Yes, you can make six figures from niche blogging, if you know what you’re doing. If you think of blogs as assets, the goal is to buy low and sell high.
I have my friend and blogging expert, Chelsea Clarke on the show to talk about how she does it.
Chelsea currently owns six niche websites. She buys them, uses different strategies to grow their income, and then sells them. She also teaches others how to do it themselves.
This runs counter to many of the bloggers I interview on the show whom either accidentally got into blogging and turned it into a business, or people have been blogging for years and would never think if selling their blogs because they are personal.
Niche blogging for profit, with the intention of buying and selling blogs is a whole different business model.
In this episode, Chelsea and I discuss:
- Why you want to pick a niche for your blog
- Strategies for growing your niche blog
- Pros and cons of building a site from scratch vs. buying an existing site
- How much it costs to buy a blog
- How to buy a blog
- How to value your own blog
- And much more!
Chelsea opened my eyes to a new way to make serious money from blogging. Hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did.
Table of Contents
- Set up a call with Jillian
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- Chelsea Clarke
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
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Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie, I am a serial entrepreneur building businesses on the internet. And I love helping you build your own businesses by sharing cutting edge tips and strategies.
Jillian Leslie 0:28
I wanted to give you an update on MiloTreeCart, which is the payment tool David, my husband and I have just launched with MiloTreeCart. You can sell and get paid for memberships, subscriptions, paid workshops, coaching, and now we have launched digital downloads.
Jillian Leslie 0:48
What does this mean? Well, upload your eBook, your templates, your music, your digital art, really, we support any type of file, we offer free fill in the blank sales pages that we host for you. You can go take that sales page and start selling directly to your audience. When somebody purchases, we automatically deliver your file directly to them. Magic.
Jillian Leslie 1:15
If you’ve been dreaming about selling that eBook that art those templates, head to milotreecart.com and get started. If you have any questions, email me at email@example.com.
Jillian Leslie 1:27
For today’s episode, I have my friend, Chelsea Clarke on the show, and wait till you hear what she does. She buys blogs, grows them and sells them. And she also teaches other people how to do the same.
Jillian Leslie 1:45
I don’t know if you’ve seen this explosion like I’m noticing of niche blogging where people are buying blogs, selling blogs, it’s no longer this thing where you’re investing years of your life. It’s much more about these business transactions. But it can be a very lucrative business as you will hear from Chelsea.
Jillian Leslie 2:05
So, without further delay, here is my interview with Chelsea Clarke. Chelsea, welcome back to the Blogger Genius Podcast. It is so good to see you.
Chelsea Clarke 2:17
Hey, thanks so much for having me back. I guess I didn’t scare you off too much last time.
Get More Followers with Our MiloTree Pop-Up App
Jillian Leslie 2:21
Oh my God, no, you were one of the first people to discover our MiloTree pop-up app, and you loved it. And by the way, our pop-up app is still crazy popular. People are using it to grow all of their social media followers, their email subscribers. So, go grab it at milotree.com and get it on your site.
Jillian Leslie 2:42
Now that I’ve given our pop-up app, a plug, I think I saw a post of yours on Facebook, maybe Instagram. And I realized that you have moved into or you’ve really specialized in niche blogging sites. And I’ve been dying to get somebody on the podcast to talk about this. And it was like I put it out to the universe.
Jillian Leslie 3:04
And then I saw your post and I was like, Chelsea, you’re my girl.
Chelsea Clarke 3:09
Jillian Leslie 3:11
It was like meant to be.
Chelsea Clarke 3:13
How to Make Six Figures from Niche Blogging
Jillian Leslie 3:14
Let’s talk about niche blogging, niche sites, which is a thing like if you go on to Twitter, there are many people growing these niche sites and selling these niche sites. And as I always talk about on my podcast, you want to be in a niche.
Jillian Leslie 3:31
And therefore, I’ve had people come on who word lifestyle bloggers where I’ve questioned, is that a smart move? Or is it better to be in a niche? So, let’s start at the beginning. What is a niche site and how did you get into building them, selling them, creating kind of a whole marketplace around them?
Chelsea Clarke 3:31
Absolutely. Well, I’m so excited to get to chat about this stuff with you. Because this is like my whole world now. And really what a niche or niche site is, is it is similar to any type of website except it really focuses on one main topic.
Chelsea Clarke 4:09
So, a lifestyle blog would be like something you’re blogging about maybe many topics, you might have many interests and you have one website where you share all the different topics travel, beauty.
Jillian Leslie 4:20
Chelsea Clarke 4:21
Blogging, business. But when you have a niche site, you’ve just chosen one lane and you’re just going to blog about travel or you’re just going to blog.
Jillian Leslie 4:30
That was what I was going to say like, is it travel? Or is it travel in in Ireland?
Why You Want Your Blog to Be in a Niche
Chelsea Clarke 4:37
Exactly. That’s the thing you can niche down even further you can be like, you’re only going to blog about packing tips for travel, you can go as far wide narrow as you want to you really get to choose that.
Chelsea Clarke 4:50
And the benefit, the reason why we focus on niche sites is because when you have a site like that, you have an audience where you know that one thing that they’re into, they could be into all the other things as well. But you know that they’re into that one thing.
