Well if you are like me with an addictive and competitive personality it sure can be and can get you in trouble quick. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great site and a great service. If you are just starting out in internet marketing you can pick up a great website or two already to go and make money. Its not a magic bullet though, you still will have to work at the marketing part of course and you still have to do your homework and research on the site! This last part is very important or you may just be wasting your money on a pretty website that nobody will see. When I first started i did go a little crazy and I think I have a couple of those pretty sites. I hope to get them up in rankings a bit and at least make a little off them but will they pay for themselves in a decent time frame? We’ll have to wait and see. I also did pick up some that have already started making money on a daily or semi daily basis, and a few that I know will just got to tweak them a bit and get them ranking. What I want to share here are some things I learned through this that the beginner should take to heart so they don’t make the same mistakes.
Flippa aint Ebay!
This is more a tip on how Flippa operates that you may not know up front. If you are used to Ebay and you were like me and liked to ‘snipe’ auctions, that is wait till the last min and put in your bid hoping to win it at a decent price and not give anyone a chance to counter bid, well to bad. Flippa does not allow sniping and what they do is if a bid is placed with in the last 4 hours of the auction it resets the clock to 4 hours left. This is to give everyone a chance to counter your bid like a true auction.
Brand spanking new
Many of the sites you will see on here are being cranked out on a daily basis by those that just build the sites and sell them. You can see these when you look at ‘site established’ and its only 2 days old. Some of these can be gems down the road but do your research on the keywords. They may look all pretty and functional and you think to yourself this will be sure to draw in 1000s of visitors and make me rich, but most are on highly competitive markets that may be next to impossible to rank. When these people create the sites they look for domains they can get in highly searched for keywords but don’t pay much attention to the competition, why should they its not going to be their job to market or get them ranked. So do your research and dont pay to much attention to the claims ‘10,000 monthly searches!!! profit $1,000s from this site’!
As mentioned above some make their money by cranking out sites and selling them. Some seem short on ideas and do several on the same niche, not entirely a bad thing but… I had 2 such experiences before I learned my lesson (one would not have known). first I bought a site with an exact match domain with an ‘x’ on the end (was a .com), Not an uncommon practice. It was ranking page 2 already and doing some research I saw another exact match .net site on page 1 but thought I could beat that. In hind site I was checking out the sellers past sites sold and guess what I saw. Yes that page 1 site was one of his as well that he sold earlier. Looking closer it was similar in build and with a couple more pages, luckily the content was different. Second one was an after the fact. I bought a site in a popular niche and then a couple days later another site in the same niche came up on flippa. Looking into it it was by the same seller, selling same affiliates, same build, same images, even same posts. Just different domain.
So do your research on the seller and check out their past sales as well.
You may look at some of the sites for sale and see they have pages and pages of content but its only a couple days old? Well there are a couple of things to look for here. The biggest is an auto blog and they may be bold and upfront telling you its an auto blog and 0 work needed by you. Unsure what an auto blog is? Well quite simply it is typically a wordpress plug ing that will go out on the internet and find articles and posts related to your keywords and bring them into your site. Some people call this evil as you are borrowing content that others have produced and using for your benefit without asking, that is for another post another time. The other way is the creator used ‘articles’ from article directories. These articles are free to use as long as the credit is left intact in your posts. One more source of content are PLR’s these are articles that are purchased for the purpose of using as content on sites and no credit is needed, in fact you are allowed to claim as your own. Now the best way to use a PLR is the basis for your content, re-writting them to make them more original to your site but most do not and post as is.
There are 2 trains of thoughts on duplicate content. One being that google dings you for it in the SERPs giving a higher ranking to the original. Too much duplicate content can really hurt you and you have no chance of ranking. The other is that it dosent hurt you at all, when google speaks of duplicate content there are talking of it within a single domain. These people point to news aggregate sites that put out a news story and it is picked up by hundreds of sites exactly like it is. Im not sure which is true but just be aware of these points when considering buying a site. Go through the site and check the posts for bylines or article credit at the end. If none take a snippet and run it through google and see if any matches come up. Then make your decision.
Do your homework!
Bottom line as with any major purchase, do your homework! You wouldnt buy a house without doing the research into it would you? Same with purchasing a website that you hope will make you money. Inspect the site thoroughly, Check to see if it has been indexed by google yet, see if it is ranking yet for its keywords. Use your tools like Micro Niche Finder and see how many searches there are for it and what the competition is really like.
Check the adwords value, if you plan on using adsense to make money is the potential per click amount worth it. Does no good to get a site ranking if only to earn a couple cents a week. That being said, figure out how you are going to monetize it and figure out how long it may take to pay for itself (dont forget you will have annual domain fees and hosting as well).
Flippa can be a great way to get started in Internet Marketing as well as a way to grow your portfolio. Not to mention when you have tweaked and ranked those sites and got them making money, a place to sell your sites for a decent profit. Just use caution and common sense and above all do your homework!