Getting The Most Out Of Shutting Down A Business And A Blog Online

Back in July I wrote a post titled Are You Spreading Yourself Too Thin. In that post, I talked about how sometimes we all try to do too much and how I had way too many things going on, especially with all the travel I was doing at the time.

I listed some things to think about, but point #4 was especially telling, though most people seemed to have missed it:

Don’t be afraid to let go of certain things, but make sure you look at it from all sides first before doing it.

For those who don’t know me, I have a main business. With that main business, which is incorporated (which means, by law, that officially I’m both the president and CEO of my organization), I had basically 3 business divisions, two of which I market off one website.

First off, I’m a health care finance consultant. In essence, I help hospitals generate more revenue and bring in more cash while making sure they stay compliant, which means aren’t doing things that are illegal. I’m very good at that, with my biggest success being that I helped one hospital increase their revenue by $730 million in one year; not many people can say that.

Second, I write about and talk about leadership issues, which includes diversity, communications, and all things that involve employees and, well, people in general. With that part I’ve spoken in 9 states and given presentations, and over there on the left, under the Twitter bird, you see the first book I wrote on leadership (I have people reading what will be the second book, coming out sometime early in 2015).


Third… I have a business called SEO Xcellence. The purpose of that business was building websites, doing SEO work and writing. Because of that business I presented in public 4 or 5 times locally and, well, y’all know that I have written for lots of folks other than myself, and still do on occasion.

Let’s talk about this last one.

This business started kind of on a whim. I gave a presentation to a consulting group I belong to as a last minute replacement because our scheduled speaker notified us she couldn’t make it. In one day I put together a presentation on social media marketing, and I gave that presentation the day after. It was such a hit that within a week 3 of the people in that room were clients of mine.

That was quite a rush! Over the course of the next few years I’d build some websites for people and organizations, optimize them, and write some of their content. It was a nice way to make some extra money when I wasn’t traveling as much, which came as we changed presidents and the economy was in the tank. Hospitals weren’t hiring consultants, companies weren’t doing any leadership training, organizations weren’t hiring speakers outside of their area to save on costs… but writing gigs were everywhere.

Over time, it got tiring building websites, and it also wasn’t overly economical anymore. I’m not a designer; I build basic websites that tell the story of a business; in other words, SEO friendly sites. These days, websites are either templates or monsters, both extremes from what I do, and I just don’t have the time to keep up with the technology.

I still know SEO, but marketing it to people who have no idea what it is and learn that it doesn’t necessarily conform to ROI (return on investment) like other businesses do was very difficult. Frankly, it’s hard enough marketing my health care talents without trying to figure out how to market for something that, based on a person’s business, might not work for them.

So, I stopped marketing overall, but I kept up with blogging. Not as much as with this blog, but I was still putting out the articles on some kind of schedule.

Then I got my last gig in Memphis, and I was gone for basically 18 months. Some of my blogs started to suffer.

you can only buy this
apple in central New York

My local central New York blog probably suffered the most, but that was okay because it’s a personal blog. My finance blog started to suffer as the quality of guest posts seemed to get worse, and I didn’t have the time to read and fix all that stuff and still, hopefully, write my own articles here and there.

The blog on SEO Xcellence? Truthfully, many of the articles I wrote there work just as well on this blog. The differences were twofold, but neither major. One, the audience for that blog was, hopefully, business people who might be looking to hire someone to do the services that I was writing about. Two, most of those articles were much shorter than things I’d put on this blog. I’ve mentioned on this blog in the past about how what you write changes depending on who you’re writing for.

Anyway, during my week at home over Labor Day week I came to a decision that it was time to shut down SEO Xcellence for good. As an act of serendipity, while thinking about it that week I got the notice from GoDaddy telling me that the domain would expire in the middle of December.

That’s pretty perfect timing if you ask me. What I did next was go to the blog and highlight articles I thought I could use on this blog. Then slowly, over time, I moved all those posts over to this blog and saved them as drafts. I also went and looked at any articles I thought I could use here and saved them as well.

Whenever I did that I immediately made those posts private on the SEO blog. I did that because I knew that after some time they’d drop off the search engine’s record, meaning that when I re-posted them over here I’d be good, and there wouldn’t be any question of duplicate content. Actually, since all my sites are on the same server and under the same account I might not have taken a hit anyway, but why take chances right?

How many articles did I move? Well, let me just say that many articles you’ve seen over the last few months started over there, and if I decided just to pop what I brought over here up twice a week until they were gone, I wouldn’t have to write another post until the first week of May. Now that’s valuable stuff!

Not only that, but with some help from Mitchell Allen I’ve marked many articles on that site to be used to help create an ebook about blogging. Yeah, I know, there are lots of them out there, and our buddy Adrienne Smith just created her new course on building a blogging community (by the way, that’s not an affiliate link for me; anything you buy goes totally to her) but at least it would be another product for me; gotta keep making stuff. πŸ™‚ Anyway, more proof that there is always a use for old content.

