“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:
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.