Selling Your Readership

I have to admit that I find it a bit sad that so many make money online bloggers are taking the easy way out by selling their blogs, some well before their time for some quick cash due to the fickle market valuing such blogs at what I consider to be a fairly incredible rate.

So far I have seen nearly half a dozen blogs jump ship ranging from $2500 all the way up to $10,000. Mark at 45n5.com has come up with a great post, giving basic valuations to many blogs, further inciting people to sell now while the market is hot.

What does this say about the original blogger? How does this make me feel as a reader of these blogs? I honestly feel a little betrayed. Some of these bloggers promised to deliver a product: their knowledge. They have instead decided to sell off their blog leaving me wondering what kind of things I will be able to learn from the new owners.

Every blog sold goes through a transition, whether the old writer stays on for a day, month or year, it eventually changes from what made it great, into something different. Don’t get me wrong, different doesn’t necessarily mean bad, but in my experience, very few blogs improve after changing ownership.

Really what most of these people are doing is selling their readership. They are selling my time on their blog and the value I bring to someone else and the only way I can think to combat this is to take my time back, and place it in the hands of blogs that I feel confident are going to stick around, with their original owner, or at least a trustworthy level of professionalism.

On the flip-side though, I am enjoying that so many people are leaving the race, as it only helps continue my trend at making this the blog about becoming a professional blogger, and making money online.

7 thoughts on “Selling Your Readership

  1. 45n5

    I for sure would recommend people NOT sell if they plan on staying in the same industry as your credibility and trust takes a hit when you sell out. (unless of course you really need the money)

    However it could be a fun experiment to try and build a site with the purpose of flipping it as long as you are transparent 😉

    The numbers are rather tempting.

  2. Alexandru

    I don’t really get it when people say things like this. You’re in the make money online business just like anyone else. Why wouldn’t a blog owner be allowed to sell? Would you rather see that blog go down slowly with less updates every week? When you’ll reach the point where you’ll want to sell a blog, will you enjoy people coming over and tell you that they feel betrayed?

    Your blog, your work, your call. If you’re subscribed to a blog is because you enjoy the content or you find it useful. You’re not the only one providing value by honoring that blog with your subscription.

    Why wouldn’t a blog owner feel betrayed if after a few months of hard work and providing content to his readers, they suddenly decide to jump ship, just because he wants to cash in on the time he invested?

  3. Terry Didcott

    Hi David,

    I found this place via Karen Zara’s blog and found this post interesting – I’ve seen quite a few bloggers selling out and it does leave you wondering what their blogs will turn out like with new owners.

    Some may improve when the new owner is a great writer and highly knowledgeable in their field, but this is rare as people like that already have their own great blog.

    Most will degrade as the new owner may think they are buying a money-spinner only to find the readership dwindling as their own writing style is less than acceptable to the readers. That often happens when a native english speaker wells to a non-native english speaker (no disrespect meant, but readers get used to a certain style and some non-native english speakers have a very different writing style). Then the reader numbers can drop quite alarmingly, leaving the new owner scratching their head as to whether they’ve bought a lemon.

    On the flip side, I can’t knock anyone having a cheque for $10,000 (or more) dangled in front of their faces and snatching it quick! I would have to think long and hard for a few nanoseconds before I bit that hand off!

    I guess it would depend on the blog and if you had other up-and-coming blogs to fill the void. And how highly you rate your own blog…

    Terry

  4. Ben

    I’m in agreement here. I always think it’s a shame when I subscribe to a site and then they go and sell up after only a couple of months. I’m sure these sites would earn them more in the long term if only they would stick around – an inevitably the subscriber counts drop – I know I’ve unsubscribed from most sites that have done this.

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