Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Wall Street Journal says that I'm rich

Mark Penn of the Wall Street Journal has published the most absurd article about blogging I've ever seen. (Thanks to the Confluence for the head's up.) According to Penn, bloggers earn upwards of $75,000 a year if they can attract 100,000 visitors a month. Not only that: In Penn-vision, bloggers are constantly showered with expensive free gifts.

My response:
I must protest this ludicrous misrepresentation of the facts.

Since 2004, I have maintained a political blog called Cannonfire. My site is best known for running a series of articles on the strange bulge seen on George Bush's back during the debates. At the height of that rather silly controversy, I had 60,000 visitors a day. The number of visitors is now much smaller; nevertheless, I can bring in 100,000 visitors in a good month -- especially in the months preceding an election. This month, I'll probably do half that amount.

Yesterday, I published six posts. Two of them received mention on larger sites, including the New York Times' blog aggregator.

I won't earn $75,000 this year. I won't earn $35,000 -- at least, not from blogging.

I'm not allowed to disclose how much the Adsense ads bring in. However, you wouldn't be far off the mark if you were to visualize a nice meal at a Mexican restaurant. Once a month.

I don't blog for the money. No-one has ever offered me free consumer electronics. I used to receive the occasional offer for free movie screenings, but I turned them all down.

The only blogger I know who ekes out a living at the game frequently appears on the radio and in lecture halls. Of necessity, he engages in constant self-promotion. And he does not earn anything like the kind of money mentioned here.

Mark Penn's fanciful article will give writers hoping to enter the field a completely wrong-headed idea about what to expect. You cannot make any money from blogging unless you are whoring for a corporation -- or, conceivably, for a political candidate. I suspect that a few very well-known writers have done just that. I won't mention any names here, beKos I don't have any hard evidence of a pay-off.
Added note: myiq2xu offers a cute observation...
Blogging is much like my previous career as a male stripper.

Nobody ever offered me money to do it, but a few have offered to pay me to stop.


RedDragon said...

Wow.....75 grand and a bunch of cool freebies huh?
What world does Penn live in anyway?

I want some of what he's smoking!

Anonymous said...

I just sent you an e-mail. I hope you got it.

I'm very impressed that you get 50,000 visitors in a month. A lot of them are probably spooks. I notice they don't comment much.

Boston Boomer

katiebird said...

I posted this in reply to your comment at TC but, it sort of fits here to:

I FOUND it!!


(2nd paragraph)

Anonymous said...

In case you missed it, Katiebird found the link to El Cheeto's statement on revenues.

Joseph Cannon said...

I want to thank you all. And thanks, katiebird, for finding that Kos statement of revenue...

The race goes not to the swiftest, eh wot?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Joe, actually, before you get home, I've been stealing all the free gifts from your doorstep.
Plus I've been taking all your blog checks down to the bank and cashing them, disguised as you (which is amazingly simple: I just walk into the bank towing an antique cannon).

Sergei Rostov

Anonymous said...

You're still some fajitas and a few ounces of tequila ahead of me.

Anonymous said...

Kos *would* have made 2 mil last year, only I charged him 1 mil for the rights to

Sergei Rostov

MrMike said...

Joe, I think there is one other blogger like that. I marshaled my thoughts and sent you a memo talking about him.