Case Study in Building a Blogging Network: The “Daily” Network
Parallel to traditional media moguls, there are several blogger-entrepreneurs (blogtrepreneurs?) who have built successful blogging networks that all began from one successful blog.
The obvious examples are TechCrunch (and its “Crunch” network) Weblogs, Inc. (which sold to AOL for 25 million in 2005) and Gawker Media (which runs Consumerist, Valleywag, and Gizmodo to name a few). Those are networks managed by several people and definitely large-scale operations.
For this case study, I want to show you an exceptional example of what one single person has done on a smaller (but by no means less significant) scale building a blogging network.
Enter the “Daily” network, which includes three sites all run by avid blogger Daniel Scocco:
Click each logo to all the pages to see them live. You’ll notice several things about this blog network right off the bat:
Strong, linear branding and layout throughout each site
This is a smart move with developing a blogging network. Gawker does the same thing on theirs, and it makes users feel ‘at home’ on any site within the network. All of the logos have the same look and feel as well on these sites.
Clearly labeled subscription options
Daniel understands the value of making it easy to turn readers into raving fans and build anticipation by easily subscribing to daily posts across sites on his network. I am subscribed to Daily Blog Tips, Daily Writing Tips, and Daily Bits and found them all organically. This is certainly by design.
Popular post section
On each of the sites within the Daily network, it’s easy to find the most popular content and get drawn in. Again, this is a smart move and I’m sure it’s something Daniel found successful with the first site in his network and made it a pattern throughout.
Fresh content daily
One of Seth Godin’s favorite tips about finding success with blogging is the importance of showing up. Daniel understands the value of this so much; he’s built it into the name of his brand.
Monetization of the network
Daniel makes it easy for potential advertises to be a part of his network. Not only that, but it’s a strong selling point when you can offer advertisers the value of being on not just one site, but several popular sites all with strong reputations.
Check out some of the copy on his advertising page:
All the sponsorship and advertising deals cover the three websites on our network:
Combined they generated over 400,000 monthly impressions, with more than 20,000 RSS subscribers. Our audience is composed of bloggers, webmasters, online marketers and web entrepreneurs.
You can see the rest of the page here. Notice how clear it is what sponsors will get and how it is easy to make contact if they were interested in placing an ad.
Developing your own blogging network
I can’t speak too much on advice for this as I really only focus on one blog right now. Creating posts on different subjects daily, keeping tabs on comments, fielding questions from readers, promoting your sites and managing advertises to multiple blogs is certainly a full-time job.
Also, you probably should have at least one ultra-popular blog before you even think of developing a network around that brand. It makes sense, because you would only want to create a network off a concept that you know will be popular and catch on. Then, the trick to making the network scale is patterning what you did on that first successful site. Get used to managing one popular site before you attempt several. When you’ve got that down, taking on two, three or four sites will be far less daunting.
Starting a blogging network is no easy task, and a great deal of work, but it is a great business opportunity for someone who is dedicated, passionate and focused. It is the blog-entrepreneur’s (blogtrepreneur’s?) dream.