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Boy oh boy, the Bay Citizen sure has put online writers in an interesting position.

Here’s the abbreviated version: BC is a non-profit news startup, flush with a $5 million investment from fiscal celebrity Warren Hellman. They’re launching a Bay-Area-wide news site on May 26th, and they need content. So they held a meeting last Friday where they told the roughly 40 assembled independent writers that any time those writers write something on their sites that catches the eye of BC, BC may offer to them $25 in exchange for a non-exclusive license to republish.

So, in other words: keep doing what you’re doing, and if you do something we like, we’ll reheat your copypasta. Oh, here’s $25. Don’t spend it all at Little Star.

Intriguing, right?

One one hand: $25 for a post that you were going to write anyway is $25 more than you had before. And it’s a big deal for a blogger to demonstrate that they’re bringing in cash, even if it’s less than they’d make as a busker. Also: it may not be much–but some websites pay even less than that.

But. Other websites pay more. I won’t name names, but in general, I’ve seen aggregators pay in the range of $10 to $15 per post for a roundup; whereas news sites start at around $50 to $100 for a little original reporting. So, if you’re just sifting a bunch of links, you can expect to make less than $25; and if you’re interviewing sources, you can expect to make more.

“The link economy breaks down online … the experience can be disconnected. You’re in one place and then you in a different place, it can be a very frustrating experience.”

The Bay Citizen wants original reporting, so the money they’re offering isn’t going to make anyone’s eyes turn into dollar signs. And the Editor in Chief, Jonathan Weber, acknowledged as much during Friday’s meeting: “There are lots of challenges on the business side,” he said, “we can help out a little in the margins. … We don’t pretend that this is a magic business solution for every site.”

And Weber’s no stranger to challenges on the business side! The last time he ran a publication in San Francisco, back in 2001, it filed bankruptcy with $9.1 million in liabilities, unable to pay severance.

Plenty of questions remain. Money for partners won’t be predictable, and BC still hasn’t publicly explained how the pay structure for their freelancers, such as Scott James, who will be writing a regular column for the site, according to Weber.

It’s also unclear if they’ll simply trust their partners to present the news factually, as other news orgs do wire reports; or if they reserve the right to edit their partners’ content before posting it on their own site.

One more unanswered question: how exactly will they be finding and evaluating this partner content? For now, Weber asked the assembled writers to just email pitches directly to him, the Editor in Chief. Of course, once the site launches, we can probably assume that he won’t have time to handle daily sifting responsibilities.

And then there’s another less obvious question to consider: the impact that striking a deal like this could have on your reputation.

“Ahoy, readers,” this Bay Citizen calls out, “no need to go messing around with all those various blogs and things! Just come to the Bay Citizen, we have all best highlights! One look at us and you won’t need to read anyone else!”

Uh oh.

I gave a presentation at the Journalism Innovations III conference a few weeks ago entitled “Fourteen Things Bloggers and Broadcasters Have to Learn from Each Other,” in which I touched upon the importance of reputation–or, if you’re one of those people, “branding.”

Now, more than ever before, it’s completely mandatory for journalists to have a unique reputation. You can’t survive on bland fishwrap. Every article you write (or blog post or tweet) has to be an investment in a larger body of work or in your own self-promotion. If your identity becomes decoupled from your content, then suddenly your content is doing a lot less work on your behalf.

Let’s look at Haighteration as an example. (To be clear, I’m not in touch with them, and they weren’t at the Bay Citizen meeting on Friday.)

Haighteration’s the best source for hyperlocal Lower Haight news. If they post something awesome–like their “Lower Haight of Yesteryear” series–they’ll get a ton of incoming links that may convert into new readers. Yay.

But if they cross-post to Bay Citizen, would as many readers hop on over to Haighteration? Why would they, after all? There reportedly won’t be a link to their story on BC (After publication, Weber commented on the Appeal, saying “If partners prefer that the link go to the story page and not the front page we could certainly do that”) and readers just read the whole article, anyway. For content partners, a link from a high-traffic site might be more valuable than a cross-post.

While nobody can predict whether BC will become a high-traffic site, I think it’s a safe bet that they won’t be heavy linkers. Editor in Chief Jonathan Weber told the assembled writers, “The link economy breaks down online … the experience can be disconnected.”

“You’re in one place and then you in a different place,” he went on. “It can be a very frustrating experience.”

