My name is Israel. Most of you may recognize me from Fat Man Unleashed, my weight loss blog. I recently sold a niche blog to a major company. I told John about it and he asked if I could put together a guest post on how I went about it. So, here goes.
I don’t make sites to flip them. I build, or buy when possible, sites that I pour a lot of passion and work into. This sale just happened to come about and the stars aligned for this transaction to occur. It was really a perfect situation. You can go read about how to flip sites/blogs somewhere else, or even on John’s site. But this isn’t about that. This is about working hard at something and it paying off.
What Site Did I Sell?
The suspense must be killing ya right? The site I sold is http://www.PrisonBreakCrazy.com. It’s a fan site that chronicles and follows the Fox television show Prison Break.
Who I Sold It To
I sold the site to FirstOnMars.com. It’s an awesome site that let’s you watch tv online and customize the experience. I had been thinking about developing different sites around TV, but when I saw First on Mars I liked it a lot and thought it would be cool to work with them to develop it. I’ve sold them the site and will help them develop their product. How great is that?
The Back Story
Before I tell you how I sold it, it’s important for you to know some back info on how the site came about. About 2 years ago, maybe a little less, I was looking for a site to buy and take to the next level. I search all over Digital Point, SitePoint, and asked a few online buddies if they knew of any sites I could buy. Nothing really came up. That’s until I hopped onto SitePoint one day and saw a listing for Prison Break Crazy. It was making a killing via Google Adsense’s Firefox affiliate program and was listed at a decent price. Underpriced actually. The site was making several hunded dollars a day and was listed for only $6000. So I did my due diligence and purchased the site. The site was ranking highly for several key terms and had over 90% organic traffic.
A couple of weeks later, Google banned Adsense ads on the site and all the money I had accumalated had been lost! I was devasted. I was out my $6000 plus I was out the few thousand that had been in the Google Adsense account. Man was I pissed. I had used my credit card to finance this investment. Remember John’s post about using credit wisely…
So I petitioned Google to allow my back in. They refused saying that I was violating their terms. Although I had written proof from the previous owner’s Google Adsense rep allowing Adsense on the site, I was not let in. For a few weeks I was depressed about the deal. I couldn’t get a refund from the buyer and I couldn’t make any decent income from the site.
Time went by and I started realizing that the traffic was there. It actually rose over that time. Like John says, when you have traffic it’s just a matter of monetizing it fully. That’s when I started experimenting with different companies: Adbrite, Yahoo Ads, Amazon, Linksahre, Intelitex, etc. They all performed poorly compared to Adsense.
Then I found an affiliate program that produced results immediately. In that 2 week span I made all my money back! I was ecstatic. Over time I added more ads and the site continued to flourish. I then redesigned the site, asked Google to tell me what I needed to clean up, and did so. They approved me to run Adsense. Things were working great, still are.
I worked my butt off from the time I bought the site to the time it made a lot of money. I spent hours redesigning the site, marketing it, producing content, etc. I busted my booty! Keep that in mind.
How I Sold It, Going Out on a Limb
That was the back story, now onto the how I sold it. A few weeks ago I was contacted by a company I had never heard of. They wanted to know if I could do a guest post or some sort of cross promotion. Being that I run Fat Man unleashed, Health Ranker, and few other projects, I simply told them that I had no time but that they were free to guest post on my site. They responded immediately. It was a major push they were making to promote their new site. I was more than happy to use their guest post since it meant that I would get free content up and I had been neglecting the site due to a new project.
Within a day they sent me over the guest post. I posted it. Like I said above, I had started a new project. I need some money to persue this new project so I figured that I needed to sell one of my sites for start up capital. That’s when I decided to go out on a limb.
I sent them an email mentioning the fact that I wanted to sell the site. I figured it wouldn’t hurt. They responded, once again immediately, with interest. I was blown away at how simple that was. We then began talks about traffic, revenue, etc. I sent them over all the details. They responded with an offer. I countered, they countered. I accepted. Simple as that!
How Much Did I Make
Part of the deal is that I can’t say how much I sold for, but man was it a good deal. It didn’t hurt that I know a few things about marketing/web development too. As it’s part of the deal. It’s hard to put an exact value on the deal as their was cash and stock. The cash component has an earn-out component too! It’s just too hard to put a dollar value on it. But if First on Mars is sold, I’m going to be very happy. 🙂
Moral of the Story
I learned that I work best when I focus on a small amount of projects and bust my butt on them, not having 1,000 spam sites that I don’t watch over. It works for some folks, but not me. As much as I’d like to be able to do that, I just can’t.
So, do what you love. I did. I love tv, I love health. I do those things online… The rest follows. Right?
So how did I sell? I asked someone that I had a relationship with if they were interested. It’s that simple. No major secret sauce here. It’s pretty simple. A lot of the readers of this blog will realize how simple these things are.
Just do it.