July 18, 2011

The plight of the independent — right wing? — blogger.

Right Wing News has a piece called "The Slow, Painful Coming Death Of The Independent, Conservative Blogosphere," and the part that jumped out at me isn't about where one is on the political spectrum:
Most bloggers are not very good at marketing, not very good at monetizing, there are no sugar daddies giving us cash, and this isn’t the biggest market in the world to begin with. In other words, this is a time-consuming enterprise, but few people are going to make enough money to go full time. How many people can put in 20-30-40-50 hours a week on something that’s not going to ever be their full time job? Can they do it for 5 years? 10 years? 15? 20?
Actually, there are a lot of people who do that: artists, retired folk, stay-at-home spouses, people who already have enough money, the disabled, and the hardcore believer. You know when you are writing for the intrinsic value of writing (and reaching readers) and when you are writing for money (or some combination of the 2). The thought that you are "put[ting] in 20-30-40-50 hours a week" nags in the head of a person who is doing it for money.

39 comments:

Kyle Luebke said...

Exactly, I have been writing for over a year - not long compared to some - but do it because not only am I passionate about my topic, but because it also helps me with my writing skills. I enjoy blogging and find it a preferable pastime than video games or other things that my generation seems preoccupied with.

Scott M said...

Actually, there are a lot of people who do that:

You forgot alcoholics, the unemployable and angry loners.

TosaGuy said...

Classic intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation.

During my impending period of unemployment, I will be blogging more because I make my living researching and writing and want to keep those skills sharp. Plus, blog topics are fun.

Shouting Thomas said...

What's the plight?

Either you decide to do it or you quit.

Blogs that are solely political are a bore, because politics is mostly a bore. The 2 or 3 positions on any issue are quickly defined, and after that it's all repetition and name calling.

The best blogs are completely independent in their content. 2Blowhards was my favorite. It died because the authors got tired of the demands on their time. This is OK by me. Why should blogs continue forever? 2Blowhards was one of the first blogs to simply blow PC thought control to hell, which was a valuable service.

Althouse is not entirely conservative, nor is it entirely political.

The full time political blogs, generally, aren't worth reading. But, that's because I don't see politics as the answer to anything.

I with Kookie here, although for entirely different reasons. I don't see a hell of a lot of difference in practice between Democrats and Republicans.

I blog for the hell of it. When I have something to write about it, I write.

ndspinelli said...

My daughter is a recent grad looking for jobs in public relations. At a job interview she was told to set up a blog to display and refine her writing..this is something prospective employers want to see.

Shouting Thomas said...

What keeps you going, Althouse? I sometimes wonder about that.

Looks like a hell of a lot of work for little money. And, you don't have any money problems.

I'd guess you are a compulsive striver. Got to be accomplishing something.

Is there some point where you'd like to just fuck it all, and stop proving yourself?

Being married to the computer has some drawbacks. I'm getting tired of it. Trying to spend more time away from the computer.

I can remember when I didn't even have a computer in my home. Did a lot of other things. In some ways, it was better.

Kim Priestap said...

I will never making money blogging, but I don't care. I love writing. Even if no one ever reads what I post, that's ok with me. I write for my own purpose and satisfaction.

Kim Priestap said...

What happened to my picture?

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd guess you are a compulsive striver. Got to be accomplishing something. Is there some point where you'd like to just fuck it all, and stop proving yourself?"

I don't identify at all with the viewpoint expressed in those questions. You're asking why do I keep doing something you haven't established that I do.

Fred4Pres said...

(1) artists, (2) retired folk, (3) stay-at-home spouses, (4) people who already have enough money, (5) the disabled, and (6) the hardcore believer.

So which is you Ann?

TosaGuy said...

I blog anonymously for a variety of reasons, but it has opened several very positive real-life opportunities and friendships that would have never happened otherwise.

Fred4Pres said...

Are you a "1" with a touch of "6"?

Fred4Pres said...

Tosa adds a new catagory: (7) make new friends and get in sdventures.

(that works for Ann too doesn't it!)

Rockport Conservative said...

I spend at least 5 hours everyday combing the web, forwarding articles and posting on my blog. I am almost 75, retired except for this job, and I am passionate about it because it means I am trying to keep a free country for my children, grandchildren and now 3 great grandchildren. I just wish I had more response to the posts. The emails I do get response and no one complains or asks to be left off the list, but as for the blog, I just wish it was reaching more people.
I think the core of conservative bloggers became
"popular" back when I was just commenting regularly on some. I came too late to the game for that, but I just hope it is reaching some and helping to change someone a little bit.

Fred4Pres said...

Rockport Conservative adds one more catagory (although it is part of "6" too): (8) Save the world and the American way!

And (7) is "make new friends and get in adventures."

Ann would be a (1) and (7) with a touch of (6) on justifying her Obama vote.

Fred4Pres said...

I am assuming these catagories work beyond the independent right wing blogger. Ann is more of the independent moderate blogger.

Shouting Thomas said...

I don't identify at all with the viewpoint expressed in those questions. You're asking why do I keep doing something you haven't established that I do.

There is a common personality type associated with lawyers. I worked in a law firm for a long time.

The staff was united in a general loathing of the lawyers they served. The reason was because the lawyers were taking the God damned job so seriously, when the staff saw clearly that the job was only about making money and that it had no other purpose.

The common personality type of lawyers is aggressive, workaholic, self-interested to the point of hysteria, absurdly vain about their intelligence and convinced of their God given right to boss other people around.

So, I'm extrapolating from the template.

The traits I've mentioned are very good traits for somebody determined to make a go of it over the long term as a blogger.

Megalomania helps.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We had this discussion in 2002. Only then it was the op-ed columnists who didn't get it, and the bloggers who did.

AllenS said...

I've often wondered why people keep reading the stupid crap that I post.

Phil 3:14 said...

An independent blogger competing with them is like a mom & pop store going toe-to-toe with Wal-Mart.

That settles it, you are no longer "Professor". From now on I'm calling you "Mom"

Phil 3:14 said...

What I yearn for is a truly centrist and successful blog. This comes close. There are too many "I claim to be a centrist/moderate but its only because I see myself that way" blogs (i.e. TMV)

PS Not saying you're a centrist, Mom (that would be an insult, wouldn't it.). Its that the mix of commenters gives it more a splash of centrism.

(Boy, I hope that comment doesn't hurt your reputation.)

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

What Fred said. I don't think any of us can imagine the work that must go into an enterprise like this. Many bloggers (Jacobson, Malkin, that, uh, McCain fellow) have had to take on partners.

(I was going to add a facetious line about Meade, but I don't think Doug Powers makes Michele Malkin's pancakes)

Shouting Thomas said...

I with Kookie here, although for entirely different reasons. I don't see a hell of a lot of difference in practice between Democrats and Republicans.

Not quite. There isn't much difference between the Demos and the RINOs.

Imagine a Republican Party composed of people like Tom Coburn, Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Eric Cantor, Allen West, Marco Rubio, and Herman Cain without the Romneys, Pawlentys, and Danielses.

Now there's a diffference.

WV "fecula" The Count's somewhat hapless cousin.

edward irvin said...

Excellent point, true with all pursuits in life.

teej said...

AA says:

"Actually, there are a lot of people who do that: artists, retired folk, stay-at-home spouses, people who already have enough money, the disabled, and the hardcore believer."

I think you left out one of the primary groups, college professors.

Their responsibilities include:

1)Teaching at most 2 classes a semester,
2) with at most 5 hours of actual in-class instructional time a semester,
3) for at most 7 months of the year,
4)teaching the same courses year after year using the same prepared course material,
5) potentially having a graduate assistant to help with this crushing amount of work.

Nice work if you can get it! And lots and lots of free time for a hobby, blogging or otherwise.

Alex said...

Althouse is performing a public service by NEVER posting about the Faux News scandal.

Freeman Hunt said...

How odd to think that money is the only reason people do things.

Titus said...

Think tits.

Just put an ad on the site with a large set of tits.

The revenue will rush in.

tits.

Chip S. said...

How odd to think that money is the only reason people do things.

Indeed.

People seem to confuse the generally correct proposition that people will do more of something if they get paid for it with the false notion that people's sole motivation is money.

Most bloggers are like people tending their own gardens, mostly satisfying themselves and maybe offering their neighbors some tomatoes at harvest time. People who want to blog for a living had better be prepared to operate a large-scale farm.

The Althouse blog, oddly enough, seems more like a classic Viennese coffee house than a garden or a farm. I guess the gardening takes care of itself.

Tim said...

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

"Those authors who would find many readers, must endeavour to please while they instruct."
—Samuel Johnson

Chip S. said...

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

Did he specify a minimum amount?

Tim said...

And one more:

"The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it."
—Samuel Johnson

Tim said...

Chip: Perhaps a penny, which would get you a bowl of porridge in Dr. Johnson's day.

Chip S. said...

Tim--Isn't it funny, then, how Johnson is mostly known today through a book published after his death, by someone else?

Better still, thanks to Project Gutenberg you can download The Life of Johnson for free.

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirby Olson said...

I might spend an hour a day, working out ideas that I would otherwise work out in a journal, grateful for feedback.

Trooper York said...

WAIT A MINUTE?

YOU CAN GET PAID FOR THIS!!!!!

HOLEY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim said...

Trooper: This is worth as much as a blog post.

There's value in everything.

WV = nicence

Quick, call the perfume guy!

Trooper York said...

Wow Tim. Where did you get that photo of Jeremy?