I used to help people buy and sell blogs, and as I result I get at least a couple of emails weekly from bloggers asking if I can help them to sell their blogs. If I believe the sale is feasible (i.e., the blog is quality one and already makes good money) I do help. Most of the times, however, selling the blogs would be too hard to be worth anyone’s time.
The most clear example of this are people who email me asking if I can help to sell their Blogspot blogs (i.e., a blog they created on Google’s Blogger service). Selling such a blog is almost impossible. Why? First of all because the person is not the real owner of the blog. He owns the content, but the blog is property of Google. In fact if you read Blogger’s Terms of Service you’ll find this sentence in the very first paragraph:
Google also reserves the right to modify, suspend or discontinue the Service with or without notice at any time and without any liability to you.
This means that your blog could be shut down any day, and it would be hard to find a buyer willing to bear this risk.
Second, you would also be violating another clause of the ToS:
7. No Resale of the Service. Unless expressly authorized in writing by Google, you agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade, resell or exploit for any commercial purposes (a) any portion of the Service, (b) use of the Service, or (c) access to the Service.
You could try to sell it secretly, but if Google finds out they would probably shut down the account/blog, which again scares most buyers off.
Want some empirical evidence? Check the last 1,000 sites/blogs that were sold on Flippa. I just did. None of them was using Blogger’s platform. All of them had their own domain names.
Truth be told I have seen a couple of Blogspot blogs being sold in the past, but they were generating a lot of revenue with AdSense (e.g., close to $1,000 monthly), so the buyers were willing to take the risk. Other than these exceptions I have never seen a Blogspot blog sell for a decent price.
Does this mean you are screwed if you have a Blogspot blog? Not at all. You’ll just need to solve the situation before you try to sell it.
Remember, while Google owns the platform itself, you own all the content you write there. Here is the quote from the ToS:
Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Google services and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate.
So you’ll just need to get your content out of Blogger and hosted on your own website before you can sell it. Here is a quick step-by-step guide for doing that:
- Buy a domain name
- Get a company to host it
- Install WordPress on your domain
- Use the “Import” feature on WordPress and import all the posts from your Blogspot blog
- Redirect your blogspot blog to your new domain (here is a guide for that)
A second alternative is to point your Blogger account to a custom domain. This is not ideal, however, because your content would still be hosted on Blogger. If you want to try this just go to Dashboard > Settings> Publishing, click on “Switch to: Custom Domain”.
I hate blogspotters, they have destroyed web quality but posting unstoppable articles written by others.
I would never buy a blogspot from another since it’s quite easy to acquire one myself
I am personally using blogger for an experiment with niche blogs. I want to see if I can get to the point where I can make $100/day using nothing but blogger blogs.
No, I have no plans on selling them after I reach my goal. But, I will be more than glad to keep you guys all updated.
Has this been really done? I find it hard to believe that Google would allow something they own, after all they are all sub domains of Blogspot. It would have to be in breach of their TOS policy!
I use blogger, (on my own domain,) because I can’t stand wordpress. After reinstalling wordpress on my server for like the 15th time last year, I switched my blog to blogger. It’s a long story, I would loos the password because it was giving me a randomly generated one, and it wouldn’t let me go into the database and change it, so I would have to reinstall every time. WordPress was also fairly easy enough for me to break, (which I did a lot.) So that also caused me to have to reinstall it several times. I don’t plan to sell my blog anyway, (it’s just a personal blog,) but you can use blogger on your own domain name, using a subdomain.
Interesting thoughts on selling a Blogger blog, I agree that it would violate Google’s TOS, however I am sure some people have dont it successfully.
Thanks for posting up the link to redirect a blogger blog to your own domain, will come in handy i am sure.
It all boils down to – if it does not belong to you, you can not sell it.
If you “really” wanted to get technical, selling something that does not belong to you might even be considered fraud.
Lets say you were renting a house, and then you the house up for sale. You sold the house and got the buyers money. Then the owner of the house comes along and tells the buyer, sorry, but that is not your house. Most of the time, criminal charges could be filed on the seller for selling something that does not belong to them.
There is one simple rule to keep in mind – if its not yours, you can not sell it. Its that simple.
I did start with blogspot but after reading so many horror stories about it, have decided against using it as my main site. You can start with less than $20 a month. Hosting with several good companies some of them even has free trial.
There is a lot of content to be had for free or paid. Good or bad. You just need to apply yourself as diligently to your site as to blogspot. Why waste time building content and then just to be deleted at someone’s whim be it the mighty google.
Just ask yourself will you buy a blog on Blogspot. If your answer is yes then it is possible to sell it and if your answer is no. Then. . . . . . . . I think on need to tell. ..
[email protected] marketing says
It is almost impossible to sell the blogspot. If I, I also do not want to buy it. Google can delete any time.
jigen shah says
well if u r serious about blogging u should definitely have an own domain rather than a blogspot blog . .
As far as selling a blogspot blog is concerned in my 4 years of blogging career i have never seen people willing to buy a blogspot blog no matter what quantity and quality it has . . .
That’s gotta be scary when you grow large enough and Google is looming over your shoulder like that.
We all put so much effort into our blogs but we’re still at the whim of the search engines – get delisted and you’re done.
I wouldn’t stop blogging if I was delisted but it would hurt my ego just a tad. I enjoy writing for my readers but I equally enjoy having new people find it because I believe they’ll really enjoy the content.
