Friday, December 16, 2011

Pat Flynn Exposed - A Skeptical Review of his Smart Passive Income Claims


"He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches."
- Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists", George Bernard Shaw.

Hi all,
I've been looking over the blog of a popular internet marketing guru, Pat Flynn, at Smartpassiveincome.com. It is very helpful and generous with all its free advice and instructions for generating online passive income and creating websites to do that with. He is definitely very knowledgeable.

However, I can't help but be a bit skeptical of his personal success claims. First, he tells us in his intro 101 page that making money online is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and time to build up. That's true. See here:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/passive-income-101/

But then he claims in his interviews and story that he made $8,000 in his first month off of selling one ebook about how to pass an architect license exam. Then he says he made over $200,000 in his first year, and that he now makes over $30,000 monthly. That seems to contradict his teaching that it takes a lot of time and effort to make money online, doesn't it, since he claimed to get rich quickly.

Here are his monthly income reports where it shows his monthly build up of $8k a month to $30k:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/my-income-reports/

Here are his interviews where he makes these claims:

http://www.incomediary.com/pat-flynn
http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/1860/pat-flynn/
http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/2010/12/25/pat-flynn-interview-7905-55-from-one-ebook-in-the-first-month/

Now, I've been making money online for years, and I know many others who are doing it too. So I have some good knowledge and experience in this area, and I know that making $8,000 during your first month, especially selling one ebook, is an extraordinary claim. After a few years, I managed to pull in a few thousand a month, which was no easy feat and only due to my novel original ideas that were the first of its kind. But that's after a slow steady traffic build up that involved hard work and production of good original content, with no secret formulas. So based on my experience, his claims of success and quick high profits are extraordinary.

He doesn't seem to have any proof of these claims. Yet all his fans seem to believe everything he says, based on their comments in his blog and on other third party blogs as well. To them, all his claims are true. If he says it, then it's true. Amazingly, on the internet, there are no critical reviews of him. There are dozens of blogs that praise him, with many positive comments under them, but no critical ones (could the bloggers have edited out all negative comments?). Everyone says he is the real deal. But how do they know? Where is the evidence or proof? Online, anyone can say anything.

His sample passive income business sites do look great though, and are ranked very high. So he definitely must have a lot of traffic coming in, which would give him good income. But there are many sites out there that look great with web 2.0 graphics and nifty Wordpress themes, but they ain't making shit. Here are his online businesses so you can see them for yourself.

This one was created as part of an online contest with another internet marketing guru to see who could create a better new passive income site, and ended up generating $2,000 a month for him:

http://www.securityguardtraininghq.com

Here is his original online business that he allegedly became successful and rich off of:

http://www.greenexamacademy.com

On his blog teaching people how to make passive income, he gives a lot of free advice and information, which his fans say is very generous and altruistic of him. However, within his free advice blog are embedded various affiliate links to a number of website optimization products that claim to help get traffic to your site, which you have to pay for of course. So I wonder if that's why he's giving out so much free advice, to get commissions on these SEO products? It's hard to believe that he would do it for nothing or do it out of altruism.

Could it be that he is making more money off his "making passive income blog" than off of his online businesses themselves?

But what evidence is there to back his $30k a month income claims? Why hasn't he posted screen shots of his Adsense report earnings, or monthly PayPal transactions? But even those are easy to fake. Anyone can download or save a webpage offline, and then manipulate the HTML in it to produce any numbers they want. On the internet, anyone can claim anything. Even in Amway and other MLM's, lots of people making nothing are claiming to be doing well and pulling in thousands of dollars per month. It doesn't mean it's all true.

Furthermore, if Pat Flynn really made $30k a month, why is he always wearing cheap looking worn out T-shirts in his video interviews? See this one for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tRfvjDz3EE

And in his self-intro on his home page, same thing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJIJ_6G9Z84#t=28s

In my experience, people who really are pulling in a lot of income do not like to draw public attention to it, unless they are celebrities. There are negative consequences to doing that. Especially if you are making a lot of money online, it is not in one's best interest to publicize it, for it will draw bad people, and incite others to follow your business model and create copycat versions of your site, which could potentially jeopardize your income. No rational person would want to do that.

In addition, there is an old adage that says: "You cannot make a lot of money by telling people the truth". I wonder if that applies here. Another witty quote says:

"The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." - H. L. Mencken

So it makes sense to be skeptical here, doesn't it?

What do you all think?


Questions for Pat Flynn:

Dear Pat,
I like your blog. There is a lot of good useful advice and information for free in it. However, I am a critical thinker and can't help but be skeptical about a few things:

- First, you seem to contradict yourself. In your 101 intro, you tell everyone that making passive income online is not easy, and that it requires a lot of hard work and time to build up, which is true. But then in your story, you say you made $8000 off one ebook during your first month attempt at this, and that in your first year, you made over $200,000, and now you make $30,000 a month. Isn't that a direct contradiction? By your claims, you got rich quick easily, but you tell everyone that it takes a lot of time and hard work and is not easy.

- I've been making money online for 3 years now, and I know many others who are doing it too. $8,000 in your first month is an extraordinary claim, not a realistic one, even if you are a super genius. It took me 3 years to build up enough traffic and reputation to make a little over $1,800 a month. And that was through hard work and content generation, not with any secret formula. Your sites do look great, and do have top rankings I see, but there are many sites out there that look great with web 2.0 graphics and nifty wordpress themes too, and they ain't making shit. I still think your claims are extraordinary. But your fans seem to believe everything you say, like a Gospel preacher in a church, with no skepticism. Why is that?

- What evidence is there to back your income claims? Why haven't you posted screen shots of your Adsense report earnings, or of your monthly PayPal transactions? But even those are easy to fake. Anyone can download or save a webpage offline, and then manipulate the HTML in it to produce any numbers they want. On the internet, anyone can claim anything. Even in Amway and other MLM's, lots of people making nothing are claiming to be doing well and pulling in thousands of dollars per month. It doesn't mean it's all true. Furthermore, if you really are making $30k a month, why are you always wearing cheap looking worn out t-shirts in your video interviews?

- In my experience, people who really are pulling in a lot of income do not like to draw public attention to it, unless they are celebrities. There are negative consequences to doing that. Especially if you are making a lot of money online, it is not in one's best interest to publicize it, for it will draw bad people, and incite others to follow your business model and create copycat versions of your site, which could potentially jeopardize your income. No rational person would want to do that.

- In addition, there is an old adage that says: "You cannot make a lot of money by telling people the truth". I wonder if that applies here. Another witty quote says:

"The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." - H. L. Mencken

So it makes sense to be skeptical here, doesn't it?

Update:

Pat Flynn has responded to my skeptical review of him and would like me to post his response. I went ahead and did that in my forum, which you can see at the link below. Included is also my counter-response.

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=61172#61172

Btw, if you are truly interested in making online passive income, we have a discussion about it in the Happier Abroad Forum that is realistic and no-nonsense with nothing to sell. If you wish to read or participate, here is the link:

http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11535

I also have written a basic how-to-guide in this blog on how to make money online with an overview of the ways one can go about doing so (with no affiliate links or vested interest).

http://blog.happierabroad.com/2012/01/how-to-make-money-online-myth-vs.html


Addendum: Further Thoughts on Pat Flynn's Response

You know, I just re-read Pat Flynn's response to me at the link above. And I get the impression that what he is saying is: "It's ok and natural to be skeptical, as long as you believe me when I reassure you that I'm telling the truth about everything."

Hmmm. ::: scratching head ::: I don't know about you, but that sounds a bit circular doesn't it? I mean, think about it. EVERYONE in the world will tell you that they are not a con artist or liar. Everyone. So then who is a con artist then? lol. I mean, if you believe what you hear, then there is no such thing as a con artist or a liar in the world right? They don't exist right? lol. Everyone claims not to be one, after all. This is a lesson in gullibility and critical thinking.

Likewise, every MLM, including Amway, will say, "We are not a pyramid scheme. We are a legitimate business opportunity." ALL of them will say that. They all acknowledge that there are pyramid schemes out there, but each one of them is not one of them. lol. So, if we are to believe whatever they say, then pyramid schemes don't exist right? lol You see what happens when you believe whatever people tell you?

One time, I went to a timeshare presentation in Sedona, Arizona. At the beginning of the presentation, the speaker told everyone, "Don't you hate those high pressure timeshare sales presentations?" and everyone nodded. Then he said, "Well we aren't like that here. We are different." But what do you think happened right after that? Yep, you guessed it! They proceeded to be exactly that - a high pressure timeshare sales presentation! They badgered me, wouldn't take no for an answer, and then ended up insulting me! What fricking hypocrites! Playing cheap tricks to make us think they were different. That was so deceptive and low.

The lesson is: DON'T BELIEVE WHATEVER YOU HEAR! QUESTION EVERYTHING! LEST YOU BE TAKEN IN!

Addendum 2: Logical Reasons why I don't think Pat Flynn really makes $30k a month

I got to thinking and realized some logical reasons why Pat Flynn probably doesn't make $30k a month in online passive income as he claims on his blog. It's all very simple when you apply basic logic and common sense. Let me explain.

First, think about this. Suppose you were making $30,000 a month from online passive income. Would you do anything to jeopardize such a big cash cow? Of course not. But if you were to publicize it on a web page, as Pat Flynn did, you'd be doing just that. When you publicize how much money you are making, there are undoubtedly going to be a lot of envious people out there who will either try to emulate you, or sabotage your enterprise. Since you don't know who is out there, why would you take such a risk and expose yourself like that? Furthermore, if you were making it that big in online income, you'd have it made and have NOTHING TO GAIN in publicizing it or drawing too much attention to it.

In other words, if you were really making $30k a month, you'd have NOTHING to gain by publicizing it and A LOT TO LOSE!

But on the other hand, suppose you were making a lot less than $30k a month. In that case, you would have something to gain by exaggerating your income (which anyone can do) and claiming that you make $30k a month. By doing so, you attract attention to your site, which increases traffic hits, thus increasing your online revenue and affiliate commissions. And you also get a large group of followers and fans willing to do anything you say (which means they will buy any product or service you suggest). And whoila! Bingo!

So in that case, you would have A LOT TO GAIN and NOTHING to lose! See how that works? It's simple logic.

Second, I've noticed that whenever I email Pat Flynn, he usually replies within an HOUR! This happens whether I email him late at night or in the afternoon. What this seems to indicate, is that he is online all day and evening, trying to make money and answering emails. If that's so, then he is WORKING HARD - which means he is earning Active Income, rather than Passive Income. LOL

Now, if his income were truly passive, why would he need to be online all the time? That doesn't make sense. If he had a passive income of $30k a month, he would be in the Florida Keys or Cancun sipping a margarita by the poolside or beachside, and not be online much. Come on now. Get real. This appears to be a logical contradiction.

What do you think? Isn't that suspicious? Do these logical reasons make sense?

81 comments:

  1. Hey Winston - just wanted to make sure you read my email. I hope you do a followup because, like I said, I do appreciate the skepticism. I think it's healthy and it's always best, especially online, to make sure that we're protecting ourselves and others too by being skeptical first. But I told you the truth in my email and would hope that you see that I'm not making false claims. I answered each of your questions, and if you wanted to post my answers here on your blog, you're welcome to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure you are making some money. You have found the oldest game in town, and are really good at it. I saw a website value of over $1.5 million recently.

      Your website is undeniable proof that as long as you provide good content, and create a personal brand that is likeable, people will buy into you - and your products. One of the best executions of the "authority site" out there.

      It truly is a "smart" blog. The sad truth is that very few of your readers are smart. You tell them how you make money off them, yet they still contribute to your wealth. You must be laughing all the way to the Bank.

      Delete
    2. Jmi,
      Yes of course Pat is making a lot of money with his current blog at SmartPassiveIncome.com. His traffic stats and site ranking indicate that. However, his claim of making $8,000 during his first month of working online by merely selling an ebook on how to pass the green academy exam is extremely far fetched and implausible, for many simple reasons.

      I know a lot about making money online and I can tell you that that's not how it works. In reality, you have to work months for little to no money, and then the passive income slowly trickles in. That's true of starting a business in general anyway. You don't start with $8,000 your first month or even $500.

      Online, anyone can say anything. I'm surprised Pat hasn't posted a picture of him and his family in front of a mansion yet, like many marketing gurus and get rich quick gurus do. lol

      Also, remember that his current blog, which we agree is making a lot of money, is making money by teaching other people how to make money. That is a gray area, because it is very similar to MLM, which is unethical and misleading for obvious reasons.

      Not to generalize, but most Western men I've met DO EXAGGERATE about their income and the amount of women they've had. For some reason, American guys tend to do that, more than guys in other countries.

      Delete
  2. Hi Pat,
    Yes I got your email. Sure I will be glad to post your responses in this blog, as well as my counter response.

    Thanks,
    Winston

    ReplyDelete
  3. Winston, I wonder if you would be willing to allow me to post a link to where you posted this on Facebook so that folks can see what the online community has written in response to what you have shared here.

    If so, here's the link: http://gspn.tv/jwt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure go ahead. Why didn't you use a Facebook link instead of a tiny URL link? Unlike Pat Flynn, I don't censor comments or disallow critical comments. If you look at Pat Flynn's blog, ALL his comments are positive. As soon as I posted something critical, it was removed. His blog comments are moderated for obvious reasons. I don't know that here, as you can see.

      Delete
  4. If we, as he did, would just follow everything he says to the letter. A to Z, its kind of impossible not to make money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - impossible? I suppose you have snake oil, too.

      If you followed what he said with exactness, there would be 1.32 million other passiveincome blogs out there, selling to people looking for passive income... tell me - how would we all make the same money? Clearly, we would not.

      There is only room for one Pat Flynn at the top of the "how to make passive income from people looking for passive income" tree.

      Delete
    2. Oh no Adrian. Sorry but reality doesn't work that way. Let me explain. There's no such thing as a formula for success. It doesn't work that way. You can't just emulate a successful person by doing what he/she did and get the same results, at least not in business.

      If you don't have the passion, talent and timing, it's not going to work for you, even if you follow some alleged formula. Do you think you can just copy everything Bill Gates did and get the same results he did, especially since he beat you to it and is already at the top of the pyramid and has dominated the market? lol

      If you could succeed by just following a formula, then every business would succeed. All they would have to do is follow a formula. Duh. Yeah right. But most small businesses fail within the first year.