That might come as a surprise to a site like Curbed, which built a reputation as one of the most diligent linkers around. (Disclosure: I wrote for Curbed, and I’m on friendly terms with the folks who run the site currently.) The quality of Curbed’s links is high, and readers know it; if Curbed links to your site, you enjoy a healthy boost.

It might be true that BC’s as-yet-unknown readership will find links frustrating, if their demographic ends up like the Chronicle’s — elderly and suburban. (Note: These demographics may not be particularly attractive to your average San Francisco blogger.)

Currently, BC’s links to the media community in the Bay Area are tenuous. There wasn’t much outreach regarding Friday’s meeting, so many well-established writers found out about it last-minute through word of mouth, or not at all. Greg Dewar, one of the city’s most successful bloggers (and, disclosure, my friend), wrote over at SF Weekly, “I didn’t hear about it either. If I had, I might have attended.”

It’s possible that Weber’s attitude reflects the policies at his past projects. After all, his last job, running New West, which covers six entire states, generates only modest traffic, getting about a tenth as many unique visitors as SFist. And although his Industry Standard magazine was a rip-roaring success for a while, a paper magazine in 2001 is a far call from a non-profit general news site of today.

So the question for writers considering this deal is this: is a link more valuable than $25? And unfortunately, that’s hard to answer.

I run Stop8.org, a website that tracks the media for reporting on Prop 8 and gay marriage. Readership is pretty modest. When I get a link from SFist, I get a big traffic spike — much bigger than I would if I’d just let SFist post my content.

But that spike won’t immediately turn into $25 worth of value, since Stop8 isn’t a moneymaker. (I run ads, but they don’t even cover expenses.) So maybe I’m better off taking the money than getting the traffic.

On the other hand, if I was running a site that’s supported by advertising (like the Appeal is) or if I were writing a book about Prop 8 (which I am) then those local eyeballs are suddenly awfully valuable. Not only do people who run websites make immediate money based on their pageviews, but having an established track record of visitors to your site enables you to attract new advertisers.

Can you consider this a “business model” for anyone other than BC? According to Weber himself, no.If your traffic doesn’t grow, neither does your business. And when I self-publish my book and sell a few thousand copies around California in an effort to nail down national distribution, that built-in audience could make the difference between success and failure.

And I’m not alone. All commercially successful writers are working on some larger project that will, at some point, require a big audience. Nowadays, you can’t live on one-off articles alone. You have to be working on something bigger.

So that $25 license looks okay in the short term–but it could cut off a significant long-term advantage.

How could Bay Citizen sweeten the deal? For me, there are four ways that this could turn out to be a satisfying experience:

– I get totally famous for my work through Bay Citizen and gain an enormous following through their site. That, of course, depends on the Bay Citizen having a massive readership, which is a pretty big hypothetical. It’s still unclear what the BC’s traffic building plan is: when asked at Friday’s meeting, Weber wouldn’t go into detail on their social media plan, only saying vaguely, “we’ll be using Twitter in a number of different ways. I don’t want to get into it.”

– BC names me as their regular exclusive content partner on the topics that I write about. They put my brand on their site. They make it clear to readers that when they see really great coverage of the Prop 8 trial, it’s the work of Matt Baume at Stop8, not of The Bay Citizen. SFist, for one, has always been really good about doing this.

– They publish only an excerpt of my article, with a link to the full post on my own site.

– They chip in that $25 towards a Spot.us pitch. (Spot.us is a fundraising platform for journalists; you post a pitch for a story and a reserve price; then readers and publications donate money to your pitch, and when the donations reach the reserve, then you write the article.)

I’m not sure if BC would be up for any of these things. Stuff like that is common practice for blogs, where linking and sharing are a stable currency; but not so much for newspapers.

I asked both Jonathan Weber and David Cohn of Spot.us if their organizations have a relationship with each other. Both answered: “not yet.” For now, they said, it’s entirely possible that BC might chip in some cash to a Spot.us pitch. And of course, that means that it’s entirely possible that they won’t. Here’s hoping that they work out something more specific.

Of course, there’s one big upside to Bay Citizen’s plan: no other local sites are doing it. Sure, SFGate is happy to slurp up content from local blogs — they just don’t pay them. But they do allow partial-posts with a link to the originating article, and they have good traffic and provide visibility. Organizations like Mission Local and The San Francisco Bike Coalition, among others, have cross-posting relationships with SF Gate.

It’s clear that journalism needs a new business model, and experiments like this can only help. But can you consider this a “business model” for anyone other than BC? According to Weber himself, no.

