Frank Schilling’s Brother-In-Law Made $35k In His First Year As A Part-Time Domain Investor

One of the biggest issues I’ve had with the domain industry is unrealistic expectations. There are way too many articles, books, and videos out there making it looks like you can quit your job, become a domain investor, and then poof – you’re rich.

The reality is, it’s hard to make money with domain names and most people are only going to afford to be able to do it part-time vs. quitting their days jobs. Also most people lose money their first year (or two) trying their hand at the domain game.

That being said, there are more realistic expectations to set if you really apply yourself part-time and I think Frank Schilling’s brother-in-law is a great example – he made $35k in his first year.


While I still think most people who get into domain investing should set even lower expectations for their first year, and maybe even expect to lose money while learning, I think this sets a much more realistic bar for what you can do if you really apply yourself for a year part-time.

The one question I don’t know the answer to is if this is $35k in revenue or $35k in profit so if Frank is reading this that would be an interesting datapoint to know. Either way I think this is a great example of something much more realistic for new domain investors rather than thinking you can quick your day job and make a six-figure income right out of the gate.

What do you think? Is $35k a reasonable expectation for someone’s first year investing in domain names?

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • Eric Borgos July 3, 2017, 11:51 am

    Another good question would be how much money he had access to, to make that $35k?

    • Joseph Peterson July 3, 2017, 4:39 pm


      Case A:
      Bob spends $150k on domains. Some of them sell for a total of $35k. Impossible to say whether he made a profit or not. Depends on the domains he DIDN’T sell. That’s what he has left to sell in the future. And those are his future bills too.

      Case B:
      Bob spends $1000 and makes $35k. That’s much easier to evaluate.

  • Keith DeBoer July 3, 2017, 12:09 pm

    I think a realistic goal is to break even in your first year. And break even means you regain the amount of money you invested in your entire portfolio that first year including acquisitions, fees and commissions. Regarding Frank’s brother. The devil is in the details and the Tweet gives us none of those. Is $35K gross sales? or profit on one or two sales? Does the $35k his brother “made” include 2nd year renewal costs or acquisition costs for other domains he hasn’t sold yet? There’s a lot of unknowns there and until they are clear people should take the Tweet and others like it with a grain of salt. Govt stats say that About 80% (four-fifths) of businesses with employees will survive their first year in business. About 66% (two-thirds) of businesses with employees will survive their second year in business. About 50% (one-half) of businesses with employees will survive their fifth year in business. About 30% (one-third) of businesses will survive their 10th year in business. The odds are stacked against us. You once said (and I agree) “Domaining is a hard industry, very few make money but many like to pretend that they do.”

  • AbdulBasit Makrani July 3, 2017, 12:13 pm

    That’s good to hear from Frank but would be better to know in detail like some of you guys asked questions.

  • Joe July 3, 2017, 12:32 pm

    This is my opinion for what you write in your post, we all lose money the first year ……………

    Frank big brother sell at gift price to his brother brother between brothers is done for the sake of the other.

    Frank small get to sell domain names part-time by customer investor friends, first year $ 35K, the year I came to be $ 350K between siblings there may be all good and bad.

    For the brother of the Founder of a great Mentor as a brother and safe business, he will always buy and sell the first year, the second, and all the others will be better.

    What the elder brother never let near to him if it does not ruin it among brothers, this also happens.

  • Howie July 3, 2017, 1:38 pm

    “What do you think? Is $35k a reasonable expectation for someone’s first year investing in domain names?”

    Cause it’s not, sure you and I know that, thing is how much did he outlay $70K? He may have made $35K. Unless he’s had Shilling as a mentor helping him buy and he’s in profit? Who knows.

  • Mark Thorpe July 3, 2017, 2:23 pm

    As usual, only getting part of the story from Frank. You can’t tell me his BROTHER-IN LAW did not get any help from FRANK!
    Also, nice Domain Sherpa advertisement, Frank.

  • July 3, 2017, 3:02 pm

    Surprised that Frank didn’t say he made the $35k selling .link and whatever other gtlds he owns.

  • joe July 3, 2017, 5:01 pm

    Happy July 4, 2017 for you Morgan and family.

    Just like the rest of people who subscribe to your blog

  • Frank Schilling July 3, 2017, 5:50 pm

    Having a family 4th this weekend in Laguna Beach. At dinner last night I sat next to my bro-in-law. He used to have terrible domain instincts (picking really terrible pigeon shit type names). On his own he started reading domain sherpa and twitter posts from Mike Mann others and started watching what sells and made 35k flipping names he bought for under $500 and hand reg’s .. completely part time and with no help or mentoring from me. Amazing.

    • Frank Schilling July 3, 2017, 5:51 pm

      interesting sub-note.. one year ago he sat next to Mike Berkens who along with his charming wife Judi joined for our family 4th at the same restaurant .. it was the chat he had with Mike that sent him back to reading more about the space.

    • Marcus July 3, 2017, 9:41 pm

      What’s his username on NamePros? Then we can look at his journey from point A to B.

  • Dn Ebook July 3, 2017, 6:56 pm

    I think most folk would like to know whether they were .com sales or New gtld’s ?

  • joee July 3, 2017, 11:55 pm

    I think there is only one conclusion that the domains that between parentheses that Frank Shilling publishes (picking really terrible pigeon shit typeis) the only answer letting the day pass you are happy you have to always talk and put the domains junk “pigeon Shit “always read selling cheap and get rid of it, it has been a reverse of $ 500 investing flipping and getting $ 35K incredible but true the last word can be another one of you, but it is better to let today pass that is happy For all of you.

  • Hemant Tilotia July 4, 2017, 3:24 am

    It’s not that hard. You just need to be more informed, read a lot here and there.
    I started by reading blogs on the topic for good 2-3 months.
    Started with $10K something, bought mostly from the aftermarket.
    I have in total sold $40K worth of domains , hence a profit of $30K something.
    I still have 170+ domains, and I hope the left overs are the better ones.
    I used to enjoy DomainSherpa, but it’s becoming more predictable, and so are the other blogs.
    TheDomains is still holding though and the articles are a good read.

    • Morgan July 4, 2017, 6:12 pm

      @Hemant – that is great to hear, sounds like you’re off to a really good start. I’ll shoot you an email, would be great to do an interview with you to share a bit more about how you got started the right way!

  • Ben Pedri July 8, 2017, 6:46 pm

    I think 35k is great for first year profit,I do think that having the access to all free tools that would cost the average novice thousands a month. So $600-$700 a week is probably not that great a feat ,keep in mind a lot of the selling was probably just flipping some of franks 3rd rate names,so no cost to carry. I really dident get into details but this is my hunch ,forgive me if I’m wrong ill read the article when I have time.


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