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tom_sawyer.jpgDana Blankenhorn at A-Clue doesn’t make a living blogging, but he’s an astute observer of how other people do, and he’s written a great column about blog business models.
Here are his models:
* The Tom Sawyer Business Model – Get people to do your work for free. This is what the free blogospheres like MSN Spaces, and even some political sites are all about.
* The Flo Ziegfeld Business Model – The free blog gives you a taste of the paid goodies inside. This is what Drew Kaplan is doing at dak2000. He calls his advice items “Easter Eggs,” which get people to spend money with him. Podcasting is mostly built around this business model.
* The Karl Rove Business Model – The blog makes the pig sponsoring it look worth kissing. A lot of consultants are trying to do this within corporations, get them to sponsor blogs that humanize them. Organizational blogs are often of this type.
* The Zack Exley Business Model – The blog acts as a recommendation engine that pushes people toward giving to the sponsors’ favored causes. Zack has pioneered this at Moveon. Great business model, but losing politics so far.
* The Chuck Barris Business Model – The bloggers are selling themselves, looking for work. I sometimes feel very much like a Gong Show contestant. “A lot of people who never made money performing think the Internet will let them do this,” said Henry Copeland, who launched Blogads.
* The Wyatt Earp Business Model – The independent blogger is attached to a larger organization and gives it his credibility in exchange for money. The blogger is looking to become a hired gun. I do this at ZDNet. [Jim]Romanesko does this at Poynter.
* The Charles Foster Kane Business Model – Advertising. One publisher on Friday night insisted that “CP/Ms have to go up.” But online ad space is practically infinite. They don’t.
Look for my interview with Blankenhorn in my series on successful bloggers.