In a short two year span we have seen countless blog networks fail. Even the wild run of blog network launches has just about ended. Or has it? In my opinion blog networks are just as easy to start and develop a solid base of traffic as they were 2 years ago, or even three years ago. Some say you can’t launch yet another tech blog. But my prediction is you probably could. You would have to work at it. But you could launch and even be successful. Because of social networking sites like Digg,Reddit, and Netscape. But its not always the smart thing to do. I’ve started a few blog networks actually I can count my involvement in 6 blog networks in less than 4 years. Here’s my take on the mistakes that Kill Blog Networks.
1. Leadership Burnout
Often times you have one person who has the vision, and the other person has the drive. The new forces tend to polarize and drive each other in oppositely painful directions. One person spends a lot of time strategizing and the other person spends a lot of time working way to hard. In the end all the leadership burns out and the relationships all melt and fade away and the blog network falls apart.
2. Crappy Location
The Blog Network has decided to start a network based around the most common themes blogging, tech, gadgets, and cell phones. Yes even I have been a failure in this category. I’ve seen a lot of networks fall apart solely because they all chose the same neighborhood to hang out in.
3. Bad Paintjobs
One example of a blog network failure is Syntagma Media. While the content might be ok. I wouldn’t read it or share it with anyone because the paintjob on the walls is hideous. If you want to launch a nice blog network on no budget choose a decent template system like Cutline.
4. Supersized Egos
More often than not one person in the partnership will assume to much control over the network and start becoming to demanding, and well pretty well ignorant of everyone else’s feelings, and emotional well being. I’ve been here and done this one too many times. In fact almost all of my failures have come because of my inablity to be sensitive to the goals, and interests of my partners. A succesful partnership is one that listens and delegates effictively. Even if you are the CEO or the Vice President of your small business.
5. Failure to Listen
Often times its simply because you quit listening to your readership. Once you do that you are doomed. Failing to listen means failure in any business whether its a blog, or a bagel shop. Once you head down this path your doomed.
If I had to do it all over again. I would focus on building one site with multiple solid partners. Then as time grew on after a year or maybe even to I would branch out into one or two other sites instead of trying to grow so fast I couldn’t keep up with the work involved. So Future Blog Network Owners of the World remember to build one site at a time never losing track of your goal of building a large network of sites. Choose your partners wisely and create exit strategies that are amicable for all parties at the start. Don’t work to hard and don’t slack off to much. Growth is only as good as your emotional well-being and happiness in your newfound place in the blogosphere.
This post is written for new blog network owners, especially Thord.