Buying a website that makes money passively is a dream business scenario. However, finding and purchasing a quality website isn’t easy. In this feature, I will share the full details about buying a website on Flippa for bloggers.
While there are many website marketplaces, Flippa is one of the most common and easiest places to buy a website. Personally, I have purchased 5 websites on Flippa in multiple several thousand-dollar transactions over the years.
In order to help you avoid mistakes when buying a website on Flippa, I will share how to find, vet and buy a website that makes money. Join me in earning a passive income online!
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Table of Contents
- Marketplaces for Buying a Website
- Buying a Website vs Starting Your Own
- Buying a Website that Makes Money – What to Look For?
- Types of Websites Available to Buy
- Characteristics of a Website that Will Make Money
- How Much Should a Website Cost?
- Using Filters to Search for Websites on Flippa
- Questions to Ask When Buying a Website on Flippa
- How to Purchase a Website on Flippa?
- Completing the Site Transfer
- Monetizing your Blog Purchase
- Summary of Buying a Website on Flippa
Buying a Website on Flippa Video
Marketplaces for Buying a Website
As you begin your search for buying a website, you may not know where to begin. Fortunately, there are a few digital marketplaces that make buying and selling a website easy. Think of these digital marketplaces as places where you can buy + sell digital real estate similar to how you would do the same for physical real estate property. Below are the most popular marketplaces for buying a website.
Flippa – Buying a website on Flippa is the easiest and most affordable place for a beginner. At Flippa, they offer a wide range of blogs for sale but it’s more important to do your due diligence here. Flippa’s vetting process is not as thorough as the others below.
MotionInvest – MotionInvest lists quality, well vetted sites for sale with a focus on sites generating revenue from affiliates and display advertising. With MotionInvest, they have fewer sites available for sale than Flippa so they tend to sell quickly after being listed.
Empire Flippers – Empire has by far the most thorough vetting process of the three. EF is for the experienced buyer that is looking for a well-established business. Buyers need to be approved and most sites for sale are in the six-figure range.
In summary, those are the three most common places for buying a website. The rest of this feature will focus primarily on buying a website on Flippa.
Buying a Website vs Starting Your Own
Before we dive in on buying a website on Flippa, new bloggers should be aware in the differences of buying a website vs starting your own website from scratch. Personally, I have done both. While one isn’t necessarily better than the other; there are pros and cons of each.
The table below summarizes the main differences between buying a website and starting a new website:
|Money||Requires initial upfront investment to purchase a site already generating traffic ($1,000 +)||Almost zero financial investment other than domain name ($10-$20/yr) and hosting fees|
|Time||Low time investment to maintain an already established site||Will require a heavy time investment to build your site and grow your audience until making money (several hours/wk)|
|Knowledge||An established site does not need much knowledge to maintain. Anyone can do it.||Will need to learn about creating a site, SEO and growing your audience but you'll be an expert after doing this|
In summary, it’s much easier to buy a website than it is to start a website. However, buying a website that makes money requires you have some money in the bank to invest. The size of site (traffic wise) you will be able to buy depends on how much you are able to spend. Alternatively, starting a website from scratch is a fun project that is cheaper and you will learn a lot.
Ultimately, you need to consider your preferences before making a decision. The rest of this article will cover buying a website that makes money. Check here for more information on starting your own website.
Buying a Website that Makes Money – What to Look For?
Now that we know we are interested in buying a website, the next step is ensuring we are buying a website that makes money. In this section, I am going to share a few common characteristics I look for to help ensure I am buying a website that makes money. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you are buying a website on Flippa or not. Be sure to vet your purchase first.
Types of Websites Available to Buy
Firstly, let’s talk about the different types of websites available for purchase.
E-commerce sites: These sites specialize in selling a product.
Forums: Community based sites where users interact
Affiliate Sites: Review sites which are typically monetized with links to Amazon
Content Sites: Content rich sites which typically include blogs and are monetized with display ads.
