Years ago, savvy investors saw huge profit potentials in real estate. They purchased houses that they believe were undervalued, renovated them, and then sold them for huge profits. Well, the housing market is down almost nationwide, so maybe it’s time to draw a parallel to blog flipping, and focus on what made real estate investors, very similar to site flippers.
Real estate investors were always seeking the worst houses in the best neighborhoods. As blog flippers, it’s the same thing. The virtual equivalent of the best neighborhoods would be sites with great domains, and the ugly houses? Well, we’ve seen more than our fair share of poorly-designed, under developed websites. The key here is looking for potential amongst any number of qualifications. Rss readers, content, domain, or monetization opportunity.
When I go to purchase a flipper blog, I’m not looking for perfection, but I’m also not looking for a leaky, crumbling foundation. More often than not, blogs with great content can be picked up for pennies on the dollar. Use these blogs, and their content and make a profit. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve bought a blog, given it a new theme, and a professional header and then sold it for almost an immediate profit. I can often flip these sites less than 24 hours after purchasing, and it sure is a lot of easy money.
Buy Low Sell High
Just like a real estate investor, blog flippers need to know their business. Market research is essential to making any money by calling yourself a blog flipper. Here’s the real deal. If you don’t have an idea how much the site is worth, don’t buy it. If you are completely new to this, don’t buy ANYTHING. Get your feet wet on smaller flips, and make sure and check in daily at the major marketplaces. You want to have a pretty solid idea of what you are going to profit, before ever putting the site up for sale. It’s like the old addage says, “You make your money when you buy.” This has never been more true than in blog flipping. I see too many people buy sites that won’t make them any money when it’s time to sell. How do I know that they won’t make them any cash? Experience. I see what these sites go for on a daily basis. If you aren’t sure, it’s better to pass and move on to the next one.
The Legal Side
I’m going to group a plethora of categories in here, but it mostly has to do with the closing of the deal, and transferring the site to it’s new owner. Upon successful purchase of your site, you are met with an almost utopian feeling of bliss. But this is a feeling that can quickly turn into a feeling of nausea if you aren’t careful. There are scammers everywhere, and they are definitely something to watch out for when flipping sites. I’ve seen more Paypal fraud in the last few months as a site flipper, than I even knew existed. I’ve been defrauded out of sites for $3,500 - $1,810 - $1,100 - $2,400 - and $1,000 all in the past six months. What’s that mean? Well, quite simply state, I’ve got no site to show for my troubles, and a glaring hole in what used to be my padded Paypal account from chargebacks, fraudulent purchases, and scammers all across the globe. And the scary part? Those are only the transactions ABOVE $1,000. I’ll touch more on this topic tomorrow, as it could definitely use about 500 words to explain how to protect yourself.
A Few More Things
As you can see, flipping blogs isn’t all that different than flipping real estate. The major difference? MONEY. There is much less risk, and very little money is needed to get started in the blog flipping niche. If you are completely poor, you can start your own website for as little as $15 with hosting, and sell in a few weeks for much more than that. You can re-invest in your business and go bigger and bigger each time. That’s something you CAN’T do in the real estate world. Imagine investors building their own houses to sell for $15 and then re-investing the profits as they went. It’s not quite such a small scale. Online real estate may just be the only type that matters in the future.
Hey wait, where you going? If you like this article… STUMBLE IT! It takes you 2 seconds, and it makes me a happy guy!
August 26th, 2008 at 9:04 am
You hit the nail on the head Bryan. No wonder people call sites, Virtual Real Estate.
I’ve observed quite a few people who formerly used to invest in Real Estate now hang out in the Premium Sites For Sale section on SitePoint.
Bryan reply on August 26th, 2008:
Yep, that’s certainly true. I guess it’s good that all of us are in on the ground floor!
August 26th, 2008 at 9:21 am
That is how i look at it. I can’t quite afford to buy houses and flip them. But i can afford a domain name. Every single time i buy one, it’s like i bought a house. Seriously that’s how i feel.
It’s no wonder i have too many.
