What To Think About When You Sell Your Blog

Today I would like to share some advice with you regarding selling a blog. The new owner of JohnCow has reveiled himself to the public, so it looks I’m not sworn to secrecy anymore. The blog was sold at the end of April for an amount equal to 12.7 high-end macbook airs. Not that I would buy that many, I just grabbed one ๐Ÿ˜ˆ Even though it’s great to receive a big chunk of money, there certainly are drawbacks involved in any deal like that. I simply did not foresee some of the things that could go wrong because it was only the second blog I had sold.

Attached Strings

Most of you have probably setup a snazzy IMAP or POP account under your blog domain. During the lifetime of your blog, you have most likely signed up for a bunch of affiliate programs, traffic exchanges etc, and I bet that most have been registered with that same snazzy email address. Sold your blog? Sold your inbox!

I had added several JohnCow related accounts to the sale (e.g Twitter, Feedburner, OIOPublisher, Gmail etc) and transferred these to the new owner upon completion of payment. Unfortunately for me, the new owner quickly found out that with getting the JohnCow hosting account, he also got my emails. Sadly enough I discovered that several of my affiliate accounts, like PepperjamNetwork and Entrecard, which were not included in the sale, had gotten their passwords changed. I was locked out and the new owner took full access to those accounts, and whatever funds and credits were left in them.

It’s like selling your house, giving the new owner a spare key, and when you want to go to pick your stuff up, he has changed the locks. Make sure you create a separate gmail or hotmail account to sign up for stuff like this. If it ever comes to selling your blog, it’ll save you a lot of work and frustration!

Indentity Crisis

As the online persona of John Cow, I had met a lot of new and interesting people. My readers, the people on twitter etc. Once I sold the blog, the new owner wanted to keep the sale a secret, afraid it would backfire on the JohnCow image. I agreed to these terms and now feel this was kinda like selling my soul. He kept the persona alive, and I kept my mouth shut. I looked at how many of my online friends were getting ‘played’ by the ‘impostor’. Obviously this is my own mistake, and I should not have let it happen that way. On the other hand, I’m kinda glad it did happen, because it has clearly separated my ‘real online friends’ (as far as real goes online) and the leeches that were just trying to be friends with an influential blogger.

Come Undone

Be prepared to distance yourself completely from the brand you have carefully built. I’m the kinda guy that likes to call them as I see them, and this reflected in some of my posts, which by some would be labeled as ‘controversial’. By pure coincidence, I found out yesterday that the new owner has been deleting certain posts from the archives, most likely to keep the peace with someone else. I won’t mention any names here, but when I had published this post, the person in question even tried to bribe me with money to remove the post. I might not be the most diplomatic of bloggers, but I do like to keep my integrity. With the new owner applying ‘censorship’ to the content I had published, it just seems somewhat unsatisfying and pointless in hindsight.

Breaking Up

The deal involved the ownership of a dedicated server, which was sponsored by my friends over at tophostingcenter.com. Besides the Cow, I obviously utilized the server for other sites too. Soon after the sale, I went travelling to get some things sorted, and had little to no Internet access. My plan was to get a new server as soon as I was back, to transfer my other sites, leaving the sponsored server in the hands of the new owner. A few weeks later I get a chance to get online, only to find all my websites were down. Quickly getting in touch with the host, it appeared the new owner had been either abusive or unreasonable towards the staff, to a degree where the sponsorship was immediately canceled and the server taken offline. Thank god they still had the backups after that while, it would have cost me weeks to get everything back up again otherwise!

I had to explain several times that I had sold the blog, and that I did not work, or was affiliated with the new owner. Luckily the CEO understood where I was coming from, and we’re on good terms again.

The main reasons for the sale were the fact that I have since moved from Europe to Australia, and that didn’t have enough time to work on the blog. Besides, that bag of money has made moving over here a lot easier ๐Ÿ˜ˆ If you are as passionate about your blog as I was, and yet you are looking to sell, try to take your time to make sure you are 100% happy with the potential buyer. I find that the blog has gone in a different direction. Instead of the using the parody factor, the cheekiness and controversy, it has turned into yet another MMO blog. Initially I was convinced that the new owner would pull it off, seeing the type of cheeky writing they use on dealdotcom, but to my disappointment he chose a different path. I guess everyone has their own expectation of what a blog should be about.

