Blogging is still one of the best ways to make a steady income online, even in 2019.
But starting a website from scratch takes time, and it’s one of the most common sources of failure for most bloggers.
They start a blog, add some content and wait for traffic and revenue to roll in.
When it doesn’t happen right away, they get frustrated and move to the next thing.
The problem is: blogging is a slow-moving train, and it can take months and years to get things going.
A lot of people don’t want to wait around that long for something that may or may not work.
Unfortunately, that waiting period is just part of the journey of starting a site.
But there is a way to speed things up and jump ahead, and that’s by buying an existing site instead of starting from scratch.
Buying, selling and flipping websites is a great way to cut your waiting time, make money sooner and learn the ins and outs of what a successful blog looks like.
Best of all, it’s not difficult to do – it just takes a different strategy than starting with a fresh website.
In this guide, I’ll go over my strategy to buying, selling and flipping websites so you can avoid the frustrating waiting period of starting a site and go directly to owning a profitable blog.
In the past few years, I’ve bought, sold and flipped many websites, from small blogs that sold for a few thousand dollars to larger sites generating 100,000+ monthly pageviews that sold for six figures.
No matter how big or small you start, there are smart ways to flip sites – and things you’ll want to avoid like the plague.
Let’s get started.
Why it’s Smart to Flip Websites
The most obvious benefit of flipping websites versus starting from scratch is time.
Starting fresh, you might not see significant traffic or revenue for months or years, and even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll eventually build a successful blog.
Buying a website, whether you keep it or flip it, speeds up that timeline exponentially.
Instead of waiting months to generate revenue, you can acquire a site that’s already and instantly making money.
As you blog more and begin to build your business, you’ll find that time is your most important asset.
Money comes and goes, but time is something you can’t get back.
Aside from that, the biggest benefits of buying vs. starting a site include having a blog:
- that you know is in a successful niche
- with data you can leverage immediately
As far as niches go, I agree with bloggers like Paul Scrivens at Obstacle.co who believe you should focus less on your personal passion and more on how to provide value to people.
Here are a handful of blog niches I recommend for parents, or anyone else with limited time and resources on their hands.
Your blog should answer questions, solve problems and provide value to your readers above all else.
Those problems might be big or small, but they’re problems nonetheless and if you can do the best job of solving the problems in a helpful and accessible way, you’ll be (theoretically) rewarded with traffic and revenue.
A lot of bloggers who follow the “passion” approach might start a blog in a niche that doesn’t really have enough search volume or monetization methods to support a blog, but they do it because they like the topic.
For example, someone who loves collecting baseball cards might start a baseball card blog, but might not have enough topics to sustain a long-term business.
A blogger choosing to focus on solving problems in the personal finance and budgeting niche, however, will have no problem creating hundreds of pieces of useful, needed content.
That’s the key: working in a niche where there’s a need for content.
Those niches might be more competitive, but there’s also more traffic and revenue to go around.
Buying an existing site with income more or less ensures you’re in a niche that will make some money.
You’ll have to do due diligence and research to see what kind of revenue you can max out at, but you’ll at least know you’re working on a site that’s in a profitable niche.
And last, buying a website ensures that you’ll have data right off the bat to work with.
Why is this important?
With a brand new site, you can publish a piece of content and often have to wait months before real organic traffic (and keyword data) comes in.
Buy an existing site and you’ll have Google Analytics and Search Console data that tell you exactly how – and why – people are getting to your site.
With this data, you can make small improvements that will quickly change the trajectory of your site.
As a quick example – let’s say I buy a website and one of the top articles is on make-ahead camping meals.
That’s what the focus on the title, content and URL is, but when I go into Search Console, I find that the top searches driving traffic are “easy camping dinners” and “easy camping meals.”
So maybe now I go in and update the content to focus on “easy” meals and dinners and not necessarily “make ahead” dinners.
After that, the traffic and revenue see an upward trend simply because I updated my content to match what Google’s throwing my way.
