AskPat 452 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 452 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. Today we have a question from AJ about something I've never really even talked about before.
But before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, which is an amazing, amazing piece of software that allows you to keep track of all of your business finances from all the money coming in, your income, all the money going out, your expenses, and any invoicing that you do in your business as well. They just make it super-easy for you just to stay on track with everything. When I first started managing my business finances online, it was done with Excel. And it was a major, major headache. But FreshBooks came to the rescue, and I recommend it for you as well. If you head on over to GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section, you'll get a 30-day free trial of this amazing piece of software. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter “AskPat.”
All right. Here's today's question from AJ.
AJ: Hi, Pat. My name is AJ. I'm just curious about what your thoughts are on making money flipping domains. So I've seen a few online courses here and there about how you can buy a domain for $10 or so, and then resell for $100 or more. I know it's not a totally hands-free or passive method of making money online. But I was just wondering, do you have any experience with, or thoughts about, domain-flipping?
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, AJ? Thank you so much for this question. And it's interesting, because I think of flipping online in two different ways. One, flipping websites, and another, flipping domains. I'll talk about both, actually. And I've heard this compared to flipping actual houses, where you buy a property, and you fix it up a little bit, and then you sell it for a higher price. It's essentially the same thing online, except online you're using virtual properties, websites, domains, and in person, in real life, you're using actual properties. So it's essentially the same thing. And the first thing I want to mention about this is, definitely, you're right, it's not a passive thing. It takes a lot of time and effort, and learning, trial and error, and experimentation to do this correctly.
But also, how do I say this? In terms of building a long-term business, it's gonna be difficult to build a long-term, sustainable business in this way. And it is because it is hard to predict. It's hard to scale. And it isn't always doable. Just like flipping houses. I mean, there are people who do it really, really well. But there are also a lot of other people out there who can't even make a dime off of it, or they lose a lot of money. And so I would highly recommend that if you are starting out with this, that you experiment. You start out small, but you also find people who you know, who are doing it right, and you learn from them.
I'm not saying this is a terrible strategy. I mean, this is how a lot of people generate and make their living. But in terms of building a business, I always think about, “Okay, how can you make the internet a better place?” This is something I picked up from Nicole Dean back in episode 7 or 8 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast; I can't even remember the exact number, it was so long ago. But that phrase that she said on that episode made a profound impact on me and how I teach what I teach, and that is to see what we could all do to make the internet a better place. And there are certain types of business models that I feel don't fit this model, that I'm not saying aren't the way you should go, but it's not under the Flynndustries SPI umbrella, in terms of what I teach, or what I would ever do. And flipping domains is one of them. Another one is affiliate marketing through just simply buying ads, and doing that without having used those products before. Anyway, you get the idea.
But let's talk more about this. Now, flipping domains is different than flipping websites. A domain is simply just the domain. The URL. But then the website is actually built out. And they could potentially be crossover, but for the purposes of this answer, I'm gonna have them be separate in my mind. So, flipping a website is buying a website that is already in existence. It has some sort of traffic already. Maybe not at all. But essentially you're taking this website the way it is, you're gonna improve it in some way, shape, or form, and then sell it for a higher price. And this is something that I haven't done myself, but I have purchased a website that existed already. And this was a small experiment that I did a number of years ago. It never really took off. I didn't really get excited about it, so I never really even shared it. But I purchased a site off of Flippa.com, which is a website marketplace where you can see websites that exist, that you could buy. It's actually pretty fun to explore. And I purchased a golf website. So, BeginnerGolfTips.com, which is actually still live today, you can actually check it out right now. And I took this site, which was not on WordPress, and it was just kind of sitting there. The owner had no energy to do anything with it anymore. I purchased it. I put it on WordPress. I put a theme around it, I used the Thesis Theme. And put some ads on it. And it has generated a little bit of income over time. It hasn't made up the cost yet, even over three years, but I haven't done much with it.
