Monday, August 06, 2007

Are Some UK Bloggers Close to Giving Up The Day Job?

The Press Gazette has a very interesting piece on the number of people visiting national newspaper websites. Assuming Unique Users means the same as Unique Visitors (possibly a big assumption), blogs like this one, ConservativeHome and Guido Fawkes are getting around half the number of visitors the Daily Mirror (573,000) gets and more than a third of the number who visit the Independent website (706,000) each month. The newspaper figures are for UK users only, but as 93% of my traffic is from the UK (and I assume Guido and ConHome are similar) they are broadly comparable. The figures for all newspapers are...

Guardian 2.35 million UK unique visitors
Sun 1.98 million
The Times 1.73
Telegraph 1.59
Daily Mail 1.10
Independent 0.71
Scotsman 0.65
Mirror 0.57

If you add in foreign visitors the figures for the main newspapers shoot up with The Guardian on 14.51 million unique users in June, The Times 9.65 million, The Sun 9.02 million and the Telegraph 7.05 million. These figures come from ABCe audits. The Times was the only newspaper to report a rise in traffic in June.

In July Guido got 250,000 uniques, I got 235,000 and I believe ConservativeHome gets a similar figures, but far more page downloads because of the huge number of pages on the site.

These figures will give further credence to those who believe that the most popular blogs are not far away from being able to create a stand-alone business model based on advertising revenue. Based on what I know of other blogs' traffic figures I suspect this only applies to around 5 UK based blogs - Guido, ConHome, EU Referendum and Political Betting and mine. And of those, only Mike Smithson from PB.com and myself have what could be described as 'day jobs'.

What I don't know is how many US bloggers have already done the same thing and basically given up the day job. Any info out there?

17 comments:

Cranmer said...

250,000 uniques?

With his breath-takingly impressive 11,000 uniques in July, His Grace clearly has a potential income which vastly exceeds his meagre stipend.

However, he derives much spiritual edification, personal satisfaction, and deep joy from his day job.

David Anthony said...

I often wonder what 'unique vistors' actually means. For example, every day when I turn on my router it registers a separate and unique IP address... that's 31 'unique and individual' visits to a site in a month. Now, my router usually cuts out and has to reconnect about 2/3 times every day, so potentially I am being registered as 100 individual readers within a month, when in reality I am just a single reader. Just a thought.

...Of course, your advertisers needn't ever know this... ;)

Ali Gledhill said...

ConHome's figures were published a few days ago:

July was another record month for ConservativeHome. There were 246,227 unique visitors and 635,008 reloads.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Well many of the top bloggers in the US like Andrew Sullivan and others are already in the writing profession anyway so blogging is just another form of their normal life. Many of them were actually writing full time before they got their blog and its merely another arrow to their quiver.

I believe that the bloke behind DailyKos does that site full time. I am not sure what he did before that took off.

Newmania said...

And of those, only Mike Smithson from PB.com and myself have what could be described as 'day jobs'.


Well sort of Iain but your "day job" is not unrelated . I worry that professionals are taking over thus far the gentlemen and players rub along but eventually there must be a divide. I wonder how much the whole thing would suffer without your personal input as well.His Grace is being awfully chummy , I wonder if this is because he suffers slightly form the sin of pride and wishes to win an award or something in the bloggers book. I have some advice ....
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his own soul?" ...
(Mark 8:36-37, KJV)

Is that a bit obscure for him do you think. I hate to chat over someone’s head  :)

Ed said...

Don't the print editions and advertising in them subsidise the newspaper websites quite heavily?

I've no idea what your advertising revenue might be though to compare with my "day job".

Chuck Unsworth said...

Iain,

Actually some UK Bloggers are close to giving up the will to live, let alone the day job.

Tim Worstall said...

Hmm. As a stand alone blog no, I wouldn't want to try and live on the income although it would be possible (just, certainly, I've lived on that amount before).
Add in the way that the blog acts as an advertisement for people to hire me to write elsewhere and we do live off it.

Helen said...

Not sure what any of these figures mean but no, one cannot live on the income from blogs. Fortunately both of us on EUReferendum have day jobs whatever you might think, Iain.

Chris K said...

Don't know how much revenue you get from all of those visitors, Iain, but I doubt even the major newspaper websites are profitable.

Tim said...

Are you preparing us for the shock announcement that you're no longer chasing that MP gig, Iain?

rilly super said...

I regard all my readers as unique, and yes, I mean both of them, sigh..

Matt Wardman said...

There are at least two other factors.

1 - How effectively can the visitors be turned into cash.

2 - What income is needed to live off. That may be different between say a young single blogger and (e.g., someone with a family).

I'd potentially fairly soon add Slugger to that list (fewer visitors, but perhaps less direct competition in the niche), and I'd speculate about Samizdata and Harrys Place (unless they have gone downhill over the last 2 years - don't know on that).

I don't see anybody doing just blogging - the related media and consultancy work is usually at least 50%.

jailhouselawyer said...

Blogging is my day job, approximately 16 hours a day.

I have no objection to adverts, however, they have started invading across the text. Whilst most have a little x to remove them, I have noticed that those on the mirroronline forum do not and one cannot read the text because of the intrusion of the adverts...

Peter Mc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tapestry said...

I gave up the day job a while back. Blogging has filled the gap to some extent - but as for, uniques I should be surprised to get more than 1500 or 2000. I have no dea how all the blog rolling works which probably doesn't help.

Though strangely I had 250 so far today as Guardian referenced me on Foot and Mouth at 10.30 this morning and the clicks went up at a rather startling rate compared to normal.

I hope that blogs don't become businesses as they would inevitably lose some of their charm.

Alan said...

How many of your visitors use Firefox and Ad-block so they never see the ads?