January 6, 2010, 5:00 am

How To Buy A Blog in 3 Easy Steps

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Make Money Online
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Many of you know that my online company owns several websites and that we are continuously looking to buy good quality finance sites. As previously mentioned, we recently bought Gather Little By Little, which was, by far, our biggest investment.  Many of you sent me emails requesting more details on the transaction; how to buy a blog, how to pay the right price and what is important in a website. While I don’t currently consider myself an online money maker yet, I thought I could share some of my knowledge through a few posts about how to buy a blog.

While thinking about it, I thought of dividing this topic into 3 steps:

How To Buy A Blog Step 1: Know What You Are Looking For

How To Buy A Blog Step 2: Assess the value of a Blog

How To Buy A Blog Step 3: Integrate the community

The first step is very important as it is comparable of pouring the foundation of a house; if it’s not properly laid, your house will sooner or later fall apart.

So What Are You Looking For When Buying a Blog?

The essence of a great blog comes from the author’s passion for a topic and the ability to transmit that passion through their writing. While it is quite easy and fun to read a few blogs every morning, blogging is far from being easy. It requires a permanent effort to write about great topics in an interesting manner. But if you are looking to buy a blog, you should already know that, so I won’t delve into great detail. Just be aware that you must buy a blog about a topic that is meaningful to you.

I never look for blog that has been around for less than a year. The truth is that you will buy a blog for its intrinsic value (as you would buy a stock or invest in real estate). Things to look at before buying a blog to assess its intrinsic value (full assessment method will be discussed in step 2);

- Traffic

- Revenue

- Community size (twitter, facebook, RSS readers)

- Archived posts

- Pages indexed in search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc)

As you can see, all these factors that give value to a blog require time to build. If you are about to buy a blog that is 6 months old, not much will be established. You will have small or irraticc traffic sources, little or no revenue, a community that is barely noticeable and a few archived posts.

When you are buying a blog, you are buying time and effort more than anything else. I can create a blog and bring it to a certain level within the first 6 months. It will probably become as “big” as the ones for sale with the same age. The point is that there is not much added value when looking at a blog worth 6 months of work.

On the other side, if the blog survived for 12 months or more, it probably has a decent size and steady traffic. Then you will have a real opportunity to continue the work and enhance its growth. Remember that most blogs grew by a stroke of luck at one point or another (genius perhaps ;-D.) If you are able to buy a blog that has already been “struck”, you just made a big jump ahead.

Where to find the right blog to buy?

Sometimes, the easiest answer is the most effective ;-). Hence, I look into forums:

Sitepoint marketplace  (now Flippa)

Digitalpoint


These are my favourites. You will not only find sites for sale but a bunch of information on making money online. The only disadvantage with the forums is they are working through an auction system. It’s like bidding on Ebay, sometimes people go nuts and the boosted price doesn’t make the blog / site appealing anymore. Remember, you are not there to buy a blog you like but to make a business move.

After failing to buy an interesting blog through a bidding process (the price went too high according to my blog evaluation model), I sent emails to numerous other bloggers asking if they knew about someone with a great blog for sale. This is how I was referred to GLBL. Depending on the network you have, this could be a great way to connect with potential seller. On top of that, we felt more comfortable dealing with someone who was referred to us than participating in an auction with some dude doing code in Yugoslavia!

Warning: Before buying a blog, make sure consistent efforts were still being made in recent months. Several bloggers sell their blog because of lack of time or inspiration. The blog you buy may require more “love” than you thought at the beginning.

In my next post, I will give a better idea of how we valuate a website and what to look at when you are about to buy a blog.

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Comments

very few bloggers would sell their blogs unless the price it up in the sky. a lot of work goes into blogging and it the price does not cover it, then most bloggers would keep theirs. unless you own mint.com

by: The Financial Blogger | January 6th, 2010 (12:08 pm)

We actually bought 2 blogs and other websites as well and it went pretty well so far. Some bloggers just get tired of blogging and prefer selling than losing all their work.

Interesting article…. never even considered this concept before.

[...] The Financial Blogger: How To Buy A Blog in 3 Easy Steps [...]

Hi TFB – Can you talk about the valuations of a blog i.e. how much to pay etc?

