How Much is Your Blog Really Worth?

By: Ramsay | 83 intelligent opinions, add yours

Should I sell Blog Tyrant for $500,000?” I asked my fiance, completely hypothetically, while going for a walk last week.

After thinking about it for a few seconds she settled on “Yes” – it seemed like a lot of money for a two year old blog so I should probably sell up.

She’s right, half a million dollars does seem like a lot of money when you have the whole lot in your bank account at one time (minus the sales taxes, etc.). But when you look at it from a longer perspective it might actually be a really bad idea.

The conversation got me thinking about how much my blog was really worth. It also got me thinking about how much I’d actually sell it for (if anything).

In this article I want to go over:

  • How much your blog is worth to a potential buyer
  • How much your blog is worth to you and your business
  • Why you should think twice (or thrice) about selling your blog
  • What you need to do if you decide to sell

As you know, I’ve sold blogs before and have a little bit of experience in the area. I’ve also got a few regrets that I’ll tell you about.

I also really want to know whether you’d sell your blog for $100,000.

How much is your blog worth to a buyer?

Let’s start this post by looking at how much you could sell your blog for. Now, it’s important to note that we’re talking about how much it is worth to a buyer not how much it is worth to you and your business. We’ll go over that later.

Actually, calculating what your blog would sell for is pretty simple:

Monthly revenue x 12 months = sale price

Multiply whatever your blog makes in a month by 12 and you have your sale price. Sometimes you will get a bit less, sometimes a bit more. Occasionally you hear about someone reaching 24 months but, by and large, that is the equation that buyers use when purchasing blogs as investments.

Just a few years ago you’d find there was a lot more room to move. Every now and then you’d find buyers who really wanted to get hold of your domain name or eliminate some competition and thus you’d get a better price. But these days that is pretty rare.

In my experience, blog and site buyers almost never look at:

  • A blog’s “potential”
    Often when you are looking at sites and blogs for sale on Flippa you’ll see the seller talk about the potential that it has and how it is really underdeveloped.
  • Mistakes you’ve made
    Again, people often talk about errors they made in monetizing their blogs and why the buyer would be able to increase the income significantly.
  • Blogs without income/traffic history
    If you are trying to sell your blog with only a few months traffic and income history you are going to find a lot of anxious people unwilling to part with their cash. Google updates happen so frequently and organicly monetized sites are risky.

Usually the people who are buying sites work for larger companies and they have very strict guidelines about what type of data they are looking for in a purchase. Rarely will you find a blogging or online marketing visionary willing to build a site up. They want a functioning business.

How much is your blog worth to you and your business?

Now, let’s say you were offered $100,000 for your blog. Would you take it?

Well, the first thing you have to think about is how much your blog currently makes for you and/or your business and how much it will make over the next two or three years. Unless you have some other sites in the pipeline you are going to need at least that long to get set up again.

Remember, a blog’s value is much more than how much it is presently making in dollar terms. It seems a little crazy to “value” a business for more that it actually makes but you have to think about all of the functions that it serves:

  • A blog is a self-marketing device
    A blog is like a store that also owns the TV channel it advertises on. Even though your blog might not make any money at present you are building an asset that can one day promote your money-making material.
  • A blog creates trust
    If you have a blog attached to a store or an online product you can use that blog to increase trust so that people are more likely to buy your material. This is very hard to quantify in dollar terms.
  • A blog creates opportunities
    If Blog Tyrant suddenly started making zero dollars I would still keep it as it has opened doors like writing for ViperChill and developing relationships with big brand names. Darren Rowse has often said that while ProBlogger doesn’t make him rich it does give him a huge reputation.

While your blog might not actually directly make you a huge amount of cash every month, it might act as the “funnel” for other sales or activities. It might increase Google rankings for other money-making pages, drive traffic to future opportunities or act as a means of collecting email subscribers so you can launch big things.

Would you still sell for $100k?

Why you should think twice about selling your blog

If you are still on the “Yep, I’m selling!” side of the argument I’d like to raise a few more points for you to consider.

  • Blogging is not as easy as it was
    When I look back to the time of my first big blog I realize that I had it so easy. Things were a lot simpler back then and if I’d stuck at it I wonder whether the profits would have been even greater.
  • It takes time to build back up
    If you want to sell your blog to get a bit of cash you need to determine how long that cash needs to last before you have a new profitable site to replace the old one. Building quality blogs takes time.
  • You can’t just write a blog in the same niche
    Often when you sell a blog you sign a contract that forbids you from starting a new blog in the same niche. It’s called an anti-competiton clause and essentially means that you better be good at something else because you might not be able to keep doing the same thing.

