Is The Make Money Blogging Bubble About to Burst?

The perfect storm is brewing in the Make Money Online blogging world. These blogs tend to elicit strong reactions for various reasons. It seems that most people tend to either love or hate them with very few being indifferent to them.

Whether you are an advocate or not, it is clear that as more of these blogs are sold, a very familiar trend is forming.

Raging Bull

My first taste of irrational exuberance was the raging stock market of the 90s. Ahh… those were the good old days, stock market mania was everywhere.

Maria Bartiromo was one of the most recognized faces in America, Alan Greenspan was a household name and Jim Cramer was a rockstar.

Obscure companies like Cisco, Lucent and Applied Materials rocketed to the tops of the stock market charts and made people millions of dollars.

Tech stocks were the gold standard and these things were selling for ridiculous multiples. It mattered not that they had no revenue, no receivables, no profit, no inventory, nothing.

People bought them because they kept going up, not because it made any sense. They were buying a dream.

Any idiot could make money picking stocks. This was GREAT!

Of course all good things come to an end and when common sense burst the the bubble, the paper millionaires came crashing back to reality.

Flip This House

The drug of choice in the 90s was the stock market. After “the crash” people wanted a safer drug, one that wasn’t so volatile and that they understood more about.

Low interest rates and ridiculous lending practices began to skyrocket the housing market and people looking for the next big thing had just found it.

Those who didn’t even know what Applied Materials made, felt much better about investing in something they know, housing.

Houses began to appreciate 10, 20, 50 even 100 percent a year in many cases. Homeowners were cashing out and indulging in a lifestyle that they never dreamed possible.

Maria Bartiromo was replaced with Ty Pennington and Page Davis. Flip this House and Trading Spaces became two of the most popular shows on network TV.

Viewers eagerly tuned in to watch the latest moron buy a fixer upper, screw everything up beyond belief, yet still sell for a 6 figure profit. If that boob could make all of those mistakes and still profit, then so could I?

Any idiot can make money flipping houses. This is GREAT!

Just as the stock market of the 90s did before it, the Real Estate market has come crashing to earth. The guy who stumbled and bumbled his way to a 100k dollar profit before, was now stuck with the house and soon to be bankrupt.

Irrational Exuberance

Roughly a year ago a similar trend started in the world of blogging. It seems that MMO blogs are the latest “next big thing.”

John Chow and his outrageous income reports fuel the fire every month as bloggers see how easy it is to make money blogging.

Every time John Chow posts an income report it reminds me of those people who were able to make thousands on a flip without even knowing how to use a hammer.

Any idiot can Make Money Blogging. This is Great!

Uh oh.

Flip My Blog

This latest flip my blog craze is still unfolding even as I write this post. It seemed to start last year when when Blogging Fingers was sold. The floodgates were open and a number of blogs have been sold since that event.

Names like Cashquests, Onemansgoal, Blogtrepreneur, OneMansGoal again, Blogging Experiment, One Mans Goal yet again, SEONoobs, Shylock Blogging and the list goes on.

The previous two bubbles that I mentioned all had signs of “irrational exuberance” that foretold the end of the craze and this one is no different.

OneMansGoal has sold 3 times in the last 6 months with the latest being to a rank newbie who knows little to nothing about WordPress and is an admittedly poor writer. The selling price over 10k dollars!

Simply learning to blog is hard enough but learning to make money blogging at the same time is harder still. It appears he spent 10k dollars hoping to accelerate his learning curve but reality is that he bought the car before learning how to drive.

SEONoobs might be an even better example. This blog sold for $4500 dollars despite being only a few weeks old. You could duplicate that blog for almost no money and a couple of weeks worth of writing.


Nobody can accurately predict where the MMO blog craze is heading or how much money will change hands before we see that bubble burst, but I don’t think anyone will argue that a bit of irrational exuberance might be in play already.

I listed the two examples above but the bar for ridiculous might reach a new high any minute. John Cow has his parody blog on Sitepoint with a Buy It Now price of 50k dollars!

Cow reports an income of about 3500 dollars per month, so in the unlikely event that the buyer is able to maintain that revenue, it will be more than a year before they even break even.

Much like the “flipper” who ended up being stuck with a house that wasn’t worth what he paid for it, will this end up being the case for some or all of these blogs.

Time will tell and maybe they will prove my theory wrong, but all of the signs of a bubble are there. Much like the past, dreamers will blindly plunge into a field they know nothing about hoping they can be the next big thing.

The bottom line is it’s their money, if they want to plunge their life savings into a dream then so be it, but I expect that they will quickly learn that Hoping makes for a very poor business plan.

If you enjoyed this post you can find many more on my own blog at The Blog Entrepreneur. You will find me here every Friday as long as David doesn’t sell after reading this article.

