Should You Quit Your Day Job to Blog?
June 12, 2006 — -- Most people blog for vanity: They like having their "voice" broadcast worldwide over the Internet. Few seem to blog for money, but that is beginning to change.
You hear of people losing their jobs because of their racy, tell-all blogs, but you rarely hear about people quitting their day jobs to turn a blogging obsession into a profession. But some who have made that career switch find they make more money in a week than they had in a year with their regular jobs. So how do you make your blog profitable?
Amanda Congdon, 24, one of the co-founders of Rocketboom.com, a video blog (vlog) that charges advertisers up to $85,000 a week to put their message on the site. Rocketboom launched in 2004 and now gets 300,000 viewers a day.
Rocketboom, a three-minute daily vlog based in New York City, has a feel not unlike Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" -- current events with a humorous edge.
Congdon sits behind the news desk, in front of a world map, as if she's going to report hard-hitting news, but when she starts talking, she is everything but a typical news anchor: Her eyes pop with expression, her content is quirky and her hand gestures animated. It's a site that has figured out not only how to entertain the tech-savvy, Internet audience but also how to make a profit.
Some of the advertising is integrated into the content. In one vlog cast, Congdon wears a black T-shirt with white lettering that reads "Mac Chick" -- a shout-out to Apple Computers.
In February Rocketboom sold advertising space on eBay to the highest bidder, for $40,000. That auction winner, TRM, an ATM and photocopy services firm, received five new commercials, 15 to 60 seconds in length, created by Rocketboom. The spots aired on the site for one week. The five original advertisements linked to the sponsor's Web site, and they live on in Rocketboom's archived Web pages.
After selling a couple of successful ad campaigns, Rocketboom is now selling ad space on a sliding scale, based on a company's annual gross revenue. For instance, if the company has an AGR of $100 million or more, an ad campaign produced by Rocketboom would cost $85,000 for a five-day run.