The Wall Street Journal published an article this morning, titled, “America’s Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire.” It’s already gotten a good chunk of attention (including a response from the writer meant to address a number of concerns with the original article). It focuses on some figures, based primarily on a report from Technorati and a few other studies, that estimate the number of bloggers making a full-time income on the basis of their writing to be about 450,000. Whether you agree with the figures and the methodology behind them or not, there are some important facts buried in this story.
The headline refers to bloggers for hire — but most of the blogs that the article really focuses on are entrepreneurial ventures. There are a few hat tips to the real bloggers for hire — corporate bloggers, freelance writers working on a per post rate and so forth — but they don’t get a lot of attention. I think that the number of people earning money for writing on blogs that don’t belong to them is definitely on the rise (though I’m not really all that confident in the numbers cited in the WSJ article). They may be going up even more than the income stand-alone bloggers are bringing in. As every small business gets into blogging, for instance, most quickly discover that outsourcing their blogs is the most practical way to get things done.
These days, the majority of the writing projects I do involve at least some amount of blogging. It may be something as simple as putting together a few basic posts for a company to promote their projects, but my blogging income is certainly on the rise — as long as you focus on the blogging for hire I do. This particular blog doesn’t make me money directly and I don’t write it with the intention of making money.
All of this has me thinking: If you’d be willing to share how much of your income (percentage, number, vague estimate) comes from blogging, I’d love to hear it. I’d also like to know if you want to expand that number — would you rather take the blogger for hire route or be a more traditional freelance writer?