In this post, I am focused on Content Sites and Affiliate Sites. These types of sites are normally content rich and I am most familiar with how to monetize them.
Characteristics of a Website that Will Make Money
When you begin your search for buying a website on Flippa, look for the following:
High quality, original content: This should go without saying – it’s important to buy a website that is high quality content. This means not to buy a website that is poorly written, stuffed with keywords, or lacks quality sentence structure. More importantly perhaps, is to ensure the content is original. An easy way to check this is through copying a paragraph of text and pasting into Google search. As long as it comes up as the first ranking result, that means it is original. If you are operating a website with ads that doesn’t have original content, you run the risk of getting a Policy Violation. A violation from Google is a quick way to make buying a website go south quickly.
Evergreen Content: In additional to high quality and original content, I also want to be buying a website with evergreen content. Evergreen content is the type of content that you don’t need to do much to maintain because people will always be searching for that information. Good examples of this include how-to’s, product reviews, or general information about a hobby such as cooking or camping. What you don’t want is a site you have to consistently update all the time like a News site. Personally, that’s what I prefer. I prefer to be buying a site that is as low maintenance and passive as possible. This is preferable rather than a site that requires lots of work to update new content in order to stay relevant.
Site Framework: This category is all about what platform or framework the site is built on. For example, a CMS or Content Management System such as WordPress. Personally, I prefer WordPress because it’s easy and by far the most popular CMS.
Bottomline, you want to be buying a site using technology you are familiar with. As a beginner, don’t buy a site built on PHP if you know nothing about it. Stick with what you are familiar with. If you are new to this, stick with sites built on WordPress.
Under Monetized: The final characteristic I look at before buying a website is how well is it currently monetized? I prefer finding sites running only AdSense for display ads or no ads at all. Sites like these, I know I can more easily get a return for my investment especially when using monetization platforms like Ezoic.
In summary, whether you are buying a website on Flippa or another marketplace – be sure to look at for these things. They include vetting the site for quality, identifying a site using a platform you are familiar with and finding a low maintenance website with potential to grow and return your ROI quickly.
How Much Should a Website Cost?
Okay, you are beginning your search for a perfect blog for generating passive income. Next, you need to figure out how much should the website cost. Of course, the price will be listed on Flippa or you will get into an auction style bidding war – more on that later. However, first you need to figure out how much you are willing to pay. In order to do this, I will share with you my formula to understand how much a website should cost.
Firstly, you need to know how much monthly traffic the site receives. Good news is that this figure should already be listed when buying a website on Flippa. If it’s not, this is a question to ask before buying. Later on, I will also share with you a complete list for all the questions to ask when buying a website on Flippa.
Once you know the monthly sessions to the site, use this formula:
Monthly Traffic x .17 = Annual Estimated Website Revenue
In this example, let’s use a site that gets 100,000 monthly visitors on average.
100,000 x .17 = $17,000
Based on this formula, the site has potential to earn $17,000/year or about $1,416/month. Caveat – This number applies to a site that has high quality, organic traffic mainly from the United States. If the majority of visitors are from India, then you should half this number.
Now that you know annual estimated revenue, how much should the website cost? Personally, I don’t like to buy websites on Flippa that take me more than two years to get an ROI. As such, I wouldn’t pay more than $34,000 for this site. Based on my estimates for yearly and monthly ad revenue potential on this site, I should see an ROI within two years. This is especially true if you are upgrading a site using AdSense only to a monetization partner like Ezoic. For other ad partners, it may take longer to recoup your ROI.
In summary, I’ve used this formula multiple times when buying a website on Flippa. It hasn’t failed me yet and should serve as a good barometer as you look into buying a website on Flippa.
Using Filters to Search for Websites on Flippa
Okay, let’s get to it and help you find that website to buy on Flippa!
Firstly, make sure you log in to your Flippa account so that you can fully use all of the search filters. Next, navigate to the Search page.
