Alan Meckler and Jason Calacanis Debate: Can Bloggers Make Money?

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Here is a great Wall Street Journal article that captures an email debate/exchange between Alan Meckler, veteran publisher and internet entrepreneur, and Jason Calacanis, founder of Weblogs, Inc., a leading blogging network that was acquired by AOL for about $25 million.

I think both writers make great points. I tend to believe that the economic benefits from blogging are far greater than the measly AdSense revenue that one might make. Some few bloggers will make a living directly from ad revenue. But most bloggers will find that sharing their ideas freely in an honest voice will bring them new connections and generate trust which will lead to business opportunities galore.
Fortune magazine just reported that only 34 of the Fortune 500 have corporate blogs. I don’t even like the idea of a corporate blog — but I love the idea of CEO blogs. I want blogs from real people at huge companies.

According to “Naked Conversations,” an excellent book on blogging, Microsoft has more than 1,500 bloggers. The first brave Microsoft blogger was Joshua Allen in 2000. These bloggers are putting a human face on a great company that has been viewed by many as the evil empire. They are giving developers all over the world a reason to check out who is doing what at the most influential technology company in the world.

My view is this: every entrepreneur ought to blog, and so should every CEO. Blogging makes you smarter (if you enable comments) because you can start conversations every day with your blog posts and get feedback from insightful readers. Blogging lets your employees and stake holders know better what is going on. It helps you attract customers and communicate better with them.

Blogging is easy to do. The setup time is minimal and it takes just a little discipline and maybe an hour or two a week to run a good blog.
If you send a few dozen emails per day you obviously have decided that taking the time to write email messages is worth your time.

But writing an occasional blog post that can be read by thousands, and where your keywords will be indexed by major search engines bringing new people (and customers) into your world is usually a far better investment than sending an email message. The time required is about the same. But the ROI is significantly higher!

Get with the program: start a blog!

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1 Response

  1. First off, I love blogging. I enjoy the release that it provides. Plus, it just feels great to know that there are a handful of people out there that actually give a rip about what I have to say. 🙂

    I also enjoy reading blogs — particularly this one. Reading blogs provides such a unique window into the minds of otherwise inaccessible people.

    At the same time, I don’t think blogging is for everyone, nor do I think that the people who don’t blog need to “get with the program.” We all have different prioroties and different methods of finding business opportunities. Blogging is one great way to do both of those things, but it isn’t the only way.

    Blogging is a great way to find business opportunities if you’re in the technology space. If you run a massage therapy school, maybe not. Your two hours a week might be better spent another way.

    For many of us average joes, the best way we can spend our time is focusing on getting things done, bringing in revenue, etc. (Instead of leaving long comments on blogs :))

    I’m not tyring to hate on the hobbies of millions of intelligent professionals, I just think that it’s important not to over-emphasize the importance of something that might not be the best use of time for everyone.

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