Skip to content

Don’t Get Burned When Buying a Blog

[wp_campaign_1]

Are you a regular blogger? Did you start your blog from scratch and now you’re making a few hundred bucks each month? I have met quite a few bloggers that found themselves in this situation.

Yes, they’ve brought their blog to a point where there’s a consistent income, but how can they make more money? If they start a brand new blog while running their current one, they’ll have to practically devote their life to their computer screen, because it takes time to build a new brand!

The Benefits of Buying a Blog

Buying a blog is often compared to a turn-key business. You buy the company, you are given the keys, and it’s already set up to make some money for you. All you have to do is “turn the key” and open the door.

Here are the benefits of buying someone else’s blog:

  1. The site is already built – you just have to maintain the pages
  2. There are already many devoted readers
  3. The social media is all set up (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  4. The site is already registered and crawled by the major search engines
  5. It’s probably already making money with ads

Don’t Get Burned When Buying a Blog

As you can see in the points above, yes, there are some benefits to buying a blog, but it doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be a profitable move.

When buying a blog, the most important question to ask yourself is, “Are the readers attached to the personal life of the blog owner? Or, is the traffic attracted solely to the information provided?”

If the current blog owner freely tells her audience her name and talks about her daily happenings and her 3 small children, then the readers are most likely not visiting her site only for the information, they enjoy the entire experience of the blogger’s life! If you are looking to buy this blog, be very very careful.

Here’s what typically happens when a blog like this is purchased:

  1. All the property is handed over to the new owner
  2. The new owner begins blogging in the place of the old one
  3. The readers do not relate to the new owner and begin to leave
  4. Traffic numbers fall and advertisers become disinterested in doing business with you
  5. The blog is no longer worth what it once was, and its monthly revenue has plummeted.
  6. Your investment is sunk

How to Maintain the Personal Blog

Even after my bleak painting above, if you still want to purchase a blog such as this, you just need to remember one thing: keep the voice that built the blog!

To make sure that the blog continues to be successful, you need to keep the original blogger as a staff writer. Keep her voice in the blog almost as much as it was before. Also, if you don’t relate so well with the style of the original blogger, find someone that does and hire them as a staff writer! Have the original blogger continue to write for at least a year and do your best to phase them out slowly and quietly. This is by no means easy to do, but it is possible.

It’s Best to Buy the Informative Blog with No Personal Writing

If you can find a profitable blog where the readers are interested only in the information provided, you might have a gold-mine on your hands.

An example of this could be an investment blog. Every other day, the blogger writes about the current hot stocks and gives advice one what should be bought and sold. The readers don’t care about the personal life of the blogger, they just care about the accuracy of the information given. If you feel that you can provide the information, then this could be your new cash-cow, and it would be a much easier transition than the personal blog.

Have you ever thought about buying a blog? Did you ever consider the issues I outlined above?

Money Passive Income Start Your Own Blog

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

60 Comments

  1. Very true. Yes I have thought about buying a blog but I want my blog to grow first. Let’s see how the new year pans out.

    Jai

    • Good idea. Make your blog a success first, then worry about creating/buying another one. You will learn a ton along the way and it will make that second blog way easier than the first.

  2. Great Article Derek with some great tips. It sure would be hard to fill the shoes of a personal blogger if you did not keep them on as a staff writer!

    • It is incredibly difficult to fill the shoes of the original blogger! If you didn’t know, J.D., from Get Rich Slowly, sold his blog quite a few months ago, but he still is required to write for it once in a while, otherwise many of his readers would probably leave and find another blog.

      • Although I have forgotten that fact already LOL (I am not a spring chicken ya know!) I did hear that at the time he did. Thanks for the reminder and yeah talk about big shoes to fill if he did not write from time to time there! I am sure you are right and it would of lost a lot of readers.

        • I’m sure it’s still not all bad for him though. He got like, a million bucks, and he doesn’t have to spend nearly as much time on his site as he once did. Hopefully, he’s starting up a few more businesses to repeat his success!

  3. I have considered buying a blog, but I haven’t done it yet. Yes, I have considered the issues you’ve stated, although I feel like most blogs I’ve seen for sale are not so much personal in nature.

    I think these are also important considerations if you think you may want to sell your blog someday.

    • I won’t be selling my blog anytime soon, but I haven’t done a good job of making it “sellable”. I include many personal stories and love the interaction with my readers. If I ever did sell, I would still like to continue writing.

