Pat Flynn: Software as a business

Want to know how to make $5,000 dollars in a weekend via a $10 Facebook ad?

Too bad. You can’t.

If you’re like me, you are probably so numb to these type of flash in the pan marketing schemes. Even more so, sick of seeing ads from “web marketers” that are renting 7 series BMW’s to shoot infomercials with. 1-click WordPress install, some FB ads here and a squeeze page there…

It’s so easy!

Pat Flynn is NOT that marketer, but he does use WordPress and he’s launching a new product for it. I’ve been a fan of Pat’s for a while now and I respect his approach to our industry. His authenticity bleeds into his brand which is something a lot of us are afraid to do. We’re going to talk about that and how this web marketer has transitioned to software as a business.

Sit back and relax — this is a great episode!

Interview with Pat Flynn: Smart Podcast Player

Pat Flynn is not a typical webmarketer. He is expanding his operation into the technology arena of webmarketing. In addition to his website being powered by WordPress, Pat engaged his developer to create a custom function that supported his own need of the for sharing his podcast content. After getting requests from his audience about the podcasting function, Pat decided to offer the function as a plugin. The plugin is appropriately named Smart Podcast Player. During the development of Smart Podcast Player Pat acquired a new appreciation about the amount of time and effort needed to product a quality WordPress software product.

Software takes time and money to create a great user experience. It’s not a quick way to make money.

Focus on a specific business niche. When you are able to speak in your customer’s language, you will be able to help them better define their problem and accept your recommended solution.

Listening options

Itunes:subscribe to MattReport
Stitcher:subscribe to MattReport
[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=0066cc&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]


What was discussed during the interview
(Times correspond to video)
1:45 What differentiates Pat from the typical web marketer?
4:30 How is Pat putting together a local team to scale his business?
6:30 What lessons did Pat learn from his recent DDOS attack? What good thing came out of it?

When you rely on your website to run your business, be sure you are proactive not reactive when selecting the supporting technology tools.

10:45 Is creating and selling software the next frontier in webmarketing?
15:00 How can you use a Minimium Marketable Event to engage your audience?
16:30 What are the legacy issues with offering lifetime support to earliest customers? What is a better approach?
21:15 What would Pat have done differently in selling the initial group of licenses for the podcast plugin?
24:00 How does Pat see his company growing into a software company?
26:15 Which resources does Pat use to keep new feature ideas organized and prioritized?
27:30 As a freelancer, how can you promote your WordPress business idea when you are very new to the marketplace?
31:15 After building the plugin, how has Pat’s perspective changed towards WordPress community?

List of Resources Mentioned

Smart Podcast Player
SPI Episode 119
SPI Episdoe 78
James Schramko interview on MattReport
Yoast plugins
Lean Startup book

Join Matt Report Pro and connect in with our Mastermind Group Call


10 responses to “Pat Flynn: Software as a business”

  1. Thanks so much for having me on your show Matt! I hope your community enjoys it, and hope to see you and everyone else at a WordCamp at some point!

    1. You bet and thanks for spending the time!

  2. Appreciate all the interviews you do with people in the WP community on here Matt. In addition to the Slocum videos

    I just have to chime in here and say I paid to be part of Flynn’s Breakthrough Blogging private community and I’ve been thoroughly unimpressed with it. There isn’t really anyone that participates over there and some of the advice I saw was kind of bad. A lot of the resources, videos, etc. are marginally helpful. It all felt very surface level and I was kind of surprised. People shouldn’t drop any money to join it if he opens it up again.

    Judging from the way he did the community I wouldn’t use any products, free or paid, from him again.


    1. Hey Adam, thanks for your honest comment. Breakthrough Blogging was an experimental launch. I put a lot of heart and soul into the content in that site – but also was not sure what it would have been like to keep up with a membership site. It was a lot harder than I thought, and I got lost in terms of what else I could do there to keep it engaged. I wanted to add more people into it, which would have helped the forums and interaction and engagement, however as you can see I did not open it up, which I hope shows you that I am conscious about the product and am not trying to just make as much money as I can, because yes – a lot of people have been asking to join – but like I said I wasn’t comfortable opening it up, at least not in it’s current state.

      I have been keeping up, however, with the monthly Google Hangouts which are for Breakthrough Blogging members – ever since it launched. Not sure if you’ve been a part of that, but they’ve been great and a lot of people consider those to be worth the price of admission. Speaking of, the promotion was part of an deal with several other products, so due note that your payment into the program, when calculated out, is less than $40 for LIFETIME membership. That doesn’t justify a poor experience in the group though, and based on your comments you were already ahead of who it was really made for. A lot of people wrote letters of thanks for the program and the content that was put into it. If there’s anything I can do to make it up to you, please let me know. I hope you reconsider any solutions I provide in the future, as I know to learn from my mistakes. If not, again I apologize, and wish you all the best.

      1. You make it sound like you only got $40 from a handful of people. I have no idea how many people signed-up but if it was say 1000 people you got $40,000 dollars (1000 x 40). Judging from the collective size of all the email lists I assume it was more than that. Even if it was half of that, 500 people, you got $20,000.

        Most successful private communities work on the same model. I really fail to see what excuses you have.

        Why would I waste any more time watching material from there? I seriously doubt you have gotten\ genuine letters of thanks. If people are finding the material useful feel free to have them contact me directly or leave a comment on my review of the course. I’d be interested to know.

        An FYI, I didn’t think the other course were worth it either. I’ll try to post individual reviews of those soon.

        I wouldn’t recommend doing “experimental launches” with other people’s money. At the end of the day that community did not work because of Pat Flynn.

      2. Just as an FYI if you read my review I did state your developer did one of the the best, if not the best, phpBB and WP integrations I’ve ever seen.

        Also Cliff’s course was ok depending on how you look at it.

  3. […] Pat Flynn: Software as a Business […]

  4. business ideas

    adwords learning center

  5. Awesome episode Matt, loved how Pat approaches his business. Your questions to him were very helpful – especially the bit about WordPress entrepreneurs facing issues launching their product without an audience (same thing that I’ll be facing soon).

    1. Thanks, Milos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *