Tuesday, November 15, 2005


BLOGS/BUSINESS: Arizon State professor says some blogs are making money

URL: http://www.asuwebdevil.com/issues/2005/11/15/news/694917

POSTED: Tuesday, November 15, 2005
at the Arizona State University student daily
Blogging for profit: Businesses turning to online journals for advertising dollars

By Beth Cochran

Blogs, short for Web logs, are becoming a source of revenue for large companies and Internet users.

Blogging -- once a medium for personal online journaling -- continues to edge its way into the business arena as mainstream moneymakers for large companies, advertisers and Internet users. Blogs, short for Web logs, range from political news to entertainment to diary entries, and now they're used as marketing tools and sources of income.

Andrew Chen, assistant professor of information systems at ASU, said blogs are generating more revenue for companies than they are on the personal level, but that could soon change. "There are some pro-bloggers," Chen said. "Those are the people who make money from blogging. They're spreading their interest across different revenue streams."

A recent report by Pew Internet & American Life Project showed that by the end of 2004, 32 million Americans were reading Web logs and more than 8 million were posting blogs. Chen said revenue can come from advertisements and company sponsorships, but to be profitable, the blog has to generate enough traffic.

One way to generate traffic is to learn how to get the blog displayed at the top of a search result, Chen said. "Blogs are very similar to Web sites," Chen said. "You can create certain keywords in your blog so search engines will find that blog."

Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist at Pew Internet & American Life Project, said Internet users are using logs as a source of income, but she doesn't know whether the revenue is substantial. But according to the report, blogging hasn't reached its full potential yet -- only 38 percent of Internet users know what a blog is. "Since May of 2003, about 5 million people were doing it, now we have closer to 11 million," Lenhart said. "Blogging isn't going away."

Leslie-Jean Thornton, journalism and mass communication professor at ASU, said blogs are great marketing tools because the reader has to keep coming back to stay connected. "If you don't keep checking back, you miss out on the discussion," Thornton said. "That's an advertiser's dream." Thornton said she sees the potential for earning money through blogging and thinks blogs will continue to grow in popularity.

Trisha Cupero, a psychology sophomore, said she's been reading blogs since high school after hearing about them from friends. "I just read up on what other people are doing and their communities so you can catch up on news or chat with people from around the world," Cupero said.

Reach the reporter at beth.cochran@asu.edu .
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