Press "Enter" to skip to content

Episode 217: Buying and Selling Entrepreneurial Sites with Chelsea Clarke

In episode 217 we talk with Chelsea Clarke about buying and selling sites even in the midst of a pandemic and her role in helping broker more than 50 businesses.

We cover information about how to recognize if you’re emotionally disconnected from your business, knowing the pros and cons of buying and selling a site and how you determine a price for your blog.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

Connect with Her Paper Route
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Bio
Chelsea Clarke is a content monetization strategist, business broker, and founder of the boutique brokerage, Blogs For Sale. Her focus is helping entrepreneurs scale, buy, and sell online businesses.

Takeaways

  • Evaluate whether or not selling is the best decision for your website by thinking about if you’re still passionate about blogging like you once were or is it a chore?
  • Some of the things that you could do to prepare your business to sell, really are things that you’re probably already doing just to run the business.
  • Keep track of a profit and loss, of where you’re spending, where income is coming from on a spreadsheet.
  • Having an active email list is attractive to future buyers.
  • Make sure you’re connected to Google analytics properly to show a future buyer. Then you can go and verify that the claims they’re saying about the traffic really is true.
  • A buyer can ask for screenshots of revenue proof such as Mediavine payouts, PayPal, Stripe, any affiliate counts, or a screenshot of the dashboard. This gives a buyer assurance and they really understand the full picture of the business.
  • Providing proof of online communities, social media following and established Facebook communities are useful in selling a blog.
  • Come up with a simple spreadsheet where you list out all of the activities that you do right now in the business to run it so that you can create SOP’s (standard operating procedures) so that you could train someone new that would be coming and taking over the business.
  • On the blog flipper side of the website investing sphere, some people buy sites with the intention to just hold them in their portfolio.
  • Others like to buy sites where there’s a project so there’s room to make improvements and then sell.
  • Brokers can help establish a price for your business. The more income that your site is earning means the more it can sell for.

Resources Mentioned

Online form to help see what a site might sell for

Transcript

Click for full text.

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta:

Are you tired of feeling like your wheels are spinning all the time? Maybe you don’t know what you should be working on on any given day or what will actually move the needle forward in your business. We have started a new mentorship program at Eat Blog Talk, where we work together in a one-on-one setting to create an individualized plan just for you. Spots are very limited for this program. So if this interests you go to eatblogtalk.com and grab your spot today. I will personally draw up a plan for your business for the next three or six months, your choice. I will check in with regular calls to make sure you are on track. Again, go to eatblogtalk.com for more information and to grab your spot.

Hey, food bloggers. You’re listening to Eat Blog Talk. Thank you so much for being here today. I have Chelsea Clarke with me from herpaperroute.com and we are going to talk about expanding entrepreneurial sites. Chelsea is a content monetization strategist, a business broker and founder of the boutique brokerage blogs for sale. Her focus is helping entrepreneurs scale, buy and sell online businesses. Despite 2020 hitting many businesses hard, Chelsea saw the demand for buying established online businesses rise in various sectors, including the food blogging space. Last year, she brokered the sale of more than 50 businesses generating nearly a half a million in sales, and she doesn’t see the demand for online and remote work slowing down in 2021. Chelsea, super excited about this chat today. I told you before we recorded that we have not covered this topic yet on Eat Blog Talk. So it’s going to be a valuable one, but first we all want to hear your fun fact.

Chelsea:

Hey, thank you so much for having me. Like you said, you haven’t had it on your show and it’s really not something that you hear about too much. I mean, not too many people are talking about actually selling their business, the exit strategy of their food blog or their content site. I mean a fun fact about me. My whole business is really weird. It’s different, right? I mean, I started as a blogger, building my own content site and one day I decided, Hey, I don’t want to blog about this niche forever. I’m just going to sell it. So I did, and then I started realizing I could just build and develop and sell sites and then I could start buying other people’s sites and develop them and sell them for profit. Pretty soon people just started asking me how to do it.

That’s really how I built my business. I just jumped right in. I think that’s something that is important to mention. If you want to do something, you can just do it. So I did end up going through the IBBA, which is the International Business Brokers Association. So when I was actually helping other people, I knew what I was doing. But you know, doing it for myself, you really can just dive right in. So I would just say, if anyone is sitting on their blog and thinking, Hey, you know, maybe my passions have changed. You don’t have to just give up on it. There are so many people out there who would be interested in acquiring it and taking it to the next step that maybe you just aren’t interested in doing anymore.

