Note to Bloggers: Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Dan Lyons, better known to most as Fake Steve Jobs, wrote an article in Newsweek today entitled “Time to Hang Up the Pajamas“, or “Growing Rich by Blogging Is a High-Tech Fairy Tale”.

An excerpt:

My first epiphany occurred in August 2007, when The New York Times ran a story revealing my identity, which until then I’d kept secret. On that day more than 500,000 people hit my site—by far the biggest day I’d ever had—and through Google’s AdSense program I earned about a hundred bucks. Over the course of that entire month, in which my site was visited by 1.5 million people, I earned a whopping total of $1,039.81. Soon after this I struck an advertising deal that paid better wages. But I never made enough to quit my day job.

Read the whole post, especially if you’ve ever entertained fantasies of blogging to generate a primary income. I’m not saying you can’t use a blog to promote yourself and cultivate a reputation that you can monetize. But I think it’s unlikely that you’ll make more money from Google AdSense than Fake Steve Jobs.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

6 replies on “Note to Bloggers: Don’t Quit Your Day Job”

Hoping to earn FU money from Adwords: another sign of declining math skills in the US. Anyhow, apropos of some of your earlier posts, Jeff Jarvis reports his income in his recent book. in 2007: “13,855 in ad revenue ($4450 of that from Google) from Buzzmachine… But Buzzmachine is what got me appointed as a journalism professor at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism (worth not quite six figures a year) and consulting and speaking gigs (worth a few times that in good times) and the contract for this book (worth about double those gigs). So over a few years, my weblog is easily worth seven figures. My cost: $327 a year”. Another good data point, and good transparency.


Jarvis’s experience confirms what I’ve long believed about blogging: it may ultimately generate income, but only indirectly. He’s obviously an outlier as an A-list blogger who can land a book on the bestseller list, but the relative orders of magnitude probably apply to the rest of us mere mortals, scaled down appropriately. I’m certainly not counting on The Noisy Channel to bring me seven figures!


Well, if you are the lucky reader manages to make millions from a blog, I hope you will be generous enough to remember that you learned about it here, and will at least treat me to a good dinner. 🙂


Comments are closed.