Here's a viable step by step to building a network of blogs. Monetization is via selling guest blog posts. In today's link building environment, guest blog posts are 'the' way for people to build links - it's possible to be on the backend of this, and make it repeatable.
By way of background, a couple of years ago I wanted to investigate how bloggers were monetizing. So I bought a good but defunct blog for $500 then sold it out like a $10 hooker. I have added no content to the site myself, simply sold stuff. The site now makes $100-$300 per month on average selling guest blog posts. It's in the financial sector, PR4 and I retail blog posts for $199. (Aside - don't bother contacting me about any of this - I will explicitly not sell you blog posts or anything else through WebmasterWorld. This post is informational, not an ad for my services). No penalty, no PR slap, nothing. And if it does go sideways in Google someday, who cares? I spent $500 and made thousands. The website is consumable inventory, not my first born child.
So if $500 turns into a few thousand a year, why not make that repeatable? Sure enough, it can be done.
1) You'll need domains, ones with PR. You can buy dropped domains if you know how. or search for defunct/dead sites and make an offer. Whatever you do, go find 25 or so good quality PR2-4 websites. That's some work, but worth it. Unfortunately I can't provide specifics on how to make this repeatable. I have bought sites just by looking for defunct blogs, so it can be done.
2) Find 25 low cost domain registrars. You need a different registrar for each website. Transfer the domain to it's own registrar. You'll need to obscure your ownership data somehow, when you register, so that there's no connection between the sites.
3) Find 25 seperate low cost wordpress hosting sites and register each domain at a seperate. The hosting company will give you their DNS which you'll go back to the registrar and enter. Setup the wordpress account (more details in step 5) for the site.
4) create a spreadsheet with the following columns:
dns1 and dns 2
registrar userid and password
hosting company userid and password
hosting company cost
wordpress userid and password
guest post cost
in another tab in the spreadsheet set up a sheet with the following columns
URL of guest post
email/contact info of purchaser
The first sheet will track your 25 domains. The second sheet tracks your sales.
Very important - if you're selling guest blog posts, do it annually not permanently- AND TRACK IT. This is repeatable income. Most people sell for a year and never rebill. Don't make that mistake. You'll double your income next year without doing anything other than sending out bills. That's how the smart people do it - I know because a smart person told me that.
5) setting up the site: pick a free template and install it (this is easier if you purchased your hosting from a wordpress hosting company, they'll have templates there for you to pick from).
-Pick a topic for the blog. Make it a high monetization site like insurance/finance, banking, gambling, diet, etc etc etc.
-Write three blog posts. Don't crap out, take the time, write 3 strong posts to seed the blog.
- install contact form 7. Set up two contact forms. The first one, set the 'email to' field to be whatever their email address is. That makes it an autoresponder. Don't copy yourself in, just have the contact form send them an email with the price for the blog post (likely $50-$199 each) and a link to the second contact form. The second contact form is the one that contacts you. In other words, they fill out the contact form and it sends them an email that says "guest posts are $199. if you're still interested, click on this link to actually contact me'.
- Don't publicly reference the second contact form. For the first contact form, put it on a page in your main menu called '<your niche> guest blog posts". So if your niche is tech, the page is called 'tech guest blog posts'. It's a honeypot for people to search on. On that page, provide a bunch of suggested topics, like "guest blog posts for tech, gadgets,computers, blah blah blah'. Give them lots of keywords to find your page on.
- Google the niche and find some people that are obviously buying links. Drop them some links either in your initial posts or sidebar. Their competitors will check the backlinks of the site you're linking to and find you.
You know have a network of 25 high quality sites with great content. You can either link to yourself (I wouldn't) or just sell guest posts.
In terms of purchasers, let them find your sites, one at a time. Don't be handing out a spreadsheet with your 25 sites. That'll just get you interconnected by Google. They find you, sell them a guest post with their links and move on. When you communicate with these folks, always give them your website address (they're dealing with hundreds of requests, they won't remember you). Publish their content right away - same day - and email them a link to the article with your request for payment. Make their lives easy.
Over time you'll start to make connections with SEO companies who'll use you routinely for blog posts.
Once that's all running, you can find another 25 domains and re-use your registrar and maybe even the hosting as long as you don't interconnect the sites through your purchasers. Track them in seperate spreadsheets and don't let them touch. Then if your one network goes down, you still have another one available.
In terms of results, I've already provided some ongoing income numbers above. In terms of time from setup, you should start seeing requests for guest posts as early as a couple of days after setting it up. After that it's just a matter of sorting through the serious inquiries willing to pay, and negotiating from there. If you do this 25 times and make $200/month per site, you're cranking out $5000 per month and growing. this is absolutely doable if you set this up right I believe (not quite there yet myself). Nice income stream, repeatable and sustainable for the forseeable future. And after the initial setup, not a lot of work.