Buying and Selling Websites (Easy Wins) with Mushfiq

Mushfiq is an engineer who has built a career from buying and selling websites. I built my first site in 2008 and sold it within two years. Back then, it felt like a wild frontier, with websites being a new and unknown commodity. I didn’t come from an SEO background; I learnt everything myself, experimenting and applying tactics as I went along.

Since those early days, I have flipped around 175 websites, some by buying low and selling high. My process often involves identifying distressed sites, applying SEO strategies, and optimising them for better performance and profit. I work on these sites until they generate good revenue and sell them for a significant profit.

Key Takeaways

  • Mushfiq started buying and selling websites in 2008 without an SEO background.
  • He specialises in identifying and optimising distressed websites for profit.
  • His strategy includes acquiring sites, applying SEO, and outsourcing tasks to operators.

Mushfiq’s Background and Entry into Website Flipping

I started my journey in website flipping back in 2008. My initial foray wasn’t planned; I built a site on Blogspot to generate some side income. As I became more comfortable with the process, I used WordPress. By 2010, I had my first experience selling a website. At the time, the concept of selling websites wasn’t widely known. Escrow services like escrow.com were emerging. An unsolicited offer from a buyer introduced me to the idea that websites could be profitable assets.

My first website was in the VoIP niche, promoting services like Skype during their early days. After my initial success, I realised there was potential in buying and selling websites. Over the years, I’ve developed a system where I purchase distressed websites that aren’t making as much money as they should or have specific issues. I optimise these sites using on-page and off-page SEO and conversion rate improvements. Depending on their performance, I hold onto them for six months to a few years and then sell them.

Since 2008, I’ve flipped around 175 websites, buying, selling, and brokering deals. My early transactions were smaller, between £5,000 and £10,000. More recently, I’ve moved into more significant deals, acquiring websites for £30,000 to £50,000 and selling them for £300,000 to £500,000. It’s a gradual process but one I find very rewarding.

Early Experiences and First Website Sale

I began my journey in 2008 when I built my first website using Blogspot. After experimenting, I transitioned to WordPress to improve the site’s quality. Initially, I had no idea that websites could be bought and sold. By 2010, someone approached me with a purchasing interest in my site, which was focused on promoting Skype in its early days. This was my first sale.

Emerging with didn’t actively seek out a buyer. Instead, they found me, which was a pleasant surprise. At that time, the process involved platforms like escrow.com, which were becoming popular. It felt like the Wild West, constantly emerging with new opportunities and challenges.

This first sale began my regular buying and selling of websites. Over the years, I have completed around 175 transactions, encompassing smaller deals of £5K to £10K and larger deals where I acquire for up to £50K and sell for up to £500K. This journey started with a focus on distressed sites—those that are underperforming or have unresolved issues. I apply my expertise in on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and conversion rate optimisation to improve these sites before selling.

Transition to Larger Deals and Brokerage

I began focusing on smaller website deals, mostly from £5,000 to £10,000. Over time, I’ve moved into bigger deals, acquiring websites for £30,000 to £50,000 and then selling them for up to £500,000. This shift has been strategic, as these more significant deals often hold tremendous profit potential.

Approach to Larger Deals

When I target more significant deals, I look for distressed websites with untapped potential. I then use my skills in SEO, on-page and off-page optimisation, and conversion rate improvements to increase their value. For example, I once purchased a website in the outdoor niche, earning £300 a month. By focusing on easy wins like improving affiliate links and adding ads, I boosted its revenue to £8,000 a month within eight months.

Role of Brokerage

In addition to buying and selling websites, I also act as a broker. My experience places me in an excellent position to help others make profitable deals. Being recognised as a super seller and a certified broker on platforms like Flippa has been beneficial. These credentials add a layer of trust, which is crucial when dealing with high-value transactions.

Working with Operators

Once a website achieves a stable income, I hire operators to handle the mundane tasks. This outsourcing allows me to focus on strategic aspects like brand partnerships and new revenue streams. For instance, after significantly boosting a website’s earnings, I hired an operator to manage 80% of the daily tasks, letting me concentrate on growth strategies.

