I discovered website flipping can be extremely profitable, and buying and selling domain names and web businesses is absolutely booming. In short the aim of the game is… buy good websites cheaply, and sell them for 2 to 3 times what you paid.
But how can you be sure you’re buying a good value website at a cheap price?
Here’s a few tips if you’re starting on the Flippa.com market place.
Like any auction, you need to set your ceiling price and do your due dilligence to ensure you are buying quality. There are a couple of tools and techniques we recommend to get you website flipping started properly.
SEMRush will show you the top ten keywords the auctioned site is ranking for. You can compare these to the keywords referenced by the seller, as well as doing some keyword research to see how competitive these keywords would be to rank fo. Ask yourself how much would it cost you to purchase this traffic.
The “Open Site Explorer” in SEO Moz will show you the backlink profile of the website you may be looking at. You will want to know what backlinks are pointing at the site, how many, and the source of the backlinks.
Look for a decent spread of backlinks, you don’t want to see them all coming from the same source or link network.
Analyse the stats of the website, especially the traffic sources. The owner will most likely quote some site performance statistics, but ask for Google Analytics data as well.
If the site’s traffic is all coming from pay-per-click networks like Adwords, be sure the site is making good money! If you’re not careful, you could find yourself spending more on traffic than the site returns in revenue.
Check out the owner of the site. Whois can give you some information, but Googling the owner’s real name can give you some good information as well. Check out their Facebook profile and other SERPs to see if they match the owner’s Flippa information.
If you were buying an actual income-producing piece of real estate, you would likely do some due diligence. Do exactly the same work here. In real estate, share and stock trading, and website flipping … you should make a profit when you buy!
Now for the burning question – how much should I pay for a website to flip?
This is not an easy question. Buying and selling websites isn’t a liquid market with set valuations. As a rule of thumb, consider an offer of 10x the monthly revenue or I like to guestimate much money I think I can make from the site in 3 months. If I can get back to break even within 3 months I’m happy… everything after that is profit 🙂
Anyway just something ideas… if reading a long post like this takes more time and focus than you have, check out my interview with Luke Moulton on the subject or if you’re looking to learn all my secrets visit: www.bbsformula.com
I have a friend who recently sold here WordPress design blog for thousands of dollars. It wasn’t very well optimized but what made the sale for her was her keyword and the tons of traffic she gets everyday… Would love to be in the same position some day but I find that it is far easier to set up websites than sell them 🙂
Nice one… You’re on the right track 🙂 Just wondering where’d she sell it? http://www.flippa.com , another market place or direct? Anyways interested to hear.
Someone sent me an email today offering a dot com site of the same domain I currently maintain (on a dot net ), but I have second thoughts of purchasing it because I haven’t thought of anything to do with that new domain just in case.
My question is, would it be worth it to buy the dot com one even if I am only planning to maintain my dot net equivalent? Would that affect my search engine ranking if I get it? I’d appreciate your advice.
Thanks for the question Lia.
For me I always prefer to work on the .coms over any other domain extensions. That said, we also work with lots of other TLDs too. Since you’ve already started work on the .net extension I’d stick with that. And depending, on your intention for the site, if you’re planning on growing it really big then for the sake of $10 grab the .com … if on the other hand this is just a little side project that you’re testing on, maybe give it a miss.
With regards to ranking/SEO… you’re not really going to gain any additional benefits from having the .com
That’s my 2 cents. Your SEO coach,
Some very sound advice about particular questions you should ask before even considering buying a website. This post has given me some good places to seek out more information about the website’s potential for actually making money. Thanks!
That SEMrush site is amazing! I had not heard of it before. Looks like an invaluable tool for buying sites.
I also never even considered researching the seller, that would have save me a bunch of money last year when I bought from a scammer!
i’ve heard pagerank can be faked. is this true? i’m convinced buying a website or an old domain is a great strategy especially since most of my desired domain names are already taken.
Haven’t heard of that one, but that is really interesting to know. As for the old domain, if you already got a chance to buy one, go for it. 🙂
I also used SEMrush and I tell you, that revealed a lot about some of the sites that I’ve worked on, just realized how I am trying to compete with the big ones that I decided to do another round of keyword research after.
I guess that’s the advantage of websites that act as a marketplace for buying and selling domains. This is for you to avoid being scammed as well as having a more transparent venue for these buying and selling activities.
Dave I’m not sure where she sold it. She’s keeping things real secret. We just learned she sold it when we visited her site and it was already under an American company. We know she sold it for thousands because she did admit to that but didn’t give exact figures. We guessed it must have been a direct sell… someone approached her for it. That’s also how she got clients before. She just waited online to be contacted for work. How sweet is that?
it’s hard to find a site that matches your expectations or your business. i guess you just have to make some compromises like the content of the site, the age of the domain, the number of backlinks (and the quality of it), and of course the price. in the end just go with your instincts but of course still use the tools that can help you further investigate your future purchase.