How Google’s +1 Could Increase Your Price When Selling Your Site

It seems as though the entire web has gone social. There are a ton of thoughts on this subject, and the purpose of this post isn’t to do an expose’ on the effects of Google +1 or facebook likes. However, one undeniable result of Google’s shift towards the social side of things is a crucial element for every marketer worth their weight in gold: Social PROOF.

There’s just something about our nature that is attracted to follow the crowd. Not only when it comes to making decisions, but when it comes to measuring the success of others. When it comes to making decisions (especially about a purchase), few selling tactics have as powerful of an effect as a long list of satisfied customer testimonials. But when it comes to measuring success and getting others to jump on your bandwagon, the tool of choice is social response in the form of a vote.

Take a look at some of the web’s top social bookmarking sites like Digg.com, or StumbleUpon.com. When something get’s voted for enough times, it gets picked up and syndicated all across the web. A post that experiences what some have called the “Digg effect” (server crushing traffic from reaching Digg’s first page), goes through a snow ball effect. The more people who Digg, the more people that see the story, which in turn leads to more Diggs…You get the point.

Then came the Facebook “Like”. The same snow ball principle is at play, it’s just a much steeper hill with more force pushing the ball. The viral effect of the Facebook “like” has made many people overnight internet celebrities, given YouTube videos millions of views, and increased online businesses overall fan bases (and value) by untold amounts.

The question everyone is asking, is how will the Google +1 button effect business owners and websites? Well, in an attempt to keep good on my promise to not discuss all the stuff you’ve probably read 1,000 blog posts about already (SERP changes, etc…), I’d like to point out the one change that could make you more money as a flipper: Social proof.

If success is measured by following the crowd, then having a high Google +1 count on your website’s content automatically infuses more perceived value into it. It tells potential buyers “people like my website.” Which gives them more confidence to make you an offer because the crowd is telling them it’s a good property to invest in.

#1 rankings are great…But being #5 with 10X as many +1’s as the guy who’s #1 in the SERPS tells potential buyers (and searchers) that your site is the site everyone likes the most.

So, the moral of the story is if you aren’t currently utilizing Google’s +1 button to add perceived value to your content, perhaps you should. You may even start seeing it in our posts here at FlipWebsites.com!

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.

Continue reading “Anatomy of a 5-Figure Flip: Outsourcing for Free?”

Using Placeholder Sites to Start Creating Valuable Websites

This is a guest post from Philip Rudy of ContentCustoms.com.

There are a lot of ideas that can come to a person’s mind throughout his or her life. Ideas usually always sound great, especially when it comes to dreaming up website ideas that will one day make you boat loads of money, but one thing that has to be learned about ideas is that before an idea can be a good one, it has to stand the test of time.

One huge problem with great ideas with websites is that it can be forever before you even get around to making your idea happen, and the longer you wait to start your website the longer it takes for your website to start making money – and this my friends is exactly why we have all come to know the phrase, “time is money.” It can be a long time before your website is even worth money, and if you are trying to flip websites, you don’t want to be wasting time on a website that is never going to pan out.

Continue reading “Using Placeholder Sites to Start Creating Valuable Websites”

12 Places Where You Can Outsource Work On The Cheap

Outsource WorkWhether you are new to website flipping or have a lot of experience, sooner or later you’ll need help if you want to scale your Internet business. You’re only one person and you can only accomplish so much in a day. The easiest and most affordable way to scale your business is to outsource some of your work.

Anything you currently do yourself can be outsourced but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. In fact, you should take an inventory on what your strengths and weaknesses are and what you enjoy doing the most. Anything that falls under the “weakness column” or under the column of, “things you don’t really enjoy doing,” should be outsourced. You should only do things yourself that you are good at or enjoy doing. Continue reading “12 Places Where You Can Outsource Work On The Cheap”

Choosing The Perfect Monetization Model When Flipping Websites

This is a guest post by Ryan T. Malone from FlippingAwesome.com.

