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Marketplace Scratch Pad

America’s Newest Profession

Scott Jagow Apr 21, 2009

Can you guess what it is? Hint: ME. The Wall Street Journal claims there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. Let me do my blog thing and say… I find that extremely hard to believe.

From the Journal:

The best studies we can find say we are a nation of over 20 million bloggers, with 1.7 million profiting from the work, and 452,000 of those using blogging as their primary source of income. That’s almost 2 million Americans getting paid by the word, the post, or the click — whether on their site or someone else’s.

I can buy the fact there might be 20 million bloggers. But the 1.7 million figure comes from a study which says 1.7 million people “list making money as one of the reasons they blog.” That is not the same as actually making money.

And there is no way half a million people are making their primary income from blogging. The article points out a Technorati study that says only 2% of bloggers can make a living. That’s 2% of the bloggers surveyed. The Journal is assuming that 2% of 20 million people are making a living, but Technorati says the annual blogger revenue is around $6,000. And that’s skewed by bloggers who earn $200,000!

The bottom line is – I’m sure a lot of people are making a little money from it. I know there are a few bloggers who make enough money they could live on it, but most of them don’t. I’m sure the numbers will grow, but let’s not start counting from highly questionable figures.

But lest I’m wrong, and we are about to overtake lawyers, let me be the first to start the blogger jokes.

How many bloggers does it take to change a light bulb?

Three. One to change the light bulb. One to blog about it as it’s happening. And one to take an excerpt from that blog, disagree and say the light bulb was actually changed this way.

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