Sunday, July 12, 2009

Who's Making 'Six-Figures' Blogging? (And an Aside on 'Up-and-Coming' Conservatives)

I'm reading this post by Felix Salmon at Reuters, "Notes on Blogging for Journalists." A lot of it's familiar, but this part really caught my attention:
Who should blog?

The short and easy answer, of course, is “everybody”. But blogging isn’t easy, and not everyone is good at it. If you find writing hard, if you don’t feel any particular need to share your opinions with strangers, if you value your privacy — then maybe blogging isn’t for you.

And there are some good reasons not to blog. It takes up a lot of time, which means that there are significant opportunity costs associated with blogging. If you read a lot of blogs and news outlets anyway, then the marginal extra time commitment can come down, but it’s still substantial. It also puts you out there; it’s not for the thin-skinned. People will be very rude about you, in public. If you don’t want that, don’t blog. And it can, in extremis, even get you fired — bloggers tend not to be Organization People, and they tend to say what they think quite forcefully, and they don’t have much in the way of job security. (Of course, having a good blog can get you hired, too: there are two sides to that coin, and right now the market in good bloggers is pretty hot, and the number of bloggers making six-figure incomes has never been higher.)
I can't imagine anyone making $100,000 a year blogging; and by that, I mean blogging exclusively (sitting with laptap all day and regurgitating the original reporting and research that people in the field are doing).

I've been teaching 10 years at my college, and I don't mind saying I don't clear 100k annually (my joint returns are well over that, which means that Obama's taxes on the "rich" will be inching down my way in no time). And that's not even counting course overloads and summer assignments. I've taught a seven-course load once or twice, and it's an express-ticket to burnout. And I still wasn't taking in that kind of money Salmon's talking about for a blogger: You've got "journalists" hanging out all day blogging, making that kind of dough?

I want some names! Let's hear 'em: Who's making 100k? I wouldn't be suprised if The Atlantic paid Andrew Sullivan that much. As offensive as he is, you can't argue he's slacking over there. Ross Douthat? Well, "snail-blogging" wouldn't be an improper term, but he's moved on to the New York Times - kind of a sinecure for the non-threatening conservative, one might think.

And speaking of conservatives, I was actually about to respond to this essay by Drake Bennett, "
The Next Conservative Thinkers" (via Memeorandum). I mean, c'mon! Luigi Zingales, Bradford Wilcox, Reihan Salam, and Megan McArdle? The former two are no-names to me, and the latter are essentially liberals. (Megan McArdle, who voted for Barack Obama last November, redeems herself on free-market economics, but her libertarianism on some social issues is deathly).

Robert Stacy McCain's got a post up on this at American Spectator, "The New Establishmentarians." He's kind of incredulous:

Am I the only one left who thinks of conservatism as a philosophy of opposition, a defiant creed that aims to challenge the hegemony of organized liberalism?"
That's pretty rhetorical, considering the tremendous backlash we saw earlier this year against Rush Limbaugh. But Robert's on to something in some respects. All of this searching for a "new" conservatism is doing nothing more than validating the left's disastrous big government (moral) bankruptcy that's working to destroy the social and structural institutions of society.

More later. But for the kind of mind-numbing postmodern conservatism that's completely unmoored from economic and traditionalist foundations, check out Ordinary Gentlemen, "
Twenty-First Century Conservativsm."

As for "notes on blogging," see my earlier piece, "
How to Become a Successful Conservative Blogger."


Dennis said...

Time and I already have something that utilizes most of it is why I comment instead of blog. Between trying to be the best I can be at what I love doing, reading, leading and educating people, trying to be the husband, grandfather and father I should be I find that retirement has become much more time consuming than I thought it would be and I love it.

Mark30339 said...

Weren't these comments made to the South Asian Journalists Association? Maybe he meant 100k in Philippine Pesos or Indian Rupees. That will trade for about $2,000US.