Let me start by telling you something about myself. I create websites, and I sell them. Not really that much of a surprise there, however, I don’t just create and THEN sell, I create, sit on the site for a long time, then sell when it is a viable business opportunity for my potential buyer. This is my business model, and it works great for me. Of course, along with brokering the odd website (this is my other business!), this is how I generate the majority of my income.

Recently, in the podcast that myself, David Jenyns, and Danny Batelic have launched, we spoke about an auction by Lynn Terry, in which she attempted to sell her 5000 Backlinks product and website. Now, although this is a fantastic product (believe me, I know it sells very well!), the problem with this product is not the product itself. It is the power of who is marketing it, and how.

So, let’s look at things this way. If the product were to make Lynn $30,000 in the first six months of the product being available, is it going to make a “no name” webmaster anywhere near the same in the next six months, with the same level of promotion? Probably not.

This is where you need to define the absolute perfect monetization model for those websites that you create to sell. And in creating that monetization model, it needs to be universal in its application, so that regardless of who purchases that website, they need to be able to achieve the same results as you did when you owned the site.

This is a huge task, I will not deny that. Personally, I have been struggling to get a grasp of this notion for some time now, and have decided that ultimately, to create the perfect six figure website, there are a few things that you will need to consider when doing the initial research and concept development.

First, you need to consider the efforts that you take to market the website, or any attached products or desired courses of action. This needs to be universal in a sense of how it is applied. For example, when you are considering whether or not to sell, you will absolutely need to consider your buyer, and whether or not they can literally purchase the website, and monetize it tomorrow.

As an example, when Lynn Terry first launched 5000 Backinks, she marketed the product to her personal list, which resulted in a large number of sales. As this list was not included in the sale (as it is one of her personal lists) the idea of replicating that process is null and void. Regardless of the total income claimed for the website, the claimed revenue is all but useless, as it would be extremely difficult for a new owner to replicate the whole process without having access to her personal list.

I would also recommend completely removing your name from the website as well. I would recommend using a pen name. The way that this works is simple. It sets the website up on neutral ground, so that neither someone with a high profile name, or low profile name has the advantage when marketing either products that you sell on site, or even in attracting traffic if PPC is your method of monetization.

As an example, I can easily market a product to my viewers, and as I have the proof that I have been successful at what is is that I do, people will be more inclined to stand up and listen. This will not be as likely if a new face with no proof of success tried to attempt the same.

At the end of the day, it is as simple as this. For a website to sell for a good price, it needs to be able to generate income for the buyer. It could’t be more simple than that.

Of course, I have only mentioned a few points to consider above, however, there are more methods of monetization than I can count, so the key is simple. before you push your next site into production, make sure to consider this first. Can the new owner of my website continue making as much money as I do with this site? If not, go back to the drawing board for a bit. Your wallet will thank you for it, and so will your buyer.

Ryan’s personal blog can be found at http://www.ryantmalone.com where he writes about SEO and website flipping topics. You can also follow him on Twitter.

FREE Blueprints For Website Development & Flipping Success

website-flipping-blueprintsI get a lot of emails every week from people who think I’m some kind of website flipping guru. I wish I was but I’m not – at least not in the traditional sense where I’m buying and selling (i.e. flipping) on a regular basis.

As I have detailed on my about me page, I specialize in developing SEO websites that I hold on to for at least 6 months that I then sell. In short, my specialty is flipping websites that are established SEO sites that are making money. As a result, the bulk of my time is spent working on sites – not flipping websites.

As an Internet Marketer who builds websites for the long-term flip, getting started on the right foot is critical. I can’t afford to work on a site for several weeks only to discover it’s a losing niche or that I’m using the wrong revenue streams. And because I spend so much time on my sites, it’s imperative that I not only know they are a “sure thing” in terms of the money they can generate while I own them, but that they’ll be in demand when I sell them.

Diving head first into the website flipping niche was a godsend. It has allowed me to study and learn the market. I know what sells and what doesn’t – but better yet, I am given the blueprints to all of these websites. If I can follow these blueprints and add my own skills and expertise, I can be assured that most sites I develop will make money and will sell for big money when I flip them.

