Blogs Are Profitable

By Daniel Scocco

The San Francisco Chronicle has nailed it: “Yes, some blogs are profitable – very profitable!

Hooray!

Apart from the optimistic title, however, the article does a pretty good analysis of the blogosphere, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses. Check this quotation:

The blogging world has tremendous strengths – original voices, provocative opinions, imagination and intimate knowledge of a variety of subjects. But it is also an industry struggling to mature, many observers argue. They say blogging companies must overcome the industry’s reputation as a sort of digital Wild West where anything goes, and confront such questions as conflicts of interest, product hype, bias and low standards of accuracy.

Personally I believe that blogs will take off as soon as people stop seeing them as blogs. Quite counter-intuitive eh? Tell your father or grandfather to visit TechCrunch (one of the profitable blogs mentioned on the article), and ask him what is it about. I am pretty sure he will say it is just a website about technology.

That is the scenario we should be aiming for; where blogs become just another content management system. Not online diaries. Not a bunch of teenagers sharing their frivolous thoughts and experiences.

The substance is already there. Just consider the large number of professional blogs that compete head to head with mainstream media.

It is the perception, therefore, that has to change.



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17 Responses to “Blogs Are Profitable”

  • zowoco

    I think every new online adventure begins by being a cyber wild west, but pretty soon settles down into being dominated by the big players, if only becuase the most successful mom&pop shows are bought out by the giants, as with youtube and google.

    For those enjoying the wild frontier, however, there is definitely plenty of scope to enjoy a novel kind of marketing prowess in blogging and web 2.0 social bookmarking and we are still far from saturation.

    I think blogging has raised internet awareness to new levels because suddenly the little man in the street can get aboard, air his opinions and all without the need to buy and design a costly website now. Excellent interaction!

  • Mike – Twenty Steps

    I think that the real move from a blog to a website is when the author stops referring to their writing as “posts” and uses “articles” instead.

  • Annie

    Meanwhile those of us who have been making a living from blogs and websites for years respond with, “Well, duh.” 😛

    It always surprises me how shocked the mainstream media seems when they report a story about how people are making money or getting famous thanks to their blogs. Something like 10% of the population, at least in the U.S., are blogging now. Of course, some of us are making money. 🙂

  • Matej

    Yeah, when i say to my friends that I blog, they find it funny.

    But after 10 mins of explanation they don’t find it anymore, expecially when i say that I earn 150$+ month from blogging ( it’s a lot for them at that moment)

    Funny part is most of them ask what it is that orange button ( RSS icon).. they like it he he 🙂

  • Jeremy Steele

    I kinda doubt we’re going to see News Corp Or NBC-sized blog networks anytime soon (or in the next 20 years), but that’d be cool.

    As far as calling a blog a blog, well, I tend to call mine a website mostly because there’s things on there besides a blog (tools, scripts, etc).

  • 60 in 3 – Health and Fitness

    I stopped telling people that I blog. The impression of blogs seems to be of MySpace and Live Journal. It’s associated with personal online diaries of teenagers. If I tell them I run a blog they think I’m out there exposing my personal life to the world. If I tell them that I run a personal fitness website, they see it as something completely different.

    Gal

  • Sheila

    Daniel – I don’t think it is necessary to describe my blog as a blog. I feel like what I write, for the most part, is more like writing an article rather than journaling my rants and raves in a diary format.

    Even some online newspapers are becoming more blog-like with the ability to comment. Many are starting to give their readers the options to digg, stumble, etc. their articles.

  • Daniel

    Sheila, that is the point. My question then becomes, is it really necessary to describe our sites as “blogs?” Aren’t blogs just websites with defined characteristics like the ability to leave comments and a certain content structure?

  • Sheila

    When I try to explain what I do to non-bloggers, I usually say I “write a website” with unbiased advice on travel to Hawaii. In the past I’ve described it as a blog and I got a blank stare. 🙂

  • Daniel

    Al, interesting side to the tale. I did not know that blogs had such a strong political connection in the middle east.

  • AL

    Here in the middle east, blogs (called Modawana in Arabic) are mainly linked with political rebels who use blogs as means for freedom of speech. This is why the other day, when my dad heard that I’m running a personal blog, he casually commented “you’re not cut for blogging“. I was surprised and asked “why?”. He said: “What do you know about politics?“.

  • Sergio

    is a factor thing, the material and people, multiple factors system.

    umm.

  • Daniel

    Fred, yeah blogs do not need to change their form. In fact that form is exactly what made them popular. The possibility to interact with the readers and with other bloggers.

    As I said the substance is already there, what needs to change is the perception that the general mass has towards blogs.

  • Daniel

    Karthik,

    Perhaps my opinion was not 100% clear.

    I think there are basically two types of blogs. The first one shares useful information, insightful opinions, and usually the authors have an expertise on a certain field and so on. Examples include Engadget, Guy Kawasaki, and perhaps even your site or other smaller blogs that product original content nonetheless.

    The second type is the guy talking about what he ate yesterday, regurgitating info that he finds on the Internet and so on.

    Frankly, only the first type will go forward. It is a natural selection, you have 1 billion people judging what is good and what is not on the web, and you can’t fool that crowd.

    That does not mean that blogges will need to become magazine writers. I still find TechCrunch much more opinionated than traditional magazines.

  • Fred @ Newest on the Net

    I think that blogging as we know it will always be blogging. However, you are right about sites like techcrunch. These news/magazine types sites will blend in with traditional website.

    Blogs like Daily Blog Tips and Newest on the Net will continue in their current form. I believe that readers want the type of information presented in blogs and like the style of writing typically found in a blog. Blogs are more casual and personal.

    Magazines cannot get away with this casualness. And many columnists wish they could. The casual writing found in blogs allows writers to connect with their readers in a way that columnists can’t. The magazine/newspaper medium will not allow casual writing. But bloggers are free to explore writing techniques.

  • Karthik

    But when that happens, why would you run a blog?

    If a blog is made up in such a way as to look like a CMS, call it a CMS and not a blog!

    A blog in my opinion, would be your view on things – if you end up reporting more and airing your views less, it just loses the point. I for one, don’t view TechCrunch as a blog at all – its more of a magazine/newspaper that reports events.

    When the personalization is lost – its not a blog anymore.

    Just my 2 cents!

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