So last month I sold one of my blogs for four figures. This was the first big-ish sale of a blog that I’ve made, and I came away from the experience a little wiser. Here’s what I learned.
(And 4 figures might not be earth-shattering, but it’s the most I’ve ever sold a blog for.)
1. Transferring most things was easy, but…
… not everything went smoothly. Here are the things we were able to transfer easily and without a hitch:
- The Feedburner feed
- The Twitter account
- The YouTube account
- The Gmail account (I create a new Gmail account for each new blog I create.)
- The Facebook page
- The email newsletter (I was using AWeber and the person I transfered the blog to is using MailChimp. I exported the list as a CSV document and the other person was able to upload it easily.)
For many of those it was as easy as changing the password and giving the password to the site’s new owner, who I assume has changed the password since.
The domain name transfer wasn’t too terribly difficult but was made more so by the antiquated documentation by the relics that are domain registrars.
Things that we couldn’t transfer?
- The Google Analytics profile for that blog. The blog’s Google Analytics profile was on my personal Google account and not on the new one I made when I started the blog. My mistake.
- The Amazon Associates tracking IDs for the blog. You can’t transfer Amazon affiliate IDs, though there’s apparently a way to change all of them on your WordPress blog.
2. Migrating a blog sucks, but…
…I found a plugin that makes it a LOT easier.
Before I sold the blog, I knew that migrating a blog sucked because I’ve switched web hosts before and had to migrate all of my blogs then. And it still sucked this time, but the WordPress plugin Backup Buddy (not an affiliate link because I’m too lazy to join their affiliate program) made it a lot easier. I saw it mentioned in a Zen Habits blog post, and I bought it right then. It’s a blog backup and migration plugin. You install the plugin and then can backup everything—posts, images, databases, WordPress files, plugins—with one click. You can also have it automatically backup your site and send the backup file to Dropbox. You don’t even need to have WordPress installed on the new host that you’re migrating it to. Backup Buddy backs up EV. RY. THING. Pretty slick.
It’s not a cheap plugin—a licence for two blogs costs $75 and the developer licence, which I bought, is $150—but it was definitely worth it. Plus I did a Google search for a coupon code before I purchased the plugin and was able to get an additional 30% off.
There are a few plugins that are free that are supposed to do something similar, but I’ve never had very good experiences with those. I’ve a very satisfied Backup Buddy customer, and I recommend it for anyone migrating a blog to a different host or different hosting account.
3. Selling a blog isn’t easy, but…
…it’s a lot easier if it’s making money. In this case, the blog sold for about 10x the current monthly revenue. The person approached me and asked how much I wanted for the site. I asked the purchaser to make an offer. It was 10x the revenue amount and I thought it was fare, so I accepted.
I remember seeing a particular Flippa auction about six or so months ago. (For those who don’t know, Flippa is an online marketplace for websites.) The auction was for a website that made zero money, but the person was asking for $500. Come on. That’s like trying to sell an old car that doesn’t run for $5,000.
If your blog is making money, someone will buy it if your asking price isn’t ridiculous.
4. I could have gotten more money if…
…I’d been paying more attention to the site over the previous 6 months or so. I had done zero promotion for the site and updated it only grudgingly. The blog was only a year old and I had been a largely negligent father for half of its life. If I’d sold it at its peak, I could have gotten probably 2.5x the amount I got for it. But hey, all’s well that ends well.
So overall, there were some sticky points in the transfer process, but I’m happy with the way it went. The vast majority of the process was done in one day. I was able to get rid of a site I wasn’t interested in anymore and make some money from it. The site now has a new owner and a new lease on life.
Feel free to ask if you have any questions regarding the sales process, and chime in if you have any more tips for selling a blog.
As always, I’m on Twitter.