Heart dollarPhoto credit: Instructables.

My name's on the book. If the website is controlled by other people, their actions will reflect on me, even if all traces of my name are removed from the site. That's something I never thought about when naming the book, but on the other hand, the book's success is helped by the popularity of the website, and vice versa, so it can be good having them linked.

Understandably, the sale was mostly based on statistics — visitor numbers and origins, what keywords drive people to the site, monthly ad revenue, etc. Thing is, I launched the site five years back, and since then it's grown a personal value that's more than numbers, not to mention the beautiful and smart readership that significantly adds to that.

Perhaps most importantly, the potential buyer owns another website where logos are sold in isolation at the lowest end of the market. One main reason for the purchase was to add banners and links pointing to this other site. Here's a relevant quote from the Logo Design Love book.

"Every client is different, so every design project will be, too. It makes no sense to pigeonhole your clients into a specific price bracket. What works for one will not work for another, and your time — and profits — take a big hit when you limit yourself to a set range and attract clients on the basis of price alone."

So not exactly a good fit.

Exit strategy?

If you're thinking of selling your own website, here are a few questions worth answering.

  • What happens to the site after its sale?
  • How easy can you disassociate yourself?
  • How much have similar websites sold for?
  • What profit will your website generate over three years?
  • Can you trade for something other than money?
  • Who are you happy to sell to?
  • Do you want to keep any control over the content?
  • Will you provide support for a limited time?
  • How will you announce it to your subscribers?
  • Do you need a contract of sale?

If you want lower the time spent publishing content, but don't want to sell completely, there are a couple of options: Hire writers, similar to Smashing Magazine or Web Designer Depot.

Site income > writer fees = profit.

Alternatively, store your content as an online archive, similar to Speak Up. Traffic will decrease over time, but it can still generate passive income, and act as a helpful resource.

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Update:
Flippa seems to be one of the top marketplaces for those buying/selling a website (cheers Jon).

A couple of worthwhile reads for those in the selling market: Back in 2005 Yaro Starak wrote about how to sell a website. Some links are out-of-date, but much of the content still applies. Daniel Scocco of Daily Blog Tips shared a few tips for selling your blog or website on Flippa.