Building a Blog to Flip It

From Blog Business Summit, 10/2/08:

"Paidcontent and ProBlogger reported this morning that the Bankaholic blog, which launched in July of 2007, was bought today by Bankrate for a cool $12.4 million, and the option to earn another $2.5 million over the next 12 months.

That’s an astounding payout for the amount of time that John Wu (who is the one person behind Bankaholic) has put into the site.

If you look at the Google trends chart, you can see a very convincing argument for building a blog to flip it…"

At Concept Camp, director of business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks and So you want to launch a business… blogger Jim Flowers asked company founders to name their number.

Jim had to push.  I love my business.  I don’t want to sell it.


"A cool $12.4 million" paid for one blog.  I’ve got half a dozen blogs, including Handshake 2.0 and Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

Maybe I named too small of a number. 

The next session of risk reduction for small businesses Concept Camp is December 17-19, 2008.

The Blog Business Summit post used in this business blog post was discovered using competitive intelligence software AttaainCI.

The business acceleration program offered by VT KnowledgeWorks includes member companies Handshake Media, Incorporated–of which Inside VT KnowledgeWorks and Handshake 2.0 are ventures–and Attaain, Inc., provider of competitive intelligence Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) AttaainCI.


  1. I'll give you $5 and a milkshake. 🙂

    One of the things I've struggled to understand is how you write for an audience, encouraging engagement, if the end goal is simply to sell it off. Pay for click ads on a site are garish enough to me, but I guess in that sense I'm a purist when it comes to blogging – as much as you can be one in what's still a relatively new medium.

    Nevertheless, I'm sure there are bloggers everywhere trying to find new ways to monetize their work. All the best to them …

  2. I absolutely love vanilla milkshakes! Skip the $5! Thank you!

    I think you raise an excellent point. What is one's ultimate goal? I had a fascinating e-mail exchange with a colleague yesterday which helped me clarify what I want to have happen with Handshake 2.0.

    Nowhere in the discussion was mentioned selling it.

    Maybe some day I'll change the tune of my hammer, but right now I'm building a labor of love.

  3. Vanilla – now THAT'S a purist!

    I guess in many ways we're all monetizing our blogs, simply by creating a room for conversation to take place about a given subject. It's rewarding – in many ways, not just financially – when people contact me to discuss real estate transactions in the New River Valley. If I can quantify a dollar amount, from sales or speaking engagements, that comes to me from my blog, then I've monetized it, in a way. If Handshake 2.0 offers you the opportunity to speak, or consult, or whatever, and that impacts your bottom line, then you've monetized it.

    I guess I have a hard time understanding why you'd approach this type of forum with that as your end goal; it seems to create a false sense of engagement, in my opinion.

    But again … I'm a purist talking to another purist. 🙂

  4. And I have even bigger "monetizing" dreams for Handshake 2.0. I want it to be part of the many initiative underway to promote local economic development.

    I want Handshake 2.0 to help create a handshake that seals a deal!

    Everybody's monetized!

  5. "Priceless" I have heard may times about select environmental places and species. Then a price emerged.

    I wonder about price and value as I learn of people fighting (reportedly to death) to avoid their company being taken over by another company. There is a price-plus at work.

    I can imagine a sincere, well-intended, socially-responsible environemntal company not wanting to be taken over … at almost any price … for fear of the likely consequences to the environment and its people that would be done under their name by the new, less-socially-inclined enterprise. It's almost impossible to be flipless.

  6. Nothing really to add here, Anne, other than this link that I noticed in my feed reader this morning –

    It's an interesting thought to me, though, the statement he makes here:

    "… the valuations that they put on the site (very high six figure sums) were not based upon what it was currently earning at all. They made offers based upon these other factors – factors that made their offers much higher than a valuation based upon traffic or monthly income alone."

    The value that a community brings, or as Darren says the reader loyalty and user participation, was greater to these suitors than just a monthly income. Interesting …

  7. "The value that a community brings…"

    Whether online or off, a community is beyond price. My father, a wildlife expert, often uses the metaphor of wolves to emphasize the need for community, particularly in these challenging times. The lone wolf dies. The one cannot survive without the many.

    I read on one of Google's company pages that it considers its ranking system democratic. Google's algorithms evaluate sites based on traffic, i.e. whether or not the community finds the site of value, whether or not the many are benefitted by the one.

    And you, Jeremy, are a beyond-price member of my community. I found the content at the link you sent very provocative, even vision-creating. Thank you very, very much for including me in your pack.

  8. More link trading.

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Business Bloggers (first comment on post is also very useful):

    Would Jack Welch [former CEO of GE] have blogged as CEO?

    "[Jack Welch] On adoption of new web 2.0 tools:

    Just be authentic. Be clear in your vision, and have one message and one view that are authentic."

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