Did Paul Botin just write an article on Wired telling everyone to shutdown their blogs just because Jason Calacanis stopped blogging and because of comment hecklers? Yes, he went there. Also note that if it wasn’t for blogs, Botin wouldn’t have a job at Valleywag right now either.
What other points does the guy make? He says that it’s more worth it to express yourself on Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. What is the point? Is anyone going to buy my Facebook profile, tweets, or Flickr pictures from me? I have 1500 pictures+ uploaded on Facebook, will that make me any money? Nope. Will my blog make me money? Yes.
Let’s go back to the Jason Calacanis argument. “If you quit now, you’re in good company. Notorious chatterbox Jason Calacanis made millions from his Weblogs network,” wrote Botin in the Wired article. “But he flat-out retired his own blog in July. ‘Blogging is simply too big, too impersonal, and lacks the intimacy that drew me to it,’ he wrote in his final post.”
Let me respond to this question with a background story behind Pulse 2.0. The reason why Pulse 2.0 started was because I looked at people that make millions from blogging like Michael Arrington, Rafat Ali, Om Malik, Nick Denton, and Jason Calacanis and thought if these old guys can do it, why can’t I? Two years later, Pulse 2.0 is providing me with a full-time job and is paying for the office we have in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is all done without any sort of VC funding.
However, I’m not saying Botin is completely wrong. Botin asks people to scroll down the list of the Technorati 100 and you’ll immediately notice the list of top 100 blogs. You’ll find blogs like the Huffington Post (HuffPo), Engadget, etc. I could see why non-professional bloggers would get frustrated from not being anywhere close to this. But let me just tell you that there is a lot of money to be made from blogging aside from having to be on the Technorati 100. Sometimes you just have to be patient and known when to cut your losses and start a different type of blog.
The only reason why HuffPo is number one is because they have 43+ full-time employees, hundreds of guest reporters, $5 million in funding, and knows how to sensationalize politics. You think HuffPo is making these people rich? Highly unlikely. But you can be a blog at the lower levels of Technorati and still make as much as a full-time job could offer. Believe me, I am currently experiencing this.
If you plan on starting a blog, strategize first. When I started my first blog, I just did it to entertain a few friends on Xanga and Blogger. Entertaining your friends doesn’t make you money. Entertaining a broader audience does.
If you don’t have a blog, start one today as practice. You’ll get better with time. I’ve been blogging for about 9 years, but I only figured out the making-money-from-blogging part in the last 2 years.
I actually did not expect an article like this to come out of Wired. As a technology publication that has 11 blogs in their network, I expected a better written article. If you’re going to tell people to stop blogging, have a stronger argument than Jason Calacanis quit, so you should too!