From here, you’ll have access to a bunch of filters to help you narrow down your search to find and buy a website that makes money. The filters will be running down the side of the page in a left- hand column. To simplify things, I am going to share the basic filters that I use when starting my search.
Asset Type: Since we are focusing on content websites, select Websites & Online Businesses. For this search, we don’t care about apps or Amazon stores.
Website Types: Remember, we are looking for a content site; not an e-commerce store or marketplace. As such, all of the subcategories found under Content will do just fine. Personally, I’m not looking for Forums so I normally leave that excluded as well. Forum communities require more time to oversee community discussions which is why I zero on Blogs or Review sites.
Price Range: The next filter is self-explanatory and depends on your budget. Use the slider to zero in on the price range you are willing to pay. If you are starting small, you should still set a minimum price range above $0. This will help you filter out the starter sites or sites with very little content. In my opinion, $250 is a good minimum price range to set in order to keep your costs low and filter out unestablished websites.
Time Left: Finally, the last filter I like to use is Time Left. This filter is often overlooked but if you don’t use it, you will end up with sites that are either already sold or the auction isn’t set to end for weeks. As such, I set a minimum of 1 hour left and typically a maximum of 17 days.
In summary, there a quite a few filters to choose from. However, focusing on these four will help you zero in on your search to find and buy a website on Flippa that has a good chance of making you money.
Questions to Ask When Buying a Website on Flippa
Before buying a website on Flippa, it’s important to do your due diligence. Most information about the site is in the actual listing. However, there are a series of questions to ask when buying a website to learn more. The following questions are common questions that I ask before buying a website on Flippa – in order of importance.
Can you grant read only access to Google Analytics?
This is an absolute must. Before buying any site on Flippa, I always ask for GA access in order to cross reference the information in the listing. This will help you identify the quality of the traffic (eg. Traffic source, geo location, device) and also any trends. For example, has the traffic been trending down over the last year? If so, that’s a follow up question to ask the owner. This will help you identify if the site was hit by an algorithm update, the owner stopped updating content, or something else.
Most sites have Google Analytics running. If they don’t, ask them for access or screenshots from whatever 3rd party reporting they are using.
How is the site being monetized?
Next, I want to fully understand how the site is monetized. Sometimes, the seller only lists one source of revenue in the listing so being clear on this is a must. This will help you when monetizing your blog after you are the owner.
Buying a Website on Flippa: Ultimat...
Buying a Website on Flippa: Ultimate Guide for Bloggers
How much time do you spend working on the website per week and on what activities?
By asking this question before buying a website on Flippa, you will gain a better understanding of the time you need to invest. Ideally, the seller is spending minimal time on the site outside of managing updates and the occasional new blog post.
What platform is the site built on?
This is usually in the listing but if not, ask. Be aware of what kind of site you are getting into and if you have the skillset to grow it.
In summary, the questions to ask when buying a website on Flippa will reveal any potential issues. If there are no major flags, you are on your way to buying a website that makes money.
How to Purchase a Website on Flippa?
In this section, I will cover the basics on how to purchase a website on Flippa. When ready to buy a website, there are two main ways to purchase a website on Flippa.
Buy it Now (BIN) – The first option and preferred in my opinion is the Buy it Now option. Not all listings have a BIN. However, if they do no not – you should ask the seller what their BIN is during negotiations. If they agree to one, you will be able to simply click the BIN button to submit your offer. In my opinion, this is best way to buy a website on Flippa because it avoids the sale price being driven up through an auction.
Auction – The second option to purchase a website on Flippa is through the general auction. All listings will also have a ‘Place Bid’ button. This allows you to enter a maximum price you are willing to pay to purchase the website. Since it’s an open auction, anyone can place bids until the bidding period ends. The bidding period is usually set to about two weeks. As a result, other bidders will likely outbid you driving up the price you are willing to pay.
In conclusion, the BIN option is best for a clean sale and allows you to purchase a website on Flippa at a price closer to your expectations.
