Selling a blog is a great way to get a lump sum of money from a website you no longer have interest or time in developing further. Some bloggers even create a blog for the sole purpose of selling it once it’s profitable—called “blog flipping.” You can sell your blog through a broker, on website-selling marketplaces, or through social media.
1. Reasons to Sell a Blog
Normally, bloggers decide to sell because they’ve either lost the passion for blogging or they simply don’t have the time. Others have invested a lot of time, but haven’t quite mastered how to monetize it and can no longer continue throwing away money.
There are also bloggers that created a blog for the sole purpose of selling it once it’s monetized and has great content. Blog flipping is a great way to make money blogging. Flipping a blog is perfect for people that love to write, but get bored writing about the same subject for years. They can write a while on one subject, sell that blog, and start another.
2. How to Position Your Blog for Sale
Ideally, you will have a good 12 months to position your blog for sale. Sure, you can sell it outright where it stands, but you want to get the most money possible, right? To accomplish this, you’ve got some work to do.
- Ensure your blog is on a self-hosted WordPress site: If you try to sell a Wix or Squarespace blog, buyers won’t take you seriously. WordPress allows you to have thousands of different plugins to change the way your site looks and works. To self-host your blog, you need a blog host like Bluehost.
- Install Google Analytics: By having Google Analytics installed on your blog, you can have the data potential buyers need to determine if they want to purchase it. We discuss the data you need in the next step. For now, just make sure to install it correctly.
- Get up-to-speed on search engine optimization (SEO): Blog buyers prefer to purchase sites that get 50% or more of its traffic from search engines rather than just through social media. Unless of course, you’re selling the social media accounts to go with the blog. Learn about SEO and how to do keyword research.
- Remove personal branding: Someone else doesn’t want to buy a blog filled with your own personal stories and pictures because it’s hard to transfer a personal brand. On that same note, remove content you’re not comfortable someone else having full rights to.
- Check image permissions: If you’ve taken all the images on your blog, you don’t have to worry about this one too much. However, if you’ve purchased images, check to see if the rights are transferable to your buyer. If not, work on swapping out the images now.
- Start collecting emails: A blog is more valuable if it has an email list to market to. Sign up for an account with GSuite to have a custom domain for your email address, and then use a service like Constant Contact to build and nurture an email list.
- Guest blog on high-quality blogs: When guest posting, you can usually include a link back to your blog. This way, you build a healthy backlink profile. Search engines like when your blog links show up on other websites.
- Clean up your blog posts: If your blog has 1,500 blog posts but they’re only 300 words long and full of low-quality content, no one will buy your blog. Work now to make each and every blog post the best, and be sure to clean up any broken links.
3. Gather Data for the Sale
A potential buyer of your blog needs to know data like your blog’s expenses, revenue, traffic, and demographics. This helps them evaluate the blog’s potential once it’s in their hands.
- Google Analytics data: If you use Flippa, which is a website-selling marketplace, it will automatically pull this data for you. Otherwise, buyers usually look for screenshots showing demographics, traffic sources, page views, and sessions.
- Profit and loss statements: Buyers will ask for a statement showing your profit and loss—preferably over 12 months.
- Monetization methods: You will need to provide a list of each affiliate partner you have and how much money you make with each, plus details about any ad networks or sponsorships. Buyers will ask for screenshots or statements showing revenue from each source.
- Assets: What will you provide the seller? Is it just the blog, or does it include social media channels? How about an email list? How many subscribers are there?
When using a marketplace like Flippa, you want each of these statements or screenshots separate from each other so that you can label each appropriately. If selling through a broker or social media, consolidating each into a single report can really up the presentation value of your offer.
4. Price Your Blog for Sale
There are three components to consider when pricing your blog. First, how much does your blog make right now? Second, how much are you willing to sell it for? And third, what are people willing to buy your blog for?
There’s a bit of a caveat here too—if selling your blog on social media, you can likely find a buyer for your blog even if it isn’t making money. This is because other bloggers know how valuable high-quality blog posts are. A great blog design alone can also potentially be worth a couple of thousand dollars.
Valuate Your Blog
There’s a lot of controversy about how to price a blog simply because there are so many variables that come into play. If the blog isn’t making money—is the content great? Perhaps you haven’t unlocked exactly how to monetize the blog but you’re a great writer. Marketplaces and brokers typically look for profitable blogs, so stick to selling it on social media if that’s the case (more on these options in the next step).