      Let me give you another example. Can you ask an Olympic Gold Medalist to teach you how to win a gold medal? Can you just do everything he/she did and win a gold medal yourself? Nope. It doesn't work that way, because there are many other factors that caused the athlete to win a gold medal, and formulas are not it. Besides hard work, talent, luck, timing, karma, divine will, genetics, etc. also affect the outcome. Some people are also good and talented at a certain niche.

      Timing is also crucial. You have to be the first person in the niche or category to establish a base. If you are not, then it's much harder for you to compete. But if you are the first one to start something unique that works, then you have a much better chance. For example, if you had started an online auction before Ebay, you would have had the chance to make it big in a new market. But you can't start an online auction now and compete with Ebay. No way.

      Therefore, to make it, you have to start something that's not been done before, or improve on an existing niche or specialty, which others have not before.

      So you see, it's not that simple as following a formula. What you gotta do is this: Figure out what you do best and capitalize on that. Look for innovative ideas that fulfill what people want. And never quit. That's what you gotta do.

      Hope that makes sense to you.

      Delete
    3. Sorry but the proof only comes recently. Do you heard of taobao.com before. This is the China version of ebay and is very successful. This shows that success can be emulated.

      Delete
    4. Apples and Oranges... one of these things is not like the other.

      Delete
  5. Personally, I'm just amazed you bothered spending that much time disputing the income of someone else.

    Pat's income is huge, but there are many I know personally here in Asia doing IM that are pulling in bigger figures than that as well.

    What benefit will Pat gain from faking it when he's not selling anything to his readers anyway?

    Lastly regarding the 'worn out t-shirt' look, I think you need to know more 'real' rich folks who aren't required to be in the limelight all the time. There are tons of multi-millionnaires that are just not that concerned with their clothing and focuses more on making money for themselves rather than pleasing the Joneses, so to speak.

    Still, I like this blog, quite a lot of useful info (apart from this one)... Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dave,
      Come on now. There are affiliate links all over his blog. Even he admits that. What benefit is there from faking it? Come on now. When you show that you are a success, people will follow you. That's the reason they do it.

      Google "Russell Brunson". Check out his website at Dotcomsecret.com. The dude even photoshopped his logo on a private jet. lol

      Use some common sense here. If you really were making $30k a month, would you tell everyone, since by doing so, you risk someone sabotaging you or emulating you? It also jinxes you when you brag about your success. The only reason he has to tell everyone that he's making $30k a month, is to increase his affiliate sales. Come on. Think about it.

      Delete
  6. I've been following the smart passive income blog for a while now and I have noticed that he used to post pictures showing his earnings as proof but now that he's making 30,000-60,000 a month there hasn't been any proof what so ever... I mean if he would really want to get a stronger following he should do something as simple as post up some pictures or statements of his earnings you know? I know he's making a lot of money online but I do wonder if the numbers he's shooting his viewers are correct. Pat if you see this, it would be really awesome to see some proof. Heck buy that Audi you've been wanting and I'll believe you. haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Put yourself in his shoes. He can't show off too much or overdue it, or else that will turn people off and come across as fake. He's got to find that delicate balance of showing his success without flaunting it. He also has to appear humble, because people respect and admire a successful person who is humble. You got to consider all that.

      Delete
  7. This is not complicated.

    Tim Ferris does the same thing. Sure, Tim had something called BrainQuicken that made money, but the REAL muse is to tell you how to do the same thing as him. The fact that you are reading the 4 hour workweek, means that you are creating his lifestyle for him. The ultimate niche is to make money off those who are making money.

    The same goes for Pat. He has an authority site. He has made himself, in the eyes of many, the de facto expert on passive income. So people visit his site... and he makes money from them. What is even more ridiculous is that Pat actually tells you on his blog that his most profitable page is his RESOURCE page.

    It's like this:

    (1) Make claims about making money on the internet (show big dollars)
    (2) Give tonnes of free advice on every subject related to niche marketing (95% re-hashed from other stuff, and warrior forum) so that people will think you are a stand-up gentleman... building a RELATIONSHIP with them.
    (3) Create a brand around your personality so that you are likeable, get them to buy into your brand with your free advice.
    (4) Share how you "did it", which incidentally is a list of links to other products that his affiliate for
    (5) Offer "proof" of your success - Security Guard HQ. Which is only 5% of your revenue, but hey, it's proof - right?
    (6) Now that you love him, like his free advice, seen his proof, you notice that he keeps going on about bluehost - you buy it because it is only $6 a month for unlimited sites. And he walks away with a cool $65 per referral. BANK.

    It doesn't even matter whether or not his original claims are true, or whether his current claims are true. He is making coin. He has copied Tim Ferris... and I can't believe there is even a debate here.

    He is a very smart guy. And what is even more laughable... is that he tells you EVERYTHING on his website... including how he is making money off his visitors. He even has an diagram right now, and delivers speeches on making relationships with people and indirect selling.

    Anyone who buys into it.... #epicfail.

    The only way to make money of Pat Flynn is to compete with him, and knock him off his perch. Good luck with that, he has too many fan boys. Unless you are a really attractive female, in which you may have a good chance because most of the bozos are probably male.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jmi,
      Yes, you've described Pat's scheme to a T! You really understand how the game works. Congrats. You are a person of solid common sense who tells it like it is.

      Yes that is how these schemes work. This is in a gray area though, because making money by teaching others how to make money is a bit shady. It's not profiting from a legitimate business, but more along the lines of an MLM.

      But hey, he is good at what he does and has found his niche, so you can't blame him.

      The flaw in this scheme is that:

      1) Not everyone can be at the top in a niche. There isn't room.
      2) You can't succeed by just following a formula. It doesn't work that way. Too many other factors come into play, such as talent, passion, drive, dedication, luck, timing, market demand and availability, charisma, karma, destiny, divine will, and other intangibles.

      But hey, giving people hope is better than nothing, since working for someone else is a prison-like enslaving existence. At least Pat and I agree on that. As long as he doesn't give people false or unrealistic hope, which would lead to disappointment. People need to learn how to think critically though.

      Delete
  8. Winston,
    Thanks for addressing this issue, I have been wondering the same thing about many of the points you raised. I haven't read everything you have written on the subject or all the previous comments, so apologies if this is a repeat. Does it mention anywhere how much that initial ebook of Pat's cost? I've had a look around his site and at least one of those Green Academy products sells for $199. With products at that price the $8,000 earning capacity is a little less improbable.

    You and a number of others ask why people are so eager to believe? That to me is the easiest part of this whole issue to understand. We want it to be true because we want it to be possible for us.

    I do like the guy's sites and I am going to keep researching. I'll let you know if I come up with anything.

    Thanks

    Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb,
      Well it depends. You can't just put up a product for $199 and expect that it will sell. Try putting up something on Ebay for $199 that people prefer to pay less for, and you'll see what I mean. If you want, you can upload your ebook for free on Amazon Kindle to sell at http://kdp.amazon.com and price it at $199 and see if it will sell. The point is, you can't just put up something on a webpage and expect the money to start flowing in. It doesn't work that way.

      What I'm skeptical about in regard to the Green Academy Exam claim, is that it is unlikely that there are that many people each month needing to take an architect license exam for him to make $8,000 from, even at $199 per ebook. At $199, he would have to sell 40 ebooks in one month. That would be hard even if every architect student in the USA knows about him.

