With the recent mid-term elections in the states wrapped up the Washington Monthly has a great thought piece on how more and more political bloggers are transitioning from hobbyist to professional, starting with the Daily Kos, which began to accepting advertising quite recently. Is it the talk-radio-ization of blogging? Perhaps. But there is a nice summarization of how people do transition to “Pro”:
The first is amateurs who get hired to blog for professional outlets. I’m an example of this, as is Jesse Lee and anyone else who’s paid to blog for a politician or a political campaign. The second avenue is professionals who move from print to blog (or add a blog to their print portfolio). Early examples are Mickey Kaus and Andrew Sullivan, and more recent examples include Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, and the legions of newspaper reporters who now have their own blogs. The third avenue is to sell enough ads to become a self-employed pro. Josh Marshall is an example of this, and so is Markos. The next step along this avenue, perhaps, may be whatever it is that Markos has in mind.
Unfortunately, for most bloggers who are not politically motivated in their writings, there just isn’t the same infrastructure or money in other broad areas of interest. How many tech companies willing to pay bloggers in the 5 or 6 figures to blog about their company? And never mind technology — how about common business that have to do with regular products and services? It just doesn’t exist … yet.
But will it ever? I suspect it might — look at the article in the USA Today normalizing blogs — but it won’t be happening any time soon. The good news? Those that are blogging now are on the vanguard of a new generation (first?) of bloggers, so that when it does (if it does), those bloggers (perhaps you) will be in an excellent position to make the transition (if that’s your thing).