eBusiness Institute

Buying Websites on Flippa to make Passive Income Online

[Case Study] How Mark Bought 2 Websites on Flippa And Made Over $100,000

When it comes to buying websites on Flippa, there are people who are doing this really well, and there are other people who are struggling to find the opportunities.

Have you been wanting to buy websites for passive income, but not sure if this type of investment will work for you?

Imagine owning a portfolio of websites that are making more income per month than you originally paid for the website?! Our graduate student Mark has done this many times over.

Today, Liz sits down with Mark and goes through just 2 of his recent website purchases. He shows us the exact search criteria he used to find a website that now makes him over $12,000 per month in passive income.

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about buying and selling websites. Or, if you’re finding yourself thinking there’s no more opportunities out there when it comes to buying websites on Flippa, then take a look at this short video, or read the transcript below.

Take a Look at the simple strategies that Mark used when buying websites on Flippa to make over $100,000….

Liz Raad: Hi, I’m here today with a very special guest, Mark. Mark is one of our awesome graduates from the Champions Program.

I’ve invited Mark here today because he’s bought a few websites on Flippa. So, we wanted to talk about that experience of searching, finding and buying some good websites on Flippa. Because these turned out to be good deals for you, didn’t they?

Mark: They certainly did!

Site #1 – How Mark used a specific Search Criteria when Buying Websites on Flippa

Liz: Do you want to start out by talking about site number one. This is the first site that you bought. Can you tell us how you found that site on Flippa and what was it like to find that deal?

Mark: Well, just like anyone getting on Flippa for their first time there’s a lot of stuff to take in, but we just went through the process of selecting. We knew we wanted a content site. We wanted a site within a certain price range, and was making a certain amount of money. We did our search, went through the listings, and then analyzed each one. I wasn’t looking for any particular niche. I was quite open minded.

But site number one actually stood out to me. It was something that I was personally interested in and I was quite excited about it. I probably went a little bit above the normal starting point for a website. I was looking for content sites that were monetized through advertising or affiliate revenue.

Liz: Yes, and this is what we teach our students. So, you were very much following the strategy of finding a leverage site that you could renovate as well.

Using the Website Due Diligence Checklist, Mark was able to see the renovation opportunities for this site to increase his passive income online

Mark: Yes, we did our whole website due diligence checklist on it. We made sure that everything checked out. But we were also looking for the opportunities with this site, which were pretty easy to spot.

We talked to the owner and he was really helpful. The owner told us that he just didn’t have time to keep it going (we find this all the time with sellers on Flippa).

When we assessed the website, we found that there were articles where the year hadn’t been changed in the title for over two years. We bought it in 2019 and there were still articles saying “best XX” in 2017 etc. So, that looked like a pretty easy win for us, and we saw some good renovation opportunities.

Liz: Yes, just updating the existing articles, and adding more content too. I remember you had some really cool ideas for adding content.

Mark: That’s right, and those come about from my discussion with you, Liz. You turned us on to some very nice areas for keyword research and we had a lot of fun.

We really didn’t put a huge amount of extra content on. But the site was fairly small, and it actually only had around 20 articles (or less). Within a couple of months, we added about 20 more articles again.

Mark Purchased his First Website on Flippa for $6,000

Liz: And this is a niche where the sales run up at Christmas time?

Mark: Yes, this site is very seasonal.

Liz: Which month did you purchase the website?

Mark: We bought it in July.

Liz: July, and then went on a content run. So, how much did you purchase the website on Flippa for?

Mark: We purchased the website for USD $6,000 dollars. We were doing our full due diligence on it. Being our first website purchase, our website due diligence was taking a bit of time because we wanted to do it well.

We talked to the owner, but we saw there was a lot of interest in the site. It’s a niche that a lot of people are quite interested in and it checked out quite well.

Mark’s Website Due Diligence stacked up – so he bypassed the bidding and bought the website on Flippa using the Buy It Now price.

The owner had a Buy It Now price of $5,000. Once the bidding started to reach that level, I was really toying with the idea of just accepting the Buy It Now price. But the next thing you know the Buy It Now price was increased to $6,000 and the bidding was getting hotter. So, I just bit the bullet and paid the $6,000. I think the success we’ve had with it says that was a good investment!

Liz: Okay, so you bought it for $6,000. And it was making around a 3 x multiple wasn’t it?

Mark: Yes, it was about three times. Like I said, it’s quite seasonal, so we had to weigh up the fact that it made this amount in the Christmas period but actually was a lot less through the rest of the year. But overall, it averaged out to around a 3 x multiple.

Within 6 months Mark was making $6,000 per month using our simple Content Strategy

Liz: So, then you put your content on and what happened as you came up for Christmas?

