Walkthrough: The Anatomy Of A Siteflip

27 replies
To all the great guys, gurus and non-gurus, who share their knowledge and help everyone where they can. You inspired me. Thank you.

This is material that could be an Ebook if i designed it a bit better. I explain you how to create a niche authority site and how to sell it after. You don't need to spend a dime besides the domain, hosting and the listing fee. You can use an autoresponder if you want, though.

And i use in this walkthrough the Revolution Lifestyle theme (the same as Church, basically, so you can apply it there too). These themes are open source under the GPL, do a google search for downloads.

First of all: chose a niche. Look in the pinned thread on top of this board for a list of hot niches.
In this example i chose to use the VERY popular „Work From Home" Niche because it booms during hard times like these.

I looked up some keywords with the SeoBook keyword tool to get some ideas for domain names. My imagination failed me, all domains i could think of were already registered. I finally came up with Work From Home Careers - quite usable for a flip. It contains a mega popular long tail keyword and is brandable.
I registered with Namecheap because they have always 20% off coupons and a killer service (free user-to-user push and a very nice configuration-system).

For hosting i use my Hostgator reseller hosting account. The deal is that i tell the buyer that he has one month of free hosting, and i can simply delete that useraccount when the month is over. Just hand him over all the log-ins (Cpanel, Database-User, Blog-Admin - Cpanel log-in is the log-in for the FTP).

When setting up the hosting package in my WHM i chose the option to use the registrars nameserver - THIS IS IMPORTANT! With that option enabled the domain is immediately known in the web. You get an IP adress from your hosting. Go over to your registrar and forward the www-adress to the IP you got and chose A (Adress). Then set the @ redirect (that is the domain without www) to www.YOURDOMAIN.com.

I have a prepared blog folder on my harddrive. It contains some VERY old version of Wordpress as well as a basic set of plugins. In another folder i store all plugins i have and in another folder all layouts.
The plugins are: All-In-One-SEO-Pack, GoCodes for link cloaking, privacy-policy because i add capture forms, wordpress-automatic-upgrade to bring the old version up to date, and wp-spamfree to prevent comment spam.

Login to your webspace using the FTP tool of your choice and upload your blog. After that is done i added the lifestyle theme folder.

NOTE: I dont use the featured-content-gallery in this flip, because i had some troubles with it and wait until i can figure out how to get this working again. Another option would be to use an old version, but i dont do this in this flip.

Now you need to go to the Cpanel. Create a database „blog" (in my example that results in a db called workfrom_blog) and a user for it. Chose a very good password! Then assign the user to the database and mark the „ALL" checkbox to give that useraccount admin rights in that database.

Now browse to the domain. You will be greeted with the installation screen. Follow the instructions and fill out the database-info form. When you are finished you can lean back for a while, because you have finished the hardest part

While i am writing this i am doing the exact steps described here btw! I have just catched up to the point where i am in realtime (during writing).

Now lets configure some stuff. First of all update everything that can be updated including the blog using the auto-update plugin. Then activate all the other plugins.
Lets get going with the configs.

Settings - General: Set your correct timezone. I also like set the time-display to the 24h option with digits (the one above custom).
Reading: 2 posts per page, 5 in RSS and only a summary in the feed.
Permalinks: Custom Structure: /%postname%/
Privacy-Policy: just hit create page!
WP-Spamfree: activate the checkbox with „Use two methods to set cookies." and update the settings.

Now create your categories: I use „Businesses", „Preparations" and „Work From Home".
I personally like to change the „Blogroll" link category to the name i later enter into the layout. In my case „Recommended".
Oh and you should either remove the „About" page or write something there. I tend to remove it.

If you use the lifestyle theme like me you should open up appearance and „null" every field in the theme options (where you enter the adsense code and such) because the text in that fields shows up on the page else.

Now to the really juicy part... code editing.

I chose to sell it without a header, so i have to remove the default header. Luckily there is the option to replace it with the „standard" wordpress header with your blog headline and motto.

