March 15, 2004

Blog Profiteering

SxSW continues to have me thinking about blogs and profit. Its inevitable of course, there is just to large of an audience for it not happen. But when and how are the big questions.

Well the when, it is now. DailyKos and Talking Points Memo seem to be pulling $6-12k a month. Which is real money that you can live off of. But its almost all ads for political races, will the money still be there post November?

So the political blog business model is half proven, but the sustainability is as shaky as Bush's poll numbers. And the rest of the blogsphere? Still trying everything to get those dollars. Something will work, what is it.

Jason Calacanis is clearly putting way more thought and effort into monetizing blogs then just about anyone else. In his talk today he broke down the Weblogsinc strategy (and Nick Denton) and I'd say he's pretty much on point.

The core of what Weblogsinc is trying to do is consolidate enough blogs so that its economical to pay a sales force. And thank god someone is thinking like that. I'm not convinced its essential to do hands on ad sales to make money of blogs, and the political blogs are proving it. But the very fact that there will be ad sales people for blogs is going to be essential for the expansion of the market. These are going to be people convincing advertisers blogs are a winning proposition, and they are going to be the people driving ad rates up. And hell, its going to be way nicer to have an ad salesperson then not.

So how do you get a salesperson. You could join Weblogsinc of course, although they haven't actually hired a salesperson... Alternatively though 50 or a 100 bloggers could just network together and hire their own. An act that perhaps is best done in reverse, a salesperson could just start a blog sales practice... Again the question I can's answer is when. When does an act like that pay off? Now? Next year? Never?

Perhaps a better approach is not to become a freelance blog salesperson, but a freelance sales editor. I know for one that I would love one. Someone to correct the typos and find where I left out those crucial words... As blogging evolves I imagine a couple people could make good livings like that. So if your an underemployeed editor who likes hanging out online all day, give me a shout will you?

Posted by Abe at March 15, 2004 01:23 AM


Dude, how do you think those ads are ending up on DailyKos and Talkingpoints and hundreds of other sites? makes it simple and unbeatably powerful: a network of blogs written by the smartest people in America "is" the salesforce.

henry, I think you've done an absolutely fabulous job with blog ads, but I must disagree. The blogs are selling themselves to an audience, and the presence of an audience does bring in some advertising. But a deadicated salesforce like Weblogsinc is talking about brings a whole new dimension in. They sell to the actual advertisers. Convince them to invest, convince them to develop more robust campaigns, develop out the whole market. Someone might be attracted to the audience of blogs, but spend their cash in Harper's or whatever because the mag's sales team is there to convince them of the value. If a weblog has that team they are going to bring in far more money then by blogads alone.

I'd love to be your freelance blog editor, I'm a stickler for spelling and grammar. Just let me know!

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