Questions for Nick Denton

Nick Denton seems to be on a bit of a publicity tour at the moment as there have been quite a few interviews with him and articles about him online in the past few days. Here is another Questions for… Nick Dention. Here is one of the questions put to Nick:

WSJ: Name two interesting moments in blog-ad history.

Mr. Denton: The first most significant development is Google’s AdSense. This enables small Web sites — like Weblogs — to at least fund some of their costs without having to build an advertising sales force. It provides very good targeting of text ad to content. If there is an item about Palm Pilots, then Google will supply ads about Palm Pilots automatically without any need for manual intervention. For certain topics, the revenues are quite meaningful. There are some Web sites, like a site called PVRblog, all about personal video recorders, that pretty much cover their running costs with Google ads and nothing else. The other development, in the last six months, advertisers like Nike and Audi are discovering blogs and engaging with the medium. I think it shows that blogs can attract innovative, brave advertisers, not just technology advertising, not just performance-based advertising, but classic brand advertising.

Blogging for Dollars: WebPro News

WebProNews has a good little article on Blogging for Dollars that picks up a few income streams available for bloggers wanting to make money from their blogging.

‘Blogging for dollars might sound like the latest game show or some new drinking game, but it’s the latest craze to hit the Internet. Bloggers began blogging for a number of reasons, but as the blog movement has increased in popularity, they have found ways to monetize their blogs and are seeing their commitment pay off’

Also read my article of the same name – Blogging for Dollars

Creative Weblogging – Paying for Content

Creative Weblogging is offering to pay bloggers $5 for sending in an article to their growing network of blogs. Creative Weblogging is developing a similar blogging network to that of Weblogs Inc with an interesting array of blogs.

Obviously they’ve done their sums and worked out that in the long run they can make more than $5 per post on certain topics – interesting.

Twelve Business Models for Blog Technologies

Online Business Networks Blog has an interesting post on Twelve Business Models for Blog Technologies
They divide it into four categories:

– Traditional Businesses Leveraging Blogs – including Individual virtual presence, Corporate virtual presence and Using blogs to improve existing processes.
– Selling Blog Technology – including Technology sales to the enterprise and Technology sales focused on individuals .
– Media Businesses Using Blogs – including Online communities, Premium Content and Blog-based media.
– Peripheral Services – including Enabling advertising to blog audience, Data about the blogosphere, Consulting and Education.

Its an interesting breakdown – where does your proBlogging fit into this framework? Most of mine to this point focusses upon 6. – Blog-based media.

Write a review and win a $100 Amazon Gift Voucher

I’m running this competition on my other blogs and thought some of you might like to participate.

Do you own a digital camera, printer, scanner or camera phone? Would you like the chance to win a $100 (US) gift from Amazon simply by writing a short review of your experiences with it?

Digital Photography Blog, in conjunction with Camera Phone Zone and Printer Blog are giving you the chance to win a $100 gift voucher from Amazon for each review of a printer, scanner, digital camera, camera phone or photo editing software package. You get one chance in the draw for each review submitted in the next 30 days. Entries close on 5th November 2004. Please carefully read the following Conditions and Guidelines before submitting entries.

Entries should be submitted via email to Darren at:

darren at or by using this contact form (please ensure you leave a contact email address so that we can contact you regarding your prize if drawn on November 5).

Conditions of entry:
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Blogs enter mainstream, eye revenue streams

This article in New York Business takes a look at two of the emerging Revenue Raising Blogging Organizations – Gawker and Weblogsinc.

“Shedding their outsider status, blogs are not only entering the political and cultural mainstream, but they are also looking to become moneymaking media businesses. Two of the most aggressive companies, Manhattan-based Weblogs Inc. and Gawker Media, are intent on building profitable, advertising-supported blog networks.

”In the last six months, advertisers have woken up to Web logs,“ says Nick Denton, a British transplant whose Gawker Media publishes three irreverent gossip sites, including for New York and for Washington, D.C., as well as a porn site, and a blog devoted to technology gadgets. ”They’ve become interested because they see a young, hip demographic that is pretty elusive in other mediums,“ he says.”