Completing the Site Transfer
Now that you have submitted your offer, it is time to complete the sale and transfer. Firstly, there are generally two payment options when buying a website on Flippa.
- Paypal – I prefer PayPal. It’s easy and quick to send/receive money. However, it does involve more risk unless you sign a Sales Agreement. Risk equals you sending the money and the seller not upholding their end of the deal eg. Transferring the site to you.
- Escrow – This option is slower than PayPal. It takes up to a week for the transaction to go through and be approved by both parties. However, I recommend it for high value transactions as it greatly reduces your risk of coming up empty handed.
Once you have successfully purchased the website on Flippa, you need to get the control and ownership transferred to you. The items I like to check off my list when I complete buying a website on Flippa include the following:
Domain Transfer: Firstly, you’ll need ownership of the domain transferred to your site registrar. If you don’t have one, I recommend GoDaddy.
Site Files/Database: Be sure to get the site files and database. Normally, the seller can send it to you in file or share a Google drive. This is necessary when you move the site to your own website hosting.
Hosting: To keep things neat, I try to use the same hosting as my registrar. In this case, I use GoDaddy.
Site Login Credentials: This includes the credentials needed to log into any admin areas to the site where content is updated/added. For sites built on WordPress, simply ask for the WP login credentials.
In summary, transferring a new Flippa website purchase to your name should be able to be completed within 48 hours after the point of sale. If you go into Escrow, it may be longer.
Fortunately, once the site is in your control, you can begin your plans for monetizing your blog purchase!
Monetizing your Blog Purchase
Now that you successfully own a new website, it’s time to ensure you maximize your ROI. Buying a website on Flippa is half the battle. Now, you have to be an expert at monetizing your blog. An in-depth post on monetizing your blog to its fullest potential is this post. For now, enjoy this short summary of easy wins to increase your site’s monthly earnings.
Display Ads: Programmatic ads are my favorite form of passive income and I think it’s the easiest option for monetizing your blog. AdSense is a great starting point. However, if you are looking for the most bang for your buck – consider Ezoic. Ezoic Is easily the best option for ad monetization and overall website improvement.
Affiliate Links: There are numerous affiliate programs out there where you are able to earn a commission when someone clicks on your link and buys a product. Amazon Affiliates is another easy option to begin monetizing your blog. If you have purchased a site already using Amazon links, simply sign up for SiteBuddy. This tool will allow you to easily swap out Amazon affiliate links with your tracking tag.
Sell a Product: Create a product or service that your audience can purchase even if it’s as simple as a T-shirt! The margins for anything you sell directly are way higher than any affiliate program.
In conclusion, there are several ways to begin monetizing your blog. The ones listed above are the easiest options to begin.
Summary of Buying a Website on Flippa
In summary, getting started in the digital space of real estate is really not that hard with a little direction. Now that you have been informed on buying a website on Flippa and buying a website that makes money, you’ll be on your way to monetizing your blog. Whether your blog is a side hustle or a full-time job, welcome to the world of blogging and earning a passive income online!
If you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can also start getting ideas by viewing the websites I have purchased on Flippa. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe below for more expert blogging tips like these.
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Can you make money buying websites on Flippa? ›
This is the most talked about way of making money on Flippa. This involves buying websites, apps or domains on Flippa and reselling it on Flippa without much delay. A lot of people do this as full time job and they make good money flipping on Flippa. It is very easy and straightforward.
Flippa.com has a consumer rating of 2.21 stars from 121 reviews indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases. Consumers complaining about Flippa.com most frequently mention negative feedback and personal information problems.Flippa.com ranks 94th among Business Services Other sites.Are businesses on Flippa legit? ›
Flippa is a lower end marketplace for online business owners. It's a pretty good place to sell your site if you don't mind dealing with a lot of tire kickers. I can't recommend that anyone buy a site on Flippa though. There are just too many scams out there.How can I make money by buying a website? ›
- Know Your Time and Money Limits. ...
- Look In The Right Niches. ...
