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.
Blogging Is Not What You Are Doing But What You Are Being
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Think this one through.
Blogging is what you are being. Not doing.
Blogging is not mindlessly doing stuff. Oh shoot. You realized something, didn’t you? Blogging is not building an email list. Email lists do not give you success. Nope. Clear, confident, detached bloggers who have fun building email lists and who trust in the blogging process grow big, responsive, profitable lists….over time. What does this mean?
“Over time” means you do not panic, flip out or bail on blogging, if you calmly build a list and have fun doing it, for a long time, and see the appearances of little or no growth. This is BEING a successful blogger; having fun, trusting, being patient, taking the simple, easy route, even if it feels uncomfortable after blogging and list building for a bit and seeing the illusion of scant results.
Most Bloggers Fail Because They Screw It Up
Most bloggers buy into a lie; doing specific things makes you successful. Nope. If this were the case, everybody who builds a list would be billionaires. Because they built a list, lists breed success, right? Nope. Even if you follow steps robotic-like, your energy, your emotions, your feelings, all make up your BEING. The 6 and 7 and 8 figure earners who happily take this journey are being the 6, 7 and 8 figure earners energetically, calm and confident, after having fun creating content and connecting, and seeing $4 in blogging profits after 6 months of being the person. Every other blogger panics after 1 day, 1 week or 1 month, stop being the millionaire success, do dumb stuff, begin being a broke person, and see struggle and failure until they decide to be the successful blogger again.
The Core Elements of Being a Success
- for fun
- taking the easy but uncomfortable path; do what feels natural to you, even when you slam into fear of wasting your time, fear of being criticized, fear of mental blocks, etc
- with a complete trust in yourself
- with a complete trust in the blogging process
- with a complete trust in sound, proven advice from successful bloggers
Very few bloggers be these energies persistently. Very few bloggers happily earn a pretty penny over time. Few bloggers be success. Most bloggers try to do their way to success but since they act without giving any thought to their intent, their driver, their energy, almost all of these bloggers are being broke, poor, struggling and failing.
Blogging is not robotic. If blogging was robotic, every blogger who did specific things in a certain way would succeed. But this is not true. Blogging is energy. Top bloggers use all types of different approaches to reach the top. This indicates blogging is primarily energy, your energy coloring your actions and results.
Imagine if you feel like a failure. I advise you to write a guest post for me. You tell me you are lazy, have no ideas, cannot do it, need to take a few months off, etc. I offer you an opportunity to promote your success but since you are BEING a failure and feeling like a failure you are blind to the DOINGs (generous guest posting) of a successful blogger. See what I mean? Plus, if you seize the guest posting opportunity while feeling like a complete failure, either the post quality stinks or you write a masterpiece by the odd chance, that nobody reads. Nobody read it because you are feeling/being a failure, so, you see failure results.
100% of the time, blogging is energy. Being a success means blogging your fun, doing what feels easy and natural to you, trusting in self and the process, and feeling uncomfortable along the way.
Why Does Blogging Seem Hard?
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The question of blogging questions.
Why does blogging seem hard?
Blogging in and of itself is not hard. Blogging is a concept. A blog is an inanimate object. It is neutral. It is not hard, tough or easy.
Human beings label their feelings with emotions. THIS is why blogging seems hard.
Doing the neutral activity of blogging feels scary, meaning you unearth and either resist or feel fears. Feeling the fears feels highly unpleasant. Especially if said fears feel deep, strong, and terrifying, depressing or anger-inducing.
But if you resist these deep fears, and refuse to feel them, and blog mainly from a dominant vibe of fear, you fully experience the feeling of blogging being super hard. Blogging is actually neutral but you refuse to feel deep fears that blogging has unearthed. You resisting fear leads to prolonged blogging failure, aka, not seeing much money and traffic, aka, blogging being really hard.
Real World Example
A few moments ago, I scanned one of my daily blogging income streams. I made a little less than I had been making for 1 of a billion reasons. 1 such reason may have been the internet crashing here last night. We experienced a few big, powerful thunderstorms.
Anyway, I noted the dollar amount being lower and felt fear arise in my body. Rather than resist the fear, I felt the anxiety, and my mind hurriedly racing ahead to next month’s paycheck, and then, after breathing deeply for a few moments and fully embracing the fear, I released it. I did not resist it. I felt it. The fear disappeared. I then blog from an abundant, relaxed, detached, generous energy, which helps me become more and more successful.
