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Purchasing a Blog to Make More Money – My Experience

Have you ever thought about buying a blog to make more money, but convince yourself that it seems too risky? Perhaps you are uncertain how you will do the transfer or if the previous owner will still have access to the site. Paying hundreds or thousands of dollars is no small amount of money to be handing over to a complete stranger. If you are interested in purchasing a website, you better make sure that you do it right.

I recently purchased a site that has been around for 3-4 years. I hadn’t purchased a blog before, but that doesn’t mean I did’t know what I was doing. There were lots of great materials out there, such as Mike’s (from The Financial Blogger) series on Buying Blogs. I didn’t follow all of his same steps, but they were a great resource to bounce ideas from. I know others have taken an interest in buying established sites, so I thought I would share my experience so that others can benefit from what I have learned. While I won’t be able to highlight the entire process, I do want to highlight some key features that will enable you to get started in your search for buying a quality site.

Finding a Quality Site at the Right Price

Perhaps the most difficult part of buying a blog is finding the correct site. Many of those buying sites say that you can expect 12-24 months of past earnings to be a fair price for a website. For me personally, there is too much risk at this point for me to offer anywhere close to this. Plus, I could hire out all of the components of creating a new blog myself for less than this. When I look to buy a site that has been established, I want it to be a better deal than what it would cost me to create something similar.

Finding a quality site for a low price is a difficult thing to find with all of the competition these days. It not only takes time to find the right site, but the correct approach. I have found that the easiest way to find a quality site at a reasonable price is to look for people who are on the verge of giving up blogging. If someone has started to slow down their frequency in posting, odds are that they are getting tired of blogging. The experienced blogger knows that running a blog takes a lot of work and it isn’t for everyone. Someone who is sick of keeping up with all of the little things is more likely to give up their site for a fair price. In their eyes, they are getting money for something they would otherwise just let die anyways.

Protecting Myself in the Blog Purchase

Once you have found a site owner that is willing to sell his/her site to you, the next step is making the transfer. Most likely the seller does not want to hand over their site to you without any cash upfront. But, can you trust someone with thousands of dollars without having anything in return? Odds are you haven’t seen the seller in person and have no way of confirming who they really are. So, how do you protect yourself while not giving up on the transaction all together?

The first thing that I recommend is to write up a contract between the buyer and seller. Make sure the contract is explicit in what is included in the transaction as well as any other clauses you want to include. After it is signed, the easiest compromise is to do half-before, half-after. In other words, you pay half of the agreed upon price in exchange for access to the many things you need access to in order to make the transfer. Once the transfer is complete, you pay the last payment. Each agreement will be different, but always make sure that you feel comfortable with the process.

Making the Transaction

While protecting yourself is an important aspect, I am sure many of you are wondering, “How do you make the transfer?” How do you go about moving everything from the previous owner to your name? Here is a step-by-step procedure of how I carried out the transfer:

  • Gain Access to WordPress – One of the first things you will want to do is ask for the previous owner to either create you an administrative account or give you the username and password of the current administrator account. Once you have access, delete any other users and change password.
  • Gain Access to Host Account: If the seller only has one site on his/her webhosting account, you can ask for the current to be transferred to your name. Instead of having to backup the site, transfer it to a new webhost (and all of that stuff), it is much easier to simply gain access to the webhosting plan and change the profile information and password.
  • Transfer Registrar: If the domain is not also registered through the webhost, you will need to have the domain registration transferred to your name. This can be done in the same way as the webhost account.
  • All the Other Accounts: Beyond that, it is just a matter of granting the access to the remaining accounts: facebook, twitter, email account, rss feed, etc.

Once you get started, you will realize how simple it really is. I know that I felt overwhelmed when I was first thinking about all that needed to be done, but it was easily accomplished within half of a day.

Have you purchased a site before? Did you do something differently?

What other questions do you have about buying a site?

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10 Responses to Purchasing a Blog to Make More Money – My Experience

  1. Cash Flow Mantra says:

    Never purchased a site, but have considered it. I go to Flippa often and just browse and dream. Instead I have been building from the ground up. But this is a pretty good summary of what it takes.

  2. Thanks for sharing this post. Although I’ve just started building my blog this information is worth noting. I suppose the task of transfer can seem risky so it’s good to learn from other’s experiences. Very informative.

  3. I almost sold a site once. That’s my only experience with buying or selling. I tend to lean towards just starting a new one from scratch. I wish I had sold that site and I would sell in the future if it came to that again.

  4. “I have found that the easiest way to find a quality site at a reasonable price is to look for people who are on the verge of giving up blogging.”

    That is the most important sentence of your article. I’ve been able to find a few great sites in that situations and they were definitely my best investments. At some point, bigger sites would sell at a higher price than 24 months so this is why it is so important to find someone that is about to quit and you make a killer offer 😀

  5. I have not yet purchased a site, but for me there is also too much risk at this point as I have other competing uses for the money right now. 😉

  6. Thanks for the great tips. I have been keeping my eye out on another site for a while. These tips will come in handy if I decide to jump on something. Thanks.

  7. Aaron Hung says:

    Great tips, never purchased before either so I’ll keep these in mind

  8. I have a unique way I go about finding these bloggers that have given up, and it has paid off well. I’ve purchased two sites, and bought them so cheaply that I’ve made my money back within a couple of days.

    Use escrow.com if you truly cant trust someone 100%… it might cost a few bucks out of the proceeds, but then you dont have to worry abotu knowing all the steps either…both buyer and seller are covered until both complete their sides of the transaction properly and sign off.

  9. That’s a great suggestion of taking over the hosting account. I think one of the challenges is that with the low cost of hosting and the fact that most companies allow for multiple domains, this could be a challenge as many online entrepreneurs (myself included) take advantage of this.

    Many site sellers will offer to set the site up for the purchaser, so it might just as easily make sense to ask the seller to get it all set up for you.