Reading this thread at WebmasterWorld really made me stop and think about my blog empire. I own interests in about 5 dozen blogs, spread over multiple servers and platforms, with revenues coming into different accounts (and from different companies). Really the whole thing is a bit of a mess, but of course I know where everything is in my head.
That wouldn’t help my family though, if I suddenly keeled over.
Any sound business plan should include an exit strategy, and a plan for passing on the torch if the CEO/leader is suddenly unable to work. This includes the scenario of death.
The way I see it, there are basically two ways to pass the value of this type of asset (passive revenue stream) when you die:
- Auction your sites off, and your family receives the proceeds from the sales
- Simply have the accounts (Adsense or whatever) switched to the new owner’s name
The trouble with #1 is that sites usually sell for 10-12x profits — this is really a cheap valuation if your site is relatively stable (or even growing). I think option #1 is only smarter when a blog isn’t a passive revenue stream — i.e., the blog only makes money if you continue posting. Your family will most likely not want to post on your blog, so this is a no-hassle way for them to extract value from it.
My own sites mostly make money off of Adsense revenue from archived pages. Thus, even if I died, if the Adsense accounts were switched to another person, this person could receive passive income from these archives without maintaining or updating the sites. But they would still need basic info about them, so they could pay the annual hosting bill, for instance.
From the above thread, member icedowl lays out a good, but brief, plan of action for his sites in case he died:
Here’s what I’d leave behind:
1. URL’s and login information for anything related to your sites. Be sure to include your domain registrar, hosting company, your control panels, databases and whatever else you might be using.
2. Info for any recurring fees such as site hosting and domain renewal with amounts, how paid, etc.
3. Definitely a will.
What else should a person organize for this scenario? And I wonder what percentage of you have ever thought about (or, done anything about) it?
And what if you have partners? How do you handle that? How do people handle it with brick and mortar businesses?