Blog Networks: Play Hard, or Don’t Play At All

Scrivs has predicted that many blog networks will fail in 2006, and I think he’s spot on.

Why Most ‘2nd Tier’ Blog Networks Are Garbage

  1. Many new blog networks do not have the necessary funds to pull off a medium-scale project. You need a stash of cash to pay writers through the first six months (before major ad revenues come in and balance out this cost), and it doesn’t hurt to have money to throw at good development, design and hosting, too. (Yes, I’m aware that some networks have tried paying writers on a rev-share basis, but this seems to fail time and time again.)
  2. Most new blog networks have an identity crisis – they can’t tell you what they are (besides a ‘blog network’), or what differentiates them. They are, in a word, generic.
  3. They aren’t putting out content which is useful to the reader. Most of them just re-post regurgitated news without adding much value or commentary.

So, although I do believe that owning content is generally a good investment, it’s also apparent that if you don’t have the resources to do a blog network right, it’s not gonna be a huge success. Not that that surprises anyone!

Who do you think will rise to the top in the 2nd generation blog network race? My money is on FineFools and InstaBlogs. The flip side: who will crash and burn (or just slowly fade into irrelevance)?

One thought on “Blog Networks: Play Hard, or Don’t Play At All

  1. I think Scrivs and Andy are right – I don’t see the point in most of the blog networks. I’m not sure they’ll fail in 2006, but most will definitely fail. The biggest problem is (#3 on Andy’s list) that they focus on building and marketing a network brand rather than building quality sites with great content.

    My wife and I run 5-6 weblogs, which we could call a network if we chose to – and they’re profitable. It’s much easier to be profitable when you start very small, and let the network grow rather than launching 20 content-free blogs at once.

    I think what Rich said above about lower levels of quality content is exactly right—and I’m not sure any of the weblog networks really understand that.

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