So you’ve started your blog for whatever reason. You may have been going for awhile, or only started recently. Either way, have you considered your exit strategy?
It may sound like a strange thing to think about if you’ve only just begun blogging; chances are you’re far more concerned about where your next hit is going to come from (for your site, I mean ). But the fact is, most of us are not going to be blogging until the day we die, so what are the choices for a graceful exit?
What are the options?
As far as I can see, there are only really two options:
- you can simply abandon your blog, or
- you can hand it off to someone else
If you’ve never confronted this issue, then by default you probably fall into the first category. That’s right, all the love, sweat, blood and guts (not to mention late nights) you’ve been pouring into the beast you call your blog will one day simply be thrown away and trampled in the dust like yesterday’s newspaper! Not a very inspiring thought, is it?
On the other hand, your blog can live on if you are able to pass it on to someone else when you decide to quit. Whether this will be feasible depends on a number of factors, which is why you need to think about it now.
Is your blog all about you?
If your blog is of a personal nature, it’s very unlikely someone else could take it over. On the other hand, if you run a niche site where the focus is a particular activity, product, or profession, you stand a much greater chance of the site developing an identity of its own. Even then though, blogging by its very nature blurs the lines between blog and blogger, meaning a handover will not go un-noticed. You can ease the transition however by having a period of overlap with the new owner.
What’s your blog worth?
Putting a value on a website is not easy. There does not seem to be a standard formula that you can apply to decide objectively what a site is worth. At the end of the day, it’s worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. But there are a number of indicators that a potential buyer will look at (please note that I’ve never bought or sold a site – what follows is my interpretation of what I’ve read around and about):
- Number of visitors and pageviews. It goes without saying that the more traffic your site has, the more earning potential it has (although not all traffic is of the same quality, so traffic sources are also important).
- How big is your community? This is measured by your feed subscriptions, any mailing lists you may have, and the number of comments your blog attracts.
- How much revenue does your site generate? Anyone who’s thinking about buying your site will be very interested in what kind of return they are likely to get. Indeed, the most common method of valuation that I’ve noticed is a multiple of the site’s current earnings, in much the same way as stocks and shares are valued.
- Do you have a particularly desirable domain name? There have been several high profile cases where domains have changed hands for big money. If you’re lucky enough to own one, this alone could command a premium regardless of your current content.
Of course, maybe none of us will be blogging in ten year’s time – we might have all moved on to the next Big Thing. The whole blog phenomenon, after all has only been around for a decade or so. But it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead, now does it?