Still ready to sell up?

What to do if you decide to sell

If you can determine how much your blog is worth and do decide to sell then there are some things that you need to do. I really wish someone had told me about all this before I sold one or two of my blogs.

  • Have restrictions on future use
    One of the reasons I don’t like to disclose which blogs I’ve sold (other than the privacy agreements) is because the new owners have taken the blogs in a direction that really upsets me. Simply put – one or two of them look like hell! If you are going to sell you should find out if the buyer is happy to agree to not do X, Y and Z in the future.
  • Have something else ready
    Don’t sell up unless you already have other projects ticking over. Now I’m not talking about things at the idea stage, I’m talking about blogs or websites that are already alive and cooking. The sale can wait but you might not be able to eat if one of those other projects doesn’t eventuate quick enough.
  • Understand what goes
    In my youthful naivity I probably didn’t realize that I’d lose all the brand ownership, all the say over the content quality, all the email subscribers, everything. Make sure you know that it’s all going.
  • Stay on board
    If it’s possble you might want to ask if you can stay on board for six or 12 months as a writer or contact so as to make sure they take the blog in a direction that you are happy with. This leads me into my next point.
  • Make sure you can live without the readers
    One of the main reasons I don’t think I could ever sell Blog Tyrant is because I love the readers too much. The Tyrant Troops have, over the last two years, provided me with so much support, laughs and practical knowledge – I can’t image letting that go. You might know what your blog is worth financially but can you put a price on those friendships and relationships?

If you do get the opportunity to sell your site it can be a really exciting time. By no means am I saying you should pull out, I just want to point out that your blog’s value and worth can be calculated in a variety of different ways.

You might just find that it’s worth more than you think.

What would you do?

I’d be really interested to know what you think your blog is worth. What would be your “too good to pass up” sale price? Leave a comment and let me know.



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83 Comments

  • Hey Ramsay, I was about to sell one of my micro niche blogs, but after reading your post I feel I’ll have to think over. Although I have some other projects going on, still I think I should wait for some time before I finally decide to sell it.

    That blog was one of my first projects online and I have some attachment with it. I’ll let you know what I did with it if we get a chance together sometime in future.

    • Ramsay

      Hi Ram.

      What specifically made you re-think the sale?

      Cheers.

      • Its this point of yours that made me rethink: Have restrictions on future use.

        I realized that the buyer may alter my blog the way he wants and may do X, Y and Z with it. This fact hit me. Actually this was my first blog that made me my first dollar online and I have some an emotional connection with it.

        This made rethink about selling that blog as I don’t want my buyer to alter it in a way that may upset me in future. Make sense?

        • Ramsay

          Yeah that is one of my biggest concerns as well. Unfortunately I didn’t really think about it with my first sale.

  • I also can’t live without you Ramsay, I don’t what would happen to me and to your readers if you sell your blog.

    Also, if I will spend a lot of time to build my blog, why will I sell it with 12*month’s earning. I can double the earning by guest posting and collecting leads.

    That’s why I won’t ever think about it.

  • Good article, Ramsay.

    I remember I got slated on a site because I said I thought someone was wrong to sell a blog for 200k. It was, “Oh, what have you ever been offered for a blog?”

    But the money it was making would have taken about 3/4 years to reach 200k. If you’re making thousands with your blog I really don’t think it’s worth selling for that kind of money.

    I’ve heard everything rolls over, so it’s easier to go from 2k to 10k than it is to go from 0 to 2k. Plus you’d have to build a reputation again, etc.

    My blog doesn’t make much, but it does make something so I know it’s going to be profitable. Even though I can’t live off the money from it I would never sell it for 100k.

    I’m perfectly happy to keep freelancing for a few years until it is making me a livable income. It’s my future and selling my future and starting again isn’t an option.

    Fair play to all the people who decide they would do it. Even though I wouldn’t I would wish them good luck and hope they don’t regret it.

    But just remember you don’t need to sell something that will make you an income for the rest of your life.

    • Ramsay

      Well said Jamie.

      The only possible reason I can see as to why one should sell their blog for short term gain is if they really need to finance another project or opportunity.

      There are also emotional reasons like losing the passion for a subject, of course.