34 thoughts on “Is The Make Money Blogging Bubble About to Burst?

  1. John Cow

    Just because we’re asking $50K for the buy it now, doesn’t mean we’ll get that price. But you’ll never get it if you don’t ask for it 🙂

  2. Gerard

    Excellent post. I think it draws some valid comparisons, especially where Make Money blogs make promises that can’t possibly be fulfilled in an overcrowded niche. There will always be money to be made running websites, but many people are investing time and effort only to see no return.

  3. WTL

    I’ve been wondering about this myself – I’ve seen some valuations for sites that don’t make any real sense at all.

    I see the value of selling domain names – blogs I’m a bit foggy on – yes, in theory, they come with a pre-built audience, but if you are good at producing content, then your audience should start to find you (yes, there is more to it than that, I know).

    Great read!

  4. knupnet

    Great post and some great thoughts. Sell or no? That’s the ever lingering question 🙂 I checked out your blog and subscribed – nice work!

  5. Pingback: MMO Bubble Bursting? There Is No Bubble! | John Cow dot Com

  6. Koka

    Great guest post. It’s amazing how much money has already changed hands by flipping blogs. Buying a site for the domain and content will have an ROI but there is a lot of work to be done in order to continue building on the sites exposure.

  7. CLBH

    There is a lot of money to be made flipping blogs and websites. I’ve personally sold 4 sites and have some friends that have made over six figures already this year from selling their blogs and sites…

    Virtual Real Estate will always be valuable

  8. Jim Kukral

    Sign o’ the time eh David? Good thoughts. I think a lot of this is being caused by “big time bloggers” realizing “making money online as a blogger” really isn’t a long-term thing. In other words… I think many are realizing that having a “business” might be the better long-term play, than scraping for ads every month in that space. Just my opinion.

    Plus, frankly, many don’t want to carry the MMO reputation for the rest of their lives.

  9. BillM

    @Jim – Thanks for checking in. I agree and I must admit that I too originally thought blogging would be a sustainable income. I still think it is but it certainly isn’t passive and that’s what I would prefer as well.

    It appears that Jerry Springer and the MMO niche might have something in common if you follow a few of these trackbacks.

  10. Pingback: White Trash Showdown in the MMO Blogging Niche | The Blog Entrepreneur

  11. Kris Chrisman

    Great job…

    I especially liked your comment “It appears he spent 10k dollars hoping to accelerate his learning curve but reality is that he bought the car before learning how to drive.”

    Instead of paying even $100 for a nicely designed Blog there are two free options to use to get over the learning curve and possibly make money too. Mainly and Each have good tutorials. Also there are hundreds of good free posts on Blogs and forums to help with the learning curve.

  12. Maria Reyes-McDavis

    I’m one of the many who thought blogging would be sustainable, as well. I personally agree with Jim Kukral – the business side is much more sustainable, chasing those ad revenues is a horrendous task for most bloggers (aka not the big power players).

    Great post, sharing with my audience.

    Maria 🙂

  13. Deb Ng

    I often wonder if the end is near. I hope it isn’t as the last thing i want is to go back to an office, but every bubble bursts sooner or later and I doubt blogs are any different.

  14. BillM

    @Kris – Two resources I would highly recommend one check out and cut their teeth on blogging with. You can’t beat free while you are learning.

    @Maria – I think blogging is sustainable, I just don’t think it is as easy as anyone thinks it is when they are starting out.

    @Deb Ng – I don’t think blogging is in jeopardy. I wonder aloud how long these sales will continue. I don’t know of a single sale (yet) where the blog even resembled a shadow of its former self after the sale.

    They have all tanked so far, at least in my opinion.

  15. Gerard

    Deb – I think we need to let go of ‘blogging’ as a meaningless buzzword. For a while, it was a cool synonym for ‘publishing’ or ‘writing’, but these days I cringe when mainstream media mention blogging.

    It’s time blogging became part of the arsenal of online tools available to a writer. And especially those of us associated with the MMO niche, before it’s too late.

  16. baldeagle

    The interesting thing is that these sites are educating people in some respects and as long as they continue to have good content, they will do just fine.

    I do think it is kind of silly that someone thinks they can step in to an existing blog and be as successful as the one who sold it. Yes, they do have a current audience, but unless you can provide the same level of content and engagement it just won’t fly.

    Great food for thought. Thanks!

  17. BillM

    @Gerard – Good comment but I am not sure what you have against the term blogging? Do you think people don’t that term as seriously as they should?

    @BaldE – If they provide value then they will have a readership and continue to grow but so far the trend has been that most of the blogs sold recently have tanked.

    I think Cashquests is the best example of what I am talking about. It’s hard to believe that it used to be quite a popular blog.

