NetBusinessBlog.com’s Downward Spiral

Three weeks ago the blogosphere was buzzing about NetBusinessBlog.com, the site that Matt Coddington sold to Adrian Cooke for $13,000. I followed the site religiously until Adrian took over, but to be honest it just isn’t the same site anymore. I was really curious about how this site would do after the owner/writer change, so I have been watching a few stats including Alexa ranking. I picked up this graph at Alexa.com:

NetBusinessBlog

Alexa is the best source we have to estimate a site’s traffic. Although Alexa isn’t perfect, it’s a decent way to judge a site’s momentum. As you can see, the graph isn’t pretty. I’m not a technical analyst, but I don’t think you have to be to know that NetBusinessBlog is in a downward spiral.

What’s Going Wrong For Adrian?
Based on Adrian’s first post, he didn’t have any experience blogging. He did have a lot of experience in the e-commerce world, but his area of expertise is a lot different than Matt’s. Adrian built a successful internet store called MyMemory.co.uk, where he sold digital memory products.

If I had to describe what NetBusinessBlog was about before Adrian took over, I would say that the overwhelming theme was how to create small, niche sites. Matt also covered industry buzz, but I think it’s safe to say that people really liked Matt’s simple approach to building sites that were realistic.

Since taking over, Adrian has written about a fast-checkout shopping cart, how forums don’t make money, and about how he just learned what PayPerPost, ReviewMe, and SponsoredReviews are. I’m thinking that he doesn’t realize that most of his readers don’t sell any products at all – they use alternate monetization methods like Adsense, PayPerPost, ReviewMe, and SponsoredReviews. By the way, you can make a killing with an awesome forum.

What’s sad for Adrian is that there are tons of people out there that want to learn the concepts he’s covering – they just aren’t the same people that read his blog. He is obviously very experienced in e-commerce but he would have been a lot better off starting from scratch and building a base of readers with the same interests. I personally think it was a mistake to pay 13k for a reader base in a niche that he was unfamiliar with.

Where do you guys think this deal went wrong? Should Adrian have passed on NetBusinessBlog? Should he just change the topics he writes about? Should he stick to his guns and find the readers that are interested in selling products online?

Comments 23

  1. I think it was a bad idea for him to buy the blog because it really isn’t going well for him. I think buying blogs in general isn’t a great idea because well established blogs almost always have their own “flare” or “personality” that only the original author(s) can create and when someone else takes over it would be hard to keep the same attitude (also writing style differences may play a role into this). Now, back to Adrian, I think he should try to do a bit more research before posting and he should write less controversial posts for atleast a little while to calm down the blog’s many furious readers (I was looking through some of the comments today and people are just laying it down for him, I feel bad for the guy but I think the readers do have a good reason). Either way, Adrian better think of something fast before he loses most of his readers.

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      That’s a very important point – blogs do have their own flare and many people are attracted to the personality of the blogger. Change the flare and… you get a downward spiral.

  2. I think it’s always best to write about what you have experience in and are passionate about. You can also write on subjects about which you have passion and are still learning about, but in this case, it sounds like Adrian’s topic isn’t even the same as what was already established on the blog he purchased.

    The established readers had already come to have expectations, based on what Matt had been writing about. If Adrian wasn’t going to continue in the same vein, then I think you are right Court, that he would have done better starting off from scratch. 😉

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      I think you’re right Jolynn, it is best to write about the areas you’re experienced in, and that fact might be putting Adrian in a catch-22.

  3. Court,

    I absolutely agree that Adrian bought outside his niche. What he needs to do is outsource the writing for netbusinessblog.com and start a new blog on e-commerce. He might even want to consider building a monetization blog network so he can leverage some of the traffic from netbusinessblog.com for his new blog.

    That way he’s not alienating the readers already hooked and he has a good chance of converting some over to his ecommerce blog.

    Sara

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  4. I’m not convinced that a successful blog can be sold and continue to be successful. Basically because a blog depends very much on the owner/writer and their style.

    It will be interesting to see how Career Ramblings fairs after being sold for $20.000

    I very much expect the same outcome.

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      I feel the same way Steve. I plan fully on writing a similar post about CareerRamblings here in a few weeks. I guess it always depends on who is purchasing the site though. If Darren Rowse bought it, he could improve it. If 99% of the rest of the world bought it, it would be a waste of 20k.

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  5. This is like buying a store and changing all the merchandize. Or a restaurant and changing the whole menu.

    Obviously, there is value in the web equivalent of “location”, but if the old customers don’t like the new store or restaurant, they won’t come back just because it’s in the same “place”.

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      Exactly! Did you see that he wrote a post today on building niche, mini sites? Lol I’m glad to see he’s going back to what got NetBusinessBlog to where it once was.

  6. Yes. That was an interesting article.

    Of course, the one problem with that method of choosing a domain name is that you need to want to blog about the topic that matches the keyword rich donain name. I know you can pick and chose, but unless I was planning to scrap content, I’d be wasting my time ad $7 buying anything that matched “Salmon River Rafting”!

    Still, if I’d read that before picking “bigbucksblogger”, I might have a quicker start.

  7. Who is laughing now…his blog now has over 2k readers and has been named in the top 10 Make Money Online blogs for 2007!!

    I think he has done very well. You guys don’t no shit…idiots!

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  8. If you look at the Alexa traffic, it’s about the same, so he has done a good job of keeping the traffic.

    Although good Feedburner numbers are nice to have, they are not always a true indicator of blog success. They are usually an after effect of a good post that stays, even when the reader doesn’t.

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  9. This blog is no longer Adrian’s please update this post and remove personal names and company details.

    Thank you.

  10. This actually is certainly Superior experience having writing and lots of due to yahoo search engine decide up me on here. I liked reading your content and added to the ebook marks. The options you used to put up was clearly understandable. My husband also appreciated after studying this post. Let me go through for extra earlier.

  11. I completely agree with the note and your point of view! Good someone has decided to speak about this thing. I can’t wait to see your next posts! Sure they all are as great as this one is. Well done!

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