Additionally, many brokers and marketplaces will help you appraise your blog for free—beware of places that charge for this. Or, if you’d like to come up with a price on your own, use this sample formula:
monthly revenue x 12 = blog’s sale price
If your blog’s expenses are high, leaving you with little net profit, this is something to consider as well. You may need to adjust your pricing downward if you make $2,000 per month but have expenses of $1,600 per month.
Remember what I said about selling your blog even if it doesn’t make money? If you have a lot of great content (hundreds of posts), you can sometimes get up to 24 or even 30 times its monthly revenue. In that case, calculate the following:
monthly revenue x 24 = blog’s sale price
So if you have a few hundred excellent blog posts with a ton of traffic but only net $500 per month, you could still sell it for up to $12,000. This is because as a buyer, I know that I can absolutely monetize a blog with great content, and even more so because it receives a lot of traffic.
In fact, if the blog receives over 50,000 monthly sessions, the first thing I’d do as a buyer is apply to Mediavine, which is an ad network that pays really well. Or, if it’s over 100,000 page views per month, I’d apply for AdThrive, which pays even better.
5. Where to List Your Blog for Sale
Two of the most common ways to list your blog for sale is to use a broker or a marketplace. You will pay a commission to use either option. Often, this is less than 15% of the sale price. You can also list your blog yourself on social media.
A broker specializes in selling online real estate and assets like blogs, websites, and ecommerce stores. Many brokers require your blog to have a certain dollar amount of profit each month before they’ll consider taking it on—often this is $1,000 net profit per month, or $500 net profit if the blog uses ad network Mediavine or AdThrive.
The broker handles marketing your blog for sale and communicates with potential buyers on your behalf. This way, you can stand by and wait for offers to come in. An example of a blog broker is BlogsforSale.co.
Another blog broker option is Empire Flippers. While it touts that it’s a marketplace, the site vets every website listed which is more aligned with a broker than a marketplace.
Most bloggers listing their sites for sale on marketplaces use Flippa. Each listing in the marketplace shows details like asking price, analytics, monetization methods, and the reason for selling. You can pay extra for marketing services like newsletter features and banners.
For blogs selling for less than $50,000, the commission fee is only 10% (which Flippa calls the Success Rate). You will also pay a fee to list your blog, which is $49. For blogs valued over $250,000, you can use one of Flippa’s partner brokers and you will pay a 15% commission.
List Your Blog for Sale on Social Media
In the Facebook group Flipping Websites, sellers can list their blogs and websites without paying any fees. Bloggers will typically handle the payment process using Escrow.com, this way the process is safe for the seller without risk of chargebacks. There is a fee to use escrow, but you can ask the buyer to pay or split this fee.
Additionally, you can advertise your blog for sale to your followers and in Facebook groups of other bloggers. There are lots of bloggers that happily run several blogs at a time to help diversify their income.
6. Complete the Blog Handover
Some blogs sell really quickly, provided your price is fair and you’ve answered every potential question a buyer might have in your listing. Other times, potential buyers want to get on a video or phone call to discuss details of the blog. In fact, many marketplaces encourage buyers to do this to help mitigate any potential risk. You will also likely receive offers and have to negotiate the final price with a buyer.
After you’ve accepted an offer, it’s time to complete the handover of your blog. If the sale price is over $5,000, you should really use Escrow.com. This way, both buyers and sellers have protection. The buyer sends payment to Escrow’s third-party payment processor and then you upload the assets.
These assets include your social media accounts (if selling), ad network accounts, email provider account, website files, database, and domain. Keep in mind that it can take 7-10 business days to migrate the site and transfer the domain. The benefit of using a blog broker is that many will walk you through this process step-by-step.
If you use PayPal, you risk the buyer doing a chargeback after handover. You can probably get your site back in this circumstance, but it will be a long, arduous process. If you do use PayPal anyway, don’t send over the assets until receipt of payment.
It’s important to understand that there are likely tax implications for selling your business, so be sure to consult your tax adviser. You may need to pay capital gains tax.
No matter your reason for selling a blog, you have the opportunity to earn a nice chunk of change from the hard work and labor of love you’ve put into your site. Ideally, you’d plan the sale of your blog well in advance so that you can maximize your earning potential.