Should You Work for Blog Networks?

Please don’t come after me with the torches and pitch forks. I loved blogging for networks. I blogged for b5Media, Know More Media, About.com and others and they will always have a special place in my heart. We can’t have a network blogging blog however, without touching on what’s going on in the blogosphere at least a little bit.

Unsteady Times

In the past few months networks have closed down, reduced pay or cut out pay altogether. Recent news events show a very shaky economy. After seeing bank collapses and what’s considered by many to be the end of Wall Street, one does have to consider job security. I believe the meaning of job security is all in the eye of the beholder, however.

I’ve been receiving a lot of email lately at my Freelance Writing Jobs blog regarding blog networks. Most want to know if they’re still worth it. Should we continue to blog for someone else, or is it more realistic to create our own blogs and keep all the revenue?  I don’t know all the answers, but I can give you a few things to think about.

What is your time worth?

First of all, it’s a lot of work to build a blog. Indeed it took three years for me to have enough traffic and revenue to be able to pay three bloggers to help me at FWJ. So if you’re working for a successful network, say b5Media or Splashpress Media, a lot of the legwork is done for you and in many cases the readership is there. You might also earn more money through a network than starting up your own blog.

From what I’m seeing and reading though, not many bloggers are as confident in putting all their eggs in the network blogging basket nowadays, and I can understand their concern. My heart and soul goes into my blogs. Why would I want to pour everything I am into a network blog and end up with a small paycheck or worse – my blog being discontinued?

On the flip side, with a network blog you have a the privilege of blogging for a recognized and well respected brand, with technical support, training tools and more at your disposal.  Is it worth it for you to let someone else handle the deep details while you do what you enjoy most – blog?

Whatever, Deb. Should I blog for a network or not?

Here’s the thing. Despite all the worried emails I’m receiving, I can’t make your blogging decisions for you. And contrary to some very nasty emails and messages, I don’t have any deep inside information regarding certain networks. I can’t make your blogging decisions for you.

I don’t know how long blog networks will be around, I don’t know how much you will be paid, I don’t know terms of your contract and I can’t predict job stability. It’s up to each individual blogger to match blogging effort with pay and benefits. Does the end justify the means? Are you happy with the rewards you’re reaping from your blogging experience? Does it matter more to you to blog than it does to make money online?

Consider the pay plus the perks. Does what you earn plus the benefit of additional promotion, technical support and training make it worth it to you to blog for a network? If so, by all means, do what makes you happy. If you find you’re spending hours working on your blog and not earning enough to cover your labor and expenses, you many wish to reconsider.

I realize this post is rambling but I’m hearing from a lot of confused people who think I know all the answers. I don’t. Go with your heart. Go with your gut and make the best decisions for you – not anyone else. Be happy.

Comments

  1. Deb – Great post! I’ve always taken the position that working for blog networks should be likened to belonging to the country club or some other esteemed group that allows you to rub elbows with influential people more often than what independent blogging would allow.

    Blogging is a game of chance – some hit big, some don’t.

    I keep recalling an interview I once read that had been conducted with Donald Trump – he was asked if he were to lose everything today, what would he do tomorrow. His response was “network, network, network”

    Blogging for a network gives you more visibility than blogging alone. That’s the biggest benefit, bar none.

    I’ve blogged for blogs that make peanuts, but those blogs helped build my online image and resume and has gotten me to where I am today.

    I do make a full time living on the net but I do so by keeping my toes in several areas:

    Static websites

    Blogging independently

    Network blogging

    as a Channel Editor

    Freelance writing gigs

    and Web design/maintenance

    Not putting all your eggs in one basket is absolutely the best advice you could give.

    Thanks for shedding a much needed light on this topic.

  2. As a new blogger my network – 5bmedia – has not only given the blog I own more traffic, it taught me about blogging. Even in flux, as it is, I’m more hopeful than afraid. I love my network. I’m also making more money on my network than with my own blog. I hate not having copyright to my work though. I share a lot of personal details and someone else owns them . . .hate that.

  3. Um, one, Deb you are a mind reader, because this is all I think about lately, now I don’t have to post it. And two, I agree with both Gayla (especially the Blogging is a game of chance statement) and Tracee. They covered what I think pretty well. I will add that I’m less and less thrilled about having all my eggs in the client run basket, but no one ever said you can’t blog for others and yourself at the same time. Of course maybe that’s a whole other post.

  4. Hey Tracee, look over your contract again. Are you sure you don’t have copyright?

    Deb, I thought you knew everything. How disappointing ; )

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