How to Sell Your Blog: 4 Lessons From Blake Hutchison, CEO of Flippa

Updated: Jan 07, 2021 / Article by: Timothy Shim
Blake Hutchison CEO of Flippa.

The thought of selling your blog or website may have come across your mind at some point in time. Perhaps this might be due to changing priorities but there are many reasons one may consider doing so.

If you’ve spent a good deal of time building up traffic to your site you may be surprised at what it’s worth. WHSR recently had the opportunity to speak to Blake Hutchison the dynamic CEO of Flippa

Blake and his team work to help customers who are trading digital real estate. Flippa works with a diverse group of clients including some who are entrepreneurs, hustlers, investors, or even those just entering the digital economy.

“Regardless, Flippa and I are here to help buyers and sellers trade digital assets and realise value in the digital economy.” – Blake Hutchison

1. Your Blog Is a Business

When considering a sale of your blog, you need to approach the topic with a business mindset. No longer are you just a blogger, but a business owner looking to divest. I’ll go into the details of this later on, but having that mindset will allow you to realize it is a real business.

If you’re an individual, chances are that you won’t even have entertained the thought of buying a blog. However, established businesses do this often. It’s similar to the real world where a business acquires another for various reasons. 

The moral of the story here is that selling your blog is entirely possible. There is a ready market of buyers willing to consider a purchase of almost all kinds of digital properties. Why they choose to do so is primarily to drive business expansion in cyberspace.

Read more: How to build and flip a website for over $100,000.

2. Understanding Real Value

No matter what topic your blog covers, chances are that it will be wanted by somebody out there. As with every other product in life, a common question that comes to mind is how much the website is worth.

Websites successfully sold on Flippa
The above listing shows the websites across different industries that successfully sold on Flippa (source).

In fact, this is likely a question you’ve asked yourself at some point in time before, even if you haven’t actively considered selling your site. According to Blake, the prices he has seen websites transact at can vary greatly – from as low as $500 and as high as $5 million.

One example of this was the sale of a website called planetrx.com on Flippa for $1.2 million. Meanwhile, the highest value sole owner, single content site sold there owned went for a still-impressive $750,000.

There are a couple of things we can learn from Blake here – the first is that some websites contain astronomical value. The second is that even self-developed websites or blogs can be of high value. Can you imagine selling your blog for that much money?

3. Selling Your Blog Isn't as Difficult as You May Think

Just as businesses need to carry out due diligence when considering a purchase or sale, the same thing applies if you’re going to sell your blog. Although it will eventually boil down to hard numbers, Blake shared a quick checklist you can go though to do a basic assessment.

“Firstly, bloggers should consider whether their blog is ready to sell. At a basic level this checklist will help you to ascertain whether your blog is ready to sell,” he said. 

The Checklist: Is Your Blog Ready for Sale?

The following points of consideration were provided by Blake. Do keep in mind that he’s been running Flippa for a long time now and is perhaps one of the best authorities on blog valuation, so keep these points in mind when doing an evaluation on your own blog.

  • Age – Blogs are best sold when they are at least two years old. Is your blog at least this age or perhaps, more?
  • Revenue – Buyers are most interested when the blog is already earning revenue. This is a critical proof point for buyers. They are looking for plug-and-play revenue generation. 
  • Traffic – The more traffic the better. And more so than that, organic traffic is what buyers are looking for. Aim for at least 50% organic or direct traffic. 
  • Transferability – Is it transferable? Something inextricably tied to your personal brand is far harder to sell. 

The Details that Come After Quick Assessment

After the quick assessment comes the details, and that’s where the real numbers come into play. 

“Once you have determined that the blog is ready to be sold you’ll need to ensure you spend the time to pull together financials, proof of performance (Google Analytics) and dedicate the time to merchandise the listing. It’s much like a home. The blog should be sellable as much as it is presented to sell,” explained Blake. 

Because of the need for these details, it’s important for blog owners to keep detailed records of their operations. Remember – even your time is an investment into your blog. Nobody works for free, so why should the effort you’ve spent not be adequately compensated.

Nobody can actually see the nights of work you’ve put in, so clear and organized records will help convince buyers.

Read more: Real cost of running a successful website.

Improve Your Chances of a Sale

Perhaps the most important points of wisdom from Blake were his comments about how blog owners can improve the chances of their properties selling. Simply placing a site for sale isn’t going to do much – you’re not the only one doing so.

“It’s all about the listing. Spend the time to go into the requisite detail. Present the positives, challenges and opportunities. Remember that buyers look for opportunity and pay for performance,” said Blake.

With that, he pointed us towards Flippa’s perfect listing guide, so make sure you check up on that as well. Using themselves as an example, Blake reminded us of two very critical factors – that it’s not always the first person that inquires that buys and that it’s the sellers job to sell! 

Where to Sell Your Blog

Unlike real life where lawyers need to get involved, cyberspace is more convenient. Thanks to third-party brokerage services and websites like Flippa, you can easily list and sell your web properties. In fact, Flippa even has a very interesting Business Valuation Tool that can help you out. 

Discussing the tool, Blake said the best way it can help out those interested in making a sale is simply to use it. “It’s simple and accurate, taking into consideration historical sales data, domain authority and many other factors”.

When to Sell Your Blog

From the checklist provided by Blake, one of the most important things to understand is that more established blogs will sell more easily. Aged, profitable blogs with diversified traffic are generally faster moving and will catch top dollar.

Also, remember that just because you’re listing your site doesn’t mean everything on it stops. Simply continue running it while the listing is in place and discuss any offers that come in over the duration.

Read more: A case study on planning, developing and selling a blog.

4. Avoiding Scammers and Time-wasters

Since these are business transactions carried out relatively anonymously in many cases, you also need to exercise certain levels of caution. Although sites like Flippa make blog selling safer, remember to stay within the guidelines (and confines) of the system.

“If someone tells you to take the transaction off platform, that’s a red flag. Keep the sale on the Flippa platform – we are here to protect you,” said Blake. 

Thankfully though, he also mentioned that such situations are now much reduced. Due to concerns about their customers, Flippa put in place a strong team to mitigate these instances. This includes a review team, a post-sales enablement team, and embedded escrow with defined inspection periods so scams don’t happen. 

“As for time-wasters. I have always found this interesting. It’s unlikely someone just enquires for no reason. If they enquire and then disappear, they’ve decided they are not interested in the asset. This is no different to any browsing behaviour offline or online,” he added.


Conclusion

Speaking to Blake was an enlightening experience and I hope you’ve learnt as much from this as I have. He’s a true expert in his field and the care he shows Flippa customers could be discerned from the excited manner in which he discussed them.

On a more related note though, we still come back to the topic at hand – selling your own blog. At the end of the day a blog is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. I’m sure you’ve heard the adage “one man’s meat is another’s poison”, and that applies to blogs as well. 

Never sell out just because you think that’s the only offer you’re going to get. Find the one buyer who’s willing to pay your price.

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About Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.