Tomorrow’s New York Times will carry a story focusing on professional blogging – and outlining how the 24/7 news cycle that is the internet is literally causing bloggers to work themselves to death.
Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.
Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.
Maybe that has been their blogging experience, but it certainly hasn’t been mine.
I’ve been through the blog startup phase when we launched what was then The BlogMedia Network – and lived through its maturity with our purchase of The Blog Herald and the launch of other sites. I won’t deny that I worked alot and occasionally had sleepless nights. So did everyone else that was involved in this effort from our end.
But I don’t believe that the lifestyle that is portrayed in this article represents the bulk of the bloggers that are making or seeking to make a living through professional blogging.
Witness this focus on Matt Buchanan from Gizmodo from the NY Times story:
All that competition puts a premium on staying awake. Matt Buchanan, 22, is the right man for the job. He works for clicks for Gizmodo, a popular Gawker Media site that publishes news about gadgets. Mr. Buchanan lives in a small apartment in Brooklyn, where his bedroom doubles as his office.
He says he sleeps about five hours a night and often does not have time to eat proper meals. But he does stay fueled — by regularly consuming a protein supplement mixed into coffee.
I realize it’s difficult for the New York Times to look past the high-end competitive blogging industry at the rest of us – but they should have. By focusing in on Arrington and Buchanan from Gizmodo, they’re looking at a very small fraction of the industry – and certainly not most of us that make a living through blogging or other online revenue sources.
When I was blogging full-time back in 2006, my days consistent of a 5-6 hour workday during the day coupled with a 2-3 hour timeblock in the evening after my girlfriend had gone to bed. Weekends generally saw 2-3 hours of work a day coupled with an hour or so producing the podcast. By my math that’s a 55-60 hour workweek at its worst. And for that I made a six figure income…
Matt Craven is the former editor & publisher of The Blog Herald. Currently, Matt is the co-founder of Bryghtpath LLC, a consulting practice located in Woodbury, Minnesota. Matt's presently looking for new blogging gigs. Ping him at matt (at) bryghtpath dot com. You can follow him on Twitter.