Blogging for buck$.
From Frank Barnako's blogs.marketwatch.com/barnako-- of COURSE people are blogging for money. Does this mean that the Internet is turning into one long infomercial? And who lives a life that places value on checking blogs about shirts?!?
Here's the text:
"Thousands of people love to read about, as well as eat, fast food. And Jay Brewer's here to fill that appetite with Fastfoodfever.com .
It is one of 14 blogs produced by his Arlington, Mass. company, Blogpire Productions. Each is capitalizing on Americans' hunger for news, gossip, humor, and most importantly, stuff to buy. The blogs don't cover the Middle East or politics or business. They focus on products or hobbies which instill passion, such as high definition TV ( tvsnob.com ), shirts ( shirtsnob.com ) and organic food ( reallynatural.com ). "Weblogs for the product oriented consumer," is the company's motto.
Brewer, 34-years-old, stumbled into the business while reading somebody else's site, PVRblog.com. It covers Tivo and digital video recorders. "I started wondering what other product categories weren't being covered," he remembered. "I saw an article about Senseo in Europe, a single serve coffee maker. It was going to be introduced here and I thought that could be interesting, to take advantage of the publicity and write reviews of coffee and other things."
Singleservecoffee.com was a hit. Using ads supplied by Google, and linking to Amazon.com as an affiliate to sell coffee makers and other items, "I had a business." Soon, Brewer also had several more blogs, each a niche kind of publication where none had been before and traditional publishers had ignored: kitchencontraptions.com and justthechips.com . He was writing them himself, until he launched shavingstuff.com with a partner. That worked, and now there are 9 writers. Revenue from ads and product sales ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 a month. The writers get 50%.
"Our 'magic' is not just finding niches," Brewer said. "We try to have a careful balance of good editorial and (to be) really caring about the content and not just putting it up there and hope to make a buck." But he concedes to still being surprised telling a Wall Street Journal reporter, "I find it absolutely mind-blowing that you can do this full-time. It's just amazing that thousands of people are reading what you put up."
One recent launch illustrates what might be Blogpire Productions' business strategy: see a new pattern of consumer behavior and figure out how to cater to it, and sell something. Criticalgamers.com, Brewer explains, is "for people who want to play board games and spend time with people and not just watch TV."
Blogpire's network reaches as many as 750,000 people a month and collects revenue from almost three dozen advertisers. The company has reached such a size with its blogs and visitors that adding another publication doesn't require much paid promotion. Linking from the existing sites and weekly e-mails that alert readers to what's new help new ventures get off the ground.
"We have launched a few duds" Brewer admits. A tennis blog hasn't done well. "I don't think those people are online."
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