    • Well said Jamie. Also remember that, as my friend likes to say, your blog is capital. An ever growing one for that matter. So if things do start to go south, you can always sell. You can never reverse the sale though.
      Great attitude!

  • Great article!
    I really laughed at the first sentence- isn’t that how every huge opportunity or idea comes up?- like that- haphazardly.
    As for evaluating a blog, it cannot get better than this. I recently had this discussion with my friend (since we are both running the blog) and we were frustrated regarding the fact that no one really cares about all the other factors aside of dollars-per-month. Not as if we would sell. At least not at this point.

    The way I see it, I cannot seem to settle with the idea of parting sides with such a project till I make sure that I gave all my best in terms of content creation, editorship, design, building a community, making a brand, exhausting all the possible ideas that may come in my head and are to some extend related to the project.
    And this, as time has proven me, gets even theoretically impossible day by day.

    As for settling with an offer, I don’t really know. Albeit not being the only one who has to decide (amen to that, since I’m a wuss in front of every big decision that has to be made) I still played scenarios of what would be acceptable.

    Still being a student, starting with freelancing as of now, and living in a country where 10K makes a lot of difference, I suppose that everything above 100$ would be considered like an offer-on-steroids.

    But I understand how ambitious it is for a site that is one month short of an year, and not making that much money. Alas, the visionary in me would tell you another story- that it has “potential”. And huge one for that matter. At least the way I see it. For this years plans I already associate my site with projects such as launching an e-book, mobile app, e-magazine, adding million other parts to the brand which I hope to build.

    I guess that as time goes by and my site is gaining in worth, I’m becoming less and less willing to part with it.

    I enjoyed the post Ramsay, and moreover the way in which you describe site’s worth, associating it with a whole spectrum of really tightly related additional values.

    Cheers

    • Ramsay

      Hey Slavko.

      You raise an interesting point in there about exhausting all the possible ideas. Sometimes I think that is why a lot of people sell – they have just had enough of the topic and want to try something new.

      As the science tells us: we make decisions and then find logic to justify those decisions. So they aren’t always perfect.

      Thanks for the long comment! Think 2013 is going to be huge for you.

  • Well, this is definitely food for thought!

    Do people buy blogs of fatih?

    I might sell my blog as long as I could be the writer. This post certainly makes me believe all things are possible with blogging!

    And I am glad that you aren’t going to sell Blog Tyrant! It’s good to know that you are the owner and operator! :-)

    Blessings!

    • Ramsay

      Hi Tonya.

      People will buy blogs about anything as long as it makes money. That seems to be really the only important factor for buyers.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Great article Ramsey!

    I’m a newbie here, but I see from reading your articles and the feedback, the value derived from the relationships you as a blogger, have been able to create and nurture over time with your audience. I don’t think that could be quantified.

    I’m just getting started with blogging, and I’m glad I keep coming across articles such as this one, that pushes you to really think about what your things.

    Personally, unless I desperately need the money, I wouldn’t sell my blog. The relationships and the knowledge that gets shared with the audience is not quantifiable; in my opinion.

    • Ramsay

      Thanks Yosniel. The community here really is wonderful.

  • Well if I were to sell the site Landlord Rescue I wouldn’t get much because I have never even tried very hard to monetize it per se. The site makes less than a hundred dollars per month.

    Having said that the site Landlord Rescue is providing virtually free advertising for the business Landlord Rescue Inc. That business makes over well $100K per year.

    I get about 3-4 telephone calls per day from the site. These are very high quality leads, with prescreened clients. I’ve used traditional advertising before and I would have to spend roughly $2,000 to $3,000 at least per month to get that number of leads using newspapers, magazines and trade shows. I would estimate that I am saving $2,500 per month in advertising money

    Soooo there is a product that you can buy that generates an income called an annuity. To generate $30,000 per year in income/savings on advertising you would have to invest $357,215. This does not include the “other opportunities” and additional large clients, networking opportunities, invitations to speak, book deals and so one that come with being a blogger. If you work it right you can get into expensive industry events for free. In my case seminars cost $500 per day and I get free entry whenever I want with a press pass.

    Furthermore… the valuation model for blogs is a steal compared to any other business out there. For example using the metric of blogging a house for rental would sell for 24 X monthly income. Isn’t that laughable? I think it’s because people do not intrinsically understand intellectual property products because they are intangible.

