Rich Developer, Poor Developer

Matthew Magain
Matthew Magain

In case you’ve had your blinkers on, over the past twelve months the marketplace on has gone completely gangbusters.

What began as a simple platform for SitePoint’s online community to buy, sell and trade web sites and domain names has exploded into an onslaught of back-to-back auctions, to which there are now entire blogs devoted.

Powered by software that was custom-built especially for these auctions (and with our team adding more features as you read this), the transactions have become so fast-paced it’s getting difficult to keep up, with over USD $1 million worth of new sites now being listed every month! The quality has increased too, with sites regularly selling for tens of thousands of dollars, and some auctions even attracting six figures. It’s an exciting community that has grown out of the forums, and it’s only getting stronger.

So is this post a shameless ad for the SitePoint Marketplace?

No! It’s a wake-up call to those web developers out there who, until now, have not explored adding additional revenue streams in their spare time. Investment gurus like Robert Kiyosaki preach that additional revenue streams are the key to financial independence — but from where should these revenue streams come? Real estate requires large capital to get started, and the stockmarket can be enormously intimidating. But here is a world in which you are already immersed — you already have an advantage over most, and it’s easy to start small and build upwards. This could be the additional revenue stream that you are looking for — and who knows where it could lead? At the SXSW festival earlier this year, we met several people whose full-time income was derived from sales on the SitePoint Marketplace!

So if you’ve been happy to spend your time simply building sites and applications for your employer or your clients, but have yet to dabble in the brave new world of buying and selling cyber-real estate, then I strongly suggest you begin perusing the current auctions and take the plunge. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to do a bit of research first — go read an article on site flipping. If the acronyms and jargon used don’t make sense to you, learn what they mean, and what metrics and tools you can use to evaluate a site. Subscribe to a blog about buying web sites. And monitor the current sites for sale on the SitePoint Marketplace (either in your browser or via the magic of RSS).

Investing some time outside your day job could turn out to be very worth your while. In his best-selling book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki tries to influence his readers not to aspire “What company do I want to work for?”, but rather “What company do I want to own?”

As a web developer, you’re extraordinarily well-positioned to substitute the word company with site.

If you’re new to the marketplace, be sure to read the SitePoint Marketplace FAQ and Auction Guidelines before you make your first investment. The following guides should also prove helpful: Guide To Holding An Auction [PDF, 140KB]; Selling A Website FAQ [PDF, 96KB]; Guide To Buying A Web Site [PDF, 83KB].