Creating a Blogging Will

Today, I want to talk about something that may come across as a little morbid or depressing, but something that I think is important – particularly for those of us who do generate a living from our blogs (or at least a decent part time income). 

It’s all about how to prepare a ‘blogging will’.

Note: this episode is now live in iTunes if you’d prefer to listen to it there.


Have you ever wondered what happens to your blog if you were to pass away?

Over the years, I’ve known a number of bloggers who have sadly passed. Many of them, I only knew online and didn’t know their families. While reflecting on their lives, I often wondered how their families dealt with the bloggers online affairs after they were gone.

Every time I thought about this, I also wondered what would happen to my own blogs and business if I were to pass away.

Ever since 2006, I’ve had a ‘blogging will’ to help my family work out what to do if that were to happen.

As a solo entrepreneur, I realized that much of what was needed to run this business was locked up in my head—a dangerous thing if something happened to that head!

I remember waking up in a bit of a panic one night wondering what would happen if Vanessa didn’t know how to access my blog or understand how I’d set things up business wise.

I got up and created a little document for her to use in such circumstances.

In Today’s Episode What Does My Blogging Will Contain?

  • People
      • Names and contact emails of people I trust and work with
      • 15 people who I have different working relationships and friendships with who could help with different aspects of my business from:
        • Server setup
        • Income streams
        • Business partners
        • Team members
        • And more
      • I include a brief description of who they are, where they live, and what they can do to help
      • With the right people around my business could be sustained at least to a point where parts could be sold
  • Business overview
      • General business structure and overview of blogs, eBooks, courses, sister sites, job boards, teams, and income streams.
      • Advice
        • In the will are a few paragraphs of advice about what I’d do if I was in the situation of having to run the business without much prior knowledge of it.
        • I explain what I’d try to sell, who I’d try to convince to run things, what products I’d release, and so on.
        • While none of it is legally binding, I want to leave my family in the best position to be able to sustain themselves in the long term if something were to happen to me.
  • Passwords, login details, access codes
    • Many parts of my business are reliant upon third parties, and anyone wanting to keep things running would need to access those services.
    • For example, they’d need my PayPal account login details, affiliate program logins and ad network access details, domain name registration access, servers, bank accounts, email accounts, social media access and of course passwords to the blogs themselves.
    • I guess ultimately email access is key as so many of the others can be accessed with being able to reset passwords and send them to that.
    • Without these, it would be almost impossible to keep things running profitably.
    • While I don’t include the passwords in the document (security reasons) I give information on how she can access them!

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hey there, this is Darren from ProBlogger. I would like to welcome you to episode 126, of the ProBlogger Podcast. Today, I want to talk about something that is a little bit of a downer, in some ways. It’s a little bit morbid and a little bit depressing, but it’s something that I think is really important. I want to answer the question, what’s going to happen to your blog after you die and do you have a blogging will?

I know it’s a bit of a downer, a horrific question to ask. Hopefully, it’s not going to be too depressing, but I think it’s a really important question to ponder, particularly for those of us who have built blogs that have become a business and an income stream for our families. I want to tackle that question in today’s podcast and give you some suggestions as to how to build a document, build a blogging will, not a legal document, but a document that can help your loved-ones, your family, your friends, to know what to do with your blog after you go. It is something that does happen to different people that I’ve come across over the last few years. How do you create that blogging will?

Today’s show notes will be over at, This show is brought to you by the ProBlogger Events. It’s just a few days away now that we will be putting the price up for the event. First of July, the price will go up by $100. If you want to come out to Australia, to the Gold Coast, on the 9th and 10th of September of this year, 2016, head over to and you’ll be able to grab a $100 discount for that event. I’d love to see you there and spend some time with you in the Gold Coast in Australia.

All right. Let’s get into today’s show.

Like I said in the introduction, today, I want to talk about something that could be a little bit morbid, a little bit depressing, but it’s really is important, particularly for those of us who generate any income from our blogs, whether it be full-time or a decent part-time income. I know a lot of ProBlogger listeners of this podcast are at that level. They’re part-time. It’s like a part-time job. Look, as much as this is a bit of a depressing topic, one of the great things about blogging is that the income that comes in from a blog doesn’t have to stop when you stop, when you go away.