Once it launches, it’ll quickly become clear how successful the idea is–so it’s worth some very careful scrutiny, both before and after the big launch on the 26th.

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  • Xenu

    How does $25 compare to doing a little advertising, a little SEO, and slapping up say Google Adsense on a news site?

  • Greg Dewar

    I have to wonder how sustainable BC is going to be given that they’re paying $400,000 for a “CEO” of a non profit. I mean, what, they couldn’t find someone to lead this for a mere 300,000?

    The argument is always “but we have to pay management lots of money to get the best people”. The same argument used at Muni, at Goldman Sachs, at the pharmaceutical industry and at BP. And look how well that’s worked out.

    To see that, then a mere $25 with no link back to the originator of the article? Hmm.

  • Andrew

    Great article, and thanks for the mention. Definitely raises a lot of issues.

    I wasn’t aware of the Bay Citizen meeting, and this is the first I’m reading about their plans. But here are my initial thoughts.

    In terms of just plain old revenue, yes, the BC’s offer could be a better deal for small blogs like ours. Haighteration caters to a very specific (and relatively small) neighborhood, so in general there’s something of a built-in ceiling to our traffic. Yes we do get spikes when posts of ours that have city-wide appeal (like the yesteryear one you mention) get picked up by SFist and Curbed etc., but those are the exception and not the rule. In general our posts are about very specific local events or developments that probably don’t interest folks outside the neighborhood. (At least I don’t assume so…)

    We currently display one google ad on the site, but the revenue it generates is low. Definitely lower than $25 per post. (Whether $25 is a fair price for original content is another issue entirely…) But yes, just looking at the numbers, we could certainly make more money by writing posts exclusively for the Bay Citizen instead.

    The reason that doesn’t interest me is because I’m not blogging for the money.

    I started Haighteration a couple of months ago because I love my neighborhood, and realized that there was no site covering these hyperlocal issues that interest me. It’s not my full-time job, and I don’t rely on it as a source of income. It’s really just a labor of love, as cliched as that sounds.

    If I were to switch to selling the stories to the Bay Citizen, I’d imagine that they would want more of the types of stories with citywide appeal that generate the most traffic, rather than the micro-relevant stories that actually caused me to start Haighteration in the first place.

    Maybe there’s a scenario in which I could do both — post some stories to Bay Citizen and some to Haighteration — or come up with some compromise scenario like the ones you outlined. At first glance, I really don’t know. And maybe this deal would be good for people who are blogging for the money and/or to get the most exposure, which I can certainly understand. That just happens to not be me.

    (Sorry for the long comment. Bad form, I know…)

  • Lois Beckett

    Nice analysis, Matt, and really interesting comments.

    One important thing to note is that the Bay Citizen WILL be linking to the home site of the content they use, and doing a fair bit of branding, as well.

    The way Weber described it at the meeting was that content would appear on the BC’s front page with the name of the originating site, and a link to it. Then, on the BC’s story page (with the full story), there would be another link to the home site, possibly a logo, and also links to about three other stories from the home site–so maybe stuff that the BC themselves didn’t run.

    It seemed to me that Weber’s plan definitely includes pimping their partners’ brands as much as possible. So the judgment call is really whether $25 + BC touting your brand is more valuable than the traffic to your site if BC just sent readers over to you.

    As for editing, Weber said at the meeting that they would reserve the right to edit pieces, as well as write headlines, but he was discussing this in the context of adding a couple lines to a local story to place it in a regional context–in other words, picking up a story from the Lower Haight and adding some information about how this local trend fits in with what’s going on across the Bay Area.

  • Jane Stillwater

    After being a blogger for over ten years and having written over a thousand fabulous articles including descriptions of my four and a half embeds in Iraq — all for free — I gotta admit that my eyes did light up at that meeting when Jonathan offered $25 a post.

    That’s just sad — but true.

    http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com

  • Pumpkin Pie

    The accumulation of $25 gigs could go a long way, unless you immediately spend it on lunch. Yummie.

  • MC O’Connor

    Whew, I was worried that I’d been too distracted with the fancy office chair I was sitting in at that meeting and had misunderstood Weber about linking. Thanks, Lois, for confirming what I heard: BC will run full story AND link to original story. That’s a pretty important point. Maybe you should put a correction in the story.

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

    I am a co-founder of Berkeleyside.com, a new local new site all about Berkeley. We are planning to partner with The Bay Citizen and although we would love more than $25 a post, we still think it is a good idea.

