When someone starts blogging, they might begin feeling a bit unsure, but still super-excited because they’re creating something that is uniquely their own. I’m sure that most bloggers dream of their blog someday making it so big, that someone offers to pay them thousands or even millions of dollars for it.
Blogging is pretty darn difficult in the beginning, I’m not gonna lie. Getting traffic, monetizing, and finding interesting ways to keep your blog updated frequently are obstacles that many bloggers choose not to face. They give up before they do any real work. Those that stick it through though, often reap pretty big rewards. And some of them reap rewards that most of us can only dream of.
The websites on this list are sites that started out pretty small and then grew into the giants they are today.
10. WorldHum.com – 6 Million Dollars
This blog was bought by the Travel Channel for a whopping sum of 6 million bucks. It’s a travel blog that was founded by Michael Yessis and Jim Benning. The blog was host to numerous interviews, essays, reviews, audio and video. According to the founders, “We started World Hum out of our apartments in May 2001 with $35 and one goal: To publish the best travel stories on the Internet.”
Fortunately for them though, they had lots of combined experience with travel writing. To this day, they continue to run their website. Not too shabby for a $35.00 investment!
9. Freakonomics.com – 8 Million Dollars
This blog was bought by the New York Times for 8 million dollars. Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, writer and economist, respectively, wrote the best-selling book ‘Freakonomics’. Thus, the Freakonomics blog was born! According to the creators, the book was “a book about cheating teachers, bizarre baby names, self-dealing Realtors, and crack-selling mama’s boys.” Sounds pretty academic right? Ha! That was their angle, they made complex economic concepts simple to understand by the layman. This made it very marketable, and the NY Times jumped on the opportunity. Levitt and Dubner still operate the blog.
8. Treehugger.com – Ten Million Dollars
Treehugger.com is, (you guessed it!) an environmental blog. It was started in 2004 by Graham Hill. It was bought by Discovery Communications. According to Hill, “it [the blog] was entirely virtual and was managed from various cities around the world including Barcelona, Bangkok, Buenos Aires and New York.” Travel the world while blogging about the environment and then getting paid 10 million dollars for it sounds pretty darn sweet. Hat’s off to you, Graham.
7. Celebrity-Babies.com – Ten Million Dollars
Celebrity Babies was started by blogger, Danielle Friedland. It was bought by Time, and is now hosted on People.com, the website of People Magazine. The site is actually about the offspring of celebrities, and not what I thought initially- that is was about infant movie stars. Shocking, I know! That would have been way cooler! There are babies out there with resumes longer than mine! But I digress. Back then, the site was receiving a whopping 720,000 visitors per month! I guess people really do love babies.
6. Deadline.com– Fourteen Million Dollars
Initially known as ‘DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com’, Deadline was a blog started by columnist Nikki Finke, for the sole purpose of reporting on the lives of the rich and famous, as well as reports of the latest in show business. She ran this blog all by herself after her column in LA Weekly took off. It was bought by the Mail.com Media Group.
5. Bankaholic.com – Fifteen Million Dollars
Bankaholic was started by blogger John Wu. He was the sole (nerdy) operator of the blog until it was bought by Bankrate.com. He provided free financial advice about stuff like credit cards, savings accounts and so on.
According to Tom Evans, the CEO of BankRate, “Bankaholic is ranked high in natural search for both deposit and credit card keywords. We believe their organic traffic will increase our deposit and credit card revenue, and with a high composition of free traffic, will help to improve margins.”
4. ArsTechnica.com – Twenty-Five Million Dollars
Ars Technica is a tech ‘news and reviews’ blog that was created by Jon Stokes and Ken Fisher in ’98.It was later bought by Condé Nast. According to the founders, it was designed to be “the best multi-OS, PC hardware, and tech coverage possible while … having fun, being productive, and being as informative and as accurate as possible.”
The official description on the site today reads, “… we specialize in original news and reviews, analysis of technology trends, and expert advice on topics ranging from the most fundamental aspects of technology to the many ways technology is helping us enjoy our world. We work for the reader who not only needs to keep up on technology, but is passionate about it.”
Way to go, Jon and Ken!
3. PaidContent.org – Thirty Million Dollars
Paid Content is a blog that was the brain child of journalist Rafat Ali. According to Ali, the purpose of the blog was to “chronicle the evolution of digital content that is shaping the future of the media, information and entertainment industries.”
The website was bought by the Guardian Media Group. Ali is still involved with the running of the blog, and actually now works for Guardian Media as an editor.
According to PaidContent’s ‘About’ page, “Our belief is that in the near future, all media will be digital media, and we are helping define sustainable business models and innovation within this sector.”
2. TechCrunch.com – Thirty Million Dollars
If you have any interest in technology and you don’t live in Siberia, you’ve probably heard of TechCrunch. It was created in 2005 by Michael Arrington. TechCrunch.com was bought by AOL for 30 million dollars. They focus on tech news, information and interesting start-ups.
- ConsumerSearch.com – Thirty-Three Million Dollars
ConsumerSearch was founded by Carl Hamaan and Derek Drew in ’99. The interesting thing about it is that they didn’t actually write the reviews nor did they allow third-parties to post reviews. They got the reviews from other sources and then made their reports based on those reviews. It was bought by About.com which is a subsidiary of the New York Times Company.
Feeling inspired yet? You should be! All of those websites were started by little bloggers that could. They thought they could, and they did. And you can too. If you’re a blogger and you think you might be sitting on a blogging goldmine, you should probably get it valued by a website broker. It might not sell for millions but you never really know! Learn more about website brokers here. If you don’t think your blog’s worth anything yet, then keep working at it. I’m sure none of these bloggers thought they would be selling their creations for millions of dollars in the beginning.