The well respected Economist.com (subscription required) released an article today called Going Pro with a subtitle of More people are quitting their day jobs to blog for a living. The article claims that there used to be only two types of blogs: personal diaries with tiny audiences (and no interest in advertising) and niche magazines explicitly run as businesses, quoting Jason Calacanis (the Engadget / Weblogs Inc. guy) claiming such blogs are “the most profitable media business today.” But the Economist explains that a third category is on the rise: “mom-and-pop” blogs.
The magazine references Heather Armstrong of Dooce, a “disenchanted Mormon in Salt Lake City” and Om Malik of GigaOm. The most interesting part of the article was this unsubstantiated claim: “There are now just enough people like Ms Armstrong to signify a new trend: blogging as a small business.”
What does that mean exactly? How many people are “enough” people? I agree that blogging as a small business quite possibly could be a new trend, but I’m curious how the Economist came to that conclusion. Nothing else is stated or referenced in regard to this claim. I suppose it must be so since the Economist said it, right? Interesting.
The article also ends cautiously, trying to dispel belief that blogging for profit is easy quoting Armstrong who explains that “it is not for everybody.” She apparently works about seven hours a day blogging and doesn’t take many holidays. Malik says, “It’s not easy” and that building his audience has “taken me five years, and a lot of sleepless nights.”
Oh come on, you make money, leave home only when you feel like it, work when you want, have no boss, do what you love, etc, etc. I agree that building readership is not easy and that quiting your day job to start a blog might be a bad idea (especially if you didn’t have a blog for quite some time before quitting). But once you have enough readership, are making money, and have quit your day job… I can think of a lot more people who deserve sympathy.