    So for me I thing that selling my sick little site Landlord Rescue for $500,000 would be very short sighted. Going forward as I add more content, it will generate more and more leads. To anyone else or any other business it isn’t worth that much but to me and my business it’s invaluable.

    • You should consider the types of client requests and even general questions they have and turn that into a low-cost ebook.

      • I’ve been wanting to write an e-book for a long time but a Q and A format really appeals to me. I’m like an idiot savant that way, if you ask me what I know I’m not sure but if you ask me a specific question I just go on and on, I’ve been a real estate nerd for so long I don’t even know what I know anymore.

        • Ramsay

          Wonderful write up Rachelle. I’ve often thought that about the blog valuation process but people still really undervalue the work that goes into developing an online asset vs and offline one.

  • Hi Ramsay

    Thanks for a very useful post.

    There was a time when I would have sold my mum if the price was right 12x a little low (just kidding) but not my blogs.

    I look at blogs as a pension and it will take them many years to mature and reach their full potential.

    If a prospective buyer made me an offer of 12x even 24x income I would thank them then walk away, this would tell me I was on the right track and needed to double my efforts to increase the value further.

    I guess your motivation for blogging will determine you exit strategy.

    Best Wishes

    Rob

    • Ramsay

      Thanks Rob. Your “mum selling” comment made me laugh pretty hard.

  • I think more than money a blog creates a habit, like a girlfriend or first love. And after continuously working on a blog for last 1-2 years and watching it grow like a kid, its really tough to sell it. Because in case of blogging only patience and time can pay. For me its like a practice that I really love to do besides my daily job, which we have to to earn money.

    But yes if someone is in need some hard cash for emergency, then such an opportunity will definitely give him relief.

  • Interesting posts, a lot of it depends on whether you need the money, I imagine a lot of people start blogs to create a second income to make life that bit easier, if it can be sold for a good price and the profits re invested to create passive returns that require little or no work then I say yes.

    Also with the Google updates and constant changes to the internet, a successful blog could soon lose it’s earning potential overnight, if offered a very good price is it not a good idea to cut your ties and get money in the bank?

    We are not talking about selling for $1000 or $2000, we are talking about sums that are equivalent to 1 or 2 years wages aren’t we? What is the average wage in Australia?

    However you have highlighted that a blog sometimes becomes a lifestyle and not just a business,there is fun associated with having a blog, networks and friendships are formed that can be hard to let go.

    As you say, what if the blog owner takes it into a direction you don’t like then all of those email subscribers and site readers could soon be mistreated when they get sent dodgy sales emails. That could be damaging to your reputation if the site has not informed the change of ownership.

    Finally the part of a blog that cannot be measured in monetary value is the doors it opens as you say…. The jobs and connections it brings can be life changing. I only got to know you because of your work on Viper Chill, a job I bet you now wish you hadn’t taken lol

    It is a decision that cannot be made lightly over a brew is it really? :-)

    • I disagree with your statement that with frequent Google updates and changes to the internet you run the risk of losing your income.

      We all know what Google wants, lots of premium original content. It is my opinion that by following these guidelines blog owners are quite safe from these types of penalties. Google is not some erratic maniac but blog owners should only try to “game” their algorithm at their peril. To characterize them differently isn’t fair or realistic.

      • Ramsay

        Hi Rachelle.

        I agree and disagree with what you say about Google.

        I actually think the erratic manic is pretty close to how they operate from a users point of view. To Google it is a well thought out algorithm change with meaningful justifications but for someone running a site it can be a total surprise.

        The Panda update was a good example because a lot of high quality “mom and dad” blogs were pushed down the line in favor of big company About.com and eHow style sites which had better signals: social, freshness, authority, etc.

        They’re also done things like get rid of local business reviews to make way for G+ which has crippled cafes and restaurants that relied on ranking up the top for “Chinese food in X suburb”.

        They also seem to fluctuate a lot between freshness and quality. Depending on your niche you’ll find that some articles rank for years, others for weeks.

        But for the most part you are totally right – there are simple things you can do to ensure you are safe. For me, though, I’ll never rely on them to bring me traffic.

        Thoughts?

        • That just makes you a wise business person. Reducing risk is just part and parcel of ensuring continuity of operations. Even if a risk is minute if the cost doesn’t outweigh the benefit you are better off eliminating that risk.

          one day my hubby and I were discussing what we would do if we had a fire. He said he would break out the window and grab the hard drives from their position on the window ledge. We now use Dropbox to store our digital pictures, and all my business documents. For me that eliminates a bunch of risks. Risks that my hard drive will crash and I lose all my documents, that if my office were to suffer some catastrophe I would lose my source of income.

