Saturday, February 14, 2009

How to make a Small Fortune in Blogging

Now I know how to make a small fortune in blogging. Start with a large one. Judging from Dan Lyon's column in Newsweek magazine, it looks like I'm going to have to come up with a new "Plan B". I had some vague but brilliant ideas of a blogging empire based on extreme exercises in unparalleled creativity that go far beyond the little 10-minute-a-day exercise you see here.

The problem is that Dan has been there and done that. Dan is the man behind the curtain of the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, a/k/a the Fake Steve Jobs blog. For a couple years, this was a must-read for me. It was one of the most popular individual-written blogs on the internet. I'll let Dan describe the financial riches that came his way because of it.

For two years I was obsessed with trying to turn a blog into a business. I posted 10 or 20 items a day to my site, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, rarely taking a break. I blogged from cabs, using my BlackBerry. I blogged in the middle of the night, having awakened with an idea. I rationalized this insane behavior by telling myself that at the end of this rainbow I would find a huge pot of gold. But reality kept interfering with this fantasy. My first epiphany occurred in August 2007, when The New York Times ran a story revealing my identity, which until then I'd kept secret. On that day more than 500,000 people hit my site—by far the biggest day I'd ever had—and through Google's AdSense program I earned about a hundred bucks. Over the course of that entire month, in which my site was visited by 1.5 million people, I earned a whopping total of $1,039.81. Soon after this I struck an advertising deal that paid better wages. But I never made enough to quit my day job. Eventually I shut down—not for financial reasons, but because Steve Jobs appeared to be in poor health. I walked away feeling burned out and weighing 20 pounds more than when I started. I also came away with a sneaking suspicion that while blogs can do many wonderful things, generating huge amounts of money isn't one of them.

(Emphasis mine.)

Oh well, there's always Ostrich ranching.

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