More and more web publishers these days are actively engaging in “site flipping,” which is the business of creating niche web sites only to turn around and sell them for a nice profit.
My business partners and I have created one niche site, Treo Express, which covers news, rumors, and product information for the Palm Treo smartphone. We also put together a 130-page Treo Help Ebook which we have sold on the site for $4.95 a piece. To date, TreoExpress sold around 30 ebooks and made several affiliate sales.
The only problem with creating niche minisites is that they often require quite a bit of work to maintain and build traffic for. We have not updated Treo Express in a few months, and the traffic has dropped off significantly. At this point, I am thinking the best thing to do would be update it a few more times, and simply sell it.
The great thing about Treo Express is that since it is easy to find great affiliate deals and Adsense ads are targeted really well for it. Not only that, but even though it has not been updated in a while, it received a PageRank 4 at the last update.
When To Sell a Site
Clearly, if a site is no longer being actively maintained and you do not enjoy working on it, it is probably best to put a little more work into it and put it up for sale. At first, we were enjoying writing for Treo Express and selling the Treo Help Ebook on it. However, between our other three businesses, we were just too busy to maintain it.
I was considering putting it up for sale a month ago, but I wanted to wait until the PageRank was updated. When selling a site, it is much more valuable if it already has an established PageRank.
One of my good e-friends, Matt, from Take More Risks.com, has had a good amount success flipping web sites. He recently sold emohairstyles.info several months ago for $1000. Time to create the site? A few hours. At that time, the site was making about $12 a day from Adsense, but had no PageRank. When selling a site, the price is often calculated by monthly earnings times 10-14.
I asked Matt how he decides when to flip a site. His response was:
The best time to flip a site is when you feel like you’ve taken the site as far as it can go, no less than 3 months after you’ve acquired it. You must have traffic and revenue stats for that time period as it will guide people towards a price. Also, you should consider how you could potentially use the money you get from the sale. It’s easy enough to acquire 5 good blogs without revenue which have no seo work done to them and convert them into earnings.
Where To Sell a Site
Another e-friend of mine, Nomar, recently picked up an established forum on Digital Point for $150 and sold it almost overnight on SitePoint for $950.
Clearly, there is a lot of potential in flipping sites. Matt says, “There are some serious opportunities out there for people with the enterprise to implement multiple revenue streams, add some content and sell it on for crazy markups.” The key is to know what sites to buy and when to sell. In a future article, I will talk about how to pick sites to buy. In the meantime, check out the blogs of Matt and Nomar – they have some great information about site flipping.