Buying and selling websites has a lot in common with buying and selling real estate in the sense that a website is an online real estate, and both businesses have potentials to make their owner loads of cash in passive income. In this post, I will show you how you can make consistent passive income in the website flipping business.
People make a lot of money buying and selling websites, but don’t take my word for it.
In July, 2014, MM.com was sold for $1.2 million (one point two million dollars 🙂 ). Power.com was sold in November of that same year for $1.26 million while Z.com was sold for $6.78 million. That’s not all. Here is a list of the most expensive domains of all time.
Truth is, it’d be very difficult to find a domain name that could be worth as much as the ones in that list or to even find a willing buyer at those prices. That said, people who know how still make decent amounts of money, even a full-time income through website flipping.
At the time of writing this article, Flippa received over 6,000 bids this week for different online businesses, netting over $370,000 in sales this week alone. See for yourself:
The question is not if there is money to be made in website flipping business. The question is if you are willing to learn the ropes and due your due diligence to make your own wealth.
This business is a perfect way to generate passive income because it does not take much of your time and needs a little amount of money to start, if at all. So you have time to focus on other streams of income too which is the beauty of passive income, right?
You may not know how to go about it but hey, that’s OK because that’s why you have this post. Come along let me point you in the right direction.
Domain flipping vs Website flipping
Domain flipping is simply the process of buying a domain name for the purpose of reselling it at a higher cost. You can find expired domains, buy them back and resell them later on. You can also register a brand new domain and flip them later at a higher cost.
Website flipping works the same as domain flipping but in this case, you are dealing with developed websites instead of just domain names. Just like domain flipping, you can buy already existing websites or develop one from scratch and flip them for profit.
Which is better?
Well, it depends entirely on what you are comfortable with.
Generally, developed websites generate more profits than just domains because they are already tested and are probably getting some precious traffic and, possibly, revenue too.
While this may seem like the best option, it takes a lot of time, resources and money to develop a website to the point where you are guaranteed to make a decent ROI on that investment. If you are buying existing websites to flip them, it takes a lot more skill than average to identify potentially lucrative websites and avoid getting scammed in the process.
On the flip side, domain flipping takes a lot less stress than website flipping. Domain names rank better as they age so instead of registering new domain names and waiting to flip them, you can find good expired domains, buy them back and resell them.
Domain names sell for a lot less than developed websites, unless you land a genius-level domain name, of course. That said, domain names sell faster because there is fewer details to deal with. So you can sell more in less time and make as much money, even more than when you flip websites.
The choice on which one to go with is entirely yours to make.
If you are still a newbie taking your baby steps in this business, then I suggest you test the waters flipping domains. You will make less money but you will gain experience and understand how the business works which is what website flipping requires. With time you can go bigger and make more money.
How to start domain / website flipping business
First you learn
Just like real estate business, you don’t just come out of the blue and start raking in a lot of cash. There is much you need to learn.
Just as a real estate investor will need to have a good eye for good property or estate, you will need to have a good eye for potentially profitable domain names. You will also need the ability to spot profitable websites.
People buy domain names for different reasons: some for the SEO value, some for trends and events, and some because it agrees more with their business name, context or cause. You will need to understand all these before making a choice on what domain to buy.
Again, you will need to evaluate websites for their worth without relying heavily on sites like worthofweb. In my experience, these websites have a wide margin for error in their valuations so you will need to do your own due diligence.
Set a Budget
You need to set a budget for your business. Your budget will be determined by the model you plan to start with, domain or website flipping. You need a bigger and more flexible budget for domain flipping than for website flipping.
That said, if you want to build your website yourself then you won’t need that much money to do so. This works when you are starting out on a shoestring budget. You will put in a lot of effort and patience though.
You will also need to master your traffic generation techniques, SEO, content marketing and whatnot.
It could take time to build a well-optimized website, create and publish content, get traffic flooding in, build necessary backlinks to rank for target keywords, etc before you can finally sell it for a profit. So keep this in mind.
Buy your first domain/website
For domain flipping, you need to decide whether to buy a brand new domain and wait or to find expired domains and resell them quickly.
If you are buying a brand new domain name, then there is nothing much to it. Just register your domain and that’s it. I use namecheap to register all my domain names. You can follow Moz’s guide to learn how to come up with good domain names.
To find expired domains, head over to ExpiredDomains.net and see what you can dig up.
If you are building a website by yourself, then after domain registration you need a reliable web host to store your website files. There are lots of resources online where you can learn how to build and promote your website. You need to be ready to put in the work.
Finally, if you are buying an existing website, I suggest you follow this guide to learn how to find and buy an online business to buy.
Type of website to buy or build
Once you decide whether to buy an existing website or build one from scratch, you now choose a website model to adopt.
Some of the common and lucrative types of websites you can buy/build are:
- Adsense monetized websites
- E-commerce sites
- Membership sites
- Book sites
- Review sites
- Niche sites, etc
Flippa is one of the oldest and most reputable marketplaces to buy and sell websites. You can buy your website from there and resell it there as well. There are quite a lot others as a quick Google search would reveal.
How much is a domain/website worth
To succeed in this business, you will need to know how to valuate the worth of online businesses.
Domain names are analyzed differently from websites.
For a domain name, the primary determinants of their worth are the domain age, SEO value and how the domain name fits into the purpose of the buyer.
A website is valued based on traffic, content, SEO, current revenue, potential revenue, etc. If it all seems too much work for you, you can hire an agency to help you sort this one out.
While you can quickly guess the value of a website by running the URL on WorthOfWeb, you should know that their data has a wide margin for error so due diligence on your part is also required.
Where to sell your domain name or website
As I said earlier, the most popular marketplace to list your online business for sale is Flippa.
Other than that, you can list your domain/website on forums like DigitalPoint and WarriorForum. You can also park your domain with your domain registrar and wait for a buyer.
If you have a high-performing website, it’s more than likely that buyers will come knocking at your door. In any case, if you have something of value, there will always be someone who wants it. Just try your best to avoid getting scammed.
When looking for auction sites, you need to find those that will not end up eating your profit. Some auction websites charge up to $50 just to list a website for sale and take up to 10% when you sell.
Finally, there is no hard rule to auctioning websites online. You can create a web page indicating that your website is for sale or you can spread the word on social media, your email list, your friends’ email lists, anything that gets the word out is good.
Buying and selling websites could be the online business that you have looked for. So, why not give it a go?
Sure, with due diligence and patience, you can make steady passive income out of it. You could even be so successful that you turn it into a full-time business. In any case, you won’t know until try, will you?
I’m interested to know your thoughts about buying and selling websites. Send in your comment in the box below. Also, subscribe to my email list; I will send you 5 hot passive income business ideas to get you started.
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