In about 40 minutes or so, the very last blog post on that site will appear. It’s very short, telling anyone who’s ever read it (very few people I might add) that it’s all going away, and to come here to look at why. Truthfully, I probably should have consolidated these two sites a long time ago. It’s so much easier having all my similar content in one place, don’t you think? Also, I’m not linking to it because, since the link would go bad in less than a month anyway, I’d have to remember to come back here to remove it.

slimmer_jimmer via Compfight

Shutting down the other site and the other business takes a great load off my mind. I will never build another website unless it’s for myself or a friend. If I get writing gigs, I’ll get them because of this blog. If I get asked to speak at another conference, it’ll be because of this blog.

I’m not the first person to shut down a blog, but I’ve seen many people do it, go on to something else, and not think about the content they have on that site. I’m also not the first person to shut down a business, as my buddy Peter and his brother shut down a business a couple of years ago. It’s not an easy thing to do but sometimes it’s necessary.

By the way, this actually aligns with some of the goals I set for 2014, and I actually mentioned that other business. Nice to see I will accomplish at least one of the goals I set for myself.

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’ll be thinking about more things as time moves on also. Focus needs to be my goal because my eventually wished-for outcome is to have $10 million in the bank in 10 years. Yeah, it’s pretty audacious; but remember, every rich person who made it on their own started with a dream. πŸ™‚

And I can resume trying to build the audience up for this blog again; yay!

16 thoughts on “Getting The Most Out Of Shutting Down A Business And A Blog Online”

  1. Hey Mitch,

    I’ve always thought you were superman having that many blogs and businesses going at once. I don’t know how you do it but I do know you have some late nights.

    With you traveling so much lately I wasn’t sure how in the world you kept going but I also know that there is a time and place for everything. I’ve taken two of my other blogs down because they’re just outdated and the stuff I’m promoting is as well. Who has the time to keep those up and I wasn’t interested in updating if you must know the truth.

    The URL’s are still up but I just have a notice letting everyone know that they’re run their course so no broken links for anyone at least. I’m warned now though that I can expect those over at my place for your SEO Excellence links.

    Thanks for the mention though and I have a feeling your eBook will be very good. You have a lot of great information to share so putting them all into a source like that is just smart.

    Good luck moving forward and hope you’re moving in the right direction headed toward that $10 million goal! πŸ˜‰

    Have a great week Mitch and Happy Thanksgiving.


    1. You’re so nice Adrienne, but you’re the master online networker so your book will have great appeal, and I hope folks buy it in droves.

      Part of me is still thinking I might need to trim some other things. I may let my anti-smoking domain go because it was a fluke that I started it in the first place and I can’t think of anything else to add to it. I’d love to sell my finance site but I’d want to get compensated well for it. That would bring me back to 3 blogs and I think I could do 3 real justice. But we’ll see…

  2. Hey Mitch, I didn’t really have much choice getting out of my last business. It was either get out now with something or be forced out at a later day with nothing. We took the first option.

    Like you I also have way too many blogs. Most of them are with different servers and they do bring me a little traffic. I may have to think of closing some down though although some hold way too much sentimental value.

    1. Pete, I get the sentimental value thing. In a way, this latest move of mine was more of a consolidation than anything else and gets me out of the building websites game, which would be tough to stick with anyway. I also had more time at some point and probably will never be that free again… unless I hit the $30 million lotto one of these days. lol

  3. Great post with some important lessons. I believe that in order to achieve something big, you have to let go of smaller things. I can personally relate to this article as well because I left a great job to pursue my blogging dreams and I am very happy i made the decision.

    1. Good deal Lalina. Trust me, I understand that also (well, not the blogging part as much lol) because it’s what I did in 2001 when I decided to go independent. Sometimes to have a chance to become successful one has to simplify; at least that’s what I’m hoping to do.

  4. I know that feeling of relief when you finally let go. I’ve experienced that myself.

    You might want to consider renewing that domain for one more year and redirecting any traffic and links to this blog. Just a thought. πŸ™‚

    1. Brian, that site gets almost no traffic whatsoever so it’s not even worth the $10 to renew for a year. Nope, as I’m ready to let something go, I’d just rather let it get totally gone. Course, I’m glad I remembered to redirect my product to this site. lol

  5. Too bad you guys can’t do it online. I could never understand the way you Yanks are supposed to have all these rights but you’re restricted from doing so much. Like it’s OK to own sub machine guns but you can’t buy a lottery ticket online???

    1. Pete, it’s all about who has the money to pay whichever politician off to get what they want unfortunately. I’m sure the same type of thing happens where you are.

  6. Way to go, Mitch! I like your reply to Brian:

    “…as I’m ready to let something go, I’d just rather let it get totally gone.”

    Disasters do it for me. It takes a total melt-down (self-induced or otherwise) to get me to clean house. Ironically, I actually went in the opposite direction! My Morpho Designs blog was trying to do too much, so I spun off a bunch of other sites, each of which is focused on one main thing: Fiction, Freelancing, Software, etc.

    The beauty of this setup is that nobody knows or cares what I’m doing. Basically, I just have cloud-based diaries that I update whenever I feel like it. LOL



Comments are closed.