The big dream for many bloggers is to someday cash out and get that illustrious “sunset money”.
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.
Do You Assume too Much?
One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.
These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.
This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.
A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.
Blogging Success Is YOUR Choice
Blogging success is your choice. Blogging failure is your choice. YOU choose. Never blame anyone or anything for your blogging failure. Everything in life begins and ends with you because life follows your thoughts and feelings. People or things may *appear* to slow you down or get in your way. But all appearances are illusions. Illusions are not real, not true. You and you alone choose to succeed based on your chosen thoughts and feelings, independent of situations or circumstances around you.
For example, I had a tough time falling to sleep last night. Didn’t pass out until after 6 AM and only slept to 9:30 AM. Tossing and turning, my mind raced with fears. I feared being exhausted and getting sick. I feared work I’d be behind on, today. I also feared simply sitting with my racing thoughts and feelings, being in bed for hours, since I lay down in bed at midnight. I could choose to lay in bed to observe the fears or I could watch Netflix. I chose to observe fears. Eventually, I chose to get up and write my first blog post of the day at 5 AM. I feared waking to work due to fatigue. But nudging into the fear allowed me to create content, positioning myself to expand my success.
I also chose to wake at 9:30 AM after limited sleep to do 20 minutes of intense Kriya yoga, to meditate for 30 minutes and to spend 30 seconds in an icy cold shower. Heck yeah I feared doing each on 3 hours of sleep. But successes CHOOSE to BE the people that succeed. Life unfolds as a series of personal choices. Either you make comfortable choices based on fear, struggle, fail and quit blogging. Or you make uncomfortable, freeing and usually fun choices based on love, leading to your blogging success. You choose. No one can choose for you. No one can wade through fear for you. No blogger can glide through the discomfort for you. This is an intimately personal experience that you need to face, embrace and live, to succeed in blogging, all based on your choices.
Check out my eBook:
I observed these cute little – actually big – guys during my 4 month trip to Savusavu, Fiji. The little dog men swooped in every night like clockwork, working the papaya trees on the front lawn on dusk. The fruit bats never missed a night; their survival depended on feasting at sundown every single evening. Develop the same attitude with your blog to guarantee success. Be like clockwork. Show up daily. Work. Shine bright in a world of blogging failures who choose to work in fits and starts before choosing to quit. Blogging feels uncomfortable but the journey gets easier success-wise by choosing to wade through scary, unpleasant periods. You have a personal choice to make: generously help people for hours daily over years to succeed online. Or choose not to, guaranteeing your failure. You choose. I believe in you. I know you can choose success. Choose not to fear burnout. Choose to be happy about your future blogging success.
How to Push Throw Blogging Goals When You Feel Burned Out
Blogging is super exciting but there are moments we feel like it’s all crumbling and nothing is moving. Having blogged for over 7 years consistently, I have experienced moments of drought a couple of times. But I’m always still able to rebuild my excitement to move on.
Burnout happens to everyone in the industry. But how to refuel your energy and continue the journey is what makes the difference. We want to point out few tips to help us continue during such moments. So this is not about how to avoid blogger burnout but what to do when it happens.
Why Blogger burnout?
Before we talk about how to keep your blog thriving during burnout, let’s quickly discuss some reasons why it happens.
The reason you blog
People blog for various reasons. Some were told that blogging is a quick path to financial freedom which is not true. If this is the reason you started blogging, you may soon burn out. The reason is that it takes time and really hard work to start seeing money from blogging.
When folks don’t see results as early as they expected at the beginning, the result is a rush into wrong conclusions as the energy fades away.
I have seen people get completely blown out of the industry because of an unexpected event that ushered huge losses and disappointments. Sometimes a hack or server crash that leads to complete loss of content or major Google update or manual action bringing massive negative search impact could get your enthusiasm completely damaged.
Successes in other areas
A friend in Nigeria whose blog got over 5000 daily readers picked a highly lucrative job in the oil industry. The next thing I heard was that he was putting his blog on sale. His motivation fully got shifted to his new job.
These and many more reasons may diminish your excitement in blogging and cause burn out. But what are some of the ways to keep your blog going during burn out?
How to keep your blog active when you are burnt out
Now, you must not allow your blogging business to die out when you do not feel like clicking on it. Your fallen passion should not mean a falling blog because there are ways to keep it alive while rebuilding your motivation.
#1. Work on rebuilding your excitement
The best way to keep your blog active is to work on your diminishing excitement. Think about the fact that you can still make it. If others are succeeding despite the odds, you too can despite what has happened.
If you think you had the wrong motivating reasons at the beginning, just get to understand the truth and adapt to it. If you had a bad experience, do not let i t roll you out.
#2. Turn to friends and guest authors for content continuation
The worst thing that will happen to your blog during burnout is to cease publishing fresh content. Fresh content is your blog’s lifeline. Editing and re-posting old content works great but that depends on the evergreen nature of the existing content.
Guest blogging is an exercise where you open up your blog to your readers to submit relevant content. With qualified guest bloggers, you can always have steady flow of content on your blog, keeping it alive when you are trying to revive your interest.
#3. Outsource or buy content from an agency
If you are burnt out, keeping your blog active is essential. That’s why I suggest you go as far as spending on relevant content. There are several ways:
- Hire someone to post and promote a certain number of articles per week
- Outsource to content agency
- Buy spontaneously from different writers
Agencies may be a bit more pricey but that would be the best way to ensure that your blog keeps getting the best content while you are absent. This is also what a lot of brands and influencers are doing when trying to get more followers on social media. No matter if you are doing marketing or content creation/promotion, make sure any content that is submitted by from external sources is plagiarism free.
#4. Edit and re-post old content
I mentioned earlier that this method works but not as effective as posting new content. If your burnout is not as a result of an impact from Google, you may consider revamping your existing content to keep your blog going.
$5. Resolve the technical issue
Don’t just fall out and abandon your business because of a hack or broken server. I understand how devastating this could be. But making an attempt at resolving any issues related to your blog may begin producing some good results that may light up your excitement and pull you out of the depression.
Avoid the cheap offers in the industry. Turn to high performance hosting and invest in your business. Do not create an opening for any bad technical experience that me lead to failure.
If you’ve not experienced blogger burnout yet, it’s good it doesn’t happen. But if it does, it should not mark the end of your blog. Following these tips to keep it alive.
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