How to Make ­$1,000/Month Selling Startup Websites on Flippa
How to Make ­$1,000/Month Selling Startup Websites on Flippa

Over the past year, I have made more than $15,000 using Flippa to sell startup WordPress websites. I don’t know how to code, I’m not a slick salesman, and I’ve done this all while juggling multiple unrelated offline jobs. In this article, I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it, and how you can do the same thing.

How I got Started Selling Websites

In March of 2015, I successfully built and sold my first startup website, AerialConnect.com, for a total price of $2,050 on Flippa. The website itself had no traffic and no revenue. The $2,050 I earned from the sale was nice, but what I really gained was the knowledge and experience I needed to repeat this process again and again and again.

To further explain, building Aerial Connect taught me everything I needed to know about starting an online business. From shopping for domain names, to setting up hosting, to learning WordPress and graphic design, to managing a successful Flippa auction. I got firsthand experience with it all, and it paid off in a big way – I have consistently made $1,000 to $1,500 every month on Flippa since the sale of Aerial Connect.

During this time I discovered three key factors which have had a major impact on my success:

During a gold rush, don't dig for gold, sell the shovels

#1 Sell Great­ Looking, Functional Startup Websites

Right now everyone seems to be all about building startup websites like Facebook and AirBNB. There are books about creating startups, thousands of blog articles, workshops, webinars and seminars – it’s like the next gold rush. In my opinion, and from personal experience, there are two ways to capitalize on a gold rush:

A. Dig for gold hoping to cash in big…Or…B. Sell the shovels and make steady income

I like B. I sell the shovels here on Flippa to the entrepreneurs of the future. I brainstorm web startup ideas, I build them out, I take my time designing them to look good, and then I put them up for auction on Flippa where entrepreneurs buy them. It really is that simple. For example, Aerial Connect was a drone pilot directory. My idea was to have a directory site where real estate agents could find drone pilots to take aerial photographs of properties. After discovering a WordPress directory theme that fit in with this concept, I realized that I could get the idea to market inexpensively.

The Art of Value Added Domain Name Flipping

#2 Learn The Art of Value Add Domain Flipping

I often get messages from other Sellers along the lines of “I have a great domains… but they don’t sell at the price I think they’re worth.” Perhaps surprisingly, most of these people actually have decent domains, but what they lack, is an ability to sell the true value of these domains to potential buyers. One solution to this issue that I have discovered, is a technique I like to call value add domain flipping.

The basic idea is that instead of struggling to describe the potential end user value of a particular domain, you simply build that business concept out, take it to market with minimal investment, and immidiately put it up for sale.

So here’s my strategy: I like to start my search for a quality domain on Flippa in the Domains Marketplace. I usually select the Search Filter “reserve met”. As of this writing, there are roughly 900 reserve met domain listings on Flippa. I set an additional filter for domains that are auctioning under $100. In this range (i.e. reserve met auctions for under $100), I’ve found that I’m usually only competing with one or two other bidders – so there are plenty of good opportunities to be had.

Here are just a few examples of great names I’ve snagged and flipped as websites using this process:

Night­-Clubs.com
Bought domain on Flippa for $47, built a night club finder for it, and sold it on Flippa for $1,000

RoofingBusinesses.com
Bought domain on Flippa for $45, built a roofing company directory for it, and sold it on Flippa for $504

CheapestCollege.com
Bought domain on Flippa for $250, built a University Finder out of it, and sold it two weeks later for $505.

Use Auctions as a means of generating new job opportunities

#3 Use Auctions to Generate Job Opportunities

Every time I auction a website, one lucky person wins and becomes the new owner. Of the people who don’t win, a lot of them send me job offers to build similar websites for them. Since I’m creating custom websites for these clients I charge a lot more. These are typically entrepreneurs who are very serious about their endeavors and will pay well to get what they want.

“Every web developer should be building and selling websites on Flippa, period.”
If you’re a freelance web developer you need to be auctioning websites on Flippa for the lead generation alone. Period. These are hot leads. They’re messaging you because they already like your style and they’ll probably want you to build something very similar to what you just auctioned – oftentimes for a lot more money.

What if I’m new to this space and not sure where to start?

Every day people write me asking how they can do what I’m doing on Flippa. In fact, having people reach out and inquire about my success on Flippa made me realize that the experience and knowledge I’ve gained could be valuable to others. With that in mind, I put together an in­-depth seven­-hour­-long Flippa training course. The course details my process of building directory websites to sell on Flippa, covering everything from the initial domain setup, to the entire development phase, to the Flippa sale.

Already a ninja with web development and just need some tips on creating killer Flippa listings? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered! That segment of the course is available individually. It’s an hour long tutorial on how I create the perfect Flippa listing description, the days/times I like to start an auction, and it even includes my actual listing template. Its available here.

  • Fernando Cortes Van Velzen

    Love this post. Never thought about it like that. I have a couple of sites which I think are decent looking and have a bunch of original and long content, but i just dont know much about actually converting and selling.

    I´m going to post a couple as starter sites and see if there´s something to be made.

    Thanks for the tip

    • Andrew Meacham

      Did you end up making anything on your websites?

  • Seeing how you try to save as much money as possible when it comes to creating the website and buying the domain. What package and listings do you choose when selling on flippa that give you the best results?

    • Alec Larson

      Hey, good question. I usually buy the $68 listing package but I’ve had success with the basic $19 package as well. It has a lot to do with the idea/concept and quality of the design/functionality of the site. Ultimately, this will attract more bidders which attracts more attention resulting in a higher price.

  • So my comment got deleted? It was a serious question. What options do you use with Flippa when selling the sites to get the best exposure and not kill your profits when it comes to getting the site sold?

  • Farris

    I am just starting out on selling starter websites. How much should I charge for my website which does not have any traffic or revenue? My website is memetopia.com and I want to sell it for $199.00 as a starting bid. What do you think, is it reasonable?

    • Alfredo Putamadre

      Did you sell the site? For how much?

  • Stefania

    How come your bio says you’re a web developer when you state that you “don’t know how to code” in the article?
    Anyways, your article was extremely insightful and proved all it takes to sell a good domain/website is being able to prove its potential! Thank you!

  • Sathianathan

    hi this is sathianathan form amazepixels technologies. I have webtemplate portal site. It contain nearly 600 templates this is woocommerce portal site. I have plan to sale for $8000 I have spend for Nearly $5000. But i am not maintain the concern and site. Kindly help me Sale the site for at least $9000 How to do Kindly help me.

    • Chris Holle

      Is your site currently earning over $500/month? If so I would first recommend to submit a website valuation here: https://flippa.com/deal-flow/sell. From there, I would recommend listing it on the Flippa marketplace to get the most exposure to your listing.

  • I specialize in building monetize ready websites, I would like to know what’s a good starting price?
    https://goo.gl/wPDkEU

  • David Hunter

    Makes sense Alec.
    What doesn’t make sense is this part ” built a night club finder for it”.
    Where are you getting the content to input the night club data, or roofing data ?

  • Wow interesting, let me try

  • Chris Harper

    That was awesome and completely REALISTIC! I will DEFINITELY add this to my online income stream! Thanks!