Something else which has let me down, is how I as the former owner am being portrayed in the ‘new and improved’ About Us page.

Over the first few months Bob was able to gain a lot of momentum with John Cow and with a new logo and new template it appeared like everything was going wellโ€ฆ but the problem was Bob was not really earning a lot of money online and so how was he able to blog about it?
A perplexing question indeed!

Yes, perplexing enough for them to pay me a big chunk of change. There are a few more of those sort of remarks throughout the new content, I guess it’s his way of ‘payback’, because of a few things mentioned above, I decided to turn my back on the new owner. Technically, I still owe him 4 posts, but after all that’s happened, I doubt these will ever get written.

I hope this post will help you guys to experience a smoother transaction then I had when the time comes for you to sell your blog.

Come look me up if you’ve read enough about making money online today. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Tags: ,

64 thoughts on “What To Think About When You Sell Your Blog”

  1. For a second I thought that John Chow was the one who sold this blog. I could breathe now ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://onlinedividends.blogspot.com/

    1. This reminds me of the selling of John Cow’s blog like twice in one year.

      1. Matt says:

        The new owners sounds pretty dull. Meh.

  2. Monetize Pro says:

    Nice article Bob! Good to know

  3. Wow seems like Bob found quite the jerk to sell too.
    You mentioned quite a few bug choices that one would have to make when selling. Perhaps the biggest (depending on your priorities I guess?) being to let the buyer to keep pretending to be you. At first I found myself internally shouting no way would I ever do that! Then I realized that it depends on how big the โ€˜bag of moneyโ€™ was.
    As for the remaining articles you owe then, I wouldnโ€™t even think about doing anything seeing as several of your accounts were stolen from you.

    The sad thing is although this post should make people think the new owner is a jerk and probably shouldnโ€™t be dealt with (at least thatโ€™s my thoughts maybe I’m taking it too far?) This article will probably get them a lot of visitors

    1. Im not picking sides here at all, but regarding the new guy being a jerk. Since he took over the rss has gone from 3,500 or so to 7,500 in quite a short time. He sure knows how to run a blog thats for sure. They both do i guess

      1. Bob Jones says:

        That’s not that hard. As soon as you grab their free ebook, you’re automatically subscribed to the RSS mail list.

        1. Not that hard Bob.. you could not do it… in fact your blog was dying. I have twice the traffic and income from that blog then you did. Make sure to read my below comment of what a jerk Bob Jones actually is.

          1. Bob Jones says:

            Sign, and I’m sure you’re not utilizing all your own resources to accomplish this? You even paid me to do a review on some of the traffic driving services you provide.
            http://www.johncow.com/and-then-there-was-traffic-tons-of-it/

  4. Roger Samara says:

    If you develope blogs for business purposes then i do not think a person should be attached to their blog.
    However, i find that a personal blog is very very valuable and is more than just a source of money. Its an image of yourself on the net. In my openion that is priceless.
    Nice article however. Good points.

  5. YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT MONEY!

  6. Flo says:

    Hey Guys. In Germany there are some bloggers who sell her blog too. For one moment i thought, that you would sell your blog $$$ ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Greetz from Germany!
    Flo aka. bloggylicious

  7. You got the money that was discussed , and that what you should be happy about , I understand that such things leave a bitter taste but you shld just let it be….you seem to be doing good writing for John Chow ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Bob Jones says:

      Just warning future blog sellers.

      1. Ya and I have a warning… never buy form Bob Jones, he is a liar and does not fulfill his ends of the deal.

        1. Bob Jones says:

          haha, I could call you a thief. Now you’re becoming a liar ont op of that. You shouldn’t take what’s not yours.

          1. a thief.. you did call me that Bob and the reason I called you a liar is because you lied in this post you made.

  8. primowp says:

    Good warning. FYI, selling is fun.

  9. BlackhatWay says:

    Oh darn. I just realized that I have registered to several programs with an accounts I am planning to sell. Got to change those.

  10. Great article and tips! I will def go back to this article if I ever decide to sell. Also i never really thought about the whole email accounts and all.

  11. neo says:

    i would’nt want to sell my own blog.. Selling is fun but where r ur profits..haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the to-the-point article. Some good thoughts. I would encourage you to write those last 4 posts though. That way you have the high ground. It makes a much better story if you can say you did as much as you could to make things right. Ending with – “but I’m getting him back…” makes me feel like i’m at a friend’s house while he’s in the middle of an argument with his wife. Instead you want me to feel like we’re in a bar having a drink and you’re venting to me about how you’re the one totally being wronged.