Megan:

I love this. Like you said, this is not something that we typically talk about because we’re all talking about how to take what we already have and grow it and work on it. Your message is, don’t overthink it. If you’re kind of done with your niche or if you have a couple of blogs and you’re done with one of them, move on and just do it. So I love this idea. I’m not saying that I’m ready to sell my blog, but I think all of us kind of get to that point once in a while, where we’re like, is this really it? Do I want to pivot and change course? So this is going to be super awesome. So how do we evaluate whether or not selling is the best decision for our websites or if buying a new business is in our best interest?

Chelsea:

That’s such a great personal decision that one has to make, and it really comes down to, if you have a site that you’re thinking you may be wanting to let go of. You’re not sure. Think about what it was like when you started building it. Did you jump out of bed in the morning because you were so excited to work on your blog? Do you still have that feeling now, or is something else calling you? Are you feeling your passions change to something different or now the things that used to feel like a fun part of the business feel more like a chore. Those are good indications that it may be a time to focus on something else. Like we were saying, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. When you’re thinking about what you might want to do to sell it, some of the things that you could do to prepare your business to sell, really are things that you’re probably already doing just to run the business.

So things like keeping track of your profit and loss, of where you’re spending, where income is coming from, keeping some sort of spreadsheet. That’s a record that will be really good when it comes time to sell because buyers will want to see that so that they can understand what they would expect to be buying or spending on or where money’s coming from, that sort of thing. Then you’re also going to want to make sure that your Google analytics is connected properly. You’re probably already doing that anyway, but that’s another thing that buyers want to take a look at when they’re considering making an offer. Then you just look at the time that you are spending in the business. Are there things that can be delegated to a team or are you really the bottleneck of the business? If you are, can you come up with even just a simple spreadsheet where you list out all of the activities that you do right now in the business to run it so that you could either create some SOPs, like some standard operating procedures so that you could train someone new that would be coming and taking over the business? Just getting things in line so that when you are ready to make that decision to sell, certain things are just set up and it’s going to be a lot easier for that transition. Or if you’re on the other side of it, and you’re thinking that you want to buy a business, something different that you want to get into, that really just comes down to what you personally think you’d be interested in because there is a niche for everything.

Like there really is. There’s so many online businesses available that you can purchase at any time. So it really comes down to how you want to be spending your day. What type of content do you want to be working on? What type of monetization is of interest to you? Do you want to be writing affiliate posts or would you rather just have a bias site that has lots of traffic? So it’s just getting lots of passive affiliate revenue. So really you can pick and choose and really pick the type of business that suits your lifestyle and will just make you really happy.

Megan:

So I’m curious to hear about your journey a little bit, Chelsea, because you’ve done this multiple times recently. So how does that kind of go for you? Can you talk us through maybe one example, just so we have an idea?

Chelsea:

Sure. So I tend to buy about five websites a year and then I’ll usually sell off three or four of them in that same year. So I’m on the blog flipper side of the website investing sphere. Some people buy sites with the intention to just hold them in their portfolio. So they’ll buy a site that’s making a thousand dollars a month, $5,000 a month, whatever it is that they’re looking for. Then they’ll just hold it and it’ll just increase and just generate revenue for them. For me and by the way, I think that’s great. But for me, I like to buy sites where there’s sort of a project so I can see where I can make improvements. I like to buy a site that has nice organic traffic and Pinterest traffic and has really great content already started so that I can just go in, improve the SEO of the articles.

Add some more articles, pin the articles more and just generate more revenue. So when I’m looking for a site, it’s okay if the theme is really ugly. It’s okay if maybe the social media accounts aren’t that active. That’s not really too important to me. It’s nice to have, but it’s not a deal breaker. So I’ll just look for a great content site, but the content itself, I want to either have some sort of personal skills with that, like an understanding of that niche, or I’ll be willing to learn it. So I wouldn’t just buy a site that I totally don’t understand. I’m not going to buy a car site because I just don’t know anything about cars. But I’ll buy lots of other sites because I do have lots of other interests. So those are the types of things that I’m looking at.

Then I’ll tend to work on the site for about five or six months. Then if by then the site has doubled its income or it’s doubled its traffic, or even better, more than that, then I’ll put it up for sale and then just make that quick profit. Put that money to the next buy and just sort of keep on building it. Sort of like, well, it is like house flipping, but you don’t have to have a mortgage or a big team of contractors. You can really just do it yourself or with your small virtual team.

