I recently mentioned website flipping in an article.

An old colleague of mine happened to read the blog and then let me know how the article was all wrong and how flipping websites was a dead business model.

He went on to outline all the reasons it didn’t work and seemed very concerned about educating me in the process.

That is when I realized that he and I had a very different definition of what website flipping actually is.

What Website Flipping Is Not

When I tell other internet marketing professionals that I teach people how to flip websites I often get a negative reaction.

This is because there is a dark cloud hanging over the world of flipping websites.

Several years ago people figured out that it would be very easy to take advantage of over-excited people new the internet business world.

They realized they could throw together a website, promote whatever product the site was selling to their existing email list to make a few quick sales and then list the site for sale.

This way they could advertise the site as an established website that already generated income.

The problem was they had burned through their email subscribers and there was no new traffic or sales coming into the website. It was essentially fake revenue.

An eager newbie would look at the revenue of the site and purchase it not realizing the site was not going to make them any money. It was the same as starting a brand new site from scratch except they had to pay for the revenue history.

The biggest website marketplace out there, Flippa, didn’t do a very good job of vetting these types of listings out and so a lot of people got burned (They have since made efforts to make it clear which sites are established and which sites are new).

So the business model basically was flip a website and make $500. And many so called “experts” taught this method (or something similar to it) to the masses.

It wasn’t a sustainable business model and created a lot of unhappy customers.

The problem I encounter is trying overcome the stigma associated with the phrase “website flipping”.

What It Actually Means To Flip A Website

If you have watched any of the eight thousand real estate flipping shows on TV then you should already have a good idea what it means to flip internet real estate.

The two really are not that different.

You find a website that has been neglected, under-valued, or run by a disinterested owner.

You negotiate the purchase, redesign the website, spruce up the logo, add fresh SEO’d content to make the site current, drive traffic to it and turn it into a great revenue source.

I know right now you’re saying, “but Adam, you forgot about selling the site.”

I deliberately left that part out of it.

The flip is not in the sale of the site, the flip is in turning the site around from a dud to a money making machine.

That is the true definition of flipping a site.

If you decide to sell the site after you have turned it around, good for you, but that should a long term goal.

I have sold fourteen different internet businesses and I only ever actually tried to sell one.

Believe it or not, in every other instance I was approached out of the blue from strangers I had never interacted with before asking me to sell my business.

I would always say no unless the deal became a no-brainer to me.

I wasn’t looking to sell websites because I’m passionate about running successful internet businesses, not selling them.

Although taking home a fat check is really nice, so you sell when the deal is right.

The point is, true website flipping is taking an under-served, under-valued website and turning it into a legitimate internet business.

Case Study Of A Proper Flip: $149,500 Profit In 9 Months

I one time found one of the ugliest websites I had ever seen in the diet industry. Each time I came across this site I would cringe because of how terrible of a site it was.

But that was thing, I kept coming across it. Why? Because it was showing on page 2 or 3 of Google for phrases I was trying to rank for.

I knew this website in its current condition would never be a real threat to my business.

I had the thought, “if only they knew what I know, they could do so much better.”

That’s when I had the brilliant idea to reach out to the owner of the site to try and buy it from him.

I knew that the site couldn’t be making much money and we ended up settling on a purchase price of $500.

I then went to work redesigning the entire site, setting up new monetization methods and started doing a ton of content creation and SEO.

Within 3 months the new site was generating over $100/day. By month 7, it was making $200-$300 a day.

I could not believe how well it had worked turning this site that was making nothing to a site generating $7,000 a month in a few months.

It was at that point that someone reached out to me begging me to purchase the site. It took him 2 months to convince me to sell the site to him but we settled on a purchase price of $150,000.

So let’s recap, I bought an undervalued website for $500. Went to work and fixed it up. Sold it 9 months later for $150,000.

That is how you flip a site.

So, the next time you hear the phrase “website flipping”, think “turning undervalued websites into money making internet businesses” because if you do it right it can be extremely lucrative.

Read more: World’s Ugliest Websites