Bryan reply on August 26th, 2008:
HAHA I know the feeling
August 26th, 2008 at 2:32 pm
Clark, good post and the comparison is dead on the money. Only flipping blogs is much less risky than flipping real estate.
As a real estate investor, I can tell you many of the pitfalls of investing from experience. The major problem with real estate is the cost of the money in my opinion. It is just flat out too high.
The no to low overhead of the Internet is what has attracted me. It just make sense and the best part is getting in on the ground level. I feel I have a chance to really learn this business and make out like a bandit once the masses gets involved.
In fact, I made a decision over the weekend to sell my rental property and move to the Internet real estate full time.
So Clark, keep the great info coming and I will be watching, learning, and most importantly, FLIPPING BLOGS!!!!
Let’s get it going!
Nick reply on August 26th, 2008:
That’s easy money with the rental property. the whole goal of the internet is to get passive income, you’ve already achieved that with the rental properties. I bet a lot of these internet guys are working towards doing what you’ve already achieved in the mortar and brick business. you’d be better off taking the profit from the rental property and purchasing a small site to flip. that’s all it takes is one. you don’t need thousands of dollars, and if you stumble a few times at least you have the safety net of the rental. If you sell that property and go all in, and stumble (which you most likely will a few times in teh beginning stages), you’re going to be in bad shape.
Freddie reply on August 26th, 2008:
Nick, if only it was so easy and such a passive business. One I don’t have enough property to truly make it passive…ie hiring a management company to deal with ALL THE ISSUES that come along with real estate.
Two, the declining value of real estate is real. Don’t you believe what you hear on the television. I am also a real estate appraiser and let me tell you from experience that the value of properties, at least in the Chicagoland market, is declining…rapidly. Every month property values get lower and lower.
True, when property is more difficult to purchase, ie the mortgage industry is tighting their belts, rents tend to go through the roof. However, finding good tenants that won’t destroy your property and pay their rents on time is not very easy to find. With the sagging economy, people losing their jobs, and overall poor spending habits of Americans, it is not the business for me at this time.
I am sure this all sounds funny being that I run a real estate investment blog, but the truth for me is not the truth for everyone else. I know people that are making a killing at buying, fixing, renting, and selling real estate. It just isn’t for everyone.
I realize that I am one of those people. At least on the small scale it is not for me, really desire getting into developing and commercial real estate. That is where the better market is, however, the overhead and risk increases as well.
I am more of a stay at home with the family kind of guy and the Internet business is more suitable for my personality. My partner would know best that this would be for me.
Nevertheless, I believe real estate can be profitable for people with a desire to make it happen. I just don’t that desire and see virtual property in my future.
I can take my real world knowledge of real estate and networking to create fun, educational blogs about physical real estate in the virtual world.
That is the best of both worlds to me!
Bryan reply on August 26th, 2008:
That’s exactly why I didn’t have much to say about the original comment. I too used to be a landlord, at the ripe old age of 19. It’s a pain in the butt, and unless you have multiple properties, it isn’t worth the hassle. I had to deal with everything from city violations from a “couple” that turned into 6 adults in a two bedroom house, to yard waste violations that come out of your own pocket. People are pigs, and it never becomes more apparent than when you rent them your house.
That said, I’m not going to touch on that issue. Whatever you think is right is the decision you need to make! But I think you’ll do wonderfully no matter which avenue you choose! Keep on pluggin’.
Nick reply on August 27th, 2008:
I guess I don’t know the whole situation, so I should have kept my comments to myself. I was just looking out for you. But it seems that you have put a good deal of thought into this, and as long as you are determined to make it happen, make it happen. Compared to one property, flipping blogs could probably be a lot more profitable.
August 26th, 2008 at 2:38 pm
Sounds good to me. Glad to hear you are in it full-force!
August 26th, 2008 at 5:43 pm
One thing about physical real estate - they aren’t making any more of it. With the internet, I can create a new property whenever I want!
Luis Gross reply on August 26th, 2008:
Man, tell me about it. Buying a home as an investor sucks! Too much worrying not enough happy time.
Especially in the market we’re in. Only long-term investors or people who plan on staying in the home they buy should buy homes.
Virtual real estate is something to definitely be excited about.
