Don’t ever just shutdown a blog or website
I recently had a client that decided they were not longer interested in blogging. As a result, they went to their hosting provider, deleted the site and canceled their hosting. Seems reasonable right? After all, if you’re no longer interested in blogging, why keep your site? While in some scenarios this is the right thing to do, in most it’s not. Websites and blogs are like real estate (well, what real estate used to be a few years ago). In most cases, they begin gaining value from the moment you buy them.
Websites and blogs have value and grow
My client’s site was a site they actively wrote on for almost a year, then as their interest faded the site received less and less updates. Regardless of how frequently it was updated, the site contained a large amount of content that was indexed by Google and receiving search engine traffic. Additionally the site had a Page Rank of 2, not great, but not bad either.
As you may or may not know, Google gives additional credibility to sites that have been around for a while. The longer the site has been live, the more credibility the site gets. Credibility yields search engine traffic and search engine traffic yields income opportunity.
What I’m trying to say here is that my client just up and deleted a site:
- A large amount of good content
- A mature and search engine indexed site
- A perfectly good domain name
Alternatives to deleting a blog or website
Instead of just deleting the site and throwing away more than a years worth of content and site maturity, here are some options that should be considered:
Just keep the site up
Instead of deleting it, just leave it running. This is particularly a good idea if the site has advertising on it and is making money. Overtime the site could continue to gain traffic even though it’s not actively being updated. Sure it will grow slower, but it will still get traffic, especially if the content is good and targeted at good keywords.
Additionally, you may decide to come back and begin writing on it again. I know for me personally, I can get a little burnt out writing on the same topics over and over. But, if I take a break for a few weeks or even months, I’ll often get the itch to write again. I’ve done that a bit here on Side Income Blogging.
You should also consider hiring a writer. If you’re too busy or not currently interested in writing, hiring a writer might be a good option, particularly if the site is earning money or has the potential to earn money. You can find writers and websites that offer article writing services for as little as $10 – $15 per article (actually some advertise $5/article, but I question the quality).
The only thing that would make me shy away from just keeping the site up and running is it was costing me more to run the site than I’m earning and I think it’s going to be that way for while. If that’s the case, sometimes it is better to just cut your loses. But before you do, consider the remaining options.
Sell the whole site
Many people are surprised to find that they can sell their site, even if it’s a fairly new site. One of the most popular places to sell your website or blog is on Flippa. Flippa allows you to auction your site off. You can set a reserve price to insure you get a base amount. Flippa provides potential buyers will all types of useful information about your site.
Of course Flippa is just one option. There are many other websites that allow you to list and sell your website or blog. You can also just publish a post on your site indicating you’re interested in selling. Word of mouth also works very well. When I sold Gather Little by Little, I expressed interest in selling to some fellow personal finance bloggers and within a few days sold the site.
The trick with selling your site is determining it’s value, basically answering the question: How much is my blog worth?. This isn’t an easy question to answer and there are multiple “right” ways to answer it. The general rule, and the one I’ve used is: a site is worth 24 months of income plus some premium for the domain name and site itself. Let’s say that your site is 1 year old and earning $100.00/month from Adsense and various affiliates. The site has a decent domain name, a good page rank, and well written content. The value of the site based on this rule would be $2400.00 + the premium. The premium is where things get a little fuzzy, but I’d say maybe $500.00, making the site value $2900.00. This is a good starting point.
The bottom line on site worth is that it’s really up to you. You have to ask yourself, will I regret selling it afterwards? That’s what the decision really boils down to.
Sell the content
Another option, albeit less popular is to just sell the content. Many bloggers are always looking for ways to add good content to their blogs and will often be willing to purchase your content (aka articles) from you.
The best way to do this is to just contact successful bloggers in the niche for your site and ask them if they would be interested. Determining value is difficult and there isn’t a real good rule of thumb here. Just be aware that most bloggers can outsource article writing for as little as $10 – $15 per article.
I’m certainly not saying that just up and deleting a site isn’t the right thing to do. I’ve done it numerous times, especially for sites that are getting little to no traffic, I haven’t put much time into, and aren’t earning money. In many cases though, you can recover some of your investment by selling your site or your content. Please don’t ever just up and delete a website or blog you’ve created. Consider the options first.
Photo by: JOE MARINARO