Authority blog websites. From nothing to $25 million in 5 years.

46 replies
BLOGS ONLY (NOT GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, AMAZON ETC..!)


Hey,

I'm looking for examples of 'authority websites' that started not so long ago yet have rapidly grown..

For example TechCrunch. In my opinion back in 2005 I'd say reporting on 'start ups' was a fairly small niche. I'd love peoples opinions on that statement.

It started as a simple weblog with just one writer, Michael Arrington, back in June 2005.. and just 5 years later it was purchased by AOL for $25 million - and now has over 37 staff..

Mindblowing..

Does anyone know of any other examples? Perhaps not in the IT, Internet etc.. niches...
#$25 #authority #million #websites #years
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Originally Posted by Joe Motion View Post

    Hey,

    I'm looking for examples of 'authority websites' that started not so long ago yet have rapidly grown..

    For example TechCrunch. In my opinion back in 2005 I'd say reporting on 'start ups' was a fairly small niche. I'd love peoples opinions on that statement.

    It started as a simple weblog with just one writer, Michael Arrington, back in June 2005.. and just 5 years later it was purchased by AOL for $25 million - and now has over 37 staff..

    Mindblowing..

    Does anyone know of any other examples? Perhaps not in the IT, Internet etc.. niches...
    I heard of one called Facebook.

    Another called Twitter.

    One called Instagram.

    Are they what you referring to or must they be blogs?
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I heard of one called Facebook.

      Another called Twitter.

      One called Instagram.

      Are they what you referring to or must they be blogs?
      Sorry for not being so specific..

      Yeah, I mean just blogs... the kind just started by one guy (or gal) in there bedroom...

      I've thought of another example..

      The politic gossip website DrudgeReport.. stated by one guy back in 1998 (not the best of examples as that's super early).. now said to be worth over $150 million!
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      • Profile picture of the author Brad Mc Bard
        My picks:
        1. Lee Odden's TopRank - founded 10 years ago - very good and VASTLY successful ("about us" page shows the awards. WOW!)
        2. Seth Godin's blog
        3. You asked to also name non-tech blogs, so here's something completely different: Elise Bauer's Simply Recipes - Alexa<5000 and Alexa_US<1600 WOW!!
        4. Finally, I guess this is what you were looking for: Dumb Little Man Alexa<28,000 and here's what he says in his "About Us" page:
        It all started with a boy and his blogging dream...

        Ok. No. Not really. Not really at all actually. My pen name is Jay White and one night in 2006, I was putting together a sales presentation. When done (around 2AM) I opened a beer and started playing with Blogger, the free blog platform that this site is built on on.

        To this day, I'm not sure where the name Dumb Little Man came from. Maybe I'll get analyzed one day by a team of psychiatrists to find out. What I do know is that I have always been into productivity, exceeding goals, automation, and, well, finding a simpler way for everything.

        In this blog's infancy, I would share sites and resources that I found helpful, etc. As my sales career expanded and my writing time diminished, I had a tough choice: either close DLM or accept that you, the audience has something substantial to share.

        I quickly decided that sharing info trumped the ego boost of being the sole writer on DLM. There simply is no master of everything so there is no value in claiming to be one. Therefore, I opened the door and now allow anyone to share stories or publish tips and advice. To me, this has been phenomenal windfall of ideas and concepts that I would have never thought of. To date, over 17 million people have stopped by Dumb Little Man and I'd like to think that most learned something.
        Truly inspiring.
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      • Profile picture of the author Arcana Media
        Originally Posted by Joe Motion View Post

        The politic gossip website DrudgeReport.. stated by one guy back in 1998 (not the best of examples as that's super early).. now said to be worth over $150 million!
        Like many who have gone from being a one-man show to having a site worth millions, Matt Drudge had some personal / business connections to the topic of his site (politics) that helped give him some momentum.

        For example, The Drudge Report was the first to report on the Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinksy affair. Being the first to report such a massive story can catapult a site to fame overnight.

        So a common thread with these guys, or at least factors that are most apt to help mimic their success, are:

        (1) getting exclusives or otherwise being the first to report on stories,

        (2) being different from everyone else who's publishing in the same field - ie. Perez Hilton's crude mark-ups over paparazzi photos,

        (3) getting your own press, either personally or for your site - ie. Perez Hilton getting media attention by being sued by the pap's / photo source companies because he didn't pay to use their pix on his site. And he's now become a celebrity himself, which leads to getting even more exclusive stories and interviews,

        (4) hard work
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  • Profile picture of the author adsassist
    I think Facebook would be the best one. There is a movie about it.

