In my last article, Leveraging your online popularity, I talked about getting others to write content for your site and getting it for free. I told how setting up something like that will help you lessen your own workload while also helping you earn more money from your online endeavors.
This might sound too good to be true, but believe me, it is absolutely true, and I am going to show you how you can do it. One of the first steps is that you really need to stop treating your online activities as a hobby and treat it as a business. When you start devoting the time to your online activities like you would do it was a business, that is when you are going to start gaining popularity, and when you gain popularity, that is when you can leverage that popularity to make more money.
How? It’s not really that hard, to be honest.
My most popular website is a site called “Live in the Philippines, the Web Magazine for Expats in the Philippines, and those who want to join them.” The nickname that I call that site is “LiP,” which you will see references to later in this article. I started this website as a blog back in 2006. I was not too serious about it at first, only just posted articles about once per month or so. After 6 months or so, I decided to make it the place where I spent a lot of my online efforts. After just a few months, the site started building a following, and I asked my wife to join me as a second author on the site. I felt that sharing her opinion would give a nice counter-balance to what I was saying. While it was a little hard to get my wife, Feyma, to write regularly, with some constant pushing, I got some regular articles out of her. A month or so later, I saw that this was working pretty nicely, and I invited a few others to join as authors. The site began expanding in orders of magnitude, and soon I had a whole stable of writers.
A month or so ago, a friend of mine wrote me an e-mail and asked a question about that site. Here is what he said:
BTW, not that I’m starting a multi-writers blog, but was there a way to transfer the scheme with ad blocks for individual authors on their created pages, or have you changed that scheme.
Since you don’t know the context of our earlier conversation, let me explain what he was asking. He wanted to know how I shared the money that the site earned with other writers.
The rest of this article will consist of the response that I sent to my friend, slightly edited to make more sense for readers who were not in on the earlier conversation.
OK… your question about multi-author blogs and revenue sharing…
This is very complicated, and my answer is only my experience. There are lots of ways to go about this. None are perfect, for sure, some are better than others.
Let’s look at a few ways to do it:
1. If you have one blog with multi-authors, it is not easy to assign ad blocks by the author. I know of no way to do it. There probably are ways, I just don’t know of any.
2. There are several plugins out there (sorry, I don’t know the names, as I don’t use any, but I do know they exist). These plugins will assign AdSense earnings to each author depending on what factors you consider. I believe you can set up something like “if John gets 10% of the pageviews, give him 10% of the ad impressions” or something. No, they will not be impressions only on his articles, but rather 10% of the ad views on the site. This may or may not be fair, depending on how you look at it.
3. You could just split up the earnings based on the number of writers. You could use one AdSense account and then, let’s say you have 10 writers… you keep 20% of the ad earnings for yourself (as the publisher) and give everybody else 8% each. This would all be manual.
In short, it’s up to you to decide how you do it, and how much everybody gets.
At the beginning of making LiP a multi-author site, I used WP-MU (WordPress Multi-User) to set up basically a different blog for each author. For those who had AdSense accounts, I put their own AdSense on their own site. For the AdSense rules of 3 ads per page… they got 2 of the ads, and I got one, for letting them participate.
Later, I decided not to give the writers any AdSense money at all. I find that is the best solution, personally.
Here is the thing… most of the good writers are not doing it for the money. They do it for a couple other reasons:
- Make themselves more well known, which in turn allows them to make more money on their own sites.
- A lot of the guys do it for the love of the writing only.
What I do, though, is that every person who writes gets to put his blog on the Blogroll, and also, if he has a business that lends itself to the site, he gets an ad on the site for his business.
If you ever decide to set up any kind of multi-author blog, let me tell you… it is a lot of work! It’s really nothing like having a blog of your own. You are less of a writer and more of a publisher. Editing is a huge job. Chasing people down to find out why they are not writing articles on a schedule is a huge job. I enjoy it a lot, but there are also some hassles. Also, I believe that having a multi-author blog is a way to build a site that you (not YOU… anybody) could never build up by himself, or would be very difficult to do. I don’t think that LiP could ever achieve the level that it has achieved if it were just me, or me and Feyma. It’s rewarding, but it’s work too!
So, as you can see, because of the fact that I had gained a large audience from this site (and others that helped build my profile), a lot of people wanted to write on my site. They were even willing to do it for free to help them gain some name recognition with my audience. How they used that recognition then determined if some of my online following would also adopt them and pull people to their sites.
The thing is, if they wrote good articles on my site, readers would most certainly go and check out their sites. On their site, they can certainly make money from my readers who followed them there.
So, while I pay the writer nothing, I have leveraged my popularity to get them to join me and write for me, and they can still earn money themselves by drawing readers to their site and increasing the popularity of their own site.
So, as you can see, you can indeed leverage your own popularity to attract others to write content on your website!