Chelsea Clarke 5:05
So, it’s a whole heck of a lot easier to get them on your email list and to know what to sell to them later. Because you know, they all have that one interest in travel. Whereas if you have a lifestyle blog, you might not know exactly what your audience wants, and it can be harder to monetize that audience.
Chelsea Clarke 5:21
So, that’s the biggest reason why we focus on growing niche sites. And that’s why I get so excited about it, because I’m a Gemini, and I like to kind of jump from thing to thing. But being in this business means I could run multiple sites, and each one has a very specific focus.
Chelsea Clarke 5:38
So, I can focus on it for a little bit and then go work on something else. And it’s a nice way to keep my brain happy.
Jillian Leslie 5:45
For example, my husband is a ready for it. He is a one bagger. Do you know what that is?
Chelsea Clarke 5:51
I don’t know what that. Oh, like for packing?
Jillian Leslie 5:54
Yes. For travel. He loves it. And there’s a whole community and he’s in Reddit groups and loves learning. What it is, for people who don’t know is, it’s like people who travel in just one bag, it’s like a backpack and they’re like these highly optimized bags.
Jillian Leslie 6:13
And he reads about all the bags, and he wishes he could buy a million of these bags, but it kind of defeats the purpose if you’re just trying to minimize your life. And he’s trying to get my daughter to be a one bagger. It’s like a lifestyle.
Chelsea Clarke 6:28
Jillian Leslie 6:29
But it is a perfect example, of like, this is travel, but it’s really packing. But it’s really one baggers. And it’s a community, because it’s a philosophy. And there are therefore all of these bags and accessories and places one baggers like to travel to.
Jillian Leslie 6:47
I think it’s more male than female. So, it just like all of a sudden, you can start to go, oh, you can paint the picture of the one bagger.
Chelsea Clarke 6:56
Mm hmm, you’ll know your avatar much, much better, much easier that way.
Jillian Leslie 7:01
And so therefore, already, as I’m talking to you, I’m like, I could see all the blog posts that I would want to write about like what are the cheapest bags? What are the most luxurious bags? What are the lightest bags? What are the accessories that I need for my bag? How can I meet up with other one baggers, that kind of thing?
Chelsea Clarke 7:20
Exactly. And it’s such a great way to build your authority when you just focus on that one topic for that website. Google is going to understand what your site is about when you only really stick into one lane for that domain for that one site. Google will know, oh, this is an authority on this topic. And that’s going to help you with ranking as well.
Work to Monetize Your Niche Blog
Jillian Leslie 7:40
So, is the idea of a niche site, I’m going to try and get as much traffic as I can by really optimizing my SEO and my keywords, then I’m going to put ads on my blog, let’s say and monetize that way.
Jillian Leslie 7:57
And then because it is this niche site, it’s kind of like you can easily understand it. And then the goal is I could sell this as an asset. So, can you walk me through how you think about building niche sites as like assets?
Chelsea Clarke 8:12
Absolutely. So whenever I am working on a site, and this is what my audience, they are all focusing on, as niche website investors is, no matter what we’re creating, what blog we’re creating, we always are focusing on the growth, the monetization, and the exit.
Chelsea Clarke 8:29
So, we want to build something that is worth money, we want something that is worth that asset value so that we can resell it for more down the road. And so, what I did is I founded a platform where people can do this at BlogsForSale.co.
Chelsea Clarke 8:45
And that’s where content creators post their sites that they are ready to sell and anyone can go in and buy it, work on it, and maybe you want to sell it down the road. But the whole thing is, the things that make it valuable as an asset is traffic and revenue, and quality content.
Chelsea Clarke 9:03
Those are like the three main things, I would say revenue is most important when buyers are looking at a site to buy, they want to see that there’s a history of sales, and money coming in. That’s always number one.
Chelsea Clarke 9:17
And so, when we’re thinking about how we can monetize niche sites, it’s really good to have more than one revenue stream. So, we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket. And like these tips, this applies to any content creator, whether you would tend to sell or not.
Chelsea Clarke 9:31
But you should have ad revenue on it. You should have affiliate revenue. So, you’re getting some sales from promoting brands, and then also your own digital products.
Chelsea Clarke 9:42
So, something that you get 100% of the sale for and that’s like the trifecta. If your site is monetized with those three revenue streams, it’s going to put you in a really good attractive place for buyers when they come looking.
Jillian Leslie 9:54
So, let’s say I go hey, you know what, I’m going to go be like a one bagger blogger. First question, how important is it that there’s like a person behind the blog? Like, I’m Jillian the one bagger follows me on social media. Or do I not want that. Because eventually I want to sell it. I don’t want to sell myself along with it.
Build the Brand of Your Blog
Jillian Leslie 10:14
So, is it much more about this is the content for one baggers. I’m kind of behind the scenes, building content and stuff. But it’s not like Jillian is one bagger site?
Chelsea Clarke 10:25
Yes, absolutely. So, if your intention is to sell your site down the road, then you want to remove your persona from it as much as possible, especially if you can from the beginning. Or if you haven’t thought that when you want to do it, now, you can always start removing your persona now to get it ready to sell. But it’s good to focus on the brand.
Chelsea Clarke 10:44
So, if you do not have a logo, you can even create an avatar, you can make up a person that is the face of the business, it doesn’t have to be you. And essentially, if you’re going to sell, it shouldn’t be you because you never want to have to sell your persona with a business.