    How many billions it is worth now?

    And it was something that just happened, wasn't even planned.

    It started as a rating system for peoples faces. Then morphed into what it is today.

    It is all about seeing the big picture. If you think small, you will get small. If you think big, you understand the possibility's are endless.
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  • Profile picture of the author cjagodka
    I was just watching an interview on forbes a couple weeks ago about the owner of tumblr.com it was quite fascinating to see how he went from being home schooled to a multi-millionaire within a few short yrs and it was all by accident.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Myspace
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      Myspace
      Blogs dude

      On the subject of MySpace.. it looks like it might be making a comeback!
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by Joe Motion View Post

        Blogs dude

        On the subject of MySpace.. it looks like it might be making a comeback!
        I subbed in for the notification a while back. I got it, logged in, then remembered why I left.

        Whoever designed that UI, should be shot.

        I've never been so confused in all of my life.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Haaha yaa facebook twitter all the web 2.0 sites grew rapidly in the last 5-10 years.

    Also, sites like fiverr and other marketplaces have grown pretty quickly in last few years.
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    • Profile picture of the author webmonopoly
      Originally Posted by thedanbrown View Post

      Haaha yaa facebook twitter all the web 2.0 sites grew rapidly in the last 5-10 years.

      Also, sites like fiverr and other marketplaces have grown pretty quickly in last few years.
      Blogs bro... lol
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    • Profile picture of the author narongtham
      amazon!

      The Book store that start with no product in stock.

      And now It's the Largest online shopping site.
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    • Profile picture of the author MrJonny
      Originally Posted by BarberShop View Post

      There's this site. Google I think.
      I use that site once in a while.
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  • Profile picture of the author dukegman
    Is it just me, or are most of the posters here are really that dumb! Come on guy, dude is asking for blogs and I dont think fb, twitter, myspace, google etc. are blogs. I think many people here post just to increase their post count!
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Speaking of Myspace & small timers that made good money, whateverlife.com. Ashley Qualls was 14 years old & turned down a $1.5 million buyout, which means she must have been banking some serious money selling Ad space. Should have sold, the site's probably a ghost town today.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bisturi
      Originally Posted by Joe Motion View Post

      Blogs dude

      On the subject of MySpace.. it looks like it might be making a comeback!
      Can you put the word "blog" in your OP? People have a tendency to read the first post and maybe the one following and then post. Be more precise in your OP if you want precise answers.

      Originally Posted by dukegman View Post

      Is it just me, or are most of the posters here are really that dumb! Come on guy, dude is asking for blogs and I dont think fb, twitter, myspace, google etc. are blogs. I think many people here post just to increase their post count!
      People are not dumb; they are actually trying to help the OP, but he is not clear in his original message. No point in giving further detail about the topic in subsequent replies. There's an Edit button for a reason.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Speaking of Myspace & small timers that made good money, whateverlife.com. Ashley Qualls was 14 years old & turned down a $1.5 million buyout, which means she must have been banking some serious money selling Ad space. Should have sold, the site's probably a ghost town today.
      Christ, I remember her.

      I wonder where she is now? I might Facebook her.
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  • This isn't a blog but before wayfair noone knew CSN existed as an owner of over 250 or so dropshipping sites that had made upto 370 million dollars up until it became wayfair.

    Although the many websites had already existed for a period of time, due to the fact that they weren't branded or only sold one type of product, noone ever remembers them or that they were all part of a huge portfolio of targeted dropshipping sites. This all changed the moment all traffic was redirected to the wayfair website. So you could say the wayfair website saw quick success as customers would now use the website for more than one product. This was done because the owners of CSN were seeing that their customers had no idea that other sites existed by CSN which means they weren't getting repeat customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    Most of the sites named here were new types of sites where they had to create their own code. They were not blogs using "off the shelf" code or themes.