Donal Trump better watch out. I’m going to virtually kick his butt!
August 26th, 2008 at 9:41 pm
Good stuff. I’ve just started reading your blog and it has been great info so far.
Is it easier to buy an existing blog, renovate it and sell it or is it easier to start from scratch with your own design and contents and than sell it? Thanks.
August 26th, 2008 at 10:09 pm
Thanks Al, always glad to see new faces!
Your question is a bit of a double-edged sword. I find it more profitable to buy existing sites and then resell them. However, there is much more risk, and a lot more money involved. Building sites from scratch is a great way to start. You really need to get some experience before you go spending thousands of dollars on a site that you think is gold, only to find out that nobody else shares your opinion.
August 27th, 2008 at 8:09 am
Great post B, I agree on so many levels. I’m no investor, but…it just makes sense! I love the possibilities that are available to flip or build and sell websites. It’s a great income stream once you get the hang of it.
I don’t expect to be the pro flipper that you are, but I do plan to have it be one of the many avenues I use to generate fundage online! Who knows, I may become a pro flipper too However, I don’t think it will ever be my sole stream, I just like to have a lil diversity going on, but I know I’ve found the right guy to learn from.
Bryan Clark reply on August 27th, 2008:
I’m all about diversity. Site flipping is a great income stream though, and with my 2 hour work day, I’m sure you’ll pass me up rather quickly!
August 27th, 2008 at 2:37 pm
Well Clark it is one!
I have started my first blog to flip. A buddy of mine is writing content. It is in a niche where he is an expert and really knows his stuff, so the content should be outstanding. He has written ten post for me already and we started on Tuesday.
I have purchased the real estate, domain name, and am in the process of tweaking the layout. I don’t own any premium layouts as of yet, but my plan or hope is to make enough money to buy a developer license for the Fresh New Theme or Revolution if possible.
I am fired up and have another deal with another buddy that is generating content for the second site I am going to flip, but he is only done with two articles so far. Got to finish up the first site and get to work on the second one.
Also, I am working on a site that my wife and I are going to flip. I mentioned this in a previous post, but we haven’t started writing content yet. I have the theme up and ready, but no content or haven’t worked on the team.
Like Joe, I don’t plan to the Crackhead Clark, but I definately plan to flip a few blogs on the side for some cash, reinvest in my business, and make it happen.
Thanks for the motivation to get started and I will keep you posted on my progress. The goal is to have the site completed and listed on Site Point by Sunday….but I would be disappointed if it took me that long.
(Wish I knew where to get a good ebook with resell rights in my niche…hint, hint!)
Going for it!
Girish reply on August 27th, 2008:
Try using the google search string “your niche” resell rights
Bryan Clark reply on August 27th, 2008:
Awesome stuff Freddie. Girish is right, take that advice. Also, if you are looking for a premium theme, check out Woo Themes!
August 31st, 2008 at 5:40 am
As for real estate also for virtual real estate (aka blogs or sites) the question is the same: why flip ?
If your really put value in the blogs which you renovate, why don’t keep them ?
Which are the pros and the cons of keep or flipping a blog ?
Bryan, do you keep once on a while a blog you bought for flipping or do you everytime get ridd of them ?
Bryan Clark reply on August 31st, 2008:
Alex, it’s a real common misconception since I teach Site Flipping, that it’s all I do. In reality, I use it as capital to invest in online real estate for future growth as well. I flip 99% of the blogs that I create, but I do keep a few. I also purchase some that are established to flip later, or to keep for my personal network.
I’m not JUST a flipper!
September 5th, 2008 at 2:21 pm
I’ve been going all over your blog and forum getting info on blog flipping. Great info but I am a little overwhelemd by all the information.
Do you have guide or tutorial or ebook or something where I can go thru the info and act upon it. Thanks.
Bryan Clark reply on September 6th, 2008:
Coming soon is a paid “blog flipping” course that will be available to all of you. It’s not free though.
September 8th, 2008 at 9:06 am
Looking forward to the blog flipping course. When will that be avaliable?
There is plenty of good free stuff here so paying to get it all and in more depth would be worth it.