  • Transitioning to more significant deals and incorporating brokerage has significantly diversified my portfolio and increased my overall revenue. I can focus on more extensive, lucrative opportunities using a hands-on approach and expert operators.

Trusted Platforms

Platforms like Flippa have been instrumental in my success. Although I also explore other brokers, Flippa often provides unique opportunities. The platform attracts hobby bloggers who create high-quality content but lack market monetization knowledge. I capitalise on these opportunities, transforming underperforming sites into profitable assets.

SEO Skills and Strategy in Acquiring Websites

When I buy a site, I dive into SEO. I handle both on-page and off-page SEO to ensure the site ranks well. It’s like polishing a rough gem. First, I check the niche and see if the domain is brandable. Then, I access Google Analytics to find out which pages bring in the most traffic. These high-traffic pages are my priority for quick improvements.

Key SEO Actions:

  • On-Page SEO:
    • Updating title tags and meta descriptions.
    • Improving internal linking and site structure.
    • Enhancing content quality and keyword optimisation.
  • Off-Page SEO:
    • Building quality backlinks.
    • Engaging with influencers for guest posts.
    • Leveraging social media to boost the site’s visibility.

I don’t do everything myself. After initially optimising the site, I hired a website operator. This person handles day-to-day tasks like formatting posts and uploading new content. It frees up my time to focus on the big picture.

Example: I bought an outdoor niche site last April. It was earning $300 a month. After one month of optimisation, I got it up to $3,000 monthly. Now, it makes $8,000 a month. This improvement came from:

  • Adding affiliate commissions.
  • Including ads.
  • Optimising content for better user engagement.

Hiring an operator has been crucial. They handle 80% of the workload, letting me focus on strategic moves like brand partnerships and new revenue streams.

Why Flippa?there is  I’ve found Flippa to be an excellent source for quality sites. Unlike other brokers, where the multiples are high and there’s stiff competition, Flippa has sites created by hobby bloggers. These bloggers know the content well but might not be experts in monetising or SEO. This gap is where I step in to make improvements.

So, strategically using my SEO skills and delegating routine tasks, I’ve turned many distressed sites into profitable ones.

Case Study of a Successful Acquisition

I bought an outdoor website last April, earning about $300 monthly. At the time, I paid 75 times its monthly revenue. Usually, websites go for around 35 to 40 times their monthly revenue. I spent more because I saw clear opportunities to improve it quickly.

Once I acquired the site, I implemented changes within a month. I focused on on-page SEO, optimised affiliate links, and added advertisements. These steps pushed the monthly earnings to $3,000. Over the following months, the site grew to £8,000 per month.

After about eight months, I hired an operator to handle 80% of the daily tasks, like formatting posts and uploading content. This allowed me to focus on strategy and finding new revenue streams. The operator took care of the routine, freeing me to concentrate on the exciting parts of the business.

Outsourcing and Managing Workload

When I acquire a new website, I initially handle most of the SEO and strategic tasks myself. I enjoy identifying easy wins that can boost the site’s performance quickly. For instance, when I bought an outdoor niche site last April, it earned $300 a month. I paid a higher multiple than usual because I saw the potential for quick growth. Within a month, I increased its earnings to $3,000 per month by optimizing affiliate commissions and adding ads.

Once the site stabilises and generates consistent income, I hire a website operator to take over 80% of the daily tasks. This includes uploading content and formatting posts. These are the routine tasks that are necessary but can be pretty tedious. This allows me to focus on more strategic aspects, such as finding new revenue streams and forming brand partnerships.

Outsourcing these regular tasks helps maintain a balanced workload. It also ensures that the site’s performance improves without demanding all my time and energy. Finding reliable operators can be a game-changer for anyone looking to scale their website portfolios.

The Website Flip.com Overview

The Website Flip is my platform where I share insights and strategies about buying and selling websites. Here, I provide detailed case studies, step-by-step blueprints, and guides to help others navigate the complexities of flipping websites.

I started my journey in 2008, creating my sites for side income. Over time, I perfected my methods, focusing on distressed sites requiring SEO optimisation and improving conversion rates.

