Ultimate Guide to Flip Websites: How to Build, Buy, and Sell
Have you ever wanted to make money online?
If you’re like most people, then the answer is probably yes.
In this article I will talk about the two different ways that you can make money when you flip websites.
The first way is building your own site and selling it for a profit.
The second is buying one and making changes or improvements in order to sell it for a higher price than what you paid for.
All these options have their own benefits, but there are also some downsides as well.
I’ll go over all these options so that you can decide which one is best for you!
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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
What does it mean to flip websites?
First things first, what exactly is “flipping”?
Flipping means buying something at one price and selling it at another price for a profit.
So, when you flipping websites, it means buying a website and selling it for a profit.
There are several ways you can flip websites, but I will be focusing on the main two that most people use to make money online.
Which are building and buying, in order to sell your site for money.
How to build a website for flipping
The first way to get started is by building them from scratch.
Since you are starting from the ground up, you need to make sure that your site has potential before you spend any time or effort on it.
This option is ideal for someone who doesn’t have a whole lot of money to invest, but has more time.
Personally I don’t recommend this option for someone who wants fast cash because it does take a lot of time to build, but it can be a very lucrative option if you’re willing to put the time in.
So, how do you actually go about building your own website?
There are several steps you need to take in order to make sure that you’re building the best website possible.
Below are the steps I recommend all new website flippers take in order to build the most successful site possible.
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Decide on your niche.
This is very important because it’s basically what your entire site is going to revolve around.
If you’re not sure which niche to choose, think about one that interests you and then try to find a unique angle to take on it.
A common mistake that many people who flip websites is choosing a niche that is either too broad or too narrow.
For example, you don’t want to choose something like “sports” as your niche because there are way too many sub niches within this main one, so it’s way too broad.
On the other side, you don’t want to choose something like “MLB news” as your niche because this is so narrow that it will be hard to get traffic and make sales with such a limited audience.
You can also use Google Trends to help you determine if there’s a high enough search volume in the niche you want to choose.
Setting up the site
Once you have found a winning niche it’s time to set up the website.
You need to make sure you have a beautiful theme and graphics that will attract readers and your potential site buyer.
You also need to have good content on your site that makes sense and is relevant to the niche you are writing about.
The first step to setting up your site is to look through a list of the best website hosts and choose one.
Here are the three that I highly recommend:
I recommend this Bluehost for beginners because it’s easy to navigate and use.
I personally used them when I first started, but moved to Siteground when I needed a faster hosting plan for my growing audience.
Their price are very inexpesive, starting at $2.75 a month making them super affordable for any newbies who don’t have a lot of budget.
And an added bonus is they also include one free domain name for a year when you buy hosting for your site.
So if you are just starting out and want an affordable plan, then this is the perfect hosting plan for you!
This is the current hosting site I am using now and love them.
I recommend getting their “grow big” plan since you can add unlimited websites in your hosting plan.
So if you want to add a few websites, you don’t need to worry and just create new niche sites as much as you want!
They also have great live chat support, and their servers are fast and reliable.
This might be a better option for those who want more technical know how of coding and site building and if you have a website that is currently growing.
This host is the most expensive of the three starting at $22 a month.
But I love WPEngine because they include 24/7 tech support, 10 premium themes with your purchase, daily backups, and so much more!
You won’t have to worry about anything because WPEngine will keep your site safe from hackers and viruses.
They also have great customer service which is helpful for beginners who are new to website building.
This is the perfect host for flippers who are more serious and want to get the best bang for their buck!
Once you choose your site hosting it is time to choose your domain name.
Choose your domain name
Your domain name is the way people will get to your website.
So it’s important to choose a good one that relates to your niche and has potential for great SEO, which we’ll cover later in this article.
I recommend using the same company that you purchased your hosting plan so it’ll be easier to keep track of everything.
Since I use Siteground, I purchased my domain through them for only $18 extra a year!
If you decide to get hosting on Bluehost, they include 1 year of free domain so you are all set.
After you have your hosting set up and domain name pointed to it, now it’s time to pick out a website building platform.