So, Appearance - Editor! Open the header.php and look for this:

<div class="headerleft">
<a href="<?php echo get_settings('home'); ?>/"><img src="<?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/images/logo.png" alt="<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>" /></a>
Replace that text above with this:

<div class="headerleft">
<h1><a href="<?php echo get_settings('home'); ?>/"><?php bloginfo('name'); ?></a></h1>
<p><?php bloginfo('description'); ?></p>
and you are done with your header. Save it.
Now we want to get rid of that ugly „admin" section on the frontpage, as well as the youtube box! And while we are at it, we want to rename the „blogroll".

Open up „sidebar_left.php". Search for „blogroll" and replace that string with „Recommended".
Then delete this part:

<li id="meta">
<?php wp_register(); ?>
<li><?php wp_loginout(); ?></li>
<li><a href="http://www.wordpress.org/">WordPress</a></li>
<?php wp_meta(); ?>
<li><a href="http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=referer">XHTML</a></li>
from the file and save it. Now on to the „sidebar.php"! Open it and delete this part

<!--To determine what video is shown on the homepage, go to your WP dashboard and go to Appearance -> Revolution Lifestyle Options and enter your video code here.-->

<div class="video">

<h3>Featured Video</h3>
<?php $video = get_option('revlifestyle_video'); echo stripslashes($video); ?>

Now, if you don't want to use your autoresponder you are finished in that file. However, if you want to use it, remove this and replace it with your autoresponder code...

<p>Sign up to receive breaking news <br /> as well as receive other site updates!</p><form id="subscribe" action="http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverify" method="post" target="popupwindow" onsubmit="window.open('http://www.feedburner.com', 'popupwindow', 'scrollbars=yes,width=550,height=520');return true"><input type="text" value="Enter your email address..." id="subbox" onfocus="if (this.value == 'Enter your email address...') {this.value = '';}" onblur="if (this.value == '') {this.value = 'Enter your email address...';}" name="email"/><input type="hidden" value="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~e?ffid=<?php $feedburner_id = get_option('revlifestyle_feedburner_id'); echo $feedburner_id; ?>" name="url"/><input type="hidden" value="eNews Subscribe" name="title"/><input type="submit" value="GO" id="subbutton" /></form>
If you use your autoresponder use the HTML-code of the optin box. Then go to the stylesheet.css, search for „newsletter" and delete this:

url(images/newsletter.gif) top no-repeat
ALMOST DONE with the edits.

You have to decide where which category shall appear. I chose „Businesses" top left, „Preparations" top right and „Work From Home" at the bottom. Now you have to get the IDs of the categories. You find them when you hover your mouse over the category name. You will „cat_ID=3" for example. We need the number.

Open the „home.php" in that editor. You need the sections that have the IDs „homepageleft" „homepageright" and „homepagebottom". You replace the respective title between the <h3>-tags with the real category name, and replace the number with the real category number in each section in the following line (replace the number behind cat= )

<?php $recent = new WP_Query("cat=1&showposts=3");
Now we are ready. Awesome huh?

No lets delete that Hello World posting and get moving.

So we want to make 10 articles. Go to this page
ImageBase, free images, public domain, free photos
and look for nice pictures to use that fit your topic.

Save them and upload them to your blog.
Now think about fitting articles for your pictures. I purchased a small PLR package for $1.25 to speed things up.

When you add your articles, add a custom field named „thumbnail" with the URL to your picture to make it appear on the homepage. For the bottom categorie its „hpbottom".

Now the blog itself is almost finished. Now its time to go over to ClickBank to find around 10 affiliate offers we can plug in! They just end up in the Links section. You can add AdSense to the page, but since i dont have an AdSense account i can't do it. DON'T FORGET TO TELL in the sales pitch that it is easy as hell do add AdSense!!!

Now, the page is ready after finding and plugging in all those clickbank affiliate links. Make sure to take the neutral clickbank id, though. You dont want people to know your real ID...

