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5 Brilliant Things You Can Do with an Inactive Blog

This guest post is by Tristan of Infographic Academy.

If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, the odds are good that you have an inactive blog or two (or *cough* a dozen *cough*) sitting around. Maybe you wrote only a few posts before you realized that your calling in life is not writing about animal husbandry or underwater basket weaving. But hey, I guess you can cross those of the list, right?

So what should you do with Underwater Basket Weaving Master Central Dot Net now that it’s defunct? Well, below I’ll explain five of your most viable options.

1. Sell it

Wouldn’t it be awesome to sell your inactive blog and make like a bajillion dollars? Maybe you could sell to AOL; I hear they’re always on the prowl.

There are two ways to go about selling a blog: actively and passively.

Actively selling a blog involves hustling around and playing matchmaker between you and potential buyers. This includes listing it for sale in online marketplaces like Flippa and shooting off emails to individuals or businesses that you think might be interested in your blog.

Passively selling a blog means that you write a final post that says, “Hey, this blog is for sale!” and hoping that a buyer will find you. You could include some ads on the blog announcing the fact, too. It might take time to sell this way—if it sells at all—but at least minimal work is required on your part.

2. Dismantle it

Maybe the bits and pieces of your blog are more valuable to you or someone else than the whole thing. For example, you could sell your blog posts to a small business to use on their own blog. Or you could package them up as an ebook and either sell the ebook yourself or sell the rights to it. Of course, you’d want to delete all of the content from the blog when you sell it.

Perhaps your domain name is worth some cash now that it’s aged, has PageRank, and/or gets traffic. GoDaddy Auctions and NamePros domain name forums are great places to sell domains, and I’ve also had some luck with eBay. In addition, you could try contacting potential buyers in the niche directly. If you go that route, be sure to list all of the benefits your domain name has and why they’d want it.

3. Merge it

Adding posts from an inactive blog to an active one is great because the more articles you’ve got on your blog, the more traffic you’ll get from search engines and other sources.

A couple months ago I merged two of my blogs together. I had a personal blog and a blog about rock climbing, but I realized that my personal blog was just about my rock climbing adventures. So I moved everything from my personal blog to my climbing blog. The result was more search traffic to my climbing blog. Sweet!

I had trouble finding good information on how to combine multiple WordPress blogs, so I wrote a step-by-step post if you’re interested.

4. Use it as a billboard

If you’ve got something else you’d like to promote (like another blog or product of yours), put links and ads everywhere on your inactive blog that point to that other blog or product.

Or if you don’t think people stumbling upon your inactive blog would be interested in anything else you’ve got going on, you could have affiliate links and ads to someone else’s more relevant product. There’s nothing wrong with making a sale here and there, eh?

4. Take it down

This one is simple enough. Just delete your blog. Wipe it clean from the face of the Earth. It will either be forgotten or become legend. Either way, you’re done with the thing and can move on.

5. Do nothing with it

Of course, you can always do nothing with your inactive blog. Maybe you’re just so sick of underwater basket weaving that you never want to dedicate a single additional brain neuron to it ever again. Or it’s possible that your time is so valuable that it’s simply better spent elsewhere.

And remember that if nothing else, you can always slap some AdSense on that puppy and let organic search traffic do its thing (you did optimize your content, right?).

If you do nothing with your inactive blog, realize that you’re either going to keep paying for hosting (if self-hosted), or it will eventually wander into the vast bone yard that is the world of abandoned WordPress.com and Blogger (or whatever blogging service you use) blogs.

Final words

Quitting any blog is often an at-least-slightly painful experience. It stings. You put all of this time, effort, and maybe even money into something and you hate to see it wasted.

But don’t worry about it. If for whatever reason you decide to abandon a blog, do what you need to do and then move on. Take what you learned and apply it to your next adventure. And what about Underwater Basket Weaving Master Central Dot Net? Well, as long as you steer clear of swimming pools and long strips of reed or cane, you should be okay.

What else can you do with an inactive blog? What have you done with your inactive or abandoned blogs? What has worked well for you and what hasn’t?

Tristan Higbee is a professional blogger. He teaches people how to create their own infographics at Infographic Academy and writes about blogging and internet business at Blogging Bookshelf.

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Comments

  1. These are some really great ideas for an inactive blog. I have a couple of inactive blogs where I’ll apply your methods. Thanks for sharing, Tristan

    • Torkona says:

      I can give some fantastic advice of what to do with an inactive blog. This 5 (aka 6) tip post, ignore every single one but the last one. I suggest ‘do nothing with it’ and here’s why:

      How I increased blog traffic by 53000%.

      I had an inactive blog. A blog I used for experiment ad placement and traffic ideas. One day, it suddenly went POW! and had 3000 hits per hour at it’s highest. it currently sits at about 100 an hour now. You never know when an inactive sit is suddenly going to be picked up, so never get rid of it and lose all the work you once spent on it!

      • Yingjie says:

        It’s true. There will be traffic from goole if the blog is not active for years. Sometimes I search using Google. The blog stopping updating in 2007 sometimes will appear in the first page. Strange, isn’t it?

  2. Kevin Cullis says:

    Interesting. One thing that taught to entrepreneurs is to have an exit strategy for whatever reason, good or bad, so maybe all bloggers need to ask themselves up front: what will they do with their blog if it becomes inactive?

    So bloggers, what other ways should you exit your efforts?

    Thanks

    • Graham Lutz says:

      I’ve had a few blogs over the years that had traffic but I moved on. I turned those sites into sales pages for ebooks or ecourses that I had created. One I simply used to push traffic towards my new projects.

    • You can giveaway a good stuff and for that you can ask your readers to retweet your post. So, your readers will keep retweeting your posts and then you will keep getting visitors and so on. Also, you can offer them more stuff via your newsletter. Using this, you can convert those twitter readers to your newsletter readers.

    • Along my experience blogging since 2007, I have several free WordPress blog. And already leave away 2 self hosted blog ‘irresponsibly’. Kill them by not paying the renewal payment :( Am I wrong?

  3. Ugh.. I hope that my blog will never be inactive but I guess once I have a family and all that, things will be harder and time will be a major issue for me. Best is to sell it, I guess OR get lots of guest posters and let the blog runs by guest postings (something like problogger.net now, I guess?)

    • Well guess posting is not a bad idea Michael. I can imagine myself to having inactive blog. If that happens with experts like us it only mean only thing we are deteriorating and we have to level up.

  4. Liz Fulcher says:

    Question: Two years ago started a blog thefragrantmuse.blogspot.com which is a mix of professional interests (aromatherapy) and personal interests (creativity, photography, family). I love this blog but would like to separate the aromatherapy out and do a separate blog just for the aromatherapy. If I keep both alive, should I make reference to each of them in the different blogs? Wonderful Article!~

  5. Kendra says:

    As soon as I say your post title, I immediately thought of your #1, Sell It! I have an inactive blog that I have been trying to get in the mood to write for, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I am all ready to bid that blog farewell!

    Your #4 is a very good idea I never thought of.

    Kendra~

  6. Michelle says:

    I recently switched my focus from an older website (with a 2+ year archive) to a newer website, and I’d been at a loss as to what to do with the older website. I didn’t necessarily want to sell the blog as a whole, partially out of personal attachment, partially because my name is all over it (and I have a very unique name), and partially because it serves really well as an archive/portfolio of my writing.

    What I did was use Headway to put an announcement leaf at the top of every page that had a link and some information about my new site with a link to it, and changed the front page to have some information about my new site as well. Then I went back and search engine optimized all of the archives, and I added some Adsense ads in a few spots – nothing super aggressive, but above the header, under the post title, etc. So far it’s made about $5 in the week since I’ve done that, but I just did the SEO on Sunday and I’ve already seen definite results – I’m hoping with a bit of tweaking and experimenting with other ad systems/networks (I need to play around with Chitika, I’m sure – any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated), that I can have it bringing in a small bit of side income every month. Nothing major, but enough to cover the hosting/domain bills and have enough left over to buy something fun for me!

  7. I’ve sold one blog before. I also have a few that are sitting there doing nothing. Ironically, I was just thinking about this yesterday because I have one that I ‘accidentally renewed” because I didn’t stop the domain renewal. Now I’m trying to think what I should do with it. It has less than 500 visits a month but earns a few dollars a month…so maybe that isn’t a bad deal for 10 dollars renewal a year. Hmm..maybe I will keep it.

