Starting a Blog Network

What is a Blog Network?

A blog network is just as it sounds, you take multiple blogs and join them together under one main brand. There are currently dozens, if not hundreds of blog networks currently active in the world. Two of the more popular and well trafficked ones include Weblogs Inc and Gawker.

Why start a Blog Network?

Blog networks have advantages that lone blogs don’t have, including support, sharing traffic, and sometimes strong branding. From what I have seen, most of the major sites in the blogging world either start out in a network, or are acquired by one, and there is a very strong reason for this: there is safety in numbers.

Another reason that starting a blog network has become so popular over the last few years is revenue. With companies like b5media getting seven figure venture capital, it makes everyone raise an eyebrow. Honestly though, if you focus on the dollar signs, you most likely won’t make it to the level you want to be at, and this is where nine out of ten blog networks fail.

Little do you know…

Little do you know, creating a blog network can take much more time and money than you probably think. If you are a blogger, or even a problogger for another network, thinking about starting your own blog network, there are some things you might want to think about.

Things like:

It takes time to create a brand. Many blog networks have failed to account for the long months, if not years that it takes to make money from blogging, and they run out of steam.

A one man army is not going to cut it. If you think you are going to go it alone, you might be in for a surprise. Are you an expert in advertising, search engine optimization, branding, server administration, and of course whatever software you will want to use to both manage the network, and publish your content? There are very few people that are competent in all aspects that it takes to really make a blog network last, and do well. This means that you will need to find others to fill in the gaps, and that can be both costly and time consuming.

Getting big is expensive. Unless you know someone with deep pockets, or have deep pockets yourself, setting up a blog network is not a cheap proposition. Be prepared to put a fair bit of money into the venture. This is the one area that catches most people starting out by surprise. You can get cheap hosting, cheap domains, cheap writers, coders and designers, but then you will just have a cheap network, and nine times out of ten, that will lead to you not getting noticed.

One person takes an hour to manage, but two people take four hours to manage. Before the recent project that Bloggy Network put me on, I assumed that managing would actually be easier and take less time than writing on blogs, converting templates into WordPress themes, and helping manage all of our WordPress installations, but I was severely wrong, and with more people, the work load increases exponentially.

Is it worth it?

Now you are probably wondering if it is still worth it to create a blog network, and really that was why I wrote this article. I wanted to make sure you thought about these points before diving in head first.

Is it worth it to start a blog network? Well, that all depends on you, and how well you understand your limitations. The benefits of a strong blog network are easy to see though, just check out the traffic and revenue statistics of some of the networks I have listed in this post.

Originally posted on July 19, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

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