You probably already visited or heard about I Can Has Cheezburger? right? It is the blog that pioneered the concept of adding funny captions to pictures of cats (called lolcats). What you might not know is the business empire that such blog created.
The blog was launched early in 2007, and late that year it was already so popular that a group of investors, led by Ben Huh, acquired it for around $2 million. After that Ben acquired and launch a bunch of other blogs, all of them with the same humorous approach and style. How big is the network today? According to a TechCrunch article, all the sites combined receive 12 million monthly unique visitors. Just to give you a frame of reference, Digg.com gets around 48 million monthly unique visitors (according to Compete), which is only four times more.
Another interesting part from that article is the strategy used to develop new blog ideas. Here is a quote:
People frequently forget that Huh actually acquired I Can Has Cheezburger? and the FAIL Blog—he didn’t start them. (More on that purchase price below…) Since then he’s opened dozens of humor sites, about 50% of which fail, but some grow spectacularly fast, proving that LOLCats wasn’t a fluke and that Huh has an eye for what makes something funny in that specific viral sort of Internet way. Right now, he’s got a spreadsheet of 150 ideas that he’s moving around, honing and assigning to a team of writers who each curate about five blogs each.
Overall it is an interesting case study, and certainly evidence that blogging can be big business.