Mark: So, once we bought it, it took us a while to learn how to run the site and add those little tweaks that we made. We started adding more content on in October, and then things really started to heat up through November.

It got really exciting. A lot of Amazon sales started happening with the Black Friday sales. So, in November we made about $1,300. Then, in December we actually made more than what we originally paid for the site. We made $6,000 just in December.

Liz: That’s always good! $6,000 in December is a great outcome.

And within the following year, Mark now makes more than DOUBLE what he paid for the site… per month!!

Liz: Now, you’ve continued on creating and adding content to that site, haven’t you? How did you go over the next year?

Mark: It got really exciting. We continued adding more content and doing all the right things in terms of keywords and content. So, then the following December it actually doubled again, and we made $12,000, so we’re happy with that.

Liz: Awesome, and that’s only just part of the year too, that’s not the whole turnover of your site.

Mark: It kept on earning every month, but it’s just that December period is the peak season.

Liz: Very nice. So, a little website for $6,000, you’ve now completely paid that back to yourself.

Mark: Many times over!

Site #2 – Mark Found a Local Opportunity when Buying Websites on Flippa

Adding Simple Renovations and Monetization Methods – Mark made more than $80,000 Passive Income in 2 years!

Liz: Yes, and interestingly you’ve done the same with site number two as well.

Mark: I guess the harder we try the luckier we get! But, site number two is actually an Australian-based site, and it was also listed on Flippa.

It didn’t have nearly the level of interest in terms of bidding as the first site. We ended up actually picking it up after the auction process for around $18,000. When it comes to a yearly multiple, that was actually quite a lot less than the site number one.

Liz: But it was a bit more work that one wasn’t it?

Mark: Yes, and that’s why there wasn’t the same level of interest, it wasn’t quite as passive. The current owner at the time was doing a lot of stuff. She was making PDF gift guides and monthly things that she would send out to her email list. But we saw a lot of opportunities just in terms of pure renovations that we could do to the site.

Liz: What did you end up doing with that one? I remember, you changed the monetization too.

Mark: Oh, there are so many things that we did!

The original owner had monetized the website by sending out these PDFs, and she had individual businesses paying for ad space in these. This turned out to be a lot of work for some income. But, she really hadn’t monetized it with affiliate offers. So, we saw a lot of possibilities there and we just started adding affiliate offers into various posts.

By adding content to the site – one post in particular now earns Mark over $1,000 per month

Look, not everything works, but we really just struck gold in one particular post. In just a few months, we started earning about $1,000 a month just for that one post.

Liz: Wow, awesome! And that’s the thing, you’ve got to be in it to win it, don’t you? You’ve got to put stuff out there and sometimes it’s the stuff you least expect that actually takes up and ends up winning.

Mark: That’s right.

Liz: So, since you bought that site how much have you now made?

Mark: We’ve just looked at the spreadsheet and done our figures. We’ve owned this site for about two years now, and it’s made us $80,000. So, it’s more than paid for itself!

Liz: Yeah, that’s a fantastic return. So, you’ve had pretty good experiences on Flippa so far.

Mark: Yes, very good.

Liz: For our readers – we’ve got some great website training videos available on finding those very first sites on Flippa but then stepping up.

It’s Not Too Late – Mark is still finding plenty of opportunities out there when Buying Websites on Flippa

Liz: Mark, you’ve found it good to be able to find these opportunities when buying websites on Flippa. Do you find that Flippa’s got a really good range of these kind of sites on there? Are there lots of opportunities?

Mark: Oh, the choices and the opportunities when buying websites on Flippa are amazing. The biggest challenges are just to sort through the opportunities! I get excited and I’m like, “Oh, look at that opportunity.”

I’ve really been impressed with the way the Flippa platform has evolved too. In the early days, some of the interface was a bit harder to use, but it’s just been getting better and better.

I find that you can filter to exactly what you want quite nicely these days. You can just keep going back and check on what you’re after. I find it quite entertaining seeing all the different ways that people make money online and websites you can buy. It’s really quite amazing.

Liz: It’s entertaining and really informative. I love looking through things like that and getting ideas and going, “Oh, I never thought of that monetization.”

Mark: Exactly, and apart from buying great websites, it gives you some ideas for your own website as well, just by looking at what’s available out there.

Liz: Fantastic, well congratulations again Mark. And thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us.

Mark: Thank you.

More Resources On Buying Websites on Flippa

Listen to other student interviews: hear the success and the challenges our students had to overcome on their path to buying websites for passive income and profit. Hear more interviews.

Attend our free masterclass: learn our 3-step strategy for buying websites for income and profit (even if you’re a total beginner and have zero technical or website experience). Register for the masterclass.

Enroll in the Digital Investors Program: Secure your future and Work From Anywhere by buying and renovating websites for income and profit. Learn more about the Digital Investors Program.