Business Opportunity – Niche Blog Networks

Published by 12 Comments

Blog NetworksIf you spend any amount of time reading blogs you probably have come across a blog network. Prime examples include 9rules (Entrepreneur’s Journey is a member), the largest and arguably most famous Weblogs, Inc and the recently launched b5Media.

I won’t go into the definition of a blog network because quite frankly no one really knows and everyone has an opinion of what it should be. The only key ingredients are blogs, a blog network has to have blogs. These blogs are networked together somehow, either by an umbrella brand or a payment structure or a traffic referral system or whatever, and you have a blog network. It’s all about multiple authors creating content on multiple blogs for the good of the people (the readers), building something greater than the sum of its parts.

With the recent big ticket ($25 million) sale of Weblogs, Inc to AOL the monetary potential of a blog network was highlighted. Anything with the word “blog” in it has become hot property. Frankly though, blogs are only just going mainstream and it’s early enough days that opportunities abound in the blogosphere.

Looking at blog networks as a potential business opportunity is mouth watering for a web entrepreneur. The typical valuation measurements are the same as for standard websites, traffic and profits (sometimes revenue for newer businesses and future potential will always play a part in evaluation). Weblogs, Inc pulled $25 million because it had both significant traffic and significant revenues (they haven’t disclosed profits). A budding entrepreneur looking to cash in on blogs should look to the same metrics – traffic and profits – and at the moment, traffic comes from good content and profits usually comes from advertising.

If you look at the current blog network marketplace it is far from crowded. Yes a new network appears to launch every other day lately (and some close just as quickly) but only a few are truly large and/or bring in significant revenues. The opportunity to create a new blog network is definitely there as long as you follow the golden rule in business, niche your market in order to differentiate yourself from the competition.

At the moment most of the largest blog networks are loose collections of good solid blogs on a range of topics. Weblogs, Inc is a complete hodge-podge of different blogs, a media network focusing on quantity to reach as many different markets as possible. 9rules and b5Media also do not discriminate and look to take in or create blogs on almost any topic. The generalised media blog network format is well served and moving into this market would be more difficult.

A much smarter strategy would be to bring together bloggers around a single industry or topic area. The competition in most areas simply doesn’t exist yet. There may be individual blogs on almost any topic you can think of, but there are no coordinated blog network hubs broken down by niches. An entrepreneur could choose a lucrative demographic and either bring together or purchase the current blogs covering that area into a new network or start from scratch, hire bloggers and start brand new blogs for a brand new network.

Dane Carlson of the Business Opportunities Weblog has started doing just that. His niche is business opportunities. He already has a great popular blog that brings in a lot of readers every day. His network is up to four blogs now having brought in some friends to blog on similar topics, including work at home opportunities and MLM opportunities. If he keeps adding more solid blogs his network may become the authority for business related blogging. With enough traffic the advertising revenue will continue to soar and who knows, an AOL sized company may come knocking on his door with a big wad of cash.

To offer a hypothetical example let’s take the home housewife demographic. The audience watches Oprah, reads gossip magazines and probably cares a lot about fashion and beauty. I’m a budding entrepreneur so I’m going to build a blog network around this niche. I’ll gather blogs on topics like shoes, clothing, celebrity gossip, self esteem and makeup. I might look around the blogosphere and see how many independent blogs already exist in this niche. I’ll consider buying or hiring these blogs and bring them into the network. I might raise some capital and put up some ‘Bloggers Wanted’ notices to hire some new writers to pay to produce daily content. I’ll build up the blogs over time, keep the niche nice and tight and focused so we attract a certain type of audience (good for advertising click through rates) and build up revenues. After 12 months I will have an asset, bringing in good revenues and piles of traffic, ripe for a buyout.

It paints a rosy picture doesn’t it. I admit it won’t necessarily be easy. You may find that the advertising dollars never make profits after you pay for bloggers. This could be because you chose a niche with poor click through prices or no advertisers. You might have trouble establishing traffic to your blogs. You might never get bought out because the whole blog craze dies down by the time you have built your asset. There are no guarantees in entrepreneurship but success is only rewarded to those that take a chance.

Those bloggers currently operating a popular blog are in particular sitting on a potential goldmine growth strategy by expanding their single site into a network. By leveraging the traffic and audience of an already established blog, new blogs can be introduced and enjoy an instant audience to build from. If word of mouth and viral blog networking are good to you your new blogs will grow quickly. The current blog networks often succeed off the backs of one or two significant linchpin blogs (for example Engadget for Weblogs, Inc) that form the backbone of the network and bring in significant advertising revenue and exposure for the entire network.

