Common Blog Business Models: What Works What Not?

Flagship blogs, that is business blogs with really valuable content often have either an obvious or underlying business model. After more than one year in the blog business or rather watching it I have noticed some patterns with professional bloggers. Aside all that “make money online” (please click my affiliate ads) crap there is real business value in blogs I want to outline.

So what are the most common blog business models?

1. Selling your blog
There was a spectacular blog sale a few weeks ago. A blog run by one single blogger was sold for 15 million Dollars. This is of course an exception but many bloggers sold their blogs. Some of them started at the same time when I did.

2. Offering consulting or other services
This is what many a-list bloggers do it seems. There are also many less popular ones of course who do that and also company blogs often fulfil that purpose. Especially my colleagues in the SEO niche continue to follow that path. In fact, I do a little consulting due to my blog too by now.

3. Becoming a blog network/full time blogger
A blogger who amazed me this year is Steven Snell of Vandelay Design who started as a blogger offering design services with his company and ended up as the head of a 3 flagship blogs empire. Skellie is another example, after getting extremely popular with her first blog she just added a second one.

4. Serving niche products to your audience
This is a trend I see all over the place, people offering products for their audiences once they accumulated enough readers and subscribers and gained enough trust to be regarded as an authority.

5. Blog as resume and becoming a writer elsewhere
This is a business model I’ve seen with many of the brightest lights among last years blogging upstarters. Ann Smarty of SEO Smarty who writes for Search Engine Journal is one the best examples but also Skellie whom I have mentioned in #3 already. She’s a writer for Problogger among others.

So I’ve seen more than a few good examples for each route and it seems it worked for all of them more or less. So here are my questions to my fellow bloggers:

  • Did you choose one of these or another business model?
  • Did you succeed or fail with it?
  • What worked, and what didn’t work?

Why do I ask? One reason is that I’m still very fond of blogging or rather more than ever. I consider many ways of expanding my blog business which still is more a hobby than anything compared to my SEO work. So inspire me! You already do, but make me feel it!

In case you suspect I want to sell this blog: Hell no! I might rear up some new blogs though and sell them after a while, who knows…