Megan:

Yeah. It totally is like buying a house and flipping it. As you were talking, I was thinking of that exact thing. You take it, you make improvements. If you really love it, you can hold onto it and maybe live there. If you’ve improved it enough and want to set it free, you can do that too. So I love that analogy. You talked through what we look for. Does it align with your niche or you, and it can’t be something like the car site that you’re talking about because I know nothing about cars. Why would I do that? So it has to align with you in some way. Then how do you determine what is profitable? I’m just curious how you see potential? Do you look at analytics? Mostly? You said like themes, you can obviously look past and change that easily. You’ve got to have a process for that.

Chelsea:

So other things that add value to something when I’m looking to buy it are things like an email list. So if there is an active email list where the seller is sending a weekly newsletter and people are opening and clicking on the links in those emails, that’s really attractive as a buyer. So that way you can really just take over the business and you know that it’s active. It’s generating revenue, income, people are clicking, it’s not a dead in the water business. So something like an email list is a really great sign of that. So if someone is listening and thinking about potentially selling, make sure that you do keep that email list active. Keep sending your weekly newsletter, even once you’ve put it up for sale. Actually, especially once it’s up for sale. That’s when you’ll really want to make sure that you’re still keeping everything active.

I know a lot of times when people put up their business, they sort of mentally check out and they think, okay, well it’s going to sell. So I don’t really need to engage with the audience anymore. That’s just really not true. You really do need to keep that content coming out, keep on updating your social accounts, that sort of thing. Because when buyers are coming to look at your business, they’re looking at everything. So they really are looking at everything and they want to make sure that the business is active so that when they make an offer, they’re acquiring a business that really has things going on. So that’s just a really simple thing that you can do. That’s something that I look at too, when I’m buying a business. But really those are the main things. Like you said, analytics, yes, you’re going to want to go in and look at the analytics of a site for sale. The seller or the broker can give you access to that so that you can go and just verify that the claims they’re saying about the traffic really is true.

That’s a great thing also. Asking for screenshots of revenue proof. So you could ask to see their Mediavine payouts, that sort of thing. PayPal, Stripe, any affiliate counts, just get a screenshot of the dashboard. Then that just gives you assurance so that when you make your offer, you really understand the full picture of the business.

Megan:

So how do you even determine a price for a blog? Let’s say I’m interested in selling, how do I come up with that?

Chelsea:

Yeah. So that’s something that your broker usually can help you with. Really, buyers typically when buying online businesses, just at a base, they usually will pay between two to three years times the monthly revenue of the business. So that’s usually a basic scale of coming up with a valuation, but then we look at other things too that could add value such as the type of monetization. So if you have digital products, that’s great, that’s attractive. Probably more so attractive than physical products, because then you’re dealing with inventory and shipping and it’s not as passive as digital. Also things we’ll look at, if you have large online communities, maybe you have a big Facebook group, or you have really active Instagram followers. Those are all things that can help to add to the value of a business. I actually give away free valuations.

If anyone wants to come and check out what their site could potentially sell for. We have an online form at blogsforsale.co/val, or you can just answer some questions and then I will be able to take a look and see what your site could potentially sell for in the marketplace, which is kind of fun. But really the actual range that your broker or the person that you’re working with gives you. That’s just a range that is determined by the market value of what similar sites have sold for, really just based on the revenue. The revenue is the most important thing. So the more income that your site is earning means the more it can sell for. So I think that’s really the biggest focus that anyone should be considering is just to keep the sales up and keep your expenses as low as you can. That’s going to give you the highest valuation possible for your business.

Megan:

How many people are actually looking to purchase blogs, food blogs?

Chelsea:

A lot. Yes, I would say a lot. I mean, I have been in business for a couple of years and I’ve built up a network of thousands of investors and buyers who are interested in all types of content sites and food blogs are always, always sought after. That’s only from my network that is still building, but I’m constantly being reached out to from people who weren’t in my network before. They’re just sort of finding me on social media or finding me on Google. I’m always surprised with people coming in and saying, Hey, do you have a food blog? Or do you have a lifestyle blog that is earning X amount? They always want to ask for a site particular to the niche that they’re looking for and particular to the budget that they’re willing to spend. So they’ll say, Hey, is the site earning a thousand dollars? Great. Because my budget is 24,000 to 36,000. So that’s really where people are coming from when they’re a buyer.

