EFP 52: Buying And Selling Websites For Killer Profits

Justin Cooke

June 20, 2013

A REAL lifestyle business in less than 10 months…

No, not the kind that replaces your regular J-O-B with a different type of 60 hours-per-week grind. I’m talking about living in a villa near the beach in Bali, hopping a flight to hang out with yours truly in Davao City for a few weeks, hopping another flight to hang out with the guys/gals at the World Domination Summit in Portland – All while making a living “online”.

Creating a Lucrative Career Buying & Selling Websites

This is EXACTLY what our friend Mark Brenwall is up to and I just had to get him on the podcast to share his story with you. He doesn’t own a Lamborghini or a yacht and he doesn’t have anything to sell…he just agreed to step out of the shadows for a bit to share his experience with flipping sites that profited more than $20K in the last six months.

His story’s fascinating and his No-BS approach to business and online marketing is refreshing. There’s a ton of value in this episode…I definitely encourage you to have a listen!

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As


“We completed two linkbuilding tests – both did not provide a positive ROI.” – Joe – Click To Tweet!

“I’ve been making enough money for other people…it’s time to do it for myself.” – Mark – Click To Tweet!

“If @Flippa can continue to challenge themselves…they’ll be absolutely KILLING it in the next 5 years” – Justin – Click To Tweet!

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Who builds these types of businesses?
  • What’s the potential for buying and selling sites?
  • Is it risky business?
  • Let’s talk details – what’s your process?
  • Where do you see this business going? Can anyone do it?


So…are you motivated to give buying and selling sites a shot? Have any flipping experiences you can share? Give us a shout on Twitter or we’d love to hear your story in the comments!

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  1. Cornish InTasmania says:

    I’ve just started looking at buying websites whilst waiting for the Empire Flippers starter package. This is really helpful but I was looking more for how to choose which websites are worth buying. Looking through your archives I’ve just found it in episode 43! :)

    Really helpful as always, thanks.

  2. Joshua Eldridge says:

    Justin and Joe…I really liked this episode and listened to it while mountain biking…fit well!

    The only issue I wanted you to interrogate Mark on is how did he get 18,000 Facebook fans from $500? What a gold mine….and he’s able to leverage it! I’d love to know what type of ads, the content of the ads and who he’s targeting.

    Thanks guys…great job!

  3. Nino says:

    HEY… you bought wpranktracker for 2 grand? (i was watching that listing but i don’t think 2k was a right price)

    I was just doing some research a few days ago on the power of expired domains. I will give it a try.

    Great stuff guys!

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey, Nino…yeah, that was us!

      What do you mean about the price? Do you think we paid too much? Too little? Interested to hear your thoughts.

      Thanks, man!

      • Nino says:

        Justin, I believe the final price was more than the real value of that plugin because I think the meat of that listing was the plugin itself and not the sales from the forum which probably came after a bump( or a few?). That being said i think you could get that plugin developed for around $500-$1000 max but you will probably get a lot more than 2k from having (and selling?) that plugin.

  4. Iain Robson says:

    Great podcast.

    I have heard that Wordfence makes your site a bit slower than wpsecurity. I haven’t seen any hard evidence to support that, but I thought I would let you guys know about it.

    It’s interesting how you use old sites and tried @nichepursuits technique on it without any change. As you mentioned, it may be due to the fact that they weren’t doing very well to begin with.

    It would be interesting to hear about a similar experiment using expired domains. I can’t remember if you mentioned doing that or not.

    Until next time gents

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Iain!

      Yeah, our “failed” test with the @nichepursuits linkbuilding method is not mark against the process…it just means it didn’t work in a positive ROI on the sites we were hoping to improve. :-)

      • Iain Robson says:

        Yeah for sure I understand that. I have used the process to rank niche website, so it works.

        It’s too bad you haven’t found a way to improve it yet though eh.

        With the process you go through I’m sure you will find a way.

  5. Jon Haver says:

    Thanks for the mention guys, I was listening to your podcast in my car and heard the mention to the article (which sure sounded like mine) then had to pull over to check the show notes and see you had mentioned my post – pretty cool. Thanks!

  6. Hi Guys,

    It was great to hear about Mark’s experience on your last podcast. I actually picked up one of Mark’s sites via the EmpireFlippers Marketplace and could not be happier with the results so far.

    On this episode you mentioned the link building tests you guys performed for some your “failed” websites. I think Joe threw out 20% as the ratio of sites that don’t really go anywhere. I have been building out a lot of sites with a very similar approach to what you guys employ so I was very curious about this. So of all the sites you build only about 1 in 5 don’t really take off? What sort of monthly earnings cutoff does a site have to hit before you decide to let it expire?


    • Justin Cooke says:

      Hey Michael!

      Nice, man…glad things are working out!

      Regarding the 20% of failures, these would be sites that have earned less than $5 in the previous 6 months leading up to domain renewal. We normally give a range (20% – 40%) as different batches perform better than others and I’ve seen higher numbers from particular batches. Usually, if it’s closer to the 20%, it means we have a larger number of sites that technicall “pass”…but are still really low earners. We’ve seen low-earners bounce back, though….so we’ll renew and keep them around for another year.

      It’s slightly more complicated than JUST the $5 in the previous 6 months (there are a couple of checks that are run through) but that’s the main thing we look at.

  7. Dave Starr says:

    Great episode this week, guys. I was surprised to hear you had
    bought into ranktracker.com, Paul Forcey’s great Word Press plugin. I’m
    a long-time user and I’m impressed with the value of that product. I
    should have been making better use of it myself. I’m excited with some
    of the uses I can envision you making out of it.

    One of the advantages of what ranktracker does for you is tell you, for real,
    what Google thinks of you, real time. No “keyword tool” out there,
    especially including Google’s own, give you actual traffic …
    Ranktracker tells you what is really happening. Good on you, I think you bought into a winner there.

  8. Hi

    @justin – I figure Flippa see what fiverr and tweeky have achieved and want some of the revenue.. Downside so far is to many people offering to much for to little oh well.

    Enjoyed this episode and lots resonated with me. Ive bought and sold sites over the last few years (nothing big) and its cool when you can buy hold and resell.

    Going forward I thing building real brands around eCommerce sites is a great model. Buying growing and reselling also makes a lot of sense.

    @Mark – Year you got to love Barcelona especially when doing the hurdles.. Nice video.. BTW im always full of good ideas to explorer :-)

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Glad you dug the episode, Steve! I really liked this one as well…

      I agree that Flippa’s looking to pickup some of that market…it will be interesting to see where this goes, eh?

      I’ve been bullish about telling everyone I know that Flippa has the potential/opportunity to turn into a monster revenue beast. I know those guys bring in a ton of cash with 99Designs, but I think there’s a ton of growth in the Flippa niche.

  9. JakubHanke says:

    Nice one guys! A lot of it was like listening to myself … ie “want stable recurring income, enough money to do whatever I want, live anywhere I want…. easy, stress free life”.

    I personally don’t sell websites, so far I keep them. This way I have cash-flow problems so I took second job for few months, but I don’t like the idea of selling a website that earns nice money without much work.

    About buying Facebook pages – well you can buy a page. Just Facebook shouldn’t know about it :) For example one guy offered me a page with 1.5 million likes, very active, and in great niche for $10.000…

    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Jakub!

      Mark really does have a sweet thing going. Don’t get me wrong…it’s not “passive” income – he does put some work in – but his lifestyle’s good. He also had to have the initial investment to get things up and running and not everyone has that, of course.

      Selling “sites” along with the Facebook page might be a way around that issue, right?

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