is titled Going pro and it apeared yesterday at Economist.com.
Until recently, there were two main kinds of blogs. Most of the 57m blogs in existence are personal diaries that happen to be online. These blogs have tiny audiences and make no effort to sell advertising.
But according to Pew, an American research organisation, only 7% of bloggers say their main motivation is to make money.
The second main kind of blogs are, in effect, niche magazines that choose to publish in a blog format. These blogs are explicitly run as businesses, with paid staff doing the writing and sales departments selling advertising.
Now, however, a third category is emerging: the mom-and-pop blog.
One big reason why his blog works as a small business, says Mr Malik, is that an ecosystem of support is appearing. Like Ms Armstrong, he farms out advertising sales and administration to a firm called FM, launched last year by John Battelle, who once ran magazines such as Wired and the Industry Standard.
There is a new media industry emerging here and blogging is just the tip of the iceberg. In the next five years thousands if not tens of thousands of new media content creators, online journalists, internet magazine publishers and radio broadcasters are going to start making a living, or at least a part time income on their efforts.
At BlogWorld & New Media Expo bloggers who want to try and join this emgerging industry are going to be able to learn from their successful peers, and exhibitors representing the support network referred to in the Economist article.
Steve Rubel offers some well considered caution.
Can you make a good side living? Heck yea. But the folks who make six figs from blogging as their sole source of income will be few and far between. This will especially become apparent when there is an advertising slowdown – and there will be.
Jason Calacanis is optimistic about the future of online advertising and has stats to back it up.
Is the spike over the past year another bubble? I don’t think so, I think the curve is getting more steep due to the following facts:
a) there are more advertisers online today.
b) it’s getting easier to spend money online
c) Google Adsense/Adwords (a huge part of part B above)
d) Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and Google reaching scale, which in turn allows major advertisers to reach comparable audience sizes to TV
e) audiences shifting from TV, radio, and magazines to the Internet.