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1 Man Blog Sells for $15 Million Dollars

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of October 2008 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

I’ve had four people email me this news in the last 10 minutes. PaidContent is reporting that a WP blog by the name of Bankaholic has just been acquired by BankRate For Up To $15 Million.

Bankaholic has a staff of 1 (Johns Wu) who will remain on at the blog.

If this price is true it’s a fairly decent sale for Mr Wu (understatement of the year) – the blog has an Alexa ranking of 42,168 and averages less than 20 comments per post. The blog does seem to rank very well for a lot of bank terms and I’m sure drives targeted traffic and would convert well with affiliate products – but this is still a fairly inspiring sale!

Here’s the Google Trends chart of the blog showing a steady growth over the last year.

Hat tip to Patrick who was first to let me know of this.

updated for accuracy

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. That not the only buyout happen in the last 12 months, I had put some chronologies on my latest post, here

  2. Really hot news for bloggers

  3. Only thing I can see in this blog the color of the theme is very nice…

  4. Heck, I’d sell my blog for half that price!

  5. Calling that site a blog is misleading. It is an SEO site in the form of a blog. They are clearly buying links, those rankings aren’t 100% natural. But it shows the power of the blogging platform.

  6. “OMG! $15M Am I reading the correct number? Is it $15k or $15M :D”

    I was thinking the same thing. IMO that is ridiculous.

  7. Man, that is a lot of money. My girlfriend almost fell when I told her how much the blog sold for.

  8. Wow that’s quite a payoff for all his hard work!

  9. Ummm, wow! Congrats to that guy–very smart!

  10. Wow. Amazing if it is true.

  11. Stubsy: Thank you

  12. heh readers,

    I would say it is a costly deal. Lucky fella!! I think the offer could have never reached a million dollars.

    i own a couple of domains – suggest.pro and matrimony.pro.

    Any idea where to sell them? I can tip you for the lead. :-)

  13. I hope it undergoes a color change – that green is brutal to look at.

    I figure now is a good time to leave a comment over there. This news is going to bring it a massive amount of traffic

  14. great its about time that the money tide start flowing to the blog

  15. I heard John Wu changed his name to John Woo Hoo! today.

  16. I just hope he got it in cash, and not shares in a US bank that now is worth something like 15 cents :-)

    It sounds amazing that someone pays that kind of money for a bank related blog in these days with banks closing every day.

  17. According to Google Reader as of today the site (it is a site) has:

    Posts per week: 3.3
    Subscribers: 129

  18. Wow, Makes you wonder how much your own blog is really worth…
    Or at least how much someone is willing to pay for it.

  19. I have to agree with Andre Kibbe, this isn’t about a highly trafficked social blog that attracts commenting, its about converting those search engine visitors to sales – thats where the money is.

    Just looking at the layout of the site its clear to see that the visitor is presented with multiple advertising and/or affiliate options that are all likely to selected within the first few moments of hitting the site. Clever SEO tactics and a great financial topic (especially during the current credit crunch), I can understand why this site has such a high value.

    It would be interesting to see some income figures for the site.

  20. This isn’t the start of some new trend people — this deal was probably negotiated right before the recent credit crisis meltdown. It’ll be a long time before another one-man blog will sell for anything near $15 million. But you can keep trying!

  21. Finance blogs can be lucrative if they concentrate on SEO for major keywords. Still, that’s a shed load of money and I’ve recalculated what I’d be willing to sell my main blog for. It needs to stay well above the amount that it’s actually worth ;) .

  22. Most financial blogs with great quality content tend to do pretty well. Investors tend to “stick” to certain blogs where the writer is actually a live trader.

  23. That’s incredible! I’m damn jealous.

  24. This was simply an awesome accomplishment, hats off to Mr. Wu

    I did some further analysis of the 15 Million dollar Blog.

    I checked quantcast.com and it revelaed that the site itself gets 156.3K visitors a month. It also showed some other holistic information.

    I jumped over to cubestat.com and it revealed this estimated data:

    Website Worth: $53,028.66

    Daily Pageviews: 24,214

    Daily Ads Revenue: $72.64

    So in a week this site generates $508.48 in ad revenue alone

    That’s $2,033.92 a Month! In Ad Revenue! <- Holy SMOKES!

    I can see why it sold for $15 Million

  25. This is great ..I guess in blogging the most important thing is content and then consistency in blogging. So keep blogging !


  26. Very big value…..great……how to create incredible selling like that

  27. Can’t imagine that that blog is worth $15 million dollars, but if someone’s willing to pay it, then it would be hard to pass up. Just goes to show that looks aren’t everything I guess.

  28. Unbelievable! I guess start tailoring your blog to a wealthy industry and get your blog in a high ranking!!

  29. So happy for him!! Is he now going to Dinseyland??? :)
    Seriously, do you know what Johns plans to do after he fulfills his contract with Bankrate?

  30. It’s not just incredible – it’s bizarre. Maybe I am just out of the loop, or too new to blogging, but WOW.

  31. I am still unable to believe it. Congrats. Hardwork always pays off.

  32. According to Quantcast, the blog receives about 150K readers a month. That is MUCH lower than I would have guessed at that price tag.

