Clearly, some of my students enjoy blogging and have taken to it. Others haven't really started, but I haven't asked why. I think a lot of times it's that ago-old dilemma...what to say. That, and time.
As early as 2003, there have people making money off of blogging (Wired). How much filthy lucre are we talking here? A recent Slate article noted:
"Blogs with 100,000 or more unique visitors a month earn an average of $75,000 annually—though that figure is skewed by the small percentage of blogs that make more than $200,000 a year."
I'm pretty sure I don't have the right stuff to have a Rose Bowl-sized monthly audience, but maybe some of my students do. I blogged about the social aspects of the Lolcat empire back in May and that site bring in over $5000 per month (as of 2007). Seeing how Perez Hilton rakes in $111,000 per month (as of 2007) makes me think about how those covering the celebrities become celebrities themselves and will how long will the "celebrity spectacle" bubble last. Fad or trend? I have some ideas there, but that's for another day.
Anyway, the Slate article has links to ad rates, such as those for "Blogs for Dudes," but I have to admit what caught my eye was the micropatronage idea. In 2005, Jason Kottke quit his job and asked his audience to sponsor him: "at a suggested rate of $30 (per annum). He received $39,900 from 1,450 people." Paypal tipjar anyone?
The key is how to build a big audience. Compelling content for the masses. What are your thoughts on this? If you're interested, you can add Google Analytics to your blogs to track hits. You have to add code to your template, but it's not that hard. I think I'll offer a prize to the student blogger with the most unique hits.