Making minor changes to your content can have a huge – and often, immediate – impact on how much traffic you get.
Recap: why is it great to buy an existing site?
- save time
- make money right away
- be in a profitable niche from the start
- have plenty of data to work with right away
Next, we’ll talk about the less glamorous side of buying and flipping websites.
The Downsides of Buying & Selling Sites
As is often the case, buying back time means spending money.
If you’re looking to blog on a tight budget, buying and flipping websites may not be the way to go.
If you don’t mind waiting months or years for significant blog revenue, and you want (or need) to keep your expenses low, starting from scratch is a fine option, and plenty of bloggers do it (myself included).
That said, there are ways to buy a profitable website that won’t break the bank.
We’ll get into that later, but know you can get started buying a website with a few thousand dollars.
Any less than that and you’re likely buying a site that likely doesn’t make enough money to be worth buying (might as well start fresh if it’s not bringing in much).
Any more than that and you’re looking at a more established site that may be suited for seasoned website flippers but not ideal for beginners.
The next downside: you have less control of the brand.
Some bloggers want to have something super personal and clever as their blog’s brand, others don’t care.
If you want to control everything about your brand, mostly from a domain name perspective, start from scratch.
If you’re okay being flexible and working with whatever domain names come along, you’ll be fine buying and flipping sites.
Something to remember: the “brand” outside of your URL can be changed quite a bit – you can add a new logo, theme, design, voice, angle, approach, backstory – the list goes on.
For me this is a very minor downside of buying websites.
You don’t want to buy a site that has a funky domain that doesn’t match the content, or something spammy.
Mostly, you want to buy a site whose domain makes sense when it appears in Google search results, or on Pinterest, social media, etc.
The last downside: you don’t know all of the site’s history.
You can tell a lot about a site from it’s current state and traffic.
Sometimes you can even tell if a site’s been penalized or experienced and major traffic swings.
But in general you don’t always know what the previous site owner did to start, grow and promote the site.
If you do all your due diligence, this isn’t an issue, but it is worth knowing before you start buying and selling websites.
Is Flipping Websites Right for You?
Now that you know the main pros and cons of buying, selling and flipping websites, you should have a better sense of it may be right for you.
Here’s a way to tell.
If you want to save time, make money faster and don’t mind the risk involved in buying an existing site, flip away.
If you want to save money, control every aspect of your brand and know that it has a clean history, start a site from scratch.
I’ve done both many times and either strategy can lead to a successful blogging business.
But if you want to speed things up and make money with less foundational work, flipping websites is the way to go.
Flipping = Finding, Buying, Improving & Selling
There are four main stages to flipping websites:
- finding a website
- buying a website
- improving a website
- selling a website
This guide will focus mostly on finding websites, because that’s where you’ll make or break your flipping success.
Once you’ve found a site, buying it is really the easy part – especially if you go with a marketplace like Empire Flippers, where they’ll manage the migration for you.
After that, improving the site is just a matter of rolling out your strategy to improve the things you find during the due diligence process.
And finally, selling a site is also relatively easy when you go with somewhere like Empire Flippers, though there are things you’ll need to do to get the most from your site.
Now, we’ll get into how to find good websites to buy, sell and flip.
Step 1. Finding Good, Flippable Sites
The first part of the website flipping process is finding sites to buy.
Like flipping houses, flipping websites is about finding good value and opportunity for improvement.
There are also brokerages and boutique consulting agencies that help people find higher end sites to buy.
In my experience, I’ve primarily used Empire Flippers and Flippa, but there are quality sites beyond those two marketplaces.
If you’re serious about finding a good website to buy and flip, Empire Flippers’ marketplace is the place to go.
Flippa has a ton of sites, but you’ll have to wade through a lot of junk to find sites with real traffic and revenue.
Flippa works well if you’re looking for a low-cost site to “test” your flipping process, but if you want to skip a lot of the junk out there and have some money to spend, Empire Flippers can help you focus on better quality sites.
