We’ve all heard stories about people becoming millionaires flipping real estate over the past decade, but is it still the fastest way to make money? Global recession has impacted interest rates and property prices, and making money in real estate can be a real rollercoaster ride. Buying a run-down property and fixing it up before flipping it for a profit can involve hard work, stress and high levels of risk. Flipping virtual real estate, or websites, is a far easier way to make money.

How Much Can You Make?

Domain names like Business.com and Wine.com have changed hands for millions of dollars in recent years. The potential value of these is obvious, but you can also make very good money anticipating future trends and buying relevant domain names. If you get this right, you could end up sitting on something worth thousands of dollars. Flipping websites involves actually adding content and improving an existing site rather than trying to profit from buying and selling domain names. If you don’t have the necessary technical, writing and design skills you may have to pay other people to do this for you. As long as you do your research and keep an eye on costs, you can make very good profits from flipp websites.

Website flipping is a growing trend for investors. Rather than buying a domain and developing a website from scratch, it often makes sense to buy an established site. There are profits to be made as a ‘middle man’ if you can spot opportunities and manage the process.

What Does Website Flipping Involve?

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Some Internet gurus make it sound like some kind of black art, but I regard website flipping as a three-step process.

Firstly, you need to find a suitable website to buy. It may sound easy, but this is actually the most critical stage of the process. One school of thought advises you to look for hot topics and current trends where there are fast bucks to be made. Personally I prefer to buy sites related to subjects I have some understanding of. For example, I recently bought a website about wildlife photography.

The second stage is where the work is required. Your role is to enhance and add value to the site you’ve bought to make it attractive to potential buyers. This can involve a change of design, adding new content and improving the SEO (search engine optimization). Don’t worry if you don’t have the time or skills for this. I outsource all of the work apart from content creation. I added several new articles and photographs to the wildlife photography I picked up and spent less than fifty dollars paying freelancers to give it a new look.

The final stage is of course to sell your website. This is where it can get exciting! It’s important that you take account of the work you’ve put into the site so that you understand your break-even point. Selling at a loss can be a painful lesson. It may take some time, but if you’ve done your research and genuinely improved a site you should be able to turn a good profit.

What Are The Best Websites To Flip?

It’s a sad fact that most sites on the Internet are pretty poor. Large companies and big brands have the budgets and resources to create fantastic-looking sites, but most others are poorly designed and could benefit from a makeover. Even if the SEO is good enough to attract reasonable traffic volumes, visitors can be put off by poor navigation and lack of original content.

Remember that someone looking to buy a website from you as an investment will be expecting it to generate an income. Consider what products a site can sell or ways it could make money before you buy. For example, my wildlife photography sites can generate income from affiliate sales of photographic equipment, books and courses.

A site operating in a popular keyword niche is a great option for flipping. The sale price may be high, but it’s virtually guaranteed to deliver a profit if you add some value. If the prices of products and services you can sell through a site are high, there’s greater potential value to generate income. For example, a site about high-end cruise vacations could have high profit potential from selling cruises as an affiliate. The owner could also sell travel insurance, guides about visiting foreign countries and other products people may buy when they’re planning a cruise.

SEO experts often talk about the benefits of so called ‘aged domains,’ and this is another factor to consider when looking at websites to flip for profit. The age of a domain is one of the features search engines use in their algorithms. New domains can be very difficult to rank, so buying an established one is a good strategy. The age of a domain is worth taking into account, but don’t be swayed by it if other factors don’t support the case. For example, buying a domain like ‘cheep2insurecarz.com’ would be a bad decision, even if it’s been registered for years.

Are There Any Pitfalls To Watch For?

Website flipping is a proven business model, but it’s a mistake to rush into it thinking it’s a guaranteed way to make a fast buck. Just as with flipping real estate, you have to carry out research and due diligence and understand the potential pitfalls. The best advice I was given at the start was to get some experience with some cheaper sites for small profits before moving up to those with richer potential rewards. If it comes to the worst and you can’t sell a site you’ve bought for less than a hundred dollars, you can write it off to experience.

One of the key questions to ask yourself before you buy any site is, ‘how can I add value?’ This is where playing to your own strengths and experience can come in. For example, if you find a site with poor content and have knowledge in the subject so you could create your own, that could be an easy way to enhance it for flipping.