Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Interested in learning how to sell a blog? In today’s guest post, Sarah Nuttycombe shares how a blog was sold for $66,000 in 8 days. She shares how you make money from a blog, tips for selling websites, and more.
how to start a blog, yet few people know you can make even more money from your blog by selling it.
I’m Sarah Nuttycombe and I’m a Content Specialist with Empire Flippers, the largest curated marketplace for buying and selling online businesses. I want to let you in on the lesser-known world of blog selling and how you can earn a life-changing sum of money for your blog.
A growing number of women are entering this industry and selling their blogs for tens of thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars on our marketplace. Women are doing incredible things with their online businesses, and their journeys are some of the best case studies to learn from.
This is why I’m excited to bring you the success story of a mother and her three daughters who made $66,000 from selling their blog in just eight days.
I’ll walk you through how they did it, what you can learn from them, and introduce you to the concepts behind making money from selling your blog. If you’re feeling inspired, I’ll take you through the steps to sell your blog, so that you can begin your own success story.
Related content on how to sell a blog:
The Backstory Of How To Sell A Blog
As a heads up, you’ll see me refer to this blog as a business. That’s because they are one and the same to me. If a blog is earning money, it’s your business and it’s an asset (more on that in a bit).
The business I am going to tell you about was started by a mother and her three daughters who had a passion for natural living. Their blog was an educational resource on creating a healthy, all-natural lifestyle, focused especially on incorporating natural products into households.
Within just two weeks, it started bringing in money, and over the years, the blog grew larger than the women could ever have dreamed.
They built a social media following of 45,497, and an email list of 5,000 highly targeted subscribers. They wrote an ebook to sell to their followers, and they were soon earning a stable monthly income from the blog. To prove how powerful a side hustle can be, everything the women accomplished was done in just five hours of work a week by each family member.
Of their many achievements with this blog, what this mother-daughter team really got right was the creation of multiple income streams.
The blog earned from six different income streams: Amazon Associates, affiliate marketing for bloggers, sponsored content, a monetized email list, advertising, and info products. Let’s dig deeper into what each of these money-making streams involve:
93% of the blog’s affiliate earnings came from Amazon Associates. Most of these affiliate recommendations were for all-natural, non-toxic household products.
The remaining affiliate income was divided between Shareasale and unique affiliate programs within the healthy living niche.
Since the natural living niche was growing, the demand for sponsored content on the site was also increasing. The family added sponsored articles that matched their audience for a pricing structure of $500 for a spotlight post and $350 for a social media shoutout.
The blog avoided individual banner ads and used Mediavine to optimize their display ads. When the family added Mediavine’s in-content ads to their blog, the ad revenue increased rapidly.
With their email list of 5,000 highly targeted subscribers, newsletters were sent each week to their audience via Mailerlite, highlighting recent content releases, relevant news, and special offers with affiliate links. The blog extended its email list by offering a free e-book on natural living methods.
Seeing how much traction their free e-book was getting, the family added a paid e-book to the site describing other natural solutions to use around the house. This would be an evergreen income stream that could be upsold to their email list.
For the other budding bloggers out there, the multiple earning methods they established give you an idea of how high you can aim!
Diversifying income streams on your blog should always be your goal because, in addition to earning more money, it creates a safety net around your site.
You won’t have to worry about your income taking a hit if your biggest affiliate changes their commission structure or fret about a slow month for sponsored content if you have other ways of earning from your blog.
Income streams are just one piece of the puzzle for a well-run blog. There was also the ever-important aspect of building a following who love your content. This was the secret sauce to these women’s success, which we’ll explore next.
How the Blog Grew Its Following
It is rare for an affiliate-based business of this size to have not only an engaged following but also a true community. Over the years of running the blog, this family curated a loyal community with a genuine excitement about natural living.
Pinterest was key to growing this blog’s community and boosting its traffic. Their Pinterest page had over 45,000 followers, and proved to be the most powerful social channel for driving traffic to their blog. They participated in nine different Tailwind Tribes on natural living, which allowed them to connect with other bloggers and grow their Pinterest following.
It’s no secret that Pinterest can be a game-changer for growing traffic. Done right, Pinterest will outperform organic search in driving traffic to a blog. This can make a massive impact on smaller blogs that monetize through affiliate income.