Of course, it’s far from certain that these current media darlings will be any more successful than the rash of Web-based magazines that sprouted during the dot-com era. However, these operations have learned an important lesson–keep expenditures to a minimum.

Read more at Blogs Enter Mainstream, Eye Revenue Streams

Product Blogs

Peter Davidson has a post worth reading titled Thinking About Product Blogs.

‘Many product blogs(PB) and small biz blogs(SBB) fail to define narrowly enough their audience and what they want to accomplish with their blog. Are you writing for existing customers or prospective customers? Both is the common answer. I would say this is a problem since the interests and information needs of these two groups are very different. For example: many SBBs and PBs post every media or prominent blogger mention they get. While this may be useful to people seeking additional information about your product it is not very useful to existing product owners. Do I really want to read all the press clippings about a product I already own. Press mentions should be compiled in a sidebar or miniblog.’

Read more of Thinking About Product Blogs.

Three kinds of blogs – Which are best Suited to Making Money?

Seth’s Godin has an interesting post unpacking three types of blogs.

He classifies them as:

1. News Blogs – Chronicling the News of the day on a variety of topics from Politics to Gadgetry to Recipies.

2. Writers Blogs – Where a writer rants, raves, monologues, writes – generally original content inspired by life, readers questions, others thoughts.

3. Our Blogs – Community centred blogs where posts stimulate discussion – its less about one blogger’s ideas but about a communal learning/discussion/discovery etc.

Of course some blogs attempt to sit between two of these categories – or emerge from one into another over time.

Thinking about Revenue Streams – how does this apply to commercial opportunities? –

News Blogs – most of the blogs out there that seem to be attempting to generate revenue directly seem to fit into the ‘News Blog’ type category. For example consider Gizmodo which points to and announces new technological gadgets. There are hundreds of other blogs doing similar things including most of my own ventures.

Some Writers blogs are big and popular enough to generate some income but in my experience it is pretty hard to do so as the advertising pool can be a little limited. Some of the blogs that I’d say fit into this cateogory who run ads include Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan.

Our Blogs‘ I see as a bit of an untapped area in terms of the commercial nature. One of the things I’ve noticed about some ‘Our Blogs’ is that they generate ALOT of repeat traffic. People come back to them to interact, leave comments, lurk, debate – this is an idea situation for impression based ads programs like Fastclick. In my experience these community type blogs don’t tend to do well on programs that rely on clicks as much because those using the blogs become a little blind to the ads – but impression based ads are another story. One of the blogs that I’ve seen that is very successful in its community focus work is Idol Blog.

Read more of Seth’s thinking at Three kinds of blogs

Blogging not leading to financial prosperity

This article in the Houston Chronicle is all about how bloggers are NOT getting rich – or anywhere near rich – from blogging. It is an interesting read – but as with so many of these articles (and they are appearing more and more) – they tend to focus upon personal or even political bloggers and not those who are focussing upon niche target markets/topics (which is where I think there is most potential to make some decent money with some commitment, creativity and hard work. I also suspect that we’re not hearing too many stories of successful bloggers who are making money partly because such bloggers are not wanting to tell their story for fear of the market being flooded with competitors.

Anyway – here is what they write.

‘If you think those Web journals of opinions and obsessions are a way to get rich, consider Jeff Soyer, a self-described “gay gun nut” in Vermont.

Soyer, who runs the journal, pleaded for donations last month alongside an image of a tip jar topped by gun-toting cartoon character Yosemite Sam. “Ten bucks buys a box of bullets or feeds my cats for a week,” he wrote.

Days passed and he received nothing. “By next week this domain could belong to a porno site,” he subsequently posted. “Maybe you folks think that would be a better thing. I’m starting to think so, too.” Only after other bloggers linked to his request did he receive enough donations to pay the $117 for a domain name and a year of Web hosting fees.

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