I earn six figures on my website but I'm not sure if it's worth anything

30 replies
I have a question for the community. I run a blog that attracts about 4 - 5 million page views a month. The last four months I've averaged significantly more than that. I'm earning six figure from the ads on my site, but recently I've wondered about whether I can really cash in.

Now, I don't think I would sell it, but hypothetically, if I ever wanted to, here's what I'm wondering:

My site is highly trafficked, but it's not something where I could ever sell and then ride into the sunset. I'm the primary content provider for the site. I have a few other writers but they are the supporting cast. People come to it for my content, specifically. If I left, the site would be dead. But could I -- again, hypothetically -- sell it for a large amount, hand over ownership to someone else, but stay on as the "star" of this site, getting paid some kind of salary?

Basically, they buy my site then hire me and pay me to write for it.

Do these kinds of deals exist, or am I just making this up in my head?

The only reason I'm even contemplating this vague potentiality is this: I have a very profitable and significant platform, but there's so much that I'm not able to do with it, without having am organization with plenty of resources behind me. If I want to transform my site from a nice, successful personal enterprise into a real force in new media, I feel like I need more resources, more power, and a better organization supporting me.

So do you think this sounds like a deal that could happen in reality? I did some research and all I could find was a story about how someone offered Perez Hilton 20 million for his site a few years ago. Don't know if he sold, but there's at least one example of a guy getting an offer on a site even though the site ceases to exist without that guy staying on board.

By the way,I'm not Prez Hilton or anything close to that kind of site (thank God). Just needed to clarify that.
#earn #figures #website #worth
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    You did say you earn 6 figures from the site? Why would you want to sell it at all?
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    • Profile picture of the author stillanovice
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      You did say you earn 6 figures from the site? Why would you want to sell it at all?
      I don't, necessarily. But I'd just like to know what kind of options are out there. I'd only sell it for a significant amount of money. Exponentially higher than what I make in a year. And then a continued cut of the profits to stay on an provide content. This, all in my imagination, perhaps.

      But, like I said, I do think there could possibly be a potential strategic advantage to a deal like this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Supermoves
    You could ABSOLUTELY sell your site. Let me give you an example of how/why someone would buy your site.

    Imagine you're talking with one of your friends and they ask you to borrow, say, $50,000. In exchange for the $50k, you'll $5,000 per month, for the next 3 years. Would you do it? Of COURSE you would. So someone will give you money for your site, and then simply sit back and collect their checks (even if those checks are only half the monthly income of the site). If they were REALLY smart...they'd find someone way to continue generating the content at a significantly cheaper rate, then kick you out!

    So for SURE you could sell your site for good money. If you want to PM me the specific numbers, I'd be happy to give you an idea of what it could sell for.
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  • Profile picture of the author fatchap
    moneysavingexpert.com - basically run by 1 man. He sold for $100 million, stayed on as head honcho for a few years.

    But I can't help feeling you have an overactive imagination- -6 figures and you want to sell ?
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    • Profile picture of the author stillanovice
      Originally Posted by fatchap View Post

      moneysavingexpert.com - basically run by 1 man. He sold for $100 million, stayed on as head honcho for a few years.

      But I can't help feeling you have an overactive imagination- -6 figures and you want to sell ?

      Your last sentence confuses me. Are you saying that with 6 figures I have an over active imagination to think that I could sell it for a lot of money?
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      • Profile picture of the author fatchap
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        • Profile picture of the author Tom B
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          Originally Posted by fatchap View Post

          No I wonder how someone can earn six figures and yet still seem so ignorant - I am suggesting I don't entirely believe you earn 6 figures.

          I would say you are ignorant if you think someone building up a 6 figure blog is suppose to automatically know anything about selling a business.

          Blogging and selling a website are not even close to the same skills.
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        • Profile picture of the author stillanovice
          Originally Posted by fatchap View Post

          No I wonder how someone can earn six figures and yet still seem so ignorant - I am suggesting I don't entirely believe you earn 6 figures.
          I'm very good at what I do, but I'm not a business expert. That's why I'm asking here.
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        • Originally Posted by fatchap View Post

          No I wonder how someone can earn six figures and yet still seem so ignorant - I am suggesting I don't entirely believe you earn 6 figures.
          Go to a different forum.
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          • Profile picture of the author fatchap
            Originally Posted by ProfitFromMyDomain View Post

            Go to a different forum.
            Why exactly I am a simply chap and don't understand your point.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I don't of course, know anything about the site other than what you've told us, but I imagine that if you listed it on Flippa, it would get some serious bids. You might try it with a real high secret reserve just to see what would happen ... to test the waters.

    It will be more difficult to sell if you really are the main attraction of the site. I'm not sure I'd want to drop a lot of money on a site that the income and traffic was contingent on the former owner sticking around and creating content. You could get tired of it and quit or quit for other reasons.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    if you are making this sort of money, its basically a KEEP GOING with it type situation.

    if you sell it, you make some money, but then the income stops. I would not sell it, get a team, and work on it, and make it better! :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author fatchap
    Building a website and earning 6 figures is a business. They are not different skills.

    Selling websites is almost as old as the internet and there is a huge amount of information freely available with minimal effort to find it. I remember reading years ago that building a website round yourself could make it difficult to sell - which is a statement of the obvious. A bricks and mortar business is exactly the same.

    But any business earning that much would be easy to sell, with him staying on for 2 or 3 years as a 'consultant'. This happens all the time in companies in the real world. If he can't find this for himself I am amazed.

    Which brings me to my original point - I doubt the 6 figures claim.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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      Originally Posted by fatchap View Post

      Which brings me to my original point - I doubt the 6 figures claim.
      who really cares what you doubt Fat Boy?
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
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      Originally Posted by fatchap View Post

      Building a website and earning 6 figures is a business. They are not different skills.
      Say what? I said selling a website and blogging are different skill sets. Sort of like the skills of starting a company and actually growing it is not the same skill set. One of the reasons it's better or an entrepreneur to hand off a company to someone else with better skills.


      Selling websites is almost as old as the internet and there is a huge amount of information freely available with minimal effort to find it. I remember reading years ago that building a website round yourself could make it difficult to sell - which is a statement of the obvious. A bricks and mortar business is exactly the same.
      Say what? Are you saying selling a website is the same as selling a brick and mortar business? Do tell.

      But any business earning that much would be easy to sell, with him staying on for 2 or 3 years as a 'consultant'. This happens all the time in companies in the real world. If he can't find this for himself I am amazed.
      Say what? Are you saying you sold a 6 figure website and remained as a consultant or did you just "read" about it on the internet.


      Which brings me to my original point - I doubt the 6 figures claim.
      Say what? You read it is easy to sell a 6 figure website, on the internet, but have a problem with this one.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bloggerguyman
        Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

        Say what? I said selling a website and blogging are different skill sets. Sort of like the skills of starting a company and actually growing it is not the same skill set. One of the reasons it's better or an entrepreneur to hand off a company to someone else with better skills.



        Say what? Are you saying selling a website is the same as selling a brick and mortar business? Do tell.



        Say what? Are you saying you sold a 6 figure website and remained as a consultant or did you just "read" about it on the internet.



        Say what? You read it is easy to sell a 6 figure website, on the internet, but have a problem with this one.
        As someone who writes on the internet for a living, I appreciated this rhetorical cyber smack down. Thanks for being so thorough. The fact is that generating compelling content and running a profitable business ARE DEFINITELY two different skill sets. It's like the difference between being a great actor and a great movie producer. Sometimes you can be both, and one day I'd like to be, but I'm not there yet.

        I can crank out viral content all day, and that's the sole reason why I'm making this kind of money on my website. The business end is still murky to me, which is why I'm looking for advice.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Here is your reality.

          1) Rule of thumb is you're only going to get about 3 years income for the site on average. So if you're making, say, $150,000 a year, you'll get maybe close to half a mil. Can you live on that if you had no other income for the rest of your life?

          2) If the site truly is YOU and will die without you, few smart people will touch it. Whether or not they will want to keep you on as an employee, that's another matter. Some will, some won't. A lot of people are control freaks and want to do everything themselves, don't want to have to depend on one particular person to keep the site going and won't take the risk on something that is potentially so fragile.

