/ July 29, 2008

Flip That Site

You are probably familiar with the concept of “flipping” a house; buy a piece of junk, fix it up, and sell it for a profit. The process has grown increasingly popular, inspiring reality tv shows and ambitious entrepreneurs alike. Now, according to The New York Times, flipping has adapted to the internet age, and savvy web designers are making a pretty profit by fixing up unpopular, unsightly, and unsuccessful web sites.

Small-time web designers have been raking in the cash by purchasing websites through online markets, including EBay, which have seen explosive growth in recent years. The expanded trading of websites has been facilitated by free services available on the internet, including advertising, that can improve website traffic. Flipping experts recommend that newcomers carve out a specific niche for their site, to focus advertising and break into an arena with minimal competition. The sites most popular for flippers tend to be “low maintenance,” such as blogs or information banks. While modifying the site layout and design is often crucial to flipping a site, generating traffic is also a high priority in terms of value.

Big names on the web have also taken to web site flipping. One notable example was People.com’s purchase and revamp of Celebrity Baby Blog, which covered a very specific subject People had not yet capitalized on. People’s purchase is estimated to have been in the millions, which is a much pricier flip than most are willing or able to make. While the FTC frowns on both small fry and big time flipping as schemes for making a quick buck, it seems that this lucrative hobby is just getting started.

Source: The New York Times

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