The site is not just about sharing my successes. I also dive into my failures and the lessons learned, making it a comprehensive resource. You can find in-depth articles about different verticals and how to leverage SEO and conversion rate tactics effectively.

For those interested in getting frequent updates, there is an option to subscribe via email. Subscribers receive regular tips and insights directly from me, tailored to help newcomers and experienced flippers. If you’re serious about flipping websites, this platform offers valuable information to support your endeavours.

Choosing Flippa for Website Purchases

Flippa is a reliable place to find and purchase websites. I’ve been using it since around 2010, and I’ve even achieved the titles of super seller and recognised broker there. Flippa stands out because it often attracts hobby bloggers who create excellent content but might not know how to monetise their sites effectively. This is key because I look for websites with solid content but untapped revenue potential.

Here’s a quick comparison of Flippa with other brokers:

Broker/MarketplaceKey Features
FlippaLower competition, hobby bloggers, good quality content
Empire FlippersHigher multiples, more competition from private equity
Motion InvestGreat for smaller sites, good for less experienced sellers
Investors ClubExclusive listings, thorough vetting process
FE InternationalHigh quality sites, professional sellers

The beauty of Flippa is that it often has individual sellers who deeply understand their niche. They might not have the SEO skills or marketing knowledge to bring their websites to full potential. This is where I step in. For instance, I once bought an outdoor niche site from Flippa. Initially, it was earning $300 per month. By focusing on quick wins like optimising SEO, improving affiliate commissions, and adding adverts, I managed to increase its earnings to $3,000 monthly in just one month.

When making a purchase, I examine several elements. First, I consider the niche and the domain’s potential for brand-ability. Next, I access Google Analytics to identify the top pages that drive traffic. These pages often present opportunities to quickly boost earnings with some on-page improvements, better content monetisation strategies, and other tweaks.

Flippa offers these unique benefits, making it a prime choice for me when buying websites.

Investment Strategies and Valuation

When buying a website, I first check if the niche is good and the domain is brandable. Then, I dive into Google Analytics to see which pages bring in the most traffic. These are usually the “easy win” pages that can be optimised to boost earnings quickly.

I look for distressed sites that aren’t performing well but have potential. These sites often have issues, making them available at a better price. I use a mix of SEOconversion rate optimisation, and affiliate marketing to improve their performance.

I bought an outdoor niche site earning $300 and paid 75 times its monthly revenue. Typically, the average multiple is between 35 to 40. I saw growth potential and implemented quick changes, increasing its earnings significantly within a month. It now makes around $8,000 a month.

I outsource 80% of the repetitive tasks to a website operator. This includes formatting posts and uploading content. This frees up my time to focus on strategy, finding new revenue streams, and forming brand partnerships.

Pros of Buying on Flippa:

  • Sites are often built by hobby bloggers who know their niche well.
  • Content quality is generally high.
  • Flippa is the first place people think of when selling a site, so you find unique opportunities.

Cons of Other Brokers:

  • Higher multiples.
  • Less negotiation power.
  • Compete with private equity firms.

Knowing how to identify these opportunities is key to making profitable investments.

Spotting Simple Wins for Website Growth

When looking to grow a website, I check if the niche is good and the domain is brandable. These are quick and simple steps. After that, I get access to Google Analytics to dig into the data. My main focus is the top 10 pages that bring in traffic.

I’ve had success with straightforward actions. Enhancing affiliate commissions and adding advertisements can quickly boost revenue.

I also use a sprint approach: I buy a website and spend a month optimising it. Swift changes can lead to significant growth, like turning a $300 monthly revenue into $3,000.

After boosting a site’s income, I often hire a website operator. This person handles routine tasks like formatting posts and uploading content, freeing up my time to focus on strategic decisions and exploring new revenue streams.

So, the goal is to identify low-hanging fruit—simple improvements that deliver quick results.

Table of Quick Wins

ActionDescription
Affiliate CommissionsIncrease commission rates
Ad PlacementsAdd or optimise advertisements
Content OptimisationImprove or update existing top pages
Website DesignImprove site navigation and user experience

These easy steps can turn a small investment into a profitable venture.

author avatar
craig@craigcampbellseo.co.uk

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