Check out both (and other marketplaces) to get an idea of how each one works, but essentially know that Flippa has fewer and lower standards, so they list a lot of crappy sites.
The requirements to sell with Empire Flippers are higher, so there are far fewer sites, but they are better quality.
Browsing both marketplaces is the best way to get a good idea of what’s available in your budget.
What to Look for
When it comes to finding sites to buy, I focus on three things:
- Sites focused on my marketing strengths
- Sites I can quickly improve (existing content)
- Sites I can grow over time (future content)
Focus on Your Strengths
You’ll find all types of websites for sale – affiliate sites, content sites full of display ads, sites that rely on Facebook ads, Amazon FBA sites – the list goes on.
It’s important to only look at those sites that are in your wheelhouse.
For me, that’s organic traffic, so I focus my search on sites that have a strong SEO foundation.
I don’t mess with sites that rely on Facebook or social media ads, because that’s not my strength.
I don’t check out FBA or dropshipping sites because those aren’t my strengths.
I’d recommend you do the same – only focus your search on sites that fit your strengths.
Of course it’s possible to buy and improve just about any site, but staying in your zone will make for more efficient and quick improvements.
From here out, I’ll be looking at a lot of content and SEO considerations during the process, but if you’re more of a social media or paid ads or FBA person, just know that your due diligence process will look different.
That said, if you have a working knowledge of SEO and content, you can do really well flipping websites.
Focus on Sites You Can Improve
Next, I only look for sites that can be quickly improved.
This can include:
- titles, descriptions and other SEO elements
- design and site themes
- branding (logos, colors, etc.)
- website structure
If a site gets traffic and revenue but looks junky, I know that by changing a few elements – titles, theme, branding, voice – I can usually improve those metrics within just a few weeks or months.
So when I’m looking through sites, I usually try to find ones that don’t look great aesthetically, but have a nice traffic and revenue foundation in place.
If a site looks polished, has a lot of things going well and seems to have less room for improvement, I’m less likely to consider buying it because there’s less margin for quick gains.
Less polished sites also sell for a lower multiple than more “finished” looking ones, so it can be more affordable to go after sites that need more improvements.
Of course, it’s important to remember a lot of this is subjective: design, content, titles, branding – all of these things are in the eye of the beholder, but the main thing is to find things you think you can improve upon.
Focus on Sites You Can Grow
There are two big ways to make more money with a website: improve what’s already there, and add to it.
The best sites to buy and flip are ones that haven’t reached their content ceiling.
You want a site that you can add plenty of content to, as this is one of the best ways to grow a site over time.
A site with a low content ceiling is hyper-focused and already has a lot of content on its topic.
Example: a site on aquarium backgrounds called aquariumbackgrounds.com has a relatively small scope, so if the site already has some content, chances are they’ve covered the main topics that drive traffic.
A better site to invest in would be fishhobbyist.com, where the content ceiling is much higher because you can talk about caring for fish, different aquarium equipment and so on.
I also look at the competitiveness of future content; if the site’s in a competitive, high-tech industry, it’s not as appealing as if the content I can add is in something more low-key that still has search volume (outdoors, DIY, etc.).
If your competition is other affiliates, that’s good.
If your competition is Gizmodo and TripAdvisor and other big ass sites, that may be harder to reach your content potential.
The Best Sites to Flip
With that in mind, the best site to flip:
- is in your marketing wheelhouse
- is a bit of a fixer-upper
- has plenty of new content opportunities
New “opportunities” may change based on your business model of choice.
I’m into organic traffic so I look at content opportunities, but if you’re into social media ads or FBA models, then look at the opportunities that exist in those areas.
Now that you know how to narrow your search, let’s talk due diligence.
Due Diligence: How to Find the Best Sites to Flip
For the rest of this section, I’ll do a real due diligence walkthrough on an actual site – Backyard Sumo.
This is a random site in a random niche that I have no affiliation with, but I just wanted to find something representative of what you might find on Empire Flippers or Flippa.