No on to the Sitepoint auction! For this purpose i will take a sales pitch that has proven to sell from another marketer and modify it to meet my needs.

After you enter everything in the listing-creation-process, you are ready to go! Now you just have to wait for someone to buy this gem.

The Website created through this walkthrough: Work From Home Careers
The Auction: ??For Sale : Money Making Site In Red Hot Work From Home Niche!!!??
#anatomy #siteflip #walkthrough
  • Profile picture of the author Allegro
    lol i made the probably most in-depth site flipping post of this and last year and no one cares.

    Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen.

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    • Profile picture of the author PaidToEmpower
      Originally Posted by Allegro View Post

      lol i made the probably most in-depth site flipping post of this and last year and no one cares.
      Hey Karsten,

      I don't know where "everyone" is, but those of us who found this and read it really DO appreciate the info and all the work that goes into creating a post that is so in-depth.

      Thank you very much..!! Cathy
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Allegro View Post

      lol i made the probably most in-depth site flipping post of this and last year and no one cares.
      It was a really good post, but I think many of us are waiting for the bottom-line results, as the actual selling price may be the most useful/interesting info.

      Thanks for taking the time...
      Discover the fastest and easiest ways to create your own valuable products.
      Tons of FREE Public Domain content you can use to make your own content, PLR, digital and POD products.
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  • Profile picture of the author rhopcubfan
    I've skimmed through it a little bit. lot's of good info. new to this and any site. will look more closely when i get a chance, but do appreciate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author justthinking
    I also appreciate all the work you put into your post. It is very detailed and informative. Thanks for posting it and I will leave a 'thanks' for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anne-Marie B
    Thanks for such a detailed post. I will have to read it over many times but nothing is left out. I am interested in learning how to flip blogs and websites.


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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman

    Wonderful post.

    I've swiped it for future reference.

    Great, useful, practical, and profitable advice.

    Thank you, Sir.

    Not promoting right now

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  • Profile picture of the author InternetM39482
    Very cool, I thought I'd add a little more to it.

    First of all, If you're looking to turn website flipping into a business that makes a consistent profit every month, you need to concentrate on providing good value to your customers. Sure, a "slam-bang" and "escape" approach can help you make some quick money that you can re-invest in there for future purposes.

    Next, some more on the anatomy...

    You may also use Name.com to book a domain name. Their costs are probably the best on the market, and their support is top-notch. I've all my domains with them and frankly, I find them easier to manage. (Maybe personal preference?)

    For Hosting, Hostgator is probably the best bang on buck. You may book a new account (if you don't have/want/afford a reseller) every time you set up a new blog. Since it costs just $0.01, it's not a big deal. Offer the one month hosting to the buyer and hand over the account to him. If the buyer agrees, it becomes easy and non-techy.

    Flexibility is another good theme you may use. It's easily customizable, and doesn't require a lot of work on your part. And oh, Woothemes released an AWESOME free wordpress theme, magazine styled very recently (maybe last few days).

    For the Featured Content Gallery, What problems do you have? After setting up the values, custom fields, don't they show? Let me know and I might have a solution for it...

    Now, I'm going to put some of my personal opinion on your flip. I'm not discouraging you, I won't ever discourage anybody. It's just some friendly advice.

    With a BIN of $249, you've to give a prospect buyer some reason to BIN! There are some problems, according to me.

    1) Your content is non-unique.
    2) Your design is non-unique, and no logo. (No branding)
    3) You didn't pick up some products from CB and added your aff links to 'em.
    4) Your domain name isn't something I'd want to snap.

    All in all, if the prospect buyer is a lil' on the techy side, he can do what you did in less than half an hour with around $20 investment AT MAX. ($8 domain + $1.25 PLR content + ?). Even if he is not, he'll be able to figure stuff out by paying $20 more.

    Not just your case, but I have seen many such cases. One has to provide value to prospect customers to make a business out of this. Sure you can ramp up one or two lucky sales here and there, but a business? Not for sure.

    That's what my personal experience says!

    P.S. : Forgot to add, start building a list from the word go. It helps immensely, your auctions sell fast and you have repeating buyers you can rely on. Build a list if you want some consistent income out of this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Habitat
    include some images. shoulda posted it on ur blog or something. thats a wall-o text. but i will read it
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  • Profile picture of the author joerh
    Excellent post. I need to read it a couple of times. Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author robertstr
    I care, I cut and pasted it into my evernote account! More post like this and I might hang around this forum more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Allegro
    actually all outgoing links from that site (the banners and the "recommended" links) go to clickbank.

    the bin is @ 249 because i can always lower it.

    Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen.

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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    LOL ! I didn't forget about you, but I didn't reply to this post because I was re-reading your post and trying to digest it all. Thanks for this!
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    You may find this annoying but most people don't care because there's work involved and your "system" is not on autopilot!


    I find it interesting because I do it every day, just slightly differently and I know it works.
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  • Profile picture of the author Allegro
    haha yeah tommygadget, some people think they can draw money from thin air

    however, if people want to outsource they can use the post as instruction for their freelancers. just needs a bit rewriting though.

    i lowered the BIN now to 199. i got a pm at the sitepoint boards with requests for additional infos though, so i'm quite confident i can make at least the minimum bid.

    Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen.

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  • Profile picture of the author slimboy
    Very useful, thx a lot
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  • Profile picture of the author kislany
    Thanks for the indepth tech guide, I've saved the swipe as well. Isn't Sitepoint saturated with the Revolution themes already? All I see lately is Lifestyle and the Church theme. Nice, but gets boring after a while I guess. Although if they do sell...
    Jewels of Cyprus - my personal blog
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  • Profile picture of the author primuskannan
    Originally Posted by Allegro View Post

    When setting up the hosting package in my WHM i chose the option to use the registrars nameserver - THIS IS IMPORTANT! With that option enabled the domain is immediately known in the web. You get an IP adress from your hosting. Go over to your registrar and forward the www-adress to the IP you got and chose A (Adress). Then set the @ redirect (that is the domain without www) to www.YOURDOMAIN.com.

    Why is this important? You could have used your hostgators DNS in your namecheap account.Please could you clarify on this.

    Thanks for the theme editing steps. It was really very useful.


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    • Profile picture of the author querblogger
      Awesome post and loads of good info! Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Allegro
      Originally Posted by primuskannan View Post

      Why is this important? You could have used your hostgators DNS in your namecheap account.Please could you clarify on this.

      Thanks for the theme editing steps. It was really very useful.

      It usually takes a few hours up to a few days to propagate changed nameservers, rendering your domain useless for zero-day flips in most cases.

      I had some Sitepoint PMs regarding that website, and after answering all of them very nice and kind, i was offered to build another site for someone. Customer support guys, customer support! Most important thing.

      Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen.

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  • Profile picture of the author curious1960
    Great and useful post. Thank you!
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  • Profile picture of the author bwall
    Great post Karsten. Your post gives more detail than products that I have paid for.
    Thanks for the information.

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  • Profile picture of the author Allegro
    Alright, results are in. Yesterday i got the payment of $71. Through that listing another guy found me and asked me if i could build him a website. I made him an offer where i massively overdeliver for $149, 50% upfront.

    So far my earnings are $146! First thing i purchased is the War Room membership oh and some domains where i want to test something.

    So far, this is the proof, it works. As my next "try" i will create a website with original content and a header graphic - stay tuned for the walkthrough on that page!

    Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen.

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    • Profile picture of the author lumcc
      Hi Allegro!

      This is great info! I've learned a lot from it...

      Thank you very much!
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  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget

    MUST.......WAIT.........1........MINUTE........BET WEEN............REPORTING........POSTS.......

    OOPS, I think I broke a tooth gritting my teeth.......

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