  8. Megan says:

    What a depressing thought to have to consider shutting down my blog. Even though I am failing miserably in the traffic stakes, I still love to write it. I don’t think I would shut it down just because no one reads it! (well, OK a few people do – thanks guys!)

    My blog is actually proving useful as a tool to get more freelance writing gigs. If someone wants a writer who can use wordpress – what could be better than someone with their own blog? So even if I was to stop posting, I would still use it as examples of my writing for my business. Although I guess this exit strategy isn’t ideal for people who are not writers.

    the best thing about a blog, is that even if you want to give it a rest for a while you can pick up where you left off relatively easily. So the daunting thought of shutting it down completely doesn’t have to be your only option.

    Great post thanks.

  9. Jawed says:

    Hi Tristan,

    Nice post and useful tips for inactive blog owners. Although all are good, but i think 1st and the 5th top the list. Selling the blog can make some extra money while doing nothing with it can also be a good idea if you have plans of blogging again in future.

  10. Michelle says:

    (Darren – I tried to comment a few times and received a fatal error, and then I received a “duplicate comment” notice even though it doesn’t look like the comment went through to me. I’m not sure what’s going on!)

    I recently switched my focus from an older website (with a 2+ year archive) to a newer website, and I’d been at a loss as to what to do with the older website. I didn’t necessarily want to sell the blog as a whole, partially out of personal attachment, partially because my name is all over it (and I have a very unique name), and partially because it serves really well as an archive/portfolio of my writing.

    What I did was use Headway to put an announcement leaf at the top of every page that had a link and some information about my new site with a link to it, and changed the front page to have some information about my new site as well. Then I went back and search engine optimized all of the archives, and I added some Adsense ads in a few spots – nothing super aggressive, but above the header, under the post title, etc. So far it’s made about $5 in the week since I’ve done that, but I just did the SEO on Sunday and I’ve already seen definite results – I’m hoping with a bit of tweaking and experimenting with other ad systems/networks (I need to play around with Chitika, I’m sure – any other recommendations would be greatly appreciated), that I can have it bringing in a small bit of side income every month. Nothing major, but enough to cover the hosting/domain bills and have enough left over to buy something fun for me!

  11. I’ve been too busy to keep my blog going but I did something which is working very well!. ;]

  12. Navneet says:

    Your idea is best to sell a blog if its inactive but it is really hard to sell ,am right?

  13. Jeff H. says:

    Great ideas…
    1 more you forgot is to ‘Get Active’. :)

    I hate to see blogs just die off and lay in wasteland, but it does happen.
    Also, if you can sell your blog to someone, then you could probably also sell a service of helping people get their blog setup. If you have set it up and it’s good enough to sell, you are onto something there already.

  14. Rob McGuire says:

    I recently merged 3 blogs into one. I wasn’t spending any time on any of them, so I decided to focus my efforts on just one location. It was also nice to centralize the traffic of all three blogs into one blog.

  15. Thanks for posting this. I have a niche Renaissance Faire blog that fits this category – brilliant concept, all the back end work done, but I’m quickly realizing that I’m just not that into the subject. Interested enough to want the site to exist, I’d read it, just not excited enough to write about it day in and day out.

    Anybody interested? :) Tricia at RenFaireGarb.com

  16. I have some blogs that have been just lying around… Killing them is not an option for me, because I am still attached to them even if I am not writing for them any more. It helps that there is no additional hosting cost – I have a VPS account, so hosting is not an issue!

    But I guess this post is the much needed nudge for me… It has set me thinking about what else can I do with these old blogs – many thanks!

  17. Tristan,

    Selling an inactive blog could be really challenging. And I am not sure how attractive will be the money that the potential buyer would be willing to pay for it.

    But to merge it with your active blog is a brilliant idea, provided it somewhat coincides with the theme and niche of your main blog. But then once the merging is done, you need to delete that blog because you will be creating duplicates otherwise.

    Nice ideas.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

  18. Vago Damitio says:

    Another option is always to resuscitate them. Read problogger and figure out how to bring them back to life…or give them to a young person who is just starting out or a bored housewife with nothing to do…or maybe you can donate them to a charity? Just post links to great causes on them….

  19. No.6: Give it Away.

    Pass it on to a friend who can do something with your blog. You don’t see your efforts sink too the bottom of the sea, in fact by giving it to an enthusiastic friend you’ll be giving it wings.

