Buying Blogs, Selling Blogs: How I Built My Blogging Business

This is a guest post written by Mike, a financial planner / web entrepreneur who is pursuing his dream of running his online business. You can follow his progress at The Financial Blogger (RSS Feed).

3 years ago, I was told by many bloggers: “You will never make money blogging. And if you do, $200/month will be your highest peak ever”.

Three year ago, The Financial Blogger was averaging 500 visits per month and I was ecstatic when I made my first deal of $10 for a link.

Three years later, I now run three financial websites, bought 2 of them and flipped a blog within a year. I am now able to work 1 full day per week on my online business (while I still have to keep my “day job” in the meantime). I really like buying and managing finance blogs as I think it is currently one of the best investing opportunities we can find.

When I asked Sam if I could write a guest post for Financial Samurai, he asked me to include more details on how I appraised blogs and how do I decide or not to send $10K over the wire (or more!) simply to buy a “.com”.

Look at Blogs as a Real Estate Investing Opportunity

The Reply Button Is There For A Reason

Graphic by Hime

The following is a guest post by Hime, one of Financial Samurai’s first readers.  Hime is a manager at a strategy consultant firm who likes the violin and going on unplanned adventures.  Hope you enjoy!

All right everyone, how many times have you read an email and said to yourself “I don’t feel like replying now I’ll just do it later” only to have that email disappear into the deep abyss and completely forget that you left the sender hanging?

Come on, I know you’ve done that at least once.  If you do that more like every third email – CLUNK!  That is me hitting you over the head with an oversized rubber hammer as I resist the urge to shake the stubbornness out of you.  Think I’m overreacting?  Maybe a little but I am trying to save your career and relationships so please pay attention!

DON’T LEARN THE HARD WAY

Tax Refunds Are Good For Most People Because Most People Can’t Save

Bet You Can't Eat Just OneThe average tax refund is $2,400 a year, and 74% of Americans get a tax refund. I’ll consider you average for argument’s sake.  At today’s typical savings rate of 1%, you’re missing out on a whopping $12 bucks in interest income! Why $12, and not $24? It’s because you have to calculate the average balance of the year if you saved every $200/month payment diligently starting January 1st i.e. January $200, February $400, March $600 etc.

I’m definitely not a proponent of giving the government more money than they deserve, but missing out on $12 bucks in interest is something I can live with and so should you.

You have to ask yourself whether you have the discipline of saving that extra $200 a month, or using it to pay down debt. Most people are not disciplined enough to pay down debt and avoid buying junk. This is why we have such massive debt problems in the first place!  The government is essentially helping you “go broke to win big” by protecting 75% of American tax payers from blowing $2,400 a year without even knowing it.

A SIMPLE GUIDELINE & SOME COOKIES

Let “Freement” Reign! Spending Paralysis, Material Lust And Obsession

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a recovering car-aholic.  Funny enough, the way I deal with my addiction is to go to the BMW dealer!  I also go to the Audi, Mercedes, Honda, Land Rover and Porsche dealers too, but only the BMW dealer is on my way home and has an easy parking lot to leave Moose unattended.  I wonder if they cut out the free popcorn and diet cokes because of me.   Hmmm.

Over the past 3 years, I must have visited the BMW dealer at least 65 times to the dismay of the sales people.  They must have a code word for my type, “cheap bastard” or “stop wasting my time you poor SOB” maybe, but I don’t care.  Nothing thrills me more than sitting in a brand new, over-priced automobile and inhaling that unbeatable new car smell!  After every experience, I deftly try and avoid the salespeople and pick up a new brochure so I can extend the enjoyment at home.

In fact, as a joke I wrapped up the latest Land Rover LR4 brochure for Christmas and gave it to my wife.  I told her she should expect a nice shiny black on black beast when we get back to San Francisco.  She was kinda amused, not really.

If the salespeople insist on going for a test drive, who am I to argue?  But, I make it a point to only waste the time of the most eager of sales people beavers.  The fun of gunning a $80,000 BMW M3 every other month is such a thrill!  Besides, I hear they get a little commission for every test drive anyway.

NEW OBSESSION

Use The Sandwich Method To Provide Constructive Criticism

A Reuben, My Favorite!

A Reuben. My Favorite!

There’s a fine line between being a jerk and being constructive.  As a parent, manager, spouse, or friend, most of the time we just want what’s best for others.  The problem is, we’re afraid to offend and we therefore lose any ability to help.

There’s no better reward than advising someone how to improve, and then watch them flourish.  Push the person too far, however, and you’ll engender resentment.  The Sandwich Method is one the best ways for delivering constructive feedback.

SCENARIO: Your friend Sam comes up with a corny idea for a website called “Financial Samurai.”  Sam thinks it will become a Top 25 personal finance site in the world one day and thinks the tagline “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries” is catchy.  He thinks he’ll be able to retire off the advertising revenue and is already thinking about buying the latest Audi S5 and quitting his day job with his expected income.

You know better because there are 50 million active websites out there (200+ million total), and only the top 100,000 (0.2%) sites earn 74% of all the revenue according to Alexa.  As a friend, how do you knock some reality into Sam, without crushing his enthusiasm?

THE SANDWICH METHOD TO HELP SAM FACE REALITY: