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November 23, 2005

Why Kill a Dead Blog? Archives = Free Audience

Nick Denton announced he is killing OddJack:

So we’re closing down Oddjack by the end of the month. We’d rather concentrate our energies on sites such as Deadspin, which have buzz and a growing audience, and new launches, which have equal potential. The moral of the story: it’s easy to launch sites; much harder to make them popular.

Being the smart ass that he is, Nick asked Jason when they would be closing their dead blogs. Jason responded:

Why close them? They can sit there and get traffic, make Adsense revenue, and serve as a resource for folks. I think the model is to leave these sites up… I don’t see the point in taking them down.

The two big tips there:

  • Archives have zero incremental cost. When blogs get past the break even point each additional day is more logarithmic profit growth (due to more content, more linkage data, and search engines trusting the sites more).
  • New channels are cheap. A new blog can be launched for $20. If you already have a solid well known blog you can use that market position to market the new site at virtually no cost (other than time).
  • Quality channels are a bunch of work. In spite of a ton of market research data you can’t be certain how successful a blog will be. In some markets it may make sense to make the least spammy channel, but if you are in a competitive field where there are other authors passionate about the topic it is much harder to build an audience large enough to monetize unless you put a ton of work into the blog.

Want to be a blog network mogul? A while ago I teased Andy Hagans calling him a blog overlord. He recently wrote on the subject.

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