Could you sell your blog?
It's a weird thought. However, selling a business is relatively common place. People sell their businesses all the time, doctors and lawyers sell their practices, stores, just about anything that makes money can be sold, so why not blogs? There's been talk over at Problogger about selling blogs. At first I thought, “Who would buy a blog?” then moved on in my RSS feed…. but the idea kept haunting me. Not selling the blog per se, but what kind of blog would sell, and if someone would buy it, then why wouldn't they invest or sponsor it?
Quite often in the fashion blogging vertical, we just start. I just started, and felt my way through the blogosphere, figuring out what worked and what didn't. With my original blog, I didn't have a clear vision other than it was about my personal taste and style. Over the years, it became obvious that I could never grow the blog beyond myself because the readers and traffic was so tied to my own personal input without any clear takeaway therefore it could be not translated if another person were to take over.
That said, there is a place for personal blogs. A big place. But what happens when the person decides to move on? Do they just let the blog die out? It seems to be a waste of time and effort building an audience and an income, when it can be passed on to someone else.
Positioning a blog to be sold isn't about moving on. It's also about assessing the value of your work, and the value of the community you have built. It's also about determining what your core message is. How clear is your message? Is it a message people find valuable, essential?
So why not start from the angle that you are going to sell the blog? You may never want to sell, but answering the questions that might pop up from the beginning might help you keep your focus when you're just building your blog for yourself.
Questions to ask about your blog:
- How valuable is my core mission? We've talked about writing a manifesto for your blog (maybe it's time to revisit). But what is your core mission? Is it about you, or is it about something that helps people? Do you write about petite fashion, or denim trends, or what to wear to the office? Take a look at tools like Google Trends to look at the trajectory of your blogs topic. Is it an upward trajectory?
- How engaged is my audience? Do you get a lot of comments or shares on your posts? Do your readers buy what you post about? Do you sell out the events you host? These are all questions you need to think about when determining how engaged your audience is. If it needs some work, you might want to refer back to the core mission to determine if your blog has the potential to amass a strong following.
- What is my monetization strategy? Inevitably, when it comes to selling, the numbers will be a factor. Of course, you need enough money to live, but what do you sell on your blog that has value? This is where developing products can come in handy or building a strong affiliate income through your content, something that can be translated to value for another person. When developing your blog's monetization strategy think of it in terms of equity, and it will help you focus your efforts.
- Would I buy this blog? This could not be overlooked. Does your blog's design lack luster? Are your photographs blurry? Could your content use a little more clarity? Are you so passionate about the topic, you'd be willing to invest in it? If you wouldn't buy your blog, why would someone else want to buy it?
Again, I'm not suggesting everyone go and sell their blogs. But, it is helpful to build as if that were an option. Building your site so it might have value for someone else helps to put your efforts in a perspective that places value on your site. That way, you can communicate this value to potential sponsors and more importantly your potential readers.
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]