Chelsea Clarke 10:58
Because you don’t know what the new owner would do with your name or your photo. You might have an agreement with them. But then they might sell the business to someone else. And then what would that person do with your persona.
Chelsea Clarke 11:09
So, it’s always good to focus on building the brand, the brand itself, the content, create an avatar, if you will, and then just not have your personal photos not have your name. And by all means, do not put photos of your kids on the blog, if you’re going to be selling, just don’t even do it. Don’t take that risk.
Jillian Leslie 11:29
That is good advice. I’m going to start a niche blog, my intention is to grow it, to get traffic for it, to put affiliates up on there and to build my own digital products. So, let’s go down the path of the one bagger, because I feel like that’s so specific. So, I buy a good URL that hopefully has one bagger in it. And then I go, Okay, I need content.
Chelsea Clarke 12:00
Jillian Leslie 12:00
What do I pay?
Chelsea Clarke 12:01
So, when you’re in this place, and you’ve decided this is a niche that you want to get into, you have two choices. First, there’s the slow route and the fast route.
Strategy 1: Build the Site From Scratch
Chelsea Clarke 12:01
If you want to go the slow route, that starting from scratch, that’s buying a domain, setting up WordPress and creating the content yourself or with writers from nothing.
Chelsea Clarke 12:22
So, that is one way to do it, there’s nothing wrong with that. The way that I prefer to do it myself is I will look for a site that is already established. So, it already has content, it’s already established in the niche, it already has followers revenue, social media, an email list, all of that stuff is already done, so that I can just come in and then grow it from there.
Chelsea Clarke 12:42
So, those are the two starting points that you can choose to do. They both have pros and cons, if you’re starting from scratch pros it’s totally yours from the beginning.
Chelsea Clarke 12:54
So, you decide every single choice, you get to choose exactly what blog posts are on it, all of your colors, everything is right your decision, you have that full control.
Strategy 2: Purchase an Existing Blog
Chelsea Clarke 13:04
The cons of doing it that way is it is going to take a longer time to get it up off the ground, get some traction for Google to take it out of the sandbox and start ranking those articles, it’s going to take time to build a following, an email list to develop products, all of those things.
Chelsea Clarke 13:22
And if you have time on your side, and you enjoy doing that, then that’s a great route to go. But if you want the faster route, then the cons would be that a lot of those initial startup decisions have already been made by the current owner.
Chelsea Clarke 13:39
So, you don’t have that full control in the beginning. But you can change everything, once you have it.
Chelsea Clarke 13:44
The pros, I feel outweigh. This way, I feel like it’s much better to buy because if you have a bit of money to invest, you get to skip all of that startup phase. You get to skip all of that initial growth and product creation. And neither is right or wrong. They’re just two different ways to get started.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Blog?
Jillian Leslie 14:06
How much are we talking about? When you look for a blog to purchase what kind of investment are you looking at?
Chelsea Clarke 14:14
Personally, right now, I’m buying sites that are earning about $1,000 a month or more. So typically, what we do is we as investors when we’re buying a site will pay up to two, sometimes three years times its monthly profit. So, if a site is earning $1,000 a month, I would pay at most $40,000 for that site.
Chelsea Clarke 14:38
But the thing is when you go and you check out all the marketplaces there is something for every single budget there are starter sites that are priced under $2,000. Or you could buy up all the way up to a full on establish huge corporation blog and put a couple $100,000 down and literally everything in between.
Chelsea Clarke 14:40
So, you get to really decide what type of investment or micro investment is right for you at whatever stage you’re at. And that’s another cool thing too. It’s not like, the stock market where you put some money in, and then you just hope the stock market is good to you, you just kind of hope and pray that you made a good decision.
Chelsea Clarke 15:15
But with website investing, when you buy a website, you actually then have that control of the growth the time you put in, the money you put in, the effort that you put in, that will come back to you.
Chelsea Clarke 15:15
So, you actually get to control your return on investment, much better than you do in the stock market, which you don’t have any control of.
How to Decide Whether a Blog is a Good Investment
Jillian Leslie 15:34
How do you kick the tires of a possible investment? For example, how do you go, okay, I want to buy this site. Let’s say it’s $30,000. It’s in the beauty niche. How do you go like, I want to evaluate whether this is a good investment? What are you looking at?
Jillian Leslie 15:57
Aside from you know that there’s revenue let’s say that’s real, they’re not cooking the books.
Chelsea Clarke 16:02
Jillian Leslie 16:02
You can see the money that’s coming in. What else are you looking for when you’re looking at purchasing?
Chelsea Clarke 16:12
This is valuable advice for anyone who is either considering buying a site or you just want to get your site prepared to sell.
Chelsea Clarke 16:20
What I’m looking for, and what I always recommend is when you’re doing your due diligence, you’re going to want to ask the seller or the sellers broker for access to the Google Analytics.
Chelsea Clarke 16:20
So, that you can verify that the traffic is really there, and you can see where it’s coming from, you can see what pages are popular, and just really get a deep dive.
Chelsea Clarke 16:38
You can also look at search console so you just make sure that there are no manual penalties or anything that might be affecting the site. You can do backlink checks; you can use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs.
Chelsea Clarke 16:52
And you can really see the history of that domain, that’s important to look into too. And then you’re going to want to look at the profit and loss sheet. So, if you are a content creator thinking to sell, you should be having some sort of easy spreadsheet that just shows how much you spend each month, and how much you earn each month.
