Blogging for a Living

The Wall St. Journal cites a rather questionable statistic about the number of bloggers who blog for a living:

The best studies we can find say we are a nation of over 20 million bloggers, with 1.7 million profiting from the work, and 452,000 of those using blogging as their primary source of income. That’s almost 2 million Americans getting paid by the word, the post, or the click — whether on their site or someone else’s. And that’s nearly half a million of whom it can be said, as Bob Dylan did of Hurricane Carter: “It’s my work he’d say, I do it for pay.”

Is the WSJ serious? Perhaps, the 452,000 people who blog as their primary source of income include any college or high school student who has a blog with Google Ads. Otherwise, the statistic seems quite dubious to me. According to a quote from the website where the WSJ cites as the source of the above statistic:

The average annual blogger revenue is more than $6,000. However, this is skewed by the top 1% of bloggers who earn $200k+. Among active bloggers that we surveyed, the average income was $75,000 for those who had 100,000 or more unique visitors per month (some of whom had more than one million visitors each month). The median annual income for this group is significantly lower — $22,000.

At Concurring Opinions, we get 100,000+ unique visitors per month, and sadly, our take home pay is far far south of $22,000. Where’s all the money? If it’s out there, it sure ain’t in our pockets, I’ll boldly state that we’re all keeping our day jobs!

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1 Response

  1. ohwilleke says:

    I share the skepticism.

    Markos at Daily Kos reputedly makes high five to low six figures from one of the most high traffic blogs in the blogosphere. I counted mysef at the top 1-5% of bloggers in compensation when I had an online journalism gig for which I was paid $1500 a month. In another online group blog with reasonable traffic and ads, we ultimately sent one of us to conference for a few hundred bucks and didn’t even get a t-shirt.

    Less than a third of the members of the any of the actors unions make their primary living from acting, and those are well established professions with a union.