So you’ve started too many blogs on too many topics all too soon, and you find you can’t maintain them all after all. And you’re loathe to let go of your babies, even the free-hosted ones. What do you do?
I’ve struggled with this problem since getting heavy into blogging nearly two years ago. I have way too many sites and can barely find writers for the sites that earn a bit of money, let alone for the ones that could earn money. I’ve toyed with what to do with them, since if I have them, I feel compelled to do something. Here are some options for your extra blogs. I’m giving them a very superficial treatment, as prep for future discussions.
- Ditch/sell them.
Just focus on 2-3 blogs, with 3-5 posts per day per blog [updated]. Once they’re up and running, and you have a few guest/regular writers and regular readers as well as regular search engine traffic, you can expand to more blogs.
- Go zombie.
Let the extra blogs stagnate. If you’re running PPC (Pay Per Click) ads, get rid of them on the zombie sites so that your over all CTR (Click Through Rate) doesn’t drop. [Use some other way to record traffic – such as metrics code.]
- Gift them.
Maybe you know someone that can do something with the sites.
- Park them. Ditch the hosting and park the domains for free. I use Sedo.com, but there are lots of others. I haven’t received any ad clicks yet, but I can still see how much traffic each parked domain is getting. So if want to sell just the domain, I have better gauge for the price.
- Burn out.
Be like me and try to do everything, burn out and get pissed that none of them are earning much money.
- Turn them into forums.
There’s both free and paid forum script code out there. While a forum is not easy to get kickstarted, if you choose a popular topic and luck out with some good members, the forum could run itself. You might consider doing a revenue share with members as motivation for participate.
- Web 2.0 community.
Slap on some suitable code and turn the site into a self-running web 2.0 community. Ning.com used to have an option where you could host a community on your own site.
- Turn them into resources.
Not every site has to be a blog. Decide to sacrifice the regular readership (if any) and go for search engine traffic. Build out the site with 50-100 pages (not posts) of solid content focused on a niche and let it loose. You can actually use WordPress as a regular CMS (Content Management System) to publish a non-blog website. [I’ll get into that in a future article, but if I forget, someone please remind me.] The beauty of this solution, if you execute it right, is that you can create authority sites this way that don’t need to be updated as regularly as a blog. Could you manage 10 or more sites this way, as compared to 10 or more blogs?
This isn’t by any means a comprehensive list, and I haven’t yet provided a lot of detail. That’ll come, as I manage to remember. Got any suggestions for what to do with excess domains/ sites? Have sites or domains to sell? Go list them in Performancing’s Blogger Marketplace. Just remember: you can’t sell blogspot.com blogs.
I write for a living and I write because I love to. How can you beat that for a great career? Doing what you love. I have no problem with “my” bloggers going off on their own. I actually expect, encourage and nurture it. And I suppose I shouldn’t complain if I haven’t actually advertised opportunities.
as soon as the newbies figure out how to do it, they go out on their own to try to earn maximum profit
True, but that assumes that everyone is in it for the money.
There are several scenarios where a blogger would continue to write for your blog even if they had the opportunity to set their own thing up (or they’d set up their own blog and still write for you).
1) Your site is a far bigger authority with a far bigger audience than yours – the blogger will stick around and write great link bait posts to build his own reputation.
2) Some bloggers are not in it for the money, but just want to write. They are more interested in reaching a larger audience, and your blog can help them achieve that.
I’m lucky to have met some writers who write because they want to write, not because they are interested in earning money from it.
It’s all about who you find and how you go looking for them.
I am very fussy and selective. But that said, I usually go with people introduced to me. I am probably going to open up writing opps on Perf Marketplace once I have reliable, consistent income.
When you say you “can barely find writers for the sites that earn a bit of money, let alone for the ones that could earn money,” what are you doing to find them? Are you posting invites on Craigslist? Are you offering money or just the opportunity to write?
I’d like to have more writers contribute to CultureFeast, but I find that blogging tends to follow the same rules as every other entrepreneurial enterprise: as soon as the newbies figure out how to do it, they go out on their own to try to earn maximum profit.
@Peter: True, and I think the way I explained things was a bit contradictory. However, I belong to a couple of forummaster forums, and a few forum owners have stated that once their forum got going, they didn’t need to participate. Others hired moderators and/or posters. I’m not sure I believe it, but said so anyway
Saying forums can run themselves is rather naive, in my opinion. Yes, volunteer moderators can accomplish a lot, but it’s a really bad idea to go with the idea that a forum will run itself. I’d say it’s far worse to leave a blog abandoned than it is to leave a forum abandoned.
@Jen: I ghostwrite linkbait articles for a number of clients. Someone else came up with the term ghostbait, and I’ve been borrowing it. Although I suppose it could have something to do with being a ghostbuster [Hmmm. I actually live in one of the most haunted towns/cities in North America. It’s in the top ten, according to some books on the paranormal.] Top 10 Haunted Places, anyone?
Oh-oh, I’m going to have to ask you a dumb question: Raj, can you explain to a relative newbie what “ghostbait” means?
There’s a small dicussion over at problogger.net about this post. I’m continuing it there and here…
Yes, 3-5 posts per day may be a lot in some niches. In others, 5-10 is absolutely essential for some semblance of success, because the niche is competitive. However, my post assumes you are at least blogging “professionally” on a part-time basis, so 15 posts in a day isn’t a lot (100-250 words) for a full-time blogger. I had this note in my original post, but pulled it because it sounds awkward.
I think Ahmed mentioned on another post that he writes something like 2500+ words per day. I try to meet at least 2000+ M-F for both my ghostblogging and my sites, but I also ghostbait several times per week and those articles are 1200-2500 words each. Not everyone wants or needs to do this. I was merely offering some options.
@Gerard: Yeah, me too. Zomblogs are blogs that are essentially dead, but which occasionally get a bit of life with a post or two.
The options I like best are to sell them or ditch them. I couldn’t let a blog go dormant, so I’d have to get rid of it somehow. Otherwise, I’d feel the need to write a post for it every now and again.
Could you explain “Go Zombie” to me? It’s the first time I’ve heard that expression.
Great suggestions, Ahmed. In hindight, I realize I forgot a number of options. Redirects are actually a good way to handle similar sites. I’ve refocused a number of my blogs and still haven’t come up with a suitable topic for them. As a result, I abandoned some for the more “successful” ones. I should have combined some.
If you combine your blogs, you can redirect one site’s home page but keep the existing posts and pates. At any rate, what happens is that home page traffic doesn’t dead-end. Readers get to see one of your blogs that does have recent posts.
I’ve had a similar problem, and I think you can add two more items to this list.
1) Combine blogs – if you have two blogs on the same broad topic (one on home theater and the other on gaming consoles), you can either combine them on one of the two existing domains or pick a new one (more generic) and combine the two on that.
If possible, go for the first option (combining on one original domain) and use 301 redirects to show SEs that the content has been moved.
2) Refocus – Sometimes you just don’t know what to do with a blog – so you probably need to sit down and ask yourself if the plans you had for the site fit in with your overall goals or not. If they do, you may want to ‘wait on the site’. If they don’t, merge blogs or do #1 or #8 from Raj’s list.