          Despite all that, every business is inherently risky including blogging. There are risks that the economy will decline, risks that laws might outlaw your business or change it in some fundamental way. Someone might try to trademark your business name. You might get sick or depressed and be unable to continue.

          So within that context, Google is just one more risk. Many bloggers flirt with black or gray SEO before they get spanked and complain about Google. Increasing risk rather than reducing it. Frankly they’re relatively benevolent compared to some of the real life organisations that will muck around with you. (The taxman for one)

          Should you build up your alternate traffic sources? Absolutely, but should Google updates keep you up at night? I don’t think so.

        • oh ‘eck, what have I started? time to put the kettle on me thinks. :-)

          I’m still not convinced that Google (The Evil Empire) is that benevolant.

          The biggest affiliate marketer on the planet, it’s early years growth helped by internet marketers using its advertising platforms then once it got big and clever, banned internet marketing advertising and affiliate competitors? Ding Ding…

  • I sold my blogs off a few years ago when I was really depressed and didn’t want to do anything anymore, it was a huge mistake on my part because once the depression had lifted I missed blogging terribly, a bit like having a limb missing.

    Luckily the guy who bought my blogs wanted to sell a year later and I managed to negotiate a lower price than what he bought them for.

    I’ll never do it again, I have several blogs and they are all like my children. :)

  • I would never sell my site. A site is not a house. You can sell a house and move on. A site (a business) is a place of relationships. At least that’s the way I view mine.

    A site that highlights new ABC gear but never builds relationships, well, that’s another story.

  • Great post – I currently am attempting to sell one of my sites, http://www.antioxidant-fruits.com/ for the second time. I listed it on Flippa for sale two years ago and it didn’t sell.

    So Flippa sent me another promo code to use to get a free listing (I paid $50 for the first one).

    I think taking a lot of time on your listing is important to get the right exposure.

    I want to sell it because I have other ideas I want to explore and it’s time to move on to those and let someone else have fun with this one.

    • Ramsay

      Did you get any interest the first time around? What was the main obstacle?

      • Main obstacle was what I wanted for the site. I didn’t know how the prices were calculated and I was going off my years of work and what I wanted for that. Ha! Now I don’t have a price on it and am just waiting for bids – I have rec’d a few but it still has 3 months left on the listing. That’s the other interesting thing – is doing it private sale vs. auction. I sorta want a private sale because I do care who the site goes to.

        • Ramsay

          Yeah it is so important. Glad you’re not rushing it.

  • Timely topic. It was when Blog Tyrant first shared the story about Johns Wu selling his Bankaholic blog for $14.9 million that made me think about my latest website. Before starting to build the website, I considered what companies would buy it? And whether this had already happened in the past?

    Related to revenues, I think companies are interested in buying websites that attract steady traffic from targeted customers (a.k.a. qualified leads). I can see where a company would rather buy an established website that already has an audience, rather than build one from scratch. People flock to read an original voice and perspective, which can be hard to create in a corporate environment. A good example would be Woot, an irreverent flash sale site that got bought by Amazon.

    I think it’s easier to sell off a website if it’s product-based rather than personality-based. Like if I had a website that sold vacuum cleaners, I wouldn’t mind selling that site. But if I’m writing a blog about a topic I’m passionate about–like travel–that’s closely associated with my identity, that would be a lot harder to give up. Especially if I’d build up a community of people I loved.

    The sweet spot would be if you found a “hands off” acquirer who wants to keep you in place and let you do what you want. That’s rare, since a buyer will probably think they can do a better job on your site than you can. Whenever you read headline news about a website getting bought by a big corporation, shortly after you’ll read about the founder(s) quitting (e.g. TechCrunch and Michael Arrington).

    There was a great quote by Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress) saying something like, “I’d never sell WordPress because I can’t imagine anything else I’d rather do.”

    • Ramsay

      Yeah you are right Marcus. Great to see you around here again!

      I often wonder whether I’d even get offered a good price for this site (regardless of income) because it seems to have my personality largely tied up in it. Perhaps it’s why so many people are going the multi-author route?

  • I’ve had some offers on old websites and blogs that I created several years back. I normally get a couple offers each year. The question that always determines it for me is:

    How much work and time is required for me to keep this website running?