When you set things up in the right way, there’s potential for a blog to continue to generate some income. Perhaps not at the same level, perhaps it could be. If your family and friends arrive with an access your blog, and know what to do with your blog once you go away. That’s something that both frightens me on some levels as I think about the end of my own life, but also, excites me that this potential for my blog to continue to enhance the life of my family, even when I’m gone.

Why am I talking about this today? To be honest, it comes out of a bit of a painful place for me. An old friend of mine, did pass away in the last couple of weeks. It’s been one of those times where you do ponder your own mortality as a result of the passing of a friend. A friend who is the same age as me and who leaves a family, at a very similar age to mine. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, to be honest. Tougher for some of my other friends who are even closer to this particular friend.

I guess one of the things that has prompted to do, is to look at my own blogging will. That might sound strange that I’ve got a will that’s all about my blog. This is something that I have developed since about 2006, when I first set up this document. From memory for me, it started around the time we started having kids. It was about 10 years ago, when we were having our first child. That was around that time that, blogging started to grow in terms of an income, for me. At first, it was part-time and then it grew to a full-time thing.

I remember waking up one night, thinking, what would happen if I were to pass away? What would happen if I died? My wife, Vanessa, would have no idea back then in 2006, how to access my blog, how to access the income streams, how to understand what the business was in itself, particularly back then when she wasn’t a blogger. Today, she is a blogger. She would have some understanding of how to operate a blog. Still, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that she wouldn’t be aware of today.

As I reflected on that in a cold sweat in my bed that particular night, I realized I needed to create something that would help her and my family to be able to navigate what to do with my blog, particularly because it’s generating our family’s main source of income. It was paying the mortgage.

Now, by no means is my blogging will a legal document (at least I don’t think it is). We have a real will for that. If you have a business, you need to seek some legal advice as to how you should set up that will and what it should say. Rather, this particular document is one which will help Vanessa to understand the business, to keep it running until such a time that she may be able to sell it, or close it, if there was a need for that as well.

What I want to do in the next few minutes is just walk you through what my blogging will contains. It’s three main sections of it. Three main things that I think is important to include in that type of document.

The first one is all about people. The most important thing in blogging will are the names, contact emails, contact details, phone numbers of the people that I trust, and the people that I work with. The list, as it currently stands—I probably do need to update it—mentions around 15 people that I have different working relationships and friendships with, who Vanessa could contact to get help from with different aspects of my business.

Some of these people are the people that I employed to help me run my blogs. Obviously, she needs to be in touch with those. There’s also other people there who would be able to give her advice, perhaps advice on how to sell different aspects of the business or how to continue to keep things going as business partners, people who understand the server set up, and that type of thing as well. For each person, I included just a brief description of who they are, where they live, what they do, how they relate to the business, and how they can be contacted.

Vanessa certainly does have some understanding at blogging, she certainly would need to have some advice to help her to sustain some of what I do. Some of what I do is different from what she does on her blog, for instance. For example, she’s not created an ebook on her blog. I need to tell her who to talk to about our ebooks in that.

 The first section is really about the people. I’m pretty confident that the people that I’ve listed in that document could keep things running for her or at least give her advice on how to do that.

The second section is partly business overview. It’s a description of the business. It struck me recently that, whilst I am a very transparent with Vanessa about what I do, there’s a lot of it that she doesn’t really know. There’s no secrets there, but it’s a pretty complicated beast. There’s blogs, there’s ebooks, there’s courses, there’s little sister sites, there the job boards, there’s a team of people who work on it. The blogging will give a few paragraphs on how things relate to one another. She’s got a bit of an understanding on that.

As she’s getting advice from people, I would picture it in her mind. Also, as part of this section, there are some advice. A few paragraphs on, what I would do if I was in the situation of having to run the business without a […] prior knowledge to it. In this section, I’ll say which parts of the business I think she could sell and who to go talk to to help her to sell that.

