The San Francisco Chronicle has published an interesting, long, article about the potential profitability of blogs. Citing TechCrunch as an example of a successful blog with low overheads which owner Mike Arrington claims now makes $240k per month in advertising revenue, the article collects the views of a number of experts in the Bay Area — “a center of the blogging business”.
“As traditional media continue to contract, this stuff is going to expand,” said Steve King, senior fellow with the Society for New Communications Research, a Palo Alto think tank. “The business models have caught up and you’re starting to see little blog publishing companies that frankly are becoming not so little.”
Professional blogs “are at a fork in the road,” said Lisa Stone, co-founder and CEO of BlogHer, an online company operating a women’s blogging network. “Any publisher has to implement (ethical) guidelines. If someone recommends a mixer, a diaper or a personal digital assistant, it has to be because they absolutely love it. It’s the only way to succeed.”
“This is the next evolution of media,” said Jon Callaghan, a partner with True Ventures
Nick Denton of Gawker Media calls for caution: “A few self-sustaining blog media businesses do seem to have emerged. But they’re still minuscule by the standards of traditional media. And none have weathered a downturn. So it would be unwise to sound too triumphant.”
It’s good to see traditional media continuing to pay positive attention to blogging, though I hope it doesn’t give the impression that making significant money from blogging is a given, or that a large proportion of bloggers will easily do it.