What Is Domain Flipping?
This is a post on domain flipping for beginners.
One way to make money online is buying a product for a low price and then selling it for a higher price. Domain flipping is just buying or registering a domain name and selling it, as quickly as possible, at a higher cost. Selling a domain is better from a point of view as you don’t need to pick up or ship the product.
This is a similar concept to house flipping, where a building is purchased and is then fixed up in order to sell for a quick profit. The flipping concept works in every field of business world. But when it comes to earning money online, domain flipping may work really well.
There is one more thing that is very similar and works almost the same way – it is website flipping. To flip domains or websites successfully, you need to have specialized knowledge. Not necessarily difficult, but it is not widely known. For newbies, it is highly suggested to try domain flipping as it is less risky comparing to website flipping.
Is Domain Flipping Profitable?
Flipping domain names for profit is often seen as a “cool” business and you hear a lot about selling domains like x.com for millions of dollars. People think it is easy to make money flipping domain names.
The real answer is, it depends. If you just want to sell a domain or two, you may be out of luck. If you start a domain name flipping business where you buy and then sell hundreds of domains in a strategic way, you have a better chance, however you also need to invest more money.
Because of the learning curve involved in flipping, you will need to invest into several domain names that may not have any potential initially. Therefore you may end up investing a good amount of time and money doing something that may not generate a reasonable amount of revenue for quite some time.
Can You Learn How To Flip Domain Names For Profit?
You can, but believe me that it is not a simple nor fast process. You will definitely not going to learn it from this post, but you will get an overview. I have never seen a domain flipping course, but at the end of the post I will recommend a domain flipping guide that is the best and most comprehensive PDF I have seen on the subject and gives the system of buying a thousand or so domain names and then selling them off within a time period of a year.
You will learn what kind of domains to get, where, how to categorize them – some of them are domains with traffic, some of them are worth converting into websites and selling them like that, some of them are parked for revenue, some of them are turned into affiliate websites…
And there are several different kinds of profits to be earned on the way and there are specific skills you can learn to create content, links and traffic to your site extremely fast. There are methods to quickly increase the value of these sites, such as setting it up to have a steady flow of organic visitors, getting hundreds of subscribers to its mailing list, setting up an affiliate site… All this is contained in this domain flipping pdf, so if you are really serious about domain flipping, that is the guide you will need to read.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you that just reading it will for sure make you a wiz, as you need to apply he data, but I know for a fact that without reading this book you have no chance.
I have read it myself several times, it is a very condensed book with a massive amount of information, and I am still digesting it, however there are several points that I am using in building my own website.
What Is A Domain Name Really Worth?
Website URLs are big business in the USA with estimated sales at over $3 billion, with an annual growth rate of 2.9%. These figures are likely to increase exponentially due to ICANN’s decision to extend the number of available suffixes to registered domain names.
Unfortunately, as with most things concerning finances, the value of domain names are subject to fluctuations. Keep in mind that a domain name’s value is always, ‘whatever price a person is prepared to pay’.
To get an estimate of a domain name’s worth people mostly use EstiBot. EstiBot is the most trusted name in domain valuation, appraising over 1.8 million domain names per day.
There are certain factors that make a domain’s worth higher:
- Quality backlinks without spam
- High DA, TF, CF
- Short, one or two word domains
- Domains with a high-search keyword
- Domain names with dot com are more popular than dot biz or dot net. This does not mean that Domain names other than dot com fail to make money.
- Brandable names
- Domain names describing the location have more chance to make money in domain flipping business.
- Do not choose domain names that infringe copyright of another business.
- Do not purchase domain names which include the underscore or hyphen.
Domain Flipping In 2018
Now I am going to give you a general overview.
It’s easy to understand the basics of domain flipping and what’s more difficult is to understand the market. Buying a domain at a low price doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to sell it.
Buying and selling domain names is a little bit like playing the stock market. You need to be aware of the market around you as well as the trends that affect the laws of supply and demand.
Although you may/may not land million dollar deals, it isn’t impossible to make a few hundreds or even thousands of dollars by intelligently buying and selling domains on a regular basis.
There are two basic strategies in domain flipping:
- Find domains that you can sell at a greatly increased price and profit several thousand dollars
- Sell a large number of domains consistently with a smaller profit.
The first category is the big domain sales that you usually hear about.
The second category, e.g. Dan Rubin’s JustDropped – he sells his hand-picked brandable domains starting at $70 and he makes a great living out of it.
Another example is any of the sites that sell domains for PBNs. (Click on the link to see them.)
There are many people out there who are willing to pay good money for expired domains that hold ranking power. If you have the appropriate scraper, and the means to filter them properly – you have your domain flipping business. Expect to make a few hundred dollars on these domains. That’s a good way get your domain flipping business started.