What this particular blog got right was that they understood they were in a perfect position to do well on Pinterest. The natural living niche is active, trending, and rich in content opportunities. By using the right tools, such as Tailwind, and being involved in likeminded Pinterest communities, honing in on this platform is what helped their site blossom over the years.
So there’s something to gain here from this blog’s social media strategy. Despite having several social media channels, it was their active focus on Pinterest that brought the most traffic to their site.
Once you have identified which social media platform fits your niche and content best, invest yourself deeply in that platform. There’s no need to spread yourself thin across numerous platforms if they don’t return traffic proportional to your time investment.
Why Selling the Blog Made Sense
The blog was doing well, so you might be wondering why the family wanted to step away from it.
While it’s great to have a blog that is earning money while you sleep, life can get in the way. Perhaps other projects capture your focus, your family may need more of your attention, or you’d just like to pursue something else, plain and simple.
In the case of this family, they had another local business that was taking off and they wanted to focus their attention on it. They needed a solution that would allow them to move on while also profiting from the years of work they had put into the natural living business.
The solution they found is one that a surprising number of people don’t realize exists: selling the blog for a lump sum of cash.
One of the reasons selling your blog, your business, can be so profitable is that when you sell, you usually walk away with about 2.5 – 4 years of profit upfront. You retain all the profit you have made to date from the business, and within a relatively short period of time, you can realize an additional sum from its sale.
I can only speak from experience on the Empire Flippers marketplace, but in the past year, a content-based business (namely a blog) has typically sold within 31 days of coming onto our marketplace. However, small blogs are so attractive to buyers that it is entirely possible for one to sell within the hour.
This happens quite often because buyers are competitive when it comes to a content-based business. A well-established content-based business is always in demand, and blogs can sell for anywhere between $15,000 and well into seven figures.
Selling can provide you with the option of making even more money from your blog, especially if you have scaled the business’s profitability. This was exactly the golden ticket the family was looking for: a sale price that would reflect their hard work.
With this hope in mind, they submitted their business to our marketplace to see what they could earn by selling their blog.
The Business Sells Fast
The business drew immediate attention when it went live on the marketplace.
By the end of the first day, 15 potential buyers had put money down on the business to unlock the listing and view the business details. On the first day, one interested buyer set up a buyer-seller call to start their own due diligence – a process buyers use to see if the business is the right fit for them.
During these calls, the potential buyer meets the seller and both sides are coached by our business analysts who guide them through the negotiation process.
Other buyers soon started to ask questions about the nuts and bolts of the business and interest in the blog grew steadily. Overall, the blog had 20 potential buyers. But in the world of buying and selling, it’s the firm offer that counts – and that results in the deal.
The person who made the first buyer-seller call put down an offer on the business. The family considered the offer and then presented their own terms and conditions. Both parties settled on a deal they liked, and within eight days, the deal was closed.
The mother and her three daughters walked away with $66,000 for their blog, on top of what they had earned from it over the years. This allowed them to venture into new areas and to explore other businesses that were close to their hearts.
And so, the business passed from one family to another. The buyers were a brother-sister duo who wanted to build on the foundations of this blog and to develop it further into their own health-conscious content business.
The blog would now see another chapter in its life, while the women who created it had turned their passion into profit.
Step-by-Step Guide to Submitting Your Blog For Sale
Selling your blog can lead to life changing income and open new doors.
If you’re wondering what that process looks like, I’m happy to report it’s not as hard as you might think, especially if you’re working with a broker who can guide you throughout the deal.
In the case of Empire Flippers, we take care of some of the most difficult parts of the selling process, like verifying all the details of a website and migrating a business between owners. If you were to sell a blog with us, here’s what each step would look like:
Submitting Your Business to Vetting – When you first submit business for sale, it undergoes our proprietary vetting process. The vetting team evaluates the business, looks at its history, and makes sure everything is verified before we list it on our marketplace and assign it a value. It’s a thorough process to ensure you get a fair and accurate price for the business, and instills trust in buyers.
Marketing to Buyers – Once your business is all checked out we start to market it. We list it in front of thousands of interested buyers on our marketplace, interview you about your business on our podcast, and market your business to our email list and social media.
Deal Negotiation and Selling Your Business – When interested buyers inquire about the business, we navigate offers to connect you to the best ones. We facilitate buyer-seller communication and work with you on deal negotiations to help you structure a deal that works for you. Once the right offer is made and you accept, the business is sold.
