Blogs have a lot of buzz, but there’s still considerable debate about whether that can translate into profits.
It’s a flawed premise.
Calcanis: argued that blogs can make money, but only if they are part of blog networks like Weblogs Inc
“… the best model for making money from blogs is by “curating” and grouping them like we did at Weblogs…. the majority of folks are not going to make a living from blogs, but that’s because they choose not to try, not because they couldn’t. If folks focus in on a niche and own it there is a good chance they could make half a living from blogging The majority will not make a living off blogging, some will. Time will tell how big the some market is, hundreds or hundreds of thousands. I’m going with the latter.”
Meckler, always outspoken CEO of Jupiter Media:
“while a very select few of the blogs will make significant money, most will never be worth anything because their information is worthless and therefore they will garner few monthly page views.
Blogs are fun for someone who wants a pulpit and does not care about making money…. But in terms of making money from blogs, I doubt they will be anything more than an interesting subset of Internet ad revenue. … Obviously there is money to be made with blogs, but very, very few will bring in more than a few hundred dollars per year.”
Not all bloggers who make money are part of networks
Both Calcanis and Meckler overlooked other ways blogs are making money. Independent blogs like Boing Boing, and MarketingVox are entirely ad supported, selling out their inventory repeatedly; so is Adrants, whose publisher, Steve Hall, told me he is making more as a blogger than he did in senior positions at ad agencies.
Advertising is far from the only way to make money blogging.
Blogs can be incredibly effective in product marketing as Hugh Macleod has proven with Stormhoek Wine, I’ve demonstrated with The Up Your Budget Treasure Hunt, and any number of bloggers have proven by attracting employment and clients when they established themselves as experts through their blogs.
Blogs are not direct response advertising. The metrics are different, albeit still measurable. In the right hands, blogs are very effective marketing tools. The results are more indirect, but, like well executed PR, just as effective over time.
I am sure it is difficult for journalists with staff jobs, even those with plumb jobs at the Journal, to understand that entrepreneurs have to market themselves continuously. Blogs are the best tool yet for raising a talented individual’s visibility.