What is my blog worth?
These days, we’re seeing blogs being recognised as valuable business tools, both for business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer connections. So if you own and run a blog, it makes sense to understand its value.
Today’s challenge is to do just that.
If you’ve been following along this week, you’ll already have a few of the key metrics for a blog valuation in mind:
- the age of your blog
- uniqueness and quality of blog design
- traffic levels, sources, and quality
- visitor stats: bounce rates, time on site, conversions, and so on
- current monetization approaches and levels
- associated social media footprint.
Andrew Knibbe of Flippa recommended that we use the marketplace as a yardstick by which to value a blog, but what other factors should we take into account before we start doing research there? Let’s step through the process of getting a rough idea of your blog’s value.
First, make note of these vital stats for your blog. You could do this on paper, but I recommend a spreadsheet, because that’ll make it a bit easier when it comes to comparing your site to others down the track.
- Blog age: Andrew from Flippa mentioned earlier in the week that older blogs tend to be given higher valuations.
- Domain: If you’re selling the domain with your blog, a shorter or more memorable domain is probably likely to be looked on more favourably than a longer domain, or one that contains hyphens, for example.
- Platform: The platform on which your blog is hosted might not in itself raise or lower your blog’s value, but it might impact the types of buyers who’d be interested in it.
- Theme: If you’re on a WordPress blog, paid or unique themes are more likely to attract more serious buyers.
- Alexa rank: We saw earlier in the week that Alexa rank also contributes to a blog’s value, so if you don’t know where yours sits at the moment, find out.
By this point, you should be off to a good start.
Next, it’s time to open up your Analytics tool and take a critical look at your blog stats not just for the last month, but over the last few months.
- Monthly traffic: Note down the total traffic levels first.
- Traffic sources: Next, allocate portions of traffic to the relevant sources of those visits.
- Landing pages: Look at your key landing pages. Shahzad mentioned yesterday that some of the most popular landing pages on the blog he was buying were off-topic posts. How relevant are your main landing pages to your blog’s brand and niche?
- Bounce rates: It’s important to look at this data over time, and to work out which traffic sources have lower or higher bounce rates. This can help you get an idea of the overall value of your blog’s traffic.
- Time on site: This is a good measure of engagement and, again, it’s worth looking at the average time on site for each different traffic source, to see which visitors are more engaged.
This information should help you get a feel for the value of the traffic your blog attracts, and the content you’ve developed. It might also help you identify places where there’s room for improvement, but for now, let’s keep going with our valuation.
If you’ve monetized your blog somehow, you can be sure that potential buyers will be interested to know how you’ve done it, and how successful you’ve been. Let’s pull together the data—if you don’t already have it at your fingertips.
- Monthly revenue: Add up your revenues for the last three months and divide by three to get a monthly average.
- Monetization sources: Make a note of the ways you monetize your blog. Have you created unique products from scratch? Do you use certain advertising or affiliate networks?
- Conversion rates: Look at your conversion figures for the last three months, and compare them with your last three months’ traffic to calculate your average conversion rate.
- Value per visitor: Take your average revenue figure for the last three months and divide it by your average traffic figure for that time period. This will give you an average visitor value, which will be really helpful in assessing your site against others for sale in your niche.
- Profit: You might not be able to calculate this figure until you complete the next section, but do be sure to subtract your costs from your revenue figure to get a profit figure. Again, this will make for easy comparison between your blog and others. If it’s good, it could also go a long way to tempt potential buyers.
Note that at this point, you can calculate a valuation based on a multiple of your revenue—either 12 or 24 months, say. This will give you a good reference point for the research we’ll do on Flippa in a moment.
Whether or not you’ve monetized your blog, potential buyers will want to know how much it costs to run, so they can compare it with other blogs they might be considering buying. Make note of the costs you pay for:
- Hosting: Note monthly or annual figures.
- Design and development: Unless you have regular maintenance charges, you might want to add up what you spent on your blog’s design and development in the last year as a more objective figure than your expenditure for the last three months.
- Content: Do you pay writers? Buy content? Add up those costs—along with your own time cost for writing and editing your blog’s content.
- Marketing and customer acquisition: If you spend money on advertising—or time on guest-posting and content marketing—again, add up those costs for the last three months.
- Time: Don’t forget to tally your time for other blogging tasks, like social media, affiliate and ad management, and so on. Try to get a clear and honest picture of how much time it takes you to run your blog on a monthly basis.
Comparing blogs in your niche
This basic information shouldn’t take you too long to collate. And once you have, the real challenge begins! Try to find at least two other blogs for sale in your niche to compare yours with.
- Go to Flippa.com. You can, of course, search for sites for sale in your niche on Google too. That can be a good way to find out what’s for sale, but as those sites may not give you an indication of how much they’re hoping to sell for, a visit to Flippa for research is a good idea.
- Find sites for sale and auction in your niche or a similar niche. I’d recommend you look at finished sales, since that’ll give you the figure the sites sold for, rather than just their current bid price, or Buy It Now price. Recent sales will give you the best indication of what the market is actually willing to pay for a blog like yours.
- Assess the sites. Go through the checklist above again for each of the sites you’re looking at. Make a note of the prices they sold for. See if you can spot any trends that can indicate what the market values in blogs within your niche, and think about how your blog stacks up on these points.
- Settle on a price range in which you think your blog might sit. Rather than picking a single figure that you think you’d accept for your blog, I think it’s probably a better idea to use your research to work out a range in which that price might reasonably fall. You’ll have a figure you wouldn’t sell below, and a range in which you can set your expectations.
- Compare the range with your multiple-of-revenue price. If you calculated a multiple-of-revenue price above, compare it with the price range you’ve arrived at to see if the figures are in the same ball park.
By the end of this challenge, you should have a rough valuation on your blog. If you’re game, share it with us in the comments below. Or, if you’d rather, you can just let me know if you were surprised—or disappointed, or inspired!—by the price range you arrived at.