The big dream for many bloggers is to someday cash out and get that illustrious “sunset money”.
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Here’s the thing though:
You won’t have much luck selling your blog if the buyer can’t see themselves able to run the show. So it’s up to you to make sure that they can slide right in.
This means we need to be mindful of how we setup our business from day 1.
The key word in there is “business”. So we really need to start thinking of our blogs in this way.
After selling many sites with our company, Human Proof Designs, it’s been crucial to understand the following guidelines if you want to create a sellable blog.
1) Choose a Topic That’s Easily Outsourced
Now this first point might seem controversial and may even come across like we don’t care about the target audience.
But it’s completely the opposite. This is actually careful consideration for your audience and also for your business.
Blogs that are attractive to investors (and we work with many) are usually within a topic that’s easy to find writers for.
Managing writers is no walk in the park and sometimes your best writers might go “missing”.
As publishers and investors, you don’t want to set yourself up for some pain because hiring isn’t particularly fun for anyone and costs more money.
If you’re a long-time blogger and everything is personal to the topics in your life, it’s simply not going to be something you can transfer to a buyer.
This also means that you’d want to avoid using your name as the brand/domain name.
2) Publish Content That’s Not Only Attributed To a Single Person
Often times, there’s nothing more attractive to a buyer than a site with multiple contributors.
It means there’s most likely a schedule set in place and if one writer leaves, then the slack can be picked up by the rest of the team.
Some other solutions to this issue might be to create a persona or pen name and have different writers contributing as that persona.
All in all, we want something that is stable and a diverse writing team makes it easier for that to happen.
If you’d like to test this out, we have multiple writers working on our own properties and those of our clients. You can find more information here.
3) Keep Track of Your Finances From The Beginning
When a buyer is interested in your site, you’ll need to hand over your financials too.
Being a good business person requires being fiscally responsible too.
If you have no writing costs currently because you’re doing all of that yourself, you still have hosting costs, domain registrations, etc to be mindful of recording.
Most buyers want to see 2 years of financials, but honestly, there are plenty of sites with less history that still get purchased.
The majority of the time, an investor may make a decision based on 1 year worth of history.
The important thing is that you’re keeping track of them so why not do that from day one.
How much profit can your blog have if you don’t know your revenue and expenses – right?
4) Build a List!
“The money’s in the list!”
Yup, I’ve just repeated one of the most overused sayings in the internet marketing world.
However, it’s true… So that’s why people say it.
An email list is known as your owned media.
Having an email list of people that are interested in one common topic is extremely valuable.
Not only can you send them emails (with sponsorships even), but you can upload the list into Facebook’s ad platform and create a custom audiences or look-a-like audiences.
If you continue to provide value to your list plus your open plus click-through rates are very high, that in itself is a very high margin business too.
Just look at HARO’s business model.
5) Have Standard Operating Processes (SOPs)
If you’ve ever listened to any of the Tropical MBA podcast episodes, they always mention SOPs because it was very important throughout their business but also when they sold it.
There isn’t much that’s more useful to a business owner than plug and play processes.
Now they can hire nearly anyone and with a reasonable amount of confidence know that the job will get done correctly because of these processes.
Not only is it beneficial to website buyers in the future, but it’ll make your life as the owner easier starting today.
We’ve built tons of these internal documents for our team. Currently we’re at 152 freelancers that are working on our own sites and those of our clients.
6) Create More Than 1 Significant Traffic Source
Our methodology, that we call “the human proof method”, is based mostly on gaining site visitors through organic Google traffic.
While this our usual strategy, we know and understand that secondary properties can be extremely valuable in the sale of a site too.
These are things like Youtube channels, Facebook groups, Pinterest accounts, etc.
High organic traffic is very attractive to buyers but so is diversification.
If you can work on carving out a secondary traffic source that brings 20% or more of your total traffic, then you’ll be setting yourself up nicely for an attractive sale.
7) Monetize Through Multiple Income Streams
Just like traffic diversification, it helps to earn income from multiple sources too.
In might even be more important than the traffic.
For example, a buyer might notice that all of your traffic comes from Pinterest with only a minimal amount coming from organic.
If the price is right then this is considered a “good deal” for them.
Because the investor would see a clear way to increase the value of the property immediately by implementing an organic strategy.
On the other hand:
You as the site owner currently want to command the highest multiple.
And usually what creates a higher multiple are things like income diversification.
Even moving away from Adsense and into other ad networks can significantly increase your revenue with just some code (see our RPM’s in this picture):
In additional to affiliate commissions and advertisement revenue, having your own product is also highly valuable.
Even an ebook that’s composed of your best content around a certain problem is something people will pay for and it’s a high margin digital product.
Let’s go over a real life scenario:
One of our investors has a site in the health niche. Much of that content is information and helps people in “how to” guides…
But a lot of it is through our reviews of physical products. Which we generally link to Amazon for.
Now the unique situation here is that the product we recommend the most, just happens to be owned by our investor as well.
This means that we can a commission from Amazon when someone makes a purchase through our link, but also get a double-whammy because the product they bought is also ours.
