No one starts their blog with the intention of getting rid of it. Somewhere along the way, though, it’s perfectly normal to feel as though your website is no longer worth maintaining. What should you do then?
If you’re smart about the way you build your website from day one, your blog will have accumulated enough value so that you can easily sell it for profit. While many people are surprised to hear that blogs can be bought and sold, website marketplaces are a growing segment of the web economy: one marketplace alone, Flippa, has sold over $100,000,000 in websites.
So how can you make sure that your site grows in value from the start?
1. Start with a great niche
What should your website be about? For the greatest longevity and value, your site should be about something that will interest many people. Our data shows that sites about sports, health and cars sell for the most money. On the other hand, sites about Internet marketing and technology tend not to do as well.
Finding a niche may take you some time. Here are some of my favourite ways to come up with new niche ideas:
- Notice what bothers people around you. What are their pain points, what irritates them in daily life, and what can you write about that will help?
- Use Google Trends to measure relative interest in a topic over time. Ideally, your niche of choice should be trending up over the last few weeks, but not have such sudden growth that its popularity won’t last.
- Find out what people are passionate about. This is why sports is such a great topic: sports fans are always interested in their teams, and there is always new topics to cover in that area. There are other niches, like bands, hobbies or shopping, that cause a similar reaction.
You should also have a personal interest in this niche: it’s hard to sustain the work that comes with building a blog if you don’t know anything about your topic, or if you just don’t care.
2. Invest in content
With the almost-daily updates to Google‘s ranking algorithms, the only constant way to get to the top of search results is to spend time on quality content for your blog. This means that each post should be unique, interesting, and written with care. Google has many ways of detecting what counts as quality content, including grammar, sentence complexity, duplicate content and reputation of the author.
If you decide, one day, to sell your website, these are the same things that smart buyers will be looking for: quality content, great spelling and grammar, and guaranteed uniqueness for each article. The days of autoblogs, which published automatically generated content to hundreds of websites at a time, are long gone.
Your content should also extend to your readership: the more work you put into building a community around your website, including on Facebook, Twitter, and through comments, the higher your site will be valued by prospective buyers.
3. Choose the right monetization method
Whether or not you started your blog in order to generate revenue, the #1 thing that will matter to buyers is going to be how much money your site is making every month. Even a few dollars per month in advertising or affiliate revenue can be enough to show a buyer that the site has potential for growth.
There are three main ways to make money from a website: advertising (usually through a platform such as Google AdSense), product or service sales (where you directly sell a product or service to an end user), and affiliate sales (where you direct buyers to someone’s site, and get a percentage of the sale). Each of them can be used on its own, but sites that use a combination of these methods are typically seen as more valuable. This is because each monetization method can be unstable. When combining two or three, you guard yourself against losing all revenue if one monetization method fails.
We have been selling websites on Flippa for almost four years. In that time, we have seen trends in website value and in the types of websites that are being sold. One thing has always held true: sites in an interesting niche, with great content, and with smart monetization methods, are the highest prized of all.
PHOTO CREDIT: THE-TIM