Yahoo! has a front page story today about how some bloggers make big bucks. The first thing I thought when I read it was "Thar's gold in them thar blogs!"
The comparison to the gold rush days after the first nuggets were found at Sutter's Mill is apt. First of all, it's a total money loser for almost everyone. The overwhelming majority of bloggers are working for cents per hour if anything. My own experience has been that advertising is nearly worthless. Despite a couple of Instalanches and some very appreciated support from the members of the Feline Theocracy, my blog has yet to make any money. I've got links and traffic, but no coin.
During the gold rush, the people who made money were the ones who supported the prospectors, not the prospectors themselves. In this case, it's Google and the other service providers who are making the money from blogging. Adsense only pays you when you hit $100 in ad revenue. Until then, they keep the money. I have worked very hard to drive links and hits and have had more than 36,000 hits and 62,000 page views on my blog. I've got 480 sites linking to The Scratching Post. I haven't seen a dime.
The companies who are advertising are paying, they're just paying Google. If I ever manage to get to that magic $100, I'll get my payout. Until then, I'm a free content provider to Google. Sort of like the prospector who paid all of his money to the laundry, the general store, the bootmaker and so on. One or two of them found the big nuggets, but the rest of us just keep panning, hoping for the big strike.
For more financial fun, be sure to visit this week's Carnival of the Capitalists.