Fred Wilson sparked a nice conversation about how many bloggers get “paid” when people leaving comments, and how this payment system is breaking down as blog content and comments becomes splattered over the Web through services such as Friendster and Shyftr.
While the idea of “blogger” and “getting paid” are an oxymoron to the vast majority of bloggers, Fred does put the spotlight on how bloggers are compensated for pounding away day after day.
1. Advertising: If you’re lucky (like Fred) and get enough traffic, you’ll get to run advertising other than AdSense, and maybe generate enough revenue to treat yourself to a nice dinner every so often. For 99% of bloggers, AdSense is it so, for example, your blog gets 1,000 page views/day, you’re looking at about $30/month in revenue, although it could be higher if you’re in a niche such as digital cameras.
2. Comments: If you’re not into blogging for the money, comments are the reward. There’s nothing more disheartening to write something brilliant and/or provocative, but have no one comment while some off-the-cuff post written by Robert Scoble is pounded with comments.
As Fred points out, comments are happening in many places other than blogs so bloggers aren’t aware of comments being made. As well, comments are becoming more difficult to attract because the comment-erati (aka people who leave comments) are being wooed by Friendfeed, Twitter, etc.
3. Tips: In theory, a good concept based on the idea that if someone likes your blog, they will tip you. Reality: it doesn’t work. Tipjoy, which offers a tip widget, has attracted 7736 tips worth a whopping $2683.51 for bloggers since February – or less than $25/day.
4. Branding and profile: Like those Mastercard commercials, it’s hard to place a value on a blog that raises your profile and personal brand.
For more, check out Steve Hodson, who suggests that WordPress should acquired Disqus, which is attracting a growing number of bloggers with its comment service. A WordPress-Disqus deal makes sense given WordPress has lots of cash to make acquisitions, and Disqus is a cool service with, to date, no business plan. For more on Disqus, check out this Q&A that I did with co-founder Daniel Ha. Stowe Boyd also offers some good insight on Fred’s post.
More: For more thoughts on comment copyright, check out Hank Williams.