          Now, if I had the money (I'm broke) knowing how well I could write, I'd probably buy the site from you unless it was subject matter that was so foreign to me that there was no way I could pull it off. Of course if I had that kind of money, I could always just outsource the writing.

          So selling the site shouldn't be too big a problem by itself but you becoming part of the package COULD be a problem.

          Therefore, again, I ask...can you live off the income from the sale of the site if you didn't or couldn't get another profitable business going?

          Only you can answer that question.
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  • Profile picture of the author Patbinc
    Use your 6 figure income to get someone (like a mentor) who really knows his way around online businesses before you decide on the next move.

    This mentor should then be able to explain to you all the options at your disposal and you will be better informed on the best course of action for you and your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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    Contact View Profile: Thomas Smale. He's a website broker and could probably give you an idea of the value of the site and it's chances of selling.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Contact View Profile: Thomas Smale. He's a website broker and could probably give you an idea of the value of the site and it's chances of selling.
      OP, I wouldn't contact someone if you're not interested in selling. The OP shouldn't waste their time if they are not sure.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Thomas Belknap View Post

        OP, I wouldn't contact someone if you're not interested in selling. The OP shouldn't waste their time if they are not sure.
        Thomas Smale is an expert at valuations of web properties and he's always interested in prospective clients, particularly, or rather ... only for websites worth over $10K. Business leads, which is what this would be for him, are worth spending a little time on. His answers could be the deciding factor on whether or not the OP will sell. Even if the OP didn't sell this one at this time, he will make more sites, I'm sure, and then already have a connection with Smale's services.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
    You certainly have an asset there. But you are right that it is not worth as much as it could be, simply because you are the business.

    This is a variation of the problem of working in the business rather than working on it.

    I think it is smart of you to recognize the challenge this has caused well in advance of the day you are seriously considering selling it.

    And I can certainly understand why you might be thinking this way too. I know because I am in a similar situation. The work required to maintain a six figure salary is formidable. I love what I do, but nobody would confuse my workload with the idea of calling it in from the beach.

    My advice would be to gradually begin lowering your profile and raising the profiles of your supporting team. Give them more recognition than money though.

    You could also consider splitting your workload between two or three aliases. You can continue to be the secret identity behind those aliases, but you could also use them to groom potential successors.

    You can do this so gradually that nobody would even notice. But when you decide to sell, you would have more options - including retirement.
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  • Profile picture of the author Melody
    It really depends on how much of the blog is YOUR personality and how easy it would be for someone else to pick up if you leave. Other important factors are how you produce your income: is it affiliate marketing, membership, Adsense, advertising etc?

    Is it a niche site with good rankings? How old is the site and the domain?

    Another very STRONG factor is what your mailing list looks like - do you rely just on visitors or do you have a strong readership that subscribes to either your newsletter or update notifications?

    I sold a site a couple of years ago for 20 times it's monthly earnings because it was in a very competitive vertical, we held the top 2-5 spots for several terms, had a list of over 10,000 subscribers and a well-aged domain that I owned for the life of the domain.

    Earnings multipliers of 12 to 15 are not at all uncommon for a steady income producing site, that is well documented.

    Melody
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    are you showing off or stroking us?

    al
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  • Profile picture of the author James1212
    Sounds like you are burned out on the site, I guess try to sell it and see what you can get? I'm sure you can get a idea of how much it is worth somewhere online. Sounds like you have a nice money maker, I would not dump that.
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  • Profile picture of the author kingde
    If you are making that much you can afford a professional assessment/valuation and business advice. Make some contacts on the buy/sell websites/forums etc
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  • Profile picture of the author Meherhomji
    There is no need of selling. It will fetch you more prices in the days to come.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    The short answer is yes. You could sell your site and stay on as a writer/consultant. In reality, however, you would likely get less money for the site and it would be harder to sell. You would essentially be trying to sell yourself and your web property. Jack Gordon gave some great advice that would probably help your website whether you decided to sell or not. If you are not going to sell it immediately why not start transitioning and building a high quality staff so you alone are not the sole integral asset?
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