“Blog flipping” refers to the practice of creating and/or buying blogs for the purpose of selling them at a profit.
Recently, I took a huge leap, and sold my personal blog that I have been working on for the past 10 years. I want to share with you how I made the decision to do that, things I wish I had known ahead of time, and details of the process. It’s a worthwhile endeavor if it’s something that you are interested in!
What I Wish I Had Known
Since I recently sold a blog that I had been growing for a decade, let’s start with what I learned from that process, and what I wish I had done to make the process easier.
These are things I wish I had known and done for the past 10 years, not just right before I sold. If you have a blog that you might sell, or are interested in blog flipping, keep these things in mind – from the very beginning, if possible!
For blog flipping, keep it simple
First, think about your blog’s content and assets. Go over:
- the opt-ins that you have
- your lead magnets
- your free offers
- all the forms you have on your site
- platforms you’re using to create forms
- courses that you sell
- tools that you use/have used in the past
- your affiliate networks and connections
For Alison’s Notebook, the ten-year-old blog, that I recently sold, that blog grew up with me in my career. So, over the years, it’s been through several different iterations.
As years went by, I learned and discovered new tools over the years, and I implemented those tools without going back to update previous content. Once I realized that I was going to sell the blog, I had to clean a lot of that up and simplify it. That way, I knew exactly how to explain it and pass it off to someone totally new.
So when you’re setting up your blog, I would really try to keep things very simple and streamlined. Here are a few ways to do that.
Landing pages and forms
Especially for blog flipping, keep your hosting solution simple and uniform. For example, don’t use Leadpages sometimes for your lead magnet forms, and then use Elementor other times. Be consistent.
Be cautious about using Leadpages, ClickFunnels, or another third-party host for your lead magnets. If somebody else ever wants to use another tool, or if you change your mind, you could end up with a bunch of broken links in the future.
When I knew I was going to sell the blog, I made sure to change all the opt-ins to be hosted on my WordPress site, so that none of those would be broken in the future.
Courses are different, because you can always give buyers the new login, but landing pages are a challenge because you can have organic landing pages off in the ethers of the internet. They can be hard to track down.
Email service providers
The other thing I wish I had done differently is keep separate tools for separate websites.
When you have multiple brands, sometimes it makes good sense to keep all of your brands in the same tool. For example, my email marketing tool is ActiveCampaign. Because I’ve been using that tool for a long time, I had several brands inside if it.
If I had instead been willing to pay for a new subscription for every individual brand that I had, it would have been a lot easier during the sale because I could have just given the buyer the login. Instead, I had to share the automations.
Being able to just give a buyer your login is not necessarily the expectation for a sale, but for the blogs that I’m building now to sell in the future, I am making sure they’re totally separated.
I’m willing to pay that monthly subscription, because I would rather just give the buyer the login. I think it makes it a smoother sale, and it might even add value to the sale just by having that much less friction.
Social media for blog flipping
Make sure that your social media is also easy to separate.
There were two problems with my blog sale, and I was very open about them with the buyer – and it did have an impact on the sale price.
First, the Facebook ad account for the blog was tied to a personal payment method, and I was not able to change that. So, I was not able to give the buyer my ad account, and he will have to start from scratch for that.
Second, a lot of social media accounts will have you use your phone number as a secondary way to log in. If you decide that you’re going to sell the blog, then you’ll have to remove your phone number as a secondary login. That process was far more tedious than I expected.
For the most part, your affiliate accounts can simply be transferred over to the new buyer without much fuss, as long as you aren’t using the same account for different blogs and businesses.
Be decisive about tools and connections
Make sure that you’re really clear on what lead magnets are leading to what trip wires, and what trip wires are leading to what offers. Be aware of what email campaigns are really successful.
That will help you in the beginning to be really decisive about the tools that you’re using. Then, when you create a lead magnet, stay clear on what ties to what. Keep documentation on how everything is connected, so you don’t forget.
I know when your blog is new, you might feel like, “I’m not going to forget, it’s my blog.” But as the years go by and you do new things and you hire new people, things are going to get messy. Having all that documented would have been helpful.
When should you think about selling your blog?
My decision to sell my own blog was primarily based on two factors.
Number one: waning interest.
At the time, I had started two other businesses. I don’t recommend having that many businesses going at once, especially if you want to keep your life simple – and I want to keep things really simple, both in my life and in my business.
I lost interest in the topics that drove Alison’s Notebook. In addition, my life was beginning to feel chaotic, and I asked myself:
- what brings me joy?
- what feels fun?
- what’s bringing in money?
- what feels the easiest?
Those questions were on my mind, when at a conference, I heard another business owner processing his own decision to let go of a side business. It turned out that, for him, the side business was making money, but he had lost interest in it, and it had become a time and energy drain.
That is what inspired my decision to sell the blog.
It’s hard to let a business go that you created from the ground up, that’s been serving you and serving your audience for many years. It’s difficult to make those kinds of decisions.
But as I sought out more people’s perspectives on selling a business, I got more and more clear that that particular business was just weighing me down. It took me several years to come to that conclusion!
In addition to being weighed down by the blog, I had come to a point where I was not serving my people well.
