Sketch a Blog Business first
What does a blog business look like? Who works there? How does it operate? While every business is unique in its operation, it’s possible to sketch out a broad set of roles to get a picture of what a blog business might look like, what staff will be needed, how workflow might be organized, and how a blog business might actually function on a day-to-day level. We’ll expand on this sketch in later chapters to flesh out a fully function model of blog business.
While blogging is not without its fair share of risks, there are also plenty of rewards. First and foremost is the satisfaction of running a successful publication. Watching your readership grow, seeing comments and discussion happening on your site, hearing from readers who enjoy the site, and seeing link-backs from sites you respect are all incredibly rewarding.
On a monetary level, a blog business can grow very large. One of the earliest blogging companies, Weblogs Inc, which included powerhouse blogs like Engadget and TUAW, sold for a reported $25m to AOL in 2005. Another high profile sale occurred in 2007 when environmental blog Treehugger sold for $10m to the Discovery Network. While a big sale to a listed company isn’t on the books for every blog, it’s certainly possible to do well purely on operating profits and revenue.
In the case studies in this blog, you’ll read about two blogs that I’ve worked on which have been fortunate enough to hit profitability and turn over enough cash to grow other businesses and to expand themselves to bigger revenues and larger audiences. In fact, later in this book we’ll look at how a blog can not only become very successful in its own right, but can also become the engine that drives new businesses such as blog networks, apps, services, or products like books and job boards.