Blogging for Dollars – It’s Not Just a Hobby

Business 2.0 has a really nice article about some of the internet’s biggest blogging superstars. They all started small and rode the internet money train to riches beyond their wildest dreams. The bloggers they profiled included Michael Arrington, who pulls down $60,000 a month off his blog.

The answer lies in TechCrunch, Arrington’s blog about new technologies and companies. In the year since he launched the site, he has amassed such a strong following that he’s become a go-to person for VCs and tech execs looking to leak corporate tidbits or announce news. More than 1.5 million readers regularly check out his site. But here’s what gives Arrington real distinction: He’s pulling in $60,000 in ad revenue every month. That’s 10 times what the site was making earlier this year, which was when Arrington, convinced of the potentially monstrous riches ahead, quit his day job as president of a startup to blog full-time.

Some of the other names and income mentioned include Boingboing, which will rake in $1 million this year. Not bad for a 4 person operation. There’s also Paidcontent, which will also make a million this year and is headquartered in the second bedroom of a Santa Monica apartment. And then there is, run by the owner and two contract employees – $600,000 to $800,000 a month. Not only are these blogs making huge money but they’re becoming mainstream. What has changed?

For starters, blogs today benefit from what might be termed uneconomies of scale: They are so cheap to create and operate that a lone blogger or a small team can, with the ever-expanding reach of the Internet, amass vast audiences and generate levels of profit on a per-employee basis that traditional media companies can only fantasize about.

Still, the blogging-for-dollars phenomenon is only in its infancy, and already blog ad spending is roughly twice what it was last year. With overall Web advertising expected to grow by 50 percent to $23.6 billion in 2010, it’s certain that more and more ad dollars will land on blogs. For a growing cadre of bloggers, the opportunities to score fat profits from pumping out posts on whatever their particular passions might be are widening–and one consequence could be a radical reshaping of our notions of how to build a successful media company.

The article is a fantastic and inspirational read. The internet really has change the way things work. Name any other business where a person can start with just an idea and an internet connection and turn it into a million dollar operation? And with Q4 coming up, it’s only going to get better. Are you ready?