    I have a couple websites (not the one in my URL) that are well established so much so that I don’t have to promote them to get traffic. These sites make a nice passive income for only about an hour of work each month (i.e. WordPress updates).

    In hindsight, I’m glad that I didn’t sell because I’ve made my original asking price twice over again for only a few hours of work each year.

    Great post, Ramsay! I always enjoy reading your posts about selling websites.

    • Ramsay

      Thanks Brett. Sounds like you are doing extremely well with the website income. Nice work.

  • Johanna

    As the blogosphere matures selling blogs like any othe rmarketable commodity will surely become more frequent, but as you say, maybe not always in the blog owner’s best interests. My travel and lifestyle blog ZigaZag earns a little money, but I’m lucky to be offered associated lifestyle products such as nights and trips away that would be hard to equate into annual earnings. On from that the people I meet on my blog and through my blog are lovely and have made blogging a lifestyle occupation, which I’m pretty sure will sustain me into old age if I keep at it. And who wants to retire if you are working at what you love doing?

    • Ramsay

      Why hasn’t anyone offered me a trip away?!

      ;-)

      • We want you to keep writing rather than galivanting around the world on vacation.

        • Ramsay

          Oh come on I can do both!

          Actually, probably not. I am a male after all.

      • Johanna

        Oh Ramsay! Perhaps it is as Rachelle says. The blogging Deities have decided that you need to be kept firmly in place and feeding the Blog Tyrant troops words of wisdom!

    • When it comes to representing commodity I totally agree, and would even add- a rare one. Having a site that’s been up and running for years, showing itself Immune to all of the quality checks from Google, as well as having a certain amount of visitors and being established as a brand in a certain niche would probably mean more in the future than it means now.
      Internet traffic becomes ever growing, more and more sites pop up, thus increasing the price of what is already working well. It will be like buying a house in a city that was once barely populated but now full with folks from all around. All of the sudden behavior changes, and this has an impact on prices- same will probably happen here.

      As for having freebies I cannot wait for the day to come :) It will spoil me beyond words :)

      Blogging IS a lifestyle occupation- I could not have said it better

      • Ramsay

        Some bloggers don’t accept the freebies for fear of appearing biased. Thoughts?

        • Well it all depends… What is probably a blogger’s biggest asset is being objective in displaying facts as well as having a distinct voice. If these two are not compromised, then by all means why not accept freebies?
          People are usually offended when you speak up your mind after they propose what they consider a great offer.
          This happened to me once as a guy who developed a mobile app wanted for me to have it for free and then link to his site.
          I checked the app, but it being of low quality I kindly refused to link to his site or even give him a mention. I even gave him some suggestions. Long story short, he was expecting more for sure, and got somewhat offended.

        • Johanna

          Disclosure is important, and also honesty.

  • Marc

    An interesting article and a lot of good comments here as well. I think the point that stands out to me the most is that you have separated how much your blog is worth to a potential buyer and how much it is worth to you. I’ve gone through 3 blog sales in the past 2-3 years and I can say that the valuation process is the most difficult and confusing part of selling a site because everyone will value it differently. Buyers are, of course, looking to make a good investment so most people who want to sell their blog are not able to get what they think it’s worth. This happened to me with my first blog sale, although I was still able to get a pretty decent price for it.

    On the subject of if you would/should sell, I think there are some key factors that weren’t mentioned in the article. While I agree with all of the points in your article, there are usually other factors involved in a decision to sell. For me, each time I have sold a blog it was about time more than anything else. In each case I needed to free up time to work on other projects. In the case of 1 sale I knew that the value was likely to drop if I didn’t sell because I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. Rather than keep the blog and spreading myself thin I would rather sell and be able to focus more time on the new project.

    Another factor is that some sites/blogs are created specifically with the intent of selling. Two of my three blog sales fell into this category. I think this goes back to your point about being personally connected to your blog. If you’re creating a blog/site with the goal of being able to sell and making money from it, you’re not as likely to get personally attached to it. At least, from my experience that is the case.

    The potential of traffic dropping due to a Google algorithm change has already been mentioned, and in my opinion it is a good point. Whether it is a good or a bad reason to sell, it does factor in to the decision for some people.

    Personal issues are also a factor for many bloggers who decide to sell. In the case of my first blog sale my wife and I were moving and I used the money for the down payment. While I didn’t get as much for the blog as I would have liked, I’ve never regretted selling because it helped us to buy the home we wanted. Of course, there are endless possibilities when it comes to personal reasons for wanting to sell or for needing some quick money.

    • Ramsay

      You sound like an experienced seller Marc! Were all of your sales on Flippa?

      • Marc

        No. I sold once on Flippa, once privately, and once was kind of half and half. That time I had a winning buyer at Flippa but for personal reasons he wasn’t able to go through with the purchase. I then found a buyer at the same price privately, but as a result of the Flippa listing. One of the things I’ve learned is that if I were to sell another site/blog I would try to find a buyer privately first before resorting to Flippa. Most of the buyers there are only interested in making low-ball offers. Of course, there are sites that sell for a good price there, but in general I think you can do better with a little more effort on your own in most cases. Another thing I learned is that if you want to find a buyer privately for a price higher than you would likely get at Flippa, leave some time. It’s not easy to find a buyer really quickly for a good price on your own. The quick sale is definitely an advantage of Flippa.

        • Marc, how did you go about finding a buyer outside of Flippa? I have tried to reach out to companies and people with comparable sites – but never get a response. So wonder how you approach it.

          And what happens when you have your site listed on Flippa but someone finds out about the site outside of Flippa? Do you have to sell through Flippa while it is registered with them?

          Thanks!

          • Marc

            I haven’t used Flippa in about 2 years so I’m not exactly sure about their terms, but I think once the site is listed you are obligated to sell to the Flippa auction winner as long as it exceeds your reserve price. In my case, the buyer backed out a few days after the auction ended and he told me to go ahead and sell to someone else if I wanted to. I had already paid all of the Flippa fees, so there was no problem selling to someone outside of Flippa.

            My approach for finding a buyer is to email my contacts in the niche/industry to let them know I am interested in selling and to ask if they know of anyone who might be interested. I used to do a lot of freelance blogging so I got pretty well connected to a lot of blog owners and editors, so that helped a lot. I also emailed a few contacts that I had from companies that advertised a lot on my blog.

            From what I have seen over the last few years is that a lot of blog acquisitions are made by companies that own a network of websites (for example, a company like Splashpress Media), or by companies that want to use the blog to promote their own product. So if I were looking to sell I would look for companies that own multiple sites/blogs in the niche and contact them. I would also look for companies that have a product that would be a good fit for your audience and contact them. If they are already spending money with online advertising they may be interested in spending more now to purchase a blog that would allow them to advertise forever.

          • Thanks, Marc – I am not able to hit “reply” to your comment below, so I hope you get this. Yes, I have done what you’ve suggested below – as I thought a company could really benefit from my blog that I’m selling, but so far no takers. I think people really have to “get” SEO and why the blog is important for their acquisition.

            How do you go about finding companies that own multiple sites/blogs in the niche? Do you just find the blog, go to WHOIS – find out who it is and then see if one company shows up multiple times or is there an easier way?

            Thanks!
            Jenny

          • Marc

            Hi Jenny,
            I’m also having problems replying to your comment, so I’m actually replying to an earlier comment. In some cases I was already aware of companies that own networks of blogs so I didn’t do a ton of research. A WHOIS search would be a possibility, but you could also go to the About pages of different sites/blogs and you may find some info if their is a parent company. You could also try some Google searches for “blog network” plus the name of your industry or niche. My experience is with popular industries so it has been easier to find these networks, they may not exist in every network.

            If you’re not able to find much you may want to consider just listing it at Flippa and put the reserve at a price you are comfortable with. I would prefer to find a buyer privately, but it doesn’t always work.

            You’re right, people you are contacting will have to have some knowledge of online marketing or else they won’t see the value of buying a blog. But if you contact people that are selling digital products like ebooks, courses, etc, most of them should be pretty familiar with the benefits of owning a blog in their niche.

            Another option you could consider is using a broker. If you do a Google search to find brokers that sell websites you’ll find several. I’ve never used one because the price they would get didn’t seem to be that great for the specific sites I was looking to sell, but it might be worth looking into. An example is http://brokercorp.com/

        • Thanks, Marc! I really appreciate it – good tips. I will do more searching – the site is http://www.antioxidant-fruits.com – I have it on Flippa for 3 more months, so we will see how it goes. I would prefer a private sale, but I would also just prefer a sale =).

  • Tom

    I think you have to look at the time you put into the blog. Sometimes someone will make you a low ball offer to see if you’ll take it. If you spent a lot of time to produce a successful blog I’m sure you could get more for it. If they reject the offer then it wasn’t meant to be. But if they really want the blog, they’ll come back. What do you think.

