Lots of experienced investors usually tell new investors to invest in real estate. It’s not bad advice as there is almost always growth and you can end up making a good income from rentals or flipping real estate. However, there is a much better investment similar to real estate but can pay off much faster. That’s flipping income-earning websites. You can buy a web property for much less money than a house, start making money right away, and sell it at a healthy profit after a year or two.

It’s an investment strategy that often flies under the radar of traditional investors. There is a big market for websites that are bringing in an income and lots of marketplace sites. If you are looking for a unique opportunity as an entrepreneur then this could be the best way to go.

Find the best fit

Starting out, you are going to have a lot of different options to choose from when it comes to growing a profitable web property. You can find a situation that fits every budget when it comes to the initial investment.

Here are some of the ways available when it comes to the various types of properties you can invest in:

Expired domains

An expired domain is one in which is not hosted on a server, but the domain name is still being paid. These are some of the cheapest to start with since there is no revenue being generated by the site. Usually, a deal can be made with the owner of the domain through the registrar. If you don’t know how to find expired domains then check out that guide.

Starter sites

A starter site is one that is hosted, is on a paid theme, and has plenty of content on it already but may not be generating revenue. Or, at least not much yet. These are good for the budget-minded investor as they are not that expensive but can be grown quickly.

Established sites

When you have more money to spend you can buy a site that is already established and making money. These cost more, of course, but you will start making money the day the domain is transferred to your name.

Growing the site

You’ll want to make back your initial investment as quickly as possible. This means putting in some work to bring in traffic or increase conversions. The type of work depends on the type of site that you’ve decided to buy.

When you buy an expired domain, then you need to start adding a lot of content and doing some redirects if there are already backlinks coming in. Do some keyword research to find the topics that will bring in some organic traffic from Google. Then start a social media campaign to bring in even more traffic. Once you have some traffic coming in then you can join some affiliate programs and promote their products for commissions.

With a starter site that already has content on it, your strategy should be two-pronged, to begin with. You do need to have well-researched content that will grow the traffic and also opportunities for monetization.

Secondly, you need to start building a strong backlink profile. Since the site will have some age to it, these backlinks should start showing up on Google’s radar fairly quickly which will bring in some traffic very quickly.

Lastly, an established site may just need some tweaks to grow it. Has an audit done of the technical SEO so you can see if there are opportunities for growth there? You may also find some new opportunities for monetization through new or better affiliate programs or advertising partners.

If the site you are buying is an eCommerce business then you will need to use some specialized techniques and Shopify SEO tips to get it off the ground traffic wise.

Selling the site

Before you sell the site, you need to evaluate how much it is worth. It can vary but the general rule of thumb is that it will sell for 30 times the income average of the last six months. So, if your site is bringing in an average of $1,000 per month then it should sell for around $30,000. It could be more or less depending on a few factors but this is a good starting point.

There are a few ways to sell the site, but the best way is to go with a broker. Sites like Empireflippers and Flippa have a ready-made audience that is always on the lookout for good sites with potential. You list the site with them and they help facilitate the sale and migration to the new buyer in exchange for 15% of the purchase price.