I always wanted to get into the construction and real estate industry, but once I encountered the website flipping business 8 years ago, I knew I was hooked onto it for life!
Now that the Internet is penetrating so well into all corners of the world, the online real estate business offers even better opportunities to make millions of dollars, with far less investment than any of the off-line businesses.
In this detailed article, I’ll take you through some very important rules that I’ve abided by over the years. These rules have helped me consistently in increasing my wealth by purchasing websites, growing them and then selling them for handsome profits.
Focus on distress sales
If you’re planning to buy websites only for flipping them quickly, you must always remember that you never make money on the sell (unless you’re ready to do a considerable amount of work on the acquired portal; something that we’ll discuss below).
Your profits are determined at the time of buying the websites. It’s quite unlikely that you’ll find someone who’ll be ready to part with an amount higher than what the website is really worth. So, give up the thought of getting rich by adopting a sale-focused strategy.
The best way to make money in the website flipping business is by purchasing websites for lesser amounts than their true worth. Many people sell websites for amounts equal to their yearly profit or revenue. Sometimes people just want to sell their long-maintained portals for reasons like financial obligations, family disharmony or death. Normally, people wanting to dispose-off theifaceboor websites for low amounts have the following common characteristics:
- They no longer care about the well-being of the business
- They’re no longer making the kind of money that they used to make from it earlier
- They don’t have the resources to regularly update their website/s
If you see anyone having any of these three qualities, you stand a good chance of getting a nice deal on their offering/s. A simple and honest word with few website brokers can help you unearth such deals.
Furthermore, please keep in mind that you must never buy the company when you’re purchasing a website. Taking over the company would mean that you’ll also be responsible for its liabilities, including any lawsuit/s. So, buy only the company’s assets, and never the company.
Always remember that building something is much harder than growing it!
The most difficult part about running a business on the Internet is creating a website and then getting visitors to it. Although getting 10,000 or so visitors per month may not be a very difficult task, but increasing their numbers to over 100,000 per month will take some doing. However, what’s interesting is that once you’ve hit the 100,000 visitors per month mark, it’ll be fairly easy to take it up to 200,000 or more.
It’s precisely for this reason that I never invest into websites that aren’t in lucrative markets and don’t get at least 100,000 visitors per month. As it’s pretty hard to increase the traffic in small niches, I focus most of my time and energy on taking over and growing websites in lucrative niches like IT, health, finance etc.
Never be completely reliant on Google
Although you can get plenty of organic traffic through Google, it’s never a good strategy to keep all your eggs in one basket?! Before investing into a website, ensure that it has the potential of attracting plenty of visitors via Facebook. Facebook is easily among the most popular traffic channels in the online world today and you must utilize its full potential to drive tons of traffic to your acquired website. Building a nice business page will be a good start, followed by doing all the right things, as follows, to make the website an excellent sales prospect:
Run a trial advertising campaign – Before buying a particular website, you must create a trial advertising campaign on Facebook, to ascertain its marketability. This can be done by entering the target keywords and the demographic data. Creating an unfinished trial ad this way will tell you the number of people you’ll be able to actually target. Personally speaking, I never buy any website that can’t target at least 5 million prospects on Facebook.
Create your campaign – Assuming that you purchase the website, you must create and run your ad campaign as soon as possible. Rather than focusing on the generic categories suggested by Facebook, focus your attention on specific keywords related to your website’s niche. You’ll also need to figure out your ideal customer base. For instance, if your website is about shaving products, you’d be better off targeting your ad at male population. Then, your focus should be on people living in the United States or any other market where your website’s product/s can be easily and quickly delivered.
Allow Facebook to optimize – When you set up a campaign to drive traffic to your Facebook page, there’s a setting that allows Facebook to optimize your bidding. The optimization is done for page likes and engagement vs. a CPM or CPC model.
Add great content – I personally add plenty of video content, famous quotations and attractive images to my Facebook page to increase the chances of visitor engagement.
Learn from Facebook insights – Once your campaign has been running for two weeks, you’ll be able to see the gender, region and age of the people who’re liking your page and your content. You can use this data to fine tune your ads. For instance, you’d be better off making adjustments to your ad spend and campaign if your maximum number of page likes are coming from an Asian country, but majority of comments and likes on your posts are coming from US, 18+ males.
Gather email data
A very effective way of increasing your website’s customer base and revenue, regardless of the niche that it’s in, is via emails. You can collect emails of visitors to your website and offer them freebies like discount coupons, e-books, newsletters etc. Following are three effective ways of collecting email addresses:
Contests – Although contests can only be run occasionally, you can make good use of them to collect a few thousand email addresses in quick time.
Blog – If the website you’re buying has a well-maintained blog on it, you can set up some opt-ins and pop-ups below every blog post to collect the visitors’ email addresses. Offering something as a reward for providing email address works pretty well.
Facebook – You can make regular posts on your Facebook page, encouraging the visitors to provide their email address in exchange of some incentive. Why not run an exclusive Facebook campaign targeted at collecting email addresses in exchange of an e-book, a useful course or a discount coupon?!
Post engaging content
One of the best ways of growing your newly acquired website is by adopting certain content marketing strategies. You must hire services of few good content specialists and then promote the content created by them on social media portals.
Doing so will help you to gain many new readers and back links to your website, thereby helping it rise up in the Google search engine rankings. The best part about adding good content is that not only does it help in growing the website, it provides the visitors with plenty of valuable information and free advice.
Many people simply refurbish the same old content on the acquired website or make additional short posts, covering short news stories. Both these strategies don’t work very well. You must add fresh content to the website and each one of your posts should be at least 2000 words long.
Optimize the portal for better conversions
There are two essential steps you must take to make your acquired website a good sales prospect. First is driving more and more targeted traffic to it, and second is optimizing it for better conversions. The former can be a pretty expensive affair and should be leveraged only after you achieve a good conversion rate.
Never lose sight of your end-goals
A major reason why many people lose money in the website flipping business is because they lose sight of their end-goals. They don’t do any work on the acquired website/s in the vain hope that spending a little bit of money and waiting patiently is good enough to get nice return on their investment.
You need to put in considerable amount of time and effort to make your acquired website pay off. In case you can’t spare any time yourself, why not hire someone who can maintain your website on a day-to-day basis for you? Someone needs to work consistently on the website to make it worth selling. It could be you or someone else who’s qualified enough to do that.
Every website flipper has his/her own right time of selling his/her website/s. It all depends on how much is enough for you. I normally start contemplating selling of my websites once their growth rate goes below 30% per year. Whatever you do, make sure that your website’s growth rate doesn’t fall below 10% per annum, because then your chances of selling it at a good profit will start diminishing drastically.
I can tell you from experience that it’s pretty rare to acquire a website and sell it immediately for a huge profit. It’s easier said than done! You’ll need to try out various strategies and methods and learn from every experience to succeed at the website flipping business.