Migrating Your Business – Migrating an online business to a new owner can be tough, and we’re the only broker who handles this critical step for sellers. During migration we handle moving over all accounts, links, and relationships to the buyer and if problems arise, we tackle them so the handover of the business goes smoothly. We also have an inspection period of two weeks so that the buyer can monitor their new business and ensure that the revenue performs as expected. Once the inspection period is complete we safely transfer the money between parties and the money from the sale is yours!
Actionable Advice For Growing Your Own Blog and Preparing to Sell it
There’s much to take away from this family’s blog and selling experience. Here are some lessons you can learn from them and actionable tips on preparing your blog for its highest valuation:
1. Advertising Can Increase Your Blog’s Value
Display ads can be a powerful way of monetizing all your informational content, and this worked really well for this family.
Display ads can improve your website’s valuation when they’re used correctly because you are adding another stream of revenue to your business and often pulling in additional income through them.
2. Personality Based Blogs Can Present Challenges
If you have a blog that is deeply linked to your identity, it can create problems in the sale process. This is mainly because a buyer will have a hard time taking over your blog if the audience is accustomed to seeing your face and hearing your distinct voice in the content.
However, this is not impossible to overcome. In the case of this family-owned blog, readers were used to reading insights from the family members. During the sale and buyer-seller negotiations, the final deal included having one of the family members contribute for a few months after the sale so that it eased the transition to the buyer. The family also agreed to introduce the buyer to the readers so that a trusting relationship could start to form.
If you have a blog that is rooted in your identity and personality and you want to sell it, the process will be easier if you move away from telling your story only and focus on creating more content with solutions and advice that are separate from your opinion.
3. Be Able to Transfer Your Income Streams
It’s great when you’re able to secure deals particular to your blog, like niche-specific sponsored content or affiliate deals that are based on relationships.
However, these can become problematic if you want to sell and realize that the same deals can’t be transferred to the new buyer. If you are making money from your blog, make sure that it is something a buyer could make money from too.
You’ll profit during the sale if you do this because you will be providing more income opportunities for the buyer – which they will have to compensate you for!
4. Know How to Communicate Growth Opportunities
If you know of something you could be doing to grow your business but don’t the time, skills, or resources to do it yourself, communicate this to potential buyers. It will show how much opportunity the business has and may prompt buyers to pay more for the opportunity to grow the business once they own it.
This family had set up a solid foundation for their blog, but they knew there was much more that they could do. They communicated to the interested buyers how the blog could be scaled up through contributing writers, ghostwriters, info products, and how-to or product demo videos (a medium through which they were seeing great traction).
By solidifying where the business could go next, buyers can clearly envision a path to success, and the deal can be closed faster.
5. Make Sure You Trust Your Marketplace and Buyer
Imagine spending years building up your blog, being excited at the prospect of selling it and making a lump sum, only to have it be ‘bought’ by a shady buyer who never intended to pay. That would be devastating.
I can’t stress enough doing your own due diligence on who you sell to or where you sell your business. Not every marketplace is vetted and has seller protection, and some are more prone to scams. When you work with a broker and a trusted marketplace, there are legal contracts to protect your business, verification of buyers, and systems in place to ensure you’re correctly paid for your business.
The choice is yours: where you decide to sell and who you sell to, but going into the process looking to protect yourself and your business ensures you won’t lose out on what you’ve built.
The Potential for Women In Online Business
At the beginning of 2020, I approached my team at Empire Flippers and told them that my goal for the year was to tell more stories about women in online business. I have seen women thriving in this space, and wanted to encourage other women that they can do it too.
While there is much to learn and to celebrate in this story of a women-owned business, what excites me most is that it is just one story among many. There are many, many women out there building businesses online and creating financial freedom for themselves and their families.
I hope the secret is out: women are doing admirable things in online business and there are even more opportunities out there for women to earn through creating, selling, and buying online businesses.
Whether you are just starting your online journey or have a million dollar blog, there’s always room to grow and improve. May the women around you serve as your inspiration!
Author Bio: Sarah joined the Marketing team at Empire Flippers as a content specialist in August 2019. Before joining Empire Flippers she spent five years as an editor and producer for documentary films, working on shoots around the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Over the years she has bounced between her native Richmond, VA, and 30+ countries for work and personal travel. Sarah is passionate about the digital nomad lifestyle so you’ll likely never find her in one place for too long.
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