How To Setup Your Blog This Way
I’m guessing that you might be in one of two tracks:
- You’ve got a personal blog that is hard to transition.
- Your blog is similar to what we talked to earlier, but missing a few key aspects.
If you’re in the second track and your site is almost too focused in a very narrow niche, here’s some advice for you.
For those in the first track, we could help you out with our early bird niche site emails.
These emails come every 2 weeks and contain a list of new niches that we’ve pre-researched from an SEO perspective and would consider worth paying attention to.
If you have any other questions, let’s start a conversation in the comments!
This article was written by Kelvin Mah, who is head of growth and content at Human Proof Designs (HPD), the #1 source for affiliate marketers to learn, grow, and push their sites even further. When Kelvin isn’t executing on the online tactics necessary to grow HPD, he’s hanging out with his dog and growing his own portfolio of sites.
1 Mental Block that Plagued Every Blogger Who Ever Blogged
Unless you are the Dalai Lama, you, at one time or another, became highly attached to a single blog post. I do not care who you are. 8 figure bloggers allowed their fears to attach them to a blog post. 8 cent bloggers allowed fear to attach them to blog posts.
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Now, the happiest, most successful bloggers face, hug and release this fear, for sure. But every blogger allowed fear to goad them to TRY LIKE HELL to drive traffic or profits to a single blog post. Or, being human and foolish, we allow fear-attachment to goad us into thinking that publishing a guest post on a blog with a million member community instantly leads to millions of dollars in blogging profits.
I recall being featured on Virgin Dot Com. Floored and humbled, for sure, but I was kinda detached about the feature, being more grounded in love and gratitude, and less fear-attached to any single platform, post or opportunity.
Happy, successful bloggers own this fear-attachment, let it go and adopt an abundance mentality. While most bloggers publish a single post and try to SQUEEZE as much out of it as possible, due to fear and attachment, I developed an abundance mentality and published 700 posts on Blogging Tips Dot Com. Heck; I have published 70 guest posts on the blog of Enstine Muki. For most bloggers, publishing 70 guest posts in total is quite a feat. I published 770 guest posts….between 2 blogs alone.
How am I so prolific?
I have largely conquered the fear of trying to GET as much traffic and profits as possible through any single blog post. I blog from an energy of love, fun and abundance, mainly, not fear, tension and scarcity. Few bloggers have mastered this mindset; only the happiest, most detached bloggers become so prolific, it makes our heads spin.
You Are Human
Of course you become a little attached to any one blog post. This is not a problem. But you need to be honest; the attachment is fear, and as the attachment and fear grow, you move from abundance and worldly success, to scarcity and blogging struggle.
A Good Mindset for Abundance Mentality
Alonzo Pichardo wisely advises to publish content, and let it do what it does. I agree. I never check metrics. Genuinely; if blogging is energy and if I am having fun, I reached my goal. Increasing success is imminent. I trust my feelings, not inanimate numbers on a screen. This is the abundance mentality in action.
Why this Mindset Prospers
I appear to be in a million places at once because I never attachment to any one post or video. Per Alonzo, I let the content do what it does. Not being shackled by stats, I keep creating, expand my presence, appear to be all over, and see greater success. Meanwhile, most fear-scarcity bloggers write a single post and waste their time and energy:
- trying to GET as much as possible through it, promoting it in thousands of places over the next 30 days
- obsessively checking post metrics every few minutes, or, every hour, after publishing the post
- panicking and bailing on proven strategies when a single post does not meet their expectations
All while this crowd makes all these mistakes, I am publishing hundreds of pieces of content over the same month, and also, meeting tons of new bloggers through genuine blog commenting, enjoying the ride.
Publish a post, promote it in a few spots, then move on to the next post, video or blog comment.
Develop an abundance mindset.
See increased blogging success and enjoy the ride.
5 Lessons Learned from Publishing 700 Posts on Blogging Tips
We have hit 700 posts on Blogging Tips together, guys.
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Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing these posts.
I took a few mini vacations from writing but published 1 guest post daily on this rocking site for many months on end. Helping you has been fun, freeing and fulfilling. Here is to the next 700 blog posts.
I learned a few clear blogging lessons during this guest posting run. Rather than call myself “The Cal Ripken of Guest Posting” – feel free to use that – I reckon we’ll dive into the success tips.
1: Avoid Setting Goals
I never could have written 700 posts if I TRIED to write 700 posts. Sounds quite impossible. But holding an intent to help people blog goaded me to show up daily, for writing and publishing. Blogging is simple but highly uncomfortable sometimes. Focus on the process, not goals or outcomes, to have fun helping people, to detach from outcomes and to become highly prolific.
2: Follow Your Fun
I have fun blogging about blogging. I make room for fun daily. 700 posts later, I am just getting started.
Follow your fun. Make work, the reward. All else will feel like extra, meaning post frequency and traffic and profits feel like no big deal if you blog mainly to have fun helping people. Fun-loving bloggers keep on creating and connecting their way to greatness. Everybody else struggles, getting bogged down, struggling and quitting because they do not enjoy the ride.
3: Spot Reader Problems
Writing and publishing 700 posts on a single blog – I published 1,400 plus posts on Blogging From Paradise in addition to hundreds of guest posts on other blogs – requires you to be skilled at spotting reader problems. Blog post = problem solved. Expand your awareness. Instead of running around rough shod all day long, devote time and energy to identifying common problems suffered by your readers. Nailing down problems supplies you with an endless flow of blog post ideas, helping you become prolific.
Moss Clement does a sensational job in this regard, which makes him incredibly prolific.
4: Brand Yourself Clearly
Zac Johnson recently noted how much he loved my travel photos. Folks have been enjoying my eBooks and paperbacks, sales increasing no doubt because I brand my paperbacks and eBooks freely through images I use on Blogging Tips
Never ignore opportunities to brand yourself and your blog clearly.
Many years ago I rarely if ever worked my travel photos into my guest posts on this blog. These days, every featured image consists of travel photos of me, or, travel photos of my paperback, sitting in some exotic location like here in Ortahisar, Turkey.
Be you. Brand you. Brand yourself clearly to boost sales and to increase your blogging success.
5: Nudge Out of Your Comfort Zone
I do feel pretty good but tired now. At 1:45 PM Turkey time. I have worked for about 3 hours, have walked the dogs for 2 hours and feel ready for a nap, after the rare late night out, being up until 2:30 AM last night. But I nudge out of my comfort zone to write and publish this guest post. Do you believe I felt comfortable writing and publishing 700 guest posts on one blog alone over the prior 3 years? Of course not.
Success unfolds exponentially outside of your comfort zone.
All traffic, profits, comments, social shares and heck, any success, expands quickly as you nudge out of your comfort zone daily. Many days, I feared I’d not have enough time to write and publish a post on Blogging Tips. 1 short week ago I spent nearly 20 hours offline, as I traveled from Oman to Turkey during my birthday. I still managed to write a Blogging Tips post on waking the following day; all about doing fun, freeing but sometimes uncomfortable things to accelerate your blogging success.
Adopt this mindset: 1 day at a time, and 1 moment at a time. Seemingly jaw-dropping feats unfold 1 moment at a time.
3 Gateway Activities Leading to Increased Blogging Income
Most bloggers crave a blogging income boost.
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Some bloggers have yet to make a penny. Other bloggers want to take it up a few levels from their current full time income.
Foolishly, most bloggers focus their attention and energy on an income stream itself to increase blogging income. Can an advertisement make money? No. Ads are inanimate objects. Ads cannot do anything. Skilled bloggers who publish helpful content and build strong bonds make money through ads, but the ads themselves, are completely worthless.
Stop focusing on trying to make money via a specific income stream itself. People obsess over Google Adsense, affiliate marketing and other ways to make money, for increased blogging income, never realizing that the blogger makes the money, not the income stream. Stop obsessing over income and focus on simple, generous activities that lead the way to increased blogging profits. Think of a bridge, linking you to greater blogging profits. You cross the bridge through your commitment to these activities.
Specific gateway activities lead to blogging income. If you want to make more money through blogging, focus on these 3 strategies.
1: Comment Genuinely on Blogs
I commented genuinely on Blogging Tips for weeks. Zac invited me to guest post on this blog. I published nearly 700 guest posts here, boosting my blogging profits through this rocking guest posting gig. Blog commenting served as the gateway activity that bridged me to my increased blogging income. I did not get paid to comment, but genuine comments opened the door for guest posting, and guest posting increased my blogging profits.
Publish genuine, personalized comments on top blogs from your niche. Make friends. Observe how opportunities for prospering multiply around you, through both blog commenting and the bonds you build via this gateway activity.
2: Promote other Bloggers on Your Blog
Guys; this is such an easy gateway activity for boosting your blogging profits. Promote other bloggers on your blog. Look for nothing in return. Be generous. Be genuine. Be helpful.
Photo break; here I am enjoying lunch the other day in Turkey.
How it works: promote other bloggers on your blog via a link and mention. Over time, and through persistent promotion, some of these bloggers befriend you. Blogging buddies:
- promote you
- endorse you
- purchase your products
- hire you
all leading to increased blogging profits.
This is by far the easiest gateway activity for profiting IF you generously, patiently, persistently and genuinely promote other bloggers on your blog, expecting nothing in return.
If you are a travel blogger, promote The Roaming Renegades today. This duo publishes helpful content and engages freely via social media.
3: Practice Writing
Weird, right? Writing is the #1 skill for increasing your blogging income, yet few bloggers practice writing offline, only writing when publishing posts. Bad idea. Advertisers, prospective customers and potential clients need to see that you write skillfully before paying for advertising or investing in your products and services.
Write persistently offline to shine online. Write 500 to 1000 words daily in a Word document. Practice your writing to engage in a critical gateway activity guaranteed to increase your blogging income. Plus, you will stand out from the masses of bloggers who never practice writing offline.
Blogging is simple but sometimes, uncomfortable. See the journey through by focusing on these core activities. Income does not increase by trying to boost your blogging income through channels, forcing cash out of these streams. Blogging income increases for generous, skilled, committed bloggers who give much of their attention and energy to these core, gateway activities.
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