    • Ramsay

      Yeah that is a big part of it I recon Tom. One of many important factors to consider.

  • I think you should have a plan early on with your blog about whether you are aiming for a sale after a certain amount of time. I think you will have more success with your research and writing on that basis. Either way, whether you are selling or not.

  • $100,000 – Yes, although it would be really hard to be restricted from starting another blog in that niche ever again. A year would be OK, but a “lifetime ban,” if there is such a thing, might really cause me to think about it.

    As for what my blog is worth per your estimates – around $1000, give or take, there’s no way I’d sell it for that price.

    Off the subject, a while ago you suggested that I make my subscription section of my blog more obvious. I still don’t have many email subscribers, but if you don’t count me it’d doubled since then! Thanks!

  • Interesting post Ramsay.

    You really have to consider when to sell a site, as, like you say, it could be better to keep hold of it. I really like the thought of creating a platform on which I can promote other things; be that a book, an app, membership course, etc.

    I’ve definitely had more doors open for me because of my site. I couldn’t sell it off without knowing that I had another site to continue working on.

    Plus, I always get put off by these “agreements” that don’t allow you to create something else in the same niche. It’s even worse is you sign one of these, only to see the owners ruin your old site (that’s happened to me which wasn’t nice).

    At the end of the day it’s up to the individual, but if you have spent all that time building up a site, why not utilize it and grow it further.

    …I am open to offers of $1 million though! :)

    • Ramsay

      Yeah I reckon I’d be open for offers of a million too!

      Thanks Matt. Great comment.

  • Noor

    It’s morning, and I’m on my laptop as usual.

    I just typed “most profitable blogger blogs” in my search box, and the first result I got is “What is the Most Profitable Niche in Blogging?” with a beautiful cute picture of yours.

    I immediately knew who you are. I’ve been a Viperchill reader for quite a while. But I didn’t know about your own blog till now.

    And since I already know you so well (and which is another way of saying that I’m not afraid to trust you), I was more than happy to open your page and explore your blog.

    But hey! As soon as I clicked your link, I knew I had great expectations on the back of my mind from the content of your blog, FROM YOU. And yay! I’m glad to announce that you didn’t disappoint me at all. :)

    Every step I described above is closely associated with the amazingly wonderful word “TRUST”! And I don’t know how you can measure trust with money even if it is $100K or $1000K!

    You can count on me as your occassinal reader from now on! Great to meet you this time on your own blog Ramsay! :)

    • Ramsay

      Thanks Noor! I wasn’t sure where that was going but I’m glad it was good. Appreciate the feedback.

  • Great article Ramsay.

    I’ve made a lot of money from selling websites in the past (over 200k on Flippa). In the short term, selling is always a good idea. In the long term, sometimes it isn’t. I’d probably be making a lot more money today if I hadn’t sold key websites in the past.

    But hindsight is a wonderful thing. When you sell your main business you get two things: time and money. Sure, you could outsource work in order to reduce the time you spend on your blog, but you would still have to maintain it.

    I sold a blog of mine last May for $80K. It freed up a lot of my time to work on other projects. Time I may not have had if I kept it. But it would

    So my question to you is this? If you no longer had to work on this blog and had $500k in the bank, what would you do?

    Kevin

    • Ramsay

      Hey Kev!

      Congrats on the big sales. That is very inspiring!

      In answer to your question: part of me honestly would like to live off the interest of that money in a long term deposit and do charity work in India. Some days I’m not really sure I’m in it for the love of it.

      Thoughts?

      • That’s a great idea. I’d love to start a charity once I have built (and possibly sold) a profitable business.

        Your money can go really far over there. Plus, I have no doubt you could continue to work over there if you wanted to.

        If you managed to bank most of it, you would have plenty to get you started again when you finish doing charity work.

        Kev

  • It’s a tough question. I was offered $200,000 for one of my blogs about two years ago. I turned it down and about six months later, we were slammed by the Google Penguin update.

    Should I have sold it? Perhaps. Who knows if the new owners would have come after me after the traffic dropped, though.

    It’s always a tough call when someone offers to buy your blog.

    • Ramsay

      How is your income going now? What do you think you’d get in a sale post-Panda?

  • Interesting post Ramsay.Well, this is definitely food for thought!I think you should have a plan early on with your blog about whether you are aiming for a sale after a certain amount of time.