Ever wonder why Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson spends so much of his valuable time writing for his blog, A VC? We’ve always assumed Fred’s passion for writing and a desire to market USV’s startups fuelled his fire, but in a post on the future of journalism on the Web, Fred reveals there’s also a little more motivating his hobby: about $30,000 per year from selling a single $10 CPM ad. (A reader tells us all of it goes to charity.)
And as reporters/journalists leave the big papers and start writing for their own blogs/brands, I think they’ll keep doing what they’ve been trained to do their entire career. Can they all make good money doing this? That’s not nearly as clear. As we talked about in the “scale economics” post (I do mean we, read the comments), revenue per ad impression is going to be a dollar per thousand not 10 or 20 dollars per thousand. I make about $30k per year on this blog and it is read by 150,000 people per month (web and feed) and gets around 250,000 page views per month (web and feed). So that means I am still getting 10 dollars per thousand on this blog running only one ad unit. If I was getting one dollar per thousand and running three or four ad units, I’d be making around $10,000 per year on this blog. And my numbers are pretty good for a one man band. And $10,000 to $30,000 per year isn’t enough for most reporters/journalists to live on. So even if the microjournalism approach works from a content production point of view, it doesn’t seem to work from an economic point of view.