    Two that I believe were blogs and probably used publically available code are Pro Football Talk (PFT) and HuffingtonPost. PFT was sold several years ago to NBC. I have no idea what either site is worth or earns each year, but I bet both are very valuable.
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    • Profile picture of the author ijohnson
      I believe the Huffington Post was bought by AOL a couple of years ago for over $300 million!!!!
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      • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
        Originally Posted by Bisturi View Post

        Can you put the word "blog" in your OP? People have a tendency to read the first post and maybe the one following and then post. Be more precise in your OP if you want precise answers.
        Done

        Originally Posted by ijohnson View Post

        I believe the Huffington Post was bought by AOL a couple of years ago for over $300 million!!!!
        Good shout. Started in 2005 and purchased in 2011 for $315 million.

        AOL have purchased a few but it's hard to find pricing (MMAFighting, Weblogs Inc which is a network of blogs)..

        Another is UGO.com (gaming blog), started in 1997, and sold in 2007 for $100 million.

        Here's a super quick turnaround..

        Bankaholic.com (banking advice) started in 2006 by one guy and sold in 2008 for $15 million!

        BabyRazzi.com, started in 2004 by some lady, sold in 2008 for $10 million!
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    My favorite is lifehacker. I consciously aim for the same quality in my own blogs.
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    • Profile picture of the author agmccall
      Originally Posted by Bisturi View Post

      Can you put the word "blog" in your OP? People have a tendency to read the first post and maybe the one following and then post. Be more precise in your OP if you want precise answers.



      People are not dumb; they are actually trying to help the OP, but he is not clear in his original message. No point in giving further detail about the topic in subsequent replies. There's an Edit button for a reason.
      Now, Please read below

      If people are only reading the OP and then maybe one more post then they should not be posting.

      Originally Posted by Joe Motion View Post

      Sorry for not being so specific..

      Yeah, I mean just blogs... the kind just started by one guy (or gal) in there bedroom...

      I've thought of another example..

      The politic gossip website DrudgeReport.. stated by one guy back in 1998 (not the best of examples as that's super early).. now said to be worth over $150 million!
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  • Profile picture of the author rich8169
    I personally think that Problogger should be in the list.
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  • Profile picture of the author reneesbertrand
    Mashable and Techcrunch can also be said to be blog websites started from Zero
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
      Originally Posted by reneesbertrand View Post

      Mashable and Techcrunch can also be said to be blog websites started from Zero
      I used TechCrunch as the very first example :confused:

      Mashable is a good one. Started in 2005 by a 19 (NINETEEN!) year old Scottish guy. It now employs over 50 people and is worth over $25 million (easily!).
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Durham
    Originally Posted by Joe Motion View Post

    BLOGS ONLY (NOT GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, AMAZON ETC..!)


    Hey,

    I'm looking for examples of 'authority websites' that started not so long ago yet have rapidly grown..

    For example TechCrunch. In my opinion back in 2005 I'd say reporting on 'start ups' was a fairly small niche. I'd love peoples opinions on that statement.

    It started as a simple weblog with just one writer, Michael Arrington, back in June 2005.. and just 5 years later it was purchased by AOL for $25 million - and now has over 37 staff..

    Mindblowing..

    Does anyone know of any other examples? Perhaps not in the IT, Internet etc.. niches...
    How about a video game resale store that started with nothing and held top 5 in the main keywords for that market. Market...not niche.
    I sold it and it was dissolved, but nonetheless. I made my tithe...ya know?

    WTF are you looking for?

    My tip when competing with the big dogs: Look for and concentrate on the little things that the giants neglect. They do add up.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Motion
      Originally Posted by Ken Durham View Post

      WTF are you looking for?

      My tip when competing with the big dogs: Look for and concentrate on the little things that the giants neglect. They do add up.
      If you read the original post you'll see I'm just looking for blogs that started off as "one man bands" only to turn into multi-million dollar businesses...
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  • Profile picture of the author Tomas Lodén
    The Newry Times launched in December 2011 by three graduates struggling to find work in the region’s recession-hit media. They started with £20 and one year on, the website now regularly attracts 14,000+ readers a week and some of the biggest advertisers in Ireland. (im not 100 but i think they started as a simple blog)
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      Originally Posted by Tomas Lodén View Post

      The Newry Times launched in December 2011 by three graduates struggling to find work in the region's recession-hit media. They started with £20 and one year on, the website now regularly attracts 14,000+ readers a week and some of the biggest advertisers in Ireland. (im not 100 but i think they started as a simple blog)
      I inspired them to create the site you know. It t'was me.
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  • Profile picture of the author jtoelle
    Pinterest is up and coming
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  • Profile picture of the author ankur625
    How you can forget "Squidoo"?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tomas Lodén
    Buzzfeed - by Jonah Peretti (who is also cofounder of The Huffington Post)

