Numerous online website and companies use Google as a source of revenue for their product or services and also to strategize how they will align with their competitors. The competition is fierce, no doubt, and the quest to be at the top of the Google search engine in any industry is coveted by large and small businesses alike.
Major online blog networks base and build their business model around advertising sales, keyword strategizing and placement and search engine ranks. The search for being first, being on top and being the most clicked site(s) consumes most days of CEO’s, journalists, bloggers, freelance writers and online marketers. But what happens when you simply cannot compete with the stiff competition that is in Google’s tight grasp, only to be given to the highest bidder or the most prolific clicker?
Only last week, Know More Media, a large online blogging network of business news and developments, announced that they would be closing their doors forever. Know More Media had been struggling some time with ad revenue and securing sponsors to keep their network afloat, but as the business owners found out…it was too little, too late.
Blogging is a task that is easy for any writer to begin. It’s been the latest craze for a number of years. As of December 2007, Technorati (a social networking site) reported that they are tracking over 112 million blogs on their system! Blogs are created for personal journals, corporate blogs (in the case of the one I write here for Corporate-Eye) and network blogs, like the one that was maintained by Know More Media.
The ease of starting and maintaining a blog for a writer is simple. He simply writes great, compelling content, uploads it to the blog and gets paid. How simple is that? But the business end of blogging for a corporate organization or a network is wholly a different story. The corporate blog network must constantly analyze data that relates to traffic, sponsors and ads and they have to continually review conversion rates and how those numbers factor into the revenue’s bottom line. It is a business that is easy to run but is a business nonetheless. Essentially, if a network is not productive or can not generate significant revenue through their ad placements, they suffer and this can make the network unappealing to potential sponsors or those willing to place ads on the sites.
Know More Media handled the news quite well and quite professionally in letting their bloggers and the Internet public know what the turn of events would be in the upcoming weeks. There were lots of sad bloggers and lots of heated discussions in the blogosphere on the reasons why this blog network failed. No one but the executives and the founders know exactly what caused the network to crumble, but there is general agreement that in order for a network of any size to function well and stay in competition, they must be managed well, be business savvy and know the inner workings of effective strategizing, marketing and online advertising in order for the network to experience success.
I for one was one of the bloggers at the network, and was taken aback by the news. My leadership blog at Leader Notes was one that had been started by the CEO of Know More Media, Hal Halladay. When I first began blogging on the network, there was an air of positive energy, attitudes that said “full steam ahead” and a business that was dedicated to thriving and seeing their bloggers do the same. It is amazing how so much can change in such a small amount of time.
Now with so many unanswered questions looming overhead, what will happen to the blogs, the bloggers, the founders and the network as a whole? How does a company bounce back from such a devastating action? What steps can your company take to ensure that this type of thing is avoided? Although the network is leaving and there are a number of bloggers in indecisive states, Know More Media is an unfortunate example of how quickly a business can take a turn for the worst. They have shown us all that we must carefully make provisions for the unknown and constantly think two to three frames ahead of ourselves in our business mind frame. I now speculate perhaps how they wish they had the chance to re-think all of their decisions…again.
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