would guido really “not get out of bed” for £21k in blog ads?

The Press Gazette picked up on my recent post where I quoted research suggesting that bloggers earn more (£21k) than journalists but significantly less than holders of Bachelors degress (£29.6k).

In response, Guido Fawkes, the most high profile political blogger in the UK (with 12.2% share of polical blog of reach), who also gave a presentation at the WeMedia Fringe event, posted a comment where he said:

I wouldn’t get out of bed for that.

Graham over at NoodlePie made $146 from AdSense in September. During the month he had 24,715 unique visitors and 44,152 page views. Graham is ranked 13,737 by technorati, with 1,429 links from 185 blogs. His traffic rank was 361,629 on Alexa.

Guido has a rank of 3,095 on technorati, with 2,250 links from 600 blogs. His traffic rank is 75,217 on Alexa.

Guido is one of a number of high profile political bloggers involved in messagespace, which claims around 1.5 million page views per month on it’s partner’s blogs. 12.2% (see above – I used the top ten because most of them are involved in message space) of that is around 150k page views a month, roughly 3.5 times that of noodle pie.

NoodlePie made $146 in September, which converts to £78.75 for the month – just under £1000 a year – off approximately 25 – 30% as much traffic as Guido has.

I don’t, of course, know for sure that Guido gets 150,000 page views a month. He could get ten times that (although it seems unlikely he does). But what I do know is that, even if he is getting as much as 1.5 million page impressions a month, it seems unlikely that he’s making more than twenty times the amount noodlepie is making off it’s google ads – that is, it seems unlikely that Guido makes more than £21k off the ads on his blog.

I don’t have any problem with Guido. In fact, I liked the guy when I met him and do ocassionally read his blog because it’s a good read. All I’m saying is that unless he’s lumping his consultancy, speaking and other income in with his blog ads income, I just can’t see how he can claim he “wouldn’t get out of bed for that [£21k]”

[I only used NoodlePie as an example because I had access to his stats and blog ad revenue, which he posts openly. He wasn’t in anyway responsible for this post, nor do I have any idea whether he would agree with anything said here. I use his blog, by the way, as an example of a “good blog” whenever asked for such examples. Do have a look.]

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  1. Perhaps Guido meant that he isn’t in it for the money but if he was that money wouldn’t be enough?
    I suggest paid bloggers are likely to be paid more because (as with the printer cartridge example) they are likely to be effectively in PR or perhaps in KM, not in journalism as such.

  2. Maybe. I’m hoping Guido will pop round and tell us what he meant. He is certainly in it for the money though – my understanding is that blogging is effectively his full time job. That said, there are lots of bloggers who have other jobs but spend just as much if not more time blogging and do so not for dosh but to have a voice.

  3. No problem with you using the stats I post onto the Flickr Robin :)
    I will just point out a couple of things. The stats for Sept are slightly misleading as I accidentally deleted the statcounting code from my blog for a few days. Alexa and all that Technorati stuff is also misleading. I didn’t “dotcom” my blog for a good year and those figures won’t pick up inbound links from my original typepad url:
    Also, Adsense, as I understand it, allows you to reveal how much cash you are making, but you are not allowed to publicise the amount of traffic – which I blank out. I will say that the Adsense stats consistenly show lower numbers of page views than Statcounter shows. So, your figures will be a bit off because of these factors, but I suppose it is nitpicking a bit.
    I’ll also add that any press attention my blog has received, in particular press attention with a version online and a html link generates a substantially higher number of page views and subsequent ad clicks. See the month of June:
    Also, your figures don’t take into account BlogAds earnings, which I haven’t publicized. You could probably add another $1 – 2,000 to the end of year tally I put on Flickr. Some people – maybe like Guido :) – might think that’s not worth running ads for. I do. I’m not rich. I sell words for a living and long term my blog will probably be a good, consistent wee earner.
    The reason I publicise these figures – and I’ll only be doing it for one year – is because I wanted to show Vietnamese folk in Vietnam, where I lived until recently, that a blog can earn you a decent living. $100 per month is good living wage in Saigon. I thought it might encourage a few Vietnamese to look at starting their own blogs. And I CANNOT think of a better way to earn your rice than by blogging.
    The other figure your stats don’t reveal is the paid work my blog generates. I haven’t kept a close record of all that – and I really should have – but as an example I received a cheque this morning for $1,800 for a column I wrote. I expect another for $600 next week. Like I say I don’t know the exact figure, but you’re looking at maybe $10,000+ per year of writing/consultancy work.
    Lastly, blogging about a niche, writing well, with passion and wotever DOES open doors – if you are prepared to knock on them. Just a few examples;
    Last week I discussed a full-time blogging position with a very well known outfit. Unfortunately, it fell through because of my location. But I will get to do freelance work for the same outfit in mainland Europe. Regardless of my journalism work, it’s the blog and a past of ‘conversation’ that opened that door.
    Next week, I have meetings with three senior figures at three different major media organisations to discuss, among other things, possible blog-related work. Again, without the blog, I doubt they’d be bothered to give me the time of day. And BTW, if you’re reading this and want to *talk*. I’ll be in London Oct 17-19 :)))
    Lastly Guido’s blog – much as I like to dip now and then – is a travesty of design for advertisers. For a full timer it’s a shocker. He doesn’t even have a “proper” dotcom set up. Only two of the ads he runs are in decent postions, IMO. Plus, if he ran Adsense I doubt it’d do him much good as the keywords are unlikely to bring in high paying ads. The words I tend to highlight for Adsense are Vietnam, Saigon, Hanoi. They serve hotel and travel ads, which are far more relevant than, say those shitty “Learn Blogging today” ads that pay 0.001 cents per click.
    Blimey I went on a bit, but I’m in that ‘just finished a feature and emailed it to the editor’ brief bliss phase. A feature, which by the way, came about pretty much because of… yes… you guessed it…

  4. Only two ads are in decent positions. Correct and they are sold accordingly.
    As for being on Google’s blogspot, not doing trackbacks, digging, Myspacing etcetera. What a load of bollocks.
    The great thing about being on blogger (as is Iain Dale) is that we can get Google to sort out any issues on demand. OK we email the Google UK top brass to get things sorted, but having the top UK blogs must have some perks. My site is graphics heavy and yet I have no hosting or bandwith worries.
    MessageSpace works as a premium advertiser. The audience is sold at a far higher pcm than Google Adwords can dream. Advertisers pay to advertise to Downing Street.
    I listen to all the geeky gurus and am constantly approached to change my format. Drudge, Popbitch and Guido all do it “wrong”, and we have the audience to prove it, my monthly traffic is consistently over 350,000 pageloads.
    My view of advertising is that only in-post ads work well.

  5. Graham, great comment. Thanks.
    Guido, does that mean you’re making more than £21k off the ads on your blog alone, or are you lumping in the other stuff I’m guessing you do, talks and consulting or whatever, into that figure?

  6. I don’t do consulting or TV. Consultants are wankers.
    Ad revenue this year will make it worth getting out of bed and I am saying no more.

  7. Lol. So there you have it, from the Guido’s mouth – he’s making more than £21k in ad revenue. It’s something to think about!

  8. Guido Fawkes (aka Paul Staines) : The Plonker

    [Note – This post is now about a week old, but it was very important that I had a comments/trackback glitch corrected before publishing. I’m sure you’ll understand why when you read it. Oh, and be warned, folks… this is…

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