For any given website listed on Flippa, I can take notes of all the things the sellers say about their websites. Things like how they have been marketing their websites, how they monetize them, how they create content, how they get email subscribers, etc. etc. Then I can actually visit their websites and see what they’re doing. I have complete blueprints provided for FREE!

No other tool or resource in the Internet Marketing industry can provide as much information for free as the website flipping market. Every time I visit marketplaces like Flippa, I’m amazed at the amount of information I can get my hands on and not have to pay a dime for it. I consider this the golden era of having access to these free blueprints, however.

I have a feeling that as this industry matures, sellers are going to be more guarded about what they share publicly. I envision a future where the majority of sellers will require all buyers sign NDA’s before they will reveal anything about their websites – and even then you will only be given brief information as the “good stuff” will be reserved for serious buyers only. I can see this happening even on even popular marketplaces like Flippa.

Until that day comes, enjoy what you have at your fingertips today! Spend time at popular marketplaces like Flippa and learn from the auctions. It can greatly reduce the learning curve and give you a head start with any of your projects. To get you started, visit the Past Website Sales section of this website and enjoy all the free blueprints for website development and flipping success!

Content is Queen, Revenue is King

This is a guest post by Mike Roosa from mikeroosa.com.

If I’ve learned anything over the last couple of months with regards to selling sites, it’s that REVENUE is King. Selling new startup sites on auction sites such as Flippa has become much harder and the return is not as good as it once was. The buyers have realized that it takes work to build a successful site, which means you need something to make the site more attractive. That something is revenue.

In order to maximize the sale for a new startup site, you need to take a little time to drive some traffic to the site and try to convert that traffic into cash. When selling your site, a potential buyer is much more likely to place a bid when you’ve already proven the concept by making some money.

The more revenue you are able to generate over a 30-60 or even a 90 day period the more likely it is that your sale will be successful.

While making a living online can be difficult and take many years, earning some money for a website is not all that hard, but does take some planning and a little luck. I don’t care what anyone says, there is some luck in getting ranked on page 1 of Google.

Here is the quickest and simplest way I know to get your site off on the right foot and earning money quickly.

It all starts with traffic and the traffic that a buyer wants to see is search engine traffic. I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times, but you need to find the right keywords with lots of searches and little competition.

When selecting a keyword, I like to find a 2 or 3 word keyword as my main keyword for the site I’m building and find an exact match domain name. For example, if my keyword is “glass french doors,” then the domain name should be glassfrenchdoors.com, glassfrenchdoors.net, glassfrenchdoors.org, or (hold your breath) glassfrenchdoors.info. Don’t be scared off by the .info domain as they will sell if you can show proof of earnings.

There are many other sites that tell you how to do keyword research so I’m not going to go into that here, but the keyword you select should get at least 5,000 searches a month, have less than 50,000 competing sites and have at least 2 page rank 0 sites on the first page of Google.

Try to come up with 4 or 5 similar keywords and incorporate those into your site as well so you can try to gain some additional search engine traffic.

Once you get the site built and optimize it for your keywords by creating some quality and unique content, then you need to get your site indexed.

You can wait for Google if you want, but I’m not that patient. I recently discovered a way to get a site indexed quickly and that is to go to http://www.ismysiteindexed.com and put in your url. Just by checking on your site, it will get indexed quickly, many times in the same day.

If you’ve done your keyword research correctly then you should be somewhere on page 1, if not then you are going to need to build some backlinks by writing articles for EzineArticles, GoArticles, Squidoo, Hubpages, or some other article directory or Web 2.0 site. You also should ping your site and submit some social bookmarks.

Hopefully, within a few days of adding some backlinks, your site can get enough juice to move up to page one where it can start earning some money.

The simplest way that I know of to make money with a startup website is with Adsense. You probably aren’t going to make a killing with Adsense, but you don’t have to. If you can show proof of $15.00 per month ($.50 a day) then you should have a sale between $200 and $300, and if your site is attractive and has some good content then you could make much more.

Like with keyword research, there are many guides to setting up Adsense, but here are my 3 tips.