Chelsea Clarke 16:52
And that’s something that any buyer will want to look at. So, they can really understand as far back as records that you have, so that they can understand really what that the financials are like for your business. And then you’re also going to want to look at any screenshots of revenue you could look at.
Chelsea Clarke 16:52
You could have a meeting with the seller, and you can look at their affiliate dashboard. So, you can just verify that what they say on that profit and loss sheet, that income really is there, you just want to make sure.
Chelsea Clarke 17:04
And being able to have a conversation with the seller is always good to have or the seller’s broker, because then you can understand so much more than you can just see on a listing page.
Chelsea Clarke 17:17
And getting that face-to-face can also make both sides feel much more comfortable about entering into any deal. So, those are some really important things to think about when you’re doing your due diligence.
Chelsea Clarke 17:28
And then as a seller, when you’re getting your site prepared to sell. Even when it’s up for sale, you still want to be publishing content, you definitely don’t want to feel like okay, it’s up for sale I’m done I’m partnered with. It hasn’t been sold yet.
Chelsea Clarke 17:41
So, you really do still need to publish content, keep your social media updated, because buyers will be looking at that. And if they see that nothing has been updated in six months, they’re going to think maybe the site is declining or it’s dead, no one is at the wheel.
Chelsea Clarke 16:52
So, you just want to make sure that up until the day that you actually have sold it. You’re running it with all of your heart, soul and love that you did beforehand.
Chelsea Clarke 17:53
So, when you say brokers, what does that mean?
Do You Need a Broker to Buy a Blog?
Chelsea Clarke 17:59
So, I am a broker, I’m a business intermediary. I help people buy and sell online businesses.
Jillian Leslie 18:28
Do you need a broker?
Chelsea Clarke 18:37
No. You do not need to have a broker. But there’s definitely benefits to working with a broker. Because we know the ins and outs of the business, we can protect you from a lot of issues that can come up, we can recognize when there might be something in a deal that is not in your best interest.
Chelsea Clarke 18:55
We can recognize whether you’re a buyer or the seller, the other person on the side might be trying to sneak something into your contract. And I’m also a content creator. So, I see both sides of the business.
Chelsea Clarke 19:21
That’s why it’s really beneficial to work with someone because we see it all we’ve been there we’ve been through it all and we can protect you from getting into situations that you really don’t want to be into. And a broker what we do is we manage the entire process of the sale.
Chelsea Clarke 19:37
We present the legal contracts between the buyer and the seller. We manage the escrow so that we make sure that the money is held by a secure third party so that you are protected on either side. While assets are getting transferred.
Chelsea Clarke 19:51
We assist with all the technical stuff like how the actual transfer happens between buyer and seller. And we do it in a way that it’s very fast and seamless. So, you can get your money like that, rather than trying to figure it out.
Chelsea Clarke 20:04
And hoping to actually get that payment, we know how to do it. So, that’s the benefit of working with a broker, among others. But yeah, that’s what I do at the company.
Jillian Leslie 20:14
What is a typical brokerage fee?
Chelsea Clarke 20:18
It ranges by how much the actual business is selling for. So, the range could be from 5% to 20%, depending on what your sale price was. And the higher you sell for means the lower your commission is.
Jillian Leslie 20:33
Oh, interesting. Interesting. And so somebody, let’s say, reaches out to you and says, I want to buy a blog, or website and hire you as the broker.
Chelsea Clarke 20:44
Oh, yeah. If you are looking to buy something, so buyers don’t pay any fees. So, I work to help buyers as well. But a buyer doesn’t have to pay me anything. I’m just helping them get a site.
Jillian Leslie 20:56
So, you get hired by the seller. So, like a realtor?
Chelsea Clarke 21:01
Exactly. It’s like digital real estate.
Jillian Leslie 21:03
But usually, your buyer and seller both have real estate agents, but you’re saying that the buyer doesn’t, it’s just you get hired by the seller?
Chelsea Clarke 21:13
That’s right. Yes, I work to protect both sides. But the seller is who pays the broker fees and escrow fees.
Jillian Leslie 21:21
So, let’s say you buy a site. And let’s say it’s a site that’s making $1,000 a month and you see potential. What do you see that is the potential? And then how are you going to optimize that site so that you can get a bigger return? How long does it take you? And what is your usual exit?
Chelsea Clarke 21:47
Those are great questions. So for me, the things that I’m looking for is traffic revenue, and quality content. So those are the things that are attractive to me.
If you are curious how bloggers like Chelsea, who are making six and seven figures are growing their businesses definitely get my free PDF, where I share the 5 Secrets Successful Bloggers Know, so to get this, just go to milotree.com/secrets. And see how many of these five things you are incorporating into your business.
Again, milotree.com/secrets. And now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 22:36
Do you look for something you’re interested in? Like, if it’s something that you know nothing about would you buy the site? Or if it’s like, oh, it’s like beauty or parenting or something that’s like more in your wheelhouse. Like, some sort of heavy machinery. I’m not sure that would be something you’d know anything about, like tractor.
Advice: Buy Blogs in Niches You Have a Passion For
Chelsea Clarke 22:59
I would never buy a site if I didn’t have personal experience in or personal interest in learning about. So for me, if it’s something whether I have education, or just a passion for, that’s a niche, that’s probably going to be attractive to me.
