What Is Blog Flipping & How To Make Money Selling Websites As A Side Hustle
There are many different ways to make money from blogging. Advertising, affiliate marketing, digital products, and sponsored posts are just a few common ways to monetize a blog. But one lesser-known way to make money is by selling or “flipping” your blog.
If you’re anything like me and you watch a lot of HGTV, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of “house flipping.” Basically, it’s when you purchase a house that’s a fixer-upper, renovate it, and then sell or “flip” it for a profit.
The same concept applies with blogs. I have started five blogs, two of which I later sold for a profit and one I am currently developing that I anticipate I’ll be able to sell for mid-five figures within the next year.
Selling a blog can be very lucrative – some bloggers even make six figures from selling their sites! Here’s everything you need to know about selling your blog:
Three Paths to Selling Your Blog
There are three different ways you can go about selling a blog for profit.
1. Sell your existing blog
If you already have a blog that’s making money, this is the easiest route to take. You can simply sell your existing site. This is a good option for bloggers who want an exit opportunity from their current blog. If you want to start a new blog or business venture, you may consider selling your existing site first before embarking on a new project.
2. Create and sell a blog from scratch
The second option is creating a brand-new blog from scratch, building it up, and then selling it. This is my preferred method and the path I have taken with all my blogs. Although it’s more of a time investment than the next option, it’s less of a monetary investment.
3. Buy an existing blog and flip it.
The final option is to buy an existing blog, build it up, and then flip it for a profit. This is a great strategy because you can bypass all the start-up work creating a blog from scratch, and have an established blog to work from instead. You can purchase blogs with dozens of high-quality articles already written and even some existing traffic for less than $1,000.
I’ll talk about all of these paths more in depth, but first let’s cover more of the basics of selling a blog.
How Much Can You Sell Your Blog For?
The typical valuation formula for determining the selling price of a blog is pretty easy to calculate. You can take the average monthly net profit of the blog over the past six to twelve months, times a specific multiple, to find a good selling price.
The multiple is typically between 20 and 40, and is determined through a number of different factors. If you are selling your blog through a broker, they may require or recommend that you list your blog at this price.
For example, let’s say you have a blog with an average monthly net profit of $100. You could expect to sell it for anywhere from $2,000 (with a 20x multiple) to $4,000 (with a 40x multiple.)
Where to Buy and Sell Blogs
When selling your blog (or buying an existing blog) you have two options. You can go through a broker or marketplace, or work independently.
Here are some of the best marketplaces to work with when buying or selling a blog:
Blogs for Sale: This is a marketplace specializing in blogs run by Chelsea Clarke, a blogger herself. I have personally sold two websites through Blogs for Sale.
Flippa: Flippa is known for being a massive online business marketplace with thousands of listings. They use an auction model for buying and selling blogs.
Empire Flippers: This is an online business marketplace that does a really good job vetting websites and typically has higher-value blogs listed for sale.
The advantage of going through a platform like one of these three is that there is less for you to worry about, since a broker handles most of the logistics for you. (Think of it like working with a realtor when selling your house.)
The drawback is that you typically pay a percentage commission when your blog sells (again, like working with a realtor!)
If you choose to carry out a transaction independently, you avoid paying any commission fees, but you have to handle every aspect of the sale yourself.
There are many Facebook groups for buying and selling blogs where you can look if you want to make an independent transaction.
The Actual Process of Selling a Blog
You might be wondering what the process of actually selling your blog looks like.
Here’s a quick overview of what happens once you’ve found a buyer:
- Agree on a selling price for the site.
- Enter into the sales contract. (Handled by a broker if you are working with one.)
- Receive a payment from the buyer through an escrow account. (The most common way to do this is through Escrow.com.)
- Transfer the assets to the buyer. This includes the website files, database, domain name, social media accounts, email subscribers, ad network account, affiliate accounts, and any other assets included in the sale of your blog.
- The buyer releases the funds from escrow once they have received everything.
- The money from the sale lands in your bank account!
And that’s it. The timeframe for this process varies, but in my experience it has taken about a week to complete the sale.
How to Sell Your Existing Blog
The most straightforward option to make money selling a blog is to sell your existing blog if you have one.
As mentioned above, there are many reasons you may want to do this. Selling your existing blog can provide an exit opportunity to start a new blog or business.
In order to sell your blog, you will need to prepare financial documentation for your blog to show potential buyers. This typically includes a P&L sheet (a profit and loss spreadsheet showing your income and expenses for each month that you’ve had your blog), screenshots from Google Analytics showing details about your blog traffic, and screenshots of your earnings from ad networks, affiliate programs, etc.
If you sell your blog through a broker, they will let you know exactly what they need for you and then get to work listing your blog for sale and finding a buyer for it.