Just to be clear: this site isn’t for sale, but if it was, this is how I would evaluate whether or not the site was worth buying.
Checking Google’s Index
Because my strength lies in SEO and content, my due diligence pretty much starts and ends with how well the site does in Google.
Where to start: is it indexed in Google?
The first thing I check is if the site is indexed with a site:backyardsumo.com search.
It is indexed – the homepage and about 100 other URLs.
At this point, if a site isn’t indexed, I move on.
Or, if the site is indexed but there’s only a few pages in there, I also move on.
This usually isn’t an issue with Empire Flippers – their sites have been vetted so much that you can almost guarantee they’ll be indexed with plenty of pages, depending on the site and niche.
There’s more crap on Flippa, so this step is more important if you’re searching there.
Checking the index status of the site can also give you a good idea of the titles and descriptions used for the pages, but I’m not really concerned with those just yet.
Goal: make sure site is indexed in Google, and how many pages are in there.
Next, I’ll check Alexa, Ahrefs, SEMrush, SimilarWeb and Majestic for site metrics.
Ahrefs, SEMrush and Majestic all give a good look at the organic (and paid search) traffic, as well as domain authority metrics like Trust Flow and Citation Flow from Majestic, and URL Rating and Domain Rating from Ahrefs.
These aren’t end-all-be-all metrics, but they are useful to know.
I’m less focused on the actual numbers themselves than the fact that each tool’s metrics and trends somewhat match up.
They’re never going to correlate perfectly, but if I see a similar organic traffic trend on SEMrush and Ahrefs, I feel okay about that being a legitimate traffic trend.
Goal: to make sure that the site receives real, legit traffic (in my case, organic).
When I’m in Ahrefs and SEMrush, I’ll also pay attention to the overall organic traffic trend and where momentum’s going. If a site is relatively small or new but has a strong upward trend, that’s a great sign.
Even if it’s plateaued or going down slightly, I don’t mind seeing that – especially if the site hasn’t had new, incoming content in a while.
The only thing I avoid is sites that have been clearly trending down for a long time and don’t look like they’ll recover any time soon.
This also includes sites that have been penalized – usually you can see a pretty big drop in traffic, like what happened to CCN Markets in mid-2019.
I don’t want to deal with any site that’s not in Google’s good graces, so I skip these and move on.
Goal: find a site that’s trending upward, or a site that’s plateaued because it hasn’t published much new content.
Next, I run the site through Ahrefs to see its top pages.
Here, I’m looking to see:
- which pages are driving the most organic traffic
- how many pages are driving organic traffic
- the mix of content: is one page responsible for most traffic, or is it evenly spread?
- how those pages rank overall, and can they rank better?
This is mostly common sense, but the more pages driving traffic, the better.
I also like to get an idea of the types of pages driving traffic.
Informational or how-to pages are monetized differently than product review pages, and there are all types of search intent variations.
Some of those are more profitable than others.
For example, when I run Backyard Sumo through Ahrefs, I see most of their top pages are product-based.
There’s also a few informational pages, like the page on fire pit rules and regulations.
In general, I’m looking to make sure the traffic isn’t all coming from just one or two pages.
Backyard Sumo has a good traffic mix – no one page is driving more than 18% of estimated traffic.
If that top page was something like 30% to 50% or higher, I would be hesitant to buy the site only because I don’t want my eggs in one content basket.
Similarly, ranking well and driving traffic for multiple pages and topics is a better indication of the site’s health and authority.
Checking Google Rankings for Posts
Now that I see which pages are driving traffic, it’s time to dive into a handful of articles to see if I can quickly improve their rankings by doing basic on-site SEO and content updates.
Let’s look at Backyard Sumo’s top page on Ahrefs, on stihl vs husqvarna chainsaws.
In this case, the site appears to have the snippet box and ranks in the top few results, so there’s not a whole lot of room to move up from here.
Sure, you could improve some of the longtail variations the page is ranking for, but because its main search ranks well, there’s not much room for improvement.