Chelsea Clarke 23:14
And for anyone here that’s listening, you’re going to hear out in the blogging world, people say that there are profitable niches, like health, relationships, and wealth. Those are like the three ones. It’s like, oh, they’re very profitable niches.
Chelsea Clarke 23:29
But the thing is, if you personally do not have experience in those niches, they won’t be profitable for you. So, you need to pick niches that you really can connect with.
Chelsea Clarke 23:40
And also, just from an interest standpoint, if I were to buy something like machinery, I’m not going to be inspired to want to get up and write every day, I’m not going to want to put my whole into a website that I don’t really care about the actual topic.
Chelsea Clarke 23:55
That’s why I would say pick something that you personally love you’ve experienced with or you are just willing to learn and research and really invest yourself into, that’s always going to be more profitable.
Jillian Leslie 24:06
So, then what do you do? Do you have a staple of writers that you can then go guys go, here are keywords, here are the blog posts I want you to write, how do you then you bought something, let’s say in beauty. And you go, now we’re going to build this blog. What do you do?
Chelsea Clarke 24:28
So, when I first started doing this, I was doing it all on my own, I would buy a site and the first thing I would do is I would do a quick content edit. As soon as I got it, I would go through the blog post I would look for where there could be gaps.
Chelsea Clarke 24:42
I call it monetization gaps where the previous owner maybe missed an opportunity to add an affiliate link or I can think of something that would be a great place for an Amazon recommendation right there.
Chelsea Clarke 24:42
And I will just quickly do a scan of all the content and I add in affiliate links where I could and then I do a deeper dive in a couple of weeks when I’ve wrap my head around it. And that was really my strategy. And then I would just work on it for a couple months and then flip it.
Chelsea Clarke 25:06
So, I would sell it after a few months, when I felt like the revenue was on an upward trajectory. You never want to sell a site, if it’s going down, you want to work on it, and sell it when it’s really going up. And that’s going to get you the highest resale price. But there’s really no specific timeline that you have to follow.
When to Sell a Blog
Chelsea Clarke 25:26
It’s really like you can decide when either you’re no longer interested in it, or you feel like it’s time to sell, that part is totally up to you. And then nowadays, I have writers and people that can operate and assist and run the social media and things like that.
Chelsea Clarke 25:44
But if you are just thinking of getting started, you do not need that big team, you really can do it on your own or with one virtual assistant. So, I don’t want anyone to feel scared. Like they can’t get into it. Because they don’t have that big team. It’s really something that you can grow over time. And it can be done as a one woman one man show too.
Jillian Leslie 26:02
So, you buy this. It’s a blog, and it’s making $1,000 a month.
Chelsea Clarke 26:10
Jillian Leslie 26:10
How many blog posts typically, would a site like this have that you purchase? Do you want one with more blog posts, fewer blog posts? What is your like, kind of sweet spot?
Chelsea Clarke 26:20
Well, an actual number to me wouldn’t matter too much. It’s really about the actual quality of the individual articles. I want to make sure that each article has like at least at a minimum 1,500 words.
Chelsea Clarke 26:34
So, it’s actually the individual posts that matter the most to me, and I want to go through it and make sure that each article is really answering that search intent that someone might be typing into Google.
Chelsea Clarke 26:45
And an easy way to do that is when you’re doing your keyword research for articles that are already published, you can go and you can find related keywords, or you can add a Frequently Asked Questions part to the end of that article that’s just answering search intent questions that you’ve seen come up on Google.
Chelsea Clarke 27:01
That’s a really great way just to kind of give each article an easy boost, I would say that’s something that I would do. I would also just really think about, okay, was this monetize the best could I create a digital product or a lead magnet that would really be a good addition to this article so that I can one, get a sale and then two, grow my email list.
Add a Tripwire to Your Blog to Make Money
Chelsea Clarke 27:25
And a great way to do that is by having a Tripwire offer. So, I’ll have a free lead magnet, have that opt-in box on my website, someone can sign up to get the free thing, when they hit subscribe, it’ll just automatically redirect to a Tripwire page that gives them a limited time offer.
Chelsea Clarke 27:43
That is something under $10, just a really quick win right away. And that’s a great way to quickly monetize a new site, as well as adding something like that to your highest performing blog posts. And you can find out which posts that is by going into the Google Analytics and seeing which ones get the most traffic.
Jillian Leslie 28:03
So, we’re working on our blog.
Chelsea Clarke 28:05
Jillian Leslie 28:06
And I’ve added my Amazon affiliates, I have maybe come up with a couple Tripwires to grow my email list, but also to make these smallish sales. And let’s say I’ve hired somebody on Upwork to help me come up with some of the gap posts like oh, we didn’t answer this question. Let’s write the blog post.
Jillian Leslie 28:32
And I’ve got like a writer who’s writing me, let’s say a post a week. Does that sound kind of about like how you’re thinking about it?
Chelsea Clarke 28:42
Yes, that’s about it. That sounds like a great system to me.
Jillian Leslie 28:45
How quickly then, are you able to grow these blogs and then sell them? And what kind of profit are you looking at?
Chelsea Clarke 28:54
I can give a couple of examples of my own experience, but everyone’s experience is really going to be different. So, I can’t give an exact number for what someone listening would be able to do. I don’t know what you would be able to do.
