Online Publishing Model that Works

by Dan Blank on November 17, 2006

Read/Write Web looks at the success of About.com. Here’s how did they hit it big with topic-focused blogs:

“31 Million people visiting it each month and according to Scott Meyer it has grown 30% in page views over the last year. Most of this growth can be attributed to one stat: About.com gets 80% of its total traffic from search engines.”

The model for leveraging the 500 blogs in About.com’s arsenal is impressive. Here is how they create the content:

“…the guides are ‘independent contractors’ and the average guide makes $15,000 per annum – the amount depends on how many page views they garner. The minimum amount a guide is currently making is $5,000, but Scott said they have 50 guides who earn over $50,000 per annum. One of the guides makes $200,000.”

But the real key is in the quality. Their guides consist of:

“…an ability to write well for the Web, a passion for the topic and expertise….[the] About.com network provides a much needed ‘how to’ and basic informational resource on the Web. One of the early uses of the Web was as a way to look up information and find out how to do things. Well, over a decade later, those needs are still here – and About.com is taking full advantage of it.”

Overall the site is a unique blend of scale and focus, and a testament to the power of search engine optimization.

Previous post:

Next post: