Network Blogging vs Individual Blogging

In comments of my previous post linking to Weblogs Inc’s $100,000, one of my readers (Allie) wrote:

‘Darren can you do some comparisons on your blogging approach as a single blogger and what Weblogs Inc is doing? My suspicion is that youll be earning less overall but have a lot less expenses so are probably earning more than them in a sense. Would I be right in suggesting this?’

I initially posted my answer in comments but as its rather lengthy and has already generated some interest via email I thought I’d post it here also (with a few minor modifications). Here’s what I wrote earlier:

Nice question Allie – you’re asking an age old question between two approaches of blogging – individual blogger vs network blogging. Let me say right up front that I’m cool with both approaches and strongly believe that they are both valid and can be very very profitable if you work hard and give it some time.

Whilst I’ve gone the ‘individual’ approach so far I am exploring networks with a couple of friends with the Breaking News Blog Collective which is fun. Whilst it is slowly growing its not making as much as my individual blogs are at this point however (probably because I’ve been at them longer).

Anyway – to your question which seems to have two parts:

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BlogLogic Launches TurboBlogger

BlogLogic announce that they’ve just hired the world’s newest ‘Pro Blogger’ – Kevin Humphrey to be the chief blogger on TurboBlogger a blog about blogging with ‘Blogging news and Reviews’.

The press release announcing the news reads:

‘“Kevin will be paid two thirds of advertising revenue generated at” says Paul, who also candidly states in the ad “Hey, maybe you’ll be able to afford extra toppings on that pizza!”

The following is a snippit taken directly from an email communication between Kevin Humphrey and’s Paul Short.

Kevin Says: “In terms of pay, I have no issues there. As a ‘beginner’ pro blogger, I’m more comfortable with a performance-based arrangement for now anyways. To be honest, I’m interested in this opportunity as a means of getting my name out there more quickly as well as gleaning some knowledge off of you along the way.”

As with any fairly new weblog, advertising revenue does not roll in right away. The blog’s voice, style, reputation and readership grows over a period of time until respectable profits are earned. “I think only farmers and bloggers have the vision to see that you have to sew before you can reap,” Says Paul, “and Kevin clearly has that vision.”’

Read more at BlogLogic

How Much Do I Earn from Blogging?

This is a question that I get asked more than any other. I was brought up not to really talk about money and what you earn so I’m always hesitant to do so – but due to the large interest in the subject I’ve from time to time given some indication (it can be vague) of what kind of money blogging brings me.

Keep in mind that I have numerous blogs and these figures are not just for ProBlogger (in fact this blog is one of my smaller earners). I also use a variety of income streams including AdSense, Chitika, Text Link Ads and Amazon Associates (to name just four of the main ones).

update: here are my top earning income streams from my blogging..

Here are a few of the more recent posts I’ve done on the topic:

Earning a Six Figure Income from Blogging
Look what Blogging Bought Me – the house that Google Bought
Network Blogging vs Individual Blogging
I’m a Six Figure Blogger
Chitika eMiniMalls – How much do they Earn? – the day eMiniMalls became my number 1 earner!

I should clarify (as its a misconception that I often come across) that my earnings do NOT just come from this blog – rather I have 20 or so that I work on plus am now involved in various others through b5media which I am a co-director in.

I also earn my income via a number of courses including the Adsense program and especially Chitika’s MiniMalls.

I also always like to emphasise that blogging is NOT a get rich quick thing. To balance the links above (and before you run out and quit your job to become a Pro Blogger) I also STRONGLY recommend you take a look at some of the links and information that I mention in my ProBlogger Public Announcement Post.

Weblogs Inc Hit $100,000 from Adsense

Jason Calacanis has just revealed that Weblogs Inc has just passed the $100,000 earnings mark from Adsense which is pretty good for the 7 months they’ve been using it. The post is not explicit and doesn’t contain heaps of details but its got enough in it to give readers a pretty good indication of a few interesting points about Weblogs Inc. Let me play around with his figures for a few minutes:

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Inviting Content for Links

Is anyone interested in writing articles for some of my blogs in return for links back to their own blogs?

I can’t pay anyone for posts at this point but if you’ve got time on your hands and would like to submit articles to me on any topics that related to the following blogs I’d be more than happy to give you a by-line and link back to which ever blog or site that you specify.

I’ve had a number of readers doing this for me recently and one today reported that he’s had a little bit of traffic come back to him and that he’s noticed the extra backlinks being indexed by Google from my blogs (most of which have a page rank of between 5 and 7).

Posts would need to be of reasonably length (300 words minimum), of a good quality (my call), relevant to the blog (email me if you want to pitch an idea before you start writing) and original material (not posted elsewhere).