There’s a couple of things in there about what I would do in terms of releasing some new products. There are some things that she could probably do to release the best of Darren on ProBlogger. I know that might sound a little bit egotistical, but I think in the event of my passing, there would be some ways to pull together some stuff that maybe could sell, could give any income stream for our family as well in an ongoing way.

None of the advice I give, of course, is legally binding, but I want my family to be in the best position to be able to sustain themselves long term, so I think I can certainly give some advice around that.

The last section, I think, is really important. This is where I give some details of where she can access different parts of the business. It’s about passwords, log in details, access codes, these types of things. You need to be a little bit careful in this area. Obviously, you don’t want this information to get into the wrong hands of people.

There are many parts of my business (and probably yours as well) that are reliant upon third parties and wanting to keep things running. If Vanessa does want to keep things running, she needs access to those third parties. For example, my PayPal account details, affiliate program login details, advertising network, access details, domain name registration service, bank accounts, email accounts, social media access. All of these things have passwords and log in details. You need to provide a way for people to get that information.

Ultimately, a lot of it could be accessed if she simply has my email address, because a lot of those passwords can be reset with an email address. I think it’s good to be able to provide people with a hint as to where to go. Without these things, it’s pretty much impossible to keep things running profitably. It’s really important that those things are communicated. I don’t include the exact password details in the document itself for security reasons, but I give information on where she can access that information. I’m not going to tell you exactly how I communicate that to her, but you find a way. You need the person who is going to take things over, to be able to have access to those things.

I guess along side of all of that, you may want to include some last messages or advice and express your wishes on what you want to happen with your blog after you’re gone. For example, if you have a personal blog, it may be that you want to close it, or maybe you want it to be opened up for people to express their wishes, or their messages to you and your family. You might want a certain post to go up. You may even want to leave a message for your blog readers in the event of your passing. Again, it’s really going to be up to you. Anything that you want to be done with the content that you’ve created in your life and how that is to go on should be expressed as well.

What happens to you when your blog dies? Have you got a blogging will? Do you have any kind of plan in place? Have you communicated your wishes to someone else? Do they have access to be able to update it, to be able to close it, to be able to sell it, to be able to continue to use it in some way? Really, it’s going to depend upon your wishes. Do consider that question, what happens after you die, to your blog and your online affairs?

I would love to hear what you’ve set up in the comments of this particular podcast show notes over at It’s an important question. I’ve actually come across a number of bloggers over the last couple of years who have passed away, unfortunately. It’s a sad thing and I’ve often wonder what has happened to their online affairs. In most cases, the blog has never been updated again. I guess it stands down or will continue to stand there forever. After that one, though, whether the family wishes they had access to it, whether the family even knows that it exists, and how important it was to the followers of it.

I’d love to hear what your plans are and what you’ve got in place. Again,

Thanks for listening today. I know it’s been a bit of a downer in some ways, but hopefully, it’s a helpful one for you, your loved ones, and has an impact. I think it has the potential to help a lot of people beyond ourselves. Love to hear your comments and I also love to get your review of this podcast.

If you found this episode, any other episode that we’ve created helpful, head over at iTunes, makes sure you subscribed, and I would love to get a review from you. I read every review that comes in. I have got a little tool that enables me to see them when they left in the different iTunes stores around the world, not just the US and Australia, but all of them. I get an email every week, with those little reviews and that email energizes me every week. Please leave me a review, leave us a rating, and let us know what you think of the podcast.

Look forward to chatting with you in episode 127, which is coming up in a couple of days’ time. Thanks for listening.

You’ve been listening to ProBlogger. If you’d like to comment on any of today’s topics or subscribe to the series, find this at Tweet us @problogger. Find us at Also, it’s ProBlogger on iTunes.

Before I go, I want to give a big shout out and say thank you to Craig Hewitt and the team at Podcast Motor, who’ve been editing all of our podcast for some time now. Podcast Motor have a great range of services for podcasters at all levels. They can help you to set up your podcast, but also offer a couple of excellent services to help you to edit your shows and get them up with great show notes. Check them out at

How did you go with today’s episode?

Do you have a Blogging Will, or any other kind of plan in place for your blog in the case of your passing?

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