How to make money buying & selling websites

Buying & selling websites for a profit (otherwise known as website flipping) is becoming increasingly popular especially as the internet continues to grow & more people start to realise the earning potential that it can offer.

Whilst there are sometimes opportunities to buy a website & sell it straight on for a profit these are few & far between.

The best way to profit from website flipping is to buy a website that has hidden potential and simply requires a small degree of fine tuning to significantly increase its value, such as a redesign or software tweaks – these are a lot more common.

With that being said, to get into website flipping it’s ideal to have a bit of knowledge in website design/development or have a team to hand who do. That way your costs of making the changes can be significantly reduced.

The question you’re probably asking is why don’t the website owners make these changes themselves if it’s going to increase the value of their website, and admittedly it’s a very sensible question.

The answer is that monetizing a website is a skill & the amount of webmasters that could be making double the revenue of what they currently are without even realising it is crazy.

Website flipping, done properly, is extremely profitable & you can see thousands of dollars of profit just off a single sale. Bearing in mind that it’s possible to flip several sites over the course of a month you can quickly see how it can become very lucrative if you’re able to pick out some good buys, but how can you spot a good buy?

How to spot a good buy.

As mentioned above you can easily make a thousand dollars flipping a website, but if you’re not careful and buy a bad website you could also just as quickly lose a thousand too.

The best buys are generally websites that somebody has owned for quite a while, put a lot of effort into maintaining but hasn’t had the know how or funds to put together a nice design & monetize it. Sites like these provide a nice quick turnaround as they just require a few touches & can go straight back into the marketplace without a huge amount of work. The tips below can help you to spot a good buy from amongst the crowd.

Things to think about before going in for the purchase.

1. Technical requirements

It’s best to stick with websites where you’re familiar with the software that they’re built on. Learning the ropes of new software can take time & converting them over to software you’re familiar with is a big hassle and can cost a lot of money. Similarly you need to ask the question as to whether they are built around any Content Management Software at all because if they’re not it would make them much harder to update & require more advanced technical knowledge.

2. How much traffic does the website get?

Traffic is important, the more traffic the better as it means the website is more popular. Be careful though because often people try and fake the traffic statistics in order to increase the price of their sale. Marketplaces like Flippa allow the user to verify their Google Analytic data so check to see if the seller has done that or not, and if not ask them why. The traffic can also give you an idea as to whether the claimed revenue or not is true, for example if the revenue claim is high yet the traffic is very low it would ring alarm bells for me.

3. How much money does the website make?

I always ask the seller for as many different ways to prove the income as I can think of. It’s best to ask for videos as well as pictures to try and reduce the risk of falling for falsified images. Plus you should always ask to see a graph of earnings over time because they might have just supplied the income of their best month and it might not have made anything for the rest of the year.

4. How long has the website been established?

I’d generally recommend sticking to purchasing established websites that offer proof of revenue and traffic data. It’s rare that I’d ever purchase a new website, however there is one instance when I might consider it. Some web developers work full time coming up with innovative ideas, putting them together & offering them for sale in website marketplaces. Most of them turn out to be pretty rubbish but I’ve seen some pretty good ideas over the years that have gone on to be quite successful. This is more of a risk, but generally offers a much larger profit margin if it does go on to be successful.

5. Does it have a diverse source of traffic?

It’s best not to go for a website that relies on 1 source of traffic, instead you should look for a website that has a diverse source of traffic such as referrals, search engines & social media. That way you can protect your income because if someone was to happen to one of the traffic sources you’d have others to fall back on minimising the damage.

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About the Author:
Born & raised in England, Dale is the founder of Living More Working Less & he has been making a living from his laptop ever since leaving his job as an electrician back in 2012. Now he shares what he's learned to help others do the same... [read more]