Chelsea Clarke 29:05
For in my experience. One really great flip that I had last fall, I purchased a site for $38,000. It was selling digital products, and I purchased it right before Black Friday.
Jillian Leslie 29:18
What kind of digital products?
Chelsea Clarke 29:20
Template so Pinterest templates. And so, what I did is I got it just in time for Black Friday, and I ran a promotion. I put everything up on sale special for Black Friday, I ran some ads to it. And I just got a whole bunch of sales over Black Friday. So that increased the value right there.
Chelsea Clarke 29:37
I held that site for just over three months. And I resold it for $130,000.
Jillian Leslie 29:45
Chelsea Clarke 29:45
Yes, that was a very quick flip.
Jillian Leslie 29:47
What did you do aside from running a sale and running ads to the sale? What else did you do to optimize this site for three months?
Chelsea Clarke 29:56
Yes. I went through all of the content and just like I said, ran through what my audit or edit would be, I did that to all of the articles, I added better affiliate links, I interlinked the articles. And I looked for any of the products that the seller had created. And I just updated them, I really just updated them and I put them on sale.
Chelsea Clarke 30:17
I started working on drawing attention to the content that she had already created. Because I didn’t have a ton of time, I was very busy last season. I didn’t have time to create new templates or create new blog posts even. So, I really just had to improve what was already there and drive traffic to it.
Chelsea Clarke 30:39
And it wasn’t just with paid ads, I also really focused on free promotion as well. And I did that by going into Facebook groups where content creators hang out designers or people who would want Pinterest templates. And I just went and I chatted with people.
Chelsea Clarke 30:55
And in the groups that allowed it, I would share a link once in a while and just bringing people back to that sales page. And that’s really all it was. And I always prefer doing things the organic free way before I do it the paid way. Because I need to verify that the organic freeway is actually going to work first before I start dumping money into paid ads.
Chelsea Clarke 31:19
So, that was really a balanced with this one because it was a quick sale. So, I did just jump right into ads. But normally, I wouldn’t jump into ads so fast. Normally, when I’m going to flip a site, I’m going to test out if people are going to buy it organically first.
Chelsea Clarke 31:34
Some other great ones that I’ve had, there was one that it was a mental health and wellness blog. That was one that I purchased for $3,000. And I worked on it for about six months. And then I sold that one for $25,000.
Jillian Leslie 31:49
Chelsea Clarke 31:50
Yes, the numbers can be quite big. And I always caution myself when I talk about my numbers, because I definitely don’t want anyone to feel like oh, I’ll buy a site. And then I’ll just make all this money because Chelsea did. So, just a disclaimer, everyone’s journey will be different.
Chelsea Clarke 32:05
But the thing is, if you really work on it, there is no limit. If you have the time to invest in growing that site and getting the revenue up, then the value of that asset is going to increase and therefore you can resell it for more.
Jillian Leslie 32:19
Are there certain seasons, when you think prices go up like before Black Friday, like that was a really smart move?
Chelsea Clarke 32:27
I felt like it was just the right timing for that acquisition, it was the right timing for me to find it. And it was the right timing for the seller, because she was just ready to leave. She didn’t want to work on it anymore. She just wanted her exit. So, it was just like a matter of timing for that.
Chelsea Clarke 32:42
I don’t find anything seasonal really affecting prices for buying websites. Unlike, the housing market, things will go up and down or spring or winter. It’s a little bit different with websites, it can happen at any time of the year. And the prices really tend to stay pretty much between two to three years times that monthly profit.
Chelsea Clarke 33:05
That’s like the standard multiple for niche website investing. And on the platform BlogsForSale.co. we see that too. So are we selling prices.
Jillian Leslie 33:15
So, the multiple which means it’s profit, not revenue.
Chelsea Clarke 33:19
Profit. Yes. Thank you. Yes, profit.
Jillian Leslie 33:22
So, you take your revenue, you subtract out all of your expenses, you get to your profit number, and you’re seeing a multiple, which means you take that number, you multiply it by two to three.
Chelsea Clarke 33:35
Jillian Leslie 33:37
So, that’s a good way to know the value. But if you are, say, in financial services or health, did those blogs or sites go for a higher multiple? Do you see a variance based on the niche?
How to Value a Blog Using Multiples of Profit
Chelsea Clarke 33:53
I am not seeing a variance based on the niche. I’m not. It really just depends on the multiple. And I should also say that, that two and three multiple that would be two times your annual profit or three times your annual profit.
Chelsea Clarke 34:07
So, you’ll hear that sometimes or people will say, like 24x to 36x. That just means like two years or three years, but it’s the same thing.
Jillian Leslie 34:17
Do you work on multiple blogs at once?
Chelsea Clarke 34:19
I do. And it’s kind of crazy. I think I’m actually running seven niche sites right now, which is a lot for me I feel.
Jillian Leslie 34:30
Do you have staff to help you?
Chelsea Clarke 34:32
I have writers. I have some writers now which is great. But I don’t have like a full-time staff. We have independent contractors and that’s been working really well for us.
How to Get Into Website Investing
Chelsea Clarke 34:45
I would say if you are wanting to get into niche website investing, start with one, maybe two sites at a time, sell that one and then dive into running multiple sites because no matter what you’re going to spread yourself pretty thin the more sites you add to your portfolio.
Jillian Leslie 35:01
How quickly can a purchase take place?
