Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Become a Co-op Blogger

By Will Chen on 10 May 2007 (Updated 20 October 2007) 5 comments
Photo: justinosh

"By Google's calculation a new blog is being created every second of every day. The average blog is read by one person." Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google

"99% of people who try to generate serious income from their blogs will fail." Steve Pavlina, successful personal development blogger.

With 86,400 blogs being created everyday, a problogger needs to be more than just a good writer if he wants to succeed. To stand out from the crowd, he also has to be a great marketer, ad salesman, tech guru, SEO specialist, public relations rep, and sometimes even a lawyer.

Juggling all these responsibilities is nearly impossible, especially for a solo blogger who is only blogging part time. One solution is joining an established blog network. But blog networks take a hefty cut of your profits, and at the end of the day you are still an employee working for someone else.

The best solution is to join a co-op blog, which can provide bloggers professional-level support without taking away their profits.

What is Co-op Blogging?

Wise Bread, the blog you are reading right now, is an experiment in co-op blogging. Our model is simple:

  • We have fifteen great bloggers covering the topic of personal finance.
  • Each blogger keeps 100% of the revenue generated by his or her articles.
  • Different people in our group take on specific tasks such as marketing, monetizing, tech support, etc.

There are five reasons why co-op blogging is the way of the future.

Reason 1: Co-op Blogs Provide Professional-Level Support

A co-op blog benefits from the efficiencies generated by the division of labor and economies of scale. Here is a comparison between what a solo blogger can do versus what a co-op blog can accomplish:

What a Solo Blogger Can Do

One person trying to juggle all these tasks with only his own resources.

What a Co-op Blog Can Do

Different people becoming an expert in each specialized task. Each person can draw upon the aggregate resources of the entire community.

Marketing

A solo blogger might do some link exchanges, join some carnivals, participate in blog contests, tell friends and family about the blog, comment on ther blogs, and maybe run a small ad campaign.

Marketing

Everything the solo blogger does for marketing can be done by a co-op blog on a much larger scale.

If a co-op blog has 15 people with 15 times the resources of a solo blogger, it can participate in 15 times more blog carnivals, contests, ad campaigns, link exchanges, etc.

A co-op blog also has the resources to run more sophisticated campaigns, such as publishing press releases, syndicating articles to newspaper websites, generating viral PR stunts, signing bloggers up for interview opportunities, organizing social bookmarking opportunities, forming strategic partnerships with other top websites, etc.

Monetization

A solo blogger will try the usual suspects like Google Adsense, Amazon Associates, Text Link Ads, Blogads, etc.

Some of the smarter solo bloggers will make an effort to sell their ad space themselves by putting up an "advertise here" page.

Monetization

A co-op blog has the time and resources to actively seek out direct advertisers and bypass the ad brokers which are taking 20-60% cut of ad revenues.

A dedicated ad sales team can make a huge difference in a blog's bottom line.

Technology

A typical solo blogger will install a Word Press or Blogspot blog, host it on Dreamhost, sign up for Sitemeter or Google Analytics, and install a few plugins when they become popular.

Technology

With a dedicate tech person, a co-op blog can install more complex content management systems with serious community building capabilities, such as forums, member profile pages, multi-language support, chat boxes, event calendars, photo galleries, social bookmarking, etc.

Instead of installing features only after they become popular, a co-op blog can actively develop features and be on the cutting edge of the blogosphere.

2>Reason 2: Co-op Bloggers Make More Money

Advertisers often rely on statistical indicators such as Alexa rankings, Google Page Rank, incoming link count, Technorati ranking, and RSS subscriber count to decide how much they will pay for advertising (e.g. Text Link Ads).

Because these stats are cumulative for each domain name, a co-op blog has a huge advantage over solo blogs. For example, if a solo blogger can attract 100 incoming links to his blog, a co-op blog with fiften bloggers can probably get at least 1,500 incoming links.

When advertisers go shopping for ad space, which blog do you think they will pick?

In addition to advertising, a co-op blog has the resources to explore other revenue streams, such as adding a store, getting exclusive sponsorships, creating classified ads, etc. With a dedicated monetizing team, a co-op blog can spend more time on direct sales, research, and experimentation.

Reason 3: Co-op Blogging Creates Exponential Traffic Growth

Search Engine Traffic

Google is the biggest source of traffic for most websites. If one of your posts gets on the first page of Google's search results for a good keyword, you are guaranteed a significant amount of traffic. Google generally awards the top search result positions to websites with frequent updates and a high number of incoming links. The co-op blog has a tremendous advantage over a solo blog for both of these factors.

Social Bookmarking Traffic

For most solo bloggers, making the front pages of Digg or Reddit is a very rare occurence. A single blogger can only come up with so many brilliant ideas. When bloggers work as a team, there is a greater likelihood of at least one of them hitting a home run every week or so. Once a co-op blog string together a series of home runs, power Diggers will add the blog to their RSS feeds, thus increasing the blog's chances for success even more.

Reason 4: Co-op Bloggers Generate Higher Quality Content

Co-op bloggers are not necessarily better writers. But with a great support system, they do have a better chance of creating higher quality content for the following reasons:

  • Co-op blogging generates higher traffic and income, which in turn give the co-op blogger more incentive to take blogging seriously.
  • Instead of trying to come up with three posts a day, a co-op blogger can take days or even weeks to research a single great post. They know that in their absence, other co-bloggers will step up and keep the readers interested. Solo bloggers, on the other hand, must blog everyday or risk losing their readers.
  • Collaborating with other great bloggers gives a co-op blogger an opportunity to get invaluable feedback from people they trust and respect.

Reason 5: Co-op Blogs Can Grow Into Robust Communities

A robust forum is a great way to attract and retain traffic. Unfortunately, successful forums are very hard to launch. As problogger Darren Rowse pointed out, you need a core group of passionate users to jump start the conversation.

Co-op blogs have a built-in group of forum users: the bloggers themselves. If each co-op blogger brings in just a few of their friends you immediately have a viable core group that will help keep the forum going in its early stages.

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Guest's picture

Thanks for sharing this. I find it very enlightening.

Jessica Okon's picture

That made me like writing here even more than I already do!

Will Chen's picture

*points upwards*

There's one of our awesome bloggers now with a testimonial. =)

Guest's picture

Excellent argument. Really gives this solitary blogger something to think about...

Guest's picture
Joel

So how do you find or start a co-op blog?