Kevin Muldoon has asked on his blog, System0 if his next project should be a blog, and while I am a full time blogger, and big fan of all things blogging, but I am leaning more towards “no”. Before you all lynch mob me, let me explain myself.
In the last three years, I have witnessed many bloggers make big bucks online, but, to me, what is even more apparent is that services can actually be easier to monetize and grow much larger than most blogs will ever strive to.
When working with Bloggy Network, a fair bit of the revenue generated was from services (though even more was spent on its constant development due to Ahmed’s quest for perfection).
You develop something, grow your user base, and monetize it. Once developed, the content added to Blog Flux was generated more by users than by the owners, and unlike paying bloggers to write for you, most of the content is generated freely. They add their sites to the services, and talk on the forums, all the while building up a service site that someone else gets to make money from.
With blogs, it is a hard, long road to real monetization through content development. Sure, there are the “over night successes”, but I see just as many, if not more, from the online services world.
If Kevin had asked me this question three years ago, I probably would have told him wholeheartedly to add new blogs, as it was a slightly newer market then, but with the fierce competition today, and the growing difficultly to stand out in the crowd, growing a blog from nothing into something large enough to make money versus just losing money is one of the hardest things you can do online.
Yes, I know this flies in the face of my own efforts as I continue to launch a few blogs here and there, but that is mostly due to the start up costs associated with each type of site. Starting a blog is cheap, while building an easy to use, effective service is expensive, and I just don’t have the capital to put such a site up right now.
Also, considering the niches that Kevin wants to get into is Tech and Humour, I really wouldn’t suggest starting up “just another blog” at this point, not unless he has an amazing hook for each site that will quickly separate them from the millions of others he would be competing against.
Now for another caveat, stay away from turnkey sites. Those are sites built on mass produced scripts where the only differentiating factor is the owner and the domain. Building your own idea, and capitalizing on its uniqueness, no matter how small, is the better business approach in my mind.