Web Properties & The Martha Stewart Factor

Around the time Martha went public there were concerns about the Martha Stewart Living brand being able to hold up if there were ‘No Martha’. What happens to investors when Martha dies? Retires? Or if she’s dragged down in public opinion (this was “Before Scandal”). It was questioned whether the brand was so tied to Martha as a person, would it still be able to produce and hold onto the market share it enjoyed?

It was a big hurdle for her to overcome and convince investors that yup, the brand she built was golden. She did it and was a smash on Wall Street when Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public (love ya Martha!).

Fast forward in time: Stock plummeted when Martha’s scandal hit and she went to jail. Although it hasn’t fully recovered, and is quite a bit lower in value than it was, I think MSO stock has proven it can endure regardless of Martha being in the picture or not. Martha did indeed build a ‘real brand’, but it definitely was tied to her as a person as well. It was an interesting lesson to observe.

Here’s how the above relates to you: How about your domains? Your blog? Your list? Are they tied too closely to YOU? Is the brand YOU? When the ‘persona’ you worked so hard to establish moves on, would the brand or domain you dropped sweat over still hold value, or be as valuable? Will the traffic likely move on when you do? Or would the traffic stay regardless of who ran the show?

Have you asked yourself: What happens in 5 years? Are you planning on blogging consistently as you are until the day you die? What happens if disaster strikes and you need to sell now to raise money? Are you building for ‘saleability’, just in case?

Aside from a personal blog, SuperAff is the one and only blog that’s tied to me (personality). I’m here to build and develop properties into something of real value, properties that will be worth something. I’m not here to build ME.

  • Will your web property traffic shrink or grow or stay the same if you sold it?
  • Is your web property worth less if you’re not attached to it?

If you realize your persona is tied too closely to a domain, you could temper that and ease out gradually over time with guest or paid staff contributions. Withdraw into more of an ‘editor’ position, but that takes a lot of time to mold and there are no guarantees the visitors will buy it and stick. Especially if they smell something in the works. Sometimes you ARE the brand and nothing else will do.

Bottom Line: You can’t go wrong creating and developing a property that’s good to go for the next 5, 10, 15 years. With or without you.


I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.