As many of our readers will have noted, SMM is selling two of its blogs. By an extraordinary coincidence, an article by Rand Fishkin this week suggests that Buying Links is Shallow, Short-Term Thinking. Buying Blogs? Now that’s a Strategy. Rand was at one time a fellow-moderator at Cre8asite Forums but has now built up his own company, SEOmoz, which is a highly popular and well-known provider of SEO software.
Click on either of the two panels to the right to go directly to the relevant auction page for an example of what an auction listing looks like.
We Are Not Talking About Flipping Websites
Putting both buying and selling in the title might immediately bring to mind the process of flipping websites. That is usually a rapid process involving the following three steps:
- purchase of a website at a price below its value or potential value
- make improvements to the website usually to increase revenues
- market the website to obtain a good price
The majority of websites sold via auctions such as flippa.com are involved in this flipping process. A good resource if that is your intent is Website Flipping 101: The 15 Principles to Buying, Selling, and Flipping Websites. This is a website maintained by Chris Yates and his business partner, David Gass. Many run profitable online businesses by flipping websites but that is not the topic we are covering. The acquisition that Rand Fishkin is talking about has much bigger potential than the typical ‘flipped’ website.
Buying A Community
Rand Fishkin in his article explained what he had in mind as follows:
When you buy a blog or any form of online community, you’re not simply acquiring links, you’re getting:
- An engine for brand building and indirect customer acquisition
- An ongoing methodology to pull in links, tweets, shares, +1s, likes, etc.
- Brand evangelists who will help expand your reach and credibility
- A PR opportunity like few others, even in fields where PR is hard to come by (acquisitions are talked-about, blogged-about, and make the news, even those of relatively small blogs)
- Content that’s already been proven to attract an audience
- All the organic signals that search engines love to see – from links to social to usage to content to branding
In many ways it resembles what Andrew Knibbe, Marketing Manager at Flippa, had set out in a guest post at Problogger on Buying and Selling Blogs with Strong Personal Brands.
The things that make ProBlogger what it is remain here, even if Darren’s time and presence on the blog has decreased from what it was when he started all those years ago. There’s a large and loyal community, a strong brand, an enormous, high-quality content inventory, and a raft of happy advertisers, affiliates, and so on. So if ProBlogger was for sale, you can see that it would have a lot to offer a potential buyer.
In summary, the kind of blog that Rand Fishkin had in mind is much more than a collection of articles. Through its history such a blog has built up a community of stakeholders who interact with the blog in a variety of ways. It can even include guest bloggers who are associated with the blog and most certainly includes its loyal readers. We believe that the two SMM blogs now being sold, StayGoLinks and Senior Money Memos, have earned that position in their respective fields.