The Pew Internet & American Life Project released the results from a blogger survey today, which detailed the reasons why bloggers blog. The report focuses on some notion of storytelling vs. journalism (whatever), but what jumped out at me was that 7% of bloggers said that making money is a major reason why they blog.
(You can get the full report here.)
This was a relatively small sample survey of U.S. bloggers, but for the sake of some back of the envelope calculations let’s assume that this is roughly true for all of the 48.8 million blogs currently being tracked by Technorati. That’s more than 3 million bloggers looking to make money (only about a third of them in English).
Talk about a long tail.
No wonder Google makes billions of dollars from AdSense — and no wonder there are so many new ad networks looking to get a piece of that action.
For my part, making money is not the principal reason why I started Publishing 2.0, but it seems silly not to make money if there are viable ways to do so that don’t compromise other goals, which is one reason why I’ve done a lot of experimenting with ads on the site (also to learn by doing).
I just answered a BlogBurst survey that is trying to gauge the importance of making money — I wrote back and told them that damn straight it’s important. Here’s what I have a problem with:
Where’s my name? More importantly, where’s my share of the revenue for the display ads?
With 3 million money-hungry bloggers, I hope for BlogBurst’s sake that this is in the works.
Revenue sharing — whether with bloggers, people generating content in other forms, people making a purchase, or people just giving their attention in general — is the new paradigm, and companies in the new media space are well advised to “democratize” their business models.