I have a feeling that blogs and blogging are here to stay. I suspect our future may be filled with blog networks that essentially perform a similar role to current media distribution channels. No longer will we look to the big syndicated news sources, instead blogs will provide the most up to date information and interesting content. Ironically though many bloggers may just end up being paid employees of blog networks and their content and blogs owned by the big syndicated news sources anyway. In that case not much will have changed, you just may not need a journalism degree to get paid to write about your favourite topics.

As an entrepreneur or even just a person with a passion for a topic, a great business opportunity exists right now. There will never be this time again, a time when blogging is new and blog networks are even newer. If you stake your claim today your blog network may become the authority source for information on your niche and it might even make you a millionaire too.

Yaro Starak
Entrepreneur

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Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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12 Comments

  • Hey Yaro, you looking at starting a niche blog network? ;-)

    I agree with you about the gap in niche-type networks – just makes that much more sense to me that a blog network that’s focused around an industry would work that much better then some of those have no real focus and try to cover every topic on the planet.

    Also, it seems the only folks to make the potential big bucks are the ones with the courage to start their own networks and not the writers – hence it’s been gnawing away at me lately about getting in on the act.

    If I were to go down that road I’d go the way Nick Denton has – less blogs but develop a strong name/brand for each blog, and look at sponsorships rather than focus soley on click thru ads.

    I guess these are exciting times in blogging.

  • You forgot to mention the Fine Fools network Yaro, it’s becoming very popular.

  • Weblog Business Opportunities

    Over at the Entrepreneur’s Journey is this article about the business opportunities available in weblogs: With the recent big ticket ($25 million) sale of Weblogs, Inc to AOL the monetary potential of a blog network was highlighted. Anything with…

  • Martin – no, not likely. As much as I’d enjoy it I think I’m not ready to put my energy behind one. I’d like to do something that brought together all the great internet business/solopreneur/home business blogs together but it would take a lot of planning and people management. Perhaps if I had a Darren and a Jeremy ala b5Media to work with me and share the burden I would be keen to start one…

  • Nathan Waters

    Home housewives also have time on their hands… allowing them to write more content :D

    I think AOL will ruin the Weblogs network as they have done with everything they own/have bought out.

    I’ve heard that if AOL decides to do something stupid with Engadget, the guys that write for it will immediately pack up and start another blog.

  • I think there may be more “networks” out there than we think – they are just not advertised as such. I think this is what Martin was refering to in his comment. Basically, it is individual people hosting multiple blogs on different subjects that they are passionate about. The key is mobilizing this movement as Yaro has stated…it will take energy and desire to do it. The person who does it the best will more than likely win.

  • Yaro,

    Your posts seem almost prophetic. Along the same lines as your thinking, I have two blog networks in development that target a niche subject and a particulat demographics.

    Can’t say much more, but as always you are right on target.

    Thanks

  • Rory

    Thanks a Lot Yaro,
    Now I dont care about School and College anymore, I just want to start a Blog Netwok.

    Why do I do this to myslef :(

    Another Great Article, maybe my favorite

  • [...] If you are running a web business, no matter how big or small, chances are you will get a lot of value from reading Yaro’s posts about marketing techniques and entrepreneurship. He has many exhaustive guides about the fundamentals of web marketing, such as running AdWords campaigns, but extends to more detailed hints, tips, guides and advice for both web marketers and start-up companies. [...]

  • On the subject of asset creation: monetizing a niche Blog is key to its value.

    In the end, it is not the volume of traffic that matters, but the revenues it generates. If ad revenue is in the cards, then a few things will determine the value of the revenue stream (and the Blog along with it):

    1. How competitive is the advertising niche (read: PPC costs)?

    2. How well do the blog visitors respond to the ads?

    This last one is rather important – many social networking sites do not produce good ad Click thru rates.

    Lots of traffic, but no interest in advertised products or services!.

  • I know I came into the online world through the PlugInProfit Site which had me trying to teach others how to make money…which is difficult to do because I wasn’t making any. I shifted my promoting to a kind of “follow” me as I attempt to make money and got more attention doing that.

  • Yaro, can you suggest me about best blog network with cheap price since I have some project need to buy link from blog network prepare for make money for this end of year.

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