This guest post is by Andrew Knibbe of Flippa.
When most of us think of blogging, we think about starting from the ground up. Having researched a niche, we search for a good domain, choose a blogging platform, apply a template, and prepare our first post…
But there are other options for the beginning blogger. One of the least talked about, and most often overlooked, is to buy an existing blog.
This post isn’t intended as a prescriptive how-to: what I’d like to do is introduce the idea of buying a blog, and talk about the key considerations that bloggers and would-be bloggers might address before they go down this path.
Why buy a blog?
There are plenty of reasons why you’d consider buying an existing blog:
- it will already have been populated with content
- if it’s a known blog with valuable information, it’ll have attracted backlinks, and should have search engine presence
- it may come with a ready-made audience—hopefully, a loyal one
- it may have a great domain name and/or a strong unique brand
- it may already be generating an income
- it’s all set up: rather than starting from scratch, you can simply tweak or amend the blog’s layout and design to suit your needs.
The thing to realize about buying a blog is that you’re unlikely to find a blog that perfectly suits all your needs from the get-go. The blogs you consider probably won’t offer you all of the benefits listed above, and they may offer these advantages to varying degrees.
In short: buying a blog isn’t an instant solution for those who want to start a blog, but if you choose the blog well, it can offer a number of advantages over starting a new blog from scratch.
Like any market, the blog property market has a range of pitfalls for the beginner, and buying a new blog as a way to get a head-start on a new blogging niche isn’t for everyone.
Obviously the great appeal of building your own blog from the ground-up is that it costs you nothing but time. Buying a blog, on the other hand, costs money.
The paradox here is, of course, that your time is money. If you can afford to buy a blog, you may reduce the time it takes you to reach a point where you’ve attracted a loyal readership—you may be able to monetize your blog much sooner than you would if you were starting your won blog. Basically, if you buy a good blog, you can minimize the leg-work, and fast-track your operation.
You will need some kind of budget to buy a blog. You’ll also need to feel comfortable that the blog you’re buying lives up to the seller’s description of it.
The person who owns the blog may mis-represent any of the information they give you about the blog, from its age and search rank, to its traffic levels and profit potential. You want to be able to trust the person you’re buying the blog from, and that you believe the information they’re giving you—including the reason why they’re selling.
Bloggers may sell a blog that they’ve lost interest in, or a blog that doesn’t align well with their future goals or direction. Perhaps other offline interests—family, work, and so on—have left them with no time to maintain their blog. Or perhaps they underestimated the time it takes to build it up a blog, and now they want to offload what they see as a burden to someone with a real passion for the niche.
Each of these reasons has different implications for you as a buyer, and for the blog you’re buying, so it’s important to get as many facts as you can.
Buying a blog doesn’t just take money: it takes research and care. You’re making an investment in your future by buying a blog, so you want to ensure that the choices you make are well-informed and wise.
Who should buy a blog?
Buying a blog may have greater appeal for those who have some experience in blogging, and know that they have the stamina and dedication to build the blog they buy into something amazing.
If you’ve never blogged before, you may find yourself unable to sustain blogging over a period of time, and that’s ad additional risk you’ll need to take into account if you’re investing money in a blog.
That said, blogs can be purchased for very reasonable prices in online marketplaces, though the less expensive options are unlikely to have established audiences or much unique content. If that’s the kind of thing you want to focus your attention on (rather than choosing blog templates, functionality, and so on), then paying a couple of hundred dollars for a fledgling blog with a good domain mightn’t be a bad idea.
Buying a blog may seem most logical for those who are looking to monetize their site itself, but bloggers who want to establish their credentials and authority in a particular field, engage with a certain audience, or develop their offline earnings potential with the support of good online representation may also consider buying a blog.
What you’re really looking for when you spend money on a blog is an opportunity. More experienced bloggers may be able to spot opportunities more easily, but that doesn’t mean beginning bloggers can’t see, or make the most of, opportunities themselves. Imagine if ProBlogger was up for sale—what would you change to make it better or more profitable? A site that’s underdeveloped has potential to be better.
If you can spot that potential—perhaps the site could do with some keyword optimization, regular well-written posts, and some promotion through social media as well as more niche networks—you might be able to take the good foundations that someone else has put in place and build on them to make something great.
Have you ever bought a blog? Have you considered it? What are your feelings about buying a blog?