Once a buyer is found (which can take anywhere from a few days to few months) you will enter into the sale process outlined above and before you know it, you’ll have sold your blog!
How to Create and Sell a Blog from Scratch
Another strategy for selling a blog is creating a brand-new blog from scratch with the intention to monetize it and sell it for a profit.
1. Choose a niche for your blog
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose a niche for your blog. Here are a few niche ideas to get you started:
- Health and fitness
- Home decor
- Personal finance
When choosing a niche, it’s important to think in advance about what kind of topics you can write about, and how you can monetize your blog (ads, affiliate marketing, etc.)
2. Start your blog
Actually starting your blog is very simple and doesn’t require you to spend much money.
The only investments you really need to make in your new blog are web hosting and a premium WordPress theme, which can be purchased for under $100.
Here’s an in-depth guide on how to start a blog with step-by-step details.
3. Create content for your blog
You should aim to have at least 20 good, high-quality blog posts published on your site before you sell it. This is probably the minimum amount of content you need to start driving consistent traffic to your blog and making money from it.
4. Get traffic
Another thing you’ll need before you can sell your blog is traffic. One of the fastest ways to get traffic through a new blog is through Pinterest, while SEO (search engine optimization) is a good long-term strategy.
5. Monetize your blog
The more money your blog earns, the more you can later sell it for!
Two of the best ways to monetize your blog are through advertising and affiliate marketing.
With my own two blogs that I sold, they were only monetized through ads and the Amazon affiliate program. This made them simpler to sell and transfer the accounts to the new owners.
Take this free quiz to find out the best way to make money blogging.
When Should You Sell Your Blog?
Once you have started your new blog and it’s making money each month, it’s time to think about when to sell it.
My strategy has been to spend a couple months building up my new blog to the point where it’s earning money, and then allow it to grow and earn passively for a while longer before selling it. With my first blog, I sold it after six months. With my second blog, I sold it after twelve months.
Remember, the higher your average monthly net profit is, the more money you can make when selling your blog. If your blog income is trending upwards each month, you may want to hang onto it for a few more months before selling.
How to Buy an Existing Blog and Flip It
This final option fits in best with the “house flipping” analogy. You are buying a fixer-upper blog that has good potential, “renovating” it to the point where it’s making money, and then flipping it for a profit.
If you’ve ever watched one of those house renovation shows on TV, you might notice how they’re always commenting that a house has “good bones.” The solid framework is there, but the house just needs a little help to make it shine.
The same applies to websites. There are plenty of blogs for sale that have a lot of untapped potential and just need some help making them into profitable businesses.
While I have not taken the route of buying an existing blog myself, it’s definitely a project I want to tackle next.
1. Finding a Blog to Buy
In order to find a blog that’s a good candidate for buying, you can go through a broker or search independently.
This is once scenario where conducting an independent transaction is less risky and much simpler, since you are looking to buy a blog for a low price that doesn’t have much, if any, income yet.
Ideally, you want to find a blog that has a lot of existing content and traffic, but that has not been monetized properly by the current owner.
For example, while browsing a website marketplace recently, I saw a listing for an established blog (over three years old) with close to 100 published articles and 25,000 monthly pageviews for sale. The owner had not done much to monetize it, so it had an average monthly income of just $40 and was selling for $2,500.
That’s a great deal! This is a blog that just needed a new owner to take advantage of all the untapped potential by focusing more heavily on promotional efforts to increase traffic, and filling in the gaps for monetization.
While purchasing a blog requires a much higher investment than starting a blog from scratch, it can be well worth it and provide a faster path to selling.
2. Flipping Your Blog
Once you have purchased your blog, it’s time to get it up to speed with making money.
Fortunately, this is easier and faster than monetizing a brand-new blog. If the blog is already getting some traffic, it can be as simple as adding affiliate links into existing blog posts and getting the website into an ad network.
You can also increase traffic by updating existing blog posts for SEO and utilizing Pinterest.
Once you have gotten the website to a place where you’re ready to sell it, you will want to make sure you’re able to list it for a price that reflects the amount you invested in it originally plus a profit.
Should You Sell Your Blog?
Selling your blog can be a fun and lucrative way to make money. I have already sold two of my blogs for a profit and plan to sell more.
Any questions about selling a blog? Leave a comment below!
Author Bio: Dale is a blogger and entrepreneur passionate about helping others achieve their goals. When she’s not sharing blogging tips on Blogging Her Way, you can find her working on her other blogging projects and traveling.
Other Ways To Make Money Blogging
Looking for more creative ways to make money online or start a side hustle? Here are a few more options to look into:
- 10 Easy Ways To Make Money Online
- How To Make Passive Income By Selling Ebooks
- How Much Do Bloggers Earn?
- How To Make Your First $1,000 In Affiliate Sales
- How This Blogger Made $100,000 Blogging