Episode Length: 38 minutes

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Lexi Grant didn’t start her first or second business with the goal of selling them one day. She was just doing what she does best: bootstrapping content companies from the ground up.

But thanks to an acquihire that thrust her career forward, and a six-figure exit from a side project called The Write Life, Lexi knows just how meaningful life-changing an acquisition can be.

Learn about her journey through both businesses — and the moment she knew it was time to create They Got Acquired.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • [5:42] How Lexi pivoted from freelance journalism into content marketing
  • [8:40] How one client changed everything for Lexi’s content marketing agency
  • [12:01] The terms of The Penny Hoarder’s acquihire
  • [14:51] How The Penny Hoarder grew readership to 25 million per month
  • [17:26] The skill that allowed Lexi to optimize her side project for a six-figure acquisition
  • [20:18] How becoming a parent changed Lexi’s perspective about business
  • [22:38] Why Lexi left The Penny Hoarder to return to her entrepreneurial roots
  • [26:27] Lexi’s advice for bloggers who want to cultivate a community of readers
  • [28:39] The traits that made The Write Life an attractive asset for acquisition
  • [32:07] How Lexi’s previous exits gave her the idea for They Got Acquired

You can connect and keep up with Lexi on Twitter @alexisgrant, her website, or by subscribing to our They Got Acquired newsletter.

Plus, want to learn more about how an acquihire works? We’ve got you covered: What’s an acquihire?

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How Alexis Grant sold The Write Life

They Got Acquired founder Alexis Grant went through her second acquisition, a six-figure website sale, in 2021. That business was born as a side project — one that ran on autopilot for several years.

In 2013, Grant launched The Write Life, a website that helps writers make a living through writing. A former freelance writer herself, she’d built a network of freelancers through her content marketing agency, and leaned on those writers both to create content for the site and share the site with the online writing community.

“It was a resource for writers, and it was easy for us to come up with that content because all of our freelance writers were writers,” Grant said in an interview for our They Got Acquired podcast.

Two years after launching the site, Grant sold her primary business, a content marketing business, in an acquihire. She joined The Penny Hoarder, a fast-growing personal finance media company, to lead the content division.

Over the next four years, as she focused on that role and raising a young family, she took a hands-off approach to The Write Life, handing the reins to an editor, who ran the site. Through affiliate revenue, The Write Life operated at break-even during those years, as the audience continued to grow.

Grant returned to a more active role for The Write Life after leaving The Penny Hoarder in 2019. She spent a year monetizing and improving SEO traffic. Monthly pageviews soared to nearly 500,000.

Grant explored various paths for The Write Life. But with her freelance writing days long behind her, she decided it was time to sell.

How multiple bids helped Grant increase her sale price

Having fielded past offers, Grant had a short list of potential buyers, including several of the site’s competitors. She used the site’s strong brand, SEO traffic and backlinks from high-domain authority websites like The New York Times and Forbes to make the case for why The Write Life was a compelling asset.

After receiving multiple bids, Grant sold The Write Life for a mid-six-figure deal to an undisclosed buyer. She leaned heavily on a lawyer, but did not work with an M&A advisor or broker for the sale.

In a twist, the buyer resold the website just a couple months later. Grant admitted feeling frustrated, as that wasn’t the future she  envisioned for the site.

“[But] I knew that once I sold this, I had no control over what happened to it,” she said.

The sale gave her the freedom to figure out her next project: launching They Got Acquired, a resource she wished she’d had when she sold The Write Life. Looking back, she said she’s happy she kept The Write Life going on the sidelines, even through those busy years.

“I’m proud of myself for figuring out a way to keep that going without it requiring much from me, so that when I was ready, I could sell that asset in a way that would be meaningful for my family,” Grant said.