Chelsea Clarke 35:05
They can happen in a day. We have people that close within a couple of days on our platform. So, the process of what that looks like, because when you see a site, you like you make an offer, the seller, might have to go back and forth to negotiate to get you the price that you want to buy it for.
Chelsea Clarke 35:21
And then once that’s agreed upon, it’s as simple as opening escrow, you send the payment, we send the website, the domain, and all of the assets, email us and everything to you. And then it’s on you just to click a button to make that officially close.
Chelsea Clarke 35:35
So, we can do that in a couple of days. It really just depends on how fast you can respond to your emails. That’s really all it is.
Jillian Leslie 35:42
Wow. So, it’s not like buying a house with 30-day escrow or anything like that.
Chelsea Clarke 35:48
We’ve had that for some of the sites that I’ve sold in the $100,000 plus price, it will take a little bit longer, because then there’s more conversations that happen. There’s usually like trademarks and LLCs. And just things that need to get worked out that there’s more to it. But if it’s like a $20,000 site that can be closed fairly fast.
Jillian Leslie 36:08
What about email lists? Are those valued as separate assets, like an email list is very valuable?
Chelsea Clarke 36:15
Yes, it definitely is. And it is part of the business. So, we would never just sell an email list on its own. Not only is that illegal, but it’s just not good for the people who are subscribed. But when you sell a business, all of the assets that are part of the business, go with the business.
An Email List Increases the Value of Your Site
Chelsea Clarke 36:32
So, if you have a really sizable email list that will help increase the value of your selling price as well. Because that’s valuable, that’s your community and having a community around your business is a fantastic asset to have.
Jillian Leslie 36:46
So, you have been just like a regular blogger working on your blog, and now you have pivoted into niche sites, which do you like better? Because a lot of the bloggers I talk to are bloggers who’ve been blogging for 10 years who have put their blood sweat and tears into their blog.
Jillian Leslie 37:06
It’s like they watch their kids grow up in their blog, like this is a whole different way of thinking about blogging. So, given that you’ve done both, how would you describe it?
Chelsea Clarke 37:20
I think that the way I do it now really fits my lifestyle. I too, have been blogging for like two decades. And back when I was working in corporate marketing, and I was working at a business brokerage, I always still had a blog as a hobby on the side.
Chelsea Clarke 37:35
And when I quit my job at the business brokerage and I decided to just blog full time, I hadn’t decided yet that it was going to be focusing on niche sites. But I knew that there was certainly a lot of value in the digital market. Because the business brokerage that I worked at, they only focused on brick and mortar.
Chelsea Clarke 37:53
And being a content creator making money as a blogger, I know that there was a lot of value for the digital space for selling digital online businesses. So, when I left that job, I really started focusing on that myself, I was just buying growing sites.
Chelsea Clarke 38:09
And then pretty soon people started asking me they wanted help, or they wanted to know where to be able to buy sites as well. And it was just sort of a natural progress before I launched the marketplace where people could come and do that.
Chelsea Clarke 38:22
I think neither is right or wrong. It’s just the place that I’m at now. I like being able to just work on a site for a few months, and then sell it and then work on a totally different niche, explore something completely new. I like that creative drive behind it. So, that’s what I do.
Chelsea Clarke 38:40
But I’ve had my blog HerPaperRoute.com for years and years where I’m just sharing, like marketing advice and that’s probably a bit more, one that I’m not going to sell that’s something that is me. So, in a way I kind of still am doing both. I’m still working as just a blogger. And then also as this like blog flipping niche site, invest in person.
Jillian Leslie 39:02
Entrepreneurs. What’s interesting is I talk to bloggers, who are lifestyle bloggers, and they go, oh, I get bored. And that’s why I’ll say it might make sense to niche down so Google and the internet and people see you as an expert at something like I know, for example, niche sites.
Jillian Leslie 39:22
Chelsea, you’re my girl, I’m not going to come to you for tractor tips or one bagger or anything like, it’s not you. But now you are in my brain under niche sites or niche sites, but both of those are you. And so, when I say this to lifestyle bloggers, they go yeah, but I can’t get rid of parenting or I can’t get rid of food or I love my DIYs.
Jillian Leslie 39:46
I kind of think that this might be a solution for them, which is go be a parenting blogger for a while until you’re getting it, then go be a DIYer and then go get immersed in something until you get bored of it, and then move on.
Chelsea Clarke 40:07
Absolutely, absolutely. That’s such an important fact, I think to mention, because lifestyle blogging is really fun because you do get to do all of these different things. But then you become an authority, if nothing. So, by doing it this way, you can still have your authority blog that people know you for that one thing.
Chelsea Clarke 40:24
And then you can have all your other to even split out the categories on your lifestyle blog and put them onto individual domains. I do that I will let you in on a secret. I have seven niche sites. And then what I do is I just have one email list that is like a lifestyle email list.
Chelsea Clarke 40:43
In that newsletter, I talk about all the different blogs, and I link out to the different like a beauty site, a home decor site, all of these different things, a food blog, but my personal name isn’t on any of those blogs, but I can still be creative, I can still run those blogs and have that outlet.
Chelsea Clarke 41:02
But I don’t have to necessarily be known as the authority or the non-authority by being on too many sites. So
Jillian Leslie 41:08
So, you send an email from you, Chelsea, going, hey, you want these beauty tips? You want this recipe? How does that make sense? How do people go oh, wait, those are all of Chelsea’s blogs? How do you communicate that? How do you connect the dots?
