Today I Learned About Flippa

I received a very polite message from Jordan representing Flippa who asked if I’d be interested in selling this site Thank you for the low-pressure message, Jordan, but I’m keeping it for the foreseeable future.

When I received the message, I didn’t know what Flippa was so I went and took a cursory look. At the surface it seems fairly straightforward: a marketplace to buy and sell online properties. Anything from just a domain to e-commerce sites with established operational history. The latter made sense to me because a valuation can be calculated from an established revenue stream. The rest I’m less confident about. Such as domain names, whose valuation are a speculation on how it might be monetized.

But there’s a wide spectrum between those two endpoints of “established business” and “wild speculation”. I saw several sites for sale set up by people that started with an idea, set up a site to maximize search engine traffic over a few months, then sell the site based on that traffic alone. Prices range wildly. At time of my browsing, auction for one such site is about to close at $25. But they seem to range up to several thousand dollars, so I guess it’s possible to make a living doing this if your ideas (and SEO skills) are good.

Mine are not! But money was not the intent when I set up this site anyway. It is a project diary of stuff I find interesting to learn about and work on. I made it public because there’s no particular need for privacy and some of this information may be useful to others. (Most of it are not useful to anybody, but that’s fine too.) So it’s all here in written text format for easy searching. Both by web search engines, and with browser “find text” once they arrive.

I haven’t even tried to put ads on this page. (Side note: I’m thankful modern page ads have evolved past the “Punch the Monkey” phase.) I also understand if my intent is to generate advertising revenue, I should be doing this work in video format on YouTube. But video files are hard to search and skim through. Defeating the purpose of making this project diary easily available for others to reference. I had set up a New Screwdriver YouTube channel and made a few videos, but even my low effort videos took more far more work than typing some words. For all these reasons I decided to primarily stay with the written word and reserve video for specific topics best shown in video format.

The only thing I’ve done to try monetizing this site is joining the Amazon Associates program, where my links to stuff I’ve bought on Amazon can earn me a tiny bit of commission. The affiliate links don’t add to the cost to buy those things. And even though I’ve had to add a line of disclosure text, that’s still less jarring of an interruption than page ads. So far Amazon commissions have been just about enough to cover the direct costs of running this site (annual domain registration fee and site hosting fee) and I’m content to leave it at that.

But hey, that is still revenue associated with this site! Browsing Flippa for similar sites based on age, traffic, and revenue, my impression is that market rate is around $100. (Low confidence with huge error margins.) Every person has their price, but that’s several orders of magnitude too low to motivate me to abandon my project diary.

Shrug. New Screwdriver sails on.

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