Toronto Star: Only 100 Blogs Make Money

A story on the business side of blogging in today's Toronto Star makes a wildly inaccurate claim -- only the top 100 blogs make money.

Many blogs do make money but a vast majority of them don't, according to Derek Gordon, vice-president of marketing for Technorati, a San Francisco-based Internet search engine for blogs. The site tracks about 65 million blogs. It also ranks them.

"Typically, the top 100 blogs do some form of monetization," says Gordon.

There's money being made in blogging beyond the big names. I run four blogs that aren't anywhere close to the top 100 -- ranking on Technorati from 4,000 to 10,000 -- and they've become a decent part-time job. (I could double the income overnight if I wasn't rejecting all text-link ad offers.) Randy Charles Morin recently turned his KBCafe blog network into a full-time gig because of the revenue it's earning.

Take a look at the rate card for the Liberal Blog Advertising Network, the group that kicked my ass to the curb in 2005. Even in a slow period before the presidential election ramps up, the 20th most popular blog in that network is making $500 this week in ad revenue.

Aaron Brazell recently put his TechnoSailor blog up for auction on SitePoint Marketplace, a place where web publishers can sell established web sites.

TechnoSailor has decent-but-not great numbers -- a Technorati ranking of 2,300, Google page rank of 6 and monthly income of $250 -- yet the auction sold for $23,750. The deal subsequently fell through when they couldn't reach terms on a contract, but it's comparable to what buyers are paying for other sites in the same marketplace.

A business reporter who thinks there's no money in blogging should talk to people like Morin, BlogAds founder Henry Copeland and the publisher of SitePoint. As blogging matures and some publishers look to get out, the ones who sell out are going to be pleasantly surprised at what their sites are worth.


Last month I had 11 blogs that made money, that is, made more than their hosting cost. I must be the smartest blogger ever, as I represent 11% of all blogs that make money ;-) I also have 4 blogs that made >$1000 last month and this month I should have 5. Either I'm the greatest blogger ever or The Star forgot to do a little research. And since I live in Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, it wouldn't have been hard for them (The Toronto Star) to do a little fact checking with a local telephone call.

Thanks for the mention.

I think that if a web site earns less than a minimum wage job-- about $900.00 per month, you really have to think hard about the logic behind there phrase "blog XXX makes money."

Yes it's earning money in a technical sense. But when you compare the blog, the time and effort, to the earnings of a high school dropout flipping burgers, is it really worth it?

I don't see any reason for reading that as "only 100 blogs make money." I'd parse it as "some blogs try to make money, some don't; most of the time, everything on Technorati's Top 100 list is trying to make money."

Phil: I'm referring more to the article's subhead, "Only top 100 of 65 million make money, says tracker," than to the Technorati exec's quotes.

Yeah, the subhead is wrong - it obviously garbled what the guy said.

But I think it's true that only the BigHead makes money, in the sense of enough to have a reasonable living. I agree with Barry, it's really not how the phrase is used in this sort of context to take it to mean one cent more than expenses.

But I think it's true that only the BigHead makes money, in the sense of enough to have a reasonable living.

I don't see any reason to think that, given some of the bloggers who've shared business details with me and the published ad rates on places like BlogAds. A blog doesn't have to make full-time income if it doesn't require full-time work. A blogger earning $500 a week from a couple hours a day of effort is doing a lot better than a burger flipper, assuming it's a supplement to other work.

That's not in contradiction to what I said. It's just saying some other people make hobby money. Note it's very easy to underestimate maintenance time. Hosting cost is hardly the whole story.

By the way monthly income of $250 -- yet the auction sold for $23,750 - that's not surprising at all. The standard rule of real-estate is to buy at 80 times monthly rental income.

80*$250= $20,000, almost exactly what it sold for.

But how long, and how much work, to build it up to that level?

One of the largest fallacies of blog market discussion is not to consider opportunity-cost. Another is to point to only the rare success, and not mention the people who get negative outcomes such as losing a job because of blogging. The whole picture needs to be considered overall.


You're talking about the Toronto Star.

It's a rag and blight on the environment at the best of times. There are enough oxygen producing trees eliminated from the biosphere in a typical Saturday run to asphyxiate Africa.

As for reportage, although the Star has its Atkinson Principles (famously said to be tattooed on editors' butts), it will overlook the worst of government excess and corruption with guile befitting Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - so long as it suits the Atkinson agenda. A shabby way to treat both sides of an issue.

Balanced it's not and you will find more depth in its advertising inserts than on its editorial bench.


Barry, Why does a blogger have to make a full-time income from his blog to say he is making money? The vast majority of bloggers (99.9%) do this part-time or as a hobby. $900/m is a nice bonus to your income for less than 1 hour of work per day.

I haven't tried blogging yet. I have been writing articles for Helium though, but so far I haven't made much.

There are lots of people working part-time and full-time from their home creating blog with an intention to make their living on blog but as per the Toronto Star if really only the top 100 blogs are making money than it is huge blow off for them! Really it sends a discouraging message to one who are really looking forward to make money through blogs.

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