One thing to keep in mind while reading the Business 2.0 article about Michael Arrington and other blog network kingpins is that for every Michael Arrington or Nick Denton, there’s about two hundred other folks trying to make a run for the money with a network of their own. I’m nine months into running my own network, and while we’ve been able to make enough to cover server costs and pay our top bloggers a small stipend most months, we’ve come nowhere near making enough to call this a job. The main reason we haven’t had a ton of movement in advertising flow is because we don’t have any blogs that are tech-related, with the exception of this one, but this blog doesn’t count because it’s on WordPress and it’s free. It’ll be moving to a domain name and a server soon, and I expect I’ll be able to sell more advertising on it because of the tech bent, but I’m at a loss for what to do on our other blogs.
I enjoy the heck out of it, though, and hopefully a market will break open for niche blogs to more effectively target bigger advertisers. Reading this article makes you think that everyone in the world of blog networking is getting filthy rich, and that’s just not the case. We DESIRE to be filthy rich (or at least make enough to not work a 9-5), but it hasn’t broken open yet and I’ve no idea when it might. We briefly courted venture capitalists when starting the network, but decided in the end to go our own way and make this thing happen on our own. I refuse to take any kind of editorial directives from investors, so we’ll just have to bootstrap this thing until it either dies a flaming death or we’re able to start throwing massive parties where I act like King Lear and everyone else are my disgruntled daughters.