Money changes everything. Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent, ought to be relaxing on the beach after selling his blog business to the Guardian last year. Instead, he's working harder than ever. And getting divorced.
After the Guardian Media Group announced it had bought Ali's company, ContentNext Media, for a reported $30 million last stummer, Ali became a hero to the ranks of bloggers hoping to turn their blathering into bucks. In announcing the sale, he thanked his wife, Najmia Manjoo-Ali, "who hardly ever saw me for the last four years."
But if anything, she's seen less of him since the acquisition, as he's traveled around the world trying to make the collection of media-business blogs pay off for his new owners. Far from clearing millions, Ali saw an initial payout from the deal that was in the six-figure range, we hear — and he has ambitious targets to meet to realize the full value of the acquisition.
Even over that reduced sum, there are rumors of financial shenanigans between the two. One tale had Manjoo-Ali clearing out the couple's joint bank account. But a source close to Manjoo-Ali says that she only took half of the money — and that was after Ali had moved to take her name off the account. Ali and Manjoo-Ali did not respond to emails requesting comment.
So much for the fairy tale of blogging for dollars: One doesn't start a blog, flip it, get the girl, and live happily ever after. At the end of the story, our hero has the blog. And the blog has him.
(Photo by Rafat Ali)