- Find Websites to Buy. ...
- Do Your Due Diligence. ...
- Make an Offer. ...
- Improve the Website. ...
- Evaluate What Your Website is Worth. ...
- Find Your Buyer.
You might already realize that building a website is easy, but making money off that website is the hard part. You can sell specific products and services to earn revenue, but if you want to use your experience to make money, there's a four-step process you'll need to follow: Choose a niche with a significant audience.How does Flippa pay you? ›
The Buyer transfers funds to Escrow.com's account via standard wire transfer (please note ACH transfers are not currently accepted by Escrow.com). Card and PayPal payments are available for some customers. The Seller is notified once funds are received and secured in Escrow.com's escrow account.Is owning a website worth it? ›
Your website establishes your place in your industry
As of 2021, 71% of small businesses have websites and 81% of customers research things online before they buy them. In other words, if your competitors are online and you're not, those competitors get the first interactions with customers.
Yes. Buying and selling domain names can be very profitable. You just need a computer and an internet connection to get started. The key is to find quality domains at a good price and then find the right buyer who understands the domain's value.Does Flippa take commission? ›
Flippa charges fees to both buyers and sellers. Buyers are charged a 10% fee on the purchase price, while sellers are charged a fee based on the sale price of their website or online business. These fees can add up quickly and can be a significant cost for buyers and sellers.
Flippa has success fees of 5% to 10% depending on what your asset sells for. Then, to create a listing, the listing fee ranges from $10 to $49. As an example, I sold a established website for $4,500 and the total cost from Flippa was $499. Being so confident with their pricing they offer a price guarantee.
How much money can a good website make? ›
In general websites earn ad revenue based heavily on their number of monthly page views. Some starter benchmark ranges are: 500K monthly page views: $1,000 - 5,000 per month. 1M monthly page views: $2,500 - 25,000 per month.How much should I pay someone to make me a website? ›
The average cost for website development is between $100 and $500. It can even go up to $30,000 or more if you want some sophisticated features. You'll also need a budget for a domain name and web hosting.How much should I get paid for a website? ›
Reasonably skilled freelance web designers make about $75 per hour. This figure can vary though, according to CSS-Tricks. Website Builder Expert estimates that the cost to design a website is $30 to $80 per hour and the cost to develop it is $100 to $180 per hour.
Leading websites worldwide 2022, by monthly visits
Between September and November 2022, Google.com held the leading position as the most popular website worldwide with 88.4 billion average monthly visits.
Roughly $0.2 – $2.5 per 1,000 views. Although it depends on many factors including the content of your site, location of your users, time on site and device breakdown. Use our AdSense revenue calculator above to find out how much you could earn with your website.How long does it take for a website to become profitable? ›
How Long Does it Take to Make a Profitable Blog? For most bloggers, even if they're complete beginners, it took them 6 months to a year to start generating income from their blog. This time period varies on how good a strategy you are following and how much time and effort you put in a week.How much does the average website owner make? ›
Websites that join an advertising network earn an average of $1,000 a month. Crowdfunding websites average $824 in donations. Specific websites' income depends on many factors, such as how many people visit.What is the biggest Flippa sale? ›
The site sold for $1.2M. Currently, Planetrx.com is the most expensive business purchase on the platform, fetching an incredible price of $1.2M. According to the stats, the other two websites that fetched the highest prices on Flippa include: Bonusbonusbonus.com ($750K)How do I get more views on Flippa? ›
Providing detailed revenue & expenses, and backing up your claims with evidence is critical to getting seen. Buyers look for a P&L and verifiable revenue before enquiring. Enter revenue & expenses going back at least 12 months, and upload proof of your claims. Make sure your evidence matches your claims.Do you have to pay to sell on Flippa? ›
How much does it cost to sell with Flippa? Flippa charges to access the platform services and also a success fee. Platform fees start at $39 and success fees start from 4%. You can also choose to upgrade and get access to enhanced reach and additional services to support you through the sales process.