Megan:

So you touched on this a little bit earlier, just about knowing when to leave and when to say goodbye to your blogging business. You mentioned if you aren’t aligning anymore with a niche or it’s not bringing you joy or something along those lines, when else do we know that it’s time to exit? Do you have other triggers or things that we should be looking for?

Chelsea:

I think a lot of the time it’s really an emotional thing that people have. They feel sort of a disconnect to the business that maybe they didn’t have before or a lifestyle change. Maybe they’re having another child and they’re realizing that the workload of the blog isn’t something that they wish to continue. That’s something that we see, but really the biggest thing, the most common reason I’ve seen for sellers is just a change of passion. I see that a lot. But we have some people who have actually developed their site with the exit plan in mind. So they knew that when they got it generating X amount, they were going to be able to sell it onto someone else so that they could intentionally move on to their next project. Personally, I definitely fall into that category.

I mean, I am a Gemini. I like to jump from things to things. I don’t like to stay committed to just one project forever, even though my own business, Her Paper Route business, I don’t intend to sell that. But the great thing about it is the type of business it is. It allows me to work on so many different types of projects. So that’s why it works. I know when I was working in an office, I was working in corporate marketing. I had a business brokerage and I just hated the day to day. It was so boring, just going in and sitting at a desk, even though the actual projects that I gotta do most of the time were creative. I was able to do really fun marketing projects and strategize about how we can get more traffic to the listings and things like that.

That was fun, but it wasn’t rewarding because I wasn’t doing it for myself. So that’s what blogging really allowed me was I could be in control and create. Everything I knew that I was creating, I was creating for my own business or for the next person who was going to take over the business. That was the thing that really was able to drive me and make it really fun. I see a lot of people, that’s a reason for them too that. They didn’t want to be in this one project forever and it’s really exciting to know that they could sell it. They’re picturing the price that they’ll be able to sell for in their mind and their being able to think about all the things they’ll be able to do with that money or with their new found time once they’re able to sell. So it’s sort of like lifestyle freedom. It’s not just about the money. It really is that lifestyle freedom that blogging and then blog flipping can allow you.

Megan:

This is so interesting because if you do figure out a general price point that you would get for selling your blog, you think about, well, I’m already a blogger. I know how to start a new blog. So maybe I could start something new with that money and actually invest in a new business. Maybe it’s a new passion or a new niche. So this is a really different perspective for me, just super interesting to think about that. So I have one question about branding. So how does that work when you sell a blog? The brand is like the face of the seller, evolving into a new brand, a new face. Does that work seamlessly? Is that a challenge?

Chelsea:

I’m so glad that you brought that up. So a lot of the time when we start our business, especially if it’s our first business, we are the face of our brand, right? We have our picture all over it. We have our name on it. We’re really putting ourselves out there. Then when you start thinking about selling it, it can feel like a huge job. How are you going to remove your persona from the business? The thing is, it’s not something you have to do all in one day when you decide that you want to sell, you can start going through your blog and starting to just take down some photos of yourself or especially photos of your kids. Anything that you wouldn’t want a new owner to have possession of, just start taking it down. If you said your kids’ names, you can create an alias for them, or just take out the names.

If you have your picture in the sidebar, you can remove that. You can even use a fake name. I mean, you don’t have to really have your personal name on your website, whether you intend to sell or not, you don’t really have to put your personal information out there into the internet to begin with. So when it comes to selling it, if you just start taking those steps to remove your persona from it, it’s just going to be a lot easier. Then when you have that transition to the new owner, they can just put their own photo up. They can put their own name up, or they can just use a stock photo of a person. I mean, it feels like a bigger job than it really is. It’s not something that you have to do right away. Another thing I should mention too, is sometimes the people who buy blogs, they actually are looking for blogs where the persona can stay on it.

So they actually are happy if you’re willing to keep your name on it. Then that way they can continue to run the business as if you still have some sort of oversight, maybe you will write one guest post a month. I’ve seen some deals where that’s been worked out in the contract where the seller is not actually part of the business anymore, but she’ll write one guest post a month, just so that the audience knows that she’s not completely gone from the business. Personally, I wouldn’t want to keep my persona on a business that I no longer run because my personal brand is something that I want to retain for some other project that I would do. So anytime I’m working on websites that I intend to sell, I don’t put my persona on it. I just use stock images. I just have an alias, or you don’t really even need to have a person’s persona on it. Sometimes the content just does the work and you really don’t have to have a person behind the blog and that’s okay. It just makes it a lot easier when it comes time to sell.