  20. Great post…. I have collected a few blogs over the years and would never delete them or take them down – Not an Option. In terms of selling them – well I’m pretty sure the URL is worthless. I like the idea of merging blogs, but in my case it’s not applicable.

    So I decided to write a post about my blogging evolution and post it as a trail to my current work. So anyone who finds my first original free wordpress blog, or my second blog, and so on – can follow along with me through the blogosphere all the way to my most recent post.

    Peace

    Jonathan

  21. Darren,

    Enjoyed your postl. Do you feel you covered to repurpose the blog toward another niche which you are interested in.
    Another option is to allow the blog to become a place for guest bloggers to hone their skills and showcase their talent. You can even have one or two register as moderator.
    These two options certainly allow value to be built in the blog for a future sell as you outlined in opion one.

    Thanks

  22. Marie Noelle says:

    That’s interesting! I’m not sure I would totally shut down an old blog… but the other options are great! It can always be useful for something or be sold for some money!

  23. Great post Tristan. If I have to shut down my website one day I will try to sell it. You never know how you can make with it or I will introduce more guess post to keep my website alive.

  24. planning is always good and output but as a writer is po blogger who likes to do good business can not earn a little money Advetising, although it would be nice to have in mind when we do not have time to write,
    thanks for the contribution
    oscar

  25. sokun says:

    I would probably sell my blog if it was inactive

  26. Denys Yeo says:

    The “vast bone yard that is the world of abandoned WordPress.com and Blogger (or whatever blogging service you use) blogs” … is likely to be a really exciting place in the future. Even more so as search engines get better at producing sophisticated answers to queries, maybe entered by people not even born yet! My view, never destroy a blog; once on the web it should be there forever.
     
    upi:dyd-dgyeo

  27. Tony Moniz says:

    Loved your blog post,and yes I do have some inactive blogs but I just can’t seem to delete any of them.
    There’s just to much work and effort put into writing them. So I guess I’ll just have to get busy and make them come back to life again.

  28. frugal baby says:

    Anything that is brilliant and interactive should not be shutdown because of the value it provides.

    What do others think ?

  29. Hi Tristan,

    Good tips here.

    You can also use an inactive blog to comment on a site like problogger.

    My primary blog’s link always went into the spam que here at PB. So I started leaving comments under my cash gifting blog a few weeks back, a blog which had been inactive for months.

    Lo and behold, the comments showed up. And I started to get traffic. And more gifting opt-ins.

    Wonderful how a creative idea, a little intuitive nudge, a push in the right direction works out, when you listen.

    Now I’m actively posting again. First, once a week, now it looks like back to once a day. All because I decided to leave a comment to see if the link could avoid the spam que.

    Either scrap your blog completely or do something really creative with it. You can’t lose. Either you release on it, opening you up to more productive ideas to move in a different direction or you can use the blog to augment your current campaign, with your tips. The only time something becomes a waste is when you believe in your heart something was a waste. Creative people only see opportunity after opportunity, not wastes of time.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Tristan.

    Ryan

  30. prem pandit says:

    i think we should restart the blog if blog public stats is good

  31. Samir says:

    The funny thing is I hadn’t read anything of this sort before I sold my 1 year old blog in bits and pieces just a month ago!

    Having spent 12 months writing 4-5 posts a month on an average, I had finally started making $10 or so from AdSense a month from 50 posts, on a PR1 blog getting ~3000 visits a month.

    Just as I crossed the $100 mark for the AdSense Payout, some mysterious guy click-bombed my site (~200 clicks in 2 days :P ) and foolishly I filed a report with AdSense. Not entirely unexpected, though really agonizing, I found my AdSense account had been suspended/deleted the very next day!

    Having reflected on the situation (after filing 3 requests for re-consideration unsuccessfully) I decided it was time to prioritize the aspects of my blogging life.

    What I love most is the “writing” part. The site is nothing but a medium to share my thoughts/experiences. So, I decided to hunt for a good blog to guest post on. Luckily, at the time, Justin Germino was looking for resident writers for his blog Dragonblogger.com, and I got on-board within the first day of searching!

    Secondly, the posts on my old blog were really helpful, since they got around 40000 queries on Google itself. So, I decided to shift them to Dragonblogger.com, and Justin really appreciated the situation and welcomed the extra content.

    As I continued to write about technology stuff on DB, I realized that owning a blog isn’t as important as getting across your thoughts to interested readers! So, I’ve decided to focus entirely on generating content for the time being, which I publish on DB, while writing other stuff and posting pictures on my own personal blog!

    Had I read this amazing article before dealing with the stuff a month ago, I would have felt a lot more confident and relaxed about killing my own blog! Anyway, I found the post quite helpful.

  32. Although all are good, but i think would prefer not to close it down.

  33. Melvin says:

    I don’t really mind not doing anything about it especially if I have really really stamped my brand and personality through my writing. Sometimes, you just have to take a lengthy break to realize what you really want with it.

    For niche blogs, its a different story since most of the time, the blogger owning that blog really holds no passion for it aside from that it makes him some money

  34. Great ideas! I once had a blog that sort of overwhelmed me at the time (dreamprophesy.com). Maybe it had something to do with the fact I had 20 blogs/websites at the time or the fact that I got hundreds of dream analysis requests a week… all while homeschooling three daughters!

    Anyway, I loved the domain name so much that I didn’t want to let it go, so I put up an Amazon store (using their BRILLIANT store widget). I selected dream-related books, dvds, posters, and other projects and just let it sit, making me money for quite a while.

    When my daughters reached college age, I found that I had more time on my hands (and with the cost of college, a renewed desire for more money!). I also missed the Dream blog and its very, very colorful visitors. I was thrilled with myself for hanging onto the domain and was able to get the site up again – better than ever.

    This sort of approach would work well if someone is kind of unsure about letting it go for good.

    Thanks for a great article!

  35. Great tips. #6 would be taking your most popular posts (or favorite) and recording them as audio and posting them on your new blog along with your current commentary on the topic. Breathes life into “old content” Thanks for sharing this post.

  36. Really brilliant + funny things to do with inactive blog, The third idea is superb to merge articles in other blogs.One more idea “Inactive blog is also used if you want to do experiments on blog design and to make changes with themes”.

  37. Tristan,

    Thanks for sharing. Merging looks nice thought since bloggers can align their traffic at one stream. In generally, I believe we get into blog sphere for two major reasons. #1 to make money. #2 passion towards writing.

    I strongly believe that, several options would be available if only need to make money. But if a blogger’s could combine their creativity and goal together at right flow and direction there won’t be a room for inactive blog and money surely will follow even we don’t need it.

    Greeting
    Manickam

  38. Dan Smith says:

    I’m using my old blog as fodder for my new blog, hoping to create a happy medium. My old one (a personal blog) had no real focus, so hopefully I’ll wisely choose the right things to rework into my new blog and leave the older, less-useful stuff on my old one. Thanks for the tips!

  39. I try to reuse some of the blog posts into hubs or squidoo pages

  40. sibin says:

    Many People including me start many blogs to get more visitors and more income.Some People start Blog and they post a few posts.Then they stop posting and add there original(Active) blogs links on there blog.And they also add Facebook Like Box,Twitter Followers Gadgets on there side bar.They do this to increase there Backlinks and Links.

  41. I too have an old blog that I can’t get rid of. I will try to do some of the suggestions and maybe try to list it other places I have not found yet. I am also going to add some links in it in hopes for more viewers. Thanks for the post.

  42. The problem of “inactive blogs” usually come about because blog authors lose interest in the topic, are too busy to update the blog or just start up too many blogs in the first place.

    My suggestion is to start a blog on a topic that you’re passionate about, that you know is a topic you will be blogging on it for a long time to come (whether you’re paid for it or not) and to focus your attention on only 1 or 2 key blogs, instead of trying to multi-task and start up 10 blogs at a time.

    Then you don’t have to worry about selling/killing off your blog =P

  43. I think…should you consider OLD CONTENTS for re purposing?

    That’s the most effective way to spread out old content on new platform. Slideshare, YouTube and Podcast may give high force to its visibility.

    What Do You think?

  44. I think the last option “do nothing with” is the one that gets the most attention and “action.” Thanks for putting it son succinctly and practically into words. Very helpful info. Will be thinking about it and weighing the options I may be working on putting into action.

  45. Debbie Aho says:

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