February was one of the busiest months I’ve had in a long time. My big blog is showing no signs of slowing down after hitting #1 for its main keywords, and I’ve been spending a lot of time and money into growing it out into different categories.
But that wasn’t the highlight of the month. Last week, a reader of RankXL reached out to me and expressed interest in purchasing the blog and asked if he could take a look at it.
As you might know, I’m very protective of my sites. Since they’re my main source of income, I try to keep them protected and don’t reveal much about the specific niches or keywords I’m targeting.
However, the person who contacted me was someone who is quite well known online and has a reputation for buying and selling large web properties. He’s had a few purchases that are over 6 figures (that I know of) and I thought it might be at least interesting to see what offer he had in mind.
So, I decided to go ahead and reveal the site to him and let him take a look around my analytics.
After a lot of back and forths through email, he offered me $75,000 for the site.
(I did ask him out of courtesy if I can post this info, and he agreed as long as I don’t reveal his name)
$75,000 is a very big sum of cash for me, especially to get it in one payment, but I had to turn it down. It was painful, but it wasn’t the best option for me.
In February alone, the blog made just over $7000. It’s a bit down from the $8200 it made last month, but that’s not due to anything negative happening on other ends of the metrics.
In fact, traffic was a lot higher this month than the last. Traffic last month on the site was 578,827 unique visitors. This month, it brought in 779,193 unique visitors.
Adsense swings a lot depending on CPC each month. Even 2x swings on revenues even with the exact same amount of traffic are not uncommon to see. So that wasn’t something that concerned me.
Now, $75,000 is a big amount of money for anybody. And I guess the buyer was hoping it would be enough to catch my attention and hook me into a sale.
I was tempted, and I probably spent more time than I should have mulling over it and pondering on other things that I can do with it.
But I decided in the end not to sell it.
Why I Declined
So far, it’s only been 2 months since the blog took off in rankings and traffic. So it’s reasonable for him to value it around that figure because the months before that had much lower earnings.
But if I wait a little longer, the blog should be worth at least 3x that. I’ll have more months of data with high revenues, traffic is constantly growing with no signs of slowing down, and I have a bunch of content lined up for the next 2 months so it should be pretty hands off for me if I decided to step away from it for awhile.
Also, earnings this month are on the low end.
I believe that this site will make a minimum of $10,000/month in 6 months and hopefully get to at least $15,000/month by the end of the year. It’s certainly achievable judging by the rate the traffic is growing.
Would you have sold it?
Here are some points I’d like to make first before you answer that.
I don’t have a ton of experience with selling blogs like some people out there. But I can roughly estimate that with these kind of numbers and projections, I can get closer to $300,000 if I hold onto it for even a year longer. That’s 3x what I was offered.
1. The blog has extremely good links. The link profile isn’t made up of PBN links or other spammy tactics that can either get penalized or deleted. I did a lot of networking with other site owners and was able to get links on some of the biggest sites in my niche, and other related niches.
That increases the value of the site. It’s a long-term business that won’t get penalized or die off with a Google web spam update.
2. A lot of the traffic is search traffic. It’s not easy to grow a blog to this level of traffic through search, and buyers know that. It’s not like all my traffic is coming from a viral ad campaign on Facebook that can die off in a month after the ad is paused. This is long-term.
Again, that increases the value of the blog.
3. It’s extremely passive. This isn’t some service business I’m running where I have to trade my time for servicing clients. This is a 100% complete online business that runs passively whether I’m working or not.
4. Branding is well established. Probably not as big as the other factors above, but I think it’s important. My blog isn’t a spammy site with a keywordkeywordkeyword.com domain name. It has a very catchy branded domain and I spent a LOT of time on designing it. I probably spent too much time on design, but it does look really pretty.
All these factors should allow me to sell the blog at a multiple that’s higher than the average you see on marketplaces like Flippa. The average selling price for a blog there is around 10-20x monthly earnings.