    1. Actually your point is the funny thing, and I would be willing to show the proof to anyone. Bob was suppose to give me those four posts but disappeared off the face of the earth. I was left to figure it all out and then he comes back and says he wants that back. I say OK, get me the 4 posts you owe and I will transfer back. Bob agreed and I never heard from him again.
      The funny thing about your comment Ryan is if Bob would have done what he agreed to, he would have gotten everything back.
      I do have another question though.. entrecard was 98% created by the johncow blog… would that not qualify as an asset of johncow? that is why I did that, I assummed it was part of the deal but I was also willing to give it back to him.

      1. Bob Jones says:

        ‘I was left to figure it all out’ There was nothing to figure out Jason, it’s just a blog. You write, you publish. Surely you wouldn’t have difficulties with that, seeing you manage a whole lot of Online businesses?
        I can’t believe you admit to having taken those accounts, and using them as ‘leverage’ or ‘blackmail’ to get me to write those posts.
        And how in heavens name would you say that Entrecard was 98% created by the johncow blog? Entrecard is owned by Graham Langdon, as you know. Johncow has had NOTHING to do with it’s creation. So no, it would NOT qualify as a johncow asset.

        1. Do not twist this around Bob and please tell me you are a little smarter then that. A johncow asset would mean that the credits earned from entrecard were the asset. Theentrecard account was under the johncow email and it was being displayed on the johncow blog. If it was not part of the deal you should have removed it from the blog when you sold it. You 100% admitted that the crdits were earned by johncow.com and so they are an asset of johncow.

      2. Gail says:

        Now boys! Back in the day, your fathers would have taken you out behind the woodshed and gotten this whole thing straightened out.

        ๐Ÿ™„

  13. John W says:

    What was the revenue multiplier for the sale? Thanks. I’ve read 10x as a valuation guideline in past.

  14. Jeffry Degrande says:

    Looks like blogs going belly up post sale is a trend these days. I couldn’t agree with you more johncow.com is ruined. The original parody was hilarious and a fun read. Today it’s boring and pretty arrogant. Same thing happened to the bloggingexperiment.

    But what is worse, and I mean, really really worse. The recent video had the cow _under_ the table. What it was doing there??

  15. Lawrence says:

    So what’s next for John Chow…

  16. This just goes to show that money isn’t everything. You sold the blog, but you still had some uneasy feelings. Good luck with your future projects.

  17. I always knew that the cow was really the chow.

    1. Neil Duckett says:

      You have TOTALLY missed everything here my friend! They are 2 VERY different people. Are you not reading the same posts and names as i am? Bob Jones is the original Cow and John Chow is John Chow.

  18. Wow very Nice Information Bob and this should help People who are Interesting in Selling their Blog. ๐Ÿ˜›

  19. Chris says:

    Actually, anyone with half a clue *knew* the blog had changed hands fairly early in the piece. And given the nature of the readership, we also knew *why* the change wasn’t immediately made public.

    So don’t fret too much about the “keeping it quiet” part. It shows this blogging stuff is just another type of business, where business motiviations and ethics (as opposed to personal ethics) apply. Sad those aren’t one and the same, but that’s just the way it is.

    1. Actually, that last comment is on the mark. It wasn’t just the style of writing that changed, but that connection with the audience, too. And the stats changed, too. It became painfully obvious that the blog was following where CashQuests went after the new ownership. Then the spam marketing started on the blog. I doubt that many really read the blog any more.
      Kenneth

      1. give me a break.. spam marketing..are you serious. Show me the spam marketing?

        I have over 8000 readers and Alexa is full of crap. I will gladly share screen shots of two times the traffic that it now has compared to when Bob owned it. Look at copyblogger and problogger.. everyones alexa is dropping.. they changed something and it is no longer accurate.

        1. Agreed. Alexa is weird. My own traffic is up 25% on just last month, but Alexa is headed the wrong way.

          But don’t you think some of your recent ‘links’ ahem are a little spammy…?
          **Top Pick ** Work From Home Website
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          Let your readers decide for themselves. That’s what I’m doing: deciding for myself.
          InvestorBlogger

          1. they are paid sponsors, the links you are referring to.