Chelsea Clarke 41:25
I have my main email list at HerPaperRoute. And that’s just where we talk business and niche site investing. That’s just for that one. And then I have like, it’s not my personal name on it.
Chelsea Clarke 41:35
I just have a lifestyle edit newsletter, which is for women who are interested in all those different things, and they sign up to the newsletter so that they can hear about all of these different things. And I can use all my different niche projects to include in that.
Jillian Leslie 41:51
To like drive traffic, but it’s not like hey, it’s Chelsea guys.
Chelsea Clarke 41:54
No, no, I don’t.
Jillian Leslie 41:56
It’s more corporate or feels more as if these are almost like magazine.
Chelsea Clarke 42:03
Exactly. Like editor’s picks type of thing. It’s funny, because I was just working on the site today. I can’t recommend it right now because I am working on the site.
Chelsea Clarke 42:12
But yes, it’s fun, because it’s like that creative outlet where you do get to be all of the things you want to be but you don’t have to be known for things that are not your main authority thing.
Jillian Leslie 42:23
So, of your seven niche sites right now, what niches are they?
Chelsea Clarke 42:27
I have a home decor. I have a beauty blog, a fashion blog, a tech blog, my husband and son run a YouTube channel and blog, which is in the woodworking niche. So, that’s in our house of things as well. What else do I have, can’t even remember them all.
Chelsea Clarke 42:46
I have a college tips blog. I am not in college anymore. That was a decade or so ago. But I still have this site. And it does really well on Google, especially this time of year we’re back to school. So, it just sits there and it just earns revenue, which is nice, but it’s a smaller one. It’s not a lot.
Chelsea Clarke 42:46
And then I’m always adding other sites in and out too. We’ll probably sell the college blog next year, which is exciting, but not quite ready to just yet.
Jillian Leslie 43:10
Wow. I am so glad that I saw your post and that you are now my niche site expert. This is so perfect, because I hope this is blowing people’s minds and makes you think more entrepreneurially makes you go hey, I could do this. And especially because the investment doesn’t seem like that high like meaning you could get in at $1,000, $2,000.
Chelsea Clarke 43:38
Jillian Leslie 43:39
Or you can build it yourself.
Chelsea Clarke 43:41
Yes. Yes. That’s it.
Jillian Leslie 43:43
I love this. I love this. Okay, Chelsea, if people want to find out about you reach out to you learn more about buying and selling niche sites, where should they go?
Chelsea Clarke 43:56
Well, thank you again so much for having me. I have to say that. This is so great that we got to chat again. If anyone wants to link up with me, you can find my BlogsForSale Marketplace that’s at BlogsForSale.co It is dot co.
Chelsea Clarke 44:11
Go and check that out you’ll be able to see all of the different websites that we have and you can actually get some tips there for what you might want to do and you can even get a free valuation if you’re thinking of selling your site.
Chelsea Clarke 44:20
And then my other blog I mentioned was HerPaperRoute.com
Jillian Leslie 44:25
Say it slow.
Chelsea Clarke 44:27
HerPaperRoute or route depending on where you live dot com. And then I wanted to share a free gift if it’s okay with you Jillian. So, I put together sort of a selling kit for first time niche site sellers and I sell it for $197. I want to give it to everyone listening here I give it for free.
Chelsea Clarke 44:48
If you go to HerPaperRoute.com/kit. That’s K-I-T you can get free access to it and what it is, is it’s a series of workshops and what you can do to prime your blog or your ECOM site for sale. So, what to do to make it, increase revenue, increase traffic, make it look really good for buyers and just put it in that best position to sell.
Chelsea Clarke 45:11
So, that’s HerPaperRoute.com/kit. And yes, thanks for letting me share that, too. I wanted to make sure that your audience got that.
Jillian Leslie 45:20
Absolutely. I just have to say it is so fun watching your growth, watching your process and your journey. So, thank you, Chelsea, so much for coming on the show.
Chelsea Clarke 45:31
Thank you so much for having me. It’s so much fun. I’m so happy I got to be on here two times.
Jillian Leslie 45:37
I hope you guys liked this episode. I think it’s so fascinating how we’ve watched blogging evolve from back in the early days when people were putting up blogs, for personal reasons, then backing into businesses and now people are super intentional about blogs as assets they can buy and sell.
Jillian Leslie 45:57
And if you have the foundations of blogging down pat, you could really think about putting this to work for you even investing in a small blog and seeing what you can achieve.
Jillian Leslie 46:07
And just to recap all the things I shared in this episode. If you are ready to sell digital products to your audience, like digital downloads, memberships, workshops, coaching, that kind of thing, head to milotreecart.com.
Jillian Leslie 46:21
And go set up some products and free sales pages and see what you think if you’re trying to grow your social media followers on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and your email list. Definitely get our MiloTree pop-up app on your site ASAP. Go to milotree.com customize it how you like and install it you get your first 30 days free.
Jillian Leslie 46:46
If you want the secrets that successful bloggers already know. Just head to milotree.com/secrets and get the free download and I will see you here again next week.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- New Strategies For Making More Money with Affiliates with Chelsea Clarke
- Best Tips for Getting Started with Digital Products with Eden Fried
- How a Paid Workshop Helps You Grow Your True Fans with Carrie Forrest
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.