A blog network is a group of people writing together to cover a set of topics all as part of the same larger group.
- Some blog networks are writers with their own unique blogs, only connected through the network as a way of building a community, such as 9Rules.
- Another kind of network is more like an ezine where the writers post to one site, like Blogging Tips, Smashing Magazine, or Salon.com. There are also networks like this based on locations like FreshDaily.ca, a Canadain blog network with sites for Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
- Most blog networks are individual niche blogs all formated and maintained as per the network standards and rules. Examples of this kind of blog network are: Suite101, About.com, Creative Weblogging, Wired Blogs, LockerGnome, WritersWriteInc, DailyPixel, BellaOnline, B5 Media, Weblogs Inc. .
That third type of blog network is the easiest to spot and fairly easy to join and be accepted as a writer. Advantages to being in a blog network like this, versus DIY (doing it all yourself) is having technical support, an ad network already set up and promotion from the network (as it promotes itself and your blog among others).
One disadvantage is having to follow the rules set out by the network. You may not always like how they do things. Some networks will listen to your ideas for change, many do not. You may have to run more ads than you would like to. Some blog networks will have your written content show up under a lot of ads, to the point where readers have to scroll down to find any content at all. (I don’t highly recommend a network that does this).
Also, you may be restricted in how you can use the content you write for the network. Some networks want to have a claim on the content you write, this is one thing you must investigate before joining. No blog network should expect to own (and have all rights to) your articles/ posts unless they pay well for them. Some networks will not allow you to post something you have written previously, they only want completely fresh content, never posted elsewhere. This can make it hard to stick to a tight posting schedule, especially if you are expected to write long posts.
Don’t start with any blog network expecting to make a lot of money and see your traffic bloom overnight. You still have to do your own work, a lot of it. Whatever promoting the network does is for the network itself, it’s only a bonus to your own work on promoting your own individual topic on the network. This is one reason to pick an established and well known network. Being a part of something larger than yourself will give you credentials and give you some authority on the topic you write. (You do still have to actually know what you are writing about however).
Before you joined a blog network spend time looking at the blogs already in the network. Do you like the layout, the set up? Are they getting traffic and blog comments? Have you heard of the blog network or seen it referenced in other places? Are they easy to read or do they carry so many ads the content is pretty much secondary? What do you think of the blogs you look at from the point of a reader? Will being part of this network benefit you in prestige, community or profits from ads? If you send a note to a couple of the bloggers already in the network do they reply, do they take a really long time to reply? If you can get a reply are the bloggers chatty or do they try to send a one sentence reply as if they don’t want to interact at all? Read all you can about the network on their site, make sure it is a good fit for you before you make a lot of plans for finding fame and fortune there.
Note: I’m not recommending any of the blog networks here just by posting them. I wanted to give anyone interested a selection of blog networks to look over.