        2. Yep, just checked Compete (which is more accurate)… they register about the same level of traffic as before the sale. Compete is more accurate than Alexa but neither of them is quite as accurate as my Analytics stats. So I guess Compete could be undercounting somewhat.

          InvestorBlogger

          1. Actually the best way to get a good picture is use:
            http://www.quantcast.com/
            Register your site and add the code. You can see johncow’s stats here…
            http://www.quantcast.com/johncow.com/traffic

  20. Ventibate says:

    With an Alexa of over 167,000 I’d say you got way more than it was worth anyway.

  21. Dan Mihaliak says:

    I noticed that the writing style had changed also.

    1. Mr. Javo says:

      That’s truth, it’s too hard to keep the same writing style… A blog is an identity, every time you read a blog, you are reading the owner itself. Once a blog is sold, it will take another path…

  22. domainpubber says:

    Sounds a little like sour milk to me. You sell your blog the new owners have to run it their own way. There are always as many sides to the story as there are parties involved. Anyway, thanks Bob for the ideas on things to think about if you sell (or buy) a blog.

  23. Brad says:

    I had something similiar happen.

    The new owners, just deleted my site, and spammed to my list of subscribers.

  24. mike brown says:

    so this is or isnt john chows blog?

  25. I think that I am utterly confused

  26. Sounds like you’re still in love with the ex, Bob. Perhaps you should have never sold it off as it means a lot to you..

  27. You are so full of shit Bob.

    You know i had so many people warn me about you but I always defended you and then i read this.

    I will gladly go on record and talk live with anyone about any of this bullshit you are dishing out. When we bought JohnCow, you disappeared off the face of the earth and did not fullfill your end of the bargain at all. You said you would do the seven posts and you did 2 and then disappeared. We needed you to do the seven posts to allow us time to transition into it… but no you decided to do your own thing.

    I finally tracked you down and you acted liek you were innocent and I needed to relax. I just paid you $30000 bucks and you are telling me to relax when you disappear.

    You tried giving me a lame excuse and then you did one more post. Then you emailed me about the entrecard and all that and I told you that it was my understanding that they were part of the deal. You sold us the business and the name so in my books that would be everything to do with it… and since you disappeared I took it upon myself to manage the siutation.

    2 weeks later you resurface… not to fullfill your end of the bargain but because you wanted them back and I said ok but you had to give me the 4 posts you owe me and i will return it to you… you never did that and I never heard form you again.

    I emailed you numerous times and never got one reply back, and yes bob I have saved every one of the emails.

    I can now truthfully say that you are 100% untrustworthy.

    Oh and as for the pepparjam… give me a break you had no balance in there at all, so do not say i stole your money. You want it back, just ask and fulfill your end of the bargain.

    As a matter of fact you are full of shit about how much money this blog was making too… I have since been able to get it up past that but you would be lucky to be making 50% of what you were claiming.

  28. Ohh and the comment about tophostingcenter… what a friggen joke. I had an issue with the server and they had no emergency number to call. It took 2 hours to finally get someone on IM and that time I had my site down for 2 hours. So I immediately moved all the domains to my dedicated servers on liquidweb.com where i knew they had emergency support. I then emailed bob about the server and told him he had 30 days… I still have that email to prove it too.

    I can not believe how full of shit you are Bob… this entire post is a 100% lie.

  29. Guys, can you watch your language please! While we’re not under 13 or even 21, the choice of using bad language doesn’t really lend weight to anyone’s argument.

    1. I do apologize about that, just I was already so disappointed in Bob and then these lies put me over the edge. You are correct, the language is not a good thing but the frustration of Bob not responding and then calling me a thief and a liar is a little infuriating.:)

  30. To put an end to this, I just forwarded John Chow, the last chat that Bob Jones and I had… pretty solid proof that Bob Jones is 100% lying. Be cool if John Chow responded about it but I will understand if he just wants to let this go away.

  31. This post is getting interesting…..

  32. Bob Jones says:

    Jason, Jason, you make it all sound so dramatical. You had ‘so many people’ warn you about me? In what regard Jason? Buying my blog?

    You’re seriously going to try and pin this on 4 silly little blog posts that I have not written for you? Would it really have made such a big difference? John Chow posts 4 or more posts a day ๐Ÿ™„ I told you I would have written them, perhaps a bit later seeing I was traveling, but after what you did, I think we were pretty much even.