Choosing a website platform
There are many different platforms that you can choose from, but I prefer WordPress because it is easy to use and user friendly for beginners.
Worpress is a way that you can build websites, blogs, and even e-commerce stores using a simple interface.
You don’t need programming skills to use WordPress and it offers a number of free and paid themes with useful features.
Finding the right theme
Once you have found the right hosting company and WordPress platform, now it’s time to find the right theme.
This is one of the most important parts of building your site because it’s what readers will see first.
It is also important to choose a theme that is fast, so that you can give a great user experience.
Here are a few themes that I recommend:
- Kadence for its easy and customizable templates
- Astra for their fast, lightweight and customizable themes
- Genesis Pro for its fast, secure, beautifully designed and SEO optimized themes
Having a fast theme is going to make a huge difference in your traffic because who wants to stay in a website that is slow to load!
Which can mean loosing a lot of readers and traffic.
Customize your site design
Once you have chosen a theme, it is time to customize it so that it fits into your niche.
Here are some things that you’ll want to add:
- A contact page for people looking to connect with you or learn more about what you do.
- An about page to get people excited and learn more about you or your business
- Social media buttons to let people follow you on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.
- Blog posts to share your knowledge about your topic with your readers.
These are just a few things that you’ll want to add in order to attract your readers and build a community.
Writing the best content for your website
After you have set up your site, it is time to write the best content for your audience.
This is very important because it’s what people will read to see if they want to stay on your site or go elsewhere.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing great content:
- Write blog posts that your ideal readers will want to learn about
- Write in a conversational tone so it doesn’t come across as spam or boring
- Include helpful links that your readers will find valuable and want to click on
- Make sure the title is enticing, but doesn’t sound spammy
- Link out to authority sites with great content, but don’t overdo it
- Always keep the reader in mind when writing articles
- Make sure to create evergreen (content that doesn’t become outdated) content from the start, so it will always be relevant
- Make sure to write a blog post with each product you sell, this way people can get information and read reviews before buying anything
- Be consistent in your posting rate (how often you publish blog posts). You’ll want to make sure it’s at least once a week or more if you can.
These are just a few of the things that you’ll want to consider when writing content, but it’s what will truly make your website stand out.
Now that you have chosen a platform, found a theme, and written the best content for your site, it is time to start building traffic.
Getting Traffic to Your Website
Now you have all of the basic pages set up and ready for traffic.
But if nobody can find them, then what’s the point?
Fortunately, there are many different strategies that you can use to get traffic to your website.
Here are some ideas:
Guest Posting – Write for other blogs in your niche and link back to your site.
Email outreach – Reach out to people in your niche and let them know about your new website.
Social media – Post interesting updates and follow others in your niche.
Pinterest – Create an account and pin to boards related to your niche.
SEO – Optimizing for search engine optimization is key to getting your site noticed by Google.
You can use a keyword search tool like Keysearch.co which will help you find the most popular keywords in your industry that you can use for SEO on your blog posts.
I personally love Kesearch and have used them for several years to rank #1 on Google for the keywords in my niche.
But I know how confusing SEO can be, especially if you are a beginner, that is why I highly recommend using this SEO Checklist tool to help you learn how to implement SEO to drive traffic to your website.
Their step by step guide is super easy to use and can help you rank on the first page of Google, even you have no idea what you’re doing!
Once you have completed these steps, then it’s time to start looking into the different ways that you can make money with your website.
Making Money with your website
Now it’s time for the fun part, monetizing your website!
Even though there are a ton of ways to make money on your site, I will be sharing three that could work for anyone.
Let’s take a look at each one separately.
1. Affiliate Marketing
The first way to make money from a website is through affiliate marketing.
In short, you review someone else’s product and add their affiliate link to your post.
Each time somebody clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you’ll get a commission for the sale.
But it will only work if you give your readers great content and information, which will gain their trust to buy what you recommend.
So make sure to only review products that you personally would recommend and actually use yourself.
For more information on affiliate marketing, I suggest checking out this guide here.
