BloggerCon: Making Blogs Make Money

BloggerCon: Making Blogs Make Money

: Here’s my description of the BloggerCon session I’ll be in on Making Blogs Make Money:

For those who want to make money blogging — and that is by no means everyone — this session will do three things:

First, everyone in the room — and elsewhere, speaking through comments here or here and through IRC during the session — will add ideas about the value of weblogs and how to make money with them. The broader and longer the list, the better: from selling ads to selling things to selling blogging services to selling access to readers to… whatever. The hope is to create a menu of ideas for creative bloggers to use to try to support their efforts.

Second, we will list what’s missing to make this possible. In some cases, that will be services, such as standard measurement of weblogs’ audience and traffic. Or that will be alliances, such as ad networks across similar. Or that will be standards or software or… whatever. The hope is to inspire the entrepreneurial and technical and organizational geniuses of the blogosphere to provide what it needs to prosper.

Third, we will list the dangers that lurk in mixing business and blogging — for example, how to maintain credible distance from advertisers and complete transparency about advertising relationships while taking money from those advertisers.

At the end, we hope to see a white board — and many, many blogs — filled with ideas and needs and next steps to support and grow this new medium.

: Please make LOTS of comments here or here with ideas so we start the discussion with tons of them, which I’ll compile before the session.

: See Rick Bruner’s suggestions for a business model for Boing Boing. See Boing Boing’s request for just such ideas.

: UPDATE: Cesar Brea has a fascinating take on the business of blogging and adds up what we’re all already spending on this obsession.

  • http://ilovejennabush.blogspot.com Ricky Vandal

    Interesting idea. I would love to see a complete concept about finding and attracting ads. Not that I think my little blog will get any ad money, being named I LOVE JENNA BUSH, but it’s interesting to read about the chances of survival and even prospering of the blogoshpere as a (semi)professional enterprise.

  • http://www.adrants.com Steve Hall

    Here’s an idea I had that will rub a lot of people the wrong way as it does blur the lines between advertising and edit. It is essentially selling ads that look like blog posts. Yes, let the purists at me! I can argue against this idea as much as you can. I have mixed emotions about it but I think it’s worth discussion. I’ve outlined it here
    I’d argue that properly labelled verbage is acceptable as an advertising unit. Of course, debate will rage on what constitutes proper labelling.

  • http://www.gapingvoid.com hugh macleod

    Steve, I’ve already started doing that on gapingvoid.com for a buddy of mine’s film, ‘Young Adam’“blogs are a good way of making things happen indirectly”.
    I think you’re right that, if you’re going to advertise that way, to clearly demarkate between content and advertising. Otherwise you’re just a shill.

  • http://smileatme.blogspot.com Dave

    Please, everyone e mail me and I’ll send you the address to send me my money. ;-)

  • http://www.gapingvoid.com hugh macleod

    I see two basic feasible business models:
    1. Blogads. Either an adstrip on the side or just “pimping for dough” like what Steve Hall suggested above. Maybe you can get ambitious like Gawker.com and start peppering your homepage with all sorts of high-price banners. But you’d need a pretty large audience…
    2. Leverage. You’re in a business, say, banking. So you write about banks. Over time you develop a small niche with a very loyal fan base. One of your fans turns out to be President of Citicorp (or whatever) and offers you a high-paying job.
    In terms of making good money, I think #2 is the most likely and lucrative scenario.
    NB: You’re right, I didn’t mention micropayments, tip jars, or other wishful-thinking no-hopers that don’t make money.