Blog life cycle, and how success kills the content

Every blog (in the Make Money Online category) goes through a “blog life cycle”, some blogs go through all stages and others experience only some of them, i.e they do not reach the end. These stages of the “blog life cycle” (defined by me) are:

  1. State 1: blog creation – new blog gets created
  2. Stage 2: blog recognition – blog starts to get recognized in the blogosphere and often gets linked by other blogs, success is near
  3. Stage 3: blog authority – blog becomes authority in certain field, traffic soars and money pours in…
  4. Stage 4: after success – blog either turns into community based blog that is run by the original blogger, or is run by the same blogger but loses the usefulness that it once had

High traffic often leads to content-kill

When your blog starts to get high traffic and your readership expands, it often leads to positive changes for you (the blogger) and not so positive for the readers.

Because when your blog is getting hundreds of thousands of unique visitors a month, you will be approached by dozens of different types of advertisers. Most of them will be direct advertisers, and you will rely less on the traditional publisher programs that most of the blogs in the blogoshpere are using.

That means, if previously you were writing on various publisher programs and how they performed on your blog, after Stage-4 of the blog life cycle, you won’t be talking about them anymore. You won’t be citing different publisher programs and how much money each made for you. This types of posts are usually a good indicator to your readers about various publisher programs’ performances.

But when you are running direct advertisers, and no longer using normal publisher programs, you won’t be posting such posts anymore. And that, diminishes some degree of usefulness from your content.

Content turns into news about latest conventions, expos, gatherings…etc

Another sign of the blog riding on the waves of the success is that, the posts will turn into news about the latest blog conventions. You will be reading a lot of “I will be attending this convention….”, “I am in this expo now, here are the pics….”, “I have attended that gathering, here is the pics….” posts.

Again, it’s a great thing for the blogger, but not so great for the readers who want to learn something. During this time, daily great posts that user used to take for granted will be a thing of the history.

Blog turns into launchpad

Success will also attract lots of new businesses, every new business will want to advertise on your blog. Consquently, your blog will turn into a launchpad that has little benefit to the ordinary blogger.

How to control the damage of the success

The decision would depend on what you want to do with your blog, once it has reached Stage-4. Whether you want to keep it relevant to the bloggers or to take it to the next level and turn it into something different – something BIG!

If you want to stay relevant to your readers, then the better option would be to turn it into community based blog. Darren of problogger.net has chosen this way. He often asks his readers questions, makes polls, conducts researches and gets tons of feedback from his readers. After that, based on the provided answers he constructs well written posts (publishes results) that will be beneficial to the bloggers themselves. He also allows guest bloggers to write articles in his blog. The result is a hugely successful, relevant, community based blog, that is steered by Darren himself.

On the other hand, if you want to take your blog into the next level, you could become the next TechCrunch, having tons of your own other networks. Obviously you would be venturing into new fields and that would mean that you will be loosing some of your previous community members. But at the same time, you will be acquiring new community with new interests.

So the decision is in your hands. You are the captain of the ship and you decide to which shores it should take you. Just remember that, if you are going to be successful one day, then you will have to deal with this situation at one point in the future.