      Again, anyone can claim anything on the internet, and everyone claims that they are honest, including the biggest liars in the world. That's a fact. 100 percent of liars claim to be honest. So if Pat Flynn claims to be honest, it doesn't mean anything. Not saying that he's a liar, just saying that his saying so is not evidence of anything.

      That's why employers do not take an employee's word for it, instead, they check references and get feedback from an applicant's past coworkers and employers. That's the only way to really check someone's credibility - their references, credit rating, etc.

      What would be interesting is if Pat Flynn posted verifiable third party character references. lol. Very few people are willing to. I am one of those who are. Here is a list of my third party references (personal and professional), some of which are verifiable.

      http://www.happierabroad.com/References.htm

      Delete
    2. Hey moron, architects aren't the only people taking the exam. Interior designers, builders, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, and more.

      It's for making ALL OF A BUILDING green, inside and out.

      Delete
  9. Also I know that he has been touting about an Audi that he would like to buy. Now if you're making between $30,000-$60,000 per month, you should be able to purchase any car Audi has to offer.

    Also how is he making $22,000/Month+ from bluehost?? they only pay a one time $65 commission that means he would have to be selling 338 hosting accounts every single month..not very likely.

    Most people who come online that need hosting will also need an auto responder. but his aweber commissions are minimal-basically non existent. Why is that? Especially considering that aweber pays recurring income and bluehost doesnt????WTF

    PAT PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.

    I have no problem with you teaching people how to make money and profiting from it. It's similar to a science teacher teaching social studies and being paid for it. Or a consultant whose studied the game and can teach the hell out of it but has never actually started a business. Or even sports coaches who never played the sport.

    But I just want to know if the income claims are legit. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ConArtistHater

      I am making $22,000/month from Bluehost, but I make a lot more than $65 per sale. I have a special deal with Bluehost which they gave me because of the volume that I produce. I've been open about this special commission on my website several times, I just can't disclose the exact amount for obvious reasons, but you can do the math. About 150-170 sales come in each month, and you're right, they are not recurring, but each sale is quite more than $65.

      Why isn't Aweber (my email autoresponder service that I promote) not even close to that amount. Well - not everyone who starts a website through my site gets an autoresponder, for one, and secondly, yes - it is recurring, but most of the recurring income is about $6.00 per month per person. That's 25 recurring sales per about 1 sale/commission from bluehost.

      Does that answer your questions enough? Let me know if you need any more info - I'm an open book. Why would I have any reason to lie about this, and if I were indeed lying why would I make just one of my commission streams to be much higher than others and draw attention to it, if it wasn't true?

      And in regards to the Audi, yes, I could purchase it, but I'm not because material things aren't that important to me. I don't even get nice shirts, as Winston says. I care more about financial security for myself and my family and I'm putting most of my money into a housing fund for the future, and college education for my now 2 kids.

      Anything else? Anyone?

      Delete
    2. Well said Pat!

      Everyone in business earns money from the products and services they offer. Pat offers a wealth of information and resources which are of great value to anyone looking to start an online business or increase the earning potential of an existing business.

      If Pat did not generate an income from his site he would not be able to continue producing great content. He could charge for his content (and people would pay) or he could (and does) share the names of products/services he uses and generates an income through his affiliate links.

      He generates an income, the affiliate generates an income and his loyal follower now has the tools they need to start their business. This is a basic inbound marketing technique and good business practice.

      Pat says upfront these are affilliate links, if someone didn't feel his content warranted being paid for they don't have to click through his affilliate link!

      It's really sad that when someone finds success others jealousy rears it's ugly head.

      Delete
  10. Well Pat if you're under 30 insurance is going to be killer on a supercar but as has been said, you can absorb it without thinking much about it. I know you had a second child as well and that should be taken into consideration as to why you haven't purchased your dream car yet, sales are down, I'm sure you can get a great price on one.

    I know plenty of people that live in truly middle income areas but drive nice cars because they are enthusiast.

    As an enthusiast and would wear crappy shirts if I could own a fast car not for impressing others but impressing myself, I've owned fast cars before, I like speed I like racing, I like competition.

    When I asked Winston about his skepticism, he pointed me here, was a bit condescending and gave the same examples of why he was skeptical cut and paste I am sure.

    But IMHO, you should make more Pat, why? Because you help people with direct needs. If you want to pass the LEED exam, great you offer tools to help with that. If you want to work as a Security Guard, given the current economy and the demand by the users of that site to put not only locations to get training but to also get job referrals makes plenty of sense to me and should generate income.

    Winston's site on the other hand is anti-establishment and it takes time to build an audience. For those that don't accept change easily they will view his opinions as conspiracy theory and blasmaus. They would also view the forum as full of crackpots and bitter men who are single because they are losers in society.

    Now while I don't believe any of that, I see how your sites could prosper more quickly than his own and continue to generate more money. Also Pat you offer a podcast which I have been listening too, Winston hasn't made a Youtube video for several years and doesn't engage an audience that may not be interested in reading thousands of forum post to find a topic they like.

    I use the Missouri model, unless I can see it myself I don't believe it.

    With that said, I will be starting another blog to go with my current blog which I didn't know how to promote properly plus I will be adding more content than just text post and You Tube videos.

    All three web sites ideas attack a niche that isn't overcrowded either.

    Wish me luck.

    PS, Pat also thanks for posting those audio samples of each of the podcasting mics you have used, I am going to order a ATR-2100 soon.


    ReplyDelete
  11. While I don't remember 100% of story of Pat's first ebook sale but I am pretty sure he spent a long time building up an audience before he decided to sell an ebook. If that's the case how can you doubt that he made $8000? That is internet marketing at its purest form. Make a new site and sell a book and you probably won't make $8 in the first month but with an audience, why not?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Pat Flynn got his start from an ebook he wrote that was highly needed in his niche and he was already established in the community, so selling that ebook probably wasn't too hard for him. Now that people have seen the income from it, others have exploited it and lowering his income.

    Take note that he makes all his money from his passive income blog. He is making all his online income from teaching people how to make income online. With the amount of traffic his site gets and how many people respect his opinion, I don't see how his income would be fake. It may have been fake at some point, but is most likely very real now.

    Someone once told me "Don't practice what the guru's teach, practice what they do". Have you ever noticed that all the people you learn from have huge incomes just from teaching you how to do so? The internet marketing niche is loaded with cash and those who sit at the top are raking it in.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Pat Flynn is selling the modern day version of snake oil.

    He's selling HOPE.

    His readers HOPE they can make money like him, but when 99% of the readers fail to do so, well, he doesn't care.

    He's making money off them via affiliate links by selling their the MIRAGE of passive income.

    Speaking of which, no one's even talked about how PASSIVE INCOME is a myth. How passive does Pat Flynn look to you? He's going all over the place, to blogger conferences across the country, to promote his site. And in doing so, yes, more affiliate sales!

    But Winston Wu is dead wrong in that Pat Flynn is lying about his income. Why? Because his income reports are what jump started hi blog in the first place.

    It's really the oldest trick in the book, something that direct marketers have done for decades:

    State how RICH you are. Tell others how they can also get RICH like you through your SYSTEM. Anyone remember Tom Vu?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that's your definition of selling "hope" then every website that provides information is selling "hope". Which isn't so bad. But to compare it to snake oil which has zero value besides the placebo effect is a bad analogy to selling internet marketing and a affiliate marketing tips.

      Delete
  14. Congratulations for this wonderful reading article. I found it very informative and interesting too, I think you are a brilliant writer. I have bookmarked your blog and will return in the future. I want to encourage you to continue that marvelous work, have a great daytime!
    Lauren Moshi

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm a skeptic as well. The only way I'll believe Pat Flynn is if he shows us his tax returns.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So you’ve decided to become financially independent! You’ve chosen to work at home. Congratulations! I’m sure this is a decision that can turn your life around and lead you to financial freedom.
    But that is going to happen only if you’re careful enough to let it happen! There are a few things you should really look out for when deciding to work at home.
    When you set out to give the work at home business thing a try, you’ll find out that this was just the easy part! The hard part is to discover which one is right for you.
    Start a business online
    With all these so called “opportunities” that flood the internet, you should be very careful in choosing a work at home business. To help you, I have put together a few simple rules :
    Rule #1 : Try to avoid “get rich quick deals”
    Now that’s a golden rule! Usually, when something sounds too good to be true then it probably is!
    Oh, I know these sound appealing and of course you would like to get paid for doing nothing (so would the rest of us!). But don’t you think that if these people had the magic solution to making big money they would use it instead of trying to sell it to you for whatever price?
    It’s sad to know that so many people end up feeling frustrated when they realize that they have wasted their time and hard earned money. There are no magic tricks! Commitment and hard work instead, can make you rich.
    Rule #2 : Find a program that you really like and can work with
    Another rule that’s essential! Say that you come across a program that requires you to sell life insurance. You hate insurance people, you think they’re full of hype.
    So what, the compensation plan looks great! What would you do? Would you join the program? Could you picture yourself selling life insurance even if you hate the very idea?
    How to make money online

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Winston,
    I think it is right to analyze and question things, but why it is so difficult for you to believe that he made $8000 from his ebook in a month?
    If he sold them at about $100 he made it with just 80 books. even if he sold them at $50 it would have taken him 160 books to sell.
    It seems possible to me because he's hit a good niche that's why I think it is true.
    Maria @ Money Personal Development

    ReplyDelete
  18. Perhaps the issue many people have with earning money online is that they are in the wrong industry, or trying to make money at something where there is none available.

    Online Profit Magazine provides ideas and actual suggestions on what areas and websites could create you with passive income online.

    Pat Flynn is teaching in the area of people who want to make money online. Naturally, that is a large market, and in order to make money online, people need to buy hosting, domain names, etc so they use Pat's affiliate links and generate him income. It's a way they can thank him without it costing them any money.

    From a brief, quick look at your forum, your niche is helping people with romance/or pickup etc.
    People won't spend money on things because the only product that relates is viagra - and people have already purchased that via the latest email they've received - not to mention people usually wish to remain anonymous in these sorts of industries.

    Choose a niche that people actually spend money on and your income will improve greatly.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Valuable info. Fortunate me, I found your web site unintentionally, and I’m surprised why this accident didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You claim that if he was really making money he wouldn't be online all the time. That would be true if you don't want to make anymore money, but not if you're trying to make MORE money than you already have.

    You need to read The Millionaire Mind. There is a reason Steve Jobs was always working. There is a reason Bill Gates is always working. They have more money than 100 Pat Flynns combined.

    Just because you'd waste your money on vacations and margaritas doesn't mean that's what everyone else wants to do. I make a decent income online, enough not to work a full time job, and yet I'm online all day every day trying to increase my income.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Interesting to debate Pat Flynn, but in general this post is quite stupid.

    Over the years I've been listening to all Pat's podcasts, and I would say I've read most of his articles to.

    He never claims it's easy to make money online.

    He claims that he made 8000$ the first month from selling an ebook. Yes, but he also mentions over and over again, that he had been running a blog for 2 years about taking that exam. The blog had thousnads of followers, and of course, if they are loyal, you write great content, they will happily spend 20-30 bucks on a great book.

    I didn't study architecture, but I went to university, and at the end we also had to take a huge exam. The score you achieve is very, very, very important for your future. Without a great score you can forget the most competitive and attractive positions in the future.

    For this particular exam there is a great book, that I would say at least 50% of all the students will purchase.

    In the case or arch.students, over 6000 students graduate each year, close to 30000 are enrolled. You don't need to target a very high percentage of these students to be able to make 8000$.

    It's not possible to earn these amounts in a week from ebooks, once you have an established audience.

    Chris Guillebeau is another example. He's a writer, and have written three boos about how to get really cheap airline tickets.

    HIs first book sold 100 copies the first week, the second 500 copies, and the third release sold 3000 copies in a week. Multiply that with 20$... Again, Chris wasn't just putting a simple ebook together to release it on amazone. He had an established audience, just like Pat.

    Pat sold his first ebook for 20$ (later he increased the price ones people told him the price was way to low for such a great book). To earn 8000$ he only had to sell 400 books, which is nothing if:

    -you pick the right nicke
    -you have an established audience
    -offer a great product

    It's not easy to copy that strategy, and he never claimed that either. But there's no reason to question his success based on the assumptions in this blogpost.

    Go through his blog, read every single post, and you'll get the full picture.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello everyone! My name is Terrance, and I am a business owner. I started my business called 3000 Records in 1996. I discovered Pat's podcast on iTunes a few months ago, and many of the things talked about are EXACTLY right on with how I ended up making a full time income with my business.

    However, being a hard working entrepreneur, I run across haters sometimes. After spending about 20 minutes reading this blog, the only thing clear to me is someone who lacks faith, and likes to tear someone else down. This is a clear case of Bully against innocent kid on the playground.

    It's not uncommon, but I'm sure Pat would appreciate if you would stop. I don't personally know Pat, but I feel he is a great guy. The business world needs people to teach others how to make money online (that is not snake oil).

    While I don't teach anyone how to make money online, I use the methods Pat teaches to make a living. I am thankful for what I have learned the hard way. If Pat's podcast was around back when I started, I may have learned much quicker and easier. Even now, I am learning from him.

    I do not doubt Pat's income claims. If you think the income he makes is not reasonable, you are entitled to your opinion. I'm done wasting my time on this forum, but felt this may be worth posting so people starting out don't get discouraged from the negativity, and slander being done to Pat.

    On a side note, I wonder if Donald Trump is actually a billionaire. Just think of how much he benefits from lying about his income. Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  23. lol i bet some of these comments are from fake users by either/both pat and winston. just read some of the comments. its obvious. i won't name which is doing it, but its pretty obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Actually, making a rant about something/someone is also a way of getting traffic. Old as it gets. So you are also getting good traffic bashing Pat :)

    You all know very well how to play the game.

    Regards,
    Jon

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow...have to say, I feel like I wasted a good 20 minutes reading this(emphasis on wasted). Personally, I could care less how much Pat Flynn makes a month...the fact of the matter is that he obviously makes enough to support his family, and that's proof enough!

    I find it amusing that you paint a picture of Pat taking advantage of people's hopes and dreams...basically an overall bad guy. The truth of the matter is that if someone lands on his site, they have an idea that they are looking for help to bring to life...atleast that was the case with me. There's also a good chance that the affiliate links that people click on from his site are items that they will likely need...so why not give Pat a slice of the pie..doesn't cost me anything! I haven't really helped Pat out in any way (I have my hosting with GoDaddy..and had it purchased before I ran into his blog; I'm still creating content, so no need for an autoresponder, although I probably will go out of my way to use his link when the time comes). Now I'm just getting started....0 followers, BUT I took the time to listen to Pat's message, and I know I'm not going to be making $8k the first month...he clearly states that time and time again! I honestly expect 0 income for probably the first year or two...and after that, I still don't know what it will be, but the truth is, it's more than if I don't get out and do it!

    You mention that after 3 years of hard work, you were barely to the point of making $900/mo. There could be a good reason for that....I took a quick look at your site, and many of your headlines are negative!!! Who says "Wow, that's such a negative thought....let me buy something from the guy"? Answer - not many people. Secondly, even if I'm one of the few people who did want to buy something from you, where would I do that....I had to actually hunt down a place to purchase something from you (not a good thing)! Lastly, I'm alittle confused about who your audience should be? Is it the online business man (suggested by this post)...is it a person looking to date someone from another country? Someone who wants freedom...and if it is freedom, freedom from what?

    That being said, your $900/mo is $900 more than my $0/mo...either way, I wish both you the best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  26. To be honest having looked at your site i'm surprised you are making any more than $0 a month.

    The site looks very seedy and the blog! well the first post insults Taiwanese people and culture.

    Your site doesn't exactly engage with its users in a positive way.

    Pat's site on the other hand is very very useful and his posts are friendly and engaging and his t-shirts look cool!

    I think you should concentrate on your own business instead of blog post after another of trying to attack individuals, countries and entire cultures.

    Be positive and maybe you will succeed. don't look at others with bitterness as that's not going to help you succeed.

    Make something positive and people will engage with your site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil,
      You are a gullible sheep with low IQ. I am only positive about something that's true. Read my latest post about why freethinkers are happier in Europe. It was quite positive. It's a pity you don't care about the truth. Truth is the authority, it is higher than being fake positive. People like you are why the masses are gullible. People like you suppress truth in the name of political correctness.

      The reason my site is successful is because I tell the TRUTH, the truth that other people are afraid to talk about. I'm in a niche too. I expose truths other people don't.

      Just because some of the truths I expose are negative doesn't mean they aren't true. You are really deluded if you think that only positive things exist. Your logic is very bad too. Ignoring the negative does not make it go away. That is false New Age thinking designed to pacify the masses.

      Pat and I are in totally different kinds of businesses. You can't compare what I do to what he does. I make my income from advertising and affiliate commissions. I am good in SEO too, which is how you found this article. My site gets 3000 visitors a month.

      Check out my articles here, and you will see that they are unique and original, and that's why I'm successful:

      http://www.happierabroad.com/articles.php

      My fans appreciate this. Look at my testimonials:

      http://www.happierabroad.com/testimonials.php

      I give people hope in ways that others don't. I have a solution to loneliness, isolation, datelessness and mental health problems in America. Others don't. Please learn about my movement on the home page here before you judge:

      http://www.happierabroad.com

      Finally, the great psychologist Carl Jung would not agree with you that one should place positivity over truth. Read this quote from him below. It validates my way of bringing to light the negative dark truths in our society on HappierAbroad as the path to enlightenment, rather than follow the popular fake New Age hippie way of ignoring everything negative to make it not exist.

      "One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular."
      – Carl Gustav Jung in his essay “The Philosophical Tree”, paragraph 335, (1945).

      Delete
  27. Just had to post again. just looked at more of your posts. They really are very negative, nasty and offensive and I really can't imagine how you are building any sort of business on the back of a site portraying such opinions. it's offensive.

    Business must be based on a positive messages.

    Forget about Pat and sort yourself out!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dear Winston

    This post is pretty old now. Do you still have the same opinion of Pat Flynn?

    I have just listened to 30 of pats podcasts in the last two weeks and I believe Pat's success comes because people trust him.

    Do you really think everyone else is wrong and you are right?

    If Pat Flynn is a con artist he have to be one of the best the world has ever seen. I don't even detect a hint on bullshit from the guy.

    I know it's the internet and free speech etc... but your post is a really public and personal attack on the guy and really, you don't have anything to back it up.

    Your title - Pat Flynn Exposed - implies that you have found something out, that you have uncovered some secret. In reality you have noticed that, 1. it's possible he doesn't make as much money and 2. he sometimes wears old t-shirts.

    The fact is it makes perfect sense to report his online income. People see the income and think - that's great I could do that too. It doesn't mean the income is not real.

    What you have discovered is a potential scam there I agree with you, but it doesn't mean you have discovered an actual scam.

    Actually, your post makes me think you are trying to gain personally by attacking Pat. In being the one to "expose" him you will attract attention to your site and further your own interests.

    That may not have been your intention but rightly or wrongly it reflects pretty poorly on yourself.

    So since this post is still up, and people like me are still finding it, I challenge you to reopen your case against Pat.

    Does the evidence really add up to a guilty verdict?

    At the very least your article title is highly misleading. Could you consider changing it to something less sensation like... Pat Flynn's T-Shirts Exposed ;)

    Thanks
    Ally Cochrane



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ally,
      Why do you care so much about Pat Flynn? Can you reveal your connection to him? Why do you care if I revise or remove this article or not? It obviously has not hurt him or his business in any way. Your tone sounds like you are biased toward him in some way.

      There is nothing wrong with being skeptical and asking critical questions. I am freethinker, not a sheeple conformist. I merely asked some logical questions and make some logical points. Nothing wrong with that. True or false, I did make some valid legitimate points.

      The reason I put "exposed" in the title of this post is that Google ranks a search term higher if it contains the word "exposed" or "scam" in it. People have ran tests and found this out. Google likes negative content because if it causes someone to lose customers, it can show ads of competitors on the search results page. I know a lot about SEO so I did it for a calculated reason.

      Delete
    2. Ally,
      A few more things. The majority is often wrong because the majority is not good at critical thinking, and often give in to emotion over logic.

      Also, even if I'm wrong about Pat, your statement that there is "not a hint of bullshit" from him is extreme. You don't seem to understand human nature. You see, very few people are 100 percent honest about 100 percent of everything 100 percent of the time. The vast majority of people will lie sometimes about some thing, even if they are generally honest most of the time. Think about it. Look at yourself. Have you ever told a lie? Everyone has. No one is free of bullshit or lies. Everyone lies sometimes, even if only a few times in their whole life. It's no different for Pat Flynn. Even if he's generally honest (which is not proven) that doesn't mean he didn't lie about some things here and there. That doesn't prove that he didn't "fake it til he made it". Thus for you to claim that there is zero bullshit in him is an extreme claim. Human nature is not that perfect. Just a little lesson for you.

      Delete
  29. Why won't he show his tax return?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha, he doesn't need to. Seriously, is he running for President or something?

      Delete
  30. I have no connection with Pat but I am biased. I listened to all his podcasts and i think he is great.

    So you admit you used the word exposed or scam for a percieved seo benefit and not because you exposed anyone...

    Well... I rest my case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ally,
      Yes and no. I admitted that I used the word "exposed" for an SEO benefit. Yes, of course. Pat does things for SEO benefit too. I'm not stupid. I always try to maximize my SEO. But that's not the only reason. I also put up this article to get people to think critically. I never said that Pat flynn was a scam. I merely asked skeptical questions using logic and critical thinking.

      Also, since Pat censors the comments on his site and removes all negative comments, he gives the impression that no one has anything negative or critical to say about him. So I also put up this post as a way for people to speak freely about Pat without censorship, since you don't get that on his site. This way, I help keep the discussion about Pat more free and balanced. That way, I get my say about him and so do you and the other Pat defenders. I believe in free speech, so I allow both positive and negative comments in my blog. Pat doesn't. He fears negative comments about him so he deletes them. If you don't believe me, try posting a negative or critical comment about him on his blog, and you will see. In that way, I am more fair and honest than he is.

      Delete
  31. A brilliant smart lady I know shared this quote with me:

    "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." - Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists" - George Bernard Shaw.

    Says a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Pat writes some good stuff on his blog. I don't doubt his income reports.

    However, my bone of contention is that his security guard training site largely got big off the mentions in his smartpassiveincome blog, and the fact that so many people visited the site off the back of his blog.

    Although I also uncovered evidence that Pat seemed to be doing some shady link building, especially in his pre-fame days.

    ReplyDelete
  33. If you think Pat Flynn is a con artist then you're not quite right in the head. He's not actually trying to sell people anything and it's entirely up to individuals if they choose to purchase products through his affiliate links. I've listened to almost all his podcasts over the last couple of months (all completely free) and it's inspired me to start my own blog and see where it takes me. I'm continuing to use his blog posts to take things forwarded.

    I used a hosting company I already used so have given Pat no money whatsoever, yet he's given me drive, determination and belief that I could create something (or at least try).

    If you go through life believing everyone is a bad guy then you're going to have a pretty tough time.

    I'd understand this post if Pat had a message like 'I'll help you make millions if you pay me just $50' but pretty much all his information is free. People can choose to do with it as they want. Positive people with desire and an open mind might be able to create something new for themselves. Negative sceptical people are less likely to see the benefit or to be able to turn Pat's story into their own story.

    And actually, I don't really care how much Pat makes. All I care is that he's given me a load of tools and knowledge absolutely free that has kick started a new era/challenge in my life.

    Mindset is a big part of life, which is why I keep mine positive!

    Al

    ReplyDelete
  34. Two things have done it for me on why i think he is 'loose' with his income claims:

    1: He got laid off in the architecture industry, because there wasn't much demand in a recession for new buildings. Yet, THOUSANDS of people apparently wanted to enter it as they purchased his guide.
    2: He recently laid off two of his virtual assistants. This STINKS. Surely, he would be taking MORE on rather than laying them off.

    I have no doubt flynn makes good money from his blog, I just think he cooks up the figures big time.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would like to suggest that you be more careful who you quote. George Bernard Shaw was a eugenicist/collectivist monster: http://youtu.be/hQvsf2MUKRQ

    There is nothing at all evil about affiliate links by themselves. I LOOK for affiliate links on the sites that give me free and useful info. They get compensated, and it doesn't cost me a dime! Hello?! And, no, I don't care if they make billions from it. If it has value for me, GOOD for them.

    If someone is lying to get people buy things, well, what's new? That part of the human condition is not going away any time soon, unfortunately. The only other alternative available to these little lying men is force/coercion at the end of a gun, and many do take that route, including governments.

    People forget that there are two sides to a trade: a seller AND a buyer. The BUYER must selfishly/diligently look after his/her best interests. That means not allowing oneself to fall prey to scammers, or his/her own whims.

    Most people who are motivated in some way by Pat's work WILL NOT SUCCEED IN A BIG WAY. That will be their fate regardless of who's site they visit. That's nature.

    ...the wise don't need it and the ignorant won't heed it. But that doesn't mean we stop people who are trying to teach/share what they know--that would be along the lines of burning books.

    And no one should expect someone to share what they have learned, (sometimes the very hard way) for free! Pat is no one's slave. He has no obligation whatsoever to share what is in is head/heart. That he is providing so much information and his obviously motivating energy for free should garner gratitude, not vilification by envy-filled, sad-sap cynics.

    You are demanding so much proof from Pat, but where is your ounce of solid evidence that he is guilty of something? Without it, this is all seems merely malicious speculation/innuendo/accusation born of envy.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am kind of surprised that Pat even took the time to respond to this. I certainly wouldn't. It is more or less a thoroughly illogical and heavily narrow minded rant that only reflects poorly on the author and his website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No kidding, the author of this website is a complete hack.

      Delete
  37. I was reading Pat's blog and his connection to other blogs. It seems all too fishy. Most of it is just about making money out of thin air. Really, they make money by telling you how to make money. No different than stock traders -- making money off your trades vs. you making money off investing. They trade on fear, desperation, and hope; intellectual and psychological, scammers. That's all they are. Instead of pyramid schemes they prey on the desires of those have fallen by the economic crisis.

    I need to stop being so desperate. My business for 10 years is falling apart -- the need for the technology is dying (will explain more if you are curious). I went from 600 customers and now I'm down to 100. =(

    The problem is those kinds of sites are feeding on exactly what I want to read and believe. I wish Santa Claus was real as well. I am feeling extremely low in self worth -- worse than I can explain, but I need to chin up and still think skeptically. I'm so glad I googled and found your blog. Better to be poor, sad, and honest, than a rich con-artist without any sort of moral center.

    I just need to figure out a way to tap into my current customer base and find something to offer -- substantial, useful, and something I can believe in *thinking out loud*

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have been following Pat Flynn for years. I came across him when we were both writing articles on a site called eHOW. I actually ended up buying his LEED study guide because I was working for an architectural firm at the time and studying for the LEED exam. I moved on to start a website that sells guitar plans and building products and currently grosses about 12 - 15k a month. I only WISH I had thought way back then to begin a blog on passive income like he did.

    I absolutely believe his claims about making 8K a month selling his LEED study guide. When Pat published that guide the LEED certification was THE THING to have if you were at all involved in the construction industry. Architect, contractors, lawyers, everyone was taking the exam and Pat's ebook was the best deal on the market and the most comprehensive and easy to use of all the study guides I purchased during that time. I don't think he ever claimed that his first published income report was representative of the first month he sold eBooks...I could be wrong but I think his LEED blog was live for some time before he began publishing income reports.

    I think Pat is one of the ONLY guys blogging about passive income that's at all real and his blog is the only one I follow on a regular basis. He's never claimed that earning money online is a way to get rich quick. It's not. I would guess I started about the same time he did and I've worked day and night, sometimes up to 20 hours a day in the beginning, to see any income.

    And I have no clue what his t-shirts have to do with his income. As I stated before, my website generates about 12 - 15k a month on sales of guitar plans and physical products. I'm earning a pretty decent income but if you see me around town you can bet I'll be driving my Chevy Cruze and probably wearing my workout clothes. I've got my eye on a BMW that I really want but just because I can afford it doesn't mean that I'm going to buy it right now. Similarly, just because I can afford to wear Chanel sunglasses, carry Coach handbags, and wear name brand clothing doesn't mean it's a priority to me.

    I don't know Pat personally and I'm sure he's never heard my name. I'm equally sure that he's sincere about his income and his desire to help other people see success online.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Whatever you are doing in the world of marketing, make sure that you care for the people you are helping. Building trust is the key and being open is important.

