Starting a blog is a great way to share your opinions with the world and provide information to your followers. For some, however, blogging is more than just a hobby. A successful blog can bring in hundreds, or even thousands of dollars in affiliate income and ad revenue. Some bloggeres make enough money to quit their traditional jobs and work from home, and many more hope to turn their blogging into a full-time vocation some day.

If you are a working on building your blog empire, you may have heard about private blog networks. Private blog networks, or PBNs for short, are just what they sound like — a set of many different domains all owned by a single individual or group of individuals.

To the public at large, the blogs seem to be unrelated, but they tend to revolve around the same niche topic. In fact, a private blog network is one of the most powerful tools niche marketers use. The interconnected nature of the private blog network can boost ad revenue and relevance over time, especially if the owner of the network does things right.

Advantages Of Private Blog Networks (PBN’s)

One of the biggest advantages of building a private blog network is control. When you and your associates own a PBN, you have total control over the content that is posted and the links that are created. If you need to change the nature of the content to meet the needs of your niche, you can do so on the fly. A private blog network also makes testing easier, since you can make changes and test those changes very quickly.

The ability to control the anchor text is one more important reason to set up a private blog network. The anchor text is what appears as a hyperlink on the blog page. Clicking on that anchor text takes you to another site. In the case of a PBN, clicking the anchor text would take you to another blog in the network.

While you choose the domains for your private blog network any way you want, most people look for expired domains. There are a number of advantages to using expired domains for your PBN, but one of the most important is that search engines tend to give more weight to older domains than brand new ones. If you can find an expired domain that dates back to 2006, it will probably have more relevance than one you buy today.

The Cons Of Private Blog Networks

By now you might be thinking that a private blog network is a sure way to make money and build advertising revenue for your niche. Keep in mind, however, that these networks have their risks and limitations. It is important to keep these risks in mind and avoid doing things that could get your entire network penalized by Google and other search engines.

Even though private blog networks are legal, to some they seem like trickery. It may seem like you are trying to fool the reader into thinking that the dozens of domains you own are totally unrelated when in fact they are owned by the same individual or group of individuals.

Limiting Your Risk With Private Blog Networks

If you do plan to set up a private blog network, it is important to pay attention to hosting and to the IP addresses assigned to each domain. The IP address is critical, since they serve to differentiate the various domains. If all of the domains within your private blog network share the same IP address, Google might see some collusion and punish all of the domains accordingly.

When you set up hosting for your private blog network, it is very important that the host assign a distinct IP address to every domain you own. Not all hosts can provide that level of differentiation, so you may need to shop around to find suitable hosting. You may also have to pay more for your hosting than you are used to, but hopefully the increased ad revenue and affiliate income will make up for the extra expenses.

Proper Maintenance For A Private Blog Network

Once you have your hosting worked out and all of your domains purchased, the real work can now begin. Obtaining the expired domain names and getting the right hosting are only the beginning. If your private blog network is to be effective, you will need to provide readers with something of value. That means writing (or buying) quality content and keeping it fresh. These are blogs after all, and you will need to update all of your domains regularly to keep readers coming back.

It might be tempting to repurpose old content or post variations of the same theme on each of your blogs, but that is a shortsighted approach. Quality original content is more important than ever when you are building out a PBN, so take the time to do it right. If you are a good writer, you may be able to provide the content on your own. If not, you can work with a good freelancer or team of writers to provide the content you need. Just be sure the people you team with are reliable and sensitive to deadlines. If your private blog network consists of dozens of sites, just keeping them all updated could be a full-time job.

As with any other program, it is important to monitor your results on a regular basis. You might not see results right away. In fact, most new PBN owners do not see huge ad revenue right off the bat. What a private blog network does provide is the chance to build revenue over time, and that strategy can be very effective. The fact that you have total control over every aspect of the network, from the domains themselves to the articles posted there, gives you the chance to experiment and determine what works and what does not. By building on your successes and cutting your failures loose, you may be able to build a significant income over time.