But the old me – and most bloggers – see a lesser dollar amount for daily earnings, feel an intense fear arise, panic, bury the fear versus feeling it, and run around like mad men and mad women with that DEEP FEAR DRIVING THEM, desperate and greedy, resisting the fear, being driven by fear, and of course, they do stupid stuff with a dominant fear energy guaranteeing their blogging failure. Then, these humans who refuse to face, embrace and feel fears, proclaim blogging to be hard. This is a lie. Blogging is neutral. But you refuse to face, embrace and release your fears, so blogging *feels* hard.
Feel fears when fears arise. Cry it out. Shout it out. Feel depressed or deflated. Do not resist fear. Then, after feeling fears, you will feel good, detached, relaxed and trusting. Feeling these dominant abundant energies, you will create, connect, trust, persist and blog from a relaxed, chill energy. Blogging from this calm, trusting, generous energy makes blogging easier and easier and easier. Money flows in easy. Traffic flows in easy.
Blogging went from hard to easy because you faced fears, felt fears, and progressively blogged from an abundant, generous, calm, detached vibe.
Tip for Feeling Fear
Engage in some energy management ritual that expands your awareness. I do deep yin yoga and power walk daily. Prayer and/or meditation may help. Breathing deeply helps. Do anything that expands your awareness so you can observe and feel fear versus resisting this destructive energy.
Some humans bury fear with busy-ness and jobs they hate. Other people turn to drugs or alcohol to bury fears. All of these folks are unhappy and depressed because you cannot feel good, abundant, relaxed and successful with oodles of fear buried deep inside of you.
Be with your fears. Be gentle with yourself. The blogger who feels and releases fear soon learns blogging gets easier and easier.
Do You Need to Respond to ALL Comments?
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One mistake holds back many bloggers who fail to scale. These folks obsess over responding to every single comment, every email, every message. Why? Pride. Obsession. Attachment to people. Fear of missing out on an opportunity. Fear of missing out on friendships.
Unfortunately, if you spend 14 hours daily responding to every single social request and chat and email and blog comment and message – even if it feels fun – you lose opportunities to scale through blog posts, guest posts, podcasts and doing interviews.
Please; if responding to virtually everything feels fun, do it. But 99% of bloggers BS themselves on this because they respond to EVERYONE from an energy of fear, pain, lack, resistance, force and hustle. Bad idea guys. Force negates. But, power attracts. Meaning if you are willing to use power, and love, and fun, to inject into your work, you quickly see: the cornerstone of massive scaling and persistent growth and freeing blogging success is writing, publishing and placing blog posts and guest posts.
Today, how do I have most fun growing my business, reaching more people, helping more people, and leveraging my blogging presence? Do I achieve these feats by spending 3 hours responding individually to every retweet, Like, blog comment, and so on, and so on? Nope. I spend those 3 hours effectively and efficiently by writing and publishing 3-6 blog posts and guest posts. Blog posts and guest posts scale. Blog posts and guest posts help me reach hundreds to thousands of targeted folks through each blog post and guest post.
Blog posts and guest posts never seem to be written by people who complain about having no time to blog post, and, guest post. Meanwhile, a hefty chunk of these humans spend 1, 2 or 3 hours responding to every Like on Facebook, from a strained, forced energy, fearing they miss out on traffic and bonds, not having fun doing it. But the wise move would be spending 10 minutes responding to comments on Facebook and maybe a few Likes, then, devoting 2-3 hours to writing and publishing blog posts and guest posts.
Think Scale Not Small Time
WAY too many bloggers play small, giving most of their attention and energy to building 1 to 1 bonds. Making friends is important but meeting new friends is even more important.
One lesson I learned from millionaire bloggers: scaling through blog posts and guest posts is the quickest way to reach more people, make more money and increase your blog traffic. Building 1 to 1 bonds by engaging commentors plays a role in succeeding online, but the top bloggers on earth are not running around, spending endless hours responding to Likes on Facebook.
Titans also build one to one bonds through engagement, but if you are not getting 1000 page views a day, something is wrong in the scaling department. Namely, you are playing it small, not thinking about scaling. Scale. Guest post. Post to your blog. Make this the focus of your day. Then, feel free to engage folks 1 to 1 in a limited time frame.
You need to let go responding to every single person all day long to genuinely scale, to reach an increasing number of folks and to do what matters most to your business.
People will buy your stuff without you engaging them. Guaranteed. Folks will find your blog, love your content and buy your course or eBooks. This is a simple, organic process that you muck up every time you believe you need to respond to and engage every single person who reaches out via all online channels.
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