First, less is more. I like having one Adsense block on the page and no links to external sites AT ALL. You want visitors to either click on an ad or link to an internal page which will also contain the Adsense block.

Second, your content text color should be light and your Adsense block a little darker so it draws attention to the ads.

Third, try your own thing. There are no rules when it comes to what works and doesn’t work. Any given site could have success with something that doesn’t work on another site, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

An added benefit of using Adsense is that it is one of the most watched tags on Flippa which means your site will get its share of views.

I hope that I have been able to shed a little light on what it takes to build a money making site so that your next flip is a profitable one.

What about you? What are the best ways you have for monetizing a site to bring in some money quickly?

Mike’s blog can be found at http://www.mikeroosa.com where he writes about such topics as internet marketing, site flipping, building niche sites, making money online, and general productivity among other things. You can also follow him on Twitter.

10 Things To Consider When Registering Domain Names

registering domain namesRegistering domain names is one of the most important steps in the website flipping process. A lot hinges on it when it comes to how fast you can sell your website and how good of a price you can get for it. While you may be tempted to go with whatever clever or fancy name that comes to mind when building a website from scratch or looking for one you can purchase, it’s worth going over this checklist first to see if the domain name passes the test before registering it.

1. .com, .org and .net TLDs Only

Use your creativity in other aspects of the website but stick to the tried and tested TLDs when registering domain names. People often assume that a website ends in .com, while .net and .org domains are generally accepted too. This is why potential buyers look no further than these three TLDs when searching for a website to purchase. The only exception may be when you are targeting a specific country or region such as using .com.au for the Australian market.

2. Say No To Hyphens and Numbers

For a few particular sites, numbers and hyphens could be worked into a domain name but in most cases, they may bring down the site’s market value. Stay away from these types of domains if possible.

3. Keep It Short and Sweet

When it comes to domain names, long is out and short is in. A long domain may allow you to play around with clever name ideas but if you’ve been doing this for any length of time, you know that short name domains get sold the fastest and command the highest prices. A domain name of 20 characters or less is ideal.

4. Include Keywords

What better way of boosting SEO value than putting a relevant keyword in the domain name. Such a move will help in the search engine rankings and will impress future buyers.

5. Use An Exact Keyword Only

If you can fit the exact keyword into the domain name – nothing more, nothing less (i.e. ExactKeyword.com) – then you’ll hit a goldmine – not only with the search engines by getting a SEO boost but also with future buyers. If you can’t get an exact keyword domain, then revert to rule #4 above and just make sure the keyword is included somehow (i.e. MyExactKeyword.com).

6. Go For Mass Appeal

A generic domain can catch people’s attention more than one referring to a particular market or brand. And understandably, a domain that reaches out to a greater audience would also appeal to more potential buyers. When registering domain names, try to keep them as broad as possible. For example, Cars.com will be more appealing to more buyers than HybridCars.com.

7. Avoid Misspellings

Nothing discourages a potential buyer more than having a misspelled domain. While you may get some traffic from people searching with misspellings, you don’t want to build a long-term asset on a misspelled domain. Save misspelled domains for your feeder sites or domain portfolio but don’t build a website intended to be flipped on them.

8. Avoid Trademarks Like the Plague

Websites that contain trademark words may bring in more harm and controversy (which you don’t need) than actual traffic and buyer interest (which you do need). And that’s not even counting the cease and desist emails that are sure to come or worse yet, trademark infringement lawsuits that could be waiting for you.

9. Look For Advertisers

The more paid ads you see when doing a search for your domain’s keyword, the better the chances of your site getting sold. If people are already paying to be on the front page of Google for the keyword in your domain, they’ll likely be interested in buying a website that ranks naturally for that keyword and has the keyword in the domain to boot!

10. GEO Domains Are Hot

More and more local businesses are making the leap to the web every day, creating a significant demand for local geographical domains. Grab these local geo domains sooner than later and you’ll make a profitable income out of them.

Website flipping success starts with registering domain names that pass as many of the tests above. A good domain can be the difference between a small payday and big payday. Get started on the right foot by applying these guidelines when registering domain names for your websites!