by Rob Metras
For people that want to make money online, a number of new opportunities have arisen in recent years. One of the concepts that have been rapidly gaining ground is the use of social media. Rather than using publications that are driven by the large budgets of media companies, social media uses social connections and word of moth to spread information.
Of the many social media tools available, the weblog or blog is one of the most popular. Offering anyone with something to say a convenient place to say it, blogs are a remarkable tool in that anyone’s message can be read anywhere and by anyone.
Take a moment to think about the profoundness of that statement. Prior to the inception of social media and the internet, the cost of spreading a message was prohibitive. You’d have to rely on television or radio time, or have a budget that was large enough to meet the challenges of global or national publication. Blogs not only lesson the cost of spreading a message, but the make the platform available to almost everybody.
However, there is one down side to using this powerful tool. How do you keep your message from getting lost in all the noise? This is one of the main reasons that social media networking shines through, but even that has some drawbacks. How is someone without the much needed social capital able to break into the social networks in order to take advantage of everything offered?
This is where blog networks can help. Put simply, blog networks are collections of blogs related to specific topics, often grouped together to provide commercial and other forms of support. As these networks take many forms, generalizing them can be a challenge, but here are a few broad characteristics and the advantages they offer.
First of all, the blog networks will combine multiple blogs into one single feed. Ideally, you would be able to attract visitors to your site, allowing you to generate ad revenue as other revenues streams. However, in order to start making money online, you have to make your content accessible to many readers. If the administrators of the chosen blog networks feel that your site provides content that’s in keeping with their posted guidelines, your content will quickly be syndicated to all the readers that are following the network. Readers that are passionate about a particular topic, and the numbers can be staggering, find this a convenient way to access information. If readers find your posts interesting enough, they will visit your site often to join in discussions. This method allows you to attract viewers that would have been missed if you had focused all your attention on directly drawing traffic.
Additionally, blog networks will use social networking in order to promote themselves as well as their bloggers. It can be tough to integrate your blog into the social networks, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the opportunities that are available and the variety of ways in which a huge amount of technologies interact. Since most of the administrators of blog networks aren’t really concerned with content creation, since bloggers do it for them, they can concentrate their efforts of promotion. For example, blog networks may automatically post links to Twitter. With a catchy title, your blog post might attract curious readers, buy could also be retweeted and distributed beyond the individual network.
Another benefit to joining blog networks are the relationships formed within. For some, blogging can be lonely work, and getting started without the social connections can seem quite difficult. Even bloggers who would be quite good given time might give up in frustration due to lack of initial support, and the feeling of being a part of something larger. For the new blogger, such support and motivationmay make the difference between a successful career and something tossed aside in frustration.
There are a variety of networks from which to choose, ranging from general to networks that focus on particular niches. Blog networks also exhibit a wide array of models, from highly informal aggregations of feeds to well-structured businesses with associated benefits and costs. Before joining any of the blog networks, take some time to do some research and find the different options that are available for your topic, as there are many lists published online. Also, investigate the blogs of network members to ensure that theirs are weblogs with which you wish to associate.
Just like many other things, blog networks aren’t right for everyone. However, a blog network is a powerful tool that can help harness the power of social media to your benefit, and should be given serious consideration by anyone wishing to make money online.
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