  4. I have no interest in buying a blog but sure wouldn’t mind getting some offers on mine. LOL. That would be splendid.

    • Haha! Well, considering your name is in your website name, that’s not a very good start (sorry if I burst your bubble)! I’m always up for offering cash for existing sites though – I’m stopping by right now to take a look! 🙂

  5. Funny, I was just thinking about these very pointed the other day. Very important points to consider, even when developing your own blog.

    • Yep yep. I just started a new blog, Creating A Passive Income, and have decided to keep it focused on the information for the very reason of potentially selling it later in life. It’s always good to keep the options open! 🙂

  6. Great points Derek. I have considered buying a blog but just haven’t yet because the very points you mention do concern me. I am hoping to find something informational that would transition well. This is where the patience comes in.

    • I bet you’ll find something Miss T! Just be patient and something will come your way for sure!

  7. I enjoyed this post, but it made me a little sad to think my blog will probably never sell because it’s so personal. Guess that’s why I’ve considered starting some informational sites – I’m stuck with mine forever! 😉

    • To be honest, it did make me a little sad too, but then I reminded myself how much I love blogging! Someone would probably have to flash quite a lot of cash in front of my face to get me to sell!

  8. Never considered it. I wouldn’t even know where to look for a blog that was for sale . interesting thoughts most coaches now tell you to be a personal brand but that does not take selling your business into account. martha stewart had
    trouble getting her business of the groundbecause it was associated

    • I’ve actually been looking for sites that are for sale at Flippa.com, but keep in mind that everything is for sale at the right price! I could make offers to any blog I want. Maybe they’ll say no, but that’s no big loss for me. If they say yes, then perhaps all the effort will be worth it!

      • Rich Dad always says most his real estate purchases were on places that had no FOR SALE signs out front as this is when the best deals are bought. A FOR SALE sign meant it was too late and a whole lot of competitors bidding. By contacting owners of places that met his criteria for what he was looking for, put him in a great position for a great bargain price.

        I am sure this concept could apply to lookng for “blogs” for sale too!

        • Great advice Carrie! Now that you say it, I remember reading that from Kiyosaki as well!

  9. This is great advice Derek! I just purchased a big name Christian personal finance site and my plan is to not announce the new ownership. A slight tweak to the about page and keep the voice of the author. Good to go! BTW, after making this purchase, starting a blog from scratch just doesn;t make any sense anymore!

    • Way to go Jon! I’d love to read a post about the transition – let me know if that goes up soon.

      • If you have the money, why would you start a blog from scratch? I enjoy my own brand but will never do it again, way too many 4AM nights haha.

        • Once you do one though, the second one takes 1/3 of the time to set up. It’s really not that bad. I definitely see your point about buying an existing blog though. I’m definitely a little jealous of your recent purchase! 😉

  10. I’m wondering if the process could be smoother if the old blogger was required to write about the process and sort of “ease in” the new blogger?

    I know that when I sold my FP practice, we did that. I eased in the new planner to the lives of my clients, so by the time I left, they were already used to him. That’s probably part of what Roth is required to do….while they build other voices.

    • I think you’re right AJM. I think the best way to go is to ease the original owner out of the business – whether the readers know it or not. That is why I suggested another staff writer that relates well to the blog, especially if you don’t.

  11. True! I very recently tried shopping my blog around, to fund hat it’s not sellable unless i stay as a writer. Even then, my current business model isn’t so sellable.

    Gives me some things to consider as I keep my blog, and potentially start another one later.

    I do know that when some blogs have abruptly changed hands, I almost immediately unsubscribed. I gave the new owner 1-2 posts but I just was attached to the old writer.

    Did I have anything to do with this post idea, or is it a coincidence? 😉

    • Haha! It was definitely just a coincidence. I’ve been looking to buy a few blogs, but many of them have sad domain names with a site that’s semi-popular only because of their personal flair. To me, this site is not worth much, at least not as much as they are typically asking.

  12. After having a few offers on my blog during my hiatus, I came to learn about “buying” blogs. I love the building up process, yet I think the turn key aspect would be great too. The funny thing is that I have been talking a few friends into starting a new site together. We are about 90% ready for launch.

    • Oooooo! A new site!? Can’t wait for you to share!

  13. Great post Derek. Sad, but I think you hit it on the head. The informational blogs are easier to sell than the personal ones. One is strictly data while the other is a personality!