Megan:

A lot of the blogs I follow, I follow because of the people. So how often do you see, after a sale, a lot of traffic and a lot of people kind of dying off.

Chelsea:

That’s another great question. It’s sort of a two-sided thing. So if we’re selling a site and the person’s persona, she wants to take it off. So she’s no longer part of it. What she’ll usually do or what I will recommend is she’ll send an email to the list on her last week there, and she’ll just let them know that she’s moving on and there’s a new owner and she’ll thank them for their time and she’ll encourage them to stay around because the new owner is going to run things just how she would, and it’s going to be awesome or whatever they’ve talked about. You’re not just abandoning your audience and you can also let them know where they can find you so they can still connect with you on your Instagram or your personal accounts. You’re not gone just because you’re not running that site anymore.

So the more that you can really just communicate and be open with your audience, nobody’s really going to be upset about that. We don’t see people getting upset and unsubscribing, they love the content. Yes, they love you, but you’re not lost from the internet. You’re still reachable. You’re still there. If they have a question. So that’s one way to do it. Then the other way, sometimes some companies do this is where they’ll purchase the business. Then it’ll be allowed in the contract that the person will stay on the business, sort of how we had mentioned. But then the new company is actually allowed to run the business as if they are still there. So if the seller is still sending the email. So you would be surprised how many large blogs, and I know this because I’ve seen this behind the scenes, not ones that I’ve sold, but ones that I’ve worked with other people, is that these larger companies will buy a blog, continue to run it as the person.

The person has actually been gone for years. Some of the top blogs that you will see come up in search results on Google, I know have actually been sold five, 10 years ago. They still have the same image of the original owner on the sidebar. It still says her name in the emails that are going out, but she is not actually there. On the moral side of it, I don’t like that. I just feel a little bit icky about that, but for the actual seller and that buyer that was cool for them. They had a deal that worked for them. So that’s totally great, that’s their business. But the thing that I want to say is that you as the seller or the buyer, you guys get to decide how you want to do that. So you don’t sell anything. You don’t do anything in a way that doesn’t feel right for you. You actually get to sell it in a way that makes you happy. Your broker can help you with writing that out in the contract as well. So that you know, if you want your persona to be removed, it will be removed. Or if you’re okay with it staying on, that’s okay. That all gets discussed before closing of the actual sale so that everyone understands how to run the business moving forward and everyone’s happy.

Megan:

Cool. Thank you for talking through that. That was really interesting and interesting to know that people have just different opinions on that and different ways to go about it. So logistically, what happens? We decide we want to sell our blog. We find a price we’re comfortable with. We find a broker, how do we even find a broker? I mean, what’s the best way to go about that. Then what are our next steps?

Chelsea:

Yeah, some great ways to go about that is you can just do a Google search. That’s one way. You can go into Facebook groups. You can ask people who have bought and sold sites before. You can come to my brokerage. You can ask me any questions, send me a message. There’s a contact form right there on the page at blogsforsale.co. You can ask me any questions, no obligation. I’m happy to chat about this stuff. I love talking, buying and selling sites, and we’ve actually sold almost a million dollars in sites in the last few months. This year has been so wild. So I’m always happy to discuss and answer any questions anyone has. If you did want to work with me, we’d just go above and beyond for our clients. It’s really great. Another thing, you can sell it on your own.

It’s just that there’s a lot of things that you may miss without having a broker. So having a broker really can protect you so that you don’t get screwed because there is a lot of things that could come up. If you don’t understand the legal side, the contracts, the escrow, the protection that you need when you’re actually in a sale so that you’re vetting the person who’s buying. You’re making sure that the transaction is happening without anyone actually seeing one another’s bank information. There’s a lot of little things you need to look out for. So just go out asking people in your blogging communities where to buy and sell blogs, or if they have anyone to recommend, and then come and talk to me, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Megan:

Brokers take care of all the legals side. So contracts and all the transferring of assets and all of that.

