A long time ago, I used to work for some blog networks, and in doing so, I realized the power of bringing many content producers under a single brand. Over the last year, I’ve been hearing how the blog network is dead, or how blog networks never worked and I feel compelled to comment on that, as I believe they are wrong.
First off, blog networks did work well, and have always worked well. The issue was that advertising revenue wasn’t scaling as quickly as costs, and so the downturn in the US economy made big networks with lots of writers focused on different topics inefficient and costly. Some networks adapted, others found investors or financing, and still others faded away. This doesn’t mean that blog networks are a failed business model.
With the economy slowly coming back, I see a huge potential for resurgence, especially now that big brands see the value in online content.
Also, one of the biggest reinforcements of my networks reign supreme is the insane rise of The Verge, a technology blog that has made a name for itself in less than a year, something most people would have said to be impossible.
Selecting a stable of writers, especially ones with strong personality, a good social background, and fans can make the difference between breaking into a niche and making a name for your site, and fizzling out.
I really believe that the blog network is going to come back in a big way. I for one would love to read a blog that was the combined effort of many of the top WordPress community members or a blog written by all of the top Social Media personalities.
Give me a single blog written by Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett, Chris Brogan, Deb Ng, and a few others, and I’ll subscribe to it for life.
I think there is still lots of room, in every niche, to make waves, and I look forward to seeing what happens in the next year. I would like to think that I’m the first to proclaim 2012 the “rise of the blog networks” year.