    Bay Citizen plans to post stories from local sites on its front page. When you click on the story, you will be taken away from the front page of The Bay Citizen to another Bay Citizen page that has the name of the partner site at the top. The story you clicked on will be reprinted in its entirety but there will be links to other stories from your site in a column on the right. If you click on those links, the reader will be taken to the your site. So people coming to Bay Citizen can find stuff they like and trace it back to the place where the content was originated.

    Bay Citizen is also offering to “loan” a reporter to its local partners to do a story once a quarter. Now the three co-founders of Berkeleyside are professional journalists, and I am not sure if we will need this service (especially since two of us have been part of the group writing the new New York Times Bay Area section) but it is a nice gesture to spread the wealth around. Bay Citizen will also be holding seminars on journalism and technology that the contributors are invited to attend. In addition, The Bay Citizen is making an office and computer available to its partner sites.

    While the $25 fee is not huge, it is more than the Chronicle pays its City Brights writers. (I am one of these as well) I see the Bay Citizen as bringing together an increasingly fragmented journalistic community. Ten years ago there were just big players — the Chronicle, the Examiner, the Mercury News, the tv stations. Now there are dozens of news outlets all specializing in a tiny area. Cooperation rather competition seems to be the new ethos here and I think the Bay Citizen wants to play a role in creating an open environment.

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

    One more thing I forgot to add. Bay Citizen is planning on using a lot of freelancers. They have hired 5 or 6 reporters and there is no way they can fill a site with that number. Steve Fainaru has said publicly that he wants freelancers and the Bay Citizen will hold a meeting next week to talk about how to get on the site. They will pay, rumor has it, from $500 to $3,000 a story. (Of course the high end will probably be for an in-depth exclusive investigative piece)

    Considering how many laid-off journalists there are in the Bay Area, this is great news.

    Scott James was a freelancer for the New York Times and he will continue to write his column for the New York Times but will now be paid by The Bay Citizen. The New York Times is contracting out its content to The Bay Citizen.

  • Eve Batey

    Hi, MC O’Connor! No one’s saying the BC is saying they won’t link to the originating site — not Matt, not Lois.

    However, they did say at the meeting (and it was reiterated here) that they will NOT be linking to the original story. A link to your homepage is certainly better than nothing, it’s up to you to decide if a link to your story is better.

  • Brock Keeling

    “Cooperation rather competition seems to be the new ethos here and I think the Bay Citizen wants to play a role in creating an open environment.”

    You can thank bloggers, not print journalists or folks associated with newfangled sites, for this not-so-new ethos. I’m always saddened and surprised to hear this is news to media types.

    Also, for the sake of transparency, Frances, you need to point out that you’re Warren Hellman’s cousin:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaias_W._Hellman

    That said, good luck with the new venture!

  • MC O’Connor

    oooh. really? coulda swore they were linking to the story, rather than the site. not that is really matters that much if the whole story is run on BC. guess i WAS too distracted by the fancy chair.

  • Eve Batey

    This is why I work from a chair made of sackcloth and ashes. Distraction: eliminated.

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

    I am happy to admit that Warren is my cousin, but I think my journalism experience is more pertinent here than the familial relationship. My site will get $25 like everyone else’s. I didn’t even tell Warren that Berkeleyside would be a partner of The Bay Citizen.

    Warren actually isn’t playing a role in the journalistic side of things. He is donating the funds and is trying to raise more money, but Jonathan Weber makes the journalism decisions.

  • Becky O’Malley

    Good piece, and I also appreciated those by Lois Beckett and Bob Patterson. The most puzzling thing about the meeting at the time was the seemingly random selection of invitees. The Berkeley Daily Planet, in print and online for the last 7 years, was not among them, but a couple of our correspondents passed along the word. The comments here are illuminating. For my take on the general situation, written before I read your piece, see http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2010-05-18/article/35335?headline=Can-Warren-Hellman-Save-Journalism-.

  • Brock Keeling

    I sort of see what you’re saying. I think. But it’s quite disingenuous to defend a project that a close relative is funding then claim that’s not a factor. That seems like the kind of behavior you’d deride in others.

    Anyway, my two cents.

  • Becky O’Malley

    Now I’m curious– I googled “Frances Dinkelspiel Warren Hellman” and came up with this tweet five hours ago on her blog site. “Congratulations on your new job @baycitizen. It has fancy digs and an entrepreneurial atmosphere. I’ll see you at the party. ” Is there more going on that’s undisclosed, or is it just a friend over-interpreting the partnership relationship?

