Website flipping has quickly become the ether world equivalent to the ‘real world’ real estate flipping. What is it? What is making it so popular, and can it really make money?
Operational Definition of Flipping
Regardless of venue or commodity, flipping is buying with intent to sell. That’s the sole idea behind the purchase.
Flipping has its origins in the terrestrial world in the real estate market. Real estate flippers buy property—land, houses or buildings, for example—and may or may not make improvements on it. They either immediately attempt to market the property for sale or they may hold onto it for sale later at a profit.
The most common type of flipping for the average citizen is house flipping: An undervalued residential property is purchased, repaired and resold at a higher price. Variations do exist, however. Tax lien purchases conditional brokered flips are the two most well-known.
Two types of flipping occur regarding Internet assets or commodities: Domain names and websites.
The flipping of domain names involves no actual website but only of the domain name. Often rich in target market-oriented keywords and easy to remember, domain names purchased for under $10 have sold for thousands and tens of thousands of dollars.
Often larger profits are enjoyed from flipping actual websites, although this usually requires greater financial and effort input.
Usually, flipping websites start from either of two vantage points: purchasing small, low income-producing websites and developing them for greater traffic or revenue or developing a small website from scratch with the initial goal of generating high volume traffic and selling the package.
When considering purchasing a ready-made website, look for true traffic figures, outbound and inbound links, and target market.
The website doesn’t have to look fancy when you purchase it; that’s merely a housekeeping issue. Look instead at how well it can be upgraded for incoming advertising links, product expansion, mailing lists and how well it presents itself to its target audience.
For example, a small, well-kept website may gear itself toward dogs. Does the website further specialize, taking advantage of second- and third-tier keywords? The primary keyword for the site would obviously be ‘dog,’ but everyone in the pet market may be competing for search engine ranking on ‘dog.’
Is it a site for Border collies or German shepherds or poodles? Is there a specific breed of dog on which the site focuses? If not, how easily can you realign it? How well and how easily can you expand that target and gain advertising and rankings?
If you look at a site that doesn’t have much to brag about but sits within a decent market, change it from a sales site to a content site and sell advertising space. Enroll in a paid advertising program or sell text links to advertisers.
When you build traffic and value, put the domain and site up for sale. Odds are, you’ll get inquiries and bids, and it’s entirely possible to turn your investment and development costs around into a profit of thousands of dollars.
Very similar to rehabilitating websites, you simply purchase a domain name that coordinates with your target market, gear your site construction toward what kind of site you want—sales, content or both—and create a website to suit your goal. As the site’s Internet exposure increases and your traffic builds, keep adding value. Then put the domain and site up for sale and gleefully pocket the profits.
JC Ryan is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them search for online degrees that can help them reach their goals.