San Juan Island Business for Sale

The San Juan Island Update is for sale. It has been a daily (almost) online news and community information source for almost 20 years (and just about 12 years in its current format).

It survives on revenue generated by local advertising.

Some of the positives:

  • The San Juan Island Update is an established, ready to run business, already making money (and the sooner someone takes it over, the easier it will be to keep that income coming in)
  • It has very low overhead – Internet access, a few online account subscriptions and a laptop are all that’s needed.
  • Extremely flexible hours and job location – You can work this job at 10am or 10pm or anywhere in between, and from anywhere you have internet or a cell signal, including a mountaintop ski resort in the winter or an outer island marine state park in the summer (and yes I’ve done both of those and more)
  • Low time commitment – Once you’re up to speed, it only requires a couple hours per day to maintain the current status quo (however, it has potential to be so much more than it is if you have some drive and motivation)

Not very many minuses:

  • It does require attention almost daily (which can make your days off and vacations challenging)
  • The web archive is growing quite large and will likely need professional help to maintain a secure backup.
  • It will likely require a new WordPress Theme (template) soon which may require the help of a professional web designer

Some caveats:

  • A strong understanding of Photoshop (or similar image editing program) and understanding of appropriate image resolutions for online use would be extremely beneficial
  • Ability to read and write very clearly and accurately is needed.
  • A love of people and an outgoing attitude will take you far. (If you prefer to be a hermit and not interact with people around the island, this is likely not a good match for you)
  • A strong sense of community-mindedness is helpful for making those unavoidable editorial decisions. Keep in mind the tagline “News about the things that make living here great” and that will help you avoid controversy and “downer” news.

In the nine years I’ve been here, it has averaged about $22K in annual advertising revenue. Up to $33K in years that I’ve actively sought new advertisers. But for the past 3 years, it has survived without me seeking advertisers – they have found me. I understand that’s not exactly a living wage for most people, but if you consider that it only takes about 2 hours max per day to generate that, it’s a part time money machine.

I want it to succeed and so I will include training and mentoring at no extra cost to help the new owner get up to speed.

Please contact me at if you are interested. And share this with anyone you think may benefit from a part-time business like this.