  • Jonathan Weber

    Hi folks, thanks for your interest in this topic.

    To clarify:

    1) The partner deal we are offering includes a $25, non-exclusive license fee. We are not asking people to write for us for $25. We are asking for permission to use things people have already written or plan to write. So it is not either “I write for my site, or I write for the Bay Citizen for $25.” It’s both! Despite what the article above says I know of no other sites that pay for a non-exclusive co-publishing license.

    2) We plan to link to the front page of the partner site, as well as providing a feed of links to other stories on that partner site. If partners prefer that the link go to the story page and not the front page we could certainly do that, but front page links are generally more valuable than story page links and the story will already be there so not sure why people would prefer that. But we’re open.

    3) The partner story page will include a logo, description of the site, and the links back to other stories, so this is a branded presence for the partners.

    4) Partners will get other benefits, including, as mentioned above, our co-reporting of stories. We’re also having monthly roundtable meetings/ sessions on a variety of topics, and providing a desk for partners in the newsroom. We expect to develop additional partner benefits as we go.

    5) As to who was “invited” to the meeting, it was an open invitation, posted on our Website, so no one was invited or not invited. We’re actually having another partner meeting on Wednesday at 5:30 for people who couldn’t make a meeting during the day.

    The point here is to try and develop mutually beneficial partner relationships. I’m sure it will be a work in progress, and we’re very open to suggestions on how we could make this program better. Also, anyone who has questions can certainly ask, you can reach me at jonathan_weber@baycitizen.org.

    Thanks!

    Jonathan Weber
    Editor in Chief
    The Bay Citizen

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

    I don’t want to be a distraction to the larger discussion here, Brock, but I keep feeling I have to respond to the points you bring up. I was not defending The Bay Citizen. There is nothing to defend. One could suggest that you, as a writer for SFist, are a competitor to The Bay Citizen and may have your own agenda. Did you disclose that? I doubt you thought it was relevant to the larger question of whether a $25 payment for a blog post is a good deal. That was the focus of the discussion and that’s what I focused on.

    Becky O’Malley — I sent that tweet to Katherine Mieszkowski, who announced on Twitter today that she had taken a job with the Bay Citizen. We are friendly and I congratulated her.

  • Brock Keeling

    No. No, I do not consider BC competition. (Please see my initial comment about cooperation rather than competition with regard to local media.)

  • Eve Batey

    Thanks for your comment, Jonathan!

    We could certainly debate all day on granular issues like what types of links (front page vs. story) are more valuable, or the benefits of trying to invite folks to a meeting in ways other than by posts on RSS-free blogs on your own site! Or perhaps we could discuss it over some sort of adult beverage. (How many drinks do I need to buy before I become a “founding member“?)

    However, I will respond to your remark “Despite what the article above says I know of no other sites that pay for a non-exclusive co-publishing license,” with a “what?” In our piece, we say “Of course, there’s one big upside to Bay Citizen’s plan: no other local sites are doing it.” I believe you are disputing one of the times we said something positive about your plan!

    Thanks for telling folks they can ask you questions about the venture. I know our reporter, Matt Baume sent you an email with some questions — since you haven’t responded to him yet, perhaps you can answer them here?

    – Does Bay Citizen have a written policy that spells out exactly what content partners get? Since I’ve got you here, I’ll elaborate: is this relationship contractual, or more like a friendly, handshake deal?

    – Would it be possible to get a look at the terms of the license?

    – And is there a written policy on linking?

    Finally, I’d like to get up a highish horse for a moment, if I may:

    I do not like hearing journalists attack other journalists as having some sort of dark agenda when they ask questions or raise points! Jonathan, having some sort of agenda is something you accused Matt of when you emailed him this afternoon. (Frances, I think the rules are different in comments, but I still think it’s beneath you.)

    If you are truly as committed to the type of open and collaborative relationships those of us working online have been (as Brock noted) enjoying for years, I must urge you not to turn questions about the work your site is doing (the same kind of questions all of us ask about one another!) into an attack on the questioners’ credibility.

    But since you implied that Matt’s and/or The Appeal’s ethics were somehow questionable when you emailed him, I’ll say the same thing I’ve been saying since long before I defended your as-yet-unnamed venture when the Chron’s Audrey Cooper vowed to smash it: there are way more Bay Area stories than there are people reporting on them, and my hope is that having more folks reporting will help everyone raise their game, which in the end will be better for all of us news readers and writers in the Bay Area.

