Are Pro Bloggers Going Extinct Soon?

Louis Gray has an interesting post looking at Blogging 2.0 in which the content and conversation (C&C) are increasingly happening in places other than a blog.

He suggests this is “going to cause serious strain” on people who make a living from blogging given page views will likely decline. This will make blogs less attractive to advertisers and less lucrative in terms of AdSense and e-commerce opportunities.

While I agree with Louis that bloggers need to embrace the new landscape, the reality is if blogs continue to lose their role as the primary way people consume content then the days of the pro blogger running a lucrative blog franchise are going to be over soon.

Amid this environment, there seems to be few opportunities for people to create a viable blogging business. Fewer page views means less advertising even if you’re creating terrific content. I’d be willing to bet that if this landscape existed a few years ago, people such as such Om Malik, Richard MacManus, Darren Rowse (aka Problogger) or Andrew Sullivan would never have been able to become pro bloggers.

The writing is definitely on the wall so bloggers who are in it for the money, or in it to build a brand, or in it just for fun need to adapt, although the change will be far less painful for people not trying to make some serious bucks. Marketing and presence are going to be more important so you’ve got to go where the action is happening, be it Twitter, Friendfiend, Shyftr or Facebook.

For bloggers who still want to build an advertising-driven business, content will be important. Then again, I’m starting to think that running a mass-consumption blog doesn’t lend itself to deep, insight writing unless you’re a Robert Cringely. Blogs that attract a lot of traffic are pumping out a lot of posts so they can appeal to a broad audience. And these posts – regardless of the subject – tend to be content snacks as opposed to be meals.

Bloggers are also going to work harder on making their blogs more of a destination. Steve Hodson had a good post on how sidebars, for example, need to offer readers value as opposed to being playgrounds for cool widgets and advertising.

And bloggers are going to be more promotional and active in the community to attract the spotlight. This is not to suggest we all need to become Robert Scoble but the more people who know you, the bigger audience you have who just may visit your blog.

The blog game is changing and people need to change with it. Well to Blogging 2.0!

More: This is a subject I initially wrote about last November in a post called “What if No One Actually Reads Blogs?”. By the way, Guy Kawasaki has a Q&A with Rowse, who is a six-figure blogger. Unfortunately, Kawasaki doesn’t ask Rowse about the impact of Friendfeed, etc.

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