Can you use a credit card on Flippa? ›
Paying for Success Fees
All Success fees can be paid for using both credit/debit cards and PayPal.
How much does it cost to list on Flippa? Fixed price listing fees start at US$39.What are the disadvantages of having a website? ›
- Con: You have to pay for it.
- Pro: Creating a professional-quality website is the easiest it's ever been.
- Pro: Customers are more likely to trust you.
- Con: It's one more thing to worry about.
- Con: It can take a while to see results.
- The Verdict.
If you're a service-based business, a basic website will normally be around five to eight total pages. Depending on if you plan to build it yourself or hire outside help, you're likely looking at costs of $500 to $5,000. For an e-commerce website, the average cost can be anywhere from $2,000 to $100,000-150,000.How much does it cost to host a website? ›
Hosting costs FAQ
Shared hosting typically costs between $5 and $20 a month, virtual private server (VPS) hosting typically costs $20 to $40 per month, and cloud web hosting costs typically start at $50 per month and go higher depending on a client's needs.
Yes, you can earn money from free domain of blogspot, if your website good contents at least 40 good articles and 6 months old then you can apply for Adsense and earn good money if your site doesn't approve for Adsense then you can use adhitz, bidvertiser as ad network and second way is to earn from affiliate marketing ...How much do domain flippers make? ›
Averagely, a beginner can earn between $100 to $10,000 by flipping domains. However, seasoned domain flippers can flip undervalued domains for millions of dollars.How much is a good domain name worth? ›
How much is a domain name worth? Realistically a domain name can be worth any amount but most domain names sell for around $5,000 to $20,000 – premium domains, category killers and short domains however can easily command $100,000 or millions depending on a wide number of reasons.Can I sell new website on Flippa? ›
Flippa is a Website and domain flipping website. In simple word, you can Sell website and buy a website from Flippa. Infact, flipping website have become a lucrative business, where you create a nice or brand site for a couple of months and then you sale it at a high price.Is it easy to sell on Flippa? ›
Flippa makes it very easy to list your online business for sale. All you need to do is follow the guidelines, fill in as much information as possible, add images, add a video, anything that will help you stand out to potential buyers.
Who are flippa com competitors? ›
flippa.com's top 5 competitors in December 2022 are: sedo.com, empireflippers.com, afternic.com, websitebroker.com, and more.How long does it take to sell a website? ›
Generally, it takes between 30 to 120 days to sell a website on a marketplace or through a broker. The vetting and listing process itself typically takes five to seven days. Then, the selling period varies depending on negotiation with buyers, competition with other online businesses, and each website's conditions.How many views do you need to make money on a website? ›
The key metric to figure out here is the RPM (sometimes also abbreviated EPM). If you know that 1,000 visitors to a site make $10 on average then it's easy to figure out that 10,000 visitors a day is the average needed to hit that $100 a day mark. If the earnings are less, like a $5 RPM then it takes 20,000 visitors.How much is a good website worth? ›
As a rule of thumb, your website's worth is somewhere between 20 to 50 times its monthly revenue. For example, if your site earns $2,000 a month, its selling price will be between $24,000 and $100,000.How much should you budget for a website? ›
Designing a website yourself is the cheapest option. The cost can range anywhere from $100 to $3,000 or more. A simple custom website design from an agency can range from $15,000 to $30,000. Bigger and more complicated websites will cost between $40,000 to $75,000 or more.How much money does it cost to keep a website up? ›
The average cost of maintaining a website ranges from $400 to $60,000 per year. The most common maintenance costs are domain SSL certificate, and software or web hosting renewal. Other costs might include purchasing additional extensions or investing in a major website redesign.How much should I charge to build my first website? ›
Reasonably skilled freelance web designers make about $75 per hour. This figure can vary though, according to CSS-Tricks. Website Builder Expert estimates that the cost to design a website is $30 to $80 per hour and the cost to develop it is $100 to $180 per hour.