Mac Slocum at The Independent Publisher is reflecting upon the first year of development of his Fodder Network and has written a post on the five biggest mistakes that he’s made along the road so far.
- Mistake No. 1: Underestimating the Time Commitment – I suspect this is something many bloggers with dreams of developing multiple successful blogs make. Establishing one blog is a massive task but multiply that by several and you’ve got a full time job very quickly.
- Mistake No. 2: Forgetting About the Exponential Nature of Tweaks – Mac talks in this point about the amount of work that just a simple tweak can mean if you’re making the same tweak in multiple blogs. On the flip side of course is the good things that can happen as a result of a simple tweak too. For example I remember the day I discovered that moving my AdSense ads closer into content would increase their earnings – of course I quickly did this on all of my blogs and the impact was significant.
- Mistake No. 3: Building Single Sites instead of Deep Sites – I don’t think there is a right or wrong with this – either strategy can be successful but I also think that especially when you’re a smaller enterprise that it makes sense to build fewer deep blogs than lots of stand alone ones.
- Mistake No. 4: Managing Expectation Levels – This is a hard lesson to learn. When recruiting bloggers it’s important to give them a realistic idea of what they’ll get out of it. Unfortunately when you’re in start up mode what bloggers get out is not massive unless you have some cash behind your venture. I think most blog networks run into this problem at one time or another as it takes months (if not a year or two) for a blog to really hit its stride and many bloggers just won’t hang around that long.
- Mistake No. 5: Naivete About Advertising – I’ve come up against this myself in the last couple of years. Once you build a blog up it’s difficult to know how to find advertisers for it and how much to charge. Managing advertising is difficult and as a result I have contracted someone to do a lot of that work for me which has taken a load off my mind.
Mac’s list is pretty typical of many of the issues that bloggers and blog network owners come up against. None of the mistakes he’s made are insurmountable but all are worth considering before getting into the game.