Anatomy of a 5-Figure Flip: Link Building

This is the fifth article in a series highlighting a 5-figure website flip. We’ve already reviewed buying aged domains, outsourcing web design and writing, getting repeat visitors, and conducting keyword research.  This article covers link building (for SEO and traffic generation).

It’s often said that on the internet, content is king.  I call BS.  Links are king, and content is queen.  A site with enough link equity can rank for competitive terms, even with pretty awful content — just look at Yahoo Answers.  A site with well-placed links on heavily trafficked sites doesn’t even NEED search traffic — it gets flooded with referrals.  He who has the most (and best quality) links wins.

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Anatomy of a 5-Figure Flip: Getting Search Traffic

This is the fourth article in a series highlighting the steps I took to turn a $300 initial investment into a $10,000 website sale in under 3 months, spending just a few minutes per day. In the first 3 articles, we covered buying aged domains, outsourcing web design and writing, and making the site sticky. In this article, I’ll share how I pursued organic search traffic – particularly identifying high volume, low competition search terms.

Organic search traffic (not paid) is the lifeblood of most successful websites.  It provides the best kind of traffic (highly targeted visitors) at the most ideal price (free).  When you flip a website, organic traffic is highly valued because it is sustainable and predictable.  I knew that in order for Better Parenting to succeed as a flip, it would have to show the promise of serious search traffic.

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Website Flipping Market Snapshot 10-10-10

Market Snapshot

week ending 10-10-10

Established Visitors / Mo Net Revenue

Most Actives

crawlspaceinsulation.org 40 bids 6/20/09 2,811 $341
www.luxurydoghousesshop.net 40 bids 4/30/10 1,476 $124
www.killerflippingsecrets.com 35 bids 5/2/10 1,729 $5,071
cna-employment.com 34 bids 10/30/09 220 $41
emeralddiamondring.org 34 bids 10/19/09 3,786 $50

Top Sellers

www.jobsinegypt.com $75,000 4/20/04 100,000 $2,500
www.ebladestore.com $60,000 2/3/01 42,951 $8,000
www.killerflippingsecrets.com $30,000 5/2/10 1,729 $5,071
www.buyeyeglasses.com $22,500 7/31/03 20,000 $7,542
www.elinead.com $20,000 2/18/09 2,500,000 $1,900

Sites Most Watched by Buyers

Adsense – 68 watchers
Wordpress – 62 watchers
Autoblog – 55 watchers

* All stats based on Flippa activity

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FlipWebsites.com Gets a Facelift – Logo and Website Redesign

Earlier this week, Travis and I announced the sale of Flip Websites, and the acquisition of this site provides an interesting live case-study in re-branding and redesign.  In this article, I’m going to highlight some of the design changes that have been implemented and share the reasoning behind them.

When I decided to purchase Flip Websites, these were my beliefs about the site:

  • It has a good, memorable domain name that sets it up to be the industry authority
  • It has high quality content that also indicates that position of authority
  • Its design was a bit more “home brew,” not entirely matching that authoritative voice (particularly the logo)

It’s important to know a sites strengths and weaknesses when you acquire it, so that you can quickly develop a plan to improve its deficiencies.

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Anatomy of a 5-Figure Flip: Traffic Strategies

We’ve already tackled buying old domains with PageRank and outsourcing web design and writing in the first two articles in this series.  The steps taken in those articles set the foundation for the success of Better Parenting, but people don’t pay top dollar for attractive sites with fresh content that have no visitors.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the strategies for how to get traffic to your website that I implemented in this launch.  Now, before I get into bringing the visitors to the site, there was one major thing I absolutely needed to take care of first:

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Anatomy of a 5-Figure Flip: Outsourcing for Free?

If you followed along in the first article in this series, you learned how I leveraged a domain drop catcher and historic whois records to acquire a highly brandable PR 4 domain (BetterParenting.com) for the paltry sum of $300.  I probably could have just flipped the domain for a few grand but instead, I decided to develop a blog and sell it as a website.  In this article, I’ll highlight the development process I undertook for this site, and how I outsourced key components for little or no cost.

To start out, I need to admit something. I have a pretty substantial advantage over most casual flippers.  I work professionally as a web developer, and although my expertise lies in the programming end of the spectrum, I also have a pretty good creative eye.  I’ve built $40,000+ websites.  I know fancy web technologies like ASP.NET MVC and Zend Framework.  I own Adobe Creative Suite 5, and I know all the keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop.  I could have sat down and created an entirely custom design for Better Parenting and built out a custom CMS that perfectly met my needs.  I didn’t do any of that.

What “Flip This House” Teaches Us About Website Flipping

If you ever watch any of the myriad of house flipping shows on television, you’re bound to encounter a situation where the novice flipper forgets that they’re building to sell.  Their renovation becomes less about the profit and more about what they would love to have.  Huge mistake.

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