WSJ Looks at the Blogging Profession

Posted on March 4, 2007

The Wall Street Journal has an article analyzing what the job of blogger entails. The pay must have been good for the bloggers the WSJ talked to.
Most self-employed bloggers take in between $2,000 and $10,000 a month from ad sales, says Henry Copeland, founder of BlogAds.com, a Web advertising concern based in Carrboro, N.C. The few that have huge audiences make significantly more, he adds. During election time, for example, a political blogger can bring in $20,000 to $30,000 a month, says Ken Layne, West Coast bureau chief for Wonkette.com, a political gossip blog owned by Gawker Media.
That's much hire than what most bloggers make. Self-employed bloggers also put in many hours. Mario Lavandeira, who blogs at the popular PerezHilton.com blog, says he puts in 19 hour days.
Self-employed bloggers set their own schedules. Writers of breaking-news blogs say 40- to 60-hour workweeks are the norm. To scoop his competitors, Mario Lavandeira, author of the celebrity-gossip blog PerezHilton.com, says he averages 19-hour workdays that start at 5:15 a.m.
Those 19-hour days must help Perez keep ahead of his competition in the celebrity blogosphere. The WSJ piece says bloggers often start out with free blogging services.
CAREER PATH: Most bloggers start out using free Web sites such as WordPress.com and Blogger.com. They say it takes at least six months to build readership and clout in the blogosphere. Mr. Lavandeira advises picking an area you'll enjoy discussing for a long time because "you have to be passionate about what you're writing." A background in journalism or communications helps but usually isn't required. "I don't want to hear where candidates went to college or where else they worked," says Ryan Block, managing editor of Engadget.com, who hires most of the site's employees. "I review writing samples."
The blogging field is changing a little bit with many journalists becoming bloggers as part of their writing responsibilities with the magazine or newspaper they work for. However, many self-employed bloggers do start out on free blogging services and eventually migrate to their own web domains.
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