I’m joined here by Richard Jordan, a web entrepreneur and Flippa Super Seller with $133,867 over 26 transactions and a 100% positive rating. Richard and I discuss his success of buying and selling websites on Flippa, and drops a few hints on how others can successfully do the same.
Tell us about your background as web entrepreneur.
I received a degree in Computer Science in 2009. Rather than working for a company like Google, I stumbled into making money with websites and instantly became fascinated with operating web businesses. I started doing freelance webmaster work, but I quickly grew tired of working for other people who had no idea how to properly operate their online business. That’s when I started investigating owning my own websites portfolio to become my own boss. I figured that if I owned websites I could make the same amount of money and not have to work for other people. Ever since then, I’ve been maintaining my own websites portfolio and haven’t looked back!
What originally brought you to Flippa, and why do you continue to use it?
One of my clients wanted to sell his site and asked me to list it on Flippa back in 2011. This opportunity opened my eyes to the world of buying and selling websites and I immediately became hooked. Since I was still building my portfolio, I was mostly buying websites, whereas now I am mostly selling websites on Flippa. At one point, I owned and operated on a portfolio of about 50 different websites. I sell on Flippa because nowhere comes close to having as many buyers as Flippa does.
A lot of your recent auctions have had no reserve. Are you simply motivated to sell or is there a strategy there for you?
I have full confidence that the Flippa market is mature enough that nothing will sell for anything I would be too unhappy with. Plus I am pretty attached to my websites and have a tough time negotiating a price privately. The auction format takes away my seller’s remorse issues. Whatever happens, happens, and typically it works out better than I could have ever hoped.
Would you recommend a no reserve to other sellers? If so, why?
It isn’t for everyone, but if you’re motivated to sell, I would highly recommend it. In general, websites are hard to price. I can tell you when a website is undervalued, but I have limited ability to predict what it is worth to someone who is a specialist in that niche. Some niches I might know and be able to set that price as well. That said, there are a lot of much more talented people than me out there at growing sites, and there are a lot of niches, each with its own unique factors.
How did you get to owning such a large websites portfolio? Were most of these bought, or did you build them yourself?
Personally, I am not that great at building or growing websites. I have a system for buying though that has worked well for me, and I think could work well for others.
You have just listed TheTolkienForum.com, PoemOfQuotes.com, and FeldGrau.com/net. Can you tell us about these listings?
They are sites I have purchased over the last 5 years. They were all old and neglected when I purchased them. In the case of TheTolkienForum.com I made a software change to grow the community. PoemOfQuotes.com is a great site that I have owned since 2013 that makes on average $400 / month via AdSense without any maintenance. It is a hard one for me to sell at no reserve, but I know it will work out and find a smart owner. FeldGrau.net / FeldGrau.com are the type of cool, old sites I love with timeless topics. Feldgrau centers on German Armed Forces in World War II, and Feldgrau is the nickname for the color of their uniforms. Feldgrau.com is an information site, and Feldgrau.net is a community site. Both are being sold together as a package deal.
You mentioned to me you were writing a book. What is the book about and when will it be finished?
The book is about what I have done for the last 5 years. The website world has allowed me to find freedom, love, and hopefully some children soon. I doubt I will make much from the book, but I want to give back. My teachers were sellers on Flippa, and I want the cycle to continue as I transition in my life. I want to inspire someone to take what I have done and exceed it. If one person looks back and feels as thankful as I do then I will be happy with my choice.
I will be giving away everything I know in the book, so it may end up being a bad move if I lose too much money in the stock market and have to come back to buying and selling websites. I have a website book.rdan.co where people can sign up for the book. You can also submit requests for general topics for me to cover and specific questions to answer in the book. The book should come out next month, February 2017. If people find the book helpful, then I might offer services to help people buy websites.
Any advice for other entrepreneurs looking to sell their websites?
I would advise people to stop being promotional when they advertise their websites. It is a turnoff. Let the facts speak for themselves. People see right through you, and then you just come off as a bad person. Have empathy for your buyers. Both a buyer and seller should benefit from a transaction.
Would you like to add any closing statements?
I’d like to leave with a short excerpt from my book, The Trust Fund: Autobiography of a Website Flipper.
Because of my Flippa auctions, I have received questions about how I acquired so many aged, AdSense autopilot websites. As I am ending my journey in this market, I wanted to share my intellectual capital so that future vagabonds down this life path may surpass me and reach similar liberating life circumstances as myself.
My fiancé openly questions me about whether I have a trust fund. I have no job or schedule while she, like many (maybe even you dear reader), spends long hours toiling in the salt mines of corporate America. I am blessed by finding an alternative path in life. I have created my own trust fund with passive income generating websites. But for those who read my story, you may find that it is not an easy path. I hope my story may also help some to turn back before tackling what may be a painful, unfulfilling journey.