    • Yep, and it’s tough to match a personality!

  14. Good points! Buying a blog is buying a business and you should approach it as such.

    • Yep! And sometimes it costs quite a bit of money!

  15. I haven’t thought about selling or purchasing a blog. But I can see how it could be easier to purchase one since if already has readers. I remember the first few months of my blog – I think I had about 5 readers! Thank goodness Financial Samurai started the Yakezie group. I really don’t think I could have continued with just 5 readers (though I greatly appreciated them!)

    • I think I had about 12 readers max when I was 4 or 5 months in! It was pretty sad, but things picked up!

  16. I have def thought about buying a blog and even more so just starting a new one. One thing that I think is worth mentioning is just farming out the content. Instead of building a new blog with just the sweat of your brow would it make sense to take the resources you would have used to buy the new blog to get content generated for your new blog. I’ve done a little bit of introductory research on it but if anyone has any real experience with execution I would love to hear about it 🙂

    • Good point Nunzio. Each article by itself is worth something.

  17. Yes, keep the voice that built the blog! Otherwise you could lose your readership. Also, you’re correct about going for the informative blog over the personal one.

  18. I find keeping up with one blog is time consuming…. I don’t know how others find the time!

    • I will soon find out what it’s like to run more than one blog! Starting today, I’m involved in 4! 😉

  19. For future reference (in case I ever get into empire building, most likely not selling, haha) what revenue multiple are you generally aiming at for informational type blogs?

    I don’t know if I can handle 4, but you’re definitely going to learn the ins and outs soon…

    • I planned on making the topic of “How much is a blog worth?” into a separate blog post (coming soon), but for an informational post, I think the standard is 12 months worth of income. Then the offer could go for more or less, depending on how well the site is monetized and how much room there is for growth.

  20. I have never bought a blog before, and not sure I could handle the upkeep with too many blogs, though the staff writing thing may help. Then again, you have to wonder who would sell just to stay on as a staff-writer, unless they really needed the money? What are your thoughts?

    • I have actually seen this happen many times. A blog is worth much more to an investor with the original voice, so that becomes part of the contract, to have the original owner stay on as a staff writer for at least a year. The blogger could decide not to staff write, but then they would have to sell the blog for less than half of the initial offer.

  21. I have thought about buying a blog in the opposite direction: what someone would look for if they bought my blog. So I guess in retrospect, I have thought about it. Keeping the same voice is difficult, especially when the original owner’s writing style was the pull for so many readers. Readers are fickle, and keeping a blog the same after a buyout is tough.

    • I think niche sites are probably the best kind to sell. They aren’t written with personal stories – they just provide the information that people are looking for. Blogs get a little tougher….

  22. It’s only a part of business. In my opinion, it’s too hard now to find blog that worth to buy. A lot of freelancers make blogs with crap content, buy dozens of links and try to sell it as a HQ blog.

    • I have seen quite a few bloggers attempt to build sites like that. But, on the other hand, there are quite a few quality sites that are now for sale because the owner just doesn’t have time for it anymore.

  23. Derek, what sources do you use for monitoring good blogs for sale? DigitalPoint Forum?

    • I am actually part of a personal finance blog network – and there’s always turnover – whether it be a new site or an experienced one, there’s always something there. I also check out Flippa occasionally – but there aren’t too many blogs for sale on there – mostly niche sites and high-end (and high-traffic) sites.

  24. …part of a personal finance blog network…Are you talking about Yakezie? What an average price for blogs?

    • Yep, for my particular case, I am talking about Yakezie, but there are tons of other networks out there, as well as random forums with blogs for sale. There are a wide range of prices that blogs sell for. If they are a PR0, but have some potential, they’ll most likely sell for $1,000 (that’s anywhere, not just Yakezie). If they are PR3s, then they really should be able to sell for $4,000+ (I suspect that most experienced PR3s go for around $10,000). And, I’m sure you could fill in the blanks in between.

        • Any time Alexander! Best of luck to you and all of your future projects!

  25. Why not create your own blog or even two. You can start a blog of your own for free on google just go to google blogspots. Its a lot more fun and you will learn much more about building a website instead of buying a blog that already exsists.

    • It takes a ton of time and effort to build a blog. Sometimes it’s more time-advantageous to buy one. I’d consider buying one for the right price.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related posts