2. Selling Digital Products
The second way to make money from a website is through selling digital products.
For example, you might create an eBook or templates that teaches people something new or solves a problem that they are currently facing.
This is also a great way to make passive income because you create the product once and then continue to make money from it.
If you’re wondering how to get started with this, then you might want to check out this article.
3. Site Ads
The third way to make money from a website is through advertisements.
Essentially, you host banner ads or text links on your website that points to products and services which will earn you a commission from the advertiser.
In order to make money from site ads, you have to attract a large audience of loyal readers so that you can be accepted in ad agencies like Mediavine.
Most of these agencies have a minimum requirement for the amount of readers you have a month before they accept you, so make sure to check if you are eligible.
Once you know how much money you can make from each of these options, it’s time to come up with a plan for where most of your work and effort will go to.
You might decide that affiliate marketing is going to be your primary source of income, so you need to focus on giving great reviews for products and services that you can recommend.
On the other hand, if it’s going to be advertisements, then you’ll need to put more work into finding a popular niche and building an engaged audience of readers and followers.
By making this decision ahead of time, you’ll know where to take your site and your business.
But, it’s important to be flexible because if something isn’t working, then you need to be willing to change course so that you can still make money with your website.
Doing all of this can take a lot of time and effort to get it just right.
While building websites and flipping them may seem like a lot of work, there is a huge upside to doing it yourself: you keep 100% of your earnings.
If you are interested in learning more about how to build websites, check out our guide on it here: Ultimate Guide to Amateur Blogging.
How to buy then flip websites
The next way you can make money flipping websites is by buying an existing website.
Buying a website rather than building one yourself can be a huge time saver and it still allows you to make money online.
But you might be wondering how it works, so let’s go over the steps you need to take in order to buy a website.
First, find an appealing site that is already making money or has potential to make a lot of money.
It is important that you choose wisely because you are not only purchasing the domain and content, but also all of the future profits.
Next, you want to make sure you fully understand how the site makes money and if it’s a good investment.
You should have an idea of what type of business model they are following so you can use this information later on when optimizing your website for search engines.
Finally, reach out to the owner of the site and try to negotiate a deal.
Make sure that both of you are on the same page when it comes to the selling price so there aren’t any surprises.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and use this information to help you make your decision so that you can buy the site if it’s a good investment.
Once you’ve negotiated the price with the owner, it will be time for the final steps in buying or making an offer on their website.
The way these transactions are typically handled is through escrow.com, which is a website that holds the money and insures both parties until everything has been transferred over to you.
Since the payment and sale of a website is usually worth thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s nice to know that there is a 3rd party who will make sure that both parties honor their end of the agreement.
Where to Flip Websites for Money
Now that you know how to buy a website, it’s time to figure out the best places to flip websites for money.
There are many ways to sell a website, but we will go over the most popular options below:
1. Find an interested buyer through your personal network.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to find someone who wants to buy your site.
All you have to do is post on your LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media accounts letting people know that you are interested in selling your website and what type of site you are looking to sell (make sure to include any traffic numbers).
Chances are someone who knows someone else will be interested in buying the site, which makes it easy to sell.
But if this doesn’t work, don’t worry there are specific sites that can help you.
2. Sell your site on a marketplace.
Here are a few legit online marketplaces that people go to in order to find websites that are for sale:
This is one of the most popular marketplaces to sell and buy websites.
Not only that, Flippa is especially useful because you can get an idea of how much a website is worth and what the average price for a particular site is (based on sales and auctions).
Flippa has thousands of websites listed to buy or sell, so you might find something that is perfect for you.
They provide members with a list of investment opportunities.
These could be businesses that are for sale or profitable money-making websites that you can buy and flip in order to make money online.
They charge the seller a 5% brokers fee, which is a great deal as many other marketplaces charge a much higher fee.
3. Website Broker
A website broker is someone who makes their living buying and selling websites.
This is the best option for you if you are looking for a quick sale, since these people are always on the lookout of good deals to buy.