Expired domain names do not lose all of their SEO rankings. It often takes little effort on your part to get them back up to being fully operational and just as functional as they were for the previous owner.
Buying Your Domain Portfolio
As I said before, the best strategy is to start out with a large number of domains, e. g. you may decide to buy 100 domains, which will cost you anywhere upwards of $1,000, depending how you acquire them.
The key is to making money by flipping domains is to find domains that other people will want.
The best places to find domain names that you may want to purchase are:
- Finding a quality expired domain manually (see full tutorial here)
- Domain buy-sell websites
- Domain backorder sites
- Expired domain auctions
- Deleted domain sites
- Scraping your own domains with software
- or you may just get lucky registering a new domain at a domain registrar…
Then you need to register your domain names.I recommend NameSilo, use promo code yexpd to get a $1 discount, which means you get a .com domain with free privacy for $7.99.
If using a drop catching service, registration will be done on your behalf.
If you find a domain name through a regular search, you will need to register it from the domain provider. You will probably only need to register the domain for one year since the goal is to turn it around as quickly as possible.
Holding Your Domains
Owning domains is not a passive process.
You need to park the ones that have traffic and sell their traffic for profit.
You can build sites to some of them that are in a profitable niche, add links and affiliate programs to monetize them. At that point you may want to keep them as a cash cow or you may want to sell them for a higher profit.
You can add email list, subscribers, etc.
Selling Your Domains
Flipping domain names is an active process that requires your time and attention. If you think you can just buy a bunch of domains, list them at the popular domain buying/selling sites and watch the money flow in, you are highly mistaken.
The term “flipping” implies a sale that is done in a “flip”, in a quick and sudden manner. You are not a domain flipper if all you do is just list your domain names and wait for them to sell. Domain flipping has to do with spotting the right opportunities at the right time, involving strategic buying and selling for profit.
Don’t list it in only a single website: list your domains in as many websites as possible.
Selling domain names involves networking, people skills, marketing, research, negotiation skills and much more. Unless you strengthen all these areas, you may not make a lot of money from domain flipping. Domain flipping cannot be learned and mastered in your spare time.
The reality is that it requires at least a year to learn just the basics of the domain flipping business, leave alone making huge money from it. During this period you’ll make mistakes, buy useless domain names, lose good deals, etc. Domain flipping is definitely not a get rich quick method. If overnight results are what you’re after, you should look for a different profession. This business involves a real and steep learning curve which many people find difficult to climb.
The best and way to source new buyers is to search related forums and by listing your portfolio on online auction sites. Qualified buyers are usually other qualified domain name traders in the same line of work and most spot a potentially lucrative deal they will be prepared to pay a little more than they otherwise would.
Because the sales transaction is being done online with someone you’ve likely never met before, best thing to do is to use a service like Escrow to ensure that the money and domain name are successfully exchanged. Otherwise, you’ll risk being scammed by giving away your domain name without ever receiving the money for it.
Best Websites To Sell Domains
Flippa is one of the best marketplaces for trading online properties like websites and domains. Although website flipping contributes to 70% of its profit, sales of domain names amount to about 30%.
They have over 2 million listings at the time of your writing – websites, domains, apps, Shopify stores, Amazon FBA businesses.
Because most people are here to spend money. Around 30% to 40% of its visitors come here to buy good quality domains. It is visited by thousands of people on a daily basis.
In addition to Flippa, Sedo is the other most active online domain marketplace.
Sedo brings together sellers from all over the world, offering you over 18 million entries for the best and largest selection of domains for sale.
You can buy domains at a fixed price, in an auction, or in anonymous negotiations. Your personal Sedo expert will assist you with the secure payment process afterwards. Then they will transfer your new domain to your desired registrar within just a few days.
Brand Bucket is a website where you sell a branded domain, a marketplace for creative business names. Domains are presented with a logo. Most domains are sold over $1,000, so profit margins are higher than other domain marketplaces. Some examples are Ideably.com, Geekola.com, Firi.com.
Afternic lets you park your domain while you are selling it, generating ad traffic in the meantime. They take a 20% commission and the landing page doesn’t display a price…
GoDaddy is also a website to sell your domain names.
Don’t Get Stuck With Domains, Step Up and Flip Websites
Many a times you can get a much higher price for your domain name if you offer a thoughtfully built website along with it.
Domain flipping means that you hand on to domains for a while anyways.
Creating websites for your domain names is beneficial in several ways – it shows their true potential, enhances their SEO value and makes them more appealing.
If you come across a domain name that seems like having a higher DA, great backlink structure, traffic potential without the need of a lot of SEO work, you can simply build a WordPress site for it. Like the one I just found:
If you put WordPress on a domain and some content (make sure it is long posts), get it indexed and let it sit for a few months, it will start picking up organic traffic. Its value will increase because the new owner will need to wait for a shorter time to get traffic to the site.
