This post is titled “How To Run A Poker Blog Network”, but it could just as easily called “An Easy Way To Make A Fortune As A Poker Affiliate”. I try to keep the focus of this blog on the practical, and any formula or plan for success assumes that you’re going to go about implementing that plan in an intelligent manner. For example, I’m going to explain how to create a profitable poker blog network. I don’t think plan will work very well if you try to scale it upward by using lame blackhat techniques.
This formula for running a poker blog network is for people who are good at and who like writing poker content. It’s also aimed at someone who wants to make a lot of money without hiring any employees or contractors, and who want to keep their costs to a minimum. The entire budget for this project I’m outlining is only about $350.
Running a Poker Blog Network Step 1 – Find five domains in five different poker niches.
If it were me, I would launch 5 poker blogs about the following 5 poker niches:
- Texas holdem
- Poker news
- Online poker sites
I’d go ahead and use domain names that were similar if I felt like it, so that I could build a brand. At the same time, if I had good ideas for different names for the five blogs, then I’d run with those instead. It doesn’t really make too much of a difference. You’re looking at a cost of about $10 per domain in registrations, and then another $50 or so for hosting each year.
You could also host all of your poker blogs on a free host, like blogspot or wordpress, but I don’t recommend it. But if you really want to bootstrap yourself from $0 to a lot of money, instead of from $350 to a lot of money, this is one way to do it. The disadvantages of hosting with blogspot or wordpress is the potential loss of data or downtime of your site if something goes wrong. If you have your own domain and host, then you don’t have to worry about it so much.
Use one of the free templates. Don’t worry about a lot of plug-ins for SEO purposes or anything else; they’re not as important as people let on. Put Google Analytics on the site so you can see what keyword phrases send you traffic.
Running a Poker Blog Network Step 2 – Set up a production schedule and start writing content.
Your goal is to post at least once a day to each of the five blogs. That’s 25 blog posts a week. If you spend an hour on each post, then you’re only working 25 hours a week on producing content. Your blog posts should be keyword-focused and unique. They don’t have to be brilliant, but they should be unique. When you get stuck for content, look at what other people in the poker industry are talking about on their blogs and forums, and express your opinions and thoughts on those issues.
When you do this, be sure to link out freely from within your posts. The people running these other blogs and forums will start to notice that you’re talking about them, and they’ll start talking about you too. You’ll get readers this way. And you’ll get links. Feel free to link to and from specific posts on your other blogs when appropriate too. For example, if you post about the WSOP Omaha winner in your poker news blog, mention and link to that article from withing your post on the Omaha blog too. Or if you post about Texas holdem starting hand strategy on the holdem blog, link to your post about Omaha 8 starting hand strategy from within it, and vice versa.
Shoot for between 500 and 1000 words per post, but don’t be afraid to go longer or shorter if that’s what the content demands.
Make it clear who you are when you write these posts. Don’t try to hide the fact that these five poker blogs all belong to you. It’s unnecessary and makes you look like you have something to hide, and you don’t.
Running a Poker Blog Network Step 3 – Get publicity.
The best way to get publicity to your blog network is to participate in poker forums and poker blogs. Use your blog’s name as your posting handle, or use your real name when you participate, and then use that as your handle on the forums and blogs. If a signature link is allowed, then feel free to include a link to one or more of your blogs. Link all of your blogs together from the sidebar. Don’t worry about getting penalized for crosslinking your sites. You have nothing to hide.
Find new poker bloggers and webmasters, and offer to help them with content on their sites. If you provide them with content and help when they’re starting out, then getting links and publicity for your site will be no problem. Link to a few of the best resources you can find on the particular poker niche for that blog from the sidebar. You’ll become part of the poker blogging community, and that will result in traffic and money.
If you have the time and money, submit your blog to a dozen or so blog and website directories.
Running a Poker Blog Network Step 4 – Monetize your blogs.
Offer advertising or sign up for affiliate programs, and then include the ads on your blog. Shoot for one or two ads per page. You don’t want to look like a bunch of blogs that are just there to create advertising money for yourself. Your blogs should be about poker, not about your ads.
Don’t sell text links. That just cheapens your blog and creates search engine risk. Link to bloggers, sites, and pages you like, and do it liberally, but don’t whore this stuff out. It’s more profitable to keep that aspect of your blog clean.
Running a Poker Blog Network Step 4 – Keep adding content according to your keyword referral logs.
Remember how I suggested that you use Google Analytics? You’ll be able to see what people are finding your site for. Use that information to come up with fresh new topics to talk about. Or display how much you care about the same topics your readers do by writing about them multiple times.
This is a recipe for a profitable poker blog network. Most of the steps and the philosophy apply just as well to running a network of poker microsites as well, or poker minisites, or whatever you want to call them.