Just keep in mind that some companies will just want to buy your site for the traffic and content, while others might actually be interested in buying the site because they also want to keep it up and running.
Here are a few legit website brokers:
This site, just like Flippa, allows people to list, buy or sell websites in different categories.
They also have their own database of websites that are listed on the site.
All you have to do is create an account and look for websites that you might be interested in.
The Website Flip Brokerage
This brokerage is unique because they sell sites through their email list, so you have to be an email subscriber in order to get the great deals!
Even if you do not know how to build a website from scratch, there are many options for buying one from marketplaces or website brokerages.
Flip Websites: Frequently asked Questions
How much can you make flipping websites?
The amount of money you can make from flipping websites depends on a number of factors, such as the type of website that you are buying or selling and how much work you put into it.
If you find a site for sale that is already making a profit and buy it with hopes to keep the traffic going, there’s no reason why you can’t start making money within the first few weeks if you put in the time and effort.
On the other hand if you are selling your site, according to Forbes, you should aim for 24-36x your monthly revenue.
So if you are making $1,000 a month on your website, you should sell for around $24,000 – $36,000.
Sounds like a lot of money? Not really, because the person who buys your site will have continous income for years to come if they do the work that needs to be done.
If you want to get a better idea of how much websites in your niche are currently selling, here are a few sites where you should look:
- FE International
- Empire Flippers
The biggest thing to remember when it comes to making money flipping websites is to do your research and take action!
How much work do you have to put into it?
This is a common question that a lot of new website flippers might have.
The truth is you have to put in the work, but it really depends on the condition of the site and how much you want to get out of it.
It also depends on the site that you are looking to buy or sell.
Finding a website for sale online is easy, but if it’s too good to be true chances are there will be issues down the road.
However, if you find a website that is in good condition and up and running, it’s likely that the seller has already spent some time on creating content, adding relevant keywords to their site, and setting up social media accounts.
After you buy the website (which means you own 100% of it), you’ll most likely want to continue working with it to improve the site and make it look like something that is worth money.
You’ll also want to put in time in optimizing your content through SEO, and promoting the website by sharing it with others in your niche (to get organic traffic).
Do you have to be tech savvy?
You don’t have to be tech savvy to flip websites, but it certainly helps if you are.
Some new flippers might want to start off slow until they get the hang of everything, which means buying a website that is already built.
However, you can learn how to build your own site through trial and error and ofcourse we also have a ton of tips here.
Keep in mind that starting out with building websites can be very difficult because there are so many different things that you have to think about.
But all the hard work will pay off and could make you a lot of money.
Because whether you build a site or buy one, you should have a good idea of how to run it so it can keep making money for you or the buyer you flip it to.
What types of websites can I flip?
There are many different types of websites that you can flip, which is why it’s important to have a few options in mind before you get started.
You can buy and sell websites in almost every niche, but here are some of the most popular sites that people are flipping right now:
You need to know what you’re interested in and how much profit you might stand to make before you start flipping websites, which is why it’s recommended that your first flip should be something easy.
However, keep in mind that if you want to make more money off of a website it will take more time and effort.
For example, a site that sells for $200 might not make as much as a site that is worth $20,000 because the traffic volume will be low.
So it is just a matter of what you are willing to do and how much budget you have.
Guide to Flip Websites: Key Takeaways
You can make a full time income off of flipping websites, but you need to be willing to put in the work that is required.
Keep in mind that it’s not going to happen overnight and there will be many failures along the way.
It’s also important for new website flippers to learn how to build their own site, but if you aren’t comfortable with that then buying one is an option.
When buying a website it’s important to do your research and make sure there are no issues.
You can learn how to identify problems by researching reviews, talking to the seller, and asking questions in forums.
It might take some time but you’ll improve with experience and then you can start making larger flips that will lead to more profits.
But like any business, there is always risk…
Now that you know more about the different options that are available for website flippers, it’s time to get started with building your own business!
The sooner you start making money off of these sites the higher ROI you will have for each one!
So what are you waiting for?
Go out there and start making money flipping websites!