Hi Mushfiq, can you introduce yourself and your background…
Certainly. I am Mushfiq, the owner of The Website Flip. I built my first website in college and fell in love with building, growing, and flipping websites as an investment class. Since 2010 I’ve been involved in over 180+ website flips, several of which ended up in the six figures range.
I also have a background in engineering so I build process and use a data-driven process to building online businesses.
Can you take us back to that very first website flip?
I started my first website when I was still a college student in 2008. This was sort of a hobby site on VOIP, a technology I was very interested in. I didn’t know much about making money online but I built the site, learned to drive traffic, and in 2010 was approached by a major media company wanting to purchase the site.
That first sale was for $25K, which for a broke college student felt like a crazy amount of money, and was enough to hook my interest in website flipping as a business.
When did website flipping become an obsession? And profession for you?
That first sale was enough to get me hooked. After that first sale I became obsessed with learning about how to repeat what I did with the first site. I learned about SEO, monetizing, scaling sites, and developed my own database to apply to every future site so I could repeat that process over and over again.
For over a decade, I’ve been website flipping as a side hustle. It was always enough to sustain me but I chose to have a career in engineering. However, in 2021, I left my day job to focus on this full-time.
"After that first sale I became obsessed with learning about how to repeat what I did with the first site. I learned about SEO, monetizing, scaling sites, and developed my own database to apply to every future site so I could repeat that process over and over again."Mushfiq, The Website Flip
On your course you mention you do a lot of deals direct with owners. How do these come about?
You can’t close a deal you never reach out to open. I’ve sent a lot of emails to a lot of contact pages. Many site owners never respond, but some do.
I start negotiating with the owners who respond and see if a deal can be made. If you have a reputation for buying sites, sometimes people will come to you through referral, but most of these deals start with me simply reaching out and asking if there’s any interest in selling.
Also, now that I have a newsletter with a rabid following, I get deals through my followers. This has been a huge benefit to my deal flow.
Your course also helps people to identify and understand their investment strategy. How do you think yours may evolve over the next 10 years?
That’s always a challenge to predict, especially with how quickly things can change online. I’ll continue buying and flipping websites while focusing a lot of energy on building The Website Flip as a brand I’ll hold onto.
This gives me a place to continue to build my brand, earn revenue through consultations and my digital products, and further build my reputation as an expert in the field. That way no matter what changes come online over the next decade, my brand and recognized expertise is there.
The threat of Google algorithm updates and penalties is always a threat. What advice would you offer content and affiliate sites?
There are certain things that Google is always looking for to deliver good search results. They want sites that have great content, high EAT, and provide a great user experience.
The best piece of advice I can give is don’t take shortcuts. The content needs to be good. The site needs to have the right technicalities (e.g., fast page speed, clean structure).
If your focus is on creating a great user experience and the top resource on the subject, you’ll ride out most Google algorithm updates with very little difficulty over the long run.
Do you think it’s ever possible to recover from such a setback?
Yes. Google is always looking for certain things. If you give them what they want, it’s in their best interest to have your site recover its rankings.
Depending on what the issues are causing the penalty, it can take a lot of time or work, but recovery is almost always possible.
"I know how life-changing the income from improving and flipping websites can be. The blueprint is there for people willing to do the work."Mushfiq, The Website Flip
What have been the biggest learnings when growing your own sites ahead of a sale?
Having at least some interest in the topic/site is important and not to get lazy on the due diligence. On the one recent website flip I considered a failure, I violated both of these rules, and it led to a lot of money spent for too little return.
What’s next for your Website Flipping empire?
Right now my focus is on expanding the brand with more digital products and tools for investors. I’ll also continue to buy, improve, and flip niche websites when I find a good deal that interests me. I am actively doing 15-20 website flips a year and will continue to do so.
And finally, what are your top 3 marketing tools you’d recommend to others?
As a marketer, these are the tools I use on a daily basis (sometimes hourly basis):
Ahrefs is the go-to in our industry. We use it to perform due diligence on a website we want to buy, to using it to find keyword opportunities. It’s amazing for the price.
Google Analytics is the go-to analytics platform that most content website owners use. Understanding the ins and outs of it is key. I am always logged into my Google Analytics analyzing a site I want to acquire, or review for my newsletter.
Trello is my go-to project management software. I use it for The Website Flip to manage my editorial calendar, to offloading projects to my team. I also have a dedicated board for all of my niche content websites in my portfolio. I even pay for the upgrade monthly which gives me access to Trello Butler, allowing me to automate a ton of repetitive process.