Many people ask us how to build a private blog network. Most of those people aren’t aware of the time and financial commitment a private blog network can be. In the past, we have sold complete private blog networks for $10,000 – $20,000 depending on the total number of sites, PR, age, etc.
If you’re going to build your own private blog network, and do it right, you’re looking at thousands of dollars spent and countless hours setting up nameservers, IP addresses, domains, hosting, and the site.
Hosting and Domains
To build a private blog network correctly, you’ll want to first start with blog network hosting. After you get your hosting squared away, you’ll need to buy domains. There are different schools of thought for buying blog network domains. Some people only care about metrics like Page Authority (PA), Domain Authority (DA), Page Rank (PR) and similar metrics. PA and DA can be at OpenSiteExplorer.org.
When building a network for internal use, we prefer domain age and in bound links (IBLs) as the primary metrics. A domain is 8 years old with 400 good links is a great starting point. You will want to make sure you build your site around the domain name and the current IBLs. If the domain is movie related, build a movie related domain. If you’re building a niche network, this is more difficult. One option is to write related posts such as, “How Hollywood has Impacted Car Insurance Rates”.
Manage the Network
After you build the network you’ll need a way to manage the network. There are a few products like ManageWP that will allow you to manage your entire network from a central control panel. The other way is to create your own script or do it manually. Since you should have 100+ domains in your network, doing it manually is very time consuming. For our internal network, we have a custom control panel that is similar to ManageWP with a few extra options.
These are all time consuming parts of owning and running a network. Content is cheap but it adds up quickly. Most of the time you can get a 300-400 word article for $4-7. If you post once a week to each site, your content bill will be $20,000+ per month. You can post less often and buy cheaper content, but eventually you start to compromise your network by being cheap.
If you’ve taken the steps above you will most likely avoid detection, but it’s still possible. To further your chances of avoiding detection, each site should be different. Some shouldn’t have a disclaimer. All should get some social media features like Facebook page integration, Twitter accounts with followers and posts, Google +1’s and Google Authorship. These features increase the realism of your site but add considerable cost as well.
While you domains started out with links coming in, those will eventually drop off as sites die, get new CMS’s and the domains are no longer renewed by their owners. You will need to continue building links. At a very conservative estimate of $200 per domain per month, your monthly link building budget would be $20,000. This is one of the first places people will look to cut in their budget. When you cut your SEO budget you will negate the value of your network.
A domain with no IBLs isn’t very valuable.
Building a private blog network can be very beneficial to your business as you completely control the domains and links. It can also be very expensive. The setup and ongoing maintenance are usually more than most people expect. Our advice for building your private blog network comes from Luke 14:28-32, consider the cost before attempting your own private blog network.