Chelsea:

Your broker really protects you from every single step from before the sale, during and after. Really just make sure that all of the assets are being transferred in a timely manner and make sure that you get paid on time too. The thing is sometimes when a buyer sends the money, there’s this lag in time between when the site is being sent to when the money’s being released and that can be really stressful. So when you have someone on your side that is just being that middleman to make sure that that money is coming to you, it just takes off a lot of stress from your plate. Because you’re really thinking about a lot of other things. You’re letting go of your business. So you have your hands full and that’s actually another thing I want to mention too. When you’re actually listing your site, it’s great having a broker because your broker is working behind the scenes, answering questions with buyers, meeting with buyers, working out deals, and just taking care of things so that you don’t even have to worry about it. You’re just focusing on your business. Then when an offer is being made, they’ll present it to you. So then that’s when you can come in and work on the negotiation part, but you don’t have to be bothered and inundated with questions that you would, if you’re selling it on your own. If you’re trying to run your business at the same time, which I know can be a lot.

Megan:

Do you have examples for us, case studies or something you can talk us through. It sounds like you’ve done a lot of this in the past year, year and a half or so. Run us through some if you don’t mind.

Chelsea:

Sure. So we’ve had quite a few great sites come through in the last couple months. We had a food blog that came up, we put it up for sale for $105,000 US. Then two days later we got a full price offer and he was great. He just had a couple of questions and he was just ready to go. We were actually able to close that site for the seller in under 10 days, which is really quick. Usually it’s about 14 days, sometimes a little bit longer, but everything was transferred and she was paid out in under 10 days, which is great. It’s always good when things just are that smooth and usually the sales are smooth, but it’s always good when it’s really fast as well. Personally I have had a couple of great deals.

I purchased a mental health blog that had good traffic and it had really great content, but it really wasn’t monetized very well. It wasn’t making very much money at all. Actually I think it was maybe like $300 a month and I purchased it for $3,500. I added some more content. I added some digital products. I created an online course for it. Then six months later, I sold it for $25,000. So that was a quick flip. It was a good profit and that’s something I like to let people know. The possibilities of really what you can do, if you just take a couple months to create better products and create better revenue streams for a content site, whether it’s one you already have and you’re working on, or it’s one that you bought as a project, it doesn’t have to feel like a never ending project.

If you just put a six months timeline deadline on yourself, that’s more than enough time to really improve a business and get it generating better revenues so that you can sell it for a nice profit like that. We’ve also had some really great mom blogs, which is something, even though I’m a mom, I’ve never really been into mom blogs. When I’m pregnant, I don’t really read mom blogs. I just never really found a personal interest in it, but I know that it is a huge industry and we’ve had some really great ones come through the brokerage as well. It seems like buyers love mom blogs too, because there’s so much content, right? If you are pregnant, you’re looking at all of these different things at each trimester as a different journey. There’s so many products that babies need, and there’s so many questions that moms have.

So these mom blogs, these content sites are just chock full of great resources and they do really great on Pinterest. So the mom blogs that are getting lots of Pinterest traffic, that’s really a great one too. We’ve sold a few of those in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. They don’t sit for very long either. So that’s really good. Like I was saying, the food blog too, we’ve had quite a few great food blogs. Any time we list a food blog, they do not stay listed for very long, because there’s so many great ways to monetize a food blog. There’s so many products that you need when you are into cooking. You know, there’s so much appliances and kitchen tools and things. There’s so many ways to recommend products while you’re talking about the recipes that you’re creating. Who doesn’t love to just look up on Pinterest when they need a quick recipe and then ends up way deep in a food blog from there every time you’re just trying to make one meal and then suddenly you’re like, oh my gosh. Then she’s got cookies and cakes and now I’m going to be here all day. So that’s really great for buyers too. They know that. They know that when you’re on a food blog, you get sucked into a food blog. So people really want to buy and build out, develop those sites as well.

Megan:

I’m curious what your thoughts are about the upcoming death of the third party cookie and how that’s going to affect this whole situation. People wanting to sell their blogs. As you were talking, I was thinking, okay, I need to get through Q4. I mean, if I were to think about selling my blog, I am not. But if I were, I would think I need to get through Q4 because that’s our really lucrative time. Then next year we don’t know what’s going to happen with this whole cookie situation. So it might be a good time to consider that. What are your thoughts on that?

