There are a number of reasons you may be looking to sell your blog. Maybe you’ve bored of the topic. Maybe your life is changing directions, and you could use the extra cash. Maybe your intentions all along were to flip your website.
I have started more blogs over the years than I care to mention. I believe there are only two I had let expire when they came up for renewal. The rest I found a way to sell whether that be the domain alone or the entire site. The smaller sites and domains were pretty simple and straightforward. This past year, however, were my first considerable sales. I learned a lot, to say the least!
Here are a few of my tips for preparing yourself and your blog for sale.
Know Your Numbers
Most buyers are looking for already profitable sites. They want to know how your blog has performed over time, not just last month. In my cases, I needed to produce 12 months of income, expenses, and traffic. Those income reports need to be broken down into individual merchant programs if you are an affiliate. The traffic reports will need to detail where traffic is coming from and why. Your buyer will want to pick up right where you are leaving off without any loss of income or traffic if possible.
You will also need to back up these claims. Your buyer will likely want access to your Analytics and AdSense reports. You may also need to produce payment reports from any affiliate networks you use. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with these reports and start tracking your traffic and income, if you aren’t already.
Know What You Are Selling
There are things you expect to give up when selling you blog like the domain and content on the site, but your buyer is probably going to expect social media profiles and newsletter lists used for promotion as well. They will want email addresses used for corresponding with advertisers. They may want any content upgrades you used to build your list or info products you sell on the site. They may even want you to transfer any affiliate accounts you used to generate income to them (the ability to do this varies from network to network). If you have several blogs that you have promoted under a single social media umbrella, this can cause confusion.
Discuss upfront what will and will not be included in the sale. And don’t be surprised if your buyer wants access to you for a month or two after the sale to answer questions or provide guidance if needed. Here too, set in stone a stop date.
Know How You Are Selling
You have a lot of options for marketing and selling a blog. For my domains, I’ve always used GoDaddy Auctions. As long as you are both customers, they take care of transferring the domains for you.
Flippa is a popular option for many though I would use caution. A lot of the buyers are newcomers looking for something good for not a lot of cash. Don’t cut yourself short. And make sure you use Escrow.com for handling the transfer of money if it’s a substantial amount.
One site I owned was not creating a full-time income by any means, but I felt it was a good starting point for someone ready to take it to another level. I opted to go with a broker for this sale. Brokers have access to a pool of buyers that are ready to spend good cash on good sites (many website brokerages only take sites generating $500 or more per month). Many of their buyers have done this several times. They know the process which can be helpful if you are new. My broker posted my asking price as three years worth of the current revenue, and I ended up selling for around two.
When researching brokerages, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Most will want exclusivity of your listing for 90 days or longer. Ask their closing rates. Find out their commission. Find out what assistance they offer. Some brokerages will do the website transfer for you while with others that is up to you and your buyer to arrange. (If planning things in advance, consider getting a separate hosting plan – at minimum – for the blog you want to sell. You can then simply transfer ownership of the account to them and make it easier on everyone.)
Know Why You Are Selling Your Blog
I’ve saved the best for last. Why are you selling? Even with sites that you have stopped posting to and constantly think, “I’m so over this topic,” you are going to find yourself emotionally attached. It’s going to hurt to hand over the keys to someone new. You’re always going to wonder what it could have been or how much it’s earning now. Know your motivations. It took a lot of work to build up that blog, and it will take a lot of work to replace it. Are you ready for that?
You should also be aware that your sale may not be immediate. As stated previously, most brokers will want your listing for a minimum of 60-90 days. Even after you sell, the transfer and release of funds may take a week or so. This is a process best considered in advance.