    And, honestly, I don’t give a shit if these stories are on a tumblr or the BC, as long as they are out there and read. If the BC’s publisher arrangement serves that end, then, yay. But I stand behind the questions Matt raises about why the BC’s arrangement might not serve that end. (Hey, maybe I do have an agenda after all — good fucking reporting that people read!)

    But. If you’re going after the integrity of someone who challenges your assumptions (about how the internet works, about “what’s best” for local media), that’s neither collaborative, nor is it a game raiser. It just seems like more of the same Old Media “how dare you question us” bullshit.

    I sure hope you prove me wrong.

  • Greg Dewar

    Some very smart comments here from all sides, and the discussion is appreciated. But I will back up Brock and Eve on one thing – the idea of collaboration with each other is something that the online world has done for years – but the traditional print world has derided and hated on for years.

    We have too many journalists moving into the online world who want to control and own the media via the narrow channel they’ve been used to, and avoid listening to people, feedback or to other sources. That’s a big reason why formerly monopolistic print media is dying – you no longer HAVE to read the Chronicle to find out what’s going on, and the Chronicle has neglected so many of the stories that people want/need to read to participate in a functioning democracy.

    Toot my own horn department: My blog evolved from a side gig that I did for fun into what amounted to a calling out of the political and media bullshit that has clouded the discussion about how a transit first city should operate. I am astounded at the level of mediocrity and foolishness that passes for “journalism” at certain organizations and my blog has spent more time debunking this kind of crap than on the community things I wanted to do.

    Yet when I worked with SF Weekly to produce a very thoroughly researched piece where I spent far more time than ANYONE should on Muni issues, I was derided as “not a proper journalist.” Fuck that.

    My point is this – if Bay Citizen can be another way for the micro locals and the bloggers and the like to get good stories out, I’m all for that. But if it becomes something that wants to “control” Bay Area news and be the “decider” via cash and whatnot, it’ll be no better than the corporate media that A) hates its guts and B) is dying anyway.

    I have an open mind, and I’d like to see how things work out. And if there’s a way I Can contribute, I’m happy to, but not as a “sharecropper” but as someone whose work is valued.

  • Jonathan Weber

    Eve, we certainly agree that more reporting is good. And I wasn’t intending to question anybody’s ethics, just expressing puzzlement as to why the story seemed to go out of its way to diss what we are proposing without ever really explaining it. For the record, here is the entirety of the comment that you are referencing: “But not sure what agenda your are serving by deliberately making it sound like a lesser deal than it is.” If that sounds like an attack, my sincere apology as that was not my intention.

    As to your questions, yes, there will be a simple contract. I can’t share it because it isn’t done yet, and for various reasons we might not want to publish the contract itself. And yes, there will be a written piece of paper summarizing all the terms, but what’s above is about as close to such a thing as exists for the moment.

    More than happy to discuss all of this over a beverage! Depending on where we go it may only take a few drinks to be a member! But seriously I am happy to buy and I look forward to meeting you and, if you’d like, whomever else you might like to invite.

  • Matt Baume

    How does $25 compare to doing a little advertising, a little SEO, and slapping up say Google Adsense on a news site?

    Actually, pretty favorably, from a purely bottom-line perspective.

    Let’s say you spend $25 on advertising — a mix of AdWords and Facebook ads. You’ll be lucky to get a handful of leads out of that. You’ll do much better if you send out a bunch of personal, targeted emails to high-traffic sites that are likely to link to you.

    The SEO will help a teeny tiny bit, but what’s really required to to establish a good PageRank over time, so SEO has to be a long-term strategy.

    And unless you have tremendous traffic, AdSense brings in very very little. Affiliate links and selling your own merch have greater potential for profit.

    Making $25 on a post on a blog is kind of unheard of. That’s why blogging needs to be one piece of a larger moneymaking strategy. (If you want to make money. Some bloggers don’t.)

    Now, it’s important to note that BC isn’t talking about paying you $25 for each blog post you write — rather, it’s $25 if you happen to write something they want. It won’t be in any way a reliable revenue stream unless you’re licensing in the neighborhood of 50 to 100 posts a month — or 2 to 4 every single day — which I’m guessing is not likely to happen.

  • Alexia Tsotsis

    “You’re in one place and then you in a different place,” he went on. “It can be a very frustrating experience.”

    “The link economy breaks down online … the experience can be disconnected.”

    Where does the link economy exist offline?

    [SLYT]