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Blog Flipping - Researching, Negotiation, and Purchasing

Fri, Jun 6, 2008

Blog Flipping

Well, it’s been a couple of days, and unfortunately I didn’t hear back from any of the potential sellers we emailed in our last post - Blog Flipping - Prospecting. However, I did get a response from someone else. So, I want to take some time to let you look over my shoulder as I research, negotiate, and purchase (or not purchase) this blog. To do that, we’ll have to do some research, and find out if the blog is worth purchasing.

Here is the email I got from the owner of this blog. All private information will be blacked out, including the domain name. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I might like to purchase this blog, not someone who cashes in on my prospecting, and research.

$300 is a little bit more than I was expecting to hear, but the thing that jumps out at me almost from the start is the “We’ll start the negotiation at $300″. Meaning, he’s not sure how much it’s worth, and he’s willing to negotiate. If it’s worth anywhere near $300, I’ll reply with a lower offer… and we’ll go from there. If it’s not worth anything close to that, I’ll send him an email explaining that I was willing to pay “X” amount of dollars (which will be the lowest of the lowball offers), and I’ll probably never hear from him again. But that’s ok, there are plenty of these out there.

The Pro’s

Domain Age - Using DnScoop, I was able to determine that the domain was about 11 months old. While not ideal, this generally means that it’s past the Google Sandbox stage, which is good.

Backlinks - There are between 3,300 and 4,500 backlinks depending on which source you’d trust. Either way, it’s got a number of backlinks. Checked using DnScoop, Dig PageRank, and iWebTool.

PageRank - It’s got a PR4, which is pretty good. Selling PR4’s in the past, I’ve generated between $3,000 and $10,500 depending on the site. Check PageRank using - iWebTool, or Smart PageRank.

Other - According to the owner, the site is still getting about 40 unique visitors a day, and has 38 Rss subscribers. Neither of these mean much without documentation (screenshots) to back it up, but, it’s worth noting.

The Con’s

Backlinks - Roughly 40% of the backlinks are coming from the same source. This means that it’s probably a sitewide link that the owner either paid for, or someone added him to their blogroll. One link in someone’s blogroll means that you appear on every page that the blogroll shows up on. These are valuable links because although it appears to be one link, it is actually on every page of the blog… jackpot! However, the drawback to this when buying a site is that if the owner of that blog ever takes that link out of the blogroll, you lose a substantial total of your links. This may or may not be enough to drop your PageRank, and you’d lose that PR4 that was a Pro in the other list. Be careful here!

Anchor Text - I see that most of the anchor text uses the guy’s first name, or his blog name. Not great for me. Also, a red flag is raised when I see that the site that contains 40% of his backlinks uses his first name. I don’t want to rank for this guy’s name!

Content - There are only 38 posts. Meaning, that if I was buying this blog just for the content, like the example I used in the video, that I’d be paying almost $8 per post. That’s about $3 more than the going rate of a freelance writer.

The Verdict

Do I want to purchase this site for $300? No.

The only thing that makes it valuable is the 3-4k backlinks that it has. However, almost half of them come from the same source, which may even be another blog owned by the seller. If I lose these links, I’m almost certain to lose the PageRank 4 as well. Also, the links almost all contain bad anchor text. It’s either the site name, or the owners first name. I could care less about ranking for either of those terms, as they won’t bring me much traffic. It’s a tech blog, so I’d prefer that the anchor text for these sites be more tech oriented.

This one isn’t worth the asking price. We’ll keep trying. Here is my response to the owner.

Thanks for your time, but after doing some research, your blog isn’t worth anywhere near the $300 you are asking. When a blog is largely dependent on another blog to carry it’s backlink total, and subsequently, it’s PageRank, it’s a bad deal for me… the potential buyer. If I had to estimate, I’d say that your blog would go for no more than $100 in an open auction. Feel free to email me back if you are willing to take that.

-Bryan Clark

Well, that one didn’t work out. So I’m off to keep looking!

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. CouldItBe Says:

    Very interesting read. My question is do the standard blog buyers actually research into backlinks like you do or is it just all about the numbers to them? What made you still want the blog even knowing you might lose a good 40% of the backlinks and the anhors are no good. Are you not worried about having to put more time in to the site then you originally intended? I am looking forward to what the response will be from the owner of that site. Good luck with this one.


    Bryan Clark reply on June 7th, 2008:

    Actually, I think you misread. I DON’T want the blog for fear of losing the backlinks. And I can’t vouch for all buyers, but I would guess most of them just want numbers. I can’t pull the trigger to buy anything over $100 or so without research. I’m the definition of a tight wad when it comes to my business.


    CouldItBe reply on June 7th, 2008:

    “If I had to estimate, I’d say that your blog would go for no more than $100 in an open auction. Feel free to email me back if you are willing to take that.”

    Sorry I got kind of confused by you still offering one hundred dollars. Do you expect him to just refuse your offer?


    Bryan Clark reply on June 7th, 2008:

    Offering the $100 was just my way of trying to close the negotiation with a take it or leave it offer. His original offer was for $300, and the blog is worth that. However, if he drops 40% of the backlinks (by losing the sitewide link), it becomes worth much less. I’m willing to take the chance, just not for $300. So, basically I was telling him I’m not interested in his price, without telling him I’m not interested in his blog. $100 isn’t much to risk, so if he loses the backlinks, I’ll be a little upset, but I’ll still make more than $100 off of it. I doubt he’ll reply… but you never know.

  2. theaffiliatepost Says:

    Super follow up post Bryan, I feel a lot of people will learn from this. I like your style as far as negotiations go…..”I was telling hime I am not interested in his price withour saying I’m not interested in his blog” BRILLIANT!

    Like you said in your previous post….it’s about prospecting. Finding that value that others can’t see! Obviously you are going to have bigger winnners from time to time but as I always say, ‘You are never going to be poor if you know how to make a profit’


    Bryan Clark reply on June 7th, 2008:

    Thanks AP. I’m glad you got some value out of a non-sale! Hopefully the next one will be a winner and I’ll get to show you a bit more


  3. theaffiliatepost Says:

    I did my due dilligence too I remember your advice before, about reading between the lines and thats just what I did. The suspense is killing me and I look forward to seeing a sale through to completion.

    Cheers Bryan!!


  4. Niche Blog Network Says:

    As far as backlinks, perhaps you could ask (or have it put in writing) that should you buy the blog, the high PR backlinks be left intact.

    Make it a condition for sale, etc.


    Bryan Clark reply on June 9th, 2008:

    Well, that’s a good idea, but… There isn’t much I could do if he broke the deal. Remember, a lot of the time you are dealing with non-US, citizens… so he’s outside the threat of real legal action for breach of contract.


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