Learn how a $27 expired domain in the body building supplements & steroids niche sold for $15000 in under 6 months.
I like creating websites. I’ve been doing this for the last 10 years for an agency that I ran until 2022.
Building expired domains has been one amazing ride, I’ve sold multiple websites built on expired domains by restoring, ranking and generating revenue from them.
If you have a site that generates $100 a month, it’s valued at around $2400-$6000, depending on many factors:
Just to name a few. That means you get the revenue that the site would have generated in the next couple years or more, right now.
Enter: Expired domains. Now imagine being able to get your site indexed, ranked and generating revenue in under 6 months!
For this particular site, we were not looking for a specific niche, but wanted the most chances of success.
To find an expired domain that will start getting traffic soon after you buy it, keep these key factors in mind:
Now that we know what we are looking for, let’s get into how to find these domains.
Expireddomains.net is an online service that keeps track of all dropping domains. Over 200000 domains drop everyday! Oh and also, it’s free to use. There are paid alternatives available as well such as domcop.com, spamzilla.com and freshdrop.net if you would like more bells and whistles.
This is a list of domains that expired in the last 7 days. We are going to filter this list so we can catch domains that would be of use for our site. Click “Show Filter” to see all the filters available. Here are 3 filters that have consistently found me useful expired domains:
1. Enter Min. Trust Flow = 10, under Majestic>Trust Flow
2. Check “Only GTLDs”, Additional>Original gTLDs. You could additionally include the ".io” extension as it’s popular and generally desirable.
3. Sort by TF, high to low, and you would see a list that looks something like this:
We are down from 200000 to about 4138 domains.
4. Lastly, add 100 as Min. ACR in Common>Common SEO. This is to ensure that the old site on the domain has a sufficient number of pages that can be restored or redirected.
5. Now click on “Apply filter”. You would see a screen similar to this:
1176 Domains, not bad. Next, you can use a tool of choice to see if any of them had any historical traffic. I recommend Ahrefs as it provides bulk analysis of upto 200 domains, which, in our case, we’ll have to run 6 times.
Next, it’s time to visit each of these domains, and check history using archive.org to see if there has been any spam or abuse in the past.
Just enter the domain name in the search field and start looking at how the website looked like in the past. Here are the key indicators to see if the domain is good and will work:
After completing the steps above, you should have a clear idea on what to bid on. If not, plan an hour of your time to scout domains daily, it might take upto a month to find the right domain that has everything you need.
The important thing to remember is consistency, and understanding that you will hit gold soon and to not give up halfway.
In our case, we bought an expired domain in the steroids and bodybuilding niche, that was a shop and had about 300-400 visitors a day 4 months ago. No new sites were built in the last 4 months on the domain and the backlinks seemed okay, so we went ahead with it.
The domain cost $27, which is amazingly cheap and I think that because it was in the steroids niche, it shooed away most buyers. This was a good opportunity and you will find many like these if you keep at it.
Now that you have acquired the domain name, it’s time to put it to good use. We want to ensure the following while doing a restore to avoid any legal issues and ensure you start getting traffic asap:
To make the restoration easier, I recommend checking out archivarix.com, which is super cheap and will save you a lot of headache when restoring large websites.
This is how a well developed website looks like in the search console’s page experience report (98.4% urls had a good page experience on mobile!):
Now comes the difficult part. To ensure you have a long-term and viable business, you need to provide value to the visitors who visit your website.
In our particular case, as it was an expired shop in the steroids and bodybuilding niche, we proceeded to create the biggest directory of steroids and body building supplements in existence.
This directory had more than 1000 products, organized by type, form, use case, primary substance, and a handful of other taxonomies. To make this happen we also needed to signup to a bunch of affiliate programmes on the following platforms:
Since the old site was a woocommerce shop, we created a /shop page and a custom post type “product”, so all the old product urls can be used like so: domain.com/product/product1/
For the filters we used Filter Everything Pro from codecanyon, and It came in handy for creating filters for all the products with its taxonomies and terms.
To expedite the process, we rewrote the single product descriptions using AI, as our primary ranking pages would be the archive pages.
And the results did not disappoint. This is what good engagement looks like:
For every visit to our sites, people visited an average or 3.37 pages, Average time on page was at 2 minutes 23 seconds and bounce rate was 35.78%.
This particular niche did not have a lot of reference websites that we could use to formulate our content strategy for long form blogs, which was a bummer, so we started simplifying research documents in the steroids and bodybuilding space.
Again, AI was used in conjunction with editors to post 1-2 long form blog post per week for 3 months. That enabled us to tighten the interlinking across the website and gain some topical authority while doing so.
We started with adding 1 product per day, as we were using AI to rephrase product descriptions. This way, we could scale pages published to 4 products per day very easily.
Since our primary goal was to let users find the product they needed with insanely detailed filters, the descriptions on single product pages took a step back.
I had inherent trust issues when it comes to hosting, and about a couple of years ago, we switched to Gridpane. Never looked back.
In short, Gridpane provides an enterprise-grade WordPress-Only hosting stack for agencies at a price you cannot even make sense of. Gridpane is a feature-packed monolith, with a no-crap-given founder who exclusively focus on performance, ease of use, scalability and security. This is the bleedingest edge of hosting. Here’s how gridpane directly impacted rankings and revenue.
This is difficult to achieve, even with hosts like cloudways, kinsta and wpengine.
We opted for Vultr HF, 4GB server located in seattle. If you would like to learn more about Gridpane, head on to gridpane.com and fool around with the free plan, you will instantly ‘get’ why it’s the go-to for serial bloggers, flippers and agencies.
This one is pretty straightforward. We put it on flippa as a sponsored listing after 6 months of restoring it. At this point the site was making $400 a month in a niche that you would take at least 2 years to come even close to. This is one of the most difficult niches to be in, let alone to start something in. This gave us a little more advantage when it came to the pricing.
A huge shoutout to the SEOBlueprint course and the insights they share on detailed.com, as it has helped me grow massively as an SEO, affiliate and a content creator. They have a specific section in the course where Glen talks about "Going up against the goliaths". Do check them out if you are building and ranking sites for yourself or clients.
Also, the fact that we were just at 120 users a day and the site had the potential to get to about 700 users a day turned many heads.
Combine that with the ballistic growth we had with the site since restore:
And we had many potential buyers talking and the site eventually sold for $15000.
Whatever you sell on flippa, make sure you take the $99 package, as it multiplies the number of potential buyers who are gonna see your site.
Make sure you include why this is a good investment in terms of revenue, market and competition. Include as many screenshots as possible, with proof of revenue and traffic.
They rejected commissions without any explanations whatsoever:
Creating, growing and flipping websites is an amazing skill to have. If you are an agency, you can reduce your dependence on clients. If you are a freelancer, it’s always good to have your skills tested and earn some money on the side. Plus, what are we if we are not learning in a world full of tech that changes everyday?
If you are looking to organize your content production pipeline, give us a try!