Why the Free model fails for bloggers

  • 0
  • February 29, 2008
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

Most bloggers churn out free content day and night for very little reward. Others develop innovative strategies such as selling consulting, ebooks, forum access and even products. Which model is best?

Venture capital funded sites don’t need to make money selling advertising or ebooks. They make their money by attracting as many users as possible before selling the service to a bigger company. Essentially this is what bloggers do -they attract as many readers as possible but then they never seem to sell to a bigger company. Of course there are exceptions such as Weblogs Inc but the vast majority of blogs just keep getting bigger and bigger without ever being sold. Consider a VC company normally looks for an exit strategy within 2 to 5 years and it might be time you started thinking about either making some money from your blog or selling it.

Sites that have successful premium features are few and far between. Selling advertising on a blog isn’t worth it until you have a huge amount of traffic/readers because the going rates seem to be so low that you need to plaster your site with ads just to cover your monthly living costs.

Only the biggest blogs can make a go of selling premium features but those that do are going to be 10x more valuable in 12 months than bloggers that just keep on blogging. Imagine how much more money a site like Gizmodo could make if it had its own on-site gadget store?

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