Ok, I know we all talk about starting your own blog to make money. So what’s up with selling it? There are many reasons you might want to finally sell your site. You’ve been working on it for months or years and never seemed to crack the big money.
Maybe you lost interest in what your blog is about. Maybe you just don’t have time to work on it anymore.
For me it was that I lost interest in the site topic. We were traveling full time in an RV and I was talking about all the things you need to know when living in an RV.
The problem was, we were no longer on the road and I felt like a fraud by still talking about it. I’d lost interest in it too.
So how do you go from having a blog to selling?
Steps to selling your website
- Prepare your website. when you start looking to sell your website, you want to see how much time you actually put into the site daily, weekly, and monthly. See if you can remove yourself from the process without causing traffic and money to dip. Potential buyers love buying websites that don’t take up their whole days while still bringing money to them.
- Improve revenue. If you can, look for ways to improve revenue that your site is making. When I started looking to sell my site, it was making a couple hundred dollars a month. After improving content and some affiliate links, I was able to increase the revenue to $1289/month in eight months
- Gather all your social media and email list information. Having a following can help with the valuation. They say that the money’s in the list and that’s because you have a higher revenue if your email list is responsive to your emails and gives you a higher chance to sell to them. Make sure to gather all the information together for all your social media accounts.
- Find a selling platform. There are several platforms where you can sell your site. I’ve mentioned flippa and EmpireFlippers. There is also buysellwebsite, and digitalpoint as well. You can also choose much larger platforms if your looking to sell in the six or seven figure sites.
- List the site
- Answer buyer questions. Buyers will have a lot of questions and will do their due diligence before buying. They’re looking to make sure the site is legitimately making that much money. They also want to make sure you didn’t do any gray or black hat tactics to get the traffic up. These tactic include things like having a PBN for your traffic or buying backlinks. Any shady tactics could drop your traffic at any time if Google catches up to it.
- Be patient. You’re almost at the end of the sale. It can be frustrating and exciting all at the same time. Just try to be patient with the whole process and know you’re almost there.
You want to be strategic about selling your blog. Plan out how you’re going to sell it. To get the most out of your website, you want to have a minimum net earnings that your site is making in order to maximize the amount you get.
How I Sold My Site
The first time I tried to sell it.
It started in 2017. I’d had the site for 2 years and worked on it off and on. I knew I had lost interest in the topic so, I decided to sell it.
The problem was at the time I wanted to sell, it had just started making about $150/month. So I listed it with flippa. It’s a site that you can list websites for sell and they don’t have a minimum threshold.
I put it up for 7 days and got several interested buyers. Flippa is a true marketplace. You are doing all the selling, answering questions, and dealing with the negotiations directly.
Towards the end of the 7 days, there were a couple of bidders going to town on it. By the time it was over, my site had sold to the highest bidder for over $4700. I was pretty excited to finally be getting rid of it, but I also wondered how much more could I have made it I worked on it just a little more.
Then, the buyer flaked out and the sell fell through. This was actually great news, but I didn’t realize it at the time.
Because the sale fell through, I was determined to build my site up and either keep it or sell it later on.
So I created a plan. Build up the articles with how to’s, reviews, and guides. Work on getting traffic up and affiliate sells going.
If you’re not going to sell your own products or courses, then the two main ways to build up a site are by affiliate marketing and ads on your site.
With ads, you need a lot of traffic coming to your site.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t need as much traffic.
So I usually worked with affiliate marketing, particularly Amazon Associates.
Because they are really good at converting shoppers into buyers and it seemed pretty straightforward to showcase my favorite RV related products and share an Amazon affiliate link in exchange for a commission.
I did keyword research on easy to rank for keywords in my market. Then I wrote the articles
To research the keywords, you can use a keyword research tool to find monthly volume for a keyword. This means how many people are searching each month for that product.
If you know you’re at least getting some traffic for that keyword, then it’s a good keyword to target. Then I’d create the article about that keyword. I’d add questions, comparisons and anything I could think of to really round out that topic.
I’ll give you an example. When traveling in an RV, it’s important to have a surge protector hooked up when you’re connected to electricity. Mainly because electricity at RV parks, state or national parks tend to fluctuate and if you get a huge spike or drop in electricity while hooked up to their outlets, your whole RV electricity could fry. It could even cause a fire.
So most people in an RV are on the lookout for the best RV surge protector they can find for the money and the features. I would take that word, RV surge protector and write a whole article about it.
How to write the article
I would add the questions that people ask when their learning about them and answer all those questions in the article. Then I’d compare the top 3-5 surge protectors that would work for RVers.
After writing the article, adding images, and linking to that page from other pages on my site, I’d give it 1-3 months to see how traffic was doing. Once it was added to Google’s search results, I’d start to see traffic and clicks to my affiliate links to Amazaon.
