I have to admit, the sale of my blog went very well and despite the emotional aspect, was pretty smooth sailing. Aside from my house, this was probably the biggest transaction that ever passed through my hands, justifying the five years of work put into building and growing a blog and community. Selling my blog was also a learning experience. I’m not quite sure what I expected when I announced I was selling, but I didn’t think it would happen so quick.
5 Lessons Learned from Selling My Blog
1. It’s Hard to Give Up a Blog
Selling a blog is like selling the family home or watching the kids go off to college. I didn’t think I would have such an emotional attachment but I do. Will I be able to watch someone else run the joint? Will I be able to butt out if I don’t like a decision that’s made? Can I bear to see someone else raise my child?
I thought long and hard before making this decision. To be honest, it took me about a year mostly because I didn’t want to hand over the keys to my kingdom to someone who might run it into the ground. The attachment is both financial and emotional. Not an easy thing to give up.
2. Not Everyone Shares My Vision
I was fortunate in that the people who bought my blog network shared a similar vision. This wasn’t the case with every potential buyer. One person wanted to turn it into a job board, one person wanted it to be a web content site and one person is someone who has publicly trashed me and my blogs several times in the past. I had to decide whether or not I could sell my blog to someone who didn’t share my vision – which I could not. I always expected the new buyer would change things up a bit and certainly do something about the cluttered design, but I didn’t expect so many suitors to want a complete change of direction. That isn’t to say I expected every buyer to be me, just surprised at how many were the anti-me.
3. Not Everyone Sees the Potential
When I put out the word that I was thinking of selling, I received over a dozen inquiries and six serious offers. Many who inquired didn’t see beyond the monthly advertising revenue, which was enough for me to make ends meet, plus pay those who blogged for me. It didn’t matter that it’s the top online community for freelance writers or that it commands the top search terms in many categories. It didn’t matter that there were over 2,000 pages of content, several thousands visitors each day and a wonderful, helpful community. For some, it was only about how much the blog network was earning now – and not what it can do in the future.
4. Amenities Sweeten a Sale
I learned that beyond a fairly decent income and rankings, there were other perks to sweeten the sale. My blog network’s Facebook fan page boasts over 3,000 members. Plus, we have a Droid App, a 1,000+ subscriber newsletter, a pay to post job board and several awards and accolades including honors from the top print magazine in the niche.
5. Everyone Will Lowball
I was warned about this, so I knew what to expect. The first offer from any potential buyer is bound to be a lowball offer. Though they hope I’ll accept the lowball offer, they also leave negotiation room. I did received advice from someone who flips web properties on a regular basis, and it was spot on. When I received an offer I felt too low, I counter offered and the party on the other end of the negotiation table didn’t balk.
I also learned a few other things from this sale. For example, the domain transer didn’t go over as smoothly as I would have hoped, and I’m seeing my name next to the word “sellout” on some freelance writing forums. Also, I learned some things are more important than accepting the highest offer .
It’s so far been an interesting and enlightening experience. I own several web properties than I’m building and growing and I’m sure those will be sold sometime in the future (though I’ll be holding on to this one for a long time.) It’s good to know what I’m getting into and what to expect.
Do you have any questions about selling a blog? If so, ask! Have you ever sold a blog? Feel free to share your experiences as well.