With this site, I think I can get a valuation in the range of 20-30x.
If you consider the revenues from the last 2 months, $75,000 is only at around 10x monthly earnings.
Now do you think I should have taken the $75,000?
I hope I’ve convinced you it was the smart move to turn it down. It certainly took me some time to convince myself 🙂
Do I have plans for selling it?
Not really at the moment.
This blog has taken my online income to a new level. It now makes up for close to 70% of my current monthly income, which is why I spend so much time on it.
If I sell it off, my business would drop to about $3K per month. It’s a big difference.
Obviously, the game changes if I can get it to a point where I can sell it for multiple 6 figures.
But that’s not the case right now.
February’s Income Report
Okay, so now on to the income report.
Here’s the total income numbers for the month of February.
Blogging Income: $11,541.86
Last Month: $13,939.47
February was a new record for traffic to the big niche site, but earnings did drop a bit.
It’s not something that I’m really concerned about, though. What matters is that the site is growing.
The purchased site
I stated in my previous update that I recently purchased a competitor’s blog in the same niche through a private deal. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get anything done to the blog that I had planned.
I have a complete re-design of the site, fix-up of the on-site SEO, and addition of new content and page structure planned and ready to go. All I need to do is do it, but I just didn’t have the time to get to it.
This month I’ll get to work on that. It should grow very quickly once it’s up so I need to hurry up and get that new re-design launched.
What will I do in March – Deciding on my next project
I’ve expanded my blog into 2 additional categories. They’re big categories with some pretty juicy keywords so I’ll be focusing on that for now.
I have close to 50 posts scheduled for the next month. These are all completed and ready to publish. Some could make the point that there’s no need to schedule content and it’s better to just release them all at once and get them indexed.
But I prefer keeping my blog frequently updated (I have a lot of return visitors), rather than bomb it with 50 new posts at once.
So, I’m going to take some time off from that blog for awhile. I’ve worked tirelessly on it in February so I really want to work on something new.
I have 2 things in mind, and I’m not sure which one to start yet.
1. Build, Rank, Sell Strategy
The offer to buy my blog opened my eyes a bit. I did a lot of researching into site flipping after turning down the offer.
The first option is to experiment with the whole build, rank, and sell strategy of niche sites. Speaking with a few other marketers, I think it’s possible to get close to 20x monthly earnings these days if it’s a quality site.
At the moment, I have more interest in build, rank, and sell rather than buy and sell.
I’ve never built websites before solely with the intention of selling them later on. It’s always been to steadily increase my monthly income.
I’m still working out the numbers to see if it will even be worth my time but I’m thinking of starting 2 to 3 new blogs, ranking them, then selling them in a short period of time for a multiple of close to 20x monthly revenue.
The only way this can work, though, is if the whole process is systemized so that I can repeat it for multiple blogs at a time.
2. Viral site
I recently had the opportunity to work with a very big viral site. I’m not allowed to reveal its name since I signed an NDA, but you may have heard of them or seen them in your Facebook feed one time or another.
If you’re not familiar with viral sites, look at sites like ViralNova, Buzzfeed, and Upworthy. They’re sites that try to create viral posts using catchy headlines.
The site I worked with wasn’t one of those, but they’re getting 25 million visitors a month, which is insane. Going through their analytics was mind blowing.
The systems they have in place, and the metrics they pay attention to opened my eyes in a whole different way of looking at Facebook ads.
I’ve never really considered starting one of these sites since it’s a pretty big investment of both time and money. But getting a backstage view of a successful viral website got me pretty excited at the possibilities.
I’m still deciding which one I want to work on. I think the viral site has a lot more potential to go big, and it will be more fun to work on. But it requires a lot more of my time and more money to run.
On the other hand, the blog building and selling project is much more passive. But it’s also kind of boring. I won’t see millions of visitors going to these sites like I can with the viral project, and it’ll be pretty much what I’ve already been doing.
I kind of want to start something new.