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Lessons from Selling Websites

Ahmed has posted some reflections on the recent sale of three blogging related sites (Blog Catalog (sold for $40k), EatonWeb (sold for 10k) and 2RSS (sold for $7k) which all sold for between 24 and 100 times monthly revenues.

His conclusions:

  • Blogs are hot (‘Buy it Now’ prices were all reached quickly)
  • People can see quality
  • Set your BIN high
  • There’s no place for emotion if you want to succeed

There’s some interesting conclusions there.

Those of you who have sold websites and blogs – what lessons would you add to those that Ahmed has posted?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Stuart says:

    Be very careful – the deal can go sour very easily so use a recognised escrow account.

  2. Armen says:

    Hmmm…”There’s no place for emotion if you want to succeed”

    I’m not too sure if I like that. Sounds like a cold, hard business statement.

  3. Allen.H says:

    Wow, and I thought that my recent sell for 19 months of revenue was a LOT. Shoul’ve made it a public sale instead of a private one (only offered it for 2 people).

    Allen.H

  4. Jonathan says:

    Bloggers might start to sell their websites just like on the webdomain market. This will eventually happen because most bloggers don’t make much money through advertisement and or don’t have the endurance to keep the blog up.

    cheers, Jonathan
    streamcast

  5. “Set your BIN high”

    i think its BID

  6. jhay says:

    I’d never sell my personal site, but in the future I might venture into creating and developing sites with the consideration of selling it off in the near future. Just like real estate developing. ;)

  7. Nick says:

    Make sure to get the word out e.g. ebay, sitepoint, sedo, etc..

    Sedo is well known, and you would do well to list your site there and drive all other marketing efforts to your sedo listing..

    A friend of mine, does this for a living, although he’s never told me all of his sites, he let me in on one, and he made $5,000 profit in one month..

    But, it’s not a quick learn, and many ways of valuation is through experience just like in the stock market… and even then, valuations are off due to emotions if you do an auction style, etc…

    For more information, go to sedo and read their articles..

    One more tip, list your site, not only is it free in most places like Sedo, but even if you’re not considering, there just maybe someone that goes out of his mind for one day and offers you a million to buy your domain..

  8. Miha says:

    I hate when people think that every site is worth only between 10 and 12 monthly revenues.

    Ahmed did a great job selling them for more than 24 monthly revenues.

  9. AhmedF says:

    Blogging is about emotion, but running a company is not.

    Eatonweb was a site that had a lot of sentimental value (I never really got into blogging before I bought that site). It took me to blogs quickly, and was our template for BlogFlux.com. But it was lost opportunity cost. Instead of letting it sit around, we opted to sell it, and will now re-invest the money from the sale back into the network.

    The problem with Sedo vs SPF vs eBay is each of the three *are* the point of purchase. Synching between the three is a recipe for disaster. I also have a lot of experience with the domain industry, and I dontt see Sedo having much success outside of domains (inside domains – well, that is a story for another day).

  10. Ahmed, you’re absolutely right. To run a company, you don’t need to be passionate about it. In blogging, on the contrary, I don’t think you can be successful without feeling for what you write.

    It’s a tough one…

    So Darren. You gonna buy me out or what? ;)

  11. AhmedF says:

    Yeah David – that was the toughest first six months of our network. Weeding out the impassioned from the passionate (in what can only be described as non-emotional decisions).

  12. ANP says:

    David, you wrote: “To run a company, you don’t need to be passionate about it.” I found this statement interesting. To be honest, I can’t imagine going to my corporate gig five days a week if I wasn’t passionate about it — let alone having to deal with the responsibility of running a company.

    Do a lot of people feel this way? I know that decision making is best left to algorithms, but the fuel … isn’t it a heckuva lot easier if you actually care about what you do? If not, aren’t we all just glorified widget makers and clock punchers?

  13. David Krug says:

    Good insights. :)

  14. It never hurts to ask .. so, adding a high B.I.N. price seems like the sensible thing to do … you just never know.

    But, people should keep in mind ..those were prominent directories and the million backlinks and PR7 helps in making a decision like that to have a high B.I.N.

    Would that work for my PR3 sites? with multiples of 100x’s the monthly revenue or more? If so – Call me :-p

  15. AhmedF says:

    I agree with ANP that if you are in management, you have to be passionate about things.

    I held off of entering the blogosphere because originally I didn’t care much. Only later on did I get into it, and thus here I am :)

  16. Darren Rowse says:

    Preetinder Sodhi – BIN is ‘Buy it Now’ not ‘bid’

  17. Selling for 2-3 times annual revenues isn’t all that out of place in industry. Selling for 8 times annual revenues is, though (roughly 100xmonthly).

    Still, what strikes me about these stories is that these blogs weren’t earning as much as I would have guessed. I feel comforted by my own earning performance, given that my blog is only a few months old.

  18. Dave Starr says:

    Monthly income is a good starting point when evaluating a blog but it’s hardly a cast-in-stone buying or selling rule.

    I look at it in terms of square footage (meterage) of a house or lot. One doesn’t pay the price of a 10,000 sqft mansion for a 1,000 sqft bungalow, but once you’ve found the “right” house the cost per square foot becomes rather inconsequential. I was looking at some on-line listings in my old neighborhood back in the US recently and the prices of very similar recently sold houses varied a _lot_. And I have little doubt that each buyer was relatively happy with what they paid for what they got. What one family gets out of a given house is different than another family will like or dislike.

    What one owner/operator can do with a given blog has little to do with what another owner/operator can (or can’t) do in the future, so many other factors have to be considered aside from monthly income.

  19. kwandom says:

    Blogs are hot! When selling sites, be honest and show proofs of revenue and stats instead of “potential” possibilities. The buyer will usually determine if there is that “potential” quality themselves.

  20. I want to know how to put these websites up for sale without having to pay a dime. I want to know if we can sell them without having to put more money into these websites. the first one is http://www.rjhandbags.com, http://www.rjcoffs_teas.com. These are hosted by Storesonline.com. You would have to contact them so you can get your name on there as the owner.

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