  18. Harald Johnsen

    I think the bubble is definitely about to burst. Some bloggers, like John Chow and Darren Rowse, will continue to do well, though. They know what they’re doing, they have the credibility, and they’re well established.

    It’s a sad fact that the majority of Make Money Online blogs are run by people who don’t make money online – and probably never won’t. As making money online is always going to be attractive for a lot of people and the price of admission is low when it comes to blogging, I think we’re going to see noobs starting these kinds of sites for a long time to come, though. It’s just obvious.

    The “Make Money Online E-Book” bubble might burst soon too. Isn’t it funny that when you start investigating these people who sell e-books about making money online, you find that the money they make mainly comes from the e-books? Personally, I think it’s hilarious. 🙂

  19. BillM

    @Leo – so you’re the one who still reads it. I was wondering who it was.


    @Harald – What is even more funny/sad is if you frequent the Warrior forum. Its an internet marketing hangout. You will often see sob stories about a marketer who can’t pay their bills, can’t fulfill obligations, lost their house etc…. yet when you click on their sites you find those landing pages where it shows them driving a Ferrari and living in a mansion on an island in the south pacific.

    Buyer beware….no doubt.

  20. Tony Lawrence

    Having been here longer than most (I started on the Internet in ’91 and put up a web site shortly thereafter) and because I make about 25% of my income from advertising revenue, I have a teeny bit of interest in this 🙂

    The problem with the bubble analogy is that it’s not a bubble. When I saw stocks moving to unrealistic heights, I moved my money into safer territory – if I had not, I would have lost a lot. But if every blogger making a few dollars a day packed up and closed their blogs tomorrow, that would only mean MORE money for me, not less.

    But I don’t think that’s going to happen anyway. Many, many bloggers do what they do because they WANT to – money is entirely secondary. A dollar or two a day is still a dollar or two a day – why throw it away if they are going to post anyway?

    Remember, until 2003, most of us “bloggers” (we weren’t called that then) weren’t making any advertising money anyway – yet at that point I had been publishing faithfully for six years running..

    There’s no bubble, and nothing is going to change. Just more of the same.

  21. Bill

    Sorry Tony…but a very average blog that is started in one month and is sold the next for 4500 dollars…..won’t last.

    I am not referring to blogging being the bubble, but the sale of MMO blogs for ridiculous amounts of money.

  22. Tony Lawrence

    But who cares? Again – it’s not a bubble – it doesn’t affect those of us who have been here for years and will be here for years to come.

    And I don’t think it will crash as you say anyway: there is an inexhaustible supply of stupid people. But if it does, so what? It just doesn’t matter to real bloggers.

  23. BillM

    @Tony – Whether it matters to real bloggers or not, really isn’t the point of the article and whether it is a bubble or not doesn’t have anything to do with who has been here for years.

    Bubbles are ALWAYS created due to an influx of “newbs” as seen in the stock market of the 90s and the housing market of the last decade.

    People that didn’t know any better invested in stocks they knew nothing about. People that didn’t know any better became “real estate investors” and now we are seeing people who don’t know anything about being a successful blogger, buying blogs for thousands of dollars.

    Sure it might not affect you personally but it is an event that is happening today. I even see that you wrote about Flipping Blogs yourself, so this shouldn’t be a surprise.

    You might not think the bubble is about to burst but you have to admit you must have noticed the trend too seeing as you wrote about it?

  24. Pingback: Trip Around the Blogosphere April 20, 2008 | Pajama Professional

  25. Fabien

    The ride was good while it lasted, but I’ll be moving to bigger and better things soon. It was a good foot-hole for me before I started anything comprehensive on the net.

  26. Marty

    I believe of you publish great content, people will find you regardless of any perceived bubble in any particular niche or subject area.

  27. Tony Lawrence


    Exactly my point – so what if some doofus pays $5,000 for a site they can’t make $5.00 a day from; it doesn’t affect ME in any negative way.


    My only argument with you is the characterization of this as a “bubble”. I suppose it is for those whose business is trading in blogs, but again their problems (assuming they actually see a “crash”) are nothing we “real” bloggers need worry about. Other than that, I certainly agree that “junk” blogs at premium prices is silly.

    I’ve written before about what I’d sell my site for, and it isn’t any paltry $50K – more like several million because of the loss of consulting income I’d experience. Yet I doubt my site would be “worth” more than a few thou to a typical buyer.

    I dunno – it’s a complex subject, isn’t it?

  28. Steve Mills

    We are definitely in a bubble with the “make money blogging” niche, however there are a lot of noobs out there to still jump on board and inflate the market even further. If I was blogging in this niche I would be getting a few other projects on the go just as a backup.

  29. @Stephen

    Hey, I’ll sell my blog for $10k! Especially if I can stay onboard as a contributor/editor. I’m just sayin’.

    Let the bubble come, and get the best deal that you can.

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