Can you get rich by blogging?

The finance site 24/7 Wall Street just released its list of the 25 most valuable blogs, and the sites are worth millions of dollars. These valuable websites aren't just ordinary blogs, though. They are money machines... businesses with multiple employees, multiple streams of advertising revenues, and methods of leveraging their blogs for other money-making opportunities.

The most valuable website on the list was Gawker Properties, at $150 million, This is actually a collection of sites, which get a total of about 30 million visitors per month. Also high on the list are MacRumors (worth $85 million), a blog known for leaking Apple news, and Huffington Post (worth $70 million), a news and political website. Among the more interesting sites included on the list are DListed and PerezHilton, sites that are known for exposing people in the entertainment industry.

Can you build a blog worth millions of dollars? Probably not. These valuable sites are true business ventures that have taken a lot of time, a lot of personnel, and a lot of money to grow to what they are today. There are a few individual bloggers who have figured out how to turn their sites into advertising machines that help them earn six figures from their writing, but it's not easy and it doesn't happen fast.

Those individuals who earn six figures from blogging are few and far between, and as time goes on, the blogosphere is becoming more and more saturated with people who want to make money from blogging. Readers can only read so many blogs in one day, so the task of elevating your blog to cult status and high readership is not one to be taken lightly.

Also, it seems that group blogs have a better shot at growing a significant base of readers, due to the demand for lots of quality, consistent content. A single blogger can only generate a finite amount of content, and other writers are necessary to expand the reach.

You might be able to make some money blogging, and if you're one of the few with the passion, commitment, and talent to do it, you might be able to even make a few thousand dollars a month with your site. But the big blogging bucks are probably harder and harder to come by, so don't quit your day job until you've got yourself well-established in the blogosphere.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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