May 6, 2005

Weblogs and Income

In a brand-new paper for the upcoming Blogtalk, Trevor Cook suggests that bloggers won't be able to make much money from their weblogs.

Only a few bloggers seem to have any serious prospect of generating enough revenue to be able to provide journalism outside the constraints of corporate media.

This seems plausible. Is it true?

Notice, too, that this is a revenue stream that clusters of small firms can mine much more efficiently than large firms. A small operation can pick up $10K lying on the table, but the overhead burden on a large company makes this a much more marginal proposition.

This isn't a comprehensive list. These are some models that can clearly generate enough revenue to sustain themselves, given the appropriate underlying capabilities.

If you want to be a business pundit, you've got to write well and schmooze well and travel lots.

Notice that I haven't even mentioned advertising revenue (which is, in my experience, overrated by people who write about blogs and underrated by bloggers themselves) or sponsorships or donations. And none of these models require lots of traffic.

They key isn't to get a lot of readers. They key is to get the right readers.