Bulletin: Bloggers Don’t Get Paid!

Oh really? AP’s Ellen Simon dredges this up again in an article called “Bloggers Find Clicks Don’t Mean Cash.”

Andrew Sullivan, former editor of The New Republic, has a high‐profile blog that takes American Express and PayPal payments and posts an address for checks or money orders. Bloggers point to Sullivan as the blogger most likely to be succeeding.

But Sullivan said in an e‐mail he makes his living through freelance writing and speaking. “I’ve managed to pay all my expenses and an intern and give myself a minuscule salary, thanks to the generosity of my readers,” he wrote. “I couldn’t live off the blog alone, and I see no prospect of that happening in the near future, despite having one of the biggest audiences.”

The money that is in blogland goes to only a few.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it assumes blogging is a mass marketing tool. Repeat after me. It is not a mass marketing tool. Moreover, there are many different kinds of currency in life, and I cringe every time I hear statements suggesting there is only one — money. Could it possibly be that you’re not supposed to make a lot of money blogging?

There is the currency of ego.

There is the currency of knowledge.

There is the currency of participation.

There is the currency of community.

There is the currency of influence.

We get paid in these and in many more ways when we blog, and if bloggers can’t figure out how to use their gifts to support their habit, it isn’t the fault of the blogosphere. We have a work‐in‐progress here, and those who put this new wine into old wineskins shouldn’t be surprised when the pouches burst.

There’s another issue here that’s really the point of such articles. The traditional press judges success based on reach/frequency models, and, well, if you’re not making money, then your reach isn’t satisfactory, which means you really don’t matter. hehe

Get real.


  1. Well put… I’d imagine the work done by the blogosphere on Rathergate meant much more to those bloggers than a quick hit on the tipjar.

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