*Updated April, 2020

In this article I am going to share how I make money building and selling websites on Flippa.

Specifically, I’m going to share with you how I made more than $15,000 in a year selling startup WordPress websites and the process behind my success.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to code, I don’t know how to code either.

I’m not a slick salesman.

And I’ve done this all while juggling multiple unrelated offline jobs.

Below I will show you exactly how I did it, and how you can do the same thing.

How I got Started Designing Websites to Sell on Flippa

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 to me asking how they can do what I’m doing on Flippa.

My response is always to “just start”. Starting is the most difficult part.

*Editor additions:

If you are a buyer reading this article and are thinking of purchasing a starter site,  we highly recommned our Ready-Made starter sites from Human Proof Designs. Every purchase comes with a ‘success gurantee’. Check them out here

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Alec Larson

Based in Orlando FL, Alec is a web developer with dozens of successful Flippa website sales under his belt.