    You can get a free ebook that helps you make passive income here >> Passive Income ebook

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi. I like Pat Flynn. But, yes I have been skeptical too. I wanted to see what his website looked like when he started, so I went to the Wayback Machine. There, the first post that is archived is:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20081023093512/http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/why-i-will-quit-my-job-for-a-passive-income/

    I know its splitting hairs, but he seems to always say he never planned on quitting his job. But his post contradicts that sentiment. Then your posts here play into my own thoughts that he mind-mapped this whole thing- and that its not really "organic".

    But, I do think his ebook sales are legitimate, even though they are hard to believe!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Work from home is one of the original internet marketing and magazine niches. These days all the marketers are using affiliate revenue for making money of telling you how to do what they are already doing. Even though the market is insanely saturated and the mentioned ad providers ban niche throw-up sites and questionable SEO practices.

    This guy is just doing what Google Sniper and others do, but has more personal themed content around his racket.. I recommend actually producing a product THEN focusing on marketing and SEO.. The net has enough pollution and you're going to make a too-low dividend anyway..

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yes, 100% Pat did the "fake it till you make it" sales pitch to a perfect T. I know this for a couple of reasons. First of all I tried to do it for the past 8 months in a different niche and every single response he has given to these questions you guys have for him are the same responses I thought of to say to skeptics. It's a house of cards that has now made him money because of the shock factor.

    The truth is 99.99999999% of people that try to make money the way Pat is explaining it will probably fail. The only way you succeed with a website and passive income is if you build your own company with real products and services that people like.

    Then, you hire executives to run it and you just do what ever the hell you want because you are the owner and truly make passive income, if your company becomes successful.

    Every single thing that Pat is soft selling on his website is to make him money and that is it. Also, there are so many factors that a professional internet marketer sees about Pat's operation that scream "fake it till you make it".

    He is using the law of attraction to get people to buy into the dream. I am telling you I wish he did a success rate of people who sign up to his web hosting. I am guaranteeing less than 1% of people are living a comfortable life or making anything at all from the website they tried to build after going through Pat's "smartpassiveincome" blog.

    You have to be the first to do something. Pat was the first to do this web hosting sales pitch very well. All of his work goes into maintaining the image so people keep buying into it. I don't mean to be sooo negative, but I hate seeing people waste 5 to 10 years of their life trying to make the kind of money Pat claims he makes.

    If he just had the content value on his blog and didn't say how much he was making, none of us would even be talking about this right now for a few reasons and Pat would not be making as much money.

    I believe he is making money now, but it's only because of the big numbers that are very very unrealistic for almost everyone.

    If only I were his accountant, there would be some fun things to share I bet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think your theory and explanation that Pat "faked it til he made it" makes sense and is logical. Yes you do have to be one of the first in a niche to make it. I am similar to Pat in that I'm the first in my niche too. My site is the first serious site to offer an overseas solution to some big major problems in America, and the first to explain the benefits of living and dating overseas in a way no one else has. I'm also the first to combine an expat and international dating site into one. Thus my site is successful too, not as much as Pat's, but enough for me to make a living off of it.

      The thing is, Pat's strategy is similar to MLM. He's selling hopes and dreams of those who want to make money, just like MLM is, in a field where very few people make decent money in. He is at the top of the pyramid in this field, or one of those at the top. But the rest of his audience just dreams. MLM's sell real products too, but their primary product is the dream of being financially independent. That's what Pat sells too.

      Delete
    2. Pat is very, very far from being the first in his niche - there were tons before him. He just does it better. He's friendlier, easy-going, more modest.

      Delete
  43. I'm wondering why you posted this issue in the first place. You have a dating/ex-pat something blog and you're tackling issues about a specific person who's making money on the net. Maybe it's your niche that's wrong or too mixed up. Dating/ex-pat/critical thinking and others??? Your only consolation is a <100k in Alexa rank and a PR1. Geez, get a grip dude!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Maria,
    Anyone can crunch up numbers any way they can. Even MLM's do that to make it their system look good and credible. But reality is not like that. If you think it's easy to make $8,000 and sell 100 ebooks in one month, why don't you try it? Give it a try. You'll learn a lesson about life from it. Nothing in reality is as easy as in theory.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Wow this Pat Flynn page in my blog is one of the most active pages in my blog now. Check this out. If you Google "Pat Flynn", this page comes up at the top of the search results now! Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  46. There are some spot-on posts on the xsplat blog discussing entrepreneurialism and these sites which supposedly sell the secrets of making big bucks online.

    The gist of the discussion of the sites is this: Nobody is selling legitimate current info on how to realistically make money online. What they are selling is the methods which used to work.

    Of course some people want to believe, so badly that they can convince themselves of lies. Years ago a real estate sales agent who worked for me was on a Carlton Sheets television infomercial. This guy was 100% full of shit about the cash flow and equity position which he had on his investment real estate properties. I know for a fact that he was lying about the numbers. Funny thing is I think he believed his own fabrications.

    ReplyDelete
  47. This post is such a lot of bullshit.

    So what if he is making money selling bluehost accounts? How is it any different to setting up a recruitment site and selling job listings for $65 a time? It isn't any different because here is the key variable:

    "YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE THE SITE POPULAR IN THE FIRST PLACE".

    Most don't. Most don't have the ability to be consistent, and deliver excellent value. MOST people sit on their ass all day long writing cynical posts about other people's successes.

    The point being, he still creates value. If he teaches someone how to upload their first website via FTP, or set-up their first e-mail list, or do whatever...he's still imparting value.

    Seriously, get of the guy's back - the only people who look bad in this post are those laying into the guy for creating something from absolutely nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  48. You Rock, Pat.

    And to siteowner: Great marketing stunt - but you suck!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Yes, you rock Pat, period.

    ReplyDelete
  50. lol this is the most down low scum site in the world.... i mean happierabroad.com omg who is the sceptic here.... your making money of someone who you claim to make money off others back.... lol think about that..

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm not being biased now but I have a question for Winston. Did you follow everything and every tip that Pat gives on his blog and the nichesiteduel.com? Maybe you haven't. So I request you to follow all the tips and lets see what the end result is.

    I, myself, have started applying some of the tips and seeing some water sprinkling here and there. So I will just be going with it because it is now encouraging me to follow and continue working towards my end goal.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Well, you've really noticed some good points but i'm not sure whether he is making false claims or not coz he never provies real time videos of his accounts. Screenshots can be made easily.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Check this out. Pat Flynn claims to have made $83,000 last month, and he's flaunting it at the top of his home page! lol

    http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/

    Also, look at his smile and photo below. Doesn't he look so authentic and down-to-earth, like a man whom you'd believe anything that came out of his mouth? lol (sarcastic)

    http://cdn.smartpassiveincome.com/wp-content/thesis/skins/spi/assets/images/feature-photo-2.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  54. Any of you ever hear the term "fake it til you make it"?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_it_till_you_make_it

    ReplyDelete
  55. As an internet marketer myself, I actually believe Pat's figures are probably correct. I have run reports on his websites using my SEO software and he does generate massive traffic from multiple sources. While I only run a few small Australian based sites in comparison to Pat's, I generate quite a healthy income for very little effort, and I have also launched an ebook in the past and started making income immediately, so I actually believe Pat's figures are legit. He credits much of his income to hosting affiliate income. On average hosting makes around $85 per sale for the affiliate, so ten a day is $850, over a month that's $25,000 alone without even trying, which is very easy. I doubt Pat fakes it, he just works hard and smart.

    ReplyDelete
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    Find best hosting company at HostingCompaniesz.com

    ReplyDelete