Why the Future is Bright for Bloggers

Online publishing success begins with being an enthusiastic expert on your topic

Today’s bloggers are tomorrow’s SIPA publishers, says Ed Coburn, the incoming president of SIPA

In 2009, bloggers are the new freelance writers and the future profitable multiplatform publishers.

Here’s why:

I first launched Writing for Money in 1993 — about 16 years ago. The writing and publishing community then was comprised of about 10 million people.

That’s how many people Writer’s Digest determined would identify themselves as a freelance writer. These were people who could write, but most did not have the ability to publish.

Today, in the U.S. alone, one out of five adults would identify themselves as a blogger. That’s nearly 50 million people who are self-publishing with the help of Blogger and WordPress. These websites created software that lowered the barriers to self-publishing to almost zero cost.

The democratization of freelance writing

The person who today says, “I’m a blogger” is the same person who in 1993 would have said, “I’m a freelance writer.”

No one knows for certain how many bloggers there are worldwide in 2009, but estimates are there may be as many as 70 million. Of these, I imagine fewer than 10 percent are making any money. Most bloggers who report making any income have only added Google AdSense to their blog.

A few have joined an advertising network, like the 38 publishers at The Deck Network. These are bloggers who have banded together in a co-op. One sales rep sells advertising that appears on all The Deck Network websites, enabling the other bloggers to concentrate solely on writing.

These bloggers make a living as freelance writers, some earning as much as $100,000 annually. At present, they are a rarity, but there’s a trend afoot.

If you’re a freelance writer in 2009, you should launch a blog, add Google AdSense ads to it, build traffic to become credible, and find a co-op like The Deck Network to sell advertising on your site.

The most successful bloggers are eventually approached by book and magazine publishers, who want them as contributors. They supplement their incomes with public speaking and seminars, and eventually write books and publish on additional platforms.

Questions for would-be profitable bloggers

If you’re a blogger, how often do you post?

Is your blog well-written and informative?

Are you niched?  Targeted?  Consistent?

Do you write on a niche topic that would qualify you to be a member in SIPA, the Specialized Information Publishers Association?

Today’s bloggers are tomorrow’s SIPA publishers, says Ed Coburn, the incoming president of SIPA. He looks at Technorati bloggers as the SIPA farm team.

The founders of SIPA (back in 1977 when it was the Newsletter Publisher’s Association) were all passionate about a niche topic, just as today’s bloggers are generally highly specialized and tightly niched.

Most of today’s successful multi-platform publishers began with a single topic print newsletter written by a single, passionate, subject matter expert.

The aspiring publisher in the 1970’s was a freelance writer whose goal was to be paid for his expert editorial content. In 2009, the career path to online publishing profits is a little different.

Today, you start out as a part-time blogger and aspire to build a following of readers who will eventually purchase your paid editorial products, click on your site’s advertisements, and hire you to speak, teach or consult.

It all starts with being an enthusiastic expert on your topic, publishing your own blog, and eventually progressing along your own profitable, product pyramid.

Whether you’re a new blogger or an “old hand” at writing and publishing, the 2009 Mequoda Summit Boston will provide you with the leading-edge strategies, tactics, tools and techniques to take the next step as an online publisher.

Register for the Mequoda Summit right now to lock in a discount.

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