Your advice is very valuable to solve this issue.
Apart from that problem, so if we really intend to make money blogging seriously and we feel have the ability to build a good blog, we should begin by having our own domain and hosting. Anyway, I will ask for your help later if I think my blog is eligible for sale.
Naresh R says
I really doubt if even selling our content would be possible. What does Google have to say about it?
Daniel Scocco says
Google does not mind webmasters selling their own websites/domain names.
I started with Blogspot blogger and eventually migrated all the blogs + posts to my own self hosted blogs. It has been more than a year since I’ve done that and till today, the blogspot blogs were still getting organic hits from search engines (even though the posts are all gone) and through links from other blogs. Adsense revenue is still coming in.
One of my regrets is that I never use the blogspot platform to actively promote my new blog till recently- and I have lost a lot of organic traffic that way. Why not keep the blogspot blogs and either monetise it or drive traffic to the self hosted blog?
Just my thots and experience on this.
I noticed that you said, $1000 a week from adsense is good. How many unique visitors a month would you need to generate this sort of income?
I’ve just started a blog on playing guitar 2 months ago, and I’m getting about 900 unique visitors a month. Is that good?
900 unique per month within two months is a gr8 start…..
Daniel Scocco says
The traffic you need to generate $1000 monthly varies a lot, according to the niche and business mode.
If you have an average niche and makes money through advertising only I would you’ll need around 100,000 monthly unique visitors to make that.
Totally agreed. Invest on self hosting blog when you’re serious about blogging so that your fear of shutting off your blog down is not a factor.
See, that’s why companies like Google and Apple tick me off. They lock you in, and you can’t get out. Apple’s products (i.e. The iPod Touch) lock you in, so you can’t use Flash or applications that haven’t been approved by Apple (you can get around this through Jailbreaking, luckilly), and Google, through this. This ticks me off, because what’s the point of blogging and running a successful blog if you DONT have the option of selling it later?
Anyways, I think that exporting and redirecting the blog would be the best option, HOWEVER it might hurt your sales…right?
Daniel Scocco says
How would it hurt the sale?
Well take my blog for example. I seemed to of gotten it screwed up to the point were there’s a WWW permalink (even though my blog shouldn’t Have a WWW) and a normal weblink. So there are, in Google’s eyes, two domain, regardless of the fact the WWW domain redirects back to mine. Make sense?
A W Drake says
Clearly it is better to host your own blog, but Blogger can be a cost effective way of running a blog until it is established. If it becomes successful the blog can then be exported elsewhere.
Thinking about how to sell a Blogger blog, the easiest way seems to involve owning a domain name thats pointing to the blog. Selling the blog would of course also mean selling the domain name. The buyer sets up a Blogger account, points the domain name to his blog and imports the content.
I’m not 100% sure how feasible this is but it does side step Google’s TOS.
I never had a Blogspot blog, but anyway, your post also reminds us that although the terms of service are often ignored, it is still important and we need to read it whenever we sign up for an online service.
Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire says
Self-hosting is definitely the way to go if you want to make an actual business out of your blog. Sure blogger is easy to use, but when you don’t control the content, that can mean years of work and posting down the tubes.
The Underdog Millionaire
Dev | Technshare says
Yeah, It’s better to have self-hosted WordPRess Blog than Blogspot/blogger. Thanks for this great Post bud.
BTW: What of my guest post bud?
Migrating from blogger to wordpress causes some trouble. For my site I was unable to export and import due to a custom template on blogger I had created.
Rahul Bansal says
I really don’t think issue was with your “custom template” on blogger.
In fact, blogger keeps all your data completely separate from your custom templates.
We are running a professional service for blogger to wordpress migration and I never seen blogger exporter creating problems because of custom template.
By any chance, were you using blogger blog with FTP publishing mode at the time of trying migrating to wordpress?
BlogSpot To Wordpess Migration says
@ Eran: Could i help you out in migrating your blogspot blog
Josh Garcia says
I’m glad that I never went with using Blogger at the beginning. I started out with my own self hosted blog. I’m so glad that I did.
If someone is going to spend that time and energy to create quality content. Why not do it on your own self hosted blog. That is scary that Blogger can shut your stuff down. Another great post!
Chat with you later…
While I agree selling a blogspot blog can be difficult, I do not think section 7 of the terms of service apply. I am not a laywer, but you would not be selling any use of the service, you would be selling the content. The new owner would already need to be a blogger.com user. Reselling the service seems to apply more to a company that resells the service and charges other clients for that.
For example people could have a custom domain on a blogger.com blog and a user should be able to sell that site to a new owner, as long as the new owner already has a blogger.com account.
Daniel Scocco says
I think selling your blog (i.e. handing out your login/passwords in exchange for money) would violate that clause. Notice the “(a) any portion of the Service, (b) use of the Service, or (c) access to the Service” part.
Yes, but you can transfer ownership of a blog on blogger without handing over login information. If you are selling login accounts you are then selling the service, but if you are transferring blog ownership from one account to another you are not selling the service. The person is already using the service.
Daniel Scocco says
If you take money to transfer your account to someone else I believe you would still fall under that clause.
Google doesn’t need to know you’re taking money. I don’t think they’ll check “flippa” to see if there are listings with your blog.