Amy Lupold Bair is here to prepare us for life after blogging. For some people, that’s in the near future, but for the rest, it’s in some mystical point in time…later.
What she is:
- a blogger
- a business owner
- a social media craziness survivors
What she isn’t:
- a financial expert
- a business planner
- a fortune teller
We’re talking about the reasons we started blogging. We have a deal blogger who started her blog because friends and family wanted her to just stop talking about all the good deals she’d found. I started because my friends on LiveJournal thought I was posting too much about my baby. Many of us were “accidental bloggers.” Someone else in the room started out intentionally because she wanted to start a business and she saw a local need.
Prioritize. Organize. Strategize.
Don’t finance the fluff. Don’t worry about the t-shirts with your logo on them, other things that businesses generally see as “necessary” but aren’t.
Intentionally cut unnecessary costs. If you’re spending $500 a year on URLs, stop the domain hoarding. If your “why not” (your reason to leave blogging) is financial, cutting your costs will be attractive to potential buyers.
Track everything. How are you spending money? How you are using your time. Patterns in business growth. Progress toward financial goals and business goals. Spreadsheets are your friends. (Know how to make a profit/loss statement annually if not monthly.) Update your media kit regularly.
Get your financial house in order.
Have a good understanding of what is coming in and what is going out. You need to have a separate bank account for your business. Forming an LLC can help protect your finances. Commercial liability can often be added to your homeowners insurance policy. Pay your estimated taxes quarterly so it doesn’t get away from you. A financial planner is strongly recommended.
If you have to fly, make sure you fly solo.
The slide has a picture of Han Solo. We all appreciate it. But the point is that starting a group business can be tricky. Too many cooks in the kitchen, you know.
Don’t constantly chase the next big thing.
Everyone in this business is running around like they’re on fire. Be really good at one or two things. You don’t have to do everything. Amy still does Twitter parties, but she’s not doing Periscope parties or Facebook Live parties, etc.
Do you see your finish line?
Amy has a very concrete financial goal for how much she needs to make so she can shut her computer, never open it again, and not be eating cat food when she’s 80. She laughed, we laughed, and her financial planner had laughed when she said it to her, but it’s what she set as her goal. Her financial planner gave her a concrete number to serve as her goal.
- Step back.
- Step out.
If you step out, you can have another blogger take over where you leave off, and come up with a percentage that they will pay you as a residual.
Timing is tricky. Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. You don’t want to sell when you’re in a growth period and you can make as much in a year as the price someone offers you, but you don’t want to sell when your blog is in decline. Talk to a business broker if you’re ready to sell.
Current predictable revenue is enticing for buyers. Know your pattern of growth.
Can someone pick up where you left off? (I don’t think this works for me.) Keep track of your process, how your time is spent. Do you have something else to sell besides your blog? Do you have a lot of content? Don’t delete all of those old posts that you don’t like, because Google still likes them.
Businesses in our sphere generally sell for 2x-4x what you made in the previous 12 months.
Audience and email list are value.
You can sell to competitors, to business brokers, etc.
Don’t just burn your blog to the ground. Your content has value. Besides, Google won’t forget that you wrote all that stuff.