Mel has an interesting post today about how bloggers should value their clout (not Klout 🙂 ) as writers and refuse to accept non-paying assignments. On the heels of that, Uppercase Woman published her take on why women bloggers matter, urging people not to quit writing. Her point was if you even have a small following of readers, you can change people’s lives. But she acknowledges that the monetary rewards are not great for the vast majority of bloggers.
My father, it appears, lived in a golden age of the writing profession. He worked for a big city newspaper for 28 years, and supported his family on that income. He got to pursue his great talent and passion for writing, won awards, rubbed elbows with the biggest newsmakers of the day and from his position was able to publish four fiction books with big publishing houses. He had many, many colleagues who pursued the same path.
This path is drying up. I’ve done a bunch of research on the blogging industry and ad networks and the depressing truth seems to be this:
Very, very few bloggers (maybe 50 in the world) are able to earn a good living from their projects. The way most ad networks are run now and the traffic numbers brands demand to pay bloggers are not in favor of actually funding writers. (For example, in order to get paid $25,000 a year in ad sales, I’d have to get at least 25,000 page views a day. I don’t have anywhere near that kind of traffic.) Print media is declining, firing writers, the publishing industry is imploding. So I wonder if the profession of writing is a endangered profession to all but a few, huge, popular bloggers? And the surviving old media guard?
I’d love to be wrong on this. And if I’m right, how can we change it? Or is this the paradigm of the future?
Darcy always tells me that my blogging should just be a hobby, an advocacy project to help others, a support group to help me and my ALI friends. If I have gained nothing but the friends I have encountered through blogging, my life is very rich indeed.
What do you think? Do you have a blog which provides you with a comfortable living? Do you think this is a reasonable goal? Or should we just be happy to be here?