free html hit counter Blogging For Dollars - John Battelle's Search Blog

Blogging For Dollars

By - December 07, 2003

A recent Blog Search Engine survey written up in Marketing Wonk shows that 13% of bloggers run ads, 9% have been “approached by companies to blog about their products” and 7% blog for money. While Marketing Wonk spun these as low numbers, I disagree, I think they are quite high, given the early nature of the form. In particular, the 13% who run ads sounds way too high – I doubt 13% of websites ran ads in 1995, for example.
A quick review of the methodology, such that it is, shows that it’s a survey of 610 bloggers who have submitted their sites to the Blog Search Engine and “other blog owners contacted through different channels.” Come on, we can do better that this! I think these kind of stats are fascinating, and would even be useful if they were in any way defensible as statistically significant.

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7 thoughts on “Blogging For Dollars

  1. mary hodder says:

    I agree the study and conclusions could be better, but I believe much more than 13% of the blogs I read carry ads because they are so easy to implement now. Many blogs don’t have them on the front page, but hit a permalink, and find them attached to anything below the top. Interesting stuff, though.

  2. Since almost 40% are on Blogspot probably some people are running Google’s ads who answered no.

    While I answered the survey I almost didn’t. It seemed pretty sloppy and probably had a worthless sample. (Used to be in market research many, many years ago.)

  3. That seems high to me. I imagine a lot of bloggers have tried ads, however, but have learned they aren’t a good way to make even pocket change, and so they yanked them. Boing Boing gets close to 20,000 visitors a day (which is puny by most commercial site standards, but probaby above average for blogs) and my ad experiments there have been failures. The exception is house ads. Cory and I do pretty well plugging our own books on Boing Boing.

  4. I’m curious, Mark – what did you try? Adsense? Overture? Were the resulting listings too random, given the eclectic nature of your postings? Or did it take too much space on the site? Or something else? A readership of 20K a day is extraordinary. Not that you would or should, but I am sure if you really pushed – say got a sales person and/or joined the right ad network, you could make ads work. Then, of course, you’d be seen as selling out, or at the very least trying to hard. And you’d lose all your readers. Sigh. No easy way to make a buck.

  5. Hi John! We tried affiliate ads for a robot company and a software company. We might tgry Google Adwords. I’m thinking it might be good to keep boing boing as an ad-free zone, and have a couple of spin off blogs that are much more focused, and then have ads on those.

    You’ve got a great blog, by the way! It’s on my RRS list now.

  6. Peter says:

    Another factor to consider is that the people who blog for profit are probably weighted toward the more active end of the blog spectrum. I doubt that people who set up a blog, make a few posts here and there are the ones that are likely to make money.

  7. Michael says:


    You’re getting over 20,000 visits a day & don’t have AdSense running?!?! I’ll pay you to let me run my AdSense account over there. 🙂