Domain flipping: How to find and buy an expired domain, give it a website and sell it for big money.
Creating a website is easier today than ever before. With drag and drop builders and the ability to create templates, anyone can do it and do it fast, no web developing skills necessary, all you have to do is read a little and make some observations and chip away at it. Or if you have the money, pay someone to make one, or you could purchase a ready-made one and make some additional adjustments. But we’re going to be focusing on expired domains.
Buying an expired domain is a fool-proof way of getting ahead and beating the competition in Google. Domains are expired because the owner didn’t renew its registration and so it is automatically put up for auction.
Flipping websites is a popular side business for the entrepreneur as some can go for tens of thousands. It also works as an option for when you have a website that you think isn’t working out well or earning as much as you expected, so rather than throwing it away, try selling it!
There are many people who buy ready-made websites with the idea of making money. These people prefer not to waste the time and effort of having to set the website up, so they buy them ready to go instead.
So, without further ado, let us take a look at how we can buy an expired domain, give it a website and make big money selling it.
Buying a domain
The reason I recommend buying an expired domain is because you can find high-value domains expiring for often a very cheap price.
A lot of these domains are high value because they already have backlinks in place. Backlinks are where other websites have provided a link for the website which enhances its credibility with Google. As a result, the website will have a better chance at showing up in the search listings.
Extra tip: You can also use an expired domain to create a 301 redirect to your site, boosting your authority in Google.
Where to find expired domains:
We are going to use one website to look for an expired domain, this is expireddomains.net
This website works as a meta search, rounding up all the expired domains found on the internet.
As of 2016, they currently have 75,951,357 domains, which are separated into 84 different lists to search under.
As that’s a hell of a lot to search through, so I advise starting with deleted domains and Godaddy auctions as these are the most popular.
Which search filters to use:
The vast amount of domains in each section means we have to use the search filter to narrow it down to showing domains of higher quality first.
We choose the Only With a DMOZ Entry option because it filters out the spammy websites. You can trust it’s of some quality when it’s filtered under DMOZ.
You’ll also want to check the options No Fake PR and Unsure PR. PR means Page Ranking, we tick these options to filter out the domains that have fake or manipulated page rankings.
You’ll also want to sort the search results by the number of DP which stands for Domain Pop. This rates deleted domains by the amount of linking root domains. Choosing this option rather than BL (backlink) means we get more root domain links instead of domains with backlinks from various pages on a website.
Now the fun part begins, where the chase happens from 6pm till 10pm the domains are added, but you can also see soon to be expired domains here.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when determining the value to a domain:
- How aged the domain is – this can give a domain authority amongst other new domains.
- How brandable the domain is – domains that have a small bunch of letters and numbers in any order are surprisingly very valuable and highly brandable. When choosing these try to keep it to 3-4 characters long.
- Does the domain include a keyword from a chosen niche?
- Whether you have a niche in mind or are open to any niche, remember to look for certain key search terms within that niche as this is good for beating competitors in search listings like Google.
It is important to know which types of domains will do well with SEO, so these keep these pointers in mind when you are browsing for a domain.
Turning a domain into a website
I recommend just browsing and letting the ideas come when you see a certain domain you like the look of.
There are a few directions we can take, these include:
- An eCommerce Store – This is an option that Shopify makes easy to do with their bulk uploading methods (CSV), their add-ons like loyalty cards/memberships and you can guarantee a sell in their forums.
- A Directory – This option can be done through simply collecting information on a number of things and creating a menu. You could pay someone on Fiverr to research the information for you and put them into an excel sheet.
- A Product – If you have thought of an amazing product and want to make a website to promote it, then you can have a go at doing it yourself either from scratch, or a template (go for the template). Or you could pay someone to do the whole lot! Even make the product! Please note that you’d also be giving away the license to your amazing product if you sell the website.
- A Blog – Starter blogs sell, but you’d do well to get a couple hundred for them, depending on your audience count and social media presence. If you’re starting a blog, then go with WordPress.
The cheapest hosting you can get is Bluehost from $6.95 per month, to try it out once, but if you think you’ll get into this domain flipping business with multiple websites, then you can go for unlimited hosting from $8.95 per month. This is the cheapest I have found and is high value because it includes unlimited email accounts, which has made me switch from 123-Reg to Bluehost’s $8.95 option.
If you are opening a Shopify Store then you don’t need to purchase any hosting.
Starting up your website:
If you’ve chosen Bluehost, then go on the control panel and select WordPress.
This is where we station our blog. If you don’t know about WordPress, it has a humongous community and millions of themes and plugin integrations to choose from. And it’s very easy to get the hang of.
For our theme, we will be using one of the only two drag and drop themes that allow for website migration. These are:
If you chose Shopify, then you can keep things very simple and just upload a logo and some graphics. Shopify make it very easy to get started and you can navigate quite easily around their website.
Find a colour theme, I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest.
A great resource I found recently is ColourLovers.
Just make observations on what you’ve seen on other blogs within your niche. ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal’ is a quote I think of from time to time.
Finding a logo
There are many logo designers offering affordable prices on Fiverr.
For higher quality work, have a look at Designcrowd.
For some completely free logos:
Create around 10 posts and categorise them.
Create your sales pitch:
Highlight in bold the most important and tempting information.
Write bullet points.
Find everything that’s good about the domain and embellish it.
Talk about other related websites or keywords that have a high search count or have been sold for a high amount.
Make a prediction of the websites potential, reveal it’s amount of backlinks.
Where to sell your website:
Flippa is the most widely used domain and website auctioning platform. It’s easy to set up an auction and charges $9 for one auction, with 1 free if it doesn’t sell. You can also invest $99 to put the listing on the front page, though this isn’t essential, it will boost attention dramatically.
Hint: Don’t set a reserve, your website will receive very little attention if you do set a reserve. The secret is that you need to gather attention from the very beginning otherwise it will remain dormant in the listings. Only the most active listings get seen.
If you made your website with Shopify, then post it in their forum here.
How to transfer your website:
With WordPress, you can migrate the database to another domain easily with the Duplicator plugin. There are many tutorials that show you step by step how to do this, here is one I found:
You can also do this manually in the cpanel which doesn’t take up much time. Click here for a great tutorial from Flippa.