Now, there are other people out there. There's a good friend of mine named Chris Guthrie who used to do this. He would purchase sites that exist, and he did a lot more research than I did. But he purchased a couple sites for thousands of dollars, and have sold them for much, much, much more. Or is generating much more from those websites as a result. And that's a cool strategy. But there is a lot that goes into that. You definitely need to do your due diligence. And like I said, that was an experiment that just didn't pan out. I didn't learn enough from it, and I didn't do enough with it to actually share it, really. And this is kind of the first time I'm even mentioning it. Is it something I might do again in the future? Again, just doesn't excite me, and it's not necessarily making the internet a better place, in that way that I know I could do it if I were to actually start with, “Well, here's an audience, or a target market, with a problem and a pain that I could potentially solve with some sort of solution, from software, to infra-product, to coaching, to whatever the case may be.” I think approaching it in that way is much better, and is a better way to serve an audience than finding a website, which … There are some thoughts, however, with websites that exist, that have traffic, who might have an owner who isn't yet excited, or just has kind of just died out in terms of their excitement for that particular project. Where, if you did have some connection to that niche, and you did want to serve that audience better, then you can come in there. And that could work out very well, and I could see that working out in many people's favors.
Now flipping domains is a little bit different, I feel. I don't know about those of you listening, but I've gotten upset, actually, from a few people who I know are squatting domain names, just for the purposes of making more money. Now, you can make more money with it. Is it something that you'd be comfortable with? That's a personal thing. For me, no, because, I dunno, it just doesn't fit. Again, it doesn't make the internet a better place. And for me, I've had personal experiences with people who have held domain names, have tried to get as much money out of me as possible for domain names that I want, because they just happen to be the owners. And they're for domain names that were related to stuff that I was already doing, unfortunately. So I'm not gonna get into those stories, but there's just not a place in my heart for domain squatters.
Now, I don't know if that's essentially what you were talking about. But, there is a fair way to do it, and there's a right way to do it. To be a broker, for example, or to flip domains in certain ways. But, again, is it reliable? Is it something that could be done long-term? You're gonna have to rely on somebody to buy those things after you purchase them. And it's not always gonna be reliable and scalable. Now, if you figured out some sort of formula or strategy to do this, maybe if it was in a niched space, or something like that, I dunno, it could potentially be more predictable. But again, I just have, just being honest, I have weird feelings about it, and it is not something I would ever do.
Now AJ, am I saying you should never do this? No. I recommend you explore it more, if it's something you're interested in. Obviously, it is something that you're somewhat interested in, because you're asking this question, you've seen courses out there. And again, just make sure you're careful about these courses that are available. Talk to people who have taken them before. Get real testimonials from real people outside of the website, so you can understand whether or not these things are worth going into. I recommend you check out Chris Guthrie's site. UpFuel.com is his website. He's sort of shifted more into the Amazon FBA space, but he used to buy a lot of websites as well. You could probably ask him on Twitter or something, @ChrisGuthrie, to see if he's doing any more of that, or if he still has those sites. I actually haven't talked to him for a while. But he's a good guy, and he might be able to help out too. And yeah, if any of you out there have any experience with flipping domains or websites, I would love to hear from you. Use the hashtag on Twitter, #AskPat451; again, that's #AskPat452, not 51. #AskPat452. And we'll continue that conversation there.
So AJ, thank you so much for this interesting question. It's kind of cool to think about, and explore, even just kind of spilling my brain here for you guys who are listening. And I think it'll be a great conversation starter too, if this is something that some of you maybe even do yourself too. And I hope I haven't offended any of you if you do. But anyway, again, just my personal opinion. I don't know as much as you do about this stuff, because I've never done it before.
So, anyway. Thanks so much, AJ. Appreciate it. We're gonna send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. And for those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page. And of course, I wanna thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, making it super-easy for all of us to manage our business finances. They are serving over 3 million small business owners, and they can help serve you, too. And they also have an award-winning mobile app, so you can keep track of the health of your business, financially, on the go as well. To check it out for 30 days for free, head on over to GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again, that's GetFreshBooks.com, enter “AskPat.”
Thank you again so much, and here's a quote to finish off the day, by George Adair. He said, “Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” Love that quote. Very Steven Pressfield-ish. Talking about that resistance. And this is something I always say. There's always something amazing on the other end of fear. So, “Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” Conquer it. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you guys in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks so much.
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