    Business Insider - launched in February 2009, employs a staff of 50, 5.4 million monthly.
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    • Profile picture of the author beautyzoomin
      Originally Posted by Tomas Lodén View Post

      Buzzfeed - by Jonah Peretti (who is also cofounder of The Huffington Post)

      Business Insider - launched in February 2009, employs a staff of 50, 5.4 million monthly.
      There are 4 co-founder of huffing post

      Arianna Huffington
      Kenneth Lerer
      Jonah Peretti
      Andrew Breitbart See them on wikipedia
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      • Profile picture of the author goindeep
        A lot of those mentioned are not one man or woman start ups which began in a bedroom, unfortunately.

        Big companies are great at spinning out stories designed to make us feel all warm and fuzzy feelings for said company...

        Dig deeper and you will find that there are very few and far between that started the way the media really portray they did.

        There are however many that did really begin the way they say they did

        Taking a bit of a different approach here is an article I found on how startups fail http://www.businessinsider.com/33-st...-failed-2013-6

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  • Profile picture of the author Hartmann
    The guy from shutterstock started with a simple site with a few of his personal photos on it in keeping with what others are saying about start small but dream big. Here's a link to "his story" - BBC News - How Jon Oringer became Silicon Alley's first billionaire - failed a lot before hand though.

    Vishen Lakhiani started a blog on learn remote viewing that did well - 930k in 18 months apparently. Do a search and you'll find it. He did a video explaining how he did it.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Google is another one. Back in 1998 we didn't need another search engine. We had AltaVista, HotBot, Lycos.

    All you need is something new.

    Look at Facebook - it's new. Twitter even more new.
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  • Profile picture of the author alamest
    What exactly you want to do.

    Do you want to take idea of it or do you want to make that kind of website and make million dollars.

    There are millions of example of like that.. many network marketing companies are there who grow in one year for that kind of many

    so it depends what exactly you want to do and how it will help people..

    if you create something helps and solve peoples problem you are millionaire so think something like that..
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  • Profile picture of the author seoarticles4u
    in my opion facebook is the 1 who has gined repu in just 3 to 4 years untill now
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  • Profile picture of the author uttoransen
    here's another blog - digital-photography-school.com - also owned by problogger,

    This blog is worth a few millions as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      There's a few names come to mind.

      David Risely - PcMech
      Michael Arrington - TechCrunch
      Michael Dunlop - Retireat21
      Pete Cashmore - Mashable
      Darren Rowse - B5media
      Mike Masnick - Techdirt

      Some of them have been interviewed and shared their success stories.

      Definitely highly inspirational to be looking at these kinds of guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author ScorpionGod
    Hey, What about these blogs which are totally about Internet Marketing.

    1. Copyblogger.com
    Just like TechCrunch example Copyblogger was started by one person called Brian Clark and now it's a Multi Billion dollar company that provides Content Marketing Products & Services.

    I'm really inspired by Copyblogger and it's sub companies like StudioPress, Premise etc.

    2. Problogger.net
    This is the most advanced blogging and Internet Marketing blog I ever found. Simply this is my 2nd most valuable teacher for most of my knowledge in Blogging and IM.

    In addition to Blogging, ProBlogger has created their own Products. Yep, this is another million dollar blog.

    3. DailyBlogTips.com
    This is my 1st blog that I started to learn about Blogging in 2008 and I still read this blog. Daniel of DBT has created a popular blog with his own Products and Services such as Adsense Course, Online Profits course etc.

    What you think about these 3 Blogs or let's say Online Businesses? I'm really inspired by these 3 Blogs to start my own Business with Blogging, WordPress & SEO. Hope this helps in your research and hope you'll learn something valuable from these guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author deebee23
    If you are into sports checkout Deadspin. It's the TMZ for sports. But it's a blogging platform
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Yeah there are a few good sporting ones.

      I saw one a while back that was all purely 100% curated content.

      I created an Australian sports news site based on curated content just for teh heck of it to see what would happen and I began getting traffic instantly, im just not passionate about sports so I dropped it, that's what I would do If I where into sports
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  • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
    Bleacher Report always gets me. It was sold for $200 million 5 years after it was started.
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