Hold your breath, ladies and gentlemen, because I’m on the verge of unveiling one of the coolest WordPress themes in the history of the internets. This theme is going to be customized to fit about 12 sites immediately, and it will be adapted to the different content through simple color palette changes (which affect some graphics, too).
Lately I’ve been seeing/reading a lot of things that would seem to indicate that designs hold more value than you might think. Jeremy Wright at Ensight seems to think that really solid designs can not only lend blogs a higher profile but also vault them into a new level of earnings.
…but valuing a site at 20 times current income (especially when the current income is 2-5 times less than what the site could easily earn with a redesign and some fresh blood) isn’t unusual at all. Of course, the real valuation is in what someone is willing to pay.
I added the bold above for emphasis on the point that is most pertinent to this conversation. Obviously, these are interesting insights in an industry that is buzzing about “real estate” value in what is essentially a new, unexplored frontier. Regardless, this hints at something that I think is becoming more and more true every day.
Without question, the blogosphere is being overrun by capitalists who are eager to develop and monetize this new “frontier,” as I have called it. I like to think of it in the same terms as international real estate. Everybody knows that people flip houses for money after sprucing them up, and blogs are moving in the same direction. Ben over at CollegeStartup showed many of us the way with his sale of the Poker Blog, and based on the comments, this is clearly an area in which many of you are interested, and for good reason!
There’s no doubt that there’s plenty of money to be made out there, but I guess all I can do for now is pose the following question:
- How much is a really solid, unique design worth when you’re trying to sell a blog?
Although I’m not going to claim to have any of the answers at this point, I can tell you that I think the value of a design is probably exponentially related to the parent blog’s (or site’s) popularity. I consider popularity to be governed by things like Page Rank, traffic, revenue, and rankings on the Technoratis of the world (and yes, I know Technorati is inherently flawed – after all, Pearsonified hardly shows up! And we all know how cool this place is. Stupid Technorati). Simply put, the more popular the site, the more valuable the design – especially if it’s REALLY good.
Slowly but surely, I am migrating my career in the direction of adding value to sites through design, content, and promotion, and a natural fallout from this is that I’ll be able to study the effects of these different facets on the overall value of a site. Of course, I’m not going to keep this type of thing under my hat, so I’ll be sharing whatever knowledge I gain along the way with all of you here.
Oh, and don’t forget about my new WordPress theme that will debut over the weekend. Once it’s live, I’ll be posting it here for everyone to see. While I’m at it, I might as well go ahead and make a prediction. I said earlier that the theme would immediately be applied to quite a few sites, and I would estimate their current collective value to be around $15,000. Once the new designs are in place, I believe the collective value of these sites will jump to over $50,000. That’s right – by February 1, I think the value of all of these sites will more than triple thanks to striking designs coupled with consistent content development.
Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m dead-on. Maybe I’m grossly underestimating. We’ll have to see!