With the recession still fresh in our minds and its effects still looming in our daily lives and in our newspaper headlines, there is no question we have seen the job market go through a major transition. Yes, unemployment figures are still low, but we have also seen a boom in people’s creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Before today, the idea of working from home may have meant you were a stay-at-home mom, or a very wealthy CEO who didn’t have to go into the office, but today it might mean…you are a blogger.
When blogs were first introduced they were an online means of personal expression. They connected families’ together, documented personal moments and they were a way to share your opinions with the world on the web. Today, this is still true, but bloggers have also become brand advocates and have the potential to generate profit from their blogs. “It has evolved into a major publishing business such as Huffington Post that was sold recently for over $300 million,” said blogger Jeff Bullas.
With more than 120 thousand blogs created a day ranging in all topics, and with blogs, social media sites, and Internet marketing becoming more of a joint entity, advertisers, marketers and public relations professionals have realized that bloggers have become a key public for disseminating information and influencing opinions. “If journalists were the Fourth Estate, bloggers are becoming the Fifth Estate,” said The Wall Street Journal columnist, Mark Penn.
More Americans are making their primary income as bloggers than Americans working as computer programmers or firefighters. In fact, 11% of bloggers in 2011, were making their living through their posts, and there were 164 million blogs online, so 11% of 164 million means that roughly a little more than 18 million people were blogging for their main source of income last year. But what is primary income vs. “some” income to bloggers?
For professional part-time bloggers and for full-time bloggers (which combine to form 18% of the blogger community), the typical average annual blogger revenue ranges from $6,000 – $75,000, with the median average of $22,000. Gina Crosley-Corcoran, blogger of The Feminist Breeder, received $5,941.53 from her blog at the end of last year. Corporate bloggers who serve as highly paid blogging consultants/ write for their companies are typically paid $45,000 – $90,000 a year. However, these profit margins all depend on the traffic that the blogs obtain and the number of clicks the placed ads on their blogs receive. If the site’s traffic and the blogger’s popularity is extremely high, it is even possible to generate a higher profit. In 2010, Bryanboy’s Bryan Grey Yambao reported that he made more than $100,000 that year from blogging, which according to Women’s Wear Daily, in today’s standards is quite low for a top-tier blogger.
Not all bloggers are looking for an income incentive to post. Hobbyist bloggers (61% of the blogger community) can average an income of around $17,101 but they are typically unpaid bloggers. Their primary incentive to blog is to speak their mind and blog for fun on a topic of their choice. Entrepreneur bloggers (13% of the blogger community) may receive a little money, but typically they are invested in blogging for promotional business purposes and do not reap monetary benefits.
However, when looking at the blogger career as a whole, there are many additional benefits to this profession aside from wealth.
- Your blog is focused on your interests
- You are self-employed and (typically) your own boss
- You have creative control over your content and layout
- You set your own schedule
- Brands want to date you
With that final point, brands have come to realize that blogs are very important to their visibility and that they need you to help spread their messages. Brands identify bloggers as “influencers” in some topic field and if their brand matches up to the content on the blog, they “pitch” their story or brand to bloggers in hope to form a mutually beneficial relationship with one another. According to Technorati, “The most frequently approached Hobbyist, Professional part-time, Professional full-time, and Entrepreneur bloggers report being approached more than 200 times per week.” A huge niche of the blogger community is the Mommy blogger sector, and some of the top Mommy Bloggers receive 500 pitches a day.
One of the marketer responses Technorati released from their annual 2011 State Of The Blogosphere report said, “We see blogger outreach as the opportunity to leverage influencers and connect with a new audience. We recognize that there are conversations happening in the blogosphere that are applicable to the brands we represent and we believe it’s valuable for our brands to join the discussion.”
Blogs have truly changed how brands interact online and with their ability to quickly share their information through Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ sharing tools, all of this infinite knowledge created by industry experts is available with just a click of the mouse. This has also in turn created a need in society for bloggers, generating a solid career path for those who are able to communicate their ideas online and are recognized as an industry leader. There are many perks to this profession and as it continues to grow, I predict bloggers will have an even greater influence on our culture and that this will become an ever-growing career option.
What do you think of blogging as a career choice? Do you have a favorite blog you read?