Gabu_uy asks – What is in your opinion the best strategy, a few quality blogs, or a myriad of two nickels a day blogs?
This is a question that I think you’ll find people will argue both sides of and it is something that I’ve changed my views on backwards and forward over the last few years. Perhaps this one is best explored with a little of my own story and then a few random thoughts.
When I first started blogging with entrepreneurial aspirations I did so with one monetized blog – an extension of my first personal blog – Digital Photography Blog.
While I made a lot of stupid mistakes in the setting up of that blog and probably wouldn’t set it up to run as it currently does if I were starting over, it’s a blog that gave me a taste for the idea of making a living from blogging.
I started experimenting with advertising on that blog with the hope of covering my hosting and ISP costs but quickly found that I could exceed that and perhaps even earn enough for a computer upgrade. I didn’t really have any aspirations for much more than that in the very early days – although I still remember laying in bed at the end of the day I first hit a daily total of $10 in AdSense earnings and excitedly having the realization that if one blog could earn $10 a day with AdSense that 10 blogs could earn $100 and 100 could earn $1000!
I made the decision on the spot to roll out new sites and continued to do so until I hit around the 25 mark.
It was at about this time that I realized that my strategy was somewhat flawed (for me) for a number of reasons:
- I couldn’t sustain the load – 25 blog is a killer to maintain, even if a lot of them are ‘newsy/link’ blogs.
- I couldn’t sustain my enthusiasm – while I had a mild interest in all of the topics I didn’t really have what it takes to summons the energy that it took to keep tabs on them all on a daily basis
- The traffic didn’t come – there are many reasons for this but ultimately I believe that the way to grow traffic to a blog is to have someone who has energy for the topic and the ability to write engaging and useful content – I couldn’t and the traffic didn’t come
- The money didn’t come – some of the blogs I started did earn more than $10 a day in the end – but the majority were lucky to make that much a month.
- The money came from elsewhere – while I developed all these extra blogs I was experimenting with other projects (like b5media) and putting time into blogs that I was more passionate about (like ProBlogger and DPS). These were projects that I had energy for and that I put more and more time into developing. In contrast to the minutes that I put into my ‘mass blog strategy’ I put hours into these blogs and the payoff was that readers and money followed.
Now I do know people who make decent money by having many many websites that they develop and let earn their pennies a day but the majority of them are not bloggers. Instead they develop small sites with 10-20 pages that they drive traffic to using arbitrage techniques. Of course there are sploggers who maintain many spam blogs – but I don’t have time for or believe in that model at all.
I guess in a sense I’m also still in the ‘multiple blog’ business by starting a blog network – but there the strategy differs to what I tried above also in that we attempt to find passionate and knowledgeable people to maintain the blogs rather than stretching ourselves and having to cover multiple topics ourselves.
These days I only actively maintain two blogs (plus I occasionally write on another one). I’ve retired quite a few of my old blogs and have found a blogger to maintain a couple of others.
If I were to start all over again today I’d do so by concentrating on building 1 blog at a time to a point where it hits the tipping point and can earn a decent income. I still would diversify with multiple sites – but would probably focus on making them all around the one vertical (ie related topics) rather than picking such a wide array of topics on unrelated niches.
How many blogs do you run? How many would be your limit? What factors would help you decide when you’ve reached your maximum?