Thoughts about Building a Blog Network

In a post about a year ago on ProBlogger, Mac Slocum of Fodder Networks, reflected on mistakes he had made with his bllog network.  He focused on 5 hurdles he had to overcome:

  • Underestimating the time commitment of developing multiple successful blogs.
  • The time / cosst investment in infrastructure / maintenance for multiple blogs.
  • The tradeoff between breadth and depth in creating sites for the blog network.
  • Keeping participating bloggers happy.
  • Managing the advertising that helps fund the network.

gridOne strategy for establishing a blog to book publishing network is to start by buidling up an anchor blog.  This is a single blog that has depth of content and a loyal, growing readership.  Refine and templatize the knowledge and processes that have made the anchor blog successful.  These would include content research techniques, SEO / SMO, analytics, blog to book publishing, and online book marketing.   Once this is in place, bring in newer blogs that can immediately benefit from this experience and the traffic referrals from the anchor blog.  (In a sense the anchor blog acts like a strong force field that bends traffic to the newer blogs.) 

This strategy helps keep the incremental investment in the subsequent blogs lower.  The penalty in this strategy is that it may take longer than simply try to start up multiple blogs simultaneously.  But it avoids some of the exponential scale up problems that can occur with networks of any type.

Keeping bloggers happy will always be a management problem.  However, in a blog to book publishing network, a network owner has more ways to compensate writers.  For instance, they can share a greater percentage of the advertising revenue, or nvest more of that revenue into marketing the writer’s book(s). 

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