If this was the case across the board with all the site’s pages, then I could safely assume that I might improve some rankings, traffic and revenue, but there’s no real big gaps where I can make big gains in all those metrics.
Now, let’s look at their page on the most comfortable outdoor chairs.
You can see they rank well for their target phrase “most comfortable outdoor chair,” but there are a handful of other terms they’re not targeting in their meta title like “comfortable patio furniture.”
They rank well for those, but if they adjusted their titles and content to reflect those search terms, they could probably bring in some extra traffic based on better positioning and a meta description/title that better reflects what people are looking for.
In this case, I would personally change their meta title from “Most Comfortable Outdoor Chair July 2019” to something like:
15 Most Comfortable Outdoor Chair & Patio Furniture Sets
Basically, something that would hit on those searches and phrases they’re missing.
Google does a great job of lining all these topics up semantically, so that if you rank for “outdoor chair” you’re likely ranking for “outdoor furniture,” but in my experience it can help to make these small adjustments nonetheless.
I’ll repeat this content audit with most of the top pages driving traffic, and if I see quite a few pages that could use content, title and keyword updates, then that’s a good sign that I could potentially increase traffic and revenue to the site.
Most of the time, the pages will need just small updates like this, but occasionally you’ll find sites and pages where the content and title are way different than what the page is actually ranking for.
This is actually the best case scenario, and one where you can make the most difference by updating your meta info and content.
Goal: find enough pages that could be updated based on keyword data pulled from Ahrefs, SEMrush or other tools.
The Eyeball Test
Now that I have a good idea of what content is bringing in traffic, and which pages I could potentially improve, I do a basic “eyeball” test of the site to see what areas I feel like I could improve aesthetically.
For Backyard Sumo, it’s not a bad site, but it’s also clearly not anything too custom. It’s using a basic WordPress theme and little graphic customization, so a few things I noticed I could improve:
Logo. Changing the logo from text to a clean graphic can help build more trust and authority for readers
Colors. The colors aren’t bad, but they’re the same ones used on the theme’s demo and they don’t necessarily match the “backyard” vibe.
I would change this to a green or summer-feeling color scheme that felt more warm and fitting for the content.
Design. I would probably add a new theme, something a little cleaner and less generic.
It wouldn’t need much, but the content often looks cluttered and the ads, sidebar and photos can take away from the main points of the content, at least in some of the articles I went through.
So design-wise, I would pick something that might resemble other more authoritative blogs like this one.
Site structure. I would update the homepage to look more like a landing page where visitors can easily go where they’d like, compared to the blog-style homepage they have going now.
This would allow the homepage to link to the biggest/most profitable pages and not just the most recent, which can help for a number of reasons (internal linking, user experience, etc.).
Storytelling. With a lot of affiliates, there’s not much backstory going on, but this site does a particularly weak job of having any kind of about page or mission statement, etc.
So one thing I would is bulk of the “why” behind the site and focus on the content – or at least the reason it’s being published – on some kind of stronger story.
Maybe it’s to help people put together the backyard setup of their dreams on a budget, or maybe it’s to help families create an outdoor oasis in just a few weekends.
Whatever it is, that story can guide the homepage, the about page, content and the visitor’s journey on the site just a little bit better than what’s up there now.
Overall, with this site I found enough elements to improve that I would feel comfortable acquiring the site and making small changes to update the user experience of the site.
It’s important to remember that at this stage, I’m still just doing an eyeball test and not really getting into the technical side of things.
Goal: determine which aesthetic and/or front-end elements can be improved and how.
Growing the Site
As I mentioned, the two best ways to flip sites are to 1) improve it and 2) add to it.
The above due diligence focused on improving a site, and now we’ll see what we can do to grow the site.
The first step here is to get an idea of the site’s competition, which I find is best done with SEMrush.
I love Ahrefs and their interface, but their competing domains feature isn’t as comprehensive as the one over at SEMrush.
First, I’ll run Backyard Sumo through SEMrush and get a list of competing sites.
