No Money in the Blogging Long Tail? Really!

Big revelations (note: high level of facetiousness) from Read/WriteWeb: “There’s No Money In The Long Tail of the Blogosphere”.

Translation: If you have a blog with little traffic, you’ll be lucky if the AdSense Gods earn you enough for a few trips to Starbucks each month.

If you didn’t know this already, where have you been exactly? The online advertising market is a high-volume game. The more traffic you have, the more attractive you are to advertisers, the higher your chances of making money from advertising. And so it goes.

If, on the other hand, you have a site with little traffic (less than 100,000 pageviews a month), you’re probably dreaming about AdSense clicks. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule where a small, well-targeted site can attractive advertisers but these are exceptions to the rule.

A bigger concern for bloggers who depend on advertising, including Read/WriteWeb, is the rapid emergence of RSS as a content consumption tool. If people are getting content from RSS readers, they’re not visiting Web sites where all that pretty advertising is waiting to capture your attention. Not good news for revenue-seeking bloggers or advertisers. I riffed on this growing reality earlier this week.

More: Aidan Henry had a good post this week on the economics of online advertising. His math is eye-opening, and hammers home the point that being small online makes it hard to be big in business.

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  • Jim Kukral

    You just gotta know how to market to them Mark. Or build a solution to target their needs. Which I did at

    But you’re right, it’s not new news.

  • Ed Lee

    can you not advertise through RSS? scott adams at the dilbert blog has said something similar but i’m sure feedburner will start to offer the same sort of monetization as google’s adsense…

    especially now they’ve been assimilated!

  • Aidan Henry

    Thanks for the nod Mark. It’s an interesting area that definitely merits further scrutiny. I don’t think the average person has any idea how hard it is to monetize via advertising…


  • Alex Iskold

    Hi Mark,

    Yes, this might not be a big revelation. The bigger one is that if the long tail has no incentive being there and begins to disintegrate this is going to hurt advertisers who make money from it.


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  • Mark Evans

    To be honest, I don’t think the long tail will dwindle any time soon given the low barriers to entry. The other question is: who’s advertising within the long tail? If, in fact, there is “disintegration”, I’m sure many of these advertisers will have lots of other options.