    I agree the site looks extremely well optimized for SEO and for AdSense clicks, and I can see the blog being a revenue-driver for many years to come. But I do wonder at what point do they think they will break even at this purchase price – Even if the blog is making $1MM a year (which I doubt), it would take 15 years to even begin to see an ROI.

  33. I know about this blog, it was featured in Chitika’s blog like an successful example for Chitika Premium Ads (300% increase in revenue)

    Here’s the link http://chitika.com/blog/2008/06/26/chitikapremium-success-story-bankaholiccom/

  34. Wow, I started my bank site before he did but I only have about 2% of the traffic he does. I’d gladly sell my site for 2% of 15 million dollars though.

  35. I know it’s hard to fathom a basic two column wordpress blog with banking content to sell for 15 MiL but the content and consistency of the blog is what gave it that price ticket including the ad revenue, forget about the looks it’s the content and it’s creating a learning ad/portal for investors and soon to be investors as well as the general public to utilize.

    Check the archive of the site, you can see the rich content as far back as 2006 in the archive. Amazing…

    The oldest site I own is only worth $256.00 and Ive had it since 2006. But I didn’t know, what I know now, in 2006.

    Well back to blogging…

  36. Wow that a whooping amount for a blog. Congrats to Mr. Wu for making all this happen.

    It helps bloggers like us to keep our work going.

    Cheers Mr. Wu.

  37. $15 million is an amazing figure. But i think this is just the begning blogging has just started and i believe that this will bring more buyers. It is a good news for bloggers and offcourse this will bring more and more people to start their own blogs rather being a partimer people will start thinking to become a full time blogger.

    Yes this is a better investment as compared to real estate.

    Congratulations to MR. Wu.

    Promotion Ranking

  38. Some Guy says: 10/05/2008 at 12:21 pm

    I wouldn’t measure it by “comments” per entry. My experience is that unless you’re talking about something fairly controversial, comments are exceedingly rare.. sometimes as low as 1 per 1000 views or so. legitimately useful comments are even lower.

  39. Wow! That’s all I can say. The next thing that springs to mind is “location, location, location….” This is a prime piece of internet real estate, and the sales figure reflects that.

  40. How can 2k/mth make you confidently believe it’s worth 15m.

    2k isn’t that much and the information source isn’t reliable either

  41. This does seem amazing still, it has got to be to do with the perceived value of this being banking sector. Don’t people turn to gurus in times of a crisis?

  42. $15 M? Unbelievable but acceptable for such lucrative finance blog

  43. Hey Darren,
    So you up for selling yours yet? set up a church somewhere on the coast and sit back? Dont sell, as your the “wet dream” of most bloggers. I disagree with Jacques as its not location, location. its work, work and more work. research research and some amazing “luck”. and while you have had some luck in the early day I put your success down to good old work and lots of backend marketing

  44. I was amazed at the figure but even more amazed when I found out which site it was. I remember commenting on one of the posts several months ago but thought it was just another run-of-the-mill finance blog.

    To be fair though, as others have said, it’s the search engine rankings that really give the site it’s value (although $15m?).

  45. @setupz: It’s not the ad revenue, it’s the conversions. What a lot of people here aren’t understanding is that bankaholic is drawing in tons of search traffic, which converts a hell of a lot better than social traffic.

    Suppose you have 100 visitors from a Google search on “credit cards,” and five of them click on your “Credit Cards” tab. Suppose that two of them actually filled out a card application. Suppose we take a low-end commission like $30 per action (approved apps can be over $100). Now think about the fact that Google AdWords Keyword Tool show 4,090,000 searches for “credit cards” in the month of September. Let’s cut that in half, allowing for IM researchers checking the keyword like I just did, and round it to 2 million. That’s 66,666 searches a day. I don’t pretend to know what percentage of those searches a “blog” in serp 1 would get, but one thing’s for sure: you’d get a hell of a lot more than 100 visitors

    And this is just one prime keyword. Bankaholic is dominating the search engines with “cd rates,” “money market rates,” and other keywords. Since hordes of folks these days seem anxious to switch banks and reallocate their assets, Bankaholic is absolutely in the right place at the right time.

    To repeat: this is search traffic, not social traffic. Problogger readers who clicked on the Bankaholic link probably didn’t sign up for a CC or buy a CD. Notice that there are no social bookmarking buttons on the site. There’s nothing to encourage traffic for traffic’s sake. It’s not location, location, location; it’s conversion, conversion, conversion.

  46. Makes you think how much is his monthly income prior to this to warrant this kind of price. Anyone with any background information on the guy?

  47. The site must have been doing very well to receive a price like that. I have put my site up for sale, how great would it be to receive $15 million.

  48. I’d rather have my humble $15 in ad revenue every month.

  49. oh jesus, such a huge amount for a blog then what do you thing about the blogs like TechCrunch or ReadWriteWeb?
    what would be their price? Thanks


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