Isn’t buying a blog all about the writer? Do you have to stipulate in the contract that the main publisher has to write a certain amount for X amount of time? B/c once the main voice leaves, then who takes charge?

by: The Financial Blogger | January 7th, 2010 (5:31 am)

Hi FS!

My next 2 posts are about how to appraise a blog.

The problem about buying a blog will always be the fact that you are buying a car without the driver. However, you also buy a domain name with search engine traffic and the previous readers will still give you a chance. However, you better be a good writer or higher one! ;-)

In order to have a smooth transition, I have asked 10 pre-written posts and I have also had the chance of keeping one of the writer.

But when you think about it, regardless if it’s a blog or not, websites are all about content. Therefore, you will need to produce quality articles for any kind of websites. This is also why I am not looking to buy a recipes sites ;-)

TFB,

I just had a quick question. Do you sign a non-compete agreement with the seller of a blog or not. Otherwise what’s to stop them from starting a similar blog and essentially “stealing” your subscribers?

DGI

by: The Financial Blogger | January 7th, 2010 (4:01 pm)

@DGI,

we actually signed a “non competing” clause so the seller doesn’t start a PF blog the next morning ;-D

great point, I forgot to mention it!

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[...] How To Buy A Blog in 3 Easy Steps. [...]

Lots of food for thought in these articles you have written and the valuations you give are similar to the figures i seen quoted before for websites. Never considered buying established blogs before but like the concept and can see a number of advantages to it over starting from scratch on the valuations you give.

by: The Financial Blogger | January 15th, 2010 (5:37 am)

@ Craig,

I think that the blog value may increase overtime once the economy comes back. But right now, I think they are pretty cheap if you look at them with a business perspective.

[...] [...]

Hey TFB,

Interesting article, thanks for posting. Never thought of blogs as commodities… Is this move something you started or is this widely practiced? I’ve only seen this mentioned on your site.

@Buck,

I would say that there are very few people who are buying blogs as a business model yet. It’s not a huge market and this is why you can make some real money if you know what you are doing.

cheers ;-)

TFB

This is a good resource. I think I just visited all of the blogs that you guys run and I must say, it’s pretty impressive. I’d like to grow my online business in the same way.

[...] and build more websites. We also decided to include an interesting side of our online business; buying and selling blogs. Over time, we are building our “online empire” and we now operate several website properties [...]

flipping is one of my favorite activities to get involved with. whether it is real estate or web properties, flipping can be very rewarding. i have not tried blog flipping, however flipping websites have been a very profitable endeavor.

don’t you think maintaining several blogs puts the pressure on your team to continue to produce content? rather than a niche site which is fairly automated thanks to seo?

by: The Financial Blogger | April 3rd, 2011 (4:18 pm)

@Sunil,

I agree with you, this is why I am going toward niche site building in order to have real passive income ;-)

Hi,
I have little doubt, if you bought this blog some 1 year back then how come the last blog owner Stew is posting articles till now ?
Would you like to clarify please ?

by: The Financial Blogger | April 8th, 2011 (7:52 am)

@Khalid,

Actually, the previous owner of Gather Little By Little was Larry and not Stew. Stew has been writing for GLBL for a few years now. Keeping him as a writer was part of our agreement.

Then, I sold GLBL in 2010 to another party. However, they kept Stew writing as well. If you look into the archive, you will find Larry’s post as well as mine (under Mike).

Cheers,

Mike.

[...] just a few years ago.  Today, many bloggers and businesspeople believe the “right” blogs are a great investment.  This means that even if you one day tire of blogging, you may be able to make a lucrative exit. [...]

[...] How I Buy Blogs [...]

[...] How to buy blog – intro [...]

[...] were lots of great materials out there, such as Mike’s (from The Financial Blogger) series on Buying Blogs. I didn’t follow all of his same steps, but they were a great resource to bounce ideas from. [...]

Interesting article. I’m convinced buying websites is a good idea. However it’s kind of hard to find good ones to buy. Flippa is overpriced and full of junk.

I commissioned 2 new websites via the Warrior Forum. One cost $100 and wasn’t bad. The other one cost $900. After 30 days the guy had managed to write 5 pages. Thank goodness I got my money refunded!