.
For example, if the website you’re looking to flip receives 90% of its traffic from organic search, you might aim to grow its social media following or email list.
My favorite traffic sources for websites include organic search, email, and social media. These traffic sources are reliable and steady that can bring in visitors day in and day out.
Understand Your Niche
There are thousands of potential website niches and types of blogs. To be a successful website flipper, you’ll want to understand your niche and the audience it attracts. This will help you to make better decisions with your content and monetization strategy.
For example, a website that is focused on the food and cooking niche will have different content and monetization methods than a blog focused on investing and finances.
How Much Money Can You Make Flipping Websites?
Flipping websites offers an almost limitless income potential. Let's do some math to help determine how much money you can make flipping websites.
Let’s assume that you can make $5,000 per website flip. If you can flip 5 websites per year, that’s a total of $25,000 annually. Not too bad.
But sometimes it’s better to work with percentages. Let’s assume that you can increase the value of a website by 20% annually. This means that if you purchase a website for $10,000 and grow it for a couple of years, it could be worth $14,400 in just 2 years, a $4,400 profit!
How Long Does Website Flipping Take?
As mentioned websites can grow exponentially given the right circumstances. Depending on your goals, website flipping can take as short as a few months or as long as 5+ years.
For those looking to make a significant income flipping websites, it’s likely you’ll need to hold the website for at minimum one year. If you can output strong content that gains traction, you could opt to sell your website in less than one year.
Final Thoughts on Flipping Websites in 2021
Website flipping can be an extremely lucrative online business option for those looking to invest in digital real estate but you’ll need to know a thing or two about growing websites to be successful.
The process of flipping websites is easy to understand. You’ll first need to purchase or build a website to flip. Then you’ll need to work to improve its revenue and profitability. Once you’ve grown the website, you can sell it for a profit to make money.
It’s important to remember when flipping websites that not every website will be a home run. Just like investing or home flipping, there are certain to be some investments that work and some that fail. You’ll want to consider this before investing all of your money into one asset.
Have you ever flipping a website? Comment your thoughts below!