Then they’d start buying from the article. And the great thing about Amazon Associates is, once they click on my link, if they bought ANYTHING, not just the product I recommend, then I’d get commission for all the sales.
Images to add to the articles
Make sure to add helpful images to your article. If it’s something you have around the house, then take some pictures of your setup. Before you upload the images, edit them on your computer first for the right size and save the image file with the keywords in it.
For instance, don’t upload img32165.jpg file name. Instead, make it rv_surge_protector.jpg
After you upload it to your site, make sure you add a description to the alt text area. This helps with SEO, but also it helps people who can’t see the images know what it’s about.
I had already created 2 main articles like this in February and September of the previous year and started to see results for it. Once the flippa sale fell through, I doubled down and started creating more articles for the site to do the same.
I had already started to work on the articles and started to see the results in May when my monthly jumped to $500,
From March-October 2017, I wrote about 20 articles in similar fashion. Some were affiliate pages, and others were answering RV related questions.
Since it takes a while for the articles to gain traction, I just kept writing and tracking results. Then in August, we hit the very exciting $1,000/month milestone.
Bigger site marketplaces like Empire Flippers will sell your site, but require that the site has been averaging $500/month for Amazon Associates and $1,000/month for other means in the last 6 months.
Once it hit $1,000/month, I was pretty pumped about the site, but I still had a hard time writing about that topic. This was about the same time that we finally sold our RV and so it REALLY felt out of place for me.
I don’t think you necessarily have to know everything about what your writing about, but this site had a lot of emotions tied up into it, so it was more difficult to separate the business side of it.
At the end of January, I contacted Empire Flippers to list the site for sale.
When you’re a first time seller, they charge $297 to vet your site and to make sure it’s worth what you say and to get everything ready to list for sale. After they collect all your traffic stats, proof of income, and ask a bunch of questions, they valuate your site.
With all this information and with the popularity of clean sites, they valued my site with a 26 multiple. That means the estimated value of my site was 26X my NET profit. Since I wrote all the articles and did all the work, the only monthly fees were the hosting fees for the site. My 6 month average was $1289 and my total valuation was $30,578 and they could post it the last Monday in January.
Having the Flippa experience as the only thing to go on, I figured it could take as long as a month or 3 to sell. I had a minor operation scheduled the day it went live.
I got home from the procedure in pain and sill groggy from anesthesia to a bunch of emails from the Empire Flippers team. They handle many of the questions, but when selling a site, people want to have read access to your analytics so they can verify the traffic and traffic sources.
I had to quickly add people. You also have the team bringing you the offers from the sellers and you have to decide if you want to take them or not.
The first few were wanting to finance or have more favorable terms in case the site traffic tanked. I declined since my site was solid and the sales price was lower for many sites that sell.
Then, I got an email that evening.
The Site Had Sold
Just like that, an interested buyer paid the asking price and they were working on transferring the site to him.
It was pretty crazy 24 hours and I was surprised at how fast and smooth the sale had happened.
For the next 3 weeks, the Empire Flippers team went through and handled the whole transaction process. From switching the site to his hosting account, updating all the affiliate links to his, and making sure that traffic was steady and working.
After the whole process, they new owner verified everything looked good and EmpireFlippers transferred the money to my account, less their 15% fee.
Why Not Keep the Site
I know some of you are asking, why didn’t I just keep the site. To be honest, I tried a few times to keep the site. I’d double down on my efforts to work on it. You can tell when I did that and that it paid off.
The problem was:
I was finished with the site. When I wasn’t working on it, I’d feel guilty for not working on it. When I was working on it, I was reminded of how removed we were from the lifestyle. So the best decision was to sell it.
How to Get Your Site Ready to Sell
Check traffic stats.
Even if you’re site isn’t making huge amounts of money, you can setup a plan to start creating keyword driven articles that will drive affiliate earnings to your site and start making some great money and getting your site ready to sell.
If you’re not interested in spending the time to do all that, you can still sell your site right now for a few hundred or few thousand dollars just for the age of the site and for the content that you have on it.
If you think you want to sell you can even do a quick valuation through Empire Flippers just to see what they say.
What to do after you sell
It’s a big accomplishment to sell something you’ve worked on for months or years so make sure to do at least a small celebration.
Once that’s over, give yourself some time to let all the emotions come over you. You just sold your business. A lot of times when people sell, they have regrets or moments that they wish they hadn’t. Not because they really didn’t want to, but sometimes it’s because they don’t know what to do next.
I fall a little in that category. I knew I wanted to start another site, but wasn’t sure which one. I’m still testing out the waters on what to really talk about next, but for me, I really enjoy the website business model. Where you build up a website’s traffic and following and then add affiliate links or advertising to build up revenue.
My biggest goal is to parlay my sale into a bigger business next. I learned a ton of stuff about SEO, site structure, content marketing, email marketing and so much more with that site. And I realized how much I love to talk to others about it all. So that’s what this site will be more about.