Chelsea:

Yeah, that’s a great point. The thing is we just don’t know. So as bloggers, we’ve seen a lot of things change over the years. We’ve seen our Amazon commissions get slashed over and over again. We’ve seen algorithms change and the thing is that there’s always something else, it seems. Even if something stops working, we find another way to make it work. So if you are concerned that you’re not going to be able to monetize, your traffic will drop, or your clicks are going to drop after the holidays, maybe it is a good time to sell. But that’s a personal decision for sure. But I also want to say too, even if we start losing money, the way that we’re used to making money right now with our blogs, I have no doubt that there will be some other way that we’ll figure it out, to bring that money up and just earn it in a different way. If we’re not selling our site, we’re just going to hold onto it. So I wouldn’t want anyone to be scared and think, oh, I have to sell because I might lose all my money next year. I don’t think that will be a good reason to sell. I think that if you really are ready to, and you know you want to focus on something else, then sure. But I wouldn’t want to sell just out of fear of the unknown, because I think we always find a way.

Megan:

I love that. I appreciate that so much because I mean, time and time again, this happens, right? One thing will be such a huge concern within our space and everyone’s panicking and then it happens. Then there’s something else that evolves and comes forward in a new way to make money. So I really appreciate that, that you said that. This is probably not a good reason to sell your blog. It should be more about that emotional disconnect that you talked about earlier than relying on oh, what’s going to happen with the third party cookie. So thank you for saying that.

Chelsea:

Well, that’s great too. That’s just another great reason why you should diversify your revenue streams. You should have your own products. You have your own digital products, whether it be an ebook or course, or some sort of template, something that is just 100% yours so that you don’t rely on third-party affiliate clicks or things like that a hundred percent. So that you know that if something happens, you still have another revenue stream that is working.

Megan:

Yes. Amen to that. Chelsea, if you could give one takeaway from everything we’ve talked about today, to food bloggers, either considering buying or selling a site, what would it be?

Chelsea:

I would say if the idea is even there as a possibility, just start doing your research. You don’t have to commit to selling right away, but just educate yourself about it. Come and chat with me, just go and see what’s out there in the market that might be interesting to you. When you sort of open your mind to that, you’re going to start seeing it everywhere. You know when we start paying attention to something, things will pop up on our Pinterest. Things will pop up on our Facebook. So just be aware and be open to the possibility. You might surprise yourself with what you can learn. Then if it feels like it’s right, you’ll just be primed and educated to be able to make that decision.

Megan:

Thank you so much for being here. This was so enlightening and just a new little thing to think about. So I really appreciate your time, Chelsea.

Chelsea:

Thank you so much for having me. This has been so much fun and I just really honored that I got to be on your show. So thank you.

Megan:

Yes! Well, before you go, do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share with food bloggers?

Chelsea:

Well, I don’t have a favorite quote, but I do have a favorite way to just come out into a headspace and start the day. That’s just try it. We don’t have to commit. We don’t have to make a be all, end all decision. We just have to try and see what happens. See if something clicks. So I just think if you are thinking, you’re not sure, you’re feeling overwhelmed or you’re unsatisfied in a certain space of wherever you’re at with your blog. Just go out there and try something new and just see what happens. Be open to what could be and know that there’s no right or wrong decision. You’re not going to make a mistake. You’re just trying.

Megan:

I love it. Thank you so much, Chelsea. We will put together a show notes page for you that has everything we’ve talked about today. Some main takeaways, any resources we refer to will be on there and you can find them at eatblogtalk.com/herpaperroute. Chelsea, tell everyone where they can best find you online.

Chelsea:

Thank you again. Well, yeah, you guys, you can come and find me at herpaperroute.com. That is where I share blogging and online business development, tips and strategies, all free resources there where we can help you scale your blog. Then if you decide to sell it, you can find me over at blogsforsale.co and you can actually go there and see our live listings right now. So you can go and look at what sites people are selling. You can dig into the financials and look at the analytics and really just see what’s happening out there, which is really cool. You can sort of get a behind the scenes look at people who are selling sites. So that’s where you could find me. Thanks again so much for hanging out.

Megan:

Thank you, Chelsea. Thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Outro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.


💥 Join the EBT community, where you will gain confidence and clarity as a food blogger so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS!

📩 Sign up for FLODESK, the email service provider with intuitive, gorgeous templates and a FLAT MONTHLY RATE (no more rate increases when you acquire subscribers!).

Read this post about why I switched from Convertkit to Flodesk!

Questions or comments on this episode?

Head over to the Eat Blog Talk forum post about episode #217 to leave any questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

View all posts

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.