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How to Start a Website-Flipping Side Hustle

Like homes in a competitive real-estate market, websites can be flipped for lucrative rewards.

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We're all familiar with the concept of flipping homes in a competitive real-estate market. The process of flipping a home takes months, even years, but the long-term rewards are endless.

Similarly, a website can be flipped for maximum rewards. A website that has potential can be spruced up, grown exponentially and sold for a profit. It's the same concept, except you're investing in a different kind of real estate. It's digital real estate.

Just like you'd change a home's landscaping for better curb appeal, you can revamp an existing website in a way that will be attractive to potential buyers. Consider these practical steps when it comes to increasing the value of your website.

Start or buy a website in a lucrative niche

There are two ways you can begin your journey in revamping a website. If you're starting a website from scratch, platforms like WordPress allow users to easily create an account and write original content for various audiences.

Starting a website from scratch takes time and may come along with hefty fees, but the process of creating an original website can be fun, as you get to choose its creative trajectory and nurture a project from the ground up.

Purchasing a website, however, can come with many benefits, as a preexisting website can have an established user base and steady repeat traffic and search engine optimization (SEO) juice; most of the heavy lifting would already be done for you.

A marketplace like Flippa.com gives you different websites to choose from, such as content and dropship ecommerce sites, in various industry niches, or you can engage a professional broker to assist you with finding the right fit from their network. Ideally, find a niche in your expertise and pinpoint areas for improvement.

If you're buying an existing blog that you're unfamiliar with, it's important to factor in the hours of research and technical expertise you may need to grow the website exponentially. There's no right or wrong way to start off the jump, but it's important to factor in all the pros and cons of each and choose the best route for you in terms of time and cost.

Related: 4 Tips for Finding Your Profitable Blogging Niche

Evaluate the site for proof of concept

Whether you're building a website from scratch or purchasing an existing one, a promising website is better than no promise at all. But be vigilant about website sellers who are keen on getting rid of sites that are failing.

You must do your due diligance. Sure, a 75,000-plus subscription list sounds enticing, but it's a problem if 50% of that subscription list is generated by bots. Ask for proof of monetization; consider how a site generates its revenue. If it relies heavily on paid ads and you're looking for a community-driven loyal base of customers, this may not be the right option for you.

Similarly, if you decide to take a different route and build a website from scratch, and you notice that you're spending more man hours and money without a return on investment (ROI), it may be time to consider your shifting your goals altogether.

Of course, you'll need to do plenty of the heavy lifting in the beginning and may need to pay a hefty sum or two to build your website from the ground up, but if you're still working on the same website after a year or two with no signs of ROI, then it may be time to start thinking about different routes.

Related: What Is the Difference between Proof of Concept and Prototype?

Assuming that you've already established that there is proof of concept and have thoroughly conducted your due diligence, now it's time to roll up your sleeves and begin growing the site.

Here are some important areas to consider when focusing on your website's growth.

SEO

Conducting an SEO audit will ensure that your SEO strategy is up to date and help your website with visibility. With Google's algorithm constantly evolving, it's important to stay on top of these changes to ensure that your content shows up on search engine results pages (SERP). Conducting a thorough SEO audit will cast light on any issues related to broken links, titles, meta descriptions and site speed.

In order to optimize your site, you want to ensure that visitors can actually get to your site once it shows up on SERP and that all titles and meta descriptions are relevant to the content of your site. Google's Search Console is a great tool that offers a collection of SEO tools that can help you manage your site's search traffic performance and fix any issues related to SERP.

The tool assists website owners with analyzing site impressions, clicks, position on Google Search, identifying issues like broken URLs and more.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Money With SEO in 2022

Content gaps

Now that you've conducted a thorough SEO audit, you can proceed to focusing on content. This process is crucial, as it will provide you with a clear analysis on what topics, ideas or themes are not yet discussed on your website. Fill these gaps with fresh, vibrant original content that will increase traffic to your website.

If you're purchasing an existing blog, analyze old content and update it with relevant information or repurpose existing content for a new blog post by incorporating links to previous and relevant work. Think of it as a three-step process of refurbishing, revitalizing and republishing.

If you consistently use this simple three-step formula when it comes to creating evergreen content, your efforts will be reflected in your traffic.

Related: How to Create Great Content for Your Website

Optimization

According to Google, more searches are now performed on mobile devices than on desktop. That means that any content you create can be viewed on mobile, which is why it's important to make sure all content on your site is mobile friendly. Ensure that your content is scrollable, all images are high-quality and videos are compatible with smart devices.

Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages Project is an open source initiative that aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web by allowing web pages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to load instantaneously alongside ads.

Additionally, A/B testing is a great way to increase conversions by comparing two possible versions of your website's landing page and figuring out which is best for optimal performance. A marketing leading tool like Semrush allows you to thoroughly understand your page better and optimize it for better lead generation.

Related: Your SEO Checklist: 4 Steps to Optimizing Your Website

When it comes to website flipping, it's important to exhaust all tactics to optimize your website. By conducting an SEO audit, having an effective content strategy in place and using industry tools to optimize your website, you'll be able to increase website traffic, improve performance, drive conversions and generate revenue growth.These are what potential buyers like to see when purchasing a website, and if you stick to the rules of refurbishing, revitalizing and republishing, selling your website will be successful.

Happy selling!

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