So there I was sitting in the hotel “business center”. Oddly, I work from home and almost never leave my house. But today, of all days, I didn't have access to my own scanner.
I was about to spend $6 to scan and email a contract to buy a website. The $6 to scan and email hurt a lot more than the six figures I was about to spend. The timing just happened to work out that I needed to get this contract signed and returned while I was away at a conference.
So, I sent the signed contract, and then sent a large wire transfer the next day.
Well, there is no going back now.
I just bought a mom blog!
That's right, earlier this month, a partner and I just purchased a blog run by the same mom for over 10 years and we are pretty excited about it! No, we aren't moms, but we believe we can grow the business.
That is exactly what the site is, a profitable business…making over $10,000 a month.
Today I want to share how I found this off-market mom blog to buy, how the site makes money, and my plans to grow the site.
Buckle up, 2 dads just took over a mom blog!
How to Find an Off-Market Mom Blog
As you may recall, I recently sold my own Amazon FBA business. This put a little extra cash in my pocket and I decided a couple of months ago that I wanted to buy and grow a website.
I could browse the brokerage listings that everyone else sees, or I could try something new and try to find an off-market deal. I decided to give it a shot.
I will first say that I have a couple of advantages because I own Niche Pursuits. If you are on my email list, you might remember that I emailed my list and simply asked if I could buy anyone's website. Not everyone can do that.
I got a ton of leads from that email. However, none of those leads panned out as expected (yet).
I kept at it and we ended up finding this Mom blog through a private Facebook group. I have to give props to Jake because he actually is the one that found the person interested in selling.
Jake essentially made a post in a private FB group that is dedicated to website owners and asked if anyone was interested in selling. Turns out that a few people were interested.
A couple of the sites I was not interested in, and a couple more people ended up changing their minds. So, it actually took A LOT of back and forth with different people to find someone that truly was ready to sell their site.
Finally, we found the mom blog that we ended up buying. Yes, it's a mom blog…but really it's just a crafting and food/recipe site for the most part. It's a great evergreen niche and has room for growth.
How the Site Gets Traffic
The site itself is a great site with 10 years of content. While there are a few “personal” type blog posts, the majority of the content is food and crafting.
Yes, the site gets some traffic organically from Google and has some PHENOMENAL links (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc). But a large portion of the traffic comes from Pinterest.
The site itself gets a ton of traffic…like over 15,000 sessions a day!
The site has a ton of great original pictures (of food and crafts mostly) and so Pinterest is an important part of the site. It's a bit of a learning curve for me to set up Pinterest to make sure we maintain and even grow that traffic source. The previous owner has been extremely helpful in getting us all the Pinterest training we need.
We now have a real mom that works for us pinning on Pinterest and Tailwind working to schedule out the pins we want. In addition, the plan is to create new images and graphics using the large amount of pictures the site already has to create new pins and drive even more traffic hopefully.
In addition, we are getting a content process set up that does 2 things. First, we will continue to produce the image heavy craft and food type posts that we can use to keep growing the Pinterest site of things. (This is all outsourced with other content creators…I have no intention of baking or crafting…that would be disastrous).
Turns out there are tons of people that regularly produce recipe and crafting type content that includes images for bloggers.
Second, the content process is going to start targeting more long tail keywords to increase the traffic coming from Google. My strength has always been keyword research and generating organic traffic, so that's what I plan to do.
I'm hopeful in the next 6 to 12 months that Google organic traffic can become a much larger share of the overall traffic than it is today.
How the Site Makes Money…Sponsored Content?
Most of the revenue on the site currently comes from display advertising. Because the site gets so many impressions every day, it makes a good chunk of change from the display ads.
The site also makes a little bit from Amazon Associates. Amazon only makes up roughly 10% of the income of the site though. (Food and crafting content don't always have a lot of relevant products on Amazon to link to).
A surprising source of revenue on the site is a bit unusual (at least for me)…sponsored content. Gasp!
My immediate thought when I heard that the site makes some money from Sponsored content, I was afraid I would have to turn down the deal. After all, I thought that sponsored content essentially meant people paying for links.
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I thought sponsored content was “black hat”.
Turns out that not only is sponsored content super normal, but it's also Google friendly…if done right.
Don't believe me? Here's an article on everything you need to know about sponsored content.
Sponsored content is widely accepted and practiced among Food bloggers and MANY other publishers. In fact, “native advertising” is expected to grow significantly over the next several years.
The blog I purchased regularly gets contacted by brands like Wal-mart, Target, and many other well known products or brands to write up a blog post on their latest promotion. I can now charge $1,000 or more to write a blog post on the topic that Target wants me to for example. Do a few of these a month, and it starts to add up.
Here's a couple of things to know about sponsored content:
- You MUST disclose that the article is a paid promotion. You have to reveal that you are getting compensated to write the blog post and who is paying you.
- All links in the article must be “no-follow”. This is not a link scheme. Brands are paying for exposure to your audience, not links.
This is common practice, and in fact Google recently purchased FameBit.com, which is a marketplace for…sponsored content. So, your site will NOT get penalized in Google for accepting sponsored content as long as you follow the rules.
Again, this is pretty new to me…I've always just focused on Ad revenue, affiliate income, or selling my own products. But we are figuring out a process to find new sponsored opportunities…and of course how we can outsource all of it so we don't have to do it.
Overall, we plan to continue adding more of what is already working and focusing a bit more on SEO.
There are tons of link building opportunities with all the original images we have including: reverse image searches to see who is using our images without giving link credit, posting to Flickr and making it easy to link back to us, and many others.
We are setting up standard operating procedures for adding new food and crafting content and keeping that Pinterest engine working. We have also done a ton of keyword research to find the topics we think the site can rank for.
As we get the right people in place and procedures set up, I believe we can have a great site that continues to grow over the next several years…without my day to day involvement.
I'm hopeful that this will be one of a few sites that I purchase this year. So, if you are looking to sell your site, let me know here.
I may not be a mom, but I'm now the proud owner of a mom blog. I am still a little upset about that $6 scan though…
Have questions? Leave a comment below.