As an example, this domain is getting 260 visitors on its own, at 7 months age.
I understand that it is more work… spend some time on it every day.
Even though a lot of people say that duplicate content is bad…. Any content is better on the website than no content.
And don’t worry, it’s not a big deal if 2-3 sites have the same article. Trouble starts when it is a lot more, and at that point Google will start omitting these from the index as duplicate.
What you can also do is just make the title and the first 1-200 words different, write and intro and you are in a better position.
Many domain flippers I know are able to get two to three times the value of their domain names just by building websites for them.
Domain flipping is more simple than website flipping, as you don’t have to work towards creating sites, bringing the traffic & even monetizing the site with AdSense or affiliate marketing.
You need to master things like logo creation, Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, content creation, link building, SEO, social media promotion, etc.
Profitable Website Flipping Example
Josh Shogren is a 20 year old college student, built an Amazon Affiliate Niche Site.
He cannot share the URL of the site out of respect for the new owner who purchased the site.
Josh recently (2017) ended up selling the site for $35,000 through Empire Flippers and the site was routinely pulling in $1,000+ per month near the end.
The best month he had with the site was in January when it made over $2,600.
But you have to understand that kind of success does not happen overnight. It took around 14 months before the site was able to start making a decent amount of money.
The site was earning around $300-$400 per month for a very long time but, in October, the site started to really gain traction and make more than the usual couple hundred dollars per month. It peaked during January at over $2,600 and saw a bit of a decline in February but still ended up making around $1,000 during that time.
Empire Flippers took the last 3 months average for the website and used a 25x multiple. The 3 month average was $1,578 and at a multiple of 25x the value of the site came out to be $39,461, but he accepted the offer of $35,000.
This is what Josh said:
“My main strategy for growing niche sites is keyword research. This is the backbone for any successful website.
“When I am talking about keyword research I am NOT talking about finding keywords that get 1,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 monthly searches, nope, I am talking about the keywords that get 50 monthly searches.
“I LOVE to write content that targets these keywords that get 50, 70, or 90 monthly searches but are extremely easy to rank for. These are the long tail keywords that will drive targeted traffic to your site and won’t take years to rank in Google.
“Doing this will allow you to rank very easily for those keywords without much help needed from any sort of backlinks.
“Create content that people will share with their friend and other websites will link to.
“If people are on your site for only 30 seconds and then leave, Google will take notice of this and not rank your site. Google knows when content is actually useful for people and will reward the websites that have this type of content.”
The site average for time on page is 3 minutes and 35 seconds, which is extremely good for ANY website, let alone a niche website. Some of the pages have an even higher time on the page of 4+ minutes.
This is a result of hiring an expert within my niche who knows what they are talking about and having them write high quality content.
Another Website Built And Sold For Profit
The next one is Luqman Khan, from Lahore, Pakistan, who built 10beasts.com. Originally it was an 8-page affiliate website in the technology niche that quickly busted out of the sandbox in six-figure profitability within 8 months. December 2016, it broke $80k.
Then 10Beasts grew in size and earnings and flipped for over half a million dollars.
He says, “the main learning source is Backlinko.com for branding. And a few other Facebook pages, Facebook groups, sorry, and Neil Patel. You know neilpatel.com and Quick Sprout also. These famous blogs, they are really helpful.”
“I am actually a computer geek. I do love computer games so I started with computer peripherals like gaming mouse and gaming headphones, computer … other computer peripherals for I knew that I could … I really in the first hand, I was just targeting keywords with a year like best gaming mouse 2000-something, 2016 or ’17, or whatever.”
“Best drone camera, best gaming mouse, best wireless router, best windshield wiper, best hover board, best crossbow.”
“I was getting back-links some from serious killing marketing websites like gaps.com, cloudliving.com, and other websites so it was quite beneficial towards 10Beasts to get those high-quality backlinks naturally.”
“I had a guest post publisher. He was also from Upwork. An Infographic designer, he was from Fiverr. The graphic banners, I have a lot of graphic banners on 10Beasts, in sidebar, on top of the article. I had a guy from Pakistan from a graphic group, from Facebook graphic groups. Actually, I don’t know, I had like five or six guys working on 10Beasts. The average article length is 5,000.”
“I posted about two articles in the last 12 months. That was actually the main reason for selling the website. I really had no time to work on it. I wasn’t even replying to comments. There were like more than 30 pending comments and I hired a guy to reply to the comments. Other than that, I really didn’t had any time to update the products which were out of stock on Amazon or maybe gone forever. So I really needed to sell the website because I was lacking a lot of time on it, which I had to give to 10Beasts.”
As you can see, there are opportunities… It does take work and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Check the detailed guide on how to profit from domain and website flipping at every step of the way!