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.
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);
- 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.
Sometimes, the easiest answer is the most effective ;-). Hence, I look into forums:
Sitepoint marketplace (now Flippa)
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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