Similar to flipping houses, flipping websites can be a nice little earner, providing you have an idea of what you are doing. Now website valuations are more volatile that house prices however there is no reason why you can’t make money flipping website, providing you know what you are doing.
Website traffic can fluctuate, subscribers could drop off and affiliate income can slow down have you got sufficient back up plans or knowledge if this happened to a site you purchased? Below we go through some tips to buy and flip a niche or affiliate website.
1. Outline plans for your site before you look at purchasing and know what your plans for the site
Aside from setting out your budget for the site and the budget/time to grow the sites, how long do you wish to hold the site for? What additions or changes can you make to the site such as changing advertising platform? Are there content strategies you could implement or basic changes to improve revenue in the short term (such as tidying up site structure)?
What niche or niches are you looking at? Have you had any experience in a certain niche that you feel will work in your favour?
2. Seek quality help and learn from the professionals
Two people that should on a short list of people you should be following in the niche website/online business field are Shawna Newman (skipblast.com) and Mushfiq Sarker (thewebsiteflip.com). Both of these two have bought and sold a lot of websites and share some great tips and suggestions through their website or mailing list. Mushfiq even has a site dedicated to “easy wins” for potential website purchase through his business easwins.io.
Even if you have experience in this field reaching out to experts can offer something that you may not be aware of. Consume information from these people, look at what other websites are selling for, what new ideas are being embraced, what’s the overall direction in the online business space. Use the resources of an Empire Flippers or a Flippa style market place, add yourself to their mailing list (if you haven’t already) listen to the podcasts or appearance on podcasts of successful people in the field of building websites. Follow successful people on social media.
This is mainly for those with limited website buying and selling. Those with more expertise can find great purchasing opportunities in Facebook groups or website forums or via a direct approach to a website owner. The biggest two market places are Empire Flippers and Flippa. Empire Flippers focuses more on the higher end websites (i.e. 6 figures plus) while Flippa caters towards a more diverse clientele with websites to be found for low 5 figures upwards.
Empire Flippers (given the more expensive website they tend to sell) provides a more detailed due diligence on the websites that they sell however Flippa and the other website market places provide sufficient information on the websites they are selling, you just need to set a decent filter and to know your relevant indicators and figures that will show whether a website is a buying opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions to the seller however only do this if you are really interested in buying. Nobody likes a time waster so only ask questions if you are interested in buying.
4. Know your time and monetary budget
A potential buyer with a demanding job, kids and little discretionary savings nor a lot of free time is going to have a different style of website to buy than someone with a lot more time and money to invest in their new purchase. Be very realistic with how much time you can spend on your website and how much money you can invest.
Some people have more money than time, others more time than money. If you are short on both money and time, then it’s probably best you look elsewhere (at least in the short term) for your passive income stream building.
5. Don’t pay too much but engage the seller with good intentions
It’s easy to fall in love with a site or get romantic with what you can achieve with a newly purchased site. Be realistic with your goals and more realistic with the price. Don’t get swayed for an impulsive purchase because of FOMO, view the potential purchase through a as if you had to justify the purchase to a board.
By this I mean, think if you purchased the website and you were hit with a google update that took out 20% of your traffic and tanked your advertising revenue would this change your plans? Or if the new content you intend to add or outsource takes longer to upload or even worse doesn’t rank like you thought it would, how would this affect your flipping plans?
On the flip side don’t try and undercut someone just to be a dick! Most people work hard in their online ventures, treat them accordingly. Also if you aren’t going to buy, don’t engage with a potential seller. Don’t engage to try and steal some information regarding the website, that ain’t cool and karma will come back to bite!
6. Know your plans and your planned exit
We touched on this in point one though your time frame for holding the site is nearly as critical as the amount you paid for a site. You might have a 2 year exit plan and intend to flood your site with a lot of new content in the first 6 months knowing that it should be ranking by the time you look to sell in 2 years. This 2 year plus time frame will expand your website buying possibilities as you have more time to try different strategies.
Alternatively if you were looking at flipping in one year then you may be focusing on short term SEO changes you think could be improved or you could look to change advertising platform. This smaller timeframe would shrink the amount of sites you would look to purchase.
Also have your next steps planned out, when you will add more content, will this be outsourced or in house, what (and when) SEO changes you will introduce and what monetisation ideas do you have?
Buying and selling websites can be an exciting way of making money in a short period of time if done right. Invest in some good education and support from professionals, don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t over extend yourself financially. Ask yourself what would happen to you financially if your website traffic and revenue was reduced significantly? If the worst case scenario isn’t too bad financially, then proceed to work on your wealth creation plan through buying and flipping websites.