When people ask me how they should get into blogging as a part time or full time job, I think carefully before I answer as I have seen great success as a network backed blogger, while only receiving what I consider moderate success on my own outside of the network.
Being a blogger backed by a network can be a great experience, but sometimes it can also be very frustrating.
My days are filled with posting quotas that I didn’t set myself, with posting requirements on sites that I don’t particularly enjoy, writing content that I don’t control, and hoping that it does well enough that the company keeps me on.
All the while dealing with the fact that I don’t control how the site functions or the advertising that goes next to the words I write. I consider it to be very similar to working as a reporter for a newspaper.
Blogging for myself, I get to chose how often I post, and where I post. I get to chose how the sites function, and how they are monetized and promoted.
It is a very different feeling, but you can also see the advantages of blogging for a network. I never have to worry about servers, advertising, monetization, WordPress upgrades, design, branding, or promotion. My key focus is content, and everything else is someone else’s problem. It allows me to create more, and worry less, all the while knowing I will get paid for the effort I put in.
I don’t know many bloggers working for themselves that after a month can expect the type of pay checks that network backed bloggers will receive.
As the web gets more competitive, and more blogs are added, I feel like I can recommend blogging as a business on your own, less and less. While there are many sacrifices being made as a blog network backed blogger, I don’t know if I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for Darren Rowse, Paul Scrivens, Jacob Gower, and Mark Saunders.
If you want more details on what it is like to be a network backed blogger, I suggest you check out Jennifer Chait’s and Deborah Ng’s Network Blogging Tips.