Recently 11 blogs from the Fine Fools network sold with content, designs, and links for a total of $4,500. I am still busy kicking myself in the teeth, because I would have paid much more than that for those blogs. Those blogs were generating over 300,000 monthly pageviews, but the sites were generating only roughly $300 in monthly revenues.
Without even adding any content to those sites, given their traffic volume and link authority (most of the sites were strong PageRank 6 sites with natural backlink profiles) I could have easily increased the income to over $5,000 a month (ie: had the network more than pay for itself in the first month of ownership).
I think that limited $300 / month revenue figure is a great example of why it is worth worrying about more than just pageviews. SEO is just one piece of the puzzle, and usually most sites have big obvious on site gains that could be pursued long before you look to invest heavily in increasing traffic.
I get some people who tell me that they are already getting a million pageviews a month and they want me to guarantee they will get 3 million pageviews a month if they read my $79 book. If you can get 2 million monthly pageviews for $79 please let me know the source and I will follow you with a few thousand dollars in hand. When you are to that scale the issue is not that you need more distribution. If you can't make money with hundreds of thousands or millions of pageviews you ought to consider changing your revenue model.
I realize that celebrity sites might get tons of low quality traffic, but how hard would it be to add ring tone affiliate ads, concert ticket text links, or dating affiliate ads to the sites? How hard would it be to write a dating ebook you sold for $30? And the blog A Man's View could have easy been changed to a porn blog that would make in excess of $5,000 a month by itself.
I guess a valuable lesson here is that networks that don't profit will eventually fall apart and/or will be sold for well less than they are worth. Another valuable lesson might be that there is still a huge disconnect between traffic and value in the minds of most webmasters, and the WWW still has near endless profit opportunity about.
A friend normally gives me the scoop on auctions at Sitepoint, but something went wrong on this one. I am still kicking myself in the teeth. I would have loved to have bought those blogs, especially that cheap. Damn damn damn damn etc ;)
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