With this list, I’ll go back to Ahrefs and use their content gap tool to see which keywords and pages those sites are ranking for that Backyard Sumo does not.
This is a great way to see off-the-bat what content you could easily add to your site that’s in line with its topical relevance, competition and what users could expect from your site.
Next, I’ll filter the keywords to be three or more words – I don’t really want to focus on short-tail keywords – and those that have a keyword difficulty of 5 or less.
You can go up or down depending on how competitive you want to get, but I find there’s enough topics with a KD under 5 that would drive good traffic.
Now, I have a list of keywords that I could potentially target on my site.
I’ll go through the list and eyeball ones I know I’d like to tackle, but the main thing is to see how much is coming up.
If there are only a few keywords that the competition ranks for that your site doesn’t, then there may not be much room to grow, content-wise.
If there’s a ton of content opportunities, that’s a good sign that you could grow the site over months (or years) and that the current state of the site is not close to its content ceiling.
When I filter the keywords, I still get more than 1,000 results, so I’m fairly confident I could add new content to the site consistently over time.
Some topics I could cover based on this report:
- best meats to smoke
- weber spirit vs genesis
- best gas grills under $200
- best george foreman grill
- kamado joe vs big green egg
These are all product-based articles, but I could also cover topics like:
- how to reheat brisket
- how to trim a brisket
- how to use an offset smoker
- how to smoke on a gas grill
- how to season cast iron grill grates
So you can see there’s a mix of informational and product content I could add, and so the content room to grow is pretty high.
In this case, I would feel comfortable knowing I could grow the content, traffic and revenue with plenty of topics and room to grow.
Like the eyeball test, this content/competition analysis is pretty quick and dirty.
I only run a handful of the site’s top competitors through SEMrush and Ahrefs, but if I acquire the site, you can bet I’ll run waaaay more sites through this process to find articles and topics that smaller competitors are covering as well.
When you look at the number of competing sites and the amount of content to cover, you’ll pretty quickly see if the site’s close to its content ceiling or not.
Goal: find at least 10 solid articles that you could add to the site, but the more the better.
Should You Buy the Site?
This is a pretty good idea of what my normal due diligence looks like, and after you do it a few times it doesn’t take long and you can tell relatively quickly if a site would be worth buying.
Here’s a recap/checklist of what I like to see in order to buy a site:
- indexed in Google
- positive organic traffic trend
- good metrics in Ahrefs, Majestic, SEMrush
- good mix of content driving traffic
- content that could be improved
- design elements that could be improved
- 10+ articles the competition covers that the site for sale doesn’t
This covers making sure the site actually gets traffic, that it’s in good shape to keep receiving traffic, that there’s room to improve and room to scale in the near future.
If you can cover all those areas, you have a good flippable site on your hands.
You can also turn it into a site you can keep instead of flip.
I’ve had plenty of sites I planned on flipping quickly that I ended up keeping around in my portfolio because they improved quicker and easier than I expected, and the monthly cash flow was more useful than selling it outright at the time.
Step 2. Buying a Website
Compared to the due diligence you do on a site, the experience of buying is actually pretty easy.
If you go with Empire Flippers, buying a site is a matter of making a deposit and sending in your wire before another buyer does.
This requires going to your bank and filling out Empire Flipper’s information, which usually doesn’t take more than 15-30 minutes.
From there, you’ll hear back to see if your wire was the first one in.
This is important on for-sale sites that will go quickly, but less important for sites that have been on the marketplace for weeks or months.
The buying process is similar with sites like Flippa, but they have fewer services in place to make sure it goes as smooth.
In my experience, buying through Empire Flippers has always been a better process than buying from Flippa, but if you do your due diligence and trust the seller, Flippa can be relatively easy as well.
Last I checked, the payment methods you can use on Flippa include PayPal and Flippa Escrow, and the site recommends going with the later for better buyer protection.
If you buy a site through a forum, third-party site or any other way, it’s smart to use some kind of escrow service to make sure both parties are satisfied with the transaction, especially if you’re paying a lot of money for the site.