In this case, by selling, I would be serving my audience better.
I didn’t like growing an audience or having blog posts go viral and then just showing up to sell. I tried not to do that, but the audience was growing, and I didn’t want the income to drop. In the end, I was really just letting my nurture campaign be the only warming sequence I was doing, and then I was just selling to them every month.
That’s just not the way to go!
And that’s why people sell blogs that are making good money: they lose interest, or it gets away from them, or it just isn’t fun anymore.
What is the minimum success I need to have with my blog in order to sell it?
You really just need a completed blog!
It’s common for people to sell “starter blogs.”
This is different than having a website personally developed; that can be very costly. Instead, you can buy starter blogs for a relatively low price.
So, for example, you can go to blogsforsale.co and see the different kinds of blogs that are for sale. Some of them will be called starter blogs: just a blog with some blog posts on it. That can be a really attractive option that typically sells for less than $1000.
What makes a blog valuable?
This has a simple answer. There is a common formula for it: the worth of a business is two years of the monthly average income.
So, if a blog was earning $1 a day in ad revenue, that’d be $30 a month, $360/year, and $720 for 2 years. That’s not a lot, but I’d probably sell that blog for at least $1000, because it would have email subscribers and other assets.
If you’re earning $10 a day through ad revenue, you would follow the same formula, and now you’re looking at selling your blog for $7,200.
Any assets that you sell along with the blog will increase the value.
If I had sold the YouTube channel or the Facebook group with the blog, that would have increased the value.
Profitable courses you’ve created add to the value of the blog, as does traffic.
Traffic increases the value in several ways:
- If you’re using ads on your site, your traffic is going to impact the income of the blog.
- SEO/organic traffic is more valuable than traffic from Pinterest.
Having large social media audiences also help increase the value.
Blog flipping: How to easily monetize a blog that you buy
Another way to make money flipping blogs is to find a blog that has great bones, but is making no money. Buy it up, and then do paid traffic for proven products. Optimize the sales process for those products to make more money.
It might be easier for you to look at somebody else’s blog and figure out what to do to make money with it. And it might feel easier energetically to take over an existing blog instead of starting one from scratch.
You could buy a starter blog with one course, maybe a little bit of income, and then create solid funnels or put paid advertising in place. You can explode that income, and then flip it.
Or, pick up a blog that has some stable, high quality traffic but isn’t well monetized, and offer some products with paid advertising, or create a course or other products.
A lot of people create blogs, thinking they’re going to have this amazing passive income. They just don’t realize how much long-term effort it really takes. Those kinds of blogs are perfect for blog flipping.
(That’s why I created the Monetization Accelerator Program – to help content creators monetize efficiently and quickly. If you want to know more about that, you can go to alisonreeves.co/waitlist-ma.)
Can you sell a blog if it’s based on you?
Blogs and websites that have a personality attached to them typically have a higher value – it’s attractive to buyers.
However, the question of whether or not you want your face to be on a brand that you don’t own, that’s a whole other thing. For me personally, I decided not to sell anything with my face on the brand and I instead advised the buyer to create an avatar.
I did that because some of my stories, particularly on my YouTube channel (which I decided not to include with the sale) were very personal. If I don’t own that, the buyer could potentially change the story. I don’t want to take a chance and have my face on that.
If you have a blog that has your face on it and you cannot remove yourself from it, that doesn’t mean you can’t sell the blog. It just means that you need to be strategic in how you’re positioning yourself.
Instead of taking yourself out entirely, change your position in company. Instead of the founder and owner, you’re now just someone who is on the blog – as though a company had hired you to make videos for them.
Selling a domain
You can absolutely just sell a bare domain, rather than a complete blog.
If you’re really serious about blog flipping or selling a URL, domain, or website, I would definitely work with a broker, rather than selling through your hosting service.
There are two good options for selling domains and websites: one is blogsforsale.co, with Chelsea Clarke who owns HerPaperRoute. I liked working with her because she was knowledgeable, personable, and experienced. I didn’t have to communicate directly with the buyer that much until the end.
Or you can also go to flippa.com, and you can list blog or domains for sale there.
I would go to a broker or brokerage site because the people there are actively looking. You can sell a domain through your webhost, but you’re going to have a small pool of buyers, because the only people that might be interested in buying from you are people who are searching for that specific domain.
On these other brokers, people are searching for something more general and can find your domain that way.
If you are starting a blog to sell, or flipping blogs for profit how do you decide what niche to work in?
First, start with your interests. Even if you’re planning to sell it, you still have to have an interest in the topic and you’re going to have to create assets based on that topic.
Then, validate the idea. Not based on popularity necessarily, but based on competition, keyword research, Pinterest trends, etc.
My conclusion? Blog flipping is worth doing.
One the whole, selling my blog turned out to be an endeavor that was well worth my time, even though it was a huge project with some bumps along the way.
And if you decide to try flipping blogs yourself and want to know how to monetize them quickly, The Monetization Accelerator Program is my signature program for bloggers who have blogs that are making less than a thousand dollars a month. You can get on the waitlist at alisonreeves.co/waitlist-ma.