Alan Meckler vs. Jason Calacanis, Can Blogs Make Money?

WSJ.com – Can Bloggers Make Money?: Alan Meckler: “Blogs are really diaries or microcosms of what is happening in millions of ways in daily life — ranging from special interests to business specialties to whatever. Obviously there is money to be made with blogs, but very, very few will bring in more than a few hundred dollars per year.

Jason created a great business model in aggregating blogs. But here again the opportunities to replicate this model will be few and far between — the reason being that such a model requires at least one or two anchor blogs that will be attractive to advertisers. Much like great magazine empires that offer magazine networks only a few of the magazines are big winners — these big winners help support the weaker magazines — same with blogs.”

Now I make more than “a few hundred dollars per year” with my blog but I’d still probably have to agree with Alan on this one. My blog is presently in the Technorati top 500, out of how many blogs there now? 35.7 million!?! And trust me, I still ain’t quiting my day job anytime soon.

I think it is going to be the pretty rare blogger that ever makes a six figure income out of this. Still, I think for the right blogger to franchise in the right way there could be other opportunities — books, conferences, freelance work, consulting, network building, using your blogging notoriety to land a plum job at some place that would value that PR, etc. all come to mind.

Jason got lucky because he built a blog network at the right time. Jason got rich but I seriously doubt his bloggers did. FM Publishing probably has a bit better model where they at least give their bloggers some phantom equity in the deal, but let’s face it, at the end of the day bloggers are pretty much just *gasp* user generated content (yes I know we all hate that word). A single blogger doesn’t stand to make much in terms of financial gain. Sure, it’s a great hobby if you already have a fairly flexible job with a decent income and you can do it on the side or if you’re fresh out of college and content making little money just for the experience of it all. But the real money will probably continue to be made by guys like Jason who better understand how to get others to do the work for them and then package it all just right and nicely.

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