    As for ‘the lame excuse’ you are referring to. I had told you before we even made a deal that I was going on holidays, and that I would have limited Internet access. I still can’t believe you would panic over a little thing like 4 missing posts in that meantime.

    Good job in ‘tracking me down’. I never disappeared Jason. You contacted me on the same old IM and the same old email.

    Yes, you did pay me $30000 bucks. ( 10% more actually) and you received the blog, the server and all the login details for the attached accounts, and the domains ownership right away. So yes, you could relax.

    As far as Entrecard being part of the agreement, the contract you made me sign, did not have Entrecard on there. How could it be to your understanding that they were? You seem to do everything neatly by the book in regards to contracts etc.

    Don’t worry Jason, I have kept every single email and IM conversation too, just like you.

    As for the Pepperjam account, there was money in that account. Not much, about $45, but the amount is not the issue. You took it upon yourself to claim those funds. I have spoken to Kris, and he was aware of the situation. He couldn’t say much because he didn’t want to get in volved, but he was aware of the situation.

    Now you can try to slander me by saying I was full of shit in regards to what the blog was making. I showed you the proof, I still have the proof, and they are the facts. You must be bitter throwing all that mud with no substance.

    This post was not a personal attack on you, I merely shared my experience with the JohnChow readers, hoping they wouldn’t run into the difficulties I encountered.

    How can you call me a liar when the facts are on the table?

    1. 1. First of all Bob, yes it was a personal attack. I asked others to look and that was the first thing they said.
      2. No there was not $45 in there and if this was an issue why would you not email me personaly 3 months ago instead of posting now. I do not even use the service and I woud gladly give it back to you. In fact I have to look but I do not think I have ever recieved a payment from Pepperjam… but i need to look.
      3. No you did not tell me you were going on vaction until one week later and you came back and told me you were engaged. I asked specifically for you to write 7 posts in a row and you said that not too worry you would do it.
      4. You wanted entrecard back and “as the chat shows that I sent “johnchow” I 100% agreed to give it all bac, even though I did not agree and all you needed to do is give the 4 posts.
      5. Do not try saying you did not give the 4 posts because of the other issues, the other issues did not happen until 2 weeks later.. a full week after you said you would do it.
      6. I also find it ironic you are saying I am trying to slander you, you are fine with mouthing off about me but when i defend myself it goes bad.
      7. As for the language i used in those posts, I do apologize but Bob, be a man and reply to my emails. If you changed your email then maybe let me know, how am i suppose to know you changed emails.
      8. I am also glad you kept everything because then you will know that the info I sent JohnChow is true.
      9. Bob I am more then willing to talk on the phone or chat with you again, argueing here is pointless because you can twist this however you want. You know the last we talked you know I was mad that you disappeared and did not get me the posts, in fact the chat started off by me saying I was upset and you immediately responded “about the posts”… so you knew you were wrong. Then you agreed to give me the fur posts and I would return something that was in fact a johncow asset (it did not have to say entrecard in the agreement, the agreement included all assets.. and entrecard credits earned by johncow is an asset). Well I never heard from you again.

  33. hmmmm are my comments being moderated now?

  34. Daniel says:

    Another thing you have to consider when selling your blog, specially in the cases where both blogs are “connected”, is the traffic your original blog is going to lose.
    In the case of JohnCow.com, 32,73% of the traffic comes for the keyword “john chow”, and in Spain JohnCow.com appears in 3th place for that keyword in google while JohnChow.com appears in the 60th.
    You sell the blog, but you’re losing your traffic and now you have a blog ranking for your domain’s name instead of yours.

  35. DJ says:

    Bob and Jason. This is all seems so petty. Is this really all worth the aggravation?…Move on with your lives and focus on future positive outcomes than previous negative ones….

  36. Vlad Balan says:

    Probably selling on of your blogs, if not the most important one, is one of the taughest moments in an entrepreneur’s life. It almost becomes a part of your life and it is hard to let it go, but we have to remember that money definitely is important. I’ve recently received a very interesting offer for one of my blogs, but decided to refuse it because I am convinced me and my blog can do better.

  37. Phil says:

    Come on guys, as much as I love drama, you seem to be honest people who had a misunderstanding.

  38. I read this post some time ago. Very interesting, but Wow! These comments are getting crazy. You guys just need to get together and just beat the he** out of each other. You know… settle it like gentlemen. ha ha.

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