Flipping a website can be a very profitable endeavor, but it takes time. Even in the best of circumstances, a good website flip will take many months to pull off. If you want to get the most out of your work and/or are relatively new to website flipping, many of the sales will take a year or more.
So how long does it take to flip a website? There are a lot of variables. But by understanding the process, the normal timeline, and the most common variables it becomes much easier to estimate how long a flip might take.
In this article, I will cover:
- Factors that affect the speed of a website flip
- Common timeline for a flip
- Four recently flipped sites and what affected their timeline
Let’s get into it!
4 Recent Flip Examples
The system I use to buy, ramp up earnings, and flip websites remain the same. This is a multi-month process, but not every niche site I buy is going to be the same.
Some are in more competitive niches, some are less competitive. Some sites have clear easy wins that let me drastically increase the income from day one such as adding display ads or affiliate links.
Site 1: Programming Site
This was an unusually fast turnaround. I bought this site for $7,500 and it sold for $38,000 in three months.
This site had many very easy wins that allowed me to scale up the income extremely fast showing not only three months of high earnings, but that makes the sharp upward trend very attractive to potential buyers.
This became a very profitable fast flip, but 3 months is very fast, unusually so even for experienced flippers.
Site 2: Health Site
This was a rougher flip. I purchased a health site for $10,000 and sold it 6 months later for $16,000. This was a failed website flip.
I could have waited six months to get a little bit more, but this was a flip where the turnaround was harder and costlier than I originally anticipated. This would be fine if the site interested me, but it didn’t.
Because of these factors, instead of letting the site just sit or become a time sink, I looked for a buyer and sold it after six months.
Site 3: Wellness Site
The wellness site was purchased for $5,000 and sold 6 months later for $30,000. Read the case studies.
This site had a lot going for it when I purchased it and there were several easy changes I could make that were big needle-movers. This made the site revenue jump from my first month of ownership and it just scaled from there.
Wellness is a niche that is wide enough to catch buyer attention, which helped with the fast sale.
Site 4: Dating Site
The site in the dating niche was purchased for $32,000 and I sold it for $194,000 nine months later.
This was a successful flip, and the normal timeline for ramping up a site was the same for this as the others. There is a certain ice point where it takes longer to find a buyer and come to an agreement for the flip.
Once you go north of six figures, it will simply take longer to find a buyer, answer their due diligence requests, and come to payment terms.
Why Do Website Flips Take Time?
Website flips take time because even if you multiply revenues by several times over in month one, site prices are based on L6M or L12M. This means to get the full effect of those changes takes time.
Growing the Website
Growing the website in both traffic and revenue are the top priorities for a successful flip. For more traffic this means new content, internal linking, and possibly off-site SEO.
Since the final price is affected by revenue, you need to find ways to increase and optimize revenue. Sometimes there will be an obvious first step like adding display ads if there are none or upgrading to a better ad provider.
Even then, those are only the first steps to creating the explosive growth that website investors want to see when buying.
Sometimes growing a site can be done quickly, but I’ve had many sites where the growth step took a year or more.
Building 6 Months of Good Revenue Numbers
The average monthly income numbers used in site valuation come from the last six months. Meaning even if there is a first-month explosion of income, you need to wait six months to take full advantage of it.
If the income in month 6 of improving the newly bought site is many times that of month 1, then you will need to make a decision whether to take the price you can get then or hold the site longer hoping the higher profits hold and lead to an even larger selling price.
Remember, maximum value comes from six full months of the highest monthly income.
If you’re relatively new to website flipping then this process takes longer. Learning the proper process is important.
Once you’ve flipped dozens of sites, you have the experience and systems to speed up the process.
Solo or Team?
If you’re doing everything by yourself the process simply takes longer.
If you have the budget and experience to hire a team of content writers, or have experienced VAs to help with SEO outreach then you can build up a site faster.
Here are some resources to learn more:
- Take the website flipping course to understand the A to Z of the process
- Study the framework on buying a site
- Study the framework on selling a site
- Profitability of website flipping
- Ways to generate revenue
There are several important takeaways from this experience.
- Website flipping takes time – don’t expect extremely profitable quick flips especially when just starting out
- Six months is a good timeline for flipping a site even for experienced website flippers with a team
- The larger the pay-off the longer the expected timeline for a website flip
Having patience is an important part of website flipping. Knowing the timelines can make it easier to know what to expect from the process.