If it works out well and you’d like to become a regular contributer to the blog/s you choose to write for we can come to some arrangement for extra links on the sidebar of the blog in addition to your by-lines.

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The Invisible Australian Blogger

Fellow Australian Trevor Cook has written a great post on the state of ‘new media’ including blogging and podcasting in Australia. He comments that whilst there is incredible growth in the medium of blogging that Australia is really yet to see bloggers rise in prominence as has happened else where.

‘Nevertheless, Australian bloggers have not yet generated the sort of media attention that well-known coups (Dan Rather, Trent Lott, Eason Jordan) have won for blogging in the USA. These “affairs” showed that blogging could change agendas and we are still waiting for some high profile agenda-changing from Australian online media community.’

This is something I’ve been pondering a bit recently. A couple of Australian newspapers have tinkered with ‘blog of the week’ type columns in their technology sections (usually featuring overseas blogs) but outside of this I’m yet to really see blogging mentioned in any real depth in the main stream media here. There is a growing number of the general public who seem to have heard of blogs (I notice a lot of people have some vague idea of what they are) but overall there is little prominence of blogging or individual bloggers despite the numbers of quality Aussie bloggers going around.

This is something I’d like to see change and am keen to work on being a part of – however I wonder what can be done. There are only so many contacts that we as bloggers can attempt to make with reporters – perhaps we need to engage a PR expert like Tony to get blogging’s profile up here.

Read Trevor’s article at Trevor Cook describes the new media, including blogging and podcasting, now available to consumers

AdSense and Borders

Deane at Gadgetopia experimented with a new format for her Adsense ads – no borders – and discovered one of the best ways of increasing CTR:

‘If you have Google Adsense on your site, here is the best piece of advice I can give you: don’t put borders around your ads. I had a border around my skyscraper banner on the right here, so it sat in its own little box.’

This simple move made a substantial difference to CTR and no doubt a corresponding difference to overall earnings.

Of course each blog is different depending upon the overall design – but this is a tactic I use on most of my sites pretty successfully. However if you do keep in mind you might get a bit of flack from it – check out the comments on the above post and you’ll see that some are ethically opposed to it.

Found via WorkBoxers

Tabbed Browsing for Bloggers

Arieanna has a good post on why she loves Firefox as a blogger. As I was reading it – especially this following section on tabbed browsing – I found myself agreeing with her whole heartedly – although for me you just need to substitute the word ‘Firefox’ with ‘Safari’ throughout her article. Here’s what she says about tabbed browsing:

‘I use Bloglines to read most of my news. My preferred method of reading is just to open up a folder all at once (I organize my subscriptions into folders so I can prioritize my reading). Bloglines then delivers all new posts for all blogs in that folder in a linear fashion. So, I scroll down the page reading post titles that appeal to me. If there is something I want to read more fully and/or perhaps blog on, I will middle click or Control+click to open that post in a new TAB. I have set my preferences so that new tabs open “in the background,” so to speak. Let me explain this: I tell Firefox to open the tab, but it does so by just opening a new tab behind the one I am currently reading. Non disruptive. I can keep reading without any popup or any clutter in my taskbar.

Why do I like this? Well, I have two stages for reading my blog subscriptions. Approaching 200 blog subscriptions, it is impossible to read everything, nor does everything interest me.

Stage 1: look at titles. If appealing, open tab. Keep scanning down for more.

Stage 2: Go through each tab and read the posts.

Another great advantage of tabbed browsing is the ability to read a webpage fully from top to bottom, while also opening up links you think would be interesting to read more about. No having to press the back button a ton of times. Each link is a possibility for a new tab. Indeed, I think I’ve come close to having 50 open at once. Try that with IE windows. No thanks.’

Read more at Firefox for blog reading

Important Google SEO Information

A couple of days ago I mentioned the new Google patent that reveals a lot about the ways Google is now indexing sites. The patent is long and if you don’t know the ins and outs of the technical stuff can be a bit overwhelming – so I’ve been checking out what it all means from a few bloggers and webmasters who have the gift of translating it for dummies like me.

What they are saying is fascinating stuff (I’m shocked more people are not talking about it in the blogging community) – let me give you a few snippets.

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Pope Blog Update

Blogging might be a little lighter here for the next few days as i concentrate on the Pope Watch Blog. As you’d expect traffic levels have been pretty high with them reaching 1500 visitors per hour at its peak.

The interesting (and frustrating thing) is that despite its being running for months now Google are yet to index it properly. 99% of traffic referrals are coming from MSN search where the blog is ranked very highly for most relevant terms. I can only begin to imagine what visitor levels would be like if Google had indexed the site properly.

I’m also quite amazed by the outpouring of grief that readers of the blog are showing via comments. In the last few hours I decided to create a space for these comments specifically and am getting emails from readers thanking me for creating a virtual space for their grief which is lovely.