Do You Have What it Takes to be a Blog Overlord?

Blogging isn’t for everyone. Take me: my personal strengths include marketing and management, but do not include writing (at least, writing quickly or consistently).

Are you good at this stuff, but just don’t have the will to write every day for the next year? Then maybe you need to skip the blogging itself — perhaps you’re cut out to be a blog overlord.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Running a blog network is a ton of work: selecting niches, building designs and templates, building links, finding authors, managing authors, etc. And it takes money too (unless you can convince authors to go on rev-share, which hasn’t proven to be very successful in most cases).

The work involved in running a blog network is certainly more time-consuming than just writing would be. But the kicker is that the work is varied. As a blog overlord, I don’t have to do the same thing every day. On Tuesday I might be building links (tedious), but at least I know I’ll be skinning some sites on Wednesday, and reviewing authors on Thursday.

But back to the massive amounts of work.

To be a blog overlord, you’ll need…

* tons of time
* money to get you to break-even point (where the ad revenues coming in are equal to the amount you’re spending on posts)
* money for initial promotion, advertising or link buiding (optional)
* tons more time
* knowledge of all aspects of blog management and monetization, including design, content, legal issues, working with writers, link building, advertising programs (and implementation)
* willingness to do tedious, thankless, annoying tasks like cut and pasting the “subscribe to bloglines” button on all of your templates, or submitting each blog to the major blog directories

Of course, you can partner with people to get those skills, but then you have to share the pie, too. Seriously, though, it’s a huge time and money commitment, so why would you do it? That brings me too…

The advantages of being a blog overlord

* ownership of content – especially the archives (over time these can make a lot of money. Visitors find these archived pages via SEs, and a sizable percentage of them click on the ads. The archives alone from several of my own blogs make me 4 figures a month in ad revenue. I’m talking old posts.)
* diversification of channels and risk – you can own blogs in a lot of different channels, even ones which you personally would not have the knowledge to blog about.
* the glamour and fame – check that
* scale – I could probably write for 5 blogs by myself, but by hiring people I have been able to launch dozens of blogs per year

So who are the blog overlords?

As it turns out, there are quite a few of them, and more pop up every day. The networks range in size from half a dozen blogs to close to a hundred, and there’s a lot of variation in terms of channels, biz models, size, quality, management structure, etc. In my opinion there is money to be made simply by playing to your strengths and ensuring monetization is a priority (for a few of these networks, it doesn’t seem to be).

Anyway, now that I’ve explained how I make gobs of money by being a blog overlord, please do not pay any attention to it, the last thing I want is more competition 😉