If you go with Empire Flippers, the buying process is extremely easy and their customer service team keeps you posted on every phase of the transaction to make sure you’re up to speed.
If you do end up getting your target site, know that the buying and selling process from start to finish can take weeks or even a few months because of the migration process.
Step 3. Improving a Website
I’m not going to dive fully into what I do to improve each website I flip, but you can use the due diligence steps above to get a good idea of what you can improve.
For example, some of the things I’ll work on to improve and grow a site include:
- updating titles, descriptions and content on existing pages
- adding new content based on keyword/topical research
- fixing design, user experience and structural errors
- updating branding, theme and color schemes to reflect the content
- fixing technical errors and on-site SEO issues
- doing off-site SEO to improve domain authority and rankings
Each site also has its own quirks and nuances that require improvement.
For example, I once bought a site that had way too many categories and tags in WordPress, and all of those were being indexed, though the pages weren’t unique or valuable enough to get traffic.
I fixed those issues and cleaned up the crawlable parts of the site to exclude thin and duplicate content.
On another site, it wasn’t secured with an SSL, so I purchased a security certificate and made sure everything then redirected to the https version.
With each site, you’ll find a laundry list of things to improve.
The good news: you don’t have to fix everything at once.
If the site’s making money and getting traffic, that means the problems you need to fix aren’t likely super urgent.
You can make a weekly or monthly plan of action to tackle all of the things that need to be improved and still move things along at a good pace.
Usually, some of the first improvements I make are to the top-trafficked pages.
Changes to these pages can result in better traffic and revenue almost immediately, and definitely within weeks or months.
Something like adding content is also important, but that kind of strategy requires a more long-term approach before you start seeing results.
Staggering improvements this way can help you manage your time and get things done without feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs work.
I’ll go into how to improve your site more in the future, but know that it’s all about having a few big changes in mind and getting those done over time – working backward from your end goal and breaking up the work into chunks.
Step 4: Selling Your Site
Here’s the homestretch. The fun part. The payday.
Like the buying process, I recommend selling with Empire Flippers.
They charge between 12% and 15% of the selling price, but that allows you to enter their high-quality marketplace, sell faster and work with a team that will manage the migration.
You don’t get those perks with Flippa, and in my experience it’s well worth the 15% (or 12% for sites over $1 million).
The actual selling itself is relatively easy, but prepping to sell is a bit more work.
A few things you’ll want to have in order to make the process go smoother:
- up-to-date Google Analytics (or other tracking) and Search Console data
- an updated P&L statement with your revenue and expenses
- a general idea of questions you might get asked about the site (from Empire Flippers and potential buyers)
- a list of SOPs for the site’s operation (even simple ones are fine)
Empire Flippers has a few requirements you must meet – your site must make at least $1000, or $500 per month for Amazon Associates.
Selling your site with Empire Flippers is a relatively straightforward process and it’s always been a smooth one in my experience.
Their sales team is great and fully preps both parties on what to expect during the sale.
The Key to Profitable Website Flipping
Flipping websites might seem like a simple 4-step process, but there’s a lot that has to happen for everything to go right.
Not only do you have to find the right site to flip, you have to be the first buyer to send in your wire, and you have to do the actual work of improving the site.
That’s not easy to do, and there’s risk inherent with any big undertaking like that.
But there’s also great reward.
Consider this: if you buy a site making $500 per month for $15,000, and you take a few months to clean things up and get monthly revenue to $1,500, then you could turn around and sell that site for $45,000.
Not a bad ROI.
Do this enough times or on a large enough scale and you can see why it’s such a valuable business model.
I’ve had sites that I’ve bought and sold with returns from 3x to 6x my investment, so there’s a reason it’s become one of my favorite ways to work on websites.
It’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone, but marketers with confidence in their strengths can make big movements flipping websites, working up from lower-priced sites to larger ones over time.
I’m going to update this guide over time with more tips and advice, but if you have any questions about flipping websites, feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch here.