Jason has an excellent post on The Zen of Delegation which I’d highly recommend for anyone considering following Weblogs Inc’s footsteps with multiple blogs on a network.
Of particular interest are the three mistakes that he’s learnt over the past year or so. These are valuable lessons, two of which (I’m not paying anyone yet) that I’ve recently started to learn also – or are at least grappling with myself on a smaller scale.
‘Error one: Most writers want to get a revenue split. WRONG! Most writers want a steady pay check.
Error two: One domain name (i.e. www.weblogsinc.com) with sub-domain names (i.e. http://apple.weblogsinc.com) is better then multiple unique domain names (like http://wwwEngadget.com, http://www.autoblog.com, or http://www.tuaw.com). WRONG! Stand-alone domains do better.
Error three: One common design for all blogs is more appealing to advertisers and users because it builds trust and familiarity. WRONG! People love a unique look and feel above the benefits of a standard design.‘
I’m really finding Jason’s blogging so useful at the moment – one of the reason for which is illustrated right here – he’s being increasingly transparent and real about his blogging (either that or I’ve only just started having an ear for it). I find that the mistakes people admit to and talk about are much better learning tools than the ‘how to…’ posts that we see popping up all over the web every day. I’ve always seen errors and mistakes as opportunities and am glad Jason is willing to not only learn from his but also share with the rest of us what he’s learnt.
Ok – so onto his errors.
1. As I said – error one is not something I have any experience with at present but its a good one to know. I would have also thought that a share of the profits would have been more motivating for a blogger but I can also see why a steady income would be attractive. Perhaps some combination of incentive by profit levels and base income would work well. Anyway – will file this one away til the day I employ.
2. This is something I’m learning the hard way. If I could do it all over again I’d take a different approach and set up each blog on a different domain. Whilst there are some benefits of domain sharing (I’m certain it helps with the initial launch and getting ranked in Search Engines – my new blogs get picked up and indexed on Google in two days) it has its drawbacks which I now suffer the consequences of I’m sure. The problem is that once you’re established on a domain its very hard to move your blog to another (easy to do logistically but difficult to keep traffic levels and page ranking up). I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried to do this though – any hints?
3. Again this is not one I have any direct evidence of but is something I personally prefer when I’m surfing the web. I am a visual person who is drawn to sites that are interesting to look at. I don’t mind sites that have some consistency or similarities to others but my preference is for uniqueness in my blogs. This can of course be somewhat expensive or time consuming unless you’re a design wizz but its worth the effort. I’m currently working on making my blogs more unique – expect some changes here at problogger shortly.