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Moving From a Single Blog to a Blog Network

Improve-BlogToday Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home shares how she improved her blog in 2007 by shedding some light on the process of shifting her blog from just being a blog into being a network/magazine-style site.

The “one” thing I did to improve my blog was a huge undertaking :: I shifted the focus of my one-woman-show blog to a blog network and created a magazine-style site. Though it was a huge risk, only three months later, the rewards have far exceeded my expectations, and I couldn’t be more proud of the site, our authors, and the content we are producing for the home business and internet marketing community.

Emoms

We’ve hit some huge milestones in a short amount of time, and it wasn’t without a ton of hard work, enormous stress, and plenty of sleepless nights, especially at the beginning. But in doing so, I have changed my business model to one that is far more sustainable and scalable than it used to be. Before, if I didn’t write blog posts, I didn’t make money. And if I wanted to increase revenue, the only way to do so was to work harder and more often. 60+ hour workweeks quickly ensued and I was stretched to the hilt. The whole reason I work at home is to enjoy increased work-life balance :: I was failing miserably on that front.

By adding 7 new blogs – ‘content channels’ – back in September, the site is growing and generating revenue even when I take time off. Our community is much better served because they are getting the highest quality content, more so than I could have ever given them on my own. And even though traffic and page views have almost tripled since we started, we are already outgrowing our current setup and I’m having to find more ways to expand.

When I started eMoms at Home, it was just supposed to be a hobby blog – a place to share advice and learn while I worked on building my ‘other business’, a self help community site (which never went anywhere because eMoms took off). Ironically, the site is now evolving full circle into a site remarkably similar to what I first set out to do – create a place where people could go to learn from and support each other. Never in a million years could I have predicted how my blog got here from where I started. But by pushing myself to the limits (and beyond) of what I felt capable of, eMoms at Home is now the fastest growing site in our niche.

I had no idea that blogging was such a powerful medium when I started. A passionate author with a powerful message can move mountains with a blog. My greatest wish is not for fame and fortune (though I do want those too!), but to lead others to greatness by example and inspire others do the same. I’m able to do that now far more than I ever could before on my own.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Hafiz Dhanani says:

    That’s a great success story. I think you’ve brought up some good points about blogging with passion, and outsourcing to expand one’s blog.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Dave Forde says:

    Is it better to set up a “blog network” as separate url or have them all under the same url separated directories? What is the pro & con of both?

  3. Joe says:

    I’m trying to set up a network and I’ve found that it is pretty difficult in itself. Several of the blogs are magazine style, and sometimes take more time to set up. Hopefully I will see the results soon!

  4. Wendy! Good to see you on here today.

    Grats on the success. I’ve started to do the same thing with my blog with a partner to allow me some more time off. We’re still looking for authors that don’t need heavy editing and know how to use WP, but it’s VERY exciting!

    All the best for 2008, Wendy.

  5. Lex G says:

    Very good example of how networks can make your blog grow unbelievably …

    Networks are actually so powerful, that’s it’s important to not only try to establish an external network, but also try to create an ‘INTERNAL TOPICAL NETWORK’ on every one of the blogs that make up this network …

    If anyone is interested ,

    I have a very in depth article on how to create an internal topical network for your blog …. I call this the ‘optimal keyword attack formula ‘ – look for the picture and link in the sidebar … check it out (if you’ve got the guts ;) )

    Lex G – http://www.newmediatype.com

  6. Sounds like the threaded approach vice the single site really worked. I will have to visit her site and see what it’s all about. Best of luck to you.

  7. hak says:

    I’m curious to learn how the network bloggers are compensated for their contributions? Is it a shared revenue model where each author gets X% of the site’s revenues?

  8. Thanks everyone! Here’s a few answers to your questions:

    Authors are paid with both a monthly base plus a % of their blog revenue. There are additional perks as well.

    Dave, I believe that networks set up on one site vs. several both have their pros and cons. Darren could actually speak better to the pros of the b5 model, which consists of separate blogs.

    I wanted to set up eMoms on one domain for several reasons, most of which was that I wanted to extend the community feeling that already existed on the site. I also believe that the combined power of 10 authors would equal more than the sum of its parts.

    There were also some practical considerations, including the fact that I wanted to avoid the ramp up time it takes to get a new domain rolling. I wanted the authors to benefit immediately from the power of a trusted brand and domain, and that has paid off very well in a short amount of time.

    But in the end, the long-term goals of your business will determine what is best for you. Adding authors and blogs was only the first phase of a larger expansion I have planned for eMoms at Home, so it made the most sense to keep it all in one magazine style site rather than fragmented over 7 domains.

    Hope that helps!

  9. Good to hear a success story. Like Robert Collier said,”Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

  10. Pele Odiase says:

    Very inspiring news! would need some advice and suggestions on my blog at http://www.peleodiase.com.

    I’m open to receive as many suggestions that I can get
    cheers

  11. Nice Success Story……

  12. darknight says:

    Yes, I’m doin the same thing too! Now I made the cowy network for my blog, I add 4 blog and add cow as the logo in each banner. Just promotion, I make a tarot reading for Google adsense future, maybe you want to read it or give opinion :)

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations on your well-deserved success!

  14. Andrea_R says:

    Wendy’s got a great site going there, and tapped into not only a great idea, but she found a need too. I’ve been a reader of some sections for a while now.

    I’m starting to look into creating niche sites with related blogs using software like WordPressMU. Cool stuff, loads of potential. Tons of hard work.

  15. Very useful report and tips, and, as so often happens here at PB, the real ‘secret sauce’ is in the comments. I never thought a lot of networks, say a year ago … in fact I never cared much for Daren’s devotion to b5 media … of course he gets paid and more power to him for that, but there isn’t another b5 blog that interests me and a lot of the blogs reflect just what they are, low-paid impersonal compensated writing … about as much ‘passion’ as an income tax form. IMO, of course.

    But OMG what a difference in Wendy’s area since she made the move from a one woman, if only I could make money from this’ format to a professional outputs with a staff of experts. There is a good side to networks.

  16. Chris says:

    Very inspirational success story. Having just launched my first blog last week, I have future plans of expanding into a blog network to cover all of my areas of interest.

  17. Jade says:

    I’m interested in creating blog networks yet haven’t been able to find any good resources on it.

    Perhaps either you, or Wendy, could cover the technical side in depth? I’m interested in the template side of things, aspects of wordpress and the logistics including change in revenue.

    I’m sure others would appreciate this.

  18. Andrea says:

    Jade – you might want to look into WordPressMu – mu.wordpress.org. There’s been a few blog